I was discharged from the hospital today. Yay! As we walked out, Dallas remarked that tomorrow will be the first day in a week that we won’t be spending part or all of the day in a medical facility. That’s a long time for us freedom lovers to be tied down! Also, as much as I loved the attention from the sweet nurses (including my husband), I won’t mind having a break from being assisted to the toilet, poked and prodded at, lacking energy, etc. I’m sure I’ll get to experience plenty of that as I get older, but for now I’d like to continue enjoying my youth!

Yesterday went about as well as it possibly could have. We got yet another early start, caught the bus, and were the first of the last-minute add-ons for surgery to arrive at the hospital. It seemed to have paid off – we only had to wait for about an hour and a half before they took me down to the “transit lounge” to get cleaned and prepped for surgery. Then it was only another couple of hours before I was being sedated. (It could have taken all day!) As they transported me into the operating room, I was a little nervous and pointed out to the Irish anesthesiologist that I was still awake, just in case he didn’t notice! He told me to relax and inhale from a mask used to calm me (the anesthetic was applied through the IV), and less than 30 seconds later, I was in la-la land. I awoke to a different and friendly-faced anesthesiologist asking me about my pain level, which wasn’t too bad (4/10) except for in the throat. (I guess they inserted a tube into my throat to prevent choking on fluids). Then my jaw started to clatter involuntarily, but he quickly pumped me full of more drugs, thus relaxing my jaw and bringing the pain down to a 1/10. Then came the best part – Phillipa, the lovely junior doctor (thank goodness some have a decent bedside manner!), came over and informed me that the surgery had gone very well and that they hadn’t had to use any screws or braces to close my jaw; repairing the break at the bottom of the mandible seemed to be sufficient. Finally, they took me upstairs to the ward where I saw Dallas, grabbed his hand, smiled, and pointed to my face saying “no screws”. 

I spent the night in a room with three other women with various ailments, and by evening, I felt well enough to chat with them and watch Mamma Mia together, each on our separate TVs (you have to pay $7/day to watch them!). It was fun to have the female company, and I was surprised how quickly I was able to recover. Throughout this process, I have been amazed by the body’s healing abilities – each day I am less swollen, more mobile, and more energetic. Today I am raring to go, but my activities will be limited for a while: no alcohol for a week due to antibiotics and no solid food for 3-4 weeks!! Oh well, I will just have to take a page from Dallas’ grandmother’s playbook and start “whizzing it up”. One other thing – my facial lacerations, which the surgeon cleaned up and stitched, can’t be exposed to sunlight for…wait for it…a year! That is going to be a little awkward with our lifestyle, but I’ll just have to get into the habit of applying some super duper sunscreen and wearing a hat on a daily basis. pic

Mmmm, instant soup for dinner…can I go back to the hospital for some real food?

Dallas is just now recovering from spending several days running back and forth from the hospital to the boat, grocery store, hotel, etc. and not getting much sleep in between. He wasn’t permitted to stay in the hospital last night, so he stayed in a dorm-style room at a backpackers lodge full of late-night partiers. Not the best environment for someone who’s sleep deprived and has to get up at 6:00, but he is now in the midst of a long nap here in our comfortable hotel room. We are pleased to be staying in this room for at least two consecutive nights – plenty of time to rejuvenate. I just wish the mini bar wasn’t stocked with so many goodies that I can’t have!

I have a follow up appointment with the maxillofacial surgeon on Tuesday, and the next flight to Christmas Island after that is on Thursday, so we will be a bit behind schedule but back on the water soon enough. Thanks so much to friends and family for their well wishes and notes of support! It means a lot!