Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ice Packs and Your Face

I'm sure you've already seen the photographs somewhere: someone laying in bed post-sugery, their head wrapped in ace bandages and ice packs, looking not unlike a 19th century illustration for a child with the mumps, knot on the top of the head and everything. And let me be the first to reassure you that the ice actually does help. It knocks down the swelling, and definitely provides some tactile soothing to your mightily abused jaw line.

But the whole sock-full-of-crushed-ice is not without its issues. For starters, its heavy. You are probably gonna be tired, and having this awkward weight balanced off of the top of your head can be uncomfortable, not to mention might make watching crappy tv in the hospital a bit of a challenge. And hopefully you'll have a thoughtful and attentive nurse who will try to make the ice pieces as small as possible in the hospital, but the truth is you're still going to have chunks poking you on your tender face, no matter how careful you are.

Stick with the ice! You'll be glad you did! And when they send you home with that sock to fill with ice packs, take it! But do a little legwork beforehand and invest in some of those refreezeable blue gel packs. You'll be happy you did. 1) You won't wake up one morning with the front of your Bugs Bunny pajamas soaked from the slow leak of the ice bags, 2) they're flexible and will conform to your face nicely, and more importantly, 3) there's no ice cubes to jab you while you are trying to sleep/heal. Also, there are some brands out there that come with there own ace-bandage-with-a-pocket-for-the-pack-and-velcro-too; I put two of these together to get a pack for each side of my face and was able to velcro them nice and snug in place, as opposed to the knot from the sock.

You may drop about $20 on ice packs, but it'll make you more likely to use them, and really, who doesn't occasionally need an ice pack now and then? Do it. You know you want to.

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