Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 7: One Week Since Surgery!

Hello there!

So today is day 7. . .meaning I got my surgery basically a whole entire week ago! We went from counting days to starting to count weeks to me which is absolutely insane!

Anyway, here is my total update on today!

So today, I woke up with no pain again, which was nice! Unfortunately, I'm still having some slightly. . . bad bowel movements (too much information?) which is absolutely aggravating. But I feel really happy that basically I no longer have any pain and I'm very hopeful on getting off my splints tomorrow as well as getting out my splints or whatever that's in my nose. 

All day I've done a good job is sitting here and watching the classic Breakfast Club multiple time (I've tried to watch it multiple times this week except due to heavy pain meds, I've fallen asleep during it multiple times). I've also just drank tons of water and actually put something in my stomach which makes me super optimistic. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing my nose tomorrow! And I promise to update you all with pictures! I'd give you a picture today but I basically look the same as I did yesterday. . . including my clothes! Heh. 

Hope you all are having a good one!

-Kendahl x

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 6: The Hump Has Passed!

So another day has passed and I'm forever thankful for that! 

I am currently on Day 6 to the road to recover and I officially believe that I have gotten over the hump that is this damn surgery! Yesterday seemed to have been the worst of the worst from nausea, throwing up, horrible suppository pills, headaches, and a lot of crying. 

Today, I managed to wake myself at about 9:30AM and I was pleasantly surprised. My headache was gone and my stomach was no longer wanting to be ripped out! My nose pain is basically gone and I'm a pretty happy camper! However, my stomach has decided that it would be a good idea to still be kind of upset and I haven't really eaten all day as I'm deathly afraid! (: Ha! Anyway, my swelling, I've noticed has been going down day by day, which is a blessing! And I've decided to keep the gauze off my face and this is what I look like: 
Excuse my horrible hair and my lack of style, but I have been extremely lazy for the past few days and I'm still going to be doing that until that stupid cast is off my nose! And lemme tell you, as soon as I get the hold of the camera I took my before pictures, I'll start posting those as well! (Side note: I was actually looking around in attempt to procrastinate from blogging and found some rhinoplasty blogs and one of them had absolutely NO pictures. I mean. . . what the HECK? I totally saw no point in a blog with no pictures. . . )

So today has gone quite well. My pups have decided to keep me company on a rainy day and I've been quite happy. I'm still afraid to eat and I haven't decided what to eat so that should be a fun adventure as I try and look through my kitchen. 

And I'm beyond excited to get this stupid thing off my face. . . as I've already said! My appointment is scheduled for this Friday (August 1, 2014) at about 11AM! And I seriously cannot stress how anxious I am! I am nervous about seeing the results and wanting to cry. I'm afraid that I won't like the results and I'm also afraid that it will just plain hurt to get all this stuff off/out of my nose! So if any of you have gone through this, please post comments! (:

Anyway, today has been pretty good and I've been pretty happy with a side of anxiety with eating so that's my update! 

Pain: 1/10
Emotional Status: Pretty good! (:
Dizziness/Nausea: Pretty much gone!
Headache: Slowly going away completely!

Hope you all are having a fabulous day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Let's Talk

Sometimes all I need to do is just sit here behind a computer screen and vent and just kind of talk to. . . someone who is willing to listen. And sometimes, nobody is really willing to actually take the time and read a long post from some random person who is either whining or complaining. And I totally get that. But I think I just want to just explore where this post will go because of how today went. This post will be a little "whiny" but it will also be reflective and something that I can look back and learn from. 

After my jaw surgery, I had become a little depressed--and some of you can see that if you look back at some of my posts from about a year ago. I felt really lonely and just very distressed, anxious, and I had a very low self-esteem. I felt like I had been getting that surgery for my family instead of myself. It seemed as though they had been more excited about the surgery than myself and I was kind of tired of hearing it. 

