Day 2: The Worst Day (Part II)

  • Pain: 2/10
  • Inconvenience: 10/10

Here’s today’s mugshot. Dried blood (tough to scrub off when you can’t feel your nose and lips), unaligned lips and a big, fat head. I think I look a little bit like Fat Bastard.

Good news: today was my last day in the hospital! My stay hasn’t really been that bad. I’m thankful for all the kind nurses I’ve had (Daphiny, Jill, the nice Mexican lady whose name has escaped me). I’m thankful for those that came to visit me to make the time pass a little more quickly. And I’m thankful for the cafeteria ladies who continuously kept my tray packed with Boost, Ensure, Carnation Breakfast drinks and little cartons of whole milk. I’m not thankful for the tasty-looking Jello she kept leaving there, because I had no way of eating it!

I’m beginning to regain a bit of feeling in my face today, which is nice, because it’s enabling me to drool a little less. Not much less, mind you.

Also this: my butt still hurts too much to sit down. *grumble*

My surgeon stopped by again this morning, at 6:30 on the dot, as usual, to tell me what my diet should look like for the next few weeks. He recommended a minimum of 4L of water per day and 3000 calories per day. I have trouble getting that in when I can chew, swallow and take big gulps from my water bottle. I have no idea how I’m going to swing that kind of intake using nothing but a plastic syringe.

I’d like to interject here to show a particular nasty photo of the sheer amount of blood I have sucked out of my mouth in the past 48 hours. It’s delightful.

Let’s look on the bright side though: I’m at home! Home sweet home. No more hydrated air. The ice packs have become heat packs. No more having to sleep in a sitting position. No more 6:30 am wakeup calls to fill me with rules I can’t follow and agendas I cannot keep.

I’ve got the counter all set up here: 1 syringe for drinking water, 1 for saltwater rinse, 1 for chocolate Ensure supplements and 1 for yogurt and milk. Sounds tasty, right?

There is only 1 thing I could possibly complain about right now, and that is the fact that my father is cooking lemon-glazed salmon in the kitchen right behind me, and I can have no part of it.

Oh, and did I mention I got steroid injections to help with the swelling?


  1. hi! I have just gotten the same surgery as you!
    i am 19 years old and today is my first day home

    all i have to say is
    THE JELLO!!!! everyday they leave jello
    like i can eat it?? what are they thinking…
    and i can hardly breath.. at all.

    • Mallory, isn’t it so mean how they bring you delicious foods they know you can’t touch?! I suppose that’s the “one size fits all” hospital meal system. You’ve got to appreciate the effort, though. =)

  2. Hdy graham,
    Just had double jaw surgery with genioplasty yesterday. Completely numb and cannot talk. He says that he bypassed all nerves and should gain full recovery of feeling. He saidmy jaws were like oak trees, whatever that means…freaking out a little, trying to maintain and wipe drool and blood off myself. Thank you for this blog. Veryi sppirational

    • Hi Mike. I’m honored to meet a man with “oak tree” jaws. I would take that as a compliment… I think!

      Remember to get outside and go for walks these first few days. Best of luck!

  3. Thanks for the kind remarks, Erika. =)

  4. Yop had to get steroid INJECTIONS D: ughhhhhhhh sounds horrible 🙁 but it looks really good for it only being like A day from surgury, seeing ur blog makes it easier to what to expect and you seem really cool lol your so awsome for doing this blog about it

  5. I remember using the syringe to eat. I felt like I was a science experiment.

    That Oreo milkshake sounds like a fabulous idea! I wouldn’t mind having one of those right now!

  6. Your blood bucket looks just like mine. God, that was disgusting. I sure miss the suction thing now; torture not to be able to blow my nose! I’ve done it twice accidentally, but I stopped myself before anything scary happened. Dab dab dab is the phrase of the day. I haven’t yet used my syringe, because the whole thing confuses me, with the cutting the tube with a pen knife or whatever. I’m sure I’ll get a craving for more solidly food soon, and then I’ll have to dive right on. But I did successfully slurp down some soup today, and the most awesome oreo milkshake.

    Anyway, onto Day 3! It really distracts me from the puffiness and irritation!

  7. As Alex said, I would drink from a cup as soon as you’re able to. The syringe is merely a crutch to help you in case you’re unable to drink normally. Enjoy life without the syringe!

  8. Hello Sam,

    I had that same surgery exactly three weeks ago, so for sure if you can drink without a syringe that only can mean you are in a great form. Drink as much as you can!

