Monday, 30 March 2015

Jaw Surgery - 4 Month Final Update, and Freedom From Braces! (Sortof...)

It's just over four months since I had jaw surgery, and things are pretty much how I assume they're going to be. It's hard to give you an update at this stage as things have changed so gradually throughout the process, but I think this is probably going to be my final update on this unless anything else changes so I'll try and make it a good round up.

I think the first thing I'd say to anyone getting this surgery or who has just had it, is, well, it sucks. It really, really sucks. I'm not going to try to sugarcoat it for you because I think you should expect the worst, and hopefully it'll end up better than you thought. I read so many blogs and thought I had such a great understanding of how it was going to be and that therefore I'd cope really well with everything, and I really really didn't. Not being able to eat was horrendous for me, not being able to talk was awful, my energy levels were horrendous and I would just sleep all day, and my face greatly resembled that of a hippo whilst the rest of my body went skeletal. I had side effects that lingered for so long that I kept assuming they would be permanent because they weren't showing signs of going anywhere at all, and then they would go so gradually that I didn't even notice them fading even though they had been bothering me for so long.

Numbness - I don't have any. At least, I don't think I do - you see, I was quite lucky in that I thought I had all my feeling back really quickly. But recently I suddenly developed feeling around where my wisdom teeth were. I didn't even know I'd lost feeling there until suddenly the feeling came back, so obviously it was never a problem to me but still, really weird when some day I just had extra feeling that I didn't realise I'd lost.

Eating - Largely normal. I can eat most things, but sometimes things hurt to eat. For example, bacon. I don't know why, but it hurts me to eat bacon. There are some things that I haven't even tried to eat because I think physically if I could fit it into my mouth it would work but I genuinely don't think I can - ie. particularly large burgers. My range of motion is not fully there, that does not fit. It just doesn't. Everything else pretty much works, although I still don't know how to use my front teeth properly.

Pain - Aside from the above mentioned ocasional eating pain (and even then it's not bad, just annoying, and it goes as soon as I stop) I don't have any.

Appearance - My appearance didn't change much, which is really odd because I had my jaw moved by quite a large amount. I think because my chin was moved back at about the same amount that my jaw was moved forward it kind of cancelled each other out. Some people see a difference but can't place their finger on what, most people can't. I wouldn't base your guesses on this though, because every single other person from my hospital that I've gone through this little journey with have ended up looking very different. You may see that as a positive or a negative! Oh, and finally, my lips close properly! I would put this down to lots of lip exercises, as I don't know whether it's coincidence or not but I can tell you that it definitely started working together a lot more when I started kissing someone a lot more...

No more braces! I had them removed the other week. Life was good. Annoyingly, a lot of people didn't notice at all, and then when I got retainers everyone suddenly noticed those. Anyway, my brace removal was actually pretty horrendous. It hurt so much more than I thought it was going to. For some reason I assumed that they would just put something on your teeth that would melt the glue and stuff would just sort of get peeled off. Nope, everything gets yanked and it hurts quite a lot. It was probably worse for me as a jaw surgery patient as it was impossible to brush some teeth for a while and therefore there's probably a fair bit of gunk stuck in them - lovely, right? My gums are already looking much happier now they've gone and hopefully they'll go up a bit as some of them got really swollen. However, as with everything in this process, nothing is quite as easy as it seems and now I have to wear retainers. I can talk pretty clearly with them, but I am constantly aware of them being in my mouth and feeling enormous and they don't taste amazing. I have to wear them for three months full time and then at night times, only, I, uh, don't. I don't know why. They're not as obvious as the braces were at all, and I'm supposed to just take them out for eating and tooth brushing. I tend to take them out for one of those reasons and then, uh, they don't go back in for a while. I know it's bad but I feel self conscious about them - again it makes no sense when people are very used to seeing me in braces, but I think having them out for those two retainer free days made me love my freedom too much. I know, I'll wear them...

So this is probably my last update - but feel free to ask if you have any questions!
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1 comment

  1. ninegrandstudent30 March 2015 at 20:56

    Glad you're feeling better. I had nose surgery nearly two years ago, it was described as minor but it was really, really awful. Even remembering the pain makes me wince! x

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