Day 1: The Worst Day

  • Pain: 3/10
  • Inconvenience: 10/10

I woke up this morning at 6:30 am because that’s when doctors show up to do their rounds. I was finally sober enough to take in my surroundings–a large room, dubbed the “Dental Recovery Room”, complete with 4 beds, 3 patients, 2 windows and 1 weird smell. I awoke, once again, in my gorgeous gown, still not tied up properly, with no underwear on because, according to my nurse, I had explained in detail about how it was too uncomfortable the night before. My head was through this interesting ice-pack-sphere device and I had a dam over my mouth inflating my lungs with hydrated air. Also, I was freezing. Did I mention I was freezing?

My surgeon came over to me, shook my hand once again (although my handshake was a little weak this time), and, after a quick peak inside my bloody mouth, told me everything looked great and that I should try to rest as much as I can today. Then he was off, just as quickly as he had arrived.

Item of notice #1: my butt still hurt more than any other part of my body, which was odd considering I just had 3 pieces of bone cut from my very jaw not even 24 hours ago.

I learned who my 2 wonderful roommates were. The first, a guy from a neighboring town who had been punched in the face during a fight. And quite hard, apparently, since it took surgery to fix him all up. He was up and gone by 10:00 in the morning though, so I guess the fight mustn’t have been so bad after all. The second, a nice girl named Lindsay, who also had jaw surgery, but only on her bottom jaw. Her swelling was not quite as drastic as mine and I noticed she was able to suck through a straw, while I was constricted to pure syringe-eating. Oh, how I wish I could use a straw…

I learned something else interesting today: I’m not allowed to blow my nose for the next 2 weeks, which is highly inconvenient because it is full of blood and is about the only method I have for breathing right now. Apparently, they had to get all up in my sinuses during the surgery and if I try to blow it now, I could invoke bleeding on an “emergency scale” … what a wonderful thought. *sigh* I suppose I’ll simply continue my wheezing.

And to bring this wonderful day to an end, I discovered I had a huge splint in my mouth which is restricting all movement. When does it come out? In no less than 8 weeks. That means I’ll be unable to talk or eat properly for the next 2 months of my life.

Was it all worth it? Only time will tell. They told me today was the most painful day, and considering I’m experiencing virtually no pain (except for, ya’know, that butt pain I keep mentioning), I guess things are looking up.

Pictures shall commence tomorrow, as soon as I get home. Get ready for some swelling.


  1. How long did your spasm last for?

  2. Compared to how I was feeling after the surgery and that night, today has been a breeze. Mainly thanks to all you’ve put on this site. Been staying extremely hydrated. Had 2 bowel movements today as well. Swelling is at a ridiculously huge level, but that was to be expected. Looking at my x-rays of before and after I was so happy with what I saw when I saw the after x-rays that I swear someone was cutting onions in the room. Your blog has and will continue to help me and my family get through this. I appreciate the hell out of this man. It’s not so scary

    • Mike O, I always chuckle when people share their bowel schedules with me, haha. That being said, it is actually a big relief when your body begins functioning normally again, so make sure you drink lots of water (and prune juice) and get outside for fresh air as often as possible. =)

  3. Hey Graham,
    I had my double jaw surgery yesterday. Luckily I have no butt pain or any pain from the catherter. It doesn’t feel so bad at all but I guess because I was prepared for worse. I am able to walk around the room, drink ensure snd watch tv. Well you have a lot of good advice on this site, including recipes which I will be trying soon.

    • Max, so glad to hear you don’t have to deal with some of the more, umm, uncomfortable pains. The major adversaries you’ll have to combat over the next two weeks will be boredom and frustration. Remember to go for walks a few times each day to breathe in some fresh air, find some good television series to watch to keep yourself entertained, and try your best to drink as much water as you’re able to stay hydrated and help your body heal. Take care and feel free to reach out with any questions or stories you may have!

  4. munna alexander

    April 17, 2014 at 6:31 am

    hi graham,
    my name is munna and i am from india. i am going to have my double jaw surgery by next month. i am so afraid about it. is it a complicated one??

    • Munna, it is becoming a fairly standard operation, so there’s no reason to worry. Some of the most skilled doctors I’ve ever met were trained in India, so you should be able to find a reputable surgeon. As long as you’re able to take 2–3 weeks off of work or study (4 weeks if you need to speak to customers in your job), you’ll do great! =)

  5. Hi Graham,
    I had surgery yesterday, both jaws realigned. Luckily my mouth doesn’t have bands yet, but the surgeon says i’ll be getting them in the next few days. I have to use a syringe to drink from because the swellings preventing my mouth from closing, but I was able to eat a small amount of yoghurt with a spoon today. I have to say, I discovered your website about 6 months ago and read every page, it made me feel so much more prepared and relaxed. I’ve now told (well wrote a note to them because I can barely form words) my brothers to read it so they can understand what happened.

    • Lance, I know exactly what it’s like to be confined to a syringe for the first little while. You’ll feel much better in a week’s time, though, I promise. Make sure to get outside for a daily walk or two during these initial days!

  6. HI Graham,
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work on this blog. I had my double jaw and chin surgery yesterday and got home today but it’s look like i got it longtime ago as I was prepared for every step. Beside the wake up in the recovery room where I was kind of lost and confuse, i am not gonna complain a lot. I was getting pain killer every 3 hrs ( morphine / Tylenol 3), ice for the swelling , and Vaseline and nasal decongestant . Also I didn’t get any splint as my surgeon said that my teeth were all line up so no need and he told me that I can start the soft food right away. what do you recommend? Also do you think that the worst part is over yet or no?

  7. u just wanted to note my experience here was not quite normal (they didnt put on the correct rubber bands) and so after all of them snapping off, ingesting more flegm than i should have, replacing them correctly and then spitting a lot of it back up, everything turnrd out a-ok. im still in the first week but already im feeling loads better and would adgise not to let the firdt couple days intimidate you too mufh, theyre gone in a flash 🙂

  8. worst day of my life today.I constantly felt like,was being waterboarded to the massive amounts of flegme and blood lodged in my throat and lungs.

    • Mat, I remember those days. I felt like I was constantly on the verge of suffocating. It’s quite torturous. It will get better, my friend. Try drinking a smoothie to push some of the flegme out of your throat. Watch movies to take your mind off of it. And remember that every day will be better than the last.

  9. Graham – love your attitude to all your issues – sure i’m gonna love reading more of your blog

  10. Saint, my surgeon told me that patients clench the major muscles in their body during surgery due to the pain (though you don’t experience this because you’re asleep). Since your bum cheeks account for some of the largest muscles in your body, they tend to hurt after clenching them for 5 consecutive hours.

    My surgeon is an honorable, upstanding citizen and I fault him not for the pain in my gluteus. 😛

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