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Zacci's Operation site

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My Recovery Story

I left hospital 2 days after my operation. This seems to vary a lot on how you respond to the anaesthetic and how much fluid/food you manage to force youself to take on board! I moved back home with my parents for my recovery.

First of all i owe my recovery to my family and friends. Without their support and love i would not be where i am now! I'll try and give as many tips as ive learnt over the time ive been recovering (of which im still doing!)

 

1. Take it easy - Give yourself time to recover. Its not a race and no matter how many recovery stories you read you may be completely different. I read several accounts before i had my operation to get an idea of the type of things to expect.

2. Have a positive mental attitude - I found it the best to have a positive mental attitude to the recovery. I kept telling myself the worse was over and that i had as much time as i wanted/needed to recover. Whenever i felt down i had to remember that i would only feel down for a little while and then things would get better soon - and they did!

3. Give youself little things to conquer every day - Even if its using a slightly bigger spoon to eat with or trying a bit of make up.

4. Take a photo diary every day - I found it really helpful to track my progress each day by someone taking my photo. Looking back even now its amazing how far everythings moved along! I also kept an actual diary of my experience and it helps to read how far ive come reading back on it now.

5. Make a playlist of your favourite music - It perked me up hearing my favourite music when i was feeling down. By the end of the first week i felt so good that i was dancing to it!

6. Having someone to look after you - It was a blessing to have people looking after me while i was recovering. During the first few days when the worst of the swelling was coming out/when i felt a little down/when i couldnt find the TV remote etc however small things were, it was unbelievably great to have someone around.

7. Invest in a blender - This is invaluable! I couldnt even manage the smallest of lumps in food when i first came home. The blender was capable of making miracles! I had and still have great smoothies and soups from it!

8. Prop yourself up in bed - It really helps with the swelling apparently. Lots of pillows and blankets!

9. Keep in touch with people via email/text - I found it great to keep in touch with friends and family by text and email when i couldn't talk on the phone. Simple things like this let me not feel so isolated from everyone. Now that i can talk theyre still valuable for when my jaw gets tired etc.

10. Keep everything clean - When i first came out of hospital i found it hard to use the sponges the hospital gave me to clean inside my mouth. I preferred to use syringes to squirt the mouthwash around my mouth and then use water afterwards to get extra clean. After a week i found i could use a baby sized toothbrush to lightly brush around and then swish mouthwash after.

11. Take a deep breath when youre feeling down - ' Hitting the wall' was one aspect of recovery i was dreading. So far i have only had two occasions where i felt really low. The first was the day i came home from the hospital and felt i had so far to go! I was taking antibiotics and trying to eat and drink all at the same time and it got too much. The second time was my first day out to a restaurant. I had ordered something i thought would be soft to eat and when it came up it really wasn't! Im sure there will be other times i feel low but im going to take a deep breath and tackle it straight on!

12. Talk as much as you can when you're ready - I found it really good to talk to exercise the jaw. You have to remember how to talk all over again and all the practise helps! Sounds like 'b' 'e' 'g' 'p' 't' 'z' are hard to pronounce at first!

13. Try and do something for you - Even if its only painting your toenails! it makes you feel better!

14. Pills are hard to take - I found it hard to swallow pills for the first week so dissovable paracetamol were a saviour! I had liquid antibiotics aswell so they made it easier to take down.

15. Eat little and often - A mushy/liquid diet isn't that filling when its so exhausting to eat so try and eat little and often to keep you full up. Also drink alot. I found it didn't so much as fill me up but reminded me how to drink again! Smoothies are also great.

16. Invest in a good lip balm - My lips were really sore where they had been stretched for the operation so a really good balm was heaven. I used a menthol one which also made my breathing easier if my sinuses got blocked.

17. Losing weight - I read a lot about how much weight people lose on average throughout the whole period and was worried that i wouldn't be able to eat and lose loads! Within the first 10 days i lost about 11lbs which is a little bit more than average (although ive heard of people even losing more than 14lbs!). Im gradually gaining it back now through eating as much food as i can manage.

18. Numbness - Alongside the swelling i had a fair bit of numbness but i was suprised at how fast most of my face 'came back!' At present at 2 weeks post op i have 3 small areas of numbness (Down the left hand side of my nose, a fingertip sized area by my bottom lip and the tip of my chin) and these decrease by the day

19. Eat with people having the same meal as you - If you do the chances are no matter what your delightful pureed food looks like you will see theirs and be able to imagine yours looks as good!

 

I will add tips as i discover them! x