So of course, as time went on, I became to get on board with the whole idea of the surgery too. I looked forward to breathing through my nose more and more and I looked forward to having a nice smile and being able to play my beautiful clarinet a little bit better. I got closer to God during this time and ever since then, I've gotten closer and closer, I feel and I feel blessed and thankful for that as well. God brought me some awesome friends and showed me what it's like to have Godly friends. And yes, there were complications along with all those great things too. I couldn't play the clarinet for almost 3 months and I hated sitting there in band and watching people play. I hated not being able to eat because of how much I love food. I hated looking like a squirrel with about 8 nuts in her mouth. (Excuse the pun. . .). I also hated the fact that I felt like I was changing my appearance for someone else. Again, I also felt lonely and just depressed some of the time. There were great days and there were really awful days to go along with those great days. It happens.

And now I've gone full circle with recovery from my jaw surgery. I've recovered and I got my braces off (which was amazing by the way). The swelling is 100% gone from that surgery and I've graduated high school! It's been a long journey and I've like to say that I've forever thankful for that surgery and all the things that I've learned from that surgery in particular. I've learned the beauty of pain. . . shockingly enough. I learned that all my scars are just proof of healing and strength. I personally got stronger because of my past surgery and all the little ones in between (all the ones involving my gums) but you know. . . it's gone full circle now. 

I am now here with another surgery and it's been 5 days post operation, not including the surgery, 6 days including the surgery. I went in on surgery at 7:30 in the morning and had to get there at approximately 5:00-5:30ish. I was exhausted and was happy with the steak that I had the night before with a good friend of mine and my dad. So surgery was about 3 hours and 45 minutes (or so I was told). I went into my pre-operation appointment thing-a-majig by myself without my dad. I changed into my hospital gown (which I also hate) and then was put into these stupid-ass compression tights that were knee-high to help blood flow with those non-slip socks which I think are gross. Then they put this massager thing on my calves to help with blood flow. They asked me a ton of questions and then they gave me IV. She started out checking out my right hand and said that I have pretty bad veins for IVs which I've been told before. My veins disappear as soon as they get them to show up. Anyway, she ended up only pricking me once (Thank Goodness for that) and it honestly wasn't that bad. . . I just took a deep breath. It definitely hurt and it was unpleasant but that was to be expected. My surgeon came into explain exactly what she was doing and asked to make sure if it was okay if they took cartilage from my ear and decided it would be from my left ear. She also was debating whether or not to use my rib which apparently is painful. She also said that there was cartilage that was on hand somewhere that was cleaned and everything that was made up somewhere. I don't know. They didn't use it so I guess that's good. The anesthesiologist came in and put some stuff in my IV and that was it. I was put on a hairnet and then they sent me off.

 I woke up in the recovery room at about. . . 12 something. I'm not sure just because I was super tired and groggy, despite the fact that I had a clock on the wall right in front of me. Anyway, to go actually go into detail. . . I woke up and from what I can remember, my nose was a little sore and I immediately could tell that something was on my face. And actually there was not only my splint and the gauze and splints in my nose, but there was a mask on my face as well. And to top it all off, my throat was absolutely killing me. And as a singer, I absolutely hate when I have a sore throat. No joke. I hate it. It makes me feel horrible and it makes me nervous. I was also really hot from my surgery. . . as I feel like I am always so she put a fan underneath my blanket. I also had a wrap around my head for my ear. It turns out that they only got cartilage from my left ear and they bandaged my ear and use some wrap to keep it on. I sat/laid there and was given an ice chip to suck on for my throat. The nurse asked how my pain was and also put some cold compresses on my eyes for swelling before I actually physically woke up. Anyway, then she gave me some pudding which really helped my throat. And then after a while of resting, I got to see my dad and was put into this other room for them to give me the low-down on my prescriptions. I had a popsicle and kind of just sat there. I was very, very dizzy unfortunately and I really didn't enjoy it. And then I basically went home. They put me in a wheel chair and I was sent home. And the ride home made me grumpy. . . needless to say. And that was my day at the  hospital from what I can remember!

