My first of three days in hospital was spent in the ICU. Even with all the drugs sleeping was uncomfortable and painful as expected. Apart of removing the cancer involved removing most of the roof of my mouth, along with my upper right maxillary (teeth&gums). My face was like a blowfish, I was stuffy, and high.
I could hear everyone talking in my room, my doctors telling my family what to expect, I could feel the presence of my family members and friends. I was too tired and medicated to open my eyes, so just listened. As the room lightened up little by little I finally mustered up the energy to open my eyes, wave to everyone since I couldn’t speak. I wanted to say thank you and that I loved them all for being there by my side. So I wrote it on a piece of paper & My tears followed.
My first night of complete consciousness was hard, I couldn’t sleep. I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I couldn’t speak, it was the first time in my 30 years, I felt completely helpless. The stuffiness made it all that more unbearable. The only thing that brought me comfort was applying ice to my oh so swollen face.
As the days went on, my speech came back slowly but it was far from clear. My doctors didn’t think I need to stay more than 2 more days in hospital, so they briefed me on what I needed to do in order to go home. I needed to eat and drink fluids.
The drinking I had to tackle. I now have a whole in my mouth, with an obturator to keep fluids from going through my nose while drinking, a sore throat, not to mention the pain I was in. It was hard to drink, it was painful to swallow, it was uncomfortable, I felt like I was sniffling everytime I took a sip. So eating, chewing- was something I wasn’t ready for and couldn’t help but think of how crazy these folks were – “They don’t have a freaking hole in there mouth”. I felt like a baby trying to roll over or take his/her first steps. It was frustrating and I hated it.
I had to drink all my meals, thank God for humans and their inventions, because the nutribullet became my best friend. I lost 10 pounds. It still hurt to drink, and it took a while for me to consume my meals. I was hungry every 2hrs.
My parting gift from my dr was a stack of tongue suppressors. Because of the surgery, my mouth is expected to heal shut & during radiation treatment, the area is expected to shrink. Daily exercises would help keep it open and make movement easy. Ha, what else can I expect from this journey? The pain I encurred from these exercises is unexplainable, I cried everytime.
The best part of the this journey so far is having my real friends and my family with me.