Jaw Surgery Update – 8 Weeks Post Op

It’s been 8 weeks since my jaw surgery and honestly everything feels pretty much back to normal.

There are still some minor issues – still no full feeling in my bottom lip or chin area. It is coming back – I feel when I bite the inside of my lip and occasionally I can feel if there is water or food or something on my chin so it’s slowly getting there. It’s like the top layers of the skin have feeling back but it’s the deeper levels that still need to get it but this is common and a side effect I knew about so I’m not worried.

I do have a new side effect which is super weird but when I drink something cold I get two little cold sensations on both cheeks. It is really strange and I don’t like it.

I still can’t eat big bite items like burgers without having to use a knife and fork which isn’t so terrible. Even with just braces before the surgery I struggled and would at least cut the burger in half before trying to eat it. I have been lazy with the exercises I was given so I only have myself to blame for my bite size not improving as quickly as I’d like.

I don’t think I have any swelling anymore. I can’t feel any but I can’t tell as the skin around my chin where I’m still missing sensation feels spongy but I’m not sure if that’s swelling or just because I don’t have full sensation there.

I had my last appointment with the surgeon on Monday which again went for all of 2 minutes but he was happy with my recovery. I don’t have to see him again until August next year for my 1 year check up.

The orthodontist said to me a couple of weeks ago that there is a good chance I could have my braces off this year. Although that’s great news I’m going to keep expecting it to be next year so if it does happens earlier then great but if not then it’s fine also. I’m inclined not to believe the orthodontist because they do tend to underestimate timings for some reason.

I’m finally used to my face. It took me a while and to be honest I was a bit conflicted about it at first. I just didn’t look or feel like me but now I do. It’s hard because although your face is still your face, it’s incredible how much it changes with such a small movement of the jaw. Most people have been really positive about the whole thing – some exceptions but I’m not surprised by them, in fact they were expected.

But ultimately the whole experience has been a really positive one for me. I’ve had no issues and honestly my recovery has been a breeze compared to what some people go through. I don’t know whether it’s simply luck, researching great professionals to do the works, positive thoughts or a combination of all 3 but I’ve been really grateful that things worked out so well for me.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Fudgecream

Whilst recovering from jaw surgery I’d had cravings for sweet, junky food. Because I didn’t have much in the house and to start with, wasn’t confident heading out on my own, I had to make do with what I had.

I ended up making a sort of banana/peanut butter/coconut oil/cacao powder ice cream that wasn’t frozen but just put in the fridge thing.

Here is my concoction

Ingredients

1 Banana
1/2 Cup Milk/Water/Some sort of liquid
2 Tablespoon Cacao Powder
3 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
4 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoon Desiccated Coconut Shreds
1 Tablespoon Honey (or however much you like depending on sweetness)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Milkshake part

Blend a banana with a bit of milk/water/whatever liquid you want to use. I used my Kambrook Blitz2Go to do mine. Once blended pour into a bowl/large mug

Chocolate sauce part

Add peanut butter and honey into a saucepan and heat very slowly. My stove top options are burning hot or off so I heat up the element and once it’s hot I turn it off and then put the saucepan on the heat (side note, I can not wait to replace that damn stove top).
Add coconut oil and mix in.
Add cacao powder and vanilla essence and stir.

 

 

Once mixture is smooth, pour the contents into the bowl/mug with the milkshake part. The sauce will likely go down to the bottom so you will need to mix it. I find stirring doesn’t help so you need to almost fold it through.

 

 

Once mix is complete, pop in the fridge.

The great thing is that you can actually eat it straight away, or you can pop it in the fridge or you can freeze it so it’s like ice cream.

My mug normally holds enough for 4 snacks. I have eaten it for dinner before when I couldn’t be bothered cooking food as it’s quite yummy and filling. And most importantly, it does the trick to satisfy a sweet craving.

 

Jaw Surgery Update – 4 Weeks Post Op

My gosh, it’s been 4 weeks since my surgery! I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown. There’s not a whole lot to update. I’ve not had any issues and I haven’t seen the surgeon or the orthodontist since the last update so nothing new to share there. I guess the main thing to share is that I’m eating a range of foods again which is really exciting. I’ve been able to have fish and butter chicken so it’s been nice to chew foods with different textures again.

Day 3 compared to Week 4

Going out is hard. I went out for pancakes the other day so that was good but I just have to be so conscious of the fact that I could have food all down my face and just not know. Lucky most people I know are more than happy to tell me when that is the case.

I still can’t quite open my jaw up as wide as I used to but that will take time so bites are smaller than pre surgery and I do need to cut things up a lot more. I have elastics in so that also minimises the size of the food that I’m eating.

I’m still partially swollen but it’s only really noticeable if you know I’ve had surgery and have been really keeping track. People who walk past me on the street really wouldn’t notice.