Now on to the real reason as to why I wrote this post:

Today has been a really shitty day. It just has been. Last night, at around 1:00AM, my stomach wasn't feeling so good and it decided that it needed to get rid of whatever was in it. So in other words, I puked. I managed to fall asleep fairly easily and then woke up at around 10AM. I gave myself 2 Tylenol and my antibiotic and then decided to put something in stomach--so I ate my cereal. Wheat Thins to be exact. I needed some pain meds for my nose so I decided to take a half a Percocet.And then I threw up again. And it was not fun. I now had a headache and I just threw up any medicine that I took. And I was now nauseated. I called my parents and my dad came over to just lend me some help and some medicine and then we called my surgeon's office. She told me to take one of the suppositories and as soon as I heard that, I basically cried. And cried some more. I really didn't like the idea of that. . . and for any of you who doesn't know what a suppository is, I'd advise you to look it up. So I wasn't feeling good, I had a headache, my stomach was killing me, my nose was killing me, and I just felt like crap today. I finally had enough courage to use a suppository and then fell asleep for about four hours and then woke up later and sat there until my dad came over again and I ate some saltine crackers with some peanut butter and jelly. I was basically very afraid to eat all day because I hate vomiting and I certainly hated it more when it really hurt my nose and head. Anyway, I didn't really take much medicine today and I felt the after affects of it tonight and my nose and head really hurt.

Needless to say, I felt really bad all day and there was quite a bit of crying. I was scared and I was tired of the pain and just the overall experience of going through surgery and then having to recover from it. I was just really tired and wanted to get rid of it all. And I just learned that there were definitely going to hard times coming my way and I realized that I might just be a little scared to be going off to college on my own in just a couple weeks. My mom has been taking care of me and I can't be thankful enough for her and what she's done for me not only the past 5 days, but the past 18 years of my life. She's been so supportive during the times where I've gone through some difficult surgeries and she's nursed me back to health. And lemme tell you, I did a really shitty job taking care of myself today and taking care of our dogs. It was just bad. And it made me realize that not only do I need to be a little more self-confident in taking care of myself but I need to just gain back some of my independence. In the past surgery, I hated not having my independence and in some ways, I hate that now too. . . but I think I've done a much better in letting my mom take the reins and it's been bad. I've relied so heavily on other people to help me feel better that it just isn't working. 

I've learned a lot today and I also really hated today and now I'm really needing to go to bed considering the time. I'll probably write about this tomorrow, but I did just want to talk to you guys and just let you know how poorly my day went and kind of reflect. 

I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying the very last few bits of summer! (:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Another Day Down

Surgeries are never really any fun, are they? 

Well, since that's the case, then this daily update should be no surprise to you. I woke up this morning in more pain than normal and not only that, but my stomach was just not having it today. I woke up with extreme dry mouth which I hate with a passion and I've been stuck with a ton of blood/mucus build up in my throat. I also woke up with a headache and my left ear was bothering me. (My surgeon took cartilage from that ear). 

Anyway, I had some soup and some grits this morning and then took some of my strong pain meds and took a nap with my doggies. And I have to tell you, those dogs have been the only thing that's been making my recovery a little bit easier. They're constantly sleeping with me and laying next to me and they're always being very gentle with me. They've done a great job comforting me and just giving me some sort of company. And I love them dearly for it. 

As for the pain, the pain has now subsided as I write this. My ear is fine and my stomach feels a lot better as well. However, my mouth is still dry as ever and I'm a tad dizzy. The swelling still exists and it will continue to exist for another year and a half, but in the end, I guess it's worth it. Fortunately, as I've said before, I've been blessed with no bruising except for in my left ear. I'm constantly changing the gauze underneath my nose and unfortunately, since the blood usually dries, it likes to stick to my nose and it can really hurt to take off. 

Overall, it's been an okay day. I'm kind of tired of having something on my nose/on my face all this time. And I'm really tired of breathing through my mouth when I sleep just because of how dry my mouth becomes. I've been a mouth breather for basically all my life but I've never had to come across dry mouth as severe as it has been for the past couple of days. 

So. . . another day has gone by and I'm anxiously waiting for the rest of the week to be done as well. 

My daily scale:
Pain (currently): 1/10
Swelling: Pretty darn bad. . . it's just my cheeks and my nose though. 
Nausea: 1/10
Headache: 3/10
Dizziness: 4/10
Emotion: I'm overall pretty good now. Every once and a while, I'll be extremely frustrated and just angry because I no longer want to have to put with my splints and a congested nose, but it hasn't gotten to a depressed state this time around which is really good. 

