Day 23: Freedom for Five Minutes

Today was the long awaited day of my post-recovery phase of life so far; the day that my splint is removed! In previous posts, I have talked about the splint and my love affair (please note heavy sarcasm) with my splint and ever since last Thursday when Dr. Egbert (Oral Surgeon) told me that he would remove it today, I have counted down the hours. Happiness personified.

So, in the office I go, smiling (in my own freakish way) to all and sundry - probably scaring them in the process - and wait for the call to go back to one of the examination rooms. The call comes, I walk back, wave to Dr. Egbert as I pass his office, talk to his assistant (probably sounded like mumbled incoherent pleasantries to her!), and lay in the chair. Literally ten minutes to freedom . .

Dr. Egbert walks in and talks about how good I am looking, and chit-chats in his very amiable manner. He then asks his assistant for the wire cutters. This is it, the darn splint is about to be history.

Just before he starts to work on the splint, he tells me that as soon as the splint is taken out I need to immediately brush my teeth (and splint) and swill with mouthwash. Apparently, even brushing your teeth throughout the day, the splint becomes, in his word, stinky. Who knew!?

But then I realise he said I needed to wash and brush my splint as well. Err, why??

The why became apparent immediately as he tells me that even though he is cutting out the splint, it will need to go back in my mouth until my Orthodontist replaces my top brace wire tomorrow. The splint will not be held in by wires obviously but instead he will band my mouth tight again today so that my teeth are holding it in place. NOOOOOoooooooooooo

It is quite amazing the difference that a thin piece of plastic (?) can do to an individual's voice, their ability to talk, and their ability to sound somewhat understandable.  I have attached a picture above showing what the splint looks like (more via the Photo Journal section above).

There you have it, my long awaited freedom was short-lived, only approximately the 10 minutes it took me to brush my mouth (he was right about the smell) and for him to examine my mouth. The good news is that I could talk normally, the voice emanating from my mouth was not one belonging to a mumbling, incoherent individual but rather the quasi English / American accent that I am used to! Sure, some sounds were different because my jaw doesn't open very far but still, I am super happy to know that as of tomorrow I will be understood once more and the road to recovery has definitively taken a positive turn!

Some friends of my wife were around this evening and when they saw me, two comments stood out. The first was, "wow, you now have a manly chin". Meaning I obviously didn't look 'manly' before the surgery! ") The second was concerning my face and that "you have chipmunk cheeks". Ah, let the compliments keep on rollin' in :)

As for food, truthfully, I did not eat too much today. I had some frozen yoghurt (we love frozen yoghurt!) for lunch and then it was off to Dr. Egbert. Given that my splint is no longer being held on by wire but simply bands, I was told that my food this evening had to be really soft. I only had one hour of eating privileges left and so I made my ol' favourite - instant pudding! :) Lemon this time but it was certainly soft enough. That was it, lemon pudding and a drink.

So, a total of about one hour without my splint today. The best part? Talking normally!!!! Tomorrow is the day when it is permanently going away so bring on tomorrow! :)

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