First Surgery Recovery Day 23: Big infection

Friday, January 31, 2014

Today was probably the most difficult day in the last week and a half. I woke up and noticed the left side of my face was unusually swollen. I hoped it would go away in the hour I take to get ready for work. It didn't. On the subway I was holding on to a pole and over the course of 3-5 minutes, I very slowly began to lose my vision and hearing. I was blacking out. I've never fainted before. It felt very weird losing hearing and vision so slowly. Everything started to slow down. Likely only moments before I would have fainted, I looked down at a row of people and said "I'm feeling lightheaded" and a woman got up and let me sit down.

After arriving to work, I called my surgeon and he asked me to come in immediately. It's an infection. Yes, the same "tiny" infection from Day 19 is back with a vengeance. Basically, a small area where they made an incision during surgery is where a very small amount of food has been collecting. It's like a small pit where stuff can fall in and stay. They drained the area of a lot of nasty stuff, installed a tube in the hole so things would drain out, gave me two bags of IV fluids, put ice on my face and now I'm going back in to get checked on next Monday. The tube joins all of the other hardware in my mouth, including lingual braces, front brackets, rubber bands, hooks, wires and a large splint. It's hard to believe that all of this stuff will be out of my mouth several months down the road.

The infection is frustrating since I've been taking my hygiene very seriously. I always take a long time to carefully brush, rinse and clean thoroughly, including using the prescribed Peridex liquid mouth rinse using a plastic syringe pointed right at the incision area.

My surgeon told me several times "don't go back to work" and to go home. I collected my things, notified my workplace and went home on the subway. I got a seat and made it to my stop without feeling lightheaded and picked up a new antibiotic prescription on the walk home.

I started a Mad Men marathon, picking up where I left off in season two, and played Asphalt 8: Airborne at the same time on my tablet. I think I watched five episodes of Mad Men today.

On the positive side of things, another day down. That's good, right? And it's the weekend, so I can knock two more days out, all while relaxing. Closer to the finish line... please...

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