It Isn’t Easy

2013-10-12 22.05.45

This hasn’t been easy. Handsome had his surgery over a month ago and we are still on the road to recovery.

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This is his most recent picture. Since then he’s started to show a bit more of his strong chin and I’m more than happy to see it coming back.

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This is of course, the before picture.

I’ll admit that sometimes I stare at this picture and wonder when handsome will, “come back to me.” It’s just not easy. A surgery like this changes a lot. It changes because handsome’s face is still broken and will be for another two weeks.

Things You Cannot Do With a Broken Face:

  • Properly Smile
  • Get Tickled
  • Shower with partner (hellooo fall risk 101)
  • Snuggle Properly
  • Chew
  • Ride a Bike
  • Travel

When they do this surgery they have to cut not just the bone but the sinus tissue, the muscles around your jaw, and a long line of skin from molar to molar. This surgery is no small feat. In fact the first few times handsome woke up from anesthesia all he said was, “this is no walk in the park,” and “this is a lot harder than I thought.”

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During these past few weeks I have given handsome a bath because he was too tired to bathe himself. I have been puked on of both blood from his stomach and in reaction to his pain medicine. I have picked his nose to help him clear the mucus and blood. I have made enough smoothies to start my own Jamba Juice. I have wiped his face, gotten ice packs, and held his hand. I slept on the couch for two weeks so I could wake throughout the night to get his pain medicine.

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There is no where else I would have rather been and no one else I wanted to take care of him. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s not difficult in the ways you would guess though. It’s difficult because I miss my partner in life. It’s hard because I’m missing someone very important in my life and the roles that he normally plays.

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For weeks handsome was so far from himself. I had to slip into a role that I have never had to play before. I had to be the optimistic one. I had to tell handsome that everything was going to be okay. The day handsome was released from the hospital we heard that there was a very high chance of needing a second surgery because his upper jaw was not where it should have been. Two days later we learned that this second surgery was the option our doctor wanted to proceed with. It was not good news.

Just as we were starting to find recovery we were back to square one.

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The red mark on handsome’s chest is from the operation table and it lasted for days. The bruise on handsome’s arm from the IV lasted for days. The second surgery was hard because the entire week before handsome hadn’t even hit 500 calories in a day. So he went into the surgery well hydrated, but definitely missing some serious nutrition.

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This picture is well over a week after the second surgery. Calories quickly became our biggest problem and for the first time in my life I became an adamant calorie counter. I needed to know that bananas were a big one, and adding some yogurt could boost that smoothie more than ever imagined.

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Everyone loses weight from this surgery. It’s always gained back once the person starts eating normal again. It’s just a manner of managing daily intake with daily use. If we went for a walk handsome had to have even more to eat at lunch. It’s not easy when you eat three, four things for lunch. An apple sauce, a smoothie, some banana pudding, and some RAW protein from the health food store.

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The hardest part for me though wasn’t taking care of him. The hardest part wasn’t getting up twice in the night for pain medicine. The hardest part wasn’t the gross things that came from his mouth and nose.

The hardest part has been the past week and forward. It’s hard to wonder if this is our new normal. It’s hard to not have my partner in crime. It’s hard when we have gone weeks, days, hours, from our last adventures, from our last active time together. It’s not two ships passing in the night it’s two ships docked near each other and licking it’s own wounds (Too many metaphors there??). While I miss getting kisses good morning and good bye, handsome misses going out in public and doing things together. While I miss finding out what to eat that week that has a good mix of vegetables and tasties while snuggling with hadnsome, handsome misses the time together in the kitchen balancing between little chef and sneaking bites. While I miss being held and touched constantly handsome worries about the bones healing properly and becoming accustomed to his new bite, new face, and new smile.

The hardest part is neither of us are playing our normal roles and we are two steps from normal. Just far enough that sometimes we can lie that this, this is in fact normal. Yet too far to feel comfortable, the small things that move us forward and bind our connection aren’t the same, and sometimes, they aren’t there. So we have to figure out how to make due, and to wait just a few more days, weeks, and months to get back in the swing.

We have exactly 14 days until handsome has some serious equipment taken out of his mouth and he is allowed to chew again. I’m not sure about him but I’m looking forward to losing a bit of that stress of walking around with a broken bone. I’m looking forward to going on an adventure without thinking if we need to bring the blender, or juicer. I’m looking forward to hearing his voice again. I’m looking forward to the realization that this, this time we are living right now, is not the new normal. That our normal is so much better than this. It’s bigger, filled with more love, more adventure, more touching, more attention, more laughter, more.

– Tomato Loves Handsome to the Moon