Facial Reconstruction Stuff
First thing to say is that all is well. I've been home since yesterday 1:00 p.m. After two nights in the ICU. I look like hell, but thankfully none of you can see. My surgeon let us know that my swelling will continue to get worse through tomorrow, and then start to improve. Oh, joy. And then, 80% of the swelling will go away within a couple weeks and the rest take months, I believe.
There's a kind of horrific fascination in looking in the mirror. In addition to the swelling, there is also blood and other fluids that I don't have a lot of control over right now. I'm not supposed to put any pressure on the area, positive or negative (i.e. blow or suck), so I can't blow my nose or clear much away that is there. And yet, being home, able to wash my face (gingerly), take a shower, etc., did so much for my morale.
I have to hand it to all the professionals and the staff at Overlake hospital for a lot of reasons, and here's just one: Thursday when I was awake, talking, and walking they all said I looked so much better. Yikes! What did I look like after the surgery? Best not for me to know, I think. But thank goodness there are people who can handle that, and do, day in and day out. And, the way that they affirmed me, just when I was feeling incredibly self-conscious, really helped me feel better. My room in the ICU was set up so that I couldn't see myself in the mirror until I was well enough to get out of bed. This is probably an intentional part of the design?
I've been thinking for three days now about how much I'll share of the gory details. I've come to feel that, if a main part of my purpose is to give guidance and affirmation to others who may follow along with similar surgeries as mine, it's important that I acknowledge at least some of the issues that they are going to face as I have. So I think I'll pick and choose my topics, include some important ones, like how they took the intubation out, and skip some others, like dealing with a catheter...
Then there's also the amount of energy I have to give. I can hear my many medical-professional friends saying I should be sleeping/resting. Yes, everything is harder, take more energy, I get tired. (And then my grammar and text suffers, too.) Bit by bit. (But there's so much to say!)
Dr. Adam Burdick has been a professional musician for over two decades. Teaching, conducting, and performing in various music genres, he is also a perpetual student with interest in a wide range of topics. He loves to ponder and share his discoveries with anyone interested!