My Double Jaw Surgery: Days 10 and 11 After Surgery
People have asked if all of this work that I did to treat my sleep apnea has been successful. Well, I can say that I do feel better airflow through my nose when I'm laying down. The problem is that I still can't lay down flat for very long, so it's hard to give a definitive report. I did try last night to sleep in my own bed, but it only lasted for an hour or two, as there was just too much pressure on my jaw from the pillow. When I'm in the rented hospital bed, I only need to have the head of the bed lifted about a foot and that is enough to decrease the pressure on my jaw from the pillow. So at this point, I can report better air flow, but I can't quite yet say that I get better sleep. Still too early in the healing process with pain waking me up at night, mostly related to TMJ/TMD. Granted, this is not severe pain, but what I've noticed about pain in the middle of the night is that it can be more bothersome, since you really don't have much to distract you from it. Distraction is one of the keys of pain management - and it works wonderfully for dental injections, I might add. My technique is to wiggle and shake the area that is about to get the anesthetic, and then tell the patient to take a deep breath and concentrate on wiggling their toes. Ahh, beautiful distraction. So many ways to do it. Not impossible, but I personally find it much more difficult to distract myself when trying to sleep. I do try meditation, but I find that challenging even when not exhausted. So my hope is that this nocturnal jaw pain will lessen soon enough that I won't have to worry about it for much longer.
Esthetically, I didn't notice a lot of changes in my face in these past few days.
I've started adding back in a few more of my regular daily activities, including doing more chores. But one of the things I had really missed doing was putting the kids to bed. It's usually my special mommy time with them. I started by putting our two year old to bed again, as she is usually fairly calm and snuggly, so there is less risk of getting an elbow to the face, or worse, a full on head-butt, which has been known to happen with my four-year olds. The extra snuggling I was able to do with our little one was a big boost of dopamine and serotonin that I definitely needed.
I had a friend stop by and she brought some green juice, soup, and kombucha, which were all great for my current situation. I hadn't allowed any visitors other than my mom up to this point just because talking has been so difficult. Not only is my speech mumbled, but I also have a very strong lisp from the large splint on my upper teeth. I felt like today I could speak a bit more clearly, but I found that after talking for awhile my jaw became even more sore than usual, and my tongue muscles were also quite agitated from the extra movement. Think I'll have to give the whole chatting thing a rest for a few more days...
I tried a new therapy to boost my immune system, aid in detoxification, and help with pain relief. It was a full body cryotherapy chamber that uses liquid nitrogen to drop the temperature in the booth to a maximum low temperature of -184 degrees F. Here are the other proclaimed benefits:
I've had my eye on this sort of therapy for awhile, as cold therapy in general has a lot of benefits, especially as related to mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, so it is important that they are running at their maximum potential. Some people do ice baths at home to improve mitochondrial function, but I just don't seem to have it in me to do this. I can manage 30 seconds of a cold shower at the end of every hot shower I take, and this does have benefits, but not to the same degree as an ice bath or a cryo chamber. When I switch my shower to the coldest setting, I pair it with a gratefulness exercise to help me get through the somewhat painful experience. This means that I chant to myself how grateful I am for the blessings in my life. Sometimes I am simply grateful for the fact that I have running water and am able to take a shower at all. This helps to put things in perspective and take the sting out of the cold.
So my husband and I both tried out the cryo chamber, and yes, it is very cold as you can imagine, but since it is just cold air it is more manageable than cold water. It feels like you are outside on a very cold night without any clothes on for 2-3 minutes. It's uncomfortable, but it gets over fast, and when you get out you feel warm again in just a minute or two, so it's really much more palatable than very cold water.
I followed this up with a session in the tanning bed. My purpose for this was to get maximum Vit D production. I do take high dose vitamin D (I do 10,000 IU per day in the winter), but really your body gets the maximum benefit from UVB rather than a supplement. So I chose the older model bed, which typically has a higher UVB output. And I didn't do a long session because I did not want to burn. I found that the cryo chamber followed by the tanning session was a nice combo.