I'm going to try and remember everything with details, so I apologize for a long entry. I'm in an insane amount of pain right now and I keep making spelling errors that I probably won't correct soon. This whole mess started on Friday. (Oh, and by the way.... this was my first trip to the ER, my first broken bone, my first stitches, my first surgery, and my first ambulance ride).
I ate like crap on Friday. I even bought a big container of chocolate peanut butter ice cream to eat after dinner because I hadn't had it in so long and I was craving it like crazy. So on Friday night, I was home alone with the kids. I ate some icecream, then some more, then some more... until I had eaten the whole freaking container. I think it was just under a half-gallon size, but maybe it was a little smaller than that. Either way, it was way more than I should have eaten. The kids and I decided to watch a movie together. I was thinking about how I got so off track with my diet and I was feeling guilty about it, and I wanted to make things right with the kids at least by spending some time with them. Jerry was at work. We watched Wall-E, and at around 7:45, Noah fell asleep while lying on my lap. I picked him up (he's about 60 pounds or so) and carried him to his bunk bed. I set him up on the top bunk, and he said to me, "Mama, I don't want to go to sleep yet." I told him that he had already fallen asleep, but I would put on a movie in his bedroom for him. I walked over to his TV, turned on the DVD player, and then got super dizzy and nauseaus. My vision went kind of black (like it does when you stand up too fast) and then I thought, "Oh no, I'm going to throw up this ice cream!". I started walking toward the door of Noah's bedroom in order to get to the bathroom.
Next thing I knew, I was laughing kind of heavily and felt claustrophobic and just weird. My face was throbbing, and felt wet. I had no clue where I was or what I was doing. I kept trying to look around, but my head was just killing me. Finally, I discovered I was on Noah's floor with a pool of blood under my face. I thought, "OHMYGOD, I actually passed out! What the heck?!" and then I tried to bite my teeth together, which caused more panic. My teeth felt SO MESSED UP. They wouldn't close together and they felt "floppy" or something. My first thought was that I lost my teeth when I fell. I rushed to the bathroom, and started spitting out blood like crazy. It wouldn't stop coming out. I was rinsing out my mouth over and over, but the blood kept coming. I tried to scramble for the phone, but of course couldn't remember where it was. Finally, I found it and called my mom. I blurted out, "Mom! I passed out! I'm bleeding!" and she kind of panicked and rushed over here. My dad followed her so that he could watch the kids while my mom went to the hospital with me. My mom wanted to call 911 to get an ambulance, but I really didn't want to go to the local hospital (which is infamous for killing people, really). I had her drive me to a town about 25 minutes from here. I walked right in and they took me to a room right away (I was probably the only patient there). I had to explain the story a dozen times. They did a CAT scan and some blood tests to figure out why I fell. The sent me to the bathroom to pee in a cup, and lo-and-behold, I had to start my period at the ER... REALLY?!
My mom called my husband at work, and he drove to the ER. It was super foggy outside, so I was worried about him. At this point, I really didn't think that my jaw was going to be the big deal it turned out to be, so I wanted Jerry to stay at work since we need the money. The doctor came in and said, "Your jaw is MESSED UP. You can't stay here." Haha, awesome. My jaw was so bad that they needed to send me to a place that specializes in trauma. They transported me by ambulance to a huge hospital in Detroit. The ER there was pretty bad. There were a lot of drug overdoses that came in, which I am so not used to seeing! They did another CAT scan, some other tests on my heart and a arteries, etc. Eventually, they just put me in a room to spend the night. They said I would need surgery on Monday.
Frickin MONDAY?! Yep, I had to wait with a broken jaw from Friday to Monday.
It was kind of funny, too--I can't even count the number of times I was asked if I feel safe at home, if my husband did this to me, etc. They just said that the injuries I have seem way to extensive for a fall. I felt bad for Jerry, because people were giving him the evil eye, lol.
My sister decided to come to town and pick up Eli and take him home to Illinois with her for a week.. Noah still had school, so he stayed with my parents. I knew Eli would have a blast with Jeanie. The hospital started giving me some serious pain meds, so that helped a lot. But I still just wanted to be done with it! See, with a broken jaw, you can't eat anything---I had to have clear liquids only for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My meals consisted of: chicken broth, hot tea, juice, and jello (which I couldn't eat, because it had to be chewed). My mom, aunt, dad, Noah, and my pastor came to visit, which was nice.
A little more testing for surgery. My brother Nathan came to visit, and so did Stacie. Stacie brought me some magazines. By this time, I was super anxious to just get the surgery done with and go home. My surgery was scheduled for 9:30 AM on Monday. I couldn't sleep at all, because I had a crappy roommate.
