July 24, 2012 at 1:16 am #34431
Okay, so I posted awhile ago about getting jaw surgery and dealing with the aftermath. I’ve made my peace with the fact that I’m going to be in pain, look like a bruised and swollen chipmunk for awhile, and look different after my recovery. However, the actual surgery part is now freaking me out now that it is less than 3 days away. I had a minor surgery as a kid that I really have no memory of, so I’m officially being a total wuss about this. Has anyone had any surgery of any kind that can offer advice or reassurance?
Mainly, I’m freaked out about the pre-op waiting, basically handing my life over to a team of doctors while unconscious (I’m a major control freak), and being sick in recovery. Also, I learned the basics of what a catherer today, and now I’m mortified that I have to get one hahaJuly 24, 2012 at 1:30 am #34434
I had a jaw surgery a couple years ago (tooth implant+wisdom teeth+bone grafting)
I know it’s scary, but honest to goodness, you’re probably having one of the least risky surgeries you can get! Oral surgeries have low incident rates (not many super important things close to the mouth!) And chances are you’ve already been introduced to your friend, the catheter. If you’ve ever had an IV- you’ve had one! (Although you’re probably thinking of the unpleasant urinary ones- 99.999% sure you won’t need one!)
Honestly- You’re going to be so drugged out of your mind post-op, you won’t be a control freak. Although be warned; anesthesia has different effects on people. My brother always comes out of surgery with a foul mouth, a fierce giggle, and an overwhelming desire to flash people.July 24, 2012 at 1:37 am #34435
@call-me-hobo- well it’s good to hear it’s a low incident area, that’s reassuring! They are essentially breaking and resetting both jaws, so I was panicking a bit about them breaking something else, even though they assured me they won’t haha
I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of catheter I’d need, but I know sometimes, based on my Google searches, it can depend on the length of the surgery? I have no idea if that’s true, but they are shooting for 6 hours. If it is a urinary one, I’m not going to be too happy about that lol
I love your brother’s reaction. I’ve been put under a few times for tests, and I always wake up super alert and giggly too, no flashing though haha. My husband tried walking out of the recovery room after his surgery and leaving, with hospital dress wideee open in the back.July 24, 2012 at 2:28 am #34439
@mandalee – Ive never had surgery, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but my parents and Walter’s mom have all been put under in the last year, and I got to be around for it. My dad, who is the classic stoic, unemotional, super-reserved male, got REALLY chatty and loved all the doctors and nurses to the extent that he went on and on about how amazing all of them were. He also asked my mom about every 30 seconds whether he could go home yet. It was adorable.
My main advice after nursing my mom through her Achilles tendon being re-attached (seriously, OW) and then helping some after her gallbladder surgery is to make sure they have some sort of anti-nausea medication available and figure out what OTC stuff they recommend for the 24-48 hours after surgery. My mom and Walter’s both get really sick on anesthesia, and my mom’s will linger for a couple of days, so I kept the Pepto handy. And then as far as the pain meds go, take them exactly as soon as you can after the one before. If you don’t, it gets bad enough that you’ll have to take a second when you finally take them. I took my mom’s word exactly once and skipped a dosage, and after that I practically force fed them to her every 6-8 hours.
And let people do stuff for you. You probably know what you’re like when you’re sick or in pain, and keep people around who will keep that in mind. My mom really wants to just be left alone, and so I brought some books with me when I stayed with her – my dad gets bored and will either go run errands or hover just for something to do, so I very gently ousted him the first day – and I pretty much only went in and bugged her when it was time for a pain pill or she needed to eat. She would text me if she needed something. But my dad really wants to be babied, and I let my mom handle that. Be really up front if you want your husband to leave you the hell alone, but also don’t be afraid to ask for some doting if you need it.July 24, 2012 at 3:24 am #34441
When I got my wisdom teeth out, I had the laughing gas to knock me out first, then an IV with anesthetic and was SO out of it when I woke up. I kept insisting that they couldn’t possibly be done with the surgery (“No way! I just went to sleep like two minutes ago! No way!”) and was convinced I was fine to walk and that I was fully coherent. My sister got hers out at the same time and was so annoyed because I wouldn’t stop talking and she just wanted to sit in silence and recover.
Just try to relax! The doctors do this kind of stuff everyday so there’s nothing to worry about! When it’s done, you will just be so groggy that you want to go home and sleep all day.July 24, 2012 at 7:56 am #34450
i also kind of freaked out when i got my mouth surgery with the whole knocking out thing. my boyfriend took me and he stayed there for the whole time. i dont know what kind of situation you are in but it comforted me that i knew he would be there the whole time. also, he was there when i woke up, so that made me more comfortable too.
as for the pre op stuff, you just got to remain calm. do breathing exercises, practice meditation the day before, be very involved in the process with the nurses, just do something to get your mind off of “OMG IM GETTING SURGERY” and into a more calm place.
you can do it! im sure the surgery will go well. and i bet you will look beautiful, and even if you look a little different, you will still be you, remember that.July 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm #34531
Thank you so, so much everyone! It definitely calmed my fears to hear from people who’ve already had surgery or helped someone recover from it! My doctor is so laidback about it, that it was kind of driving me crazy. I just wanted him to tell me it was okay to worry even though I don’t have to, because I’m really excellent at worrying haha
@painted_lady- thank you so much for your perspective from the other side! I really don’t enjoy people helping me when I’m sick, so that’s something I’m going to have to get used to. It’s usually me walking someone to the bathroom or making them dinner, so I feel like I’m already going to be a pain in the ass and be difficult. I just hate feeling dependent on anyone, from doctors and nurses to my husband. That’s why I’m so freaked out, I think.July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm #34538
@Clare- I love how different the reactions are! I really do need to learn how to relax. My doctor does much more complicated surgeries all the time, so he assured me that my surgery was really no big deal to him. Which was definitely comforting.July 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm #34539
@katie- Thank you for the advice and encouraging words! I may have to break out my old yoga breathing techniques the morning of. I almost passed out during my pre-op testing, so I’m definitely on a drama queen level with worrying at the moment.
