First Surgery Recovery Days 38 and 39: Jaw exercises, numbness and salmon

Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16, 2014

This weekend was nice. I have tomorrow off for President's Day, something I forgot about when typing out the previous blog entry. I'm trying to think of things to do since a day off doesn't come along very often.

My main concern right now is that my jaw still isn't opening that much. To exercise and stretch the muscle, I'm using one finger from each hand to hold my jaw open for several seconds at a time. It's supposed to help the muscle get to where it needs to be. I'm seeing progress, but it's all coming along slowly.

The gums on the right side of my mouth keep tightening up a bit when my mouth is closed, so I keep opening and stretching it all out. I don't know if parts of my gums are just now regaining feeling or if it's something else. It's not painful at all. In fact, I haven't had too much pain over the last week. I think it's now been a full week since I last took any pain medication.

In less than three days the splint will be out. For the last 39 days there's been a piece of plastic against the roof of my mouth behind my teeth, and it's connected down to the back of the teeth on my upper jaw with wires. It will all be removed when I go into my oral surgeon's office on Wednesday morning. I'll also have several brackets on the front of my teeth taken out. I hope getting all this stuff removed will be as nice as it sounds. Food has been getting stuck in various places around the splint, so Wednesday should really help make cleaning my mouth less annoying.

Parts of my face are still numb, including both my upper and lower lips. I should begin to regain feeling within the next few weeks. Speaking of waiting a few weeks, I think I am ok now to start blowing my nose again, but instead I've been twisting a tissue in each nostril. It gets the job done. I've heard there's a possibility that you'll pop a blood vessel if you try to blow your nose in the first few weeks after surgery. I'm at five and a half weeks now, so I'm still being cautious.

I had baked salmon tonight. It's a soft food. 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, glazed with teriyaki and lots of salt and pepper. I've been slowly chewing food for the last several days. It's hard. The salmon was really tasty, but again, the splint likes to attract food. It took me 20-25 minutes to fully clean out my mouth, and an hour later when I was rinsing, a small piece of fish fell out. It's frustrating, but I'm closer to the end of recovery today than I was yesterday.

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