Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Jaw Surgery Recovery: Week Six!

Today marks the sixth week since having jaw surgery and genioplasty, and on the whole things are getting better.

My speech is almost perfect now. I'm lisping on my s's still, but I'm completely understandable, and this holds up throughout the day. It still hurts if I've had a really talkative day, but I'm no longer slurring by the end of it. I only wear the elastic bands at night now which has improved life considerably! My numbness is all completely gone.

In terms of activity, that's improved too. Technically I'm still not supposed to be exercising much at all, but I've been going jogging three times a week for the last two weeks. The first time it really hurt my face, the second time it was uncomfortable but okay, and ever since then it's been fine. My main worry was passing out or something whilst doing it, and that obviously hasn't happened. I thought I'd have lost a lot of fitness and obviously to an extent I did, but I'm still meeting all of my targets - but obviously they're a lot lower than I was doing, but seem to be going back up again pretty quickly.

In terms of appearance, to me I still look swollen. I've slowly been reintroducing myself to different friends. I don't really like doing it, I find it awkward. They say I look very different. They're not saying it in a bad way, but it makes me uncomfortable. I'm much happier around people who didn't know me before surgery. I've started volunteering again, at a different centre to normal, and I'm so much more confident around those people because I know nothing is different to them. I don't like looking in mirrors. I don't really like how I look. I know you're not supposed to judge yet, but obviously, you still do. I especially hate my lips. They still don't close. I can hold them closed for longer now but it's an effort and it looks bad. Today my orthodontist told me that at around the six month point the scar tissue should ease off a bit, and from around one year to two years they should close up. Great. I was hoping in like, one more month, not one more year.

In terms of eating, there's positives and negatives. I eat like a snake now! This means I can eat quite a big variety of things and will clearly never choke on food again as I can swallow more or less anything whole, including giant bits of pasta and whatever else. I'm pretty good at eating anything that can be swallowed whole, which has become most things. As of today, I am allowed to start chewing again, but nothing hard. I asked if pizza came under too hard and he said no, I should be able to start managing it soon. Unfortunately, eating is incredibly difficult. Chewing is a bit of a mystery, as it does indeed chew the food up but then it sort of just sits on my teeth and its hard work to get it back onto my tongue. Or,a bit of the food gets chewed up, but I can't move it to be able to chew up another bit of it. Or the problem that bothers me the most, my jaw gets stuck open. I have completely shredded the back of my mouth from where it gets getting stuck open. The main complication of this is that it is much easier to just continue eating like a snake. I went with food that I already knew I could swallow whole so that if it went wrong I could still get it down, so the general process is I fight with it for a little while, my jaw gets stuck open, I get sad, I swallow it whole. Eventually I gave in and just continued my normal method of eating but even then my jaw was getting stuck open, where it normally doesn't.

I realise this is progress and that things are improving, but it's so frustrating not being able to do it. And I know that when I started on soft food my jaw would get stuck open all the time then and eventually I just didn't have that problem anymore, so logically this should stop too. But it's SO frustrating. I had images of going to volunteering tomorrow and actually being able to eat food, or of being able to go back to work (know how many food places are open at 3am that will serve me soup? Yeah not many) and its all very frustrating that I just can't do it. I'd started booking meals out and was so excited about it because it's been so long since I've been able to go anywhere. I suppose logically I probably will be fine in the three weeks I have before that first reservation, but at the moment I don't see how.

I'll update again at eight weeks and hopefully by then I'll be a functioning person again. As always feel free to ask if you have any questions!

1 comment

  1. Sorry to hear this Nicola, get well soon and have a lovely new year!


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