They came to get me at 8:00 AM to prep for surgery. Asked me a million questions, explained the surgery, etc. I was TERRIFIED of general anesthesia. Don't know why it scares me so badly, but it's not something to take lightly! They put another IV in my arm (at this point, I'd had quite a few different ones). I said good-bye to my mom and Jerry, and my pastor's wife who had come to see me. I was wheeled to the OR where I started panicking. I was crying and a nervous wreck. The OR docs were really nice and made me feel a little more comfortable. However, once they had me all strapped in to the OR table and everything, I REALLY felt like I had to go pee. Which sucks badly when you have a 3 hour surgery ahead. That was the last thing I remember then. I woke up feeling REALLY hot and kicking my legs around to get blankets off of me. I was kind of thrashing because I remember just wanting those blankets off. I also had to be so badly that I felt like my bladder was going to explode. The surgery had actually taken over 4 hours! I kept insisting that I had to pee, and they put a bed pan under me. Even then, it was hard for me to go. Once I did though, I felt a lot better.
They brought me to my room where my mom, Jerry, and my pastor's wife were all waiting for me. I was extremely swollen. My lips were so big! Jerry said that there were two teenage boys in the hall at the hospital making fun of me after my surgery (I didn't see this) and he wanted to go punch them out so badly. However, considering that his wife was there with a broken jaw, he thought better of it ;)
I was too afraid to look in the mirror at that point. I knew that I looked like crap. I knew that I was swollen. I knew my face was no longer "pretty". Most of all, my teeth just didn't feel "right" anymore. When I talked to the doctor about this, he agreed. He wasn't pleased with how my teeth were lining up. He tried to maneuver my jaw in his office, but it was way too painful to do much, so he said he wanted to take me back to the OR on Wednesday. I was okay with that, because if you're going to fix something, might as well do it correctly, right?
To describe my injuries and surgery is kind of difficult without a diagram, but I'll try. I had broken my jaw at each corner (just under each ear), once on each side of my chin, and once in the center of my chin. There was a bone fragment from my jaw that split off and punctured two holes--once through my lower lip, and once through the bottom of my chin. On top of that stuff, I also had bruising and a type of rug burn or something. To correct all this, the doctors put metal plates along my jaw bone and screwed them together. Then, they wired my jaw shut (by wrapping wire around my teeth) to stabalize my jaw and let the corner breaks heal.The wires would need to be on from 4-6 weeks, in which time I could only be allowed to eat pureed things that could go through a straw.
Now, I just have to say... you all know how I've been complaining about the last 10-15 pounds I have to lose, right?! Well, THIS is SOOOO not how I planned on going about losing it! I can't believe people actually PAY to have their jaws wired shut in order to lose weight. However, it could just be the intervention I needed to get my ass in gear :) Not that I had a choice, though, really.
I slept on and off for the rest of the day Monday. By the time I had gotten back to my room from surgery, it was dinner time.
Tuesday was mainly prepping for surgery again on Wednesday. I had some more tests done. I met with the surgeons to discuss what they were planning. They said that the new surgery would be very simple--just adjust my jaws and rewire my teeth so they liked how my teeth looked. They said it would probably take an hour, and the anesthesia was really just so that I wouldn't have to feel the pain. They doubted they'd even have to make an incision.
I was getting really restless in my hospital room. I was still in the trauma center room, which was very small. And I had a roommate, which sucks when you're sleep deprived and staying in a hospital as it is. The nursing staff was mainly really nice. There were only one or two nurses I didn't care for, but the rest were very friendly and helpful. I even had a hot male nurse during the night on Sunday and Monday.
Tuesday night, Renee came to visit me which was fun. She brought me some magazines and we chatted for a couple of hours. She made me feel a lot better about my whole outlook on all that was happening. She is such a positive person, and I think that rubs off on me sometimes. She's been the best friend I could ever ask for, seriously.
While she was there, the hospital finally switched me to a private room on the ENT floor, which was AWESOME. It was a brand new room and just gorgeously decorated and spacious and nice. And QUIET. I was so ready to sleep that night. I fell asleep while Jerry was still there with me, and he watching TV. An hour and a half later (Jerry said I was in a SUPER deep sleep) I woke up extremely confused. I didn't know where I was or what I wad doing that. I was hyperventilating. I was just so scared that I had no clue what was going on! I was asking Jerry a million questions a minute, and I finally started breaking it down... So I fell on Friday? I went to the ER? They did surgery already, and I'm getting another tomorrow? etc etc. Finally, I actually remembered it, but I tried so hard not to sleep that night because I was scared of it happening again. I don't think I've ever been so scared about something like losing memories.
I was woken up at about 5:30 by one of the doctors who would be doing my surgery. He wanted to get my consent signed and all that. I wasn't nearly as nervous this time around. My aunt came to be with me again, which was super nice of her to stay all day. They took me to pre-op at about 8, then got me ready and brought me to the OR. I made sure I didn't have to pee this time, and I told them I'd rather wake up freezing cold than hot like last time. That's the last I remember.
