Thursday, May 28, 2009

inquiring minds want to know...

I just had a freak-out moment when I realized that no, jaw surgery is NOT a million light years away anymore. And yes, it really is happening... in 33 days. And wait, I should start thinking about all of that STUFF that jaw surgery patients can't live with out. Because really, when you think about ordering after payday on the 1st of the month and waiting for things to come in the mail (and my UPS and USPS guys refuse to leave stuff on my porch, telling me to come pick it up during business hours - which are 8am to 3pm, when I work 7am to 3:05pm... I've been working on getting a package of music games for 2 weeks now... And since Nick is no longer here to pick stuff up for me I'm a bit outta luck)...

(Did I just rant about my mailmen on my tooth blog? I really have lost my mind. Back to the regular scheduled programming...)

All of you lucky patients on the dubious other side (and anyone else who has an opinion). Answer me these:

1) Zip and Squeeze Bags: Worth it? Not worth it?
2) ZnS Cool Jaw Wrap: Worth it? Not worth it?
3) What are products that I should think about buying NOW (other than a recliner, I'm working on that this weekend)?
4) Do I need a recliner? I am looking into both purchasing one and also possibly leasing one.

I think that's it... for now. In a few weeks, expect another post titled "inquiring minds part II" about questions for the surgeon and foods and other STUFF that I can get at the grocery store. Maybe it's a good thing all of my buddies are beating me to the operating table ;)

Love you guys!


Ananda Devika said...

I don't have a recliner - we just moved our DVR into the bedroom and I grabbed every pillow that we owe and propped myself up. :) Much simpler!

For eating, I just used a couple of syringes and then a sippy cup (which was less helpful than I thought)...

Anyway, my two cents. One thing I would have like was a second blender - it wasn't fun washing it by hand every meal because the dishwasher wasn't quite full enough for a load... :)

I'm so excited for you! I can't wait either! ;)

sjp said...

Ooo! I love responding to surveys =)

1) ZnS Bags: Just buy a couple. You don't need the super valu-pack or whatever. I think I have 4 bags. I wasn't able to use them for drinking right after my surgery, it seems like they delivered more liquid into my mouth than I could swallow! The syringes that the hospital gave me worked better for that first week. But now that I'm less swollen, I've been able to use them for liquids and yogurt and stuff. From Day 1 post-op, they have been useful for rinsing my mouth after drinking something thick or rinsing the toothpaste out of my mouth after brushing. I rinse a lot, and keep a ZnS bag in my bathroom full of water at all times!

2) Cool Jaw Wrap: YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THIS!!! It comes with two sets of ice packs so you can always have cold ones chilling in the freezer. Definitely better than the ice packs that the hospital had for me. I strongly recommend this product!

3) Other products (besides food): I purchased a bulb syringe (found in the baby section of any store) to help clear my nose after surgery-- blowing your nose is off limits for 2 weeks post-op! Surprisingly, it actually helped a lot. There's only so far you can jam a tissue up your nostril, and the bulb syringe was able to suck out the snot! Sounds so gross, but it helped me breathe so I recommend getting one of those. Also nose spray helped! I also recommend Aquaphor (a lotion product made by Eucerin) and apply this to your lips every day all day long! My lips were super-stretched out and this stuff brought them back to life in a few days. Miracle product. If you don't have a small hand-held mirror and a flashlight, I would get these things! You will be curious about your stitches, splint, swelling, etc. so keeping these on hand will help! Don't forget to take everything home fro the hospital-- little puke buckets, any medicines they give you (I took home my nose spray). Every time I drank anything for the first few days, I leaked liquid all down the front of my so I had a helper hold one of those little plastic basins from the hospital under my chin to catch extra liquid, worked so well! Wet-wipes/baby wipes/Kleenex moist wipes were also helpful for wiping up drool. I also picked up some baby washcloths (they are super-soft) and used those to exfoliate my lips as they were peeling. worked like a charm without tearing my lips off!

4) I don't think a recliner is necessary. I purchased one and have been living in it for almost 2 weeks now. But I think a wedge pillow for your bed would certainly do the trick (also it is cheaper!). If you aren't in the market for new furniture, don't buy one. If you can find a wedge pillow and think that will be comfortable for you, don't lease a recliner either.

Sorry so long, just wanted to give you lots of info! Hope it helps! I'm getting so excited for you!!!

funkyrhodes said...

Hey Steph,

There is seriously cool! I'm really happy your day is coming soon. I know I'm not the other side, but have you thought about bed wedges? I bought a couple for $60 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They work really well (plus a few extra pillows, of course).

Aimee said...

Hi Steph,

I bought two zip-n-squeeze bags and didn't use them because my surgeon said I should be drinking out of a cup. Apparently it works the muscles so he encouraged me from day one to use a cup.

