Last week, I had mouth surgery for the 2ndtime in 11 months. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with healthy gums and I had to have my 2ndgum graft. What’s a gum graft, you ask? In short, they cut the roof of my mouth open to take out tissue, and then stitch that tissue on my receding gums along my bottom teeth. That leaves a big, huge incision with large stitches on the roof of my mouth, and small stitches all along the bottom gum line of my mouth. After a gum graft, you can’t eat any solid foods, no drinking straws, and no working out for at least a week.
When I had this same surgery last year, I didn’t do it well. After a few days, I got tired of smoothies and started eating macaroni and cheese and even some BBQ, which really irritated my mouth. This also led to my blood sugar being ALL over the place and I wasn’t getting any activity in. I was sleeping poorly and extremely irritable all day, every day, for a solid week. That’s a long time to be angry at the world for no reason and my poor husband…he got the brunt of it. Add on top of that a lot of pain and discomfort and well…long story, short: it was miserable all the way around. I decided this time was going to be different. I had recently read the book, Body Love, by Kelly LeVeque and learned all about blood sugar balance with Fab 4 smoothies, and I figured what better time to try out all her smoothie recipes since I can’t eat solid food for a week. I truly believe this made the difference in my recovery. I actually didn’t get bored with my smoothies because there was such a variety and they made me feel so good! Fab 4 smoothies, along with some other things that I’ll share below, made my recovery SO much smoother. The pain was manageable. I never got too cranky ;), I healed quickly, and bounced back with minimal effort. Read below to find out exactly what I did.
- Nutrition was KEY! As I mentioned before, I followed the Fab 4 smoothie recipes from Body Love. Kelly, the author, claimed that her Fab 4 smoothies will keep you full for 4-6 hours and the claims are true! I basically had 2 smoothies a day during the week I was recovering, and I rarely even though about food (I was literally dreaming of food during my recovery last year!) In addition to being perfectly balanced, these smoothies are also delicious! I indulged in smoothies like, Avocado Vanilla Lemon (my personal fave of all the ones I tried,) Strawberry Shortcake (a close runner-up! Literally tastes exactly like strawberry shortcake!) Chunky Monkey, Blueberry Muffin, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Blueberry Coconut Crème. I mean, delicious, right?? Since there was a serving of protein in each of these smoothies and I added in a single scoop of collagen, this really helped to speed the healing process.
- Hydration is so important! It’s true what they say, stay hydrated! I definitely noticed the more water I consumed, the better I felt. It helped relax and ease the pain and just made me feel a little more human.
- REST! Give yourself permission to relax, rest, and sleep as much as possible. I had taken the whole week off work, and I was an absolute bum the entire, but I listened to my body. If I felt like getting up and doing something, I did. If I wanted to get in bed and take a nap, I did it. Your body is smart and knows what it needs. Listen to what it’s telling you!
- Move! Even though my doctor told me no exercise, towards the end of the week, my body was really craving it. On Friday, I did some arm work using 3 lb. weights in our spare bedroom. On Saturday, I used my Tone It Up app to find a quickie ab workout. I made sure to never let my heart rate go too high, and if something felt too difficult, I wouldn’t do it. This is the one time you don’t want to push yourself in a workout. However, listening to my body and moving it some really helped me feel so much better and completely lifted my spirits!
I think by following these 4 simple things made for a relatively easy post-op week and an overall speedy recovery! Nine days later, I still have some stitches in my mouth, but I’m already up and running back at full speed again. I’m so incredibly grateful for my health, and I hope I never take it for granted.