Day 16: Work and Staring . . .

I have been keeping completely up-to-date with my work emails and voicemails pretty much since day 3 or 4 post-surgery as otherwise when I returned to work it would have been a nightmare for various reasons.

However I decided to actually go in to the office today and although it was great to be amongst people again, it is fair to say that my jaw joints and jaw muscles have been super tight and throbbing for most of the day. My surgeon told me that I might experience more swelling as I talk more due to the jaw joints and their new position, how they work, etc, and so I compared pictures of myself yesterday and today and it is not just a psychological feeling that they are more swollen, they actually are!

Probably to be expected given all of the talking today but I ended up using my pain meds again as well as icing and heating in an attempt to loosen up my jaws and make them happy(ish) once again. I contemplated taking my bands off at work for a while as it is a tad easier to talk but decided against it as I did not want to lose one of my three daily meal exception times (!) plus I thought people would be able to understand me. The trouble is, to be understood takes a lot of effort (speaking slowly, opening my jaws wider, etc) in an effort to enunciate correctly. Hence the pain meds this evening! :)

It was kind of amusing however to see the reactions from people as they saw me for the first time since my surgery; remember I presently talk like I have a few issues as well as the fact that when I open my mouth (open is relative) people are presented with a multitude of white, stretching bands staring right at them.

I understand the predicament; it is difficult not to stare either at my enlarged face or the stretchy hypnotic bands going up and down, up and down, as I talk. Or else people try and lip-read because they have no idea what words I believe I have pronounced clearly but clearly they have no idea what I am saying! Lip reading swollen lips is not very effective either. The conversations are typically short and to the point as people don't want to hang around when they don't know what to say! :) Quite amusing!

I recognise that is seems to be my soapbox presently but let me just say now that I am getting really tired of my splint; it just rubs against my cheeks and is really bothersome in so many ways. I know I need it and although I really hope the surgeon gives the go ahead to have it removed at my next visit on Thursday I appreciate the fact that I will probably be wearing it for at least another week. Ah well, worse things in life - I could have had both of my jaws broken . . . :)

My bruising is pretty much gone and my mouth seems to be opening wider ever so slowly each day. I am almost able to get the baby spoon in my mouth which means less slurping at the dinner table! I am officially addicted to instant pudding.

My nerves in my chin however are on fire and I don't even like touching my chin as it is not a comfortable feeling whatsoever. My upper lip has far more feeling than my lower lip also. My left side of my face is less numb than my right side which feels not only completely numb but also swollen. As someone told me today, "your face looks really swollen". I don't think so, I just think it looks larger.

I cannot even imagine eating solid food presently. I mean really, how am I supposed to get the food into my mouth in the first place not to mention the issue of chewing. My teeth feel sensitive presently, similar to when you have your braces first placed on your teeth and your teeth lodge their disapproval. It is going to be interesting over the next few weeks and months in learning to eat and chew once again.

Finally, as for what foods were eaten today:
  1. Mac and cheese

  2. Banana pudding - I am addicted to pudding. I should create my own support group.

You can see additional photographs under the ‘Photo Journal’ section above

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