Early recovery was not a barrel load of laughs.
Actually I couldn’t laugh at all, or open my mouth more than 5mm (that’s just about enough to wedge in a thin rice cake and then suck on it as I couldn’t chew, certainly a very low point in my existence, as rice cakes are one of the party pooper foods of all time!).
I didn’t sleep more than 45 minutes at a time only partly due to keeping upright wedged on the sofa with my neck pillow keeping me in check, but also in part due to my poor choice recovery buddy. It all felt very ‘new mum’ when sleeping for 3 hours straight becomes a cause for celebration.
However, my best friend had warned me to expect the worst 7 days of my life, so after day 4 (which was my worst) when I began to feel better I also began to sleep 4 hours at a time, stopped needing the Tramadol at night and dropped to Paracetamol every 5-6 hours, swearing I’d start a liver cleanse as soon as I could.
Usually ice in my household is reserved for G’n’Ts but throughout the week I pretty much had my ice bag (blue ball bag as it became nicknamed) constantly on one part of my face or another taking away the swelling. I actually dozed off against it at some point on night 3, it leaked and I remember waking up in a wet patch. Just try sorting that out with a banging headache!
? Side note; Stock up on ice (I thought I had, but I was getting through it faster than it would freeze, so I also used cold water from the fridge at times), maybe even get 3 gel packs that you can pop in the freezer and use in rotation?
I also kept the heating off to keep my temperature low and slept wedged up on the sofa, embracing the sloth as my recovery spirit animal. Netflix was playing a whole host of random war films at all time of day and night (thanks to my recovery buddy who refused to leave my side yet spent most of the time snoring, belching and farting on the other sofa) so I drifted in and out of consciousness, in part because I wanted to avoid yet another lecture from them on how I didn’t need surgery, how I mustn’t have anything else done, and how I’m already like Joan Rivers etc or ‘How this country is blah, blah, blah…’. Well I did think about telling them a few offensive jokes in the hopes they’d leave the venue, in addition to suggestion that they yet again “Go forth fornicate and become moribund”, … …but they wanted to look after me even though it felt far more the other way round as I cleaned up after they left. As I said before, pick your recovery buddy carefully!
? Another side note; don’t try watching comedies, it hurts to laugh, the same goes for tragedies and crying! I found catching up on ‘House’ reassuring. All those Doctors while I was there in a face bra and stitches…!
? Yet another side note; if you have swollen so much your face bra is rubbing or chaffing your ears (like mine did) use cotton pads to protect your ears or you’ll have even more scabs to worry about. Also, make sure that you use a clean towel every time you wash and dry your head for the first week. I used cleaning wipes on my face and neck day 1-3 and had a full shower and hair wash day 4.
Food was more fuel than fancy. I don’t think I managed anything more than scrambled eggs day 1 and 2 and later in the week a lentil, chicken and leek concoction strongly resembling lukewarm baby food. People, I can’t stress enough the importance of advance culinary preparation, make sure you have pre-cooked your meals to take you through the first 4 days because I for one did not feel like doing anything, then they feel like a Godsend as it takes thinking out of the equation. Also. soup is hard to handle with a face bra on. Just go for homemade baby food and protein shakes, keep it heavy on the protein, your body needs it for repair!
As mentioned by others, Dominic is there at the end of the phone/email when you need him and he checks in on you through your recovery. I’m generally low maintenance, but one evening I did suddenly swell and go BRIGHT red. “Is THIS normal?” is probably the most common text he receives... …”Ice and elevation” are probably the most common answers!
My bruising came out and I began to look more and more like a sad panda, or Sharon Osbourne, either post op, or post fight with Ozzie. It pretty much felt the same!
Day 4 my sister paid a (literally) flying visit, bringing me food, paracetamol and love (oh and laundry). She also confirmed that I was looking like a young Joan Rivers (but that had also been said pre-op too), and my friend sent me lovely inspirational messages. It helps!
By day 5 and 6 I awoke only once in the night for paracetamol and none or once in the day. Before I knew it day 7 came around and I had to go and face the world…
…now if anyone a while back told me that I’d meet a man who would drug me, make me strip to my underwear, stick sharp object in me while strangers watched, leave bleeding and bruised, give me more drugs, ask me to put lube in odd places, then insist on seeing me again and that I’d not only comply but willing do so in addition to parting with a large sum of money for the privilege, I’d tell them that they were chuffing mad! Yet along to Harley St I was going to trot… (doesn’t that show how important context is?).
I gave myself ample time (so I thought) to get ready only to discover my lycogel concealer had been appropriated… …oh bugger! A mad rush to conceal my bruises (before I discovered good the GOSH powder really was) and I was out the door to Harley St taking on my friend’s advice ‘If you don’t want people to look at your face wear a low cut top!”. Honestly, it works! Had I just been going to see Dominic and back I’d not have worried, but I was out to the Chanel exhibition and tea afterwards, so I needed to employ adequate distraction techniques.
Dominic was impressed with my healing (and my ample cleavage, but being a professional wasn’t distracted by it in the field of duty. Good man!). The first of my stitches came out and he confirmed no more putting lube in odd places and no more day time face bra. He also blasted my/his ‘hickeys’ (my bruises) with his laser (a.k.a his Ferrari) and took more (god awful) photos.
Then it was out to face the world, feeling rather stiff-faced but doing my best to be fabulous in Chelsea (darling)!
? Oh, last side note; once your face bra comes off it feels like your face is still being held all the time!