Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 16

I saw my surgeon yesterday and everything looks good. He clipped some stitches on the inside of my upper lip and HOLY HELL it HURT! Dr. G was surprised that I have that much feeling already and I was surprised to be in so much pain that I was in tears.

My range of motion is 37mm which is a bit of a bummer to me - I've been working really hard to increase this since my visit a week ago and only increased it by 3 mm. Guess that explains why the headaches haven't gone away yet. The acupuncture has helped a lot and they're not as severe as they were, but they are still hanging around. They seem to get worse the more talking I do, which might be a problem next week when I go back to work. I have a few more acupuncture appointments scheduled and will continue to stretch my lower jaw muscles - determination and diligence has to count for something, right?

My eating options have greatly improved now that I can eat soft things. I'm not allowed to chew, but it's amazing how many things can be smashed up with a fork and swallowed without chewing. Pasta, chili, burritos, eggplant parmesan, pancakes, eggs, french toast, PB&J sandwiches, Chinese food, Thai food..............even rare steak. Really! Hubby took me out last weekend and I shared his rare ribeye and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was that good. Add in some soup, a baked potato, a sweet potato and some bread and butter, and I didn't miss out on anything. I am really looking forward to the day that I can chew again, but until then, I'm good. I was really worried about my eating options during recovery and am happy to cross that worry off my list.

Swelling continues to come and go, mostly at random. I started taking a homeopathic remedy to help my bones to heal faster (Symphytum officinal) and within 30 minutes of taking it, my face swells up. I take this as a sign that it's working, since some inflammation is needed during the healing process. I will be really happy when the bones on the right side of my upper jaw stop clicking. Even though my surgeon says it's normal, it freaks me out.

As my face thaws out, I can show a lot more expression. I can almost smile normally now. When I get past the scary metal and plastic, I can't believe how much wider my smile is now.

The left side of my face seems to move normally but the right side is lagging a little because it's still numb. I can laugh without pain most of the time, which is a welcome relief.

Just for fun, check it out - my top teeth overlap my bottom teeth! The plastic you see covering my top teeth is the splint that I will wear for another month or so - it's acting as a cast to hold the segments of my upper jaw in place until the bone heals.


  1. I can definitely tell a change in your swelling! You are looking great! I was looking at your before surgery photo's and I agree that your smile is much wider now. It also seems like your teeth are more spread out too if that makes sense (I guess because you had the 4 piece leforte). Good to know you can eat normal food too!

    How long is your time away from work? 2 weeks? Do you think you have had enough time?

  2. you look great BaliGirl! The swelling is really coming down nicely! Your bite looks nice too! I still can't see mine all that well with this darn splint but it comes out in two weeks. You asked about acupuncture - I ended up not doing it at my dr.'s recommendation. Instead, I will consider physical therapy if I feel my muscle tension doesn't ease up in a couple of months. The nerves are slowly coming back to life so I think I just need to give it some time.

  3. Steak?? I'm so jealous! Feels like I haven't had steak in years! Had a hamburger today, had to eat it with a knife and a fork, but was absolutely delicious. Also ate meatloaf with chopsticks early on.

    Its funny you mention the fluctuation of your swelling. My swelling seems worse now (6 wks post op) than at 2 weeks. I attribute it to having my jaws unwired... the movement of my jaw must make me swell more. Lookin' good, keep posting!

  4. Nikki, thanks so much! I took 2.5 weeks off work, and if not for these stupid headaches, I could have gone back sooner (although truth be told, I would love another week or two off). I thought my energy level was back to normal but it's not - I found that out on Monday after a full day of work - so I scaled back to 6 hours per day and that's working well so far.

    Braced Blogger, thanks to you as well! It's so hard to see past the splint - I can't wait to get mine out more to actually see my teeth and bite than because it's a nuisance. Just curious why your doctor didn't recommend acupuncture - I hope it doesn't cause any complications in healing. How's the muscle relaxer working out for you? I'm just wondering if a muscle relaxer could help relieve the tension causing my headaches. They've gotten worse since I started back to work this week. Ugh.

    Hoseajaw, good to hear from you! I had to chop up the steak into tiny little pieces and swallow them whole, but it was SO GOOD! It was easier to eat than a hamburger, if you can believe it (probably because it was cooked rare and very tender). Steak is one of my favorite foods and the soft food diet was going so well, I figured I could manage a small amount of steak. My husband was a little worried that my steak craving would spell disaster at the restaurant, but it worked out perfectly. I ate more baked potato (regular and sweet) than anything else because it was easier to eat, but I also fulfilled my steak craving. It's amazing how normal I felt eating one of my favorite foods - I really thought it would be months before I'd be able to eat a steak.

    The whole swelling thing perplexes me. I feel a little better knowing I'm not the only one out there with random swelling. I hope yours goes down soon. I notice that I get some feeling back in my upper lip and cheeks when the swelling goes down - have you noticed this as well?

  5. You're looking good, sweetie! I can recommend an excellent muscle relaxer if you opt to give it a try. It's Xanaflex and I take 4mg. It's extremely short-acting which is nice for wears off after about 3 hours. It does caused marked drowsiness however. Like in a debilitating way. Then again, I love naps!