Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 10

No, Thanks. I'm Stuffed

I remember laughing when the doctors told me they didn't want me to lose any weight during recovery. Not lose any weight?! That's the only perk about this whole procedure. (Oh right. That and breathing.)

I think my views have changed a bit. For the past two days, I've had very few calories. Part of the issue has been the time and effort it takes to clean my teeth and get the elastics back on. (But I'm getting better and have decided to commit to doing it so that I get faster.) The fact is, I need calories to recover and I'm determined to do so quickly. The other problem is we have a house full of "light" foods. Can I tell you now – buy the weird, foreign, full fat yogurts. You know the ones that you scoff at because they're fattening and more expensive. And by the way, they only taste like a million times better than that gel-substance we are all now accustomed to that does not resemble real yogurt anymore.

I didn't notice much in the way of changes to my face today. Still no pain. I take Tylenol-3 before I go to sleep (because my doctor told me to, "Just in case"). The "cello strings" have calmed down, which makes me nervous. I want these nerves to wake up already.

A Couple Pro'lems

My speech has not improved much. I cannot close my lips yet. So if today were my mom's birthday, I'd yell, "Haffy Virthday, Non!" When I really make an effort to close my lips, I get a little dimple in my chin and a little divot in my lower lip that goes down instead of up. These two things look (literally) connected. Hmm.

Ok. So, I'm a speech therapist. If you didn't know, some of us help students with vocabulary and some of us work in hospitals to help people swallow. (EM:TE is such an informative blog!) So I've actually taken classes before in how swallowing works and what to do when there are problems. Well, irony alert. I'm having problems. I've only been eating liquids because I have trouble getting the food back far enough to trigger a swallow and I can't close my lips. (You need to close your lips to help generate pressure and to not squirt Yoplait out of your mouth like a soft-serve machine.) So basically I've been laying down and slurping smoothies. I've had some trouble feeling like I've got food stuck in my throat and it comes back up when I clear my throat.

Luckily, I know a lot of smarty pants people. While I work in a school, some of my speech friends know a lot about swallowing. ("Swallowing Disorders" was actually my lowest grade in graduate school. Crap!) So after some consultation, I am going to try to move on to thicker, blenderized foods, while sitting up 90-degrees-ish. This way gravity can help me swallow and the thicker food won't squirt out of my yogurt-hole. I think swallowing is one of the missing components following this procedure. Doctors spend time telling you what to eat, but not how to eat. Tomorrow I'm going to have two goals: increase my calories and eat thicker (blenderized) foods.

1 comment:

  1. The thicker foods will be easier. And for liquids, I had to uses my syringes with tubing and squirt just small amounts directly into the back of my throat and swallow with my head back a bit. I looked like a baby bird eating, but far less cute! I had to do this for quite a while, so don't worry, just keep at it. you need the calories for your bones to heal, like you said.
    Looking hardly have any swelling other than your lips!