I look the same as I have for the past few days so there won't be any new pictures today, but maybe there will be some tomorrow!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Typical Update

So because it's been two days since my surgery, I thought I'd do an update for all of you who are new to me or this blog in general.

So here's a little bit about me:

I'm going to be a freshmen in college next year and I will be studying Neuroscience with a minor in biochemistry. I'll be moving away from home and onto main campus on August 17th and I very much am looking forward to it. I even have a blog on Tumblr that's dedicated to students just like myself. I basically am writing an advice blog for college and high school students. I write about stuff like: study tips, the importance of homework, how to stay optimistic, how to stay stress-free, college applications, what to expect when going into high school, the 'do's and don'ts' of high school, and plenty more! I will also be blogging about my own college adventures including: moving out, living with a roommate, my classes, the food, what I'm bringing to college, and a whole lot more! Anyway, I also answer questions on that blog if you need any advice, let you guys give your own advice, and let you guys give me topics to write about it underneath the ASK tab at the top of the page! Anyway, if any of you would like to check that part of my life out, feel free to check it out at:

Anyway, enough promotion of that! (;

I was born with cleft lip and palate and for those of you who don't know that is, it's basically a birth defect in which your lip and the roof of your mouth (your palate) isn't completely developed when you are born. Typically you will have surgery when you're just a wee little baby and you may continue to have surgeries throughout, like I have. My first surgery was done when I was about 3 and a half months old and I had a couple other surgeries as a baby and as a child. 

I have had about six and a half years of braces. The first year of braces included one year with an expander and ONLY braces on my upper teeth. The following year, the expander was removed and my bottom braces were put on. I've had plenty of other orthodontic work as well over the years and I also got my wisdom teeth out in January of 2013.

Following that, I had a maxillary jaw surgery. This took care of my underbite. It was about a 6-7 hour surgery. I did stay overnight for that surgery, as I believe all do. It was not the most fun thing I've ever done, as I very much remember having thrown up blood and I had a headache. Anyway, since then, I've been very happy with the way my teeth look and we've been planning my current rhinoseptoplasty for a while now. 

So I underwent my rhinoseptoplasty on July 24th. It was approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes long. She used some cartilage from my ear to help shape my nose and everything and I look forward to getting all of this stuff off my face and out of my nose!

I am a tad nervous about getting out as far as pain goes, but I'm intrigued to see what it's going to look like. 

Anyway, that's me in a nutshell! I've had many, many surgeries and this is basically what this blog is about. I started this blog to not only share my own experiences and kind of 'vent' but I've also done it to help other people who have had to deal with the same kind of experiences that I've had to deal with. There have been times when I'm extremely frustrated and sad about getting the surgeries done. And there have been times when I'm extremely excited and just overwhelmingly positive. 

This particular surgery has had it's ups and down right now. . . as I'm unbelievably congested, just as I was for my last surgery. I have splints in both of my nostrils along with a splint on the outside of my nostril. I also have gauze on my upper lip to catch any drainage of course. . . which again, I also had for my previous surgery.

I have to be honest though, right now, I'm more frustrated more than anything. My left ear, which they took the cartilage from feels clogged, my nose has a throbbing, dull pain, and I'm super groggy. AND my throat has old, disgusting blood in it and that's by far is the MOST annoying part about this surgery. I had a breathing tube down my throat during the surgery and that made my throat extremely upset and as a singer, I've hated it a lot.

I'm not as upset emotionally as I was during my previous surgery. I've learned a lot from the past surgery, as a lot of you might know from reading previous posts, but overall, I'm just more excited to get all of this over with. 

I have learned that I will always be somewhat anxious and nervous about my outward appearance. . . especially because every surgery that I've had has changed my outward appearance in some sort of way. So that must be a given. 

So yeah. . . that's me in a nutshell. 

As for how I'm doing right now. . . I'm doing okay! I am no longer working which I am thankful for and I am basically going to be recovering right up until I head off to college and I think that's what's helping me be motivated. 

