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Day 5: The Bruising Begins!

Fri May 25, 2012

Day 5 brought some glorious color and surface area to the small bruising I spotted around my neck yesterday. Today I noticed that my cheeks and jaw area were picking up a decidedly yellow tinge, and a large blue wash is beginning to cover my lower neck. Based on my research on other blogs, this coloring will expand and work its way down my neck and chest.

Swelling: Spent more time with the ice packs on the front of my face today.  Noticed that my lips seemed a bit more flexible, and that I was able to fire off facial muscles which I haven’t used since pre-surgery. This may be signalling that the swelling has peaked and may be on the way down. This would be welcome news!

Pain: The pain today seems to peak at a “5”, and goes down to a “3” to “4” when the pain meds are kicked in.  Haven’t seen a “6” in about a day. Possibly another sign the swelling is leveling off. So, I’d characterize the pain at this point as “manageable”, but I won’t have the prescription meds (Vicodin ES) much longer. There’s a point out there in the near future when I’ll have to switch to over-the-counter solutions.

Energy:  Due to yesterday’s energy slump, today’s goals included less expenditure of energy and more intake of calories.  I did manage a walk down to the mailbox (about 350 feet round trip), and some rattling around the house.  Avoided a shower yesterday (this seems to take a lot out of me). On the calorie front, I had some additional juice between meals, and right before bed.

Sleep:  I can’t say I’ve really had a full night’s sleep since I got back from the hospital, but for the last couple of days that’s been mainly due to the fact that I need to be awakened for medicine during the middle of the night.  Between these awakenings, however, I’m sleeping soundly.  Since I returned home I’ve been sleeping in an upright position to facilitate sinus drainage (I’m not allowed to blow my nose for many weeks) and to help with swelling reduction, but last night I experimented with sleeping more horizontally, with a couple of pillows behind my head for a slight amount of elevation.  This was mainly to see if I could spare my lower back from getting grumpy from having my body weight on it all night for a week straight.  The results were surprising – I was actually able to sleep a couple of hours in this “sort-of” horizontal position.  My sinuses did not drain so much as to make me cough or gasp for air (which I had feared).  I did feel some additional pressure in my head, which was a little uncomfortable, but it didn’t keep me from getting a few winks.  After a couple of hours, I did return to the upright sleeping position for the remainder of the night, mostly so that I could continue to facilitate the process of swelling reduction.

Drippy Stuff:  Haven’t had one of those sudden, bloody noses in a couple of days, so I think the sinus tissues are firming up. Managing occasional congestion with Afrin.  The doctor would like me off the Afrin by end of tomorrow, so we’ll see if just basic saline nose spray will do the same trick.  As far as saliva production, it has increased a little, but not to the point of uncontrollable drooling as I had read in other recovery blogs.  It looks like I’ll be spared that particular blessing.

Bloggy Stuff: I spent most of the day doing “behind-the-scenes” stuff with this blog (downloading some photo-cropping apps), building up the “Spittle” section landing page, and setting up a “Weight Chart” page.  I also got started on a “Mug Shots” page where I can post the obligatory daily photos.  I have been taking these every day, and I’ll get caught up posting them when I have the page ready.  Once that’s up, I’ll create a “Food” page showing what /how much I’m eating.

That’s it for today – it was a pretty low-key, boring day spent mostly in bed trying to conserve energy and keep my mind busy.  We’ll see how this strategy impacts how I’m feeling tomorrow.

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