One month of jaw surgery recovery down! It feels good to say I have the first month behind me. I'm now a third of the way through the recovery process, as its supposed to take about 90 days. I think that the first month is the toughest though, so I'm planning on relatively smooth sailing from here. When I had reached the one week point I felt that I had come a long way, but the one month point is an even longer way. Life is so much more normal at this point than its been the last few weeks. Its still crazy to say I haven't chewed food in an entire month though. I challenge all of my non-jaw surgery readers to do that! I'd like to see you make it a week. =P I'm kind of wondering how much longer I have to go without chewing though...
Today I kind of tried to gently chew a noodle, just to see what happened, and I found myself unable to. My poor, feeble jaw simply lacked the strength to penetrate a noodle. That might be even more ridiculous than my inability to bike for an hour. On a side note, I paid the price for that biking today. My jaw was quite sore for the first time in about a week and I had to take some Tylenol 3. Anyway, I still have a long way to go in regaining strength in my jaw. I can't imagine what would happen if I tried to chew a steak if a noodle is too much for me. Overall energy...I'll put it around 80%. I'm pretty much back to normal unless I do anything that resembles exercise.
The swelling has mostly subsided, most people probably wouldn't even notice it. I don't even think about it that much anymore because I'm just used to looking at my face everyday, but my cheeks definitely haven't gone back to normal size yet. The other day, one of my coworkers who hadn't seen me in a while or know that I had jaw surgery asked if I had been stung by a bee on the right side of my face. Now, my mother has been stung by bees on her face recently and my face is no where near as swollen as hers was, but I guess mine are still kind of puffy if you look close enough. I definitely feel puffy when I first wake up in the morning. My face is kind of stiff and its a little harder to talk, but the swelling goes down by the afternoon. I've been told to expect slight swelling for the first 2-3 months.
Is my chin still numb? Yup. I'm pretty sure the feeling on the far right side of my chin is thinking about coming back soon though. If I touch it, I don't feel anything, but when I tap it, I know that my chin is being tapped and thats more than I can say for the rest of my chin. The feeling in my in my palate is about 90% at this point. Once it started coming back, it came back in chunks each day. I'm hoping my chin will do the same thing..But I'm not exactly sure what to expect.
I'm not sure if the rubberbands deserve their own section, but I am still wearing them. They really don't bother me that much. I've only worn two this entire time, so really not that bad. My surgeon told me that I was allowed to take them off during the day for a couple hours if I wanted, but I've been wearing them 24/7 anyway. I just haven't felt very adventurous. I'm no longer scared of brushing my teeth though! I take the rubberbands off without suffering from any emotional trauma and I can open wide enough to get my tooth brush in my mouth. This is wonderful for hygiene purposes. As far as speech goes, I think I'm 90% back to normal. My S's might sssssound a little like that ssssnake in Jungle Book, except not that bad.
here are some photos of my wonderful new smile! A little cheesy perhaps...but with these nasty surgical wires on my braces, I either have to smile really big or barely at all. I'll vote for big and cheesy every time.
well..thats not really a smile... but you can see my underbite is no longer!
grrrrrr! fear my teeth!
no more underbite!!!!
(click any photo to view a larger version)
I'm excited for month #2! I have my 6 week follow up appointment with my surgeon coming up on the 17th, and then my surgical wires will be removed by my orthodontist on the 21st... So I have some things to look forward to!