First Surgery Recovery Day 35: Here's what it's like after five weeks

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's been five weeks. What is it like 35 days after having surgery on both your upper and lower jaws?

  • I usually have some afternoon pain if I don't take a pain pill, though it's only maybe a 2-3/10 on the pain scale. I've now successfully gone 72 hours without a pain pill.
  • Numbness is still an issue in my lips, chin and nose. I should start having feeling return over the next two weeks.
  • I am attempting to chew on soft foods during dinner such as the ingredients in chicken noodle soup, including chicken, carrots and noodles. I'm unable to go side to side with my lower jaw, so it's basically an up and down motion. I still have to use my tongue to mash food against my gums. All other meals are liquid drinks or blended foods, like Ensure or shakes.
  • My overall strength hasn't yet returned to normal, though it's close. I assume I'll return to normal strength in about three weeks.
  • My splint is coming out one week from today. I'll also have some of the rubber bands, front hooks and brackets removed.
  • Drooling hasn't been much of an issue since week two. I still have to be careful when talking though, or I might spill just a little.
  • I'm still using Vitamin A&D ointment on my lips. Yes, I know. I said "ointment" and I'm not yet 80 years old. It's cold outside and this specific cream is likely more effective than using lip balm.
  • I brush my teeth 2-3 times a day, and have been using my fingers to try to stretch open my jaws. Right now my maximum jaw opening is maybe half an inch. I'm hoping to have it fully open as soon as I can, though it'll be a few more weeks.

So that's what it's like. How is it compared to the first two weeks? It's a lot easier for sure. Progress is very slow, but there is progress.

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