Sunday, August 14, 2011

This is what I'm up against...

I'm sitting in Denver at the airport right now.  We have two hours until our flight and my stomach is in knots.  We left the kids this morning with our best friends and it was literally all I could do not to cry in front of them as I squeezed them one last time.  I gave them their photo books that I made for each of them, we prayed over them, and reminded them one more time that we would all be o.k.

Emerson had the roughest time.  The tears came on and off from the time she got up until the time we had to leave.  It was heart wrenching every time she said she wished we didn't have to go - or that she could go with us.  By the time we left, however, she seemed to be feeling better.

Saying goodbye to my kiddos with what seems to be an unknown future was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  I won't see them for two and a half weeks, and when I do see them, I won't be recognizable.  It'll be hard for me to talk to them.  Let it suffice that it is absolutely scary and overwhelming.

Please pray for my kiddos and I as we are apart.  I know they'll be o.k., but I know we will miss each other terribly in the meantime.  I pray that they recognize me when I get home and aren't afraid of me.  I don't know how well I'd deal with that.

Last night I was able to talk with an old professor of mine.  I found out just last week that she had the same surgery that I am about to have and with the same surgeons.  

She was very real with me.

She said the first week was the most horrible and depressing time of her life.  Not only did her tongue not recognize what it was feeling in her mouth, she didn't know how to swallow - not with her new face and throat -, her lips and face were swollen, and literally could not hold a cup to her mouth because her lips were in a different place.  Even when she was willing to try to drink water, she had to watch herself do it in the mirror in order to get it in the right place.  She explained that it was terrifying.  She lost 15 lbs the first week alone.  

I won't be able to eat anything but blended foods for 16 weeks.  And even then it will be very limited for several more weeks.  My mouth will be banded (not wired - thanking God for this) shut for nine weeks. 

I'll have to sleep only on my back for at least 8 weeks.

I'll have to re-learn and re-teach my muscles how to talk with this new mouth.  I won't be able to talk for a while.

That big gummy smile of mine - gone - at least all the gums.  They are literally removing all the bone and tissue to remove all of that extra space to make room for my jaw - so my upper teeth will better fit my upper teeth when I bite -, which they are purposefully breaking and re-screwing in a different place in order to make more room for my airways and place it in a healthier place where I will avoid more bone degeneration and protect the remaining ligament left.  

They will also be doing sinus surgery at the same time.  They will clear my airways with a warning that my sinuses could then be swollen for up to a year.  

It'll be at least a year before my braces will be able to be removed because they will need them to aid in the healing of my jaw during that entire time.

Surgery is Wednesday at 1:15.  Can I just ask for prayers?  I go back and forth between feeling so anxious I feel sick to feeling peaceful about it.  Pray for that first week, I've heard it's the hardest.  And again, please pray for my kids.  For the time away and the big milestones that are happening without mommy and daddy.  

Thank you so much!  I plan to update - or Jon will- as I recover and recuperate.  Matter of fact, I'll post some before pictures within the next few days before surgery.  I'm looking forward to one day looking at those pictures and knowing that it was the right decision - with no more headaches or discomfort.  


Rebecca Watson said...

praying for you and your family :)

Linda Hornaman said...

At first all I could say when I read your blog was "Wow!" My next thought was how wonderful it is that you can share your heart and your fears so openly with your friends. I will be praying for you and for Jon and the kids as you go through this. May God hold you close every step of the way and give you all the strength you need.

AshleyTeeter said...

Sandra, I plan on praying for you for most of my eight hour plane ride on Tuesday/Wednesday. My heart is with you.


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