Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jaw Surgery and the Costs

It's amazing how one experience can change your life, isn't it?

That's a good way to start out a blog, I think . . . ha. 

Anyway, I wanted to start this blog because it'd be a great way to vent and a great way to be able to talk to others who may be going through the same experience I am. So . . . high-ho let's go!

I'm not necessarily comfortable with giving my age, but I am definitely younger than most. But let's give you some background info, yeah? 

I'm from Colorado, but I was adopted from South Korea when I was only a little baby. Actually, come to think of it, the reason why I had this surgery was why I was adopted. I was born with a little thing called Cleft Lip & Palate, which is a birth defect when your mouth isn't exactly fully developed when you're born. I was adopted because my birth parents couldn't afford any of the surgery that are necessary for me to be able to live the life I do. 

Anyway, I'm here to talk about the surgery and stuff, not exactly me so here we go. I got my upper jaw moved about 2-3mm, I'm not exactly sure how much. On top of that, I got a bone graft and I also got a fistula closed from my cleft lip & palate. Needless to say, it was a long surgery. It was probably about 5-6 hours. Woo . . . 

So leading up to the surgery, I was definitely nervous. Going through this may seem like you're alone and you're not exactly getting all the support that you want/need. Trying to keep my head tall was hard because although I've gone through some bigger surgeries, it's still not easy. However, I think being able to talk about it with a close friend of mine and previous friends had helped me overcome it the way that I have. Talking about it is always helpful. I was so nervous about the pain and shockingly, the pain isn't what's making me nervous now. 

Oh. And I'm glad I had a nice little meal the day before surgery. Olive Garden. Mmm. I had my favorite: pasta and I got to enjoy a nice steak since it's probably going to be my last for a while.

I had my surgery on March 28th. 2013 and it's been a long road since then in my head. I had gone into surgery thinking it was going to be about an hour and a half and I come out of it knowing I'm tired and dazed. I had gone into surgery at about 8AM and didn't get to see my parents until it was probably 2PM. And from what I can remember, I just remember being tired and numb and dizzy. Man, was I dizzy. 

After that, I was put into a room and I stayed there until about 6, I think, the next day. I don't really remember what time. My family visited a lot and I was well taken care of, although, I have to admit, I was cranky at times and didn't want to talk to most people.

As for everything else in between, eating, pain, etc, I think pain is the lowest on the list right now. My parents keep asking me how my pain is, and quite frankly, I don't really care about the pain as much as I should. I've been numb for most of the days, except for yesterday and today, and even then, it's more of a throbbing pain, nothing I can't handle. The splint on the roof of my mouth is a pain, but again, nothing I can't handle.

I think the hardest part right now is the amount of drooling I'm doing, the amount of hunger I have, the drowsiness, and the self-confidence I have is decreasing. Not to sound too vulgar right now, but I've had a lot of drooling for the past few days, in addition to throwing up blood which is always painful when your mouth can only open about 1/4 of the way. Okay. Maybe 1/3. Anyway, I think the drooling and the hunger right now have an effect on everything else right now. I can't really eat much except for anything that's runny. The splint disables me from putting more food in my mouth than I want to and it makes eating not so fun. Actually, I have food stuck in my splint from the small amount of eating I have done. So far, I've eaten stuff like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and grits, but as far as everything else goes, I don't want to eat anything else because my stomach is so upset from the nasty liquid pain meds they've been shoving into my mouth through a syringe. Mmm. I can taste it right now. **vomit**

On top of that, the strong pain medicine, tastes absolutely gross and I want to throw up from the site of it. Bleh. Anyway, my stomach is not happy with me, but I'm trying to eat more and more. I just don't feel like I have the energy too, which leads to my drowsiness. The first few days, including today, all I've felt was tired. All of my energy that I spent up doing something caused me to end up being really tired.

Lastly, the self-confidence level will decrease when I look like a swollen chipmunk. It's definitely a pain and when eating makes me look like a two-month baby who likes playing with food, I feel incompetent and stupid. I'm normally a VERY independent person so when I have to rely on others to feed me, bathe me, and just nurse me back to normal health, I feel a little more than pathetic. Ha. 

Overall though, I can't say if I'm too upset about everything. It's all about trying to rest up and look at the picture in the long run. (:

By the way, because I love quotes so much and they always inspire me to do what I can to make things right, I'll try to put a quote of the day or a quote of the week or something for every blog post I have. 

"Every day you either see a scar or courage. Where you dwell will define your struggle." ~Dodinsky

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