Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Day 19: Dealing with deeper issues

Pain Level: 0 - Everything is just numb and jaws feel a little tight. 
Swelling: Still there. I'm learning to be more patient with it.
Other weirdness: Can't really feel my left lower chin and lip, but the weird prickles still come and go. I get dizzy when moving from sleeping/sitting to standing position. And I think I fainted in my sleep last night - if that makes any sense. I just remember blacking out whilst in bed. >_>
Mood: Reflective.

Saw Surgeonman today for what I think was my third post-op appointment. For the first two, all I remember was that the first was Day 3 when I was utterly swollen and all I focused on was how ugly I looked,  the second was when the swelling had come down a bit and he just changed my bands, and today was probably the third (I think).

For today's appointment, the main focus was talking to Surgeonman about my problems with coping with the changes in my face. I don't know if I have covered the topic before, but accepting the changes in my face has been a very scary experience. Granted, that I had tried hard to prepare myself for this part of the process before the op - by reading blogs, scouting before and after pictures, and just...trying to psyche myself - I don't think there's really any way to be fully prepared for this aspect of post-surgery recovery. As much as jaw surgery is a truly physical thing (even more so for me, because I walked into it as a pure medical surgery) but a lot of it is very psychological and emotional as well. In fact, it's probably those specific aspects that are the hardest to deal with.

I was very thankful for Surgeonman as he took time to sit down and really talk to me. Usually he's rushing off to another appointment and I was worried that I might not have opened up, but today he sat down as I asked him what to do with such negative thoughts. He shared with me about some of his previous patients and reminded me how much stress my body was going under - having undergone a major surgery, losing a lot of blood, losing a lot of weight, having food problems, and adjusting to a whole new face and biochemical imbalances - stuff which I almost forgot. At the end of it, the main message of his response was:

  1. That I needed to remember that my body has undergone, and is undergoing, a lot of stress
  2. To be patient as the body heals 
  3. To understand that this process is also very much psychological and emotional, and to be kind to myself
  4. That it's a good idea to keep active, find things to do and find purpose - to keep away from obsessing
  5. That I need to recognize symptoms of depression
  6. That a therapist is available, if necessary 

I don't think I need a therapist at the stage I'm in, so I decided to just give myself time. I was just thankful Surgeonman spent some time to listen.

There's just something very scary when one changes something about your face. Somehow you realize that your face is a somewhat sacred part of your body. It's the place people look to for years when they meet you, get to know you, try to read you... and when you change something about that, it's almost like resetting/upsetting something. 

"How do they get so beautiful?"
It's amazing that I'm
thinking about such things
at this age. Seriously?!
I've derailed a little bit with trying to distract myself with life and work in this healing process. In fact, for the past two days I've been dealing with deeper issues within - of my self-worth, my confidence, my issues with physical appearances and weight. To be entirely honest, I've been finding myself obsessing about health foods/lifestyles, watching YouTube videos on weight-loss transformations and analyzing their psychological reasons for their food addictions... and most recently, modeling stuff. I've been recently really fixated on how my weight has stagnated and my food intake vs nutrition.

It's a pretty embarrassing, yet enlightening, process that I'm going through. It's challenged me with a lot questions... especially with all the time on my hands now, and having gone through so much stress on my body, even though I technically have a long work to-do list, the mind just seems to naturally go into overdrive and suddenly I've found myself confronted with really deep issues to deal with.

I guess it's a good thing I'm dealing with them now - and I actually have the opportunity to stop and think about things. Whatever it is, I'm going to choose to be patient with myself throughout this process and try to take care of my body the best I can - starting with developing a healthier body image, feeding myself better, and maybe really thinking about what I want in life and where I'd like to be.

On other notes, today was the day...

  1. Surgeonman cleared me for exercise!! No strenuous or high impact stuff though...but Yay! I can go hunt for Pilates or something.
  2. Surgeonman also told me I can go see Orthoman this week! I'm a bit nervous though because it feels so fast! And I'm still so swollen... I'll make a decision tomorrow whether to see him end this week or next.
  3. I tried to stuff my toothbrush INSIDE my jaws to brush the insides of my teeth! It was a little tiring cause my jaws felt achy being opened wider than normal, and it was a bit weird cause quite a few sections of my gums are really soft and a little swollen. BUT I was so glad I could now brush inside!! :)
  4. I have started a mini "exercise regime" where I'd do a 20 reps of two types of pushups, squats, and leg lifts every time I go brush my teeth - which is three times a day. Baby steps. :)

Food Report


Missed - had doctor's appointment this morning. Didn't quite have time to eat. :(

3/4 bowl of broccoli and cheese soup
(It was a bit spicy because I chose the paprika cheese in hopes to boost my metabolism a little).

1 cup Fybogel
1 Cal+D Tablet

1/2 bowl broccoli and cheese soup
1 cup of Redoxon
1 Cal+D Tablet

High point of the day

Visit to the doctor's and talking with Surgeonman. Brushing the insides of my teeth.
Low point of the day
Feeling really unproductive and that I hadn't been able to focus on work and other commitments due to my struggles.

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