When I came too, my throat was SO SORE. It was sore after the first surgery too, but this time was excruciating. It was from the tube they put down my nose. I was starting to feel panicky, because I could feel mucous in my throat and I was worried that I was going to choke. Keep in mine my jaws were wired shut, so if I had to vomit or something, there was no place for it to go. Once I calmed down enough, they took me back to my room.
My second surgery had ended up taking them almost 3 hours! Once they got in there, they realized they wanted to replace the metal plate in my chin with a smaller one to bring my teeth closer together. So they had to cut open that incision again (along the lip/gum line inside my mouth). Then they did all the other stuff they planned on doing. However, when they were done, it looked much better than before. I wasn't nearly as swollen this time, and my teeth looked more aligned. They also told me that I could go home the next day... yay!
The doctors came into my room early again to check me out, said everything looked good and I could leave an a few hours. I spent the morning (actually, I couldn't sleep during the night, so I got up at 2 AM) dry washing my hair, sponge-bathing, etc. Cleaning up a little. Trying to wean off the medications a little, which was hard... the Dilaudid in my IV was WONDERFUL, but obviously I couldn't take that forever.
When I was discharged, I was so happy to be going home, but nervous as well. I knew the pain was going to be bad, trying to eat a balanced liquid diet is practically an oxymoron. My parents and family and friends are SO AMAZING. My mom went and bought a bunch of the stuff I would need at home--mouthwash that is made for this, Boost (protein shake stuff), juices, new pajamas, straws and cups, etc. All the little things you don't really think of until you need them.
Jerry had the house pretty clean when I got home. He'd been keeping up with it. He actually stayed at the hospital with me about 99% of the time--even spent a few nights there with me--but when he went home, he really took his role as spouse seriously :)
As soon as I walked in the door, my cats were all over me. They've never been like this before. I can tell they really missed me, and it seems almost like cants have a sixth sense. They really won't leave me alone now :) I love my kitties!
Anyway, I really wasn't feeling up to writing all this yesterday. I was in a lot of pain, and it's hard to get used to controlling your own pain when you've had the hospital do it for a week. I am constantly worried about overdosing myself or mixing the wrong drugs or something like that. And not to mention how ITCHY I am!
Eli came home yesterday with my sister-they flew home, and it was Eli's first "real" flight. I was so happy to see him! I didn't think I'd get so emotional, but I actually cried when I hugged him. When Noah got home from school, I got emotional all over again. Jerry and I had a parent-teacher conference scheduled for yesterday with Noah's teacher. She said he's probably the best-behaved kid she's ever had in class. He got all A's and one A-... what a great first report card!
Renee brought over some more goodies for me yesterday--fruit and vegetable juices (very healthy ones, which I need), some tea, a nice card, some hemp protein, etc. My parents, my sister, my kids, my younger brother Nathan, and Jerry all sat around at my house chatting for a little while, which was nice. It's a shame that it has to take a broken jaw like this to get everyone together. My older brother is coming in today, and I'm excited to see him too. My wine club meeting is tonight, and I'm actually thinking of going, lol. I obviously can't have any wine, due to pain meds and all, but I might just go see my girl friends.
I'll try and put together a rough time-line of these pictures. Yes, I look worse than I ever have in my life! But you can see my injuries :)
This was before any surgery--in the ER. It was actually much worse than it looks in the pictures...
It's hard to tell here, but you can see how misaligned my lower jaw is by looking at my teeth. The hole you see on my chin came from a bone fragment that punctured through my chin.
Noah came to visit before my surgery.
All of my meals were the same: hot tea, broth, apple juice, and jello (couldn't eat it, too solid) and popsicle (again, too solid to eat)
Post-Op photo #1... See how SWOLLEN?
Later that night...
Morning after first surgery. Swelling went down a lot.
After the second surgery... This was my lowest-point since the accident. I was in SO MUCH PAIN and MISERY here.
Healing... this was on Thursday morning (discharge day)
Getting ready to leave...
Phoebe stalking me... she NEVER sleeps with me. Ever. But she did all night last night.
Last night, I took off the bandage from my chin injuries... here is a peak at those.
My chin looks so crooked. I will never take "But you have such a pretty face!" comments for granted again. I'd love to have my pretty face back!
EDIT: To answer the question about what caused me to pass out, the tests haven't showed anything yet. The ONLY clue is that my blood pressure is pretty low to begin with, and when I stand up, it drops a little. The hospital staff said that could have caused it. All of my other tests on my heart, brain, and arteries came back normal. I'm going to have to get a tilt test done once my jaw heals. I was convinced it was because of the ice cream I had eaten, lol--but the docs said not likely :) Either way, I learned my lesson about eating too much ice cream!