I went back to work this week. It’s been exhausting. It’s been great to be back but it’s just so tiring. Waking up to an alarm is really not pleasant when you’ve naturally woken up for the past 3.5 weeks. The drive to work is tiring, it’s 45 minutes so its tiring at the best of times but more so now. I seem to lose a lot of energy throughout the day because I’m around people and have to talk and work and it’s just so exhausting.  I get home and just want to do nothing except eat and go straight to bed. I haven’t been sleeping well either so that’s not helping with being tired. I woke up at 2.30 am on Tuesday morning and didn’t get back to sleep. I didn’t end up going to work that day so that was lucky but this morning I woke up at 4.15 am hence why I’m using my get ready time to write a blog post because I’ve been ready for ages. My exercise routine has changed since I started work. I really just don’t have the energy and whilst I felt bad about it, I have to keep reminding myself that I only had surgery 4 weeks ago. It seems so long ago but it’s still a relatively short amount of time and I just need to remember that my body is still recovering and it will take time to get back to it’s normal energy levels.

I have noticed that I have a bit of a lisp. I think its a combination of the elastics in my mouth and the fact that I can’t open my jaw up as wide so it’ll be interesting to see if/when that disappears and I’ll speak how I normally did prior to surgery. Apparently my voice has changed a bit but again I’m not so sure how much that has to do with the elastics and jaw widening.

It’s funny, at work I have some people who are like “OMG you’ve changed so much!” Whilst others just kinda look at me and you can see them thinking ‘something is different but I’m not sure what.’ So that is pretty funny.

I have my next appointment with the surgeon on Monday so that’ll mark the 4.5 week mark of surgery. It’s really just a check up but I think he’s going to give me some exercises to work on increasing my jaw which will be good. I’m dying to bite into a burger so it’ll help with that at least.

 

 

Jaw Surgery Update – 3 Weeks Post Op

So I’m three weeks post surgery today. I can’t tell you how good the recovery has been for me. I’ve had no bad side effects, no real bad days and I’ve been pretty good the whole time. I’ve been tired, a bit uncomfortable and swollen but nothing too serious.

I’ve had two check ups already with the surgeon who has been really happy with my progress. He even mentioned both times how well and how quickly I’ve managed to recover so that’s good news. I’ve had x-rays taken and I have so much metal in my mouth now. At this stage I only have swelling on my chin. My lower lip and chin are still pretty numb so I still need to be very conscious when I eat. I just have to make sure I keep dabbing my lip and chin to make sure there’s no food dripping down. I had a check up with the orthodontist this morning and that too went well. He has given me more elastics to wear because my lower front teeth still aren’t perfectly aligned with the top teeth. I’m not actually sure if it’s because my jaw isn’t sitting in the right place or whether I’m not sitting my jaw correctly because my teeth aren’t aligned. I’ve definitely overthought it all because I have no idea where my jaw comfortably sits.

Anyway here are a couple of pics from today. You can check out the recovery posts here and here.

This morning after the orthodontist

Food wise I’ve been eating a much more varied diet. I’m able to eat pasta so I’ve had heaps of pasta bake and lasagna. I can chew small bits of meat and I haven’t yet tried to eat a steak or piece of chicken in its entirety. My jaw does hurt with too much chewing so I’m taking it easy and just doing what feels comfortable. I had a fillet of salmon last night and that was really good.

So overall I’m really happy with everything so far. It’s been an expensive exercise but it’s been so worth it.

Jaw Surgery Update

Day 2 was a bad day. My face was really swollen, I had barely slept and I felt nauseous all day. My back and neck were sore were from sleeping on my back which I’m really not used to and I just couldn’t get comfortable no matter what.

I barely ate all day and even felt dizzy showering which is a little scary. That’s as long as an update as you’re getting because I don’t really remember much of it.

Day 3 was much better. I took my strapping off and I can start to feel sensations again. It seems to only be my bottom lip and the center of my chin that I can’t feel anything. It’s weird though because I’ve been applying mass amounts of lip balm to my lips and I know I’m touching my lip because I can feel it on my finger but I can’t feel it through my lip itself. So strange. My tongue still hasn’t quite figured out it’s doing and where it’s going. I’m very aware of it at all times so I think I need to lay off it and just let it rest naturally. I’m able to open my mouth enough to fit pills in which is cool but I’m still on liquid foods. Mama has made me an amazing chicken and mushroom soup which I would happily live on forever. I’ve also been having a lot of yogurt mixed with jelly and banana milkshakes. That’s been the extent of my food choices so far. I’m not hungry and I don’t feel hungry but I’m eating for the sake of it. I didn’t eat enough yesterday because I woke up during the night feeling sick and dizzy and I think it was the lack of calories. I’m not sure how many I’m consuming per day but I can’t imagine it’s more than 700 which is significantly lower than what I should be having.

