Jaw Surgery: Eight Weeks On

Friday, 1 April 2016

This is going to be my last update post on my jaw surgery for the time being. I might do one at around six months but for now I feel as though I'm pretty much recovered.

So as I said in my six week update, I got my wafer taken out. The week after that was just trying to get used to talking and eating. I actually didn't manage to eat until the Tuesday which got to me a little. I'd spent six weeks dreaming of all the foods I could eat and then when it came to it I couldn't manage it. The elastics were so tight! There wasn't enough space to get the tiniest teaspoon in my mouth. On Tuesday I managed to eat weetabix and then later a mousse for the first time by using my front teeth to scrape the food from the spoon. It was very messy procedure and it took me at least an hour to empty the bowl.

I had my appointment with the surgeon on Thursday. I told him about my struggle with eating and the fact that the elastic bands just hadn't snapped. They were supposed to stretch and snap with movement, and I was supposed to replace them whenever they did. He decided because I was being a little too careful with them that it would be best for me to only wear the elastics at night time for the next two weeks as he was concerned about the amount of weight I'd lost. It's safe to say I found this a daunting thought, but an exciting one.

Literally as soon as I got back to my parents, my mum made me some pasta and it was basically the best meal ever. I had to use a mirror at first to guide the food in, just because I wasn't sure how much of a gap I had between my teeth. But I was soon eating fairly quickly. By the weekend I was eating pancakes chopped up very small and beans on bread, also chopped very small. As long as the food was able to be cut up and swallowed easy, it was fine for me to eat. So I'm feeling a thousand times better. I've even been out for food a couple of times. It's still taking a while to eat the food because it has to be cut so small and I'm wary of making a mess of myself.

I can't open very wide, which is to be expected. As a measure, I can only fit one finger into my mouth. My bottom lip and chin area is still numb but I forget about it most of the time and I can now drink out of a cup easily. I haven't started chewing yet just because I haven't been told I can. I can just about bring my lips together now, but my surgeon told me I need to exercise because I'd obviously not moved them for seven weeks. The exercise is simply smiling as wide as I can.

(I thought I'd put the photos together so you can see the progress of my face more clearly)
Overall, I'm feeling so much better. I'm almost back to my normal self. It's still strange seeing my new face in the mirror but I'm very happy with the results. I hope these accounts have helped some of you who might be going through the same or a similar surgery. I'll be posting some tips in the next few weeks to help you get through the recovery period.

Thanks for reading!

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