Day 41: Dinner Conversation

Having this surgery creates lots of opportunities for conversation. When you consider the fact that in many ways this surgery is kind of unique, you shouldn't be surprised that many people want to ask questions about it. Something about broken jaws fascinate people :)

Really, how many people do you know have had the following performed:

  • Had their bottom jaw broken and moved forward. In my case, a the jaw was moved a whole 18mm which may not sound much but when you consider the average is 5-7mm, you understand that the surgery was no small undertaking.
  • Had their top jaw essentially broken and split into two through the middle. A bone graft was then inserted in to this new space to widen the palette. In terms of how much my upper jaw was widened, a whole 12mm . . . Fun, eh?
  • Had their chin redesigned as a consequence of the movement of the upper and lower jaws as well as for other medical reasons.

Combine this with the rationale as to why such surgery was performed (no, it was not for cosmetic reasons!) and you can see why people are interested in understanding more about the whole process. Typically the conversations focus on one of two aspects of the surgery:

Firstly, the details on how the the jaw bones were broken, what the surgeon did during the surgery, and in particular, how many screws and plates were inserted. People have a fascination with screws and plates. :) Now if you happen to have your x-rays available in person or online - all the better. Adds to the wow factor :)

The second topic that is often discussed is concerned with the actual recovery period; what was the surgery like, was there a lot of pain, how do you eat, when will your huge face decrease, when can you eat steak, when do the bands or wires come out of your mouth, when can you brush your teeth, and a whole lot of random questions that's had not thought about myself!

Basically, one of the consequences of your surgery is that you become a master at the 5-minute story. It isn't that you are being prideful or egotistical but let's be honest, there is a not a whole lot of excitement about having both jaws broken and being able to talk about your experience helps you in your abilities to talk through your teeth, as well as the recuperation benefits of being socially active. It is not fun going through this journey or experience on your own and having a support network is critical and being able to talk about the surgery means you are being social. It is a win-win all around.

Your friends, family, and colleagues are interested in the surgery so so enjoy telling your story!

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