Yesterday was my second follow up appointment and it has now been two weeks since surgery! I ended up being at Dr. G’s office for a good 2.5 hours yesterday. I have three different sets of rubber bands that have been holding my jaws together. One on each side and then one directly down the middle. The ones on the sides are attached to my braces but the one down the middle is attached to a screw and a hook that are drilled into my actual bone. The screw and hook stick out of my gums and the rubber band hooks on at the top and bottom. This kind of freaks me out knowing I have a screw that is in my bone that I am hanging something off of, but I am completely numb still and can’t feel a thing. Hoping it stays that way at least around my screw and hook!
The first thing Dr. G did yesterday was un band my mouth. I was nervous because that had been like a security blanket for the past two weeks and it was going to be taken off! Right before he did it I half jokingly asked if i should expect my jaw to come flying open after the resistance is released and without missing a beat he replies “yea you should probably have your hand under your chin to catch it- just in case!” This made my heart skip a beat and I think he could tell because right away he said “I’m just kidding that was mean you will be fine.” It makes me glad to know I have a doctor who I trust but also has such a good personality! The bands came off ok and I was then told to open my mouth as far as I could. It was super awkward but I managed to open and close it a good amount of times. Not near the range I had pre op but It will get better, just need to remember its very early still 🙂 after I worked with opening it I was told I could finally BRUSH my teeth! I had been doing a peroxide/salt rinse numerous times a day but nothing compares to brushing your teeth. I was very hesitant to stick my toothbrush in my mouth and could hardly feel what I was doing due to numbness but I definitely felt better after! I am super happy I am able to brush everyday now, I will never take brushing my teeth for granted again!
After brushing I took xrays and he said my bones and joints look super! That is so reassuring. I am excited to be able to see an xray here soon of my new jaw, I want to be able to see where he put the titanium plates and rods in my face. eeek! Finally Lena his wonderful assistant helped me practice putting the bands on by myself and taking them off by myself. I’m sure i’ll get better at this soon..I am going to be taking them off and on 2-3 times a day to do exercises now! I am also supposed to start taking all my joint medications again! Before I left the office Dr. G suggested I meet another patient who will be having surgery on Thursday. She is very nervous and anxious and feeling a lot of the same emotions I felt right before I had mine. I was able to reassure her she will make it through and be ok when she wakes up in the hospital. She reassured me with how impressed she was at my progress in only two weeks! It was awesome to meet someone else going through this same process around the same time as me. Definitely makes me feel less alone in it all!
What a long day mentally yesterday was for me. I try not to get caught up in how far I still have to go but rather how far I have come. Easier said than done but I have made it to my first milestone post op and I know more will be coming! I am now on just a blended diet (doesn’t have to be strained or particle free anymore) and hoping to increase my range of motion a little bit every day when doing my exercises. The one thing I CAN’T wait for is when I can sleep on my side again. It’s hard work sleeping on your back the whole night! Through it all, the best feeling ever is knowing that my front teeth now touch for the first time in nearly 6 years. I’ve often found myself admiring other people who have a perfect, functioning bite and now I am well on my way to having one also!
Another thing I learned yesterday- blended up enchiladas aren’t as bad as you may think and there is no shame in trying to drink hummus 🙂
Below is me trying to brush my teeth…haha mom was so proud!