The rest of the days have been the same really. The swelling is going down which is great and I’m able to eat things as long as they are mashed in to other foods. For example last night I slow cooked some steak with potatoes, carrots and celery and was able to eat it so that was great. Food has been pretty simple. Lots of soups and mushy weetbix with milk, yogurt with blended berries, banana milkshakes. It’s not too bad. I haven’t lost as much weight as I thought but that’s not too much of a problem.

I’m back at home now which is really great. I was getting bored at my parents place. I’m allowed to exercise now but it has to be really low impact. I did 3 of the Fitness Marshall workouts yesterday and felt like I’d done an hour of HIIT workouts so I need to take it slow. It’s hard as well because if I move my head too quickly or bend it down I get a bit light headed so it’s quite limiting. I’m looking forward to getting back into yoga but all the videos I like involve a lot of downward dog so I’ll have to skip that for a bit longer.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how recovery is going. I only had one real bad day and that seems to be pretty tame compared to what I’ve read by other people.

I was going to upload some photos but it seems wordpress is not co-operating today so please check out my Instagram for some updates xvalentinabrennix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaw Surgery Update – Surgery Day and Day 1 Recovery

Surgery Day – Thursday 17th August 2017

Update 1 – So I arrived at the hospital at 7.30am for an 8.00am admission. Did some paper work stuff and sat down. About 8.30am I met with the anesthetist who went through some routine questions and told me a bit about the surgery. Then back to the waiting room. Got called in the see the nurse where she took my blood pressure and asked me some questions that were missed on admission. At this point I taped my piercings up and she gave me some panadol and water. Omg it was the best. I’m still extremely thirsty at this stage. Now I’m just waiting. I have been given my gown, dressing gown, slippers and compression socks to change into so that’s what I’m waiting for. Hopefully will go in in about an hour. Will update soon.

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Pre-surgery selfie

Update 2 – Got called in approximately 11.15am to change and go into the pre-op room. Prior to this I went to the bathroom 3 or 4 times convinced I needed to go but nothing. Whilst I don’t feel nervous or anything – just really thirsty, my body is obviously telling me otherwise. The nurse and anesthetist assistant came by for more questions and I had to explain what a VCH piercing was because I told them I still had a metal piercing in. Neither had ever heard of one so I’m assuming people may just not mention it (don’t do that!). They left and I’ve been applying lip gloss religiously and in total I waited almost an hour. Lucky I had my book with me. I’ve been reading The Martian. I quite enjoyed the movie so figured I’d read it. Ooh looks like I’m off. Wish me luck!

Day 1 Recovery – Friday 18th August

Update 3 – Its now Friday approximately 5.07am. I’ve gone to the bathroom unassisted (whoo). Well the nurse walked me there as she carried my blood and saliva tubes and waited outside for me but I was able to go on my own so that makes me happy. I don’t feel too bad. Fairly clear headed which is super cool. Anyway back to yesterday after surgery, surgery went well but I was in post-op for quite some time. My blood pressure was really low – I think I heard 80/50 but I could have imagined that in my state. I was wheeled up to my room at around 4.00pm where my mum and fiance came to see me. I couldn’t speak but I used my fiances phone to communicate as mine wasn’t in the room. They could tell I was tired so left around 5.00pm. Since then all I did was sleep. I feel tired still as I’ve never been able to sleep on my back so I woke up every 20 minutes during the night which was really frustrating. But I’m now drinking water which makes me so happy and so far its not making me feel sick. I can feel my nostrils have a bit of dried blood but I’m going to ignore it for now and hopefully my blood and saliva tubes will be removed in about an hour. I think the surgeon said he’ll come by around 7.00am so will be interesting to see if I can speak once the tubes are out. Anyway I’m going to lie back and rest some more. Will update after I see the surgeon. I hope I can go home today.

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About 2 hours out of surgery

Update 4 – Well I can go home today. Surgeon gave me the go-ahead. I can try and eat whatever I like and practice speaking but I can’t take the strapping off until Sunday which is a bit annoying but its to help the swelling go down so worth it! Overall I feel pretty good. I had the tubes taken out and my gosh that was one of the weirdest sensations I’ve ever had. It only took a second and got me to that stage you feel just before you get nausea but only for a couple of seconds. My nose is feeling a bit stuffy and my ears feel like they are popping a bit but its from the pressure on my jaw. I’m having a little issue swallowing but no more than when you’re sick and have a sore throat. Now I’m waiting because I have more medication to take before I can go. I think the last dose is at noon but again I could be making that up.

