TMJD Surgery – Day 2

Today I am a little more put together in the brain department – still contending with post-op fog though.

Where did I leave you? Ah yes – trying to sleep. That didn’t happen. I couldn’t rest at all as I had hourly observations as my blood pressure was very low and they wanted to check I’m ok. Which is great – but not really conducive to a good nights rest. And of course, the whole ward lights up at 8 am.

It is at this point that I became a little ball of frustration. Lack of sleep, 24 hours post-op, pain, bp all over the joint, I knew what would help – food. Do you know what I couldn’t get – food.

I wasn’t nil by mouth – in fact eating pureed foods was encouraged. However, I am coeliac, lactose intolerant and allergic to lanolin (found in all sheep products). This caused issues – the only gluten-free breakfast was cornflakes, in milk. They had no milk alternatives and I certainly couldn’t crunch my way through a bowl of dried cereal. So, I just had a cup of tea and some orange juice. That was my breakfast. I was offered toast a few times – not gluten-free toast. All of which was followed with “if you don’t eat we can’t discharge you” which was the most frustrating thing as if I ate anything containing gluten or lactose they also wouldn’t release me as I would be a very ill person. Catch 22.

My lovely surgeon came to see me with his posse of students and other interested doctors. He examined my jaw and assessed my movement and was very pleased, Then I was shown a few simple exercises to realign my jaw as the swelling comes down as well as one to promote jaw opening. He told me he was very pleased with the educational value of my procedure as well as he got some excellent images as well as allowing the students to spectate and future doctors to learn how to care for an EDS patient with TMJD and I must say from a surgical point of view my entire experience had been fantastic. He was happy for me to be discharged on a puree only (maybe soft food) diet for 4 – 6 weeks then I will see him in the clinic as an outpatient.  We shook hands – the students all thanked me individually which was lovely – and then they left.

And so to the rest of the morning was dozing and watching YouTube – trying to ponder a way to eat but not make my situation worse.

Lunch came – and the only thing I was allowed to eat within my dietary guidelines was – drum roll – beef and potatoes! Yup, one day after jaw surgery with strict puree diet/ soft foods at a push surgical instructions. I was presented with a choice:

  1. Lamb stew – nope – allergic to that.
  2. Heinz cream of tomato soup – cream is milk, milk is lactose…
  3. Beef and potatoes – the chewiest meat there is – but maybe I could push a potato? So I went for that option.

Now some of you may be thinking – they should have fruit available – what about a banana? I’d already crossed that bridge – apparently bananas are “like gold-dust” but I could have an apple if I wanted. Needless to say no, I didn’t want an apple.

I managed to eat a few bits of potato but I was exhausted after and completely unenthused about the whole situation. It was painful bordering on impossible. However, the thought of coming home to home cooked food pushed me through and I ate enough that I could go home with the promise I would eat – hell yeah I would! I’m hungry!

Obviously, after lunch, I rested. I was exhausted. I felt more tired than I did after Tough Mudder a few years ago. Wards are busy places and people have to communicate but all the staff were so, so loud and I couldn’t put my noise-cancelling earphones in as my surgery was around my ear. So I just lay and thought of the peaceful quiet of home (as I write this there is a lawnmower destroying this vision – but I’ll stick with it), with my kittens and no lights on bright constantly and food – especially James’ homemade soup!

Eventually, it was time – I had my drips removed, my instructions instructed and my prescriptions prescribed. I was allowed home. The only prerequisite being I monitor how I’m feeling with my blood pressure and get some good nutritious food. Easy enough.

So I got home, to my little corner of the world – made myself a proper coffee and set up some Nutribix (gluten-free Weetabix magical stuff) to get soggy in some milk. My mum stayed till James came in and then I settled for the night.

The rest of the evening was – lots of soup and cuddles while watching an anime called “Food Wars” it is a very odd but rather engrossing programme. Easy to watch too.

Then to my own bed, I actually slept!

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