I bought two ZNS cool jaw wraps and used the heck out of them for two weeks straight. I had them on my face pretty much 24 hours a day. The coldness feels so good on a swollen, sore face.

I slept in bed with 3 or 4 pillows propped up and that worked just fine. I had no problems with it. My back got a little sore but I think that would happen anywhere you are sleeping in an upright position.

I would recommend the Aquaphor for your lips for sure. I would also recommend Afrin for the nose congestion.

I'm surprised at how many people didn't purchase a water pic...I would highly recommend one.


sjp's dad said...

Hi Steph,
Amiee mentioned using a water pic. I would advise you to discuss this with your surgeon. You don't want to tear anything loose in there, and when the surgeon tells you that you can use it, you'll have to go gentle at first. They may tell you not to use it the first couple weeks. Also, discuss with your anesthesiologist the idea of a nausea patch before, during, and after your surgery. This will help reduce the urge to throw up. I'm the father of sjp who had her surgery on May 18th and this helped her. On the other hand, when she was discharged from the hospital the following day, we had way too many hours in between the time she had her last pain meds in the hospital and the time it took to get her home and get her prescriptions filled and to her. She was overdo for the pain meds and was hurting bad. It took 3 hours to leave the hospital from the time the Dr. said he would release her and the staff had all the papers ready. Have someone take the prescriptions to the drug store while someone else is taking you home and getting you settled in. You don't want to go without the pain meds any longer than what is prescribed for you. Good luck with your surgery and God bless......sjp's dad

Aimee said...

I also had the nausea patch that you put behind your ear. It worked awesome. He prescribed two for me and I used both (not at the same time). My biggest fear was throwing up after surgery. I was so thankful I didn't get sick.

As for the water pic, I think I started using it around week 2 and I used it on the lowest setting which basically just dribbles water out. I wouldn't go any stronger than that. It was probably equivalent to using a zip n squeeze to clean out your mouth. And then again, I didn't use it anywhere near my stitches, just on my teeth and under my splint. :)

mcgee33 said...

Hey Stephanie... my surgeon told me not to use the zip and squeeze bags (I don't know why) but I didn't use them. I ate very small amounts right away from a spoon and a cup. I wasn't very hungry but didn't get dependent on the baggies.

I used lots of pillows to keep me upright and slept in my own bed (highly recommend it!!). I had laser resurfacing done 2 years ago and slept upright on the sofa, it wasn't a good sleep at all!

I also used a water pik (lightly as Aimee said) and really liked being able to keep the food out of my teeth.

My stomach hurt a lot and my mom and friend both recommended drinking more water which helped tremendously.

I guess my number one recommendation was the Magic Bullet. It was easy to wash and we used it constantly. We even had to blend soups as anything but the broth got stuck in my throat!

Good luck, as you know, 33 days will go by VERY quickly!!


Aimee said...

My surgeon also recommended the Magic Bullet blender. Apparently it has 4 different blender cups so you don't have to do a lot of cleaning after blending. You just wash out the individual cup.

Rainne said...

Yes, I also recommend a Magic Bullet. It is -much- easier to clean individual cups rather than a whole blender, and you can blend small amounts much more easily.

I rented a recliner after my surgery in October...took some doing before I found a place that would let me rent one for only a month, but it ended up only costing me about $60.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little behind on the survey, but here are my thoughts.
I think the zip and squeeze bags are worth it. I would just buy the combo pack they offer. I think it came with the cool jaw wrap, and 4 of the beverage bags, 4 food bags and a handy little jaw surgery tip book that has lots of good recipes for liquid diets. I used my zip & squeezes a lot my first week. Now I have a lot of the feeling back in my lower lip, so I can drink from a bottle or glass pretty well and I don't use them, but they were worth it for the first week. I'm still using the cool's my new BFF! I haven't used my recliner at all. I've been staying in a hotel since I had to fly down from Alaska, but I mostly just rest in bed and when I'm not resting, I'm up walking around. I would definitly make sure you have a good blender and be sure to have Aquafor on hand. If you haven't heard of it, it's lip balm and it's the bomb!! Hope this helps!! And good luck in your marathon! I'm so jealous! I was training to run the equinox last you and fractured my foot. :( Don't think I'll be recovered in time to run it this year either. :(

nabukay said...

okay i would not even know how to respond to your questions but i am excited for you because of the uphill battle we had to get this far. keep us posted.

Bed wedges said...

definitely. Bed wedges is perfect for that..

shauna said...

found out that zns went out of business. the best way to get cool jaw now is right from their website - it works awesome for tmj, wisdom teeth --

Lynn said...

Just wanted to let you know that Zip n Squeeze bags are now available at Often when you have jaw surgery you can't eat normally or even use a regular straw for a number of weeks. These bags solve that problem and allow you to get the nutrition you need.

DentaKit will also soon be carrying facial ice packs and squeeze bottles. Here is a link to the page, FYI:
Read more at Buzzle: