Day 17: Getting on my nerves . . .

Now that I am back in the swing of life in terms of working, meetings, talking everywhere and to everyone, etc., my jaw joints and muscles have decided to be as tight as they possibly could be! They feel a lot more swollen than they have in days and bizarrely enough the inside of my mouth seems swollen as my cheeks are permanently pushing against my splint. Ice and heat, ice and heat.

The reason for my post title is because the nerves in my bottom lip and chin have decided to 'switch on' and, at least for today, permanently tingle which is a really strange sensation. I can deal with a numb face and I could deal with my tingly chin as it really only tingled when I touched it but now it is permanently tingling and it is most definitely a different sensation. Could I use the word tingly any more in a sentence?

Apparently this is a good sensation in terms of recovery as it means that my nerves are recovering and healing from whatever damage occurred during surgery but still, wow. During the last fortnight I have used the word, wow, significantly more than I hoped I would! I hope these nerves decide to heal themselves rather quickly as I am not sure I want to deal with this sensation for an indefinite period of time.

I am realising more and more that just because I hear what I am saying and therefore make the assumption that it must be discernible also for the listener that, in fact, my assumption is erroneous. I participated in a meeting over the telephone today and it was quite apparent that many people did not share my belief that I was talking quite well! Quite the opposite actually which was amusing as I was really trying to speak clearly by opening my mouth as far as it can go whilst talking (remember however that my mouth barely opens wide enough to let a baby spoon in!). Ah well, perhaps I need to limit the amount of telephone meetings I am part of as apparently the telephone must distort my very clear talking voice! :)

As you know, I read a lot of blogs and forums about this type of surgery in an effort to understand the post-surgery recovery phase and what to expect. Clearly, everybody is different in term of timeframe for recovery but the main issues concerning swelling, bruising, nerve damage, numbness, talking issues, splint frustrations, eating, etc., we all have in common. Everyone who has had this surgery will experience these symptoms, issues, frustrations, etc., and it is somewhat comforting to know this fact to be honest. Hopefully, this blog is proving beneficial to someone just as other blogs proved helpful to me in my understanding!

Finally, a note about my photos. As I mentioned the other day, I noticed that I was wearing the same shirt in consecutive daily photographs which was a tad embarrassing. I simply throw a shirt on when I get home or in the evening and apparently I threw the same shirt on for a few too many days (2). I am now highly conscious of this fact and it will not happen again! :)

As for what foods were eaten today:
  1. Mac and cheese

  2. Cookies and Cream pudding - I told you, I am addicted to pudding! A new flavour today just to spice things up! :)

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

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6 Responses to “Day 17: Getting on my nerves . . .”

  1. I had my double jaw surgery on July 17, so it has been exactly two weels since i was lying on that operation room table. Aside from hating those first 10 days being wired tightly shut, recovery is going really well. I'm already eating soft solid food (so much for the promised drastic weight loss!) and the swelling is almost gone.

    However, the numbness/tingling is driving me CRAZY!!!! The entire right side of my face, the lower left side, and my nose are super numb with almost constant underlying tingling. I feel like I have bugs crawling across my face constantly and it often burns. Sometimes it is almost too much to bear. I know that the tingling means that the nerves are repairing themselves and that this means that feeling will likely return but I feel like i have reached a plateau in my recovery already and it's getting me down a bit.

    I try to focus on how much better life is now than when I was wired shut, but nothing I do seems to relieve the intense tingling and itching. Heat, ice, etc. Every day I wake up and it is no better. I know I'm being impatient and it could take months, but was hoping that someone knows of some techniques to relieve the discomfort or speed up the nerve recovery.

    Now i know why the surgeons kept taking about the numbness! I was blowing it off thinking it would be mild like theincison from my c-sections, but i guess when it is on your FACE it is a little more annoying than on your lower abdomen.

    1. Hi Alyssa, congratulations on hitting the two week mark! Already eating solid food, that is FANTASTIC news, I am jealous! :)

      I understand your concerns regarding numbness and nerve damage. I just wrote about this issue (Day 126) as I still experience issues in this arena of recovery. I wish I could say it will get better immediately but the reality is that it is different for every person; some people have little nerve damage, some people experience long lasting issues - I seem to fall in the latter category!

      Easier said than done I realise but the fact that you are experiencing a burning and tingling sensation so soon after surgery is a great sign that your nerves are already regenerating and repairing themselves. Each day will get better though it may not seem like it.

      The good news is that (a) you are experiencing tingling and burning, (b) you are able to eat soft solid foods so early in your recovery, (c) the worst is over (two weeks period after surgery!) and finally (d) you are educated and know what to expect.

      There are always up and down days in the recovery process but the key is to focus on the end goal and really, at least in my experience, once the first two and three weeks were over, time just seemed to fly by!

      Not sure this response has helped in any way but hang on in there, it gets better! :) Keep us updated,

  2. Thanks for the kind words. I know I need to be patient. Gonna work hard on that. :) Am thrilled to be able to eat. Today had lasagna and curry with rice and even a little chicken. Too bad there won't be anymore weight loss. I was really enjoying that butter and Alfredo sauce! :) I was only 10lb up from my normal weight anyway and I did lose that so now I just have to keep from gaining it back. Busy taking care of the kids now and husband is having hernia surgery on Friday so no rest for the wounded! I'm glad to hear things are going well for you. Your blog was more helpful than all the others I read because we are in such similar situations. From the fear of anesthesia to our age and young children, it has been really helpful. Did I mention that my father is even from England? :)

    Keep up the healing and good work!

    1. Lasagna, curry, rice, and chicken!? Sheesh, how lucky are you! :) Could no doubt 'eat' that but it would be slurped rather than chewed . . .

      Sounds like 'life' is returning to normal - hopefully the surgery goes well for your husband on Friday, good luck!

      Presumably your kids have adjusted and don't even notice you had surgery anymore?

      All good things come from England! :)


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  4. I had double jaw surgery 20 years ago and my lips and tongue still tingle. I'm weird as I kinda like the feeling!