Friday, December 25, 2009
If you can avoid doing this surgery right before Christmas or Thanksgiving, I would suggest it. Since I was already at my out of pocket maximum with my insurance, doing this surgery now would save me thousands of dollars. I've been tortured the last week with two family Christmas dinners, and our own Christmas dinner at our house. Food...food everywhere...and I'll I can do is drink. I've been tempted enough to rip my bands off and start eating, but I knew better than to risk another surgery. Let me tell you that honey glazed ham blended up just doesn't taste the same. I miss the texture of food, chewing food, and bread, oh do I miss bread. In a little over three weeks, I've lost over 15 pounds and 3 inches on my waste. Several people I've revealed these figures to jokingly say they need their jaws banded shut and to go on a liquid diet to lose weight. They have no clue what they are wishing for.
Travel a few weeks after this surgery, or two of them back to back, can be exhausting and at times painful. At times, I could feel bumps and vibrations from the road in my jaws and face after hours of driving. I would suggest bringing a microwaveable heating pad with you and let someone else do most of the driving. You can nuke your heating pad at a convenience stores along the way. Try to avoid over extending yourself with a ton of activities. In addition, talking can cause your jaws to become sore after awhile as your lower jaw still reflexively tries to move against the bands. Sometimes you just need to lay down, rest, and recover as your body is still healing from major trauma and stitching bones back together.
Even though I was tortured with visions and smells of good food and in pain some of the time, I have had a wonderful Christmas. I was glad to see both sides of my family. My girls got quality time and the expected spoiling with both sets of grand parents. I enjoyed a wonderful tortilla soup at a tex-mex restaurant in San Antonio. I also took little bits of fresh buttered flour tortillas, shoved them past the rubber bands and through the little gap I can open in my front teeth, and let them melt in my mouth. Yum! We also took a boat ride on the river walk through all the Christmas lights in downtown San Antonio.
We got back home on Christmas Eve to watch my girls sing in our church choir. When it came time for communion during our service, I was a bit concerned about the size of the piece of bread I would be presented with. Luckily, the assistant pastor in our church who visted me in the hospital and was aware of my condition, was infront of us. I signaled and whispered that I need a very small piece of bread. Lee presented me with a small piece of bread and smiled, "Let this tiny piece of Jesus represent his love for you...". I quietly snickered as I took communion with my tiny piece of Jesus.
I have so much to be thankful for this year. Thanks to the wonderful skills and talents of my surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses, I have come through three major surgeries without any serious complications. I have been cured of the very unhealthy, if not life threatening, disease of obstructive sleep apnea. I no longer have to fight with a c-pap mask and machine when I sleep. My body and mind are now recovering when I sleep rather than fighting to keep me alive. Through all of these trials, I have been reminded of how important friends and family are when they were by my side to help me and my family, when we needed it most.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,