8 weeks +
So I passed the 8 week mile marker, and with flying colors. My doctor’s visit two days ago went super well. I am not 100% healed. That will take time. But all in all I have passed the bulk of it.
The good news from my visit:
- I can chew, bite, exercise, sleep on my side, whatever I want. He even told me to try biting into an apple, that is until he remembered the orthodontist would not like me to bust a bracket. I am freeeeee! within reason.
- Everything is looking good. Jaw movement is good, teeth are fitting well etc. Doctor is very pleased with my outcome from surgery.
- Next visit not for three months.
What I’m still working on at this stage:
- My back mouth/cheek muscles are still tight. I am to continue my stretches. Up and down and sideways. At night they shrink back and every morning I stretch it back out again.
- Some of my scar lines inside my cheeks are tight. I can work on stretching them.
- The entire upper jaw area is stiff. I was told I can work on stretching those muscles. It can be tricky to stretch my face, but it does help. Because of the stiffness I still have some difficulty with things like blowing or drinking from certain containers.
- I’m not sure I have swelling left – maybe the all the stiffness in my face is from stiff muscles now and not swelling. Either way, I still have some pain there when doing something that causes pressure, like running or carrying something heavy. It is decreasing slowly.
- Chewing is really extremely difficult. I am basically relearning how to eat normal food. I’m not doing too bad at learning to bite with my front teeth. And I can “chew” soft foods. Easy at this point are things like corn, potatoes and pancakes. Hard foods might be string cheese or chicken. I have definitely swallowed many things in chunks, despairing of ever getting it chewed. I find it’s best to cut things up small if I can.
- The triangle area above my lip has partial sensation. I can feel pressure but it’s not normal yet.
Things that are going to take a long time:
- My upper gums are still totally numb. It could take 6 months or longer for feeling to return.
- I still have corners on my jaws where they cut and overlapped them. The doctor said in a year or so, those corners would naturally round down on their own. My left jaw corner is sharper and when I turn a certain way you can see a pointy tip sticking down.
Knowing that I am cleared for normal activities put me in good spirits. However, I am easing back into things and not hurtling full force.
Here is a comparison photo about 8 months apart. The lighting and angle is different, but I think it shows pretty well an overall difference in the way I look. My underbite is gone, my airways are opened up and I am pleased as punch with these results. Now if I could just get used to the way my face looks I might feel normal again.