I have definitely been busy since my last update!!

I returned to school and work, both of which are fine. I do very short shifts at work, and as it turns out, the kids are more amazed at my terribly muffled talking than they are scared. They kept staring at me trying to understand the situation that landed me in this mess, but it was above most of their heads. The parents were definitely sympathetic. Regardless, it was nice to be surrounded by some bubbly and carefree little personalities for a few hours.

School is… busy. I didn’t really get my mental energy back until almost 2 weeks so very little schoolwork was done for that period. Being a Masters student and doing almost no work or reading for 2 weeks is… well, it’s stupid.I have spent the last 4 days working my ass off. I literally have not packed away all the things I took back from my parents when I came back over… it is all still waiting on the floor for me to finish up assignments. However, in 4 days I managed to complete the 4 papers that needed to be done, and I’m pretty sure they are well done. My brain is still a bit foggy, so I’m sure I have done better work but I’m happy with them.

This week should keep me busy too, which is good, because it really helps the time pass. Today, I plan to get out for a little walk, even if it is just down the road to grab a coffee or for no real purpose at all. It’s supposed to be a beautiful winter day today. The rest of the day will be spent finally putting away all the stuff I haven’t packed away yet, and then cleaning, doing laundry, etc which I’m sure will make me very tired by the end of the day WHICH I NEED. Which leads me to my updates on the regular jaw stuff:

Sleep

WHAT SLEEP? I am not in pain by any means I just can’t sleep. The other night I even took my prescription pain killer to see if it would lead me to lala land aaaand nothing. I’ve been falling asleep around 2-4am and awake and laying in bed staring at the ceiling by 8am. Hopefully that is because of stress and now that I’m caught up on schoolwork I can get at least 6 hours straight. Lord knows I could use it

Numbness, swelling, etc 

I am not completely numb anywhere and I consider myself very lucky for that.

I have about 95% numbness in my chin- typically the most numb and last to return.

70% numbness in my left upper lip, bottom left half of my nose, and under the corner of my eye down into the inside of my cheek. It comes back a bit more each day and I am optimistic that I will recover well from the nerve damage.

The swelling is as expected. Going down slowly, but still there. I would say about 75% is gone, but there is still quite a bit to leave my cheek area.

Eating/splint

The splint is hands down the worst part of this entire experience. No new news there.

Here is what my diet consists of these days, still liquid only. Able to drink most of these things from their can/bottle or in a cup:

  • smoothies- thin, no seeds. favourites are:
    • citrus made with OJ, creamsicle sherbet, milk, and vanilla with fibre boost
    • 1 banana, spinach, frozen peach/mango, milk, OJ, 1 scoop arbonne greens, 1 scoop arbonne fibre boost, 1 scoop arbonne vanilla protein mix
  • OhYeah nutritional shakes
  • GNC lean shakes
  • chocolate milk
  • blended soups
  • blended chunky soups
  • blended stews (see a pattern yet?)
  • blended chowders, seafood is a favourite
  • melted ice cream
  • milkshakes
  • coffee, frappes, lattes, etc
  • juices
  • thinned baby food

May expand my options a bit in the future, but I’m trying to save softer foods that could potentially be blended (like spaghetti, mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, etc) for the soft food or soft food/no chew diet so that I have lots of new things to try then. I am unsure when I will be switched and what I will be switched to. Speaking of which….

I called the surgeon today because I have been clenching my jaw and was worried it could affect my healing. I have always done this so it is nothing new and did not come as a surprise to me when the numbness went away enough for me to notice it. Fret not, they said, as any damage that could have been done was not done early and therefore my plates will heal perfectly fine. Other issues associated with clenching will be dealt with through the rest of my orthodontic treatment, as I expected. BUT the nurse on the phone said there is a chance I will get this freaking splint out at my 4 week appointment! I really hope she’s right. Please be right. Buuuuuut if she’s wrong it should only be an extra 10 days until it comes off. Earlier the better, however.

I have made some small jaw surgery recovery milestones that have me quite happy:

  • I have had my first coughs, sneezes, and yawns. Coughs are fine, sneezes are fine as long as you remember to keep your mouth open (yuck), and yawns are good if you make an effort to not open wide- if you do the elastics will surely stop you and that will not tickle. I have not had that experience yet.
  • I have had my first experiences talking to people at gas stations, grocery stores, etc. They mostly look at me as if I am a freak of nature and wonder what in the hell is wrong but hey, whatever. I’m doin it.
  • I successfully placed 2 separate orders at the Starbucks drive thru
  • I successfully placed an order for soup over the phone. The guy was definitely thrown off buuuuut I did it.

It’s the simple things lol. Excited for the day I can order a freakin burger or something instead of soup and open my mouth wide enough to eat it. *drools*

A lot of people have asked what the first week is like and to be honest the first week is typically shit for people, although there are exceptions. The hospital stay is less than optimal, your face hurts, your ears hurt, your skin sucks, you get a balloon head, you struggle to breath, your bleed, you get tired from simply existing, you can’t talk, you don’t want to eat but you have to, you feel sick, you feel frustrated, and you may even wonder what in the heck made you do this to yourself. But then, you wake up around the end of week 1 and all of a sudden it’s not so bad. The human body is absolutely amazing in its ability to heal and I am so thankful for that. I can’t believe how quickly my body is healing 7 broken spots in my face. It’s crazy!

That’s really the only way I can explain it, though. It’s strange to think back to a bit less than 2 weeks ago, and how uncomfortable I was. Now, despite being on liquids and the splint, I feel pretty normal and can’t complain. I know in a few months I will look back and say “wow! that flew by!”.

That’s about all I have to say for now, when there is more, I will post!

Below is a collage of what some of my journey looks like:

Hospital day 1, my syringes (which I rarely use now) filled with thinned baby food and water, cute balloons and flowers and cards and teddy bears from family, COFFEE, my bruising (very minor compared to many), blended seafood chowder, front profile at about day 6, and side profile around 2 weeks.

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