Firstly, thank you all for your prayers, cards, messages, texts and well wishes - they have kept a smile on my face (I mean half-attempt at a smile. It's kind of impossible at the moment). It's been several days since the operation and I am absolutely shattered. There's so much I'd love to say and tell you about (after all, my speech is completely incoherent and I am slurring and mumbling and miming like I've never mimed before. Now would be a perfect time for me to have an imaginary friend to talk to in my head. Please remember I am still very much sane...). Unfortunately, due to the shattered-ness and the fact that this could otherwise become pages and pages of ramblings, I'll try and keep it as short as I can.
Well how should I start? After the other night, I was up in the early hours of the morning and we soon made our way to the surgical admissions lounge of the hospital. It wasn't until several measurement taking and seeing various different surgeons and doctors that I was told it would begin at around 12.. so the anxiety began! I was actually more calm and collected than I'd imagined I might be and I was still cracking jokes with the anaestesia man (is that how you spell it?). One of the last things I remember is him injecting fluids and me asking if I was about to fall asleep. He then laughed incredulously and said "no way!". The man tells lies.
Blackout, then recovery. I genuinely think it was only when I woke up that I realised "oh my goodness it's actually happened." Waking up in the recovery room I immediately felt like a sick helpless person but I couldn't find it in me to feel much emotion (both anaesthetically and emotionally numb). After what felt like a very long time, I was wheeled off to a ward and soon allowed to see my parents. Not very long after that, I decided that I didn't like hospitals. (Mainly due to the fact that I had people throwing up on the beds either side of me. Shudder.)
The nurses were lovely, I had a button to press for anything I needed, plus I had tubes inside me and an oxygen supply. Somehow I never chose to think about these sorts of things pre-surgery.. like having nosebleeds every few minutes and not being able to speak when I so badly wanted to. And also my face was so swollen (and still is) that it made everything about 100 times harder. And my face had literally been just cut open. Yep I didn't want to think about that..
The next day I was slowly taking in water and medication by syrringe, able to stand and walk without feeling sick and able to Facebook and text in bed (oh the joy of being a 21st century girl). A friend who came to visit even brought colour cards with "Go!", "Stop!" and "Almost there!" to make communication just that little bit easier. However, that night was by far the most painful and uncomfortable I can ever remember having. Time went s-s-s-o slowly - I swear, 2 hours felt like a day and until the morning, I didn't sleep a minute. Combine this with unbearable pain and monstrous snoring from the patient opposite, and it was terrible. I consciously listened to the hundreds of songs in the "Chill" and "Acoustic" playlists on my ipod, and counted sheep. Nothing.
Thankfully my time in hospital was coming to an end and, after successfully eating yoghurt and mash, was told I would be able to leave that morning. Psychologically though, I was in a very fragile state, willing my parents to arrive sooner and almost having a panic attack when leaing the hospital. I can imagine my smashed up face and hyperventillating was not an attractive sight. Anyway, I have never been happier to be home.
Taking primary residence on the living room sofa, I sleep for most of the day. My eyes are so tired, my face is heavy and swollen, there is a lot of pain involved everywhere and I just can't wait to feel and recognise my face again. It's not all bad though, I have a little doorbell thing which I can press and my mum or dad will come running, I have about 10 latest magazines from a friend who understands my obsessive love for them! (and has great taste as I haven't bought a single one of them yet). I'm very grateful to have such patient parents, and because I have no choice but to act like a baby, I'm treated like one! (Which for once isn't actually a bad thing.) The tricky part is being too tired to do anything so it's a miracle I've spent so long typing, and eating and sitting and sleeping upright. I'm still not well enough for visitors to see me either which I don't like as I miss people! Eyes on the future though...
This will be one of those things we look back at in time, and smile at when I'm capable of smiling again. Oh man do I miss smiling.. I'm blessed to have such lovely family and friends, and fortunate I was in good hands and that the surgery went as smoothly as it was supposed to! As for the rest, I'm sure I still have much to learn from the experience and hopefully I'll be able to tell you how it changed my life someday. But perhaps for now I'll stick to the miming....
Lots of love xoxo