Monday, May 23, 2011

Why I've Disappeared

Last Tuesday I had surgery to remove my submandibular salivary gland. The surgery lasted longer than expected (over 3 hours) because the gland was so inflamed that the doctor had trouble getting it out. He was successful in removing it through the floor of my mouth, so that part is great! Having this method of surgery was the main reason for me returning to Georgia to have the surgery.

My mom flew down to Georgia the day before my surgery. She has been a huge blessing. Perhaps she feels badly for me to be in pain, but she has never been so easy to get along with before. It's been a huge relief for me. And the kids.

I remember waking up in recovery, nearly 7 hours after the surgery, and feeling frantic. Where were my kids? Where was I? It was a little overwhelming. And then, as is typical for my life, I ran into more complications.

The swelling from the surgery made it difficult for me to maintain an open airway so they admitted me. The hope was that I'd be discharged the following morning, but the swelling required another steroid treatment and so I didn't leave until that evening. Thanks to my mom and a few super awesome friends, my kids were well cared for and enjoyed a night at a local hotel. It was the first time they've spent the night without either Jason or me. When I left the hospital my mom drove us all up to Virginia and I've been recovering here ever since.

I ended up running into a little post-op issue and the resulting swelling causes me a great deal of pain. In the morning I can barely function, although my speech is slowly improving. I do have some paralysis in my tongue, lips, and chin because of trauma to the nerve. It should (hopefully!!!) go away in the coming weeks. But for now I can't move my tongue well and still can't eat solid foods. It's been a week today since I last had anything that wasn't liquid. Yuck. I miss real food.

I was unprepared for how long this recovery would take. I'm doing pretty well when my pain is controlled, but I had hoped the pain would be gone by now. The stitches still haven't dissolved either. I hope the end of the week brings some relief. We are visiting family and I feel like I'm missing out!

Jason is here in Virginia now. After being apart for 3 weeks, we were all glad to see him. He hasn't seen his family since before his deployment, so he's excited to be here. Next week we will begin the long drive back to Washington. We are trying to see a bunch of people in a very short amount of time. We aren't sure when we'll get to come back here to visit again.

I have an obnoxious amount of pictures from our adventures. It has been, as always, a wild ride! I can't wait to write it all down before I start to forget. We have had so much fun and I'm definitely glad that the surgery is over and everything has worked out. Huge relief!
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