    I was in the same boat, and I was able to drink water a few hours after the procedure. In fact, after discovering that I could not breathe properly because my nose was so clogged with blood, and given that my mouth and throat were so hurt, the only way I calmed down and helped with the breathing was drinking copious amounts of water.

  9. I tried to get as much liquid down today because I just really was unable to keep drinking so many liquids yesterday. I just realized I am able to drink everything without my syringe!! After the double jaw surgery and getting a metal plate in my chin to get that fixed I didn’t expect this at all. If I am able to drink without the syringe on day 3 do you think I should? It does help me get down much more liquid. I look almost identical to your mug shot from this day except they left tape around my chin to act as a brace. They told me to leave that on as long as I can. Thanks for the speedy response Graham its awesome that you are still helping people out with all of this!!

  10. Two days in, yikes! My stomach did hurt a little bit at first due to swallowing so much blood and saliva, yes. You can offset that pain by drinking as much water and soup as you’re able. Anything you can get down to dilute the acid in your stomach will help.

    I hope you’re finding things to do at this early stage, Sam!

  11. Your saving my life here. I Just had double jaw surgery 2 days ago, one day spent in the hospital and today was at home. I cannot believe how much blood I am spitting up, I was just wondering, did you stomach ever start hurting from trying to swallow and it end up being blood?

  12. i know its the most protein packed but im sorry i just dont like it XD i tried. ew. lol and ive only lost like 10 lbs over the month and havnt been losing anymore weight…idk why but guess its a good thing. i will embrace the ice cream 🙂 haha if i dont get 2 many headaches..

  13. Stephanie, I recall my surgeon suggesting I drink 4L of water each day. I don’t think I could have got that much water down if I sucked on the syringe all day.

    Difficulty eating is part of the reason most patients lose a substantial amount of weight. We eat so little that our body can’t maintain its weight (not to mention it’s spending most of our energy recovering).

    Embrace the Ensure!

  14. i know how you feel..all i have eaten this past month isss ensure(not my favorite), boost( favorite 🙂 ) haha and instant carnation breakfast (its okay) haha and have here and there ice cream liquidated int his weird blender called the vitamix my grams got off of QVC…thank god shes lucky in bingo!!!hahaha i havnt had the appetite for anything warm like soup it just gets stuck in this stupid plate its so annoying. ive been brushing and rinsing like 4 times a day and i didnt realize i was brushing too hard cuz i cant feel my gums!! oops XD. my teeth have been whiter then ever thx to this prescription mouthwash didnt think they would come up with tht but ok then lol works for me. i hated tht blood suctioning thing too!!!DX was also not too happy to find out my dietition did not show up so just trying to drink as much down as i can. eh thts life i guess oh the joy. 🙂

  15. Howdy Sara! I most definitely was not able to take care of the 4L of liquids and 3000 cal of food each day. It’s near impossible when you’re feeding through a syringe.

    I’d estimate that, on average, I was drinking about 1L of liquid and eating around 1000 cal of food each day while I was using the syringe. However, I was able to start drinking from a cup at the two-week mark, and after that I could put down around 3L of liquid and twice as much food (and by “food,” I mean Ensure).

    I had the splint for 50 days, but I only used the syringe for two weeks.

    You’re right smack in the middle of the most frustrating days right now, so everything will look up in about a week. =)

  16. Great website Graham! I’m on day 5 after double-jaw surgery (and got lucky – no catheter!)
    That said, I’m wondering if anyone has actually downed 4L of liquids and 3000 calories in a day – drinking through a syringe takes a fair bit of time and energy and I’m not even making half that. Explains the low energy I’m sure.
    Also, I’m still reading through your blog, but did you really have the splint for 8 weeks? Gahh! Hoping to be able to use a straw soon (that and talk!)
    Passing this blog along to my cousin now too…

  17. I remember the scent of good food those first few days. What torture!

  18. wow !! … love this .. im at day 5 , and everything i’ve read is like spot on what ive felt and am feeling .. lol still reading though .. yah the jello i did not understand either. And oh jeeze, my mom made grilled cheese, one of my favorites the moment we got home for my nephews and the smell just killed me haha. i just can’t wait for the day to eat again normally.

  19. Well, I just got home today, so I haven’t had too much time to kill yet. Spent most of my time in the hospital reading and sleeping.

    But yeah, once I’m done these books, maybe I’ll borrow a few of yours. It’s not like I won’t have the time over the next few weeks!

  20. steventaitinger

    March 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Dude! ! I didn’t know you were getting jaw surgery. That is really tough. What have you been doing to occupy your time? I should send you some books or something… you should email me your address if you want…
    I’ll be praying for you!

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