Another week has passed and I find myself at the milestone of two weeks post-op. Changes are no longer visible on a daily basis, since thankfully about 80% of my swelling and 90% of my bruising is gone. However, most of my lower face and particularly my bottom lip are still numb. I broke three elastics this week, though fortunately I was able to get more from the orthodontist to keep things nice and immobile. The muscles in my cheeks are starting to stretch and smiling, though still awkward and incomplete, is no longer outright hideous. I’m also finding it easier to talk!
Day 5 / Day 10
EATING: I’ve acclimated to drinking out of a cup with a numb lip, so I don’t have to watch myself in a mirror anymore. My diet is boring and unappetizing, but between fortified foods and the occasional addition of fibre and protein powders it’s fairly well-rounded. I have a good routine going and while I miss all the foods I’m unable to eat right now, I don’t suffer from hunger. I typically have various juices or smoothies in the morning, blended chili and/or Chunky soups for lunch and dinner, and a milkshake in the evening. I’ve also had some huge food fails, such as when I tried to turn regular oatmeal into Cream of Wheat-consistency-oatmeal, and when I broke my blender. I am very much looking forward to having my elastics removed and being able to eat new things.
PAIN: I had a terrible earache one day last week, but now my pain is almost completely gone — it only comes up if I accidentally hit my face, or roll over in the night. I’m no longer taking my pain medications, which is a great sign! Again, I am still numb in many places, which has bizarre side effects, like the time I sliced the inside of my lip on my braces while washing my face with apparently too much force.
ENERGY: Between eating a well-balanced and filling diet and no longer taking pain medications, my energy levels have gone way up. I’m already over the sit-and-watch-TV phase,* preferring a more or less normal routine of working each day. I seem to be waking up earlier (even earlier than before surgery), I’m caught up on emails, and I even ordered some packaging materials and did an album design this week. Not only that, I’ve also done some treadmill time, outdoor walks, weights, and returned to the yoga studio! Unfortunately I’ve noticed a big loss in muscle strength, and my physical activities have to be very low impact to suit my recovery rules: I can’t (1) grit my teeth (2) do anything to jostle my jaw, like run (3) risk falling or contact (4) risk passing out, or (5) even breathe heavily… but it feels great just to be able to do things. At this point I’ve lost about 10 pounds.
*That said, we did sit down and watch the entire first season of Girls this past weekend…
ORAL HYGIENE: Not really any easier than a week ago. I have my child-size Diego toothbrush, with which I’ve snapped 2 elastics, and I have my salt water and prescription mouthwash. This seems to be effective though because I don’t think my breath smells any different. I might be delusional.
WHAT’S NEXT: I have a newly scheduled orthodontist appointment today, but I am not anticipating any great changes. I’ll continue working on slowly increasing my fitness and strength, finish my taxes and tackle some long-procrastinated blog posts, and working on a new plan for maximizing the potential of every day. Don’t worry though, I’ll still be sure to do lots of reading, sitting, and otherwise living that “quiet and restful life” as instructed. Two more weeks until I see the surgeon!