Hard to believe I am now typing that I am six weeks post surgery! It has been a long six weeks. The last few days I have been feeling pretty good about improvements, then woke up with more swelling than I’ve had in over a week. So yep, trudging along with recovery.
I read so much in preparation for this. So many things have been just like I read in many other people’s experiences. Yet you do not know what it is like until you go through it. For example, I heard you won’t be able to open your mouth much after surgery. But I didn’t know how that would feel, stretching my mouth past the pain point multiple times a day. What it would be like to crumble my food up, shove it in on the ends of my fork and hope the whole bite makes it in. What it’s like to try chewing but it does absolutely no good. I didn’t know if it would take days or weeks to get full range back.
So, the good things about being at 6 weeks:
The swelling is going down enough that I start to think I may be close to how I’m supposed to look. It’s down enough I can smile without pain, just pressure. Down enough that I can use a straw a little better, drink from a cup a little better, and form my words a little easier. I can sing again. I can lean over up to 90 degrees, for just a few seconds longer.
The further I stretch my mouth, the easier it is to eat! 🙂 I stretch before meals and brushing and those tasks are easier. Sunday I sat down and had dinner with my husband, same food as him for the first time since surgery. I am trying to practice chewing occasionally, though it doesn’t do that much good yet. But thought I’d better at least keep trying.
My lower jaw is behaving and staying where it needs to be now. While I am still conscious about it some of the time, for the most part is is good and nestles right where it should be. All the work to make it learn its new native spot on my face is paying off. It’s still some strain, but better than before.
The strange feeling in my head/ears after I got debanded was gone after about 5 days. The doctor said that may have been from swelling in the eustachian tubes that has now gone down.
Somewhere along the way I can now fall asleep without background noise or light. The first weeks, no matter how tired I was, I could not fall asleep without music or the TV in the background to lull me off. It’s just in the last week I can turn the TV off and sleep in the dark and quiet all night.
My numbness is receding. It’s happening so gradually I have just recently noticed this. Looking at the picture here, the numb area is barely the triangle that is formed by my cheek lines and upper lip. Even that is starting to fade a little. (Inside my mouth my gums are still completely numb, however.)
A couple weird things:
My my jaw hurts mostly on one side when I stretch it. The tightness seems very lopsided to me but the doctor said this was normal.
That my teeth hurt like I’ve had a big ortho adjustment. This apparently is from the bands that I wear overnight. Another reason I wouldn’t be able to chew right now.
And….I actually tried pepperoni. It was a no-go even cut up tiny. Ah well, I’ll keep on with the soft foods for a while.