It’s been a few days since I’ve been un-banded. It brings a new freedom and a new set of problems.
The first day I could open my teeth about one finger width. The doctor said he wanted to see me open wider at the next visit. That’s in two days. After about 5-10 minutes of working at it, I can usually open a few mm wider. So I have learned to do this BEFORE eating and it makes the meals a little easier. After 4 days the sharpest of pain is gone when opening wide. It’s been like someone taking a butter knife and twisting it in my cheek (left side) when I try to push open. Now it’s down to a dull pain on both sides, but the more I do it the better it is. Problem is I have to put the two bands back on, and my mouth is closed again for a few hours. Then it’s back where it was and I have to stretch it out all over again. Slow progress.
Condiment bottles- bought these on clearance at the end of summer. I used the ones pictured for cold things, and had a different one for hot things. Starting using these once the syringes got overused and impossible to use.
Notepad & pen- I bought a whiteboard and markers for after surgery, then realized last minute that unless I had an eraser too, it would not be helpful. So I took a notebook and pen and nearly filled the notebook with notes. I carried it with me everywhere for the first week and half. By two weeks I was talking well enough completely on my own.
Lots of pillows – especially for when I was sleeping in the bed. Now that I’m in the recliner, I still use two pillows at night to help keep my head where it needs to be.
Baby monitor system- During recovery I am sleeping in the basement apartment. It has just worked out better this way for different reasons. We got a monitoring system where I play the part of the baby and my husband has two units for when he is upstairs. He is able to hear instantly if I call out or had trouble with anything, and can talk back to me as well. It has proved very helpful especially during the early weeks.
Folding mirror – helpful for learning to eat all over again. Used it from day 1 and am back to using it again with a fork. Also helpful for remember what you look like again.
Kleenex – I have gone through a small mountain of tissue boxes. I keep a box in every room and in the car.
Qtips – also went through loads of these, especially at first. For the nose.
Chapstick – I go through chapstick like crazy, even these days. Banded, it’s impossible to keep your lips moist. Even now, they barely touch, and I still have to slather on chapstick regularly.
Loose comfy clothing – clothes that were easy to pull on and off (no tight necks or shoelaces for me!)
Mindless entertainment to pass the time – I have to say, I was not up to reading much at first. It was hard to concentrate much, and sometimes the swelling near the eyes would make them hurt. I had other projects that I could have fiddled with as well, but didn’t have the energy. I ended up watching a lot of movies, etc. and later after I could handle it, lots of food shows.
Nice notes from people – Yes it’s encouraging to hear from your friends and family even/especially when you can’t talk to them! It’s so nice to get texts, messages, get well cards etc. Keep this in mind when you know people going through a recovery process. I appreciated so many people’s thoughtfulness and knowing people were thinking of me and praying for me.