Second Jaw Surgery Recovery Day 124: Almost done!

August 11, 2015

Just like with the blog with my first jaw surgery last year, after a certain amount of time I stopped posting because my jaw became less of an issue. The good news today is that my jaw is fixed, unlike the first surgery. I visited my surgeon this morning, and the drive from San Diego to Santa Ana is lovely at 6am when you were up a few hours earlier!

The surgeon wants me to try some stretching exercises since I'm only open to about 32mm, and he says 40mm is normal. So I will start doing that today. My next appointment is in December. My braces likely come off in two months. Until then, here's me in the same car pose I've been doing lately, and might I add these are the only selfies I've ever shot. I think this is a good reason!

So I'm just about there. I'll look a bit different once the braces come off in two months. Until then... have a good one, and let me know if anyone has any questions about jaw surgery.

Second Jaw Surgery Recovery Days 40-49: Food!

May 28, 2015

On Thursday May 21st it had been six weeks since my second and final surgery. On that day I had an appointment with my surgeon when he removed my splint. He must have cut about 5-10 different wires, because it seemed like he kept snipping!

When the splint came out it felt weird as expected, but not too strange. My surgeon said I am all good to eat soft fish and other foods that aren't hard. So this past weekend I had a Chipotle burrito bowl, enchiladas with rice and beans and pancakes with an omelette topped with bacon, tomatoes and cheese.

 I asked for double guacamole and double sour cream, and the guy looked at me like I was the first to ever ask for it.

I asked for double guacamole and double sour cream, and the guy looked at me like I was the first to ever ask for it.

Since then I've had a burger and fries, oatmeal with banana and a chicken philly sandwich from Jersey Mike's. Chewing is slow, but eating is eating!

I can currently fit one sideways finger between my teeth. The goal is three fingers. My surgeon advised I use a hot washcloth on my face in the morning for the next few weeks, so that's exactly what I've been doing. I am trying to get my jaw to open more. A hot washcloth cools quickly so I have been dipping it into hot water and applying it several times in a row each morning.

I received discs with my CT scans / x-rays and plan on adding them to the website soon to show before and after comparisons, so check back soon! 

Lastly I didn't update for more than a week because I was moving. So I'm back now!

 

Second Jaw Surgery Recovery Days 36-39: Brand new FAQ

So it's day 39. I'm doing ok. My bite is still lined up perfectly, just a week and a half after being freed from having my jaw wired. It looks like I'll likely be on a liquid diet until June 4th. I've lost somewhere around 10-15 pounds since April 9th. None of my rubber bands that were installed May 7th have snapped, so that's good. Instructions for now from my surgeon are to not take them out for any reason.

I still haven't been able to get a baby toothbrush behind my teeth with my splint in the way. I should be able to brush thoroughly this Thursday May 21st since I'll be getting the splint out, though for the time being I've been using zero alcohol Listerine and brushing 3-5 times per day.

I have made several improvements to the website. I've brightened everything up with a new background image that I shot at the Santa Barbara Zoo. I blurred it for the website so it wouldn't be too flat.

The biggest addition is the brand new FAQ page! I also revamped the Tips page. The Tips page is the most popular page on the website, though I felt that a FAQ page was needed too. I researched the most commonly searched questions about jaw surgery according to Google and included them in the new page, along with a few I thought of while writing. I hope everyone finds them very useful. And you might notice zero comments on all of the pages. I've upgraded the comments to a new platform, so all of the old ones are now gone. Feel free to ask a question on any page!

Here's another look at my x-rays from recovery day one back on April 10th. I might get new x-rays later this week.

Second Jaw Surgery Recovery Days 33-35: Five weeks without real food

May 14, 2015

Today is day 35. It has been five weeks since my second (and final!) jaw surgery that took place on April 9th. I had my jaws unwired one week ago. One week from today my splint will be removed. The splint is a piece of hard plastic currently wired behind my upper teeth to hold my jaw in place. It also has a spot in which my bottom teeth can fit, designed specifically for my bite. My bite looks perfect and I don't expect any complications.

I'm continuing to drink water, Gatorade, soup and Ensure. That's it. I'm not sure if I will be back to chewing soft foods after my May 21st appointment, but we'll see. I know for sure that I'll be back to soft foods by June 4th. That's the eight week mark. Right now I'm going to work, coming home, watching the NBA playoffs, playing video games and doing whatever else I can to pass the time.

My pain level has been a 1/10 or 2/10 since the second week. The first week my pain level was maybe a 4 or 5, so not bad. I didn't have any trouble swallowing on day one, so I've only lost 10-15 pounds as opposed to 20-30 pounds after my first surgery. I suppose it would be nice if I could lose a few more pounds now since I'll be chowing down on tacos, pizza, burgers and everything else soon.

upload.jpeg

This photo shows me today standing in my office. Compare it to the other photos on my Before and After pictures page. I'll check back in again soon.

Second Jaw Surgery Recovery Days 29-32: Rubber bands

May 11, 2015

Today (day 32) was my first day back in the office at work, just four days after the wires were cut on my jaw. I worked the previous two weeks from home, thanks to a kind decision by my company since they understood there was no reason for me to drive all the way to work if I couldn't talk.

Over the last four days I've been able to begin speaking again kind of clearly, though there are rubber bands in my mouth and my jaw opening is small, so it doesn't sound normal.

My instructions until my next appointment on May 21st (day 42, six weeks recovered) are to not move the rubber bands, continue a liquid diet and no jaw exercises yet. I've been brushing my teeth a lot, though I still haven't been able to properly care for the back of my teeth since my jaw opening is small, and the rubber bands keep it small. So in addition to brushing as much as possible I've been using no alcohol mouthwash 2-3 times a day.

My current hope is that I'm able to get the splint out next Thursday May 21st as expected, and then be able to brush behind my teeth in full. I get the feeling I'll have rubber bands on until day 56 on June 4th, since my surgeon said I won't be able to chew until around that time. I'm counting the days. 

So what am I doing for lunch at work now? Ensure. Here's a look at what I bring in every day.

Over the weekend I prepared my apartment walls for a short move later this month, removing paintings, filling nail/screw holes and painting over them. I also shopped for a couch. And I played some more Far Cry 4 on PC. It helps to pass the time. This recovery doesn't seem to be taking a long time in terms of the days feeling like they're lasting forever, which is great. I'm more than halfway to the time when I can eat food again. Soon.