Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ask Bella: Sleeping after jaw surgery

Q: I have a question for you that I don't recall any mention of in your blog - How exactly did you manage to sleep through the first few weeks of recovery? I'm reading a lot of comments from people about the necessity of sleeping in an almost upright position. I've been on the hunt for some kind of reclining chair, but I would hate to buy something I'll never use again. What did you do to manage? Any suggestions/tips?

A: Thanks for the question! You're right - I don't think I've talked about that at all on this blog.

In the hospital, they'll have the upper part of your bed elevated. At home, you can do the same thing by putting a stack of pillows behind your head/shoulders. No need for a special chair at all, or to sleep in an upright position - just propped up. I think some people get carried away with getting all kinds of accessories for this surgery!

I bought a pillow with arms on it, which is sometimes called a "Bed Rest Pillow." It works really well at keeping your upper body elevated without being completely upright. It looks like this:
It was inexpensive - something like $30 - and should be available in department stores. It makes more sense than buying a special chair for just a few weeks. Plus, I'd rather sleep in my own bed than in a chair, wouldn't you?

I slept propped up for a month or so after surgery. I found that I got used to it, and that after I started sleeping without the bed rest pillow, it was strange to get used to the "normal" way again.

Good luck and sweet dreams!

*To ask Bella a question about her jaw surgery, email her at smilingbella at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post. Go ahead: ask away!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don't count your brackets before they've been removed

Remember when I said my braces were supposed to come off on August 8?

Well, scratch that. One of my brackets came loose before my last appointment and a gap opened up big enough that food was getting impacted in it every time I ate. Fun!! Also, there are some other gaps that need to be closed as well. When I asked if my braces will come off at my next appointment, I was told with a laugh, "Oh, no. It will be longer than that."

I may not make corn on the cob season this year. Oh well, I may have to head down to the Farmer's Market, buy a bunch of corn, and freeze it until I'm brace-free. I am determined to have corn on the cob, and I will have corn on the cob, damnit!!

In other (good) news, I went to the Folk Festival again this year and had a pleasant surprise. Last year, I had to leave once Michael Franti took the stage, as the heavy bass in his music vibrated the screws in my jaw and gave me a raging headache. I was less than impressed, as Michael Franti was rocking it. Not fair!

This year, I was weary of the same thing happening, but when k-os played, with just as heavy bass, if not more, I was fine! So, no more worries about loud, rock concerts with generous amounts of rumbly bass - my jaw and I are good to go!

Wooo hooo! Bring it on!


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