My Double Jaw Surgery: Day 3 After Surgery:
Today was marked by a strict schedule of pill swallowing (yippee) and icing. I have been consistently doing laser treatments as well. Pain levels have been floating from 5-7 depending on where I'm at in the pain med cycle. Still just bulletproof coffee and bone broth, but food doesn't even sound very enticing right now anyway since my face feels so huge (although looking improved) and I can't imagine the effort and burden of having to try to chew. It makes fasting an easier option, which I would love to do more if I didn't have to keep taking several doses of narcotics throughout the day just to keep the pain levels at bay. I know I could have pain levels consistently below 5 if I were to take more narcotics, but I just can't stand the side effects, so I only take it when I feel like I really can't stand it anymore.
Ice baths are the highlight of my days. I fill a large metal bowl with water and ice, and add a few drops of betadine to help disinfect. You can add quite a bit of salt as well. I bend over and submerge as much of my face as I can. I realized it is difficult to hold your breath as you do this, and I still did not have the lip mobilty to breath through a straw (I did try!). So I found that if I slowly exhaled through my nose I could keep my face submerged for all but 1-2 seconds while I did a quick inhale and then dunked my face in again immediately. I usually do this for about 5 minute intervals and it feels SO nice. Icing in general feels good, but one of the big drawbacks of using ice packs is that they are hard to conform to your lips and nose. I found that they work great around the jawline and neck, but oh-so-uncomfortable trying to the ice onto a hugely swollen upper lip. That's why the ice bath felt so great - it provides slight compression as the water hugs around your face, and the cold gets into all the nooks and crannies.
Other activities of Day 3 included some Netflix binge-watching, naps, and meditation. I wouldn't say I'm awesome at meditating - my mind drifts very easily, but I've listened to a lot podcasts on meditation and know that I shouldn't judge these mind drifts - I should simply observe their presence and go back to the meditation.
My meditations can take many forms. I have a sensor that I attach to my ear and phone that can monitor hrv, or heart rate variability. Learn more here. It provides feedback so that you can see when you are in the right frame of mind - negative thoughts pull you out of the state that you want to be in, and it happens in real time.
I read this book:
It is a very quick read, but profound. And "I love myself" can be an easy meditation mantra.
Other forms of meditation I've been using are visualization, prayer and breath work. For visualization, I actually try to picture that anatomic structures healing and rebuilding, and focus on sending positive energy and breath into the area. Box breathing is a simple exercise that can be very helpful as well, and can be done anywhere, even while driving:
And finally, a very interesting form of meditation I've been trying: Uriel Tones. This is a home unit that provides sound therapy to help bring your body into a healthy resonant frequency. It's a 30 minute session, and I really don't have words to describe the sounds, but it somehow helps to put me into a relaxed, meditative state very quickly. It does take a few minutes to get it set up, as there are wrist and ankle cuffs involved, but the sessions do seem to have a healing quality.