On the “My Story” page of my blog you can get background info about what happened to me. Long story short: had reconstructive maxilla facial jaw surgery, caused chronic pain for five years, so I just had jaw surgery number two. And let me tell you, jaw surgery number two hurt like hell. A billion times worse than surgery number one even though this time they only moved one jaw. Why, you ask? Because of chronic pain. Unfortunately, over the past five years I have been on all sorts of narcotics; most recently being percocet and fentanyl patches. When you are on pain medication for an extended period of time, you have a higher tolerance to pain medication. This means if you have, say, a highly intrusive seven hour surgery, you’re going to need more pain meds than your average Joe.
UCLA was absolutely fabulous during and after the surgery, but all of my doctors highly underestimated just how much more pain medication I would need. My first memory in the hospital is me in a recovery room writhing and screaming in pain. I do not have another memory until two days later when there is a pain pump attached. Now, even with that pain pump AND the oral liquid medication they gave me through a giant syringe I was still in awful, horrendous pain. I just kept repeating,
“If I had known, I wouldn’t have done this. I could have lived with the chronic pain”.
At that time I also had two different IVs, one in my hand and one in my foot, which also meant two IV stands. This was a real hassle and was added pain when those IVs got tangled up.
Also, my lips were 10x too big for my face and were scabbed up so badly I couldn’t move them without one breaking open and bleeding. I was very lucky everything was numb. (Side note: My upper lip and cheeks are still numb today, but other than that everything else has come back to life.)
The last thing I remember causing me pain was my sinuses. I desperately needed to blow my nose, but I wasn’t allowed too. They’re afraid you’ll break open a blood clot, which seemed like a valid concern when I got home, decided to hell with it, and blew pure blood into a tissue. Sorry to gross some of you out, but I’m trying to get you all to see the extent of my misery.
Overall, the pain majorly sucked. But that appalling initial pain subsided, and now I’m in less pain than I have been in years. Begrudgingly, I have to say it was worth it.
What about you guys? Ever had a surgery where they gave you too little or maybe even too much pain medication? I’d love to hear about it, so please leave a comment!