Getting over an underbite

blogging my way through double jaw surgery

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.

Image

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6 thoughts on “8 weeks +

  1. Deb Flynn on said:

    Lois you look fantastic. What does your husband think of your new face? My partner is still a bit sceptical about me going ahead but is gradually coming around. Good to hear you are continuing to make progress. I hope you eventually get all feeling and movement back. Have you tried massaging your face? That might help to loosen up stiff muscles. Now that I’ve decided to go ahead, I’m jumping in with both feet. Wisdom teeth are coming out on 7 March and braces are being fitted on 1 April. My health fund has confirmed it will cover all hospital fees for the jaw surgery and our Medicare system will cover part of the surgeons’ fees. There is always a gap to be paid. The orthodontics of course are not covered so that is a big expense to be paid out. The scary things are making a commitment to such a long term thing and not being able to change your mind part way through and not really knowing how it’s all going to turn out!

  2. Hey Deb that is fantastic! Will you be blogging about your experience at all? That is moving right along; March will be here soon! Like me the orthodontics were the biggest chunk of the expenses. It’s true you make that decision early on then there’s no turning back after that.
    My husband said that when I first came out of surgery, I looked like a completely different person. He has gotten used to the new me though. He was very supportive through the whole thing; he said if that’s what I wanted to have done, he would support me in it. I was nervous about it too; after all he married me looking one way and then I go and change it on him! 🙂
    Now that I’ve passed the two month mark, I’m starting to feel more normal again. With my energy back and pain and swelling gone, it’s a world of difference. I have not regretted the decision to do this, though there were some rough times through there, both before and after surgery.

  3. Deb Flynn on said:

    Hey Lois, not sure yet if I will blog. If I do I’ll probably wait till I get further down the track. Will you keep updating for a while? It would be good to hear how you go once the braces are off. I think my partner is mainly worried about any possible complications after surgery. It does all sound a bit scary I guess. Hopefully he’ll get used to the idea as time goes on. It’s going to be really weird having braces. I never had them as a child so it will be a totally new experience.

  4. I do plan on updating the blog occasionally as things change, probably do a one year update too. It’s just now things don’t change as rapidly as they once did. It’s been fun doing this blog. If you do one eventually you’ll have to let me know.
    There are always risks with it all, unfortunately. I was encouraged before starting that 99% of the bloggers I found out there telling there stories did not regret having the surgery at all.

  5. You have a great blog here!Please keep updating us ! Sharing experiences is so helpful and gives lots of value . Thanks!

  6. Thanks Dani, that is encouraging to hear that the blog can be helpful. I’ll try to update occasionally as things change.

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