Jaw Surgery: Returning to Normal (28 Days Post-Op)

The last two weeks have really flown by! My recovery is going very well, and 95% of my bruising is gone now – just the tiniest patch of green still lives on my right cheek. There’s still some swelling in my chin, but at this point you would only notice if you see me often. At my three-week orthodontist appointment I was set-up with a new, looser configuration of elastics, so now I can eat, make expressions, and talk more easily.

EATING: Huzzah! Goodbye, all-liquid diet! Since last week I’ve been eating “no-chew soft solids,” which has included things like eggs, pancakes, noodles, macaroni & cheese, and even whipped potatoes with slow-cooked beef… after three weeks of canned soups, these things taste AMAZING. My mouth only opens 1-1.5 cm at this point, so my limits are simply what I can fit into that space, and what can essentially be swallowed whole. At first it took a loooong time to eat (45 minutes for my first meal of 2 scrambled eggs), but now it only takes about twice as long as is normal. Next step: being able to eat without watching myself in a mirror.

PAIN: Most of the time I have no pain. However, I have terrible earaches almost every night (a common side effect due to the proximity of the ear to the jaw joint and muscles) which I hope will go away sooner than later, and I occasionally open my mouth too wide, which feels awful. Day-to-day, the way my face feels is simply… strange, as if I am making a face; the positioning of the muscles doesn’t feel quite right yet. Soon feeling should start coming back to my lower face, which may or may not add more pain to the mix.

ENERGY: My energy levels are completely normal now. I have the same restrictions on exercise as I did two weeks ago, but I’m trying to get back into a more regular workout/life schedule rather than the haphazard whatever-I-feel-like approach of the past month. With the weather slowly getting nicer, I’m looking forward to being able to run outdoors again soon.

ORAL HYGIENE: Added bonus of looser elastics: as of two days ago, I’ve been able to get my child-size Diego toothbrush inside my mouth. Brushing the backs of my teeth! My tongue! Hallelujah!

WHAT’S NEXT: My one-month appointment with the surgery team in Halifax is coming up in a few days, and I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say about their handiwork. I’m still whittling away at my to-do list, while enjoying taking time for myself to read, knit, and be still. I have kept the next three weeks clear to ensure a full and stress-free recovery, and then I’m looking forward to shooting again!