I've slept A LOT in the past three days because of all the medication that I've had and fortunately, I haven't nauseated at all. My throat is aggravating and nose kind of hurts, but it isn't something I can't handle. I am fortunate enough to say that I do not have any bruising on my face except for on my ear. My nose is swollen, but I can already see a difference so like I said, I'm excited to see what it will look like next Friday!

And here's an updated picture:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Surgery is Done!

Hello everyone!

Well now that I'm awake, I'd like to update you all on what my surgery was! Basically, I got a rhinoseptoplasty and some other crap that has to do with the turbulences in my nose to help me breathe better! 

And unfortunately. . . here's what I look like. . .
My doctor (who has been with me since day one) did my very last surgery for me and what she did was take some of the cartilage from my left ear to help shape my nose and then she helped a ton with the breathing for my nose. 

So here's an actual. . .update on what's happened since yesterday: 

I woke up super early because I needed to get to the hospital by like 5:30-ish to start my pre-op stuff and sign some consents. As usual, I had to get an IV and like usual, I've been told that my veins are very hard to see, but my nurse was very sweet and tried her hardest to make sure she only needed to prick me once and thank god she did. I changed into the typical hospital gown and then they gave me some compression stockings and those "stylish" socks that had grips on them so I wouldn't fall. Then she put these things on my legs for the circulation. 

Anyway, my anesthesiologist came in and put some sleepy stuff in my IV which was. . . nice I guess. He was very dry, which was rather weird and boring. I didn't like him too much, but I guess that's okay. He did what he needed to. 

To clear things up, this surgery was for me both as an aesthetic surgery and for a functional surgery. I've never really been able to breathe through my nose that well, and this is what this surgery did for me. As soon as I woke up, I could actually tell that I could breathe through my nose a lot better, but other now. . . I really can't. 

Anyway, they gave me several types of pain medication including valium, Percocet, and celebrex. And then I also have my antibiotic medicine which is Keflex. 

So yeah. The surgery was about three hours and forty five minutes long. My surgeon has known me since my very first surgery when I was only a couple months old. She was understudying during my first cleft lip and palate repair so she's known me for quite a while. 

So the surgery, she said, went really well and that there might still be a bit of an unevenness on the left side of my nose which is understandable. Anyway she said that is probably one of the best surgeries she thinks she's done. . . and who knows if she says that to everyone, but I do trust her and she's always been very supportive of me and just has done a very good job in the past. 

So the pain wasn't that bad when I woke up and neither is it right now, however I woke up last night at 12:30AM last night and I was in a lot of pain and I had a ton of blood all over my face and it took a while for me to feel better, after taking more medicine but you get the idea. 

And that's basically it! I will be getting out my splints next Friday at some point. My doctor has said that the swelling should go down completely in about a year and half--that should be about the time that I should be able to actually see the full results of the surgery. 

My nose is super stuffy right now and I'm overall, very groggy, but you get the idea hopefully. I'm not in too much pain, but my nose is swollen and my ear (where they got the cartilage for my nose for shaping) is a bruised. I've also been taking naps all day long because of all the medication so that's been kind of nice. Unfortunately, my mouth is super dry all the time because I have to breath through it and I have a patch on my arm that makes me have dry mouth as well. . .so that's not very nice either.

I've gotten a lot of support and love over Facebook from a lot of the friends that I went to high school with (as I graduated in May) and I'm also getting some support from my future roommate and some of my friends from church! So I definitely feel like I'm being well taken care of and everything!

Now, let's get on with the scale:

Pain: 3/10
Dizziness: 2/10
Sleepiness: 7/10
Swelling: I'm definitely swollen, but I really can't tell how swollen because of all the gauze, splints, and tape,
Breathing/Congested: I'm very congested and my mouth is super dry. I'm supposed to only be breathing through my mouth anyway, so that's really frustrating.

And that's about it! I'm really glad that this surgery is done with and now all I have to do is wait for it all to heal just be patent! 

My jaw surgery was by far a lot worse than this when it comes to this one, but partly it's mic just because I'm able to eat normal foods and such. I think if any of you are worried about getting any more surgery after your maxillary jaw surgery, then I honestly wouldn't worry about it being any worse than that one!

I love you guys, as a lot of you have given me a lot of support! (: