My First Surgery Experience & Tips for Recovering

I'm just going to say it, I don’t do well with physical pain. At all. But I always knew the day was going to come. It had been a long time coming actually, to the point that it had become an everyday burden for me.

So when I was finally told I needed surgery on my gums, (yes, gums, I didn’t even know that was a thing), it was actually a relief. That was until I came out of surgery with a mouthful of stitches from top to bottom and a new gum-line, that was literally hanging on by a thread. It was the day after Halloween, but man I really did look the part. I even scared myself.

The procedure I had done, (under just a local anesthetic may I add!), is basically a gum graft - I believe the medical term is, gingival graft. Side note: if you’re going to Google that, just beware - it ain’t pretty. Whilst I’m grateful it wasn't a more serious health issue, at worst I could have lost a tooth over time, it still hasn't been easy.

Trust in yourself, time and the healing process

It’s that one scary word that fills us control freaks with nothing but fear, anxiety and uncertainty. It’s that reminder that you can’t control everything. Post-op life was just like going through puberty all over again – you feel so awkward and unsure of yourself. With a mouth full of stitches, I didn't exactly look or sound like my usual self. But having to cut your food into itty, little pieces like a child, now that was really awkward. With a list of strict do’s and dont’s, most being the latter, yet your body is telling you otherwise, that self-doubt can rear its ugly head.

So lets just say it’s been as much a mental challenge, as it has physically. But I’ve learned to trust the process. If you can learn to tune out the fear and tune into your gut feeling a little more, everything will turn out okay. Your body just needs time to heal, so let nature run its course.

Change up your daily routine, even just a little

Eat. Sleep. Repeat. That was basically my entire life at the time. Whilst that may sound like fun, it’s really not. With a soft food diet, food becomes exactly that - repetitive. Dull. Boring. Bland. To start with, it felt like death by scrambled egg and smashed avocado. I must admit that eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner wasn’t my finest moment! My cravings were so bad too – I could have devoured a burger or two for sure!

So I switched things up to avoid getting the munchies and stay away from that dreaded boredom. My go-to was smoothies; just chuck anything into the blender and you are good to go, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner. I also loved smoked salmon with scrambled egg, and it may sound really basic, but mashed sweet potato and tuna can’t go forgotten either.

Get that much needed beauty sleep

So just take the day off? Or better yet, the entire week? Wait a minute, it’s a lot easier said than done. Especially for those of us who are self-employed and work from home - a day’s work is never done!

I’m naturally a busybody, so it was hard at first for me to accept defeat and carry myself up to bed for some much needed rest. I don’t know how I got my stubborn-ass to listen for once, but I totally blame the doctor’s orders for my (almost) lunchtime lie-ins.

Aside from the long overdue beauty sleep, don't disregard how much better you will feel after a lovely, hot shower (if you can), a spritz of your fave perfume or relaxing with a hydrating face mask. It's these little things that make such a difference, giving you that much needed pick-me-up. It's also the perfect opportunity for a marathon YouTube sub-box catch up and I (finally!) binge-watched the first season of Ozark – loved it. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, I got my blog-post-writing groove back again! Result. Just enjoy the break whilst it lasts, and remind yourself on a daily basis that time really is a healer.