I agree that I feel much better having someone waiting there for me, because at least I know they’ll be there if I have any issues and to comfort me in recovery. My husband was going to go home for a bit, because I’ll be in there for 6 hours or so, and that freaked me out for some reason. lolJuly 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm #34554
Hello! I’ve had my adenoids and tonsils out in two separate surgeries, and I had my nose done in December. Have you mentioned to your doctor feeling nervous? I didn’t even say anything, but before I had my nose done they gave me anxiety meds for the day and night before. Call and tell him how you are feeling and ask if there is anything that can help you sleep or relax for the week leading up to the surgery. Also if you appear to be antsy, they’ll put some happy juice in your IV day of.
I wouldn’t be worried about jaw surgery, because it was sort of like my nose surgery in that there isn’t anything really sensitive or organs around that area, just bones and flesh and such that all heals easily.
Also, day of surgery has always been really nice as far as I remember. They keep bringing you warm blankets and socks and then you get the IV, they put you under and POOF you wake up in what feels like 30 seconds and it is all over.
However, I woke up CURSING. Literally the dirtiest combinations my subconscious could come up with. The nurses were laughing so I didn’t feel so bad. They said, “You looked so sweet asleep and then you start swearing like a sailor.” I hope that makes you laugh and not scares you!
Good luck and you will do great <3July 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm #34556
Hey there Mandalee!
I had my tonsils out a few years ago (uggghhh), and I have to say that I feel the same way about surgery. I about passed out when they went to put in the IV before the surgery, and felt like I was going to have a panic attack.
This sounds kind of weird, but I’ve read that massage between your eye brows, it’s some pressure point that relaxes people.
ANYWAY. Post-op, I would suggest making sure you have enough pain meds, and the right kind. Mine had Tylenol in it, so I couldn’t take very much at a time. When the scabs in my throat started sloughing off, I was in SO much pain. So we went back to the doctor and got muscle relaxers, but I still had to spend 24 hours in terrible pain before we got those.
Other than that, good luck! My surgery went smoothly, and yours will too! When I woke up post-op, I had this foil cap on my head to keep my hair back, and asked them to take the popcorn bag off my head. So, you never know what’s going to happen. My brother danced around singing “I feel pretty! Oh so pretty!” after he had his wisdom teeth taken out, so there you go.
Let us know how it goes!July 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm #34558
Oh I forgot to mention. When I got my adenoids out I was 5, and I remember being really nervous. The doctor was really nice and they had scented stuff for kids to breath in to knock you out. I wasn’t having any of it but he told me there was a bubble gum scent and that it came from REAL bubble gum if I would like to smell it. So I gave it a go and stopped fighting the mask, and everything turned pink and the doctor split into two and then four and thensix6 and they all hopped on a pink magic carpet and flew away. So yeah. Surgery lol.July 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm #34565
@mlryjo – That is a hilarious visual of you coming out of your surgery cursing.
And good idea about explaining to the dr about nerves. I’m a giant baby about the dentist, and my last one actually gave me something – Xanax, maybe? – because I got so ridiculously worked up before regular checkups. I barely do Tylenol for headaches, so the fact that I took it at all was proof of how extreme the anxiety was.
@mandalee – Maybe have a chat with your husband to come up with some sort of plan to ensure he won’t hover and make you crazy but still be accessible. Once it occurred to my mom to text me and I trusted her to do so, all I had to do was set an alarm on my phone for all the medications, and then I just did what I wanted as long as I stayed close enough to run right back. Having a basic plan of action helps everyone.July 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm #34566
Hahaha, I wish that I had gotten the bubblegum scent!
Right before they put me under, the anesthesiologist started singing “Fly Me to the Moon,” and then he asked me “Do you know who that’s by?” The very last thing I remember is saying “Frank Sinatra…” before waking up again.July 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm #34667
Long time lurker here, I had that same surgery back when I was in junior high in 2003. Mine was for a massive overbite-good times! haha Anyway I can tell you how mine went down. I remember getting to the hospital very early, then getting admitted to my room, changing into the gown and getting an IV. I don’t remember if I asked or if they offered but I got some Xanax/Ativan or something real nice while I was waiting that really helped my nerves beforehand! Then they roll you on to the OR by the time you get there you are floating on a happy cloud and the last thing I remembered was the huge light shining above me.
Also as a nurse, I can tell you there is a nurse anesthesist/anesthesiologist in the room at all times monitoring your vital signs to make sure everything is safe and sound
I won’t lie, the recovery is shitty. The overnight stay in the hospital isn’t that bad as you get lots of pain meds. The worst part is the first week afterwards because yeah it hurts but I got REALLY frustrated by sitting around the house with my alien head and not being able to eat solid food. By the next week I was cutting up pizza into tiny pieces and stuffing them thru my tiny mouth crack and swallowing it. You will probably have to get really creative on eating techniques. I lost about 15-20 pounds so yay for easy weight loss! It took me a month to be able to eat and look normal again, but I must point out that I also 2 wisdom teeth removed and a chin implant during the same surgery which probably lengthened my recovery time. With all that said, it is so worth it!! Good luck, you will be fine and look awesome afterwards!
Also about the catheter, I never had a urinary catheter and went to the bathroom on my own. You probably won’t need one during surgery. But if you do, they will put it in and take it out while you are unconscious and you will never know!
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