Day 300: Aches and Pains

300 days since my surgery, wow! It has been an an interesting few months since my last update where my jaw is concerned and I thought I would provide a few updates both from my own perspective but also based on the many emails I receive asking about various aspects of the surgery:

The issues are, depending upon your perspective, either really trivial and minor or else they are incredibly irksome and frustrating. To be honest, I think I vacillate between both states of being depending upon the day! :) Let me explain where I am presently in terms of progress to date:

Numbness and Nerves
Probably the number one question I am asked is concerning whether I have regained full feeling in my chin and lips.

Unfortunately, I have to say that the answer is, no, I have not. My upper lip has full sensation but there has been no improvement in my lower lip, chin, or on the right side of my face (cheek). I describe the feeling as similar to that when you are having a filling or tooth extraction and your dentist gives you an injection to deaden the area. Well, that cotton wool feeling is exactly what I have permanently.

I confess that this has proven to be somewhat frustrating at times because although they tingle (lower lip especially) when I lightly touch them, it doesn't seem like it is improving. In many ways, it was better when I had absolutely no feeling as it such a strange sensation to permanently have, especially when eating. When I am chew food, it feels like I have a wad of cotton wool in the right side of my mouth and I so find myself trying to chew on the left side of my mouth which no doubt is not a great thing!

I was told by Dr. Egbert that it might take up to 18 months to regain full feeling (if at all) so I still have another 9 months to go. I am being optimistic and assuming that I will regain feeling but if not, c'est la vie. Worst things in life, right . . .

Chewing the Inside of my Mouth
You may recall that as a result of the surgery and the total movement of my lower jaw, that I now have a non functioning tooth (upper right, furthest back). That tooth is continually biting and chewing my cheek whenever I eat to the point that the inside of my cheek looks like cottage cheese. You would think this would be rather painful but guess what, I cannot feel the inside of my cheek (see above) . . . A combination of movement, scar tissue and the shape of the tooth no doubt. My oral surgeon wanted to take the tooth out but decided to wait a while to see if the scar tissue goes down and maybe it has but the reality is that there is little room between the right side of my upper teeth and my cheek. I think the days are numbered where that tooth is concerned. . .

Aches . . .
Presumably because my lower and upper jaw are in different positions, there has been a period of learning in that the jaws are now opeating in different positions. This means that they ache quite a lot around the joints (by my ears) and I constantly have jaw aches and ear aches. I was never someone who suffered from headaches and I think I have experienced them more in the last 300 days than I did in the entirity of my life!

When you think of it, this is to be expected - there is always a period of 'wearing in' whenever ou have something new, and in my case I just happen to have a new profile, jaw position, etc. I am presuming (hoping) that over time, these aches will disappear. Bizarely enough, the aching in my jaws are definitely exacerbated by cold wether and given the fact that winters where I live are particualy cold I am sure many of the aches can be attributed to the weather. . .

In the immediacy after my surgery, I told you that yawning was a bad idea. Let me just say that even at 300 post0surgery it is still a bad idea! I find myself still placing a hand under my chin when I yawn so as not to stretch the jaw joints. 

Apart from the fact I am probably favouring eating on the left side of my mouth for reasons already delineated, my eating has resumed to normal for the most part. I still don't like eating hard candy or tough foods but pretty much I am back to my ol' poor eating habits! The 40lbs that I lost as a result of the surgery is now down to about 30lbs . .

That is about it for now I think. I will post pictures shortly with a timeline showing the various phases which is always interesting, at least to me!

Next Post Previous Post

Leave a Reply