About 7.00am on Day 1 recovery

Update 5 – Last medication is at 12.00noon. Its currently 10.45am and I’ve managed to take the pill and eat a tub of yogurt. Yay! Took me an hour for a 170g tub of Chobani but still. Made some mess but as I can feel my top lip it makes eating a bit easier. Fiance is coming to get me around 12.30pm so I can go home. I’m going to have a nap before my next lots of meds.

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My sexy compression stockings

Update 6 – I’m home. Its 6.30pm and I got home around 1.45pm. I’ve eaten some soup that mama made me, had a shower, put my piercings back in and had a nap. My face feels huge and my teeth hurt. I’m getting this weird itchy sensation on my lower jaw but I can’t scratch it because its numb. So strange. I’m drinking up some soluble paracetamol now and having another cup of soup. My mama gave me some more yogurt with jelly mixed in and that was nice. I’m not hungry but I feel very low in energy so forced myself to eat. I’ve had two cups of soup – blended pumpkin, broccoli and carrot and two cups of yogurt today.  I’m much more head-achy now.  I haven’t overlapped the pain meds but I don’t feel too bad. My jaw feels a lot tighter and there’s definitely more swelling but I’ve been talking a fair bit and trying to move my jaw around so it’s probably just being exerted more than it wants to be right now. One of the things that is annoying is that my tongue doesn’t quite seem to know where to sit. It’s old spot doesn’t work anymore because my jaw has moved so now there are teeth in the way but I’m sure it’ll figure it out sooner or later.

Anyway, I’m watching Veronica Mars from the start again and I’ll probably fall asleep shortly. Will update tomorrow.

3 Days Out From Jaw Surgery

Today marks 3 days out from jaw surgery. I’m not nervous which seems to be irritating people. I’ve had lots of people tell me absolute horror stories which actually really infuriates me. Granted, I’m not nervous or stressed but why go into detail about awful things that could happen? Would you not think we’ve discussed these things with our surgeons or even googled it ourselves? It’s like when I got my wisdom teeth out and my fiance’s brothers were telling me about people who have bruises on their chests and ribs broken whilst the surgeon was trying to get their teeth out. It really adds nothing to it so here’s a tip – unless people ask, don’t share the awful things that are really a 0.00001% chance of happening.

So I’ve been reading some blogs of people who have had the same or similar surgery but what I’ve found is that people don’t talk about what they can and can’t do the first couple of days. I want to know things like can I shower on my own? Can I go to the toilet on my own? Will I need people to help me with absolutely everything? These are the things I want to know and any tips and tricks that will help me.

Anyway, before surgery I needed to get my jewelry sorted so on Saturday I headed to my piercing studio and got some plastic retainers put in. I’ve read a lot of conflicting information about metallic jewelry during surgery as well as multiple professionals telling me different things but I figured if it’s safer, I may as well swap out what I can. I ended up getting retainers only in my nipples. I took the jewelry out of my belly piercing because I’ve had it pierced for 10 years so didn’t need a retainer and I left the jewelry in the vch (if you don’t know what a vch is, it’s a vertical clitoral hood piercing. Image searches are NSFW if you’re curious) as the retainer would be far too uncomfortable for 3-4 weeks. If I had been prepared I could have ordered a glass one but unfortunately I was about 4 weeks too late for that.

But moving on. This morning I had my last appointment with the orthodontist prior to surgery. I had some photos taken and surgical hooks put in. I also had a bracket fixed because I broke it eating pork crackle (totally worth it) a couple of weeks back. The hooks are a little weird but nowhere near as big or uncomfortable like I imagined. From what I understood of the chatter between the orthodontist and the assistant, the hooks are used to align my mouth during surgery whilst the jaw is broken so they know how to line it back up again. The whole thing took about 25 minutes from photos to finish.

I’m actually not that clued in on how the whole procedure works, as in the jaw surgery itself.  I should probably look into it but I’m not that interested. Truthfully I don’t really need to know how things work. I’m very trusting of medical professionals – I’ve never had any reason to not be so I trust they are making and doing the best for me.

But I am still a bit nervous about the first couple of days post surgery. I’m sure everything will be fine and I’ll be looked after if not. My sister tells me the first 5 days for her were the worst and I’ve heard the same from friends who have had the same surgery so at least I’m prepared for that.

I went to Kmart tonight to get a few things to prepare. I bought a new set of pj’s because I figure I’ll need them. I also bought an internet extender thingy that will mean that the wifi signal will actually reach my old bedroom at my parentals where I’ll be staying for the initial recovery period. Tomorrow night I’ll start packing because on Wednesday night my fiance and I will load the dog and all my belongings and go stay at my parents because on Thursday I will be going to the hospital.

I’m actually really excited at this stage. I’m eating everything I can because I’ll be on liquids and soft food for what I’m sure will feel like forever. I’m drinking all the wine and I’ve stopped smoking so yay for me!