It’s hard to believe it’s almost Christmas! Where have the last two weeks gone?! Ha…
Today I am fresh back from my first follow-up appointment. I know, it’s Day 13! The doctor and nurse were not too happy with the appt. people putting my first visit out that far. But it’s all well. The doctor was very pleased with my progress, saying I’m further along than a lot of people are, with decreased swelling and congestion already.
He replaced two of my bands and I could feel the tightening immediately.My jaw has been sore since. oh well. It’s like clenching your jaw tightly for a few minutes over a tense situation, before you realize what you’re doing. When you do realize, you relax and maybe rub your jaw. Well there’s no relaxing. The tenseness stays. The other areas it hurts is at the bottom jaw where the bone was cut (near the ears) and is now growing back together. It’s tender to the touch and just aches sometimes. My upper lip hurts frequently, especially after anytime I use it or rub it. It sort of burns. And then there’s the whole frontal face; the swelling causes constant pressure. It’s tight, like a mask has been poured onto my face then frozen in place. Or maybe like I got hit with a baseball bat. A little like I’ve forgotten to wear my retainer for a week, and then jammed it in and left it overnight. I have gotten used to the pressure, and try to ignore for the most part. It’s still a relief though to feel it easing up even slightly over the week.
Anyway I had a whole list of questions for the doctor. Here are some of them:
- How long will my stitches last? They will start coming out on their own after a week. I have seen this starting and glad to see it was normal.
- Do I have to still sleep with my head elevated? Not much unless you feel it helps with the swelling. I will keep it somewhat elevated because my swelling still increases overnight every night (then goes back down).
- Can I turn my head to the side when I sleep, or do I have to stay on my back? Best stay flat on your back. Your jaws are not healed yet, and too much pressure could make the bottom bones pop out of place. Yikes, I will definitely keep trying to keep my head straight all night. It is hard; before the night is through I am always stiff and wishing for another position badly. I don’t sleep well in the early morning hours.
- Can I try using a straw now? Yes, no problem. That should open up eating possibilities.
- Can I drive, and are airbags a problem? No problem driving. Airbags will bruise you but not put your face out. Apparently since my jaw is reinforced with titanium, it’s stronger than ever.
- How long will my splint stay in? The whole time you’re banded (4 weeks). Oh well. The liquid diet continues.
- Can I blow my nose yet? Nope! just thought I’d ask…
They took x-rays and put up the before and after side by side so I could see them. I have 18 screws in my top jaw. That’s nuts.
I missed lunch (how would I pack a lunch for the car right now??) and didn’t get to eat until 4:30. My stomach growled the whole time. But hey, my stomach growls if I am awake more than 15 minutes at any time of the night! I have to ignore it sometimes. We would have gotten home sooner if it weren’t for interstate snarl/accidents/craziness. Afterwards I had a lovely visit from my friend Heather. She and my husband have both made me laugh a lot today; I may regret this later. Laughing really hurts the sore part of my face. But it’s hard to turn serious at will.
So here are a couple of progress pics today. The lighting’s not the best; the camera card reader on my computer quit working. So these pics are with the webcam on the computer.