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Home front (Surgery + 17 days)

So good to be back home! In a space of more familiarity, I can more accurately see the effects of sleeping. DEFINITELY sleeping consistently and deeply and now sleeping all the way through the night vs. being woken up occasionally by unfamiliar surrounds and rental unit AC noise.

Some days have been rougher than others after coming home.

Firstly, my rash. I think the initial antibiotic reaction + steroid reaction caused my skin to be super sensitive. It seems to be a mild form of dermatographia, which is basically a condition where you can scratch yourself once and it becomes a raised line right away. Yikes. Super itchy. But it at least seems to be confined to certain areas and not all over my body. I THINK its starting to calm down better and better but its not easy when you’re itchy all the time and still have to wear the compression belt for a week.

Food. With my scale at home, I realized that my soup only period dropped my weight down about 18 lbs, making me now at my lowest weight since college — not where I want to be. Eating soft foods is better, and seems to have helped me regain at least a 5-lb’er to be a bit more stable. It is indeed way tastier than drinking broth all the time!

However, its not as easy as advertised. With six rubber bands in my mouth, removing them every single time just to eat is not practical. Initially, I just removed the front two which allowed my jaw to open more. But, it makes my jaw real tired just opening and closing each time to put food in. Also, I can’t fully sense where the opening is because of the numbness in my lower side. So, I have to use a mirror to place the food in between the opening. If the food is too big, the lack of opening just knocks it off the spoon. Now, I’ve graduated to taking 4 bands off (the front 4) and seems to give me a bit of a bigger opening and a little bit less weariness.

Ear pressure after the plane is definitely the next annoyance. My right ear feels like its full alll the time. I talked to Dr. Movahed and he has me on a five day course of Sudafed. The initial day after the plane ride was awful to the point of mild-moderate pain. It’s slightly better now, on day 3 after the plane ride. Weirdly, its completely gone only when I lie down. In any case, I expect improvement on this over time. Doc said it’s temporary.

Drooling. Still happening enough where it’d be super weird to go to work. Also I need to slurp and swallow to keep the spit from just dribbling out. It’s not as bad as before the arch splint came out, but it’s still there. I expect some improvement as my mouth gets to use to trying to close my lips more. My wife says when I keep my lips close it looks weird like I’m pursing. I can’t quite feel the lower lip so perhaps I’m trying to overcompensate how much its closing.

Work. I’ve started to text my coworkers a bit more and see how things are going. I thought previously just another week before I go back to work but I’ll have to see. I realize I really need to get used to the eating thing and relearn how to talk. The ear pressure and rash issues are nuts too and I need to get rid of those side effects to be effective. The belly pressure band time ends on Monday too and I’m looking forward to throwing this thing in the trash.

Myofunctional therapy restarts next Wednesday. I’m excited. Virginia Downing is super helpful for tongue and mouth placement stuff and hopefully she can give me excercises on the road to making everything work correctly.

Happy birthday to my wife the day after we got back. Homemade gluten-free Oreos.

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