Day 6: Chucky the Freaky Circus Clown

  • Pain: 3/10
  • Inconvenience: 9/10 (I can *almost* use a straw now!)

Welcome to the freakiest “smile” ever.

I didn’t fall asleep until 4:30 this morning. That was a bad move because I don’t want to become sick on top of this cannot-feel-my-face condition. It felt like my mouth was trying to break out of my face. It wasn’t painful, it was just uncomfortable. Drugs, drugs, drugs, some are good, some are bad… but right now, they’re all good. All of them.

By the way, in case you didn’t think I was a drug-addict before (which I wasn’t), here is my daily routine of meds right now:

  1. Novamoxin: Anti-biotic to prevent infection since I can’t clean my mouth — 10 mL 4x/day
  2. Dimetapp: Decongestant (since I can’t blow my nose) — 5 mL 2x/day
  3. Ibuprofen: Kills the swelling (had to get the kid’s version because I need it in liquid form) — 30 mL 4x/day
  4. Codeine: Painkiller — 10 mL 4x/day
  5. Perichlor: To rinse my mouth out — 5 mL 2x/day
  6. Ipratropium: Nasal spray (again, since I can’t blow my nose) — 2 sprays/nostril 2x/day

Speaking of chubby faces, I can feel both of my cheeks again! Now I’m only numb in the narrow strip of my face reaching from the bottom of my eyes down to the bottom of my chin. However, to compliment this decrease in swelling, my face has started bruising. But I’m a guy, so this just makes me look tough.

It looks like my weight loss is beginning to peak. I’ve officially lost 21 pounds now–10.8% of my bodyweight. At this rate, I’ll be 0 lbs by about May 10th. I think that’s abnormally high though, because I was attempting to put weight on just before I went in for surgery. I’m naturally 175 lbs–I went into surgery at 194 lbs–and now I’m sitting at 173 lbs.

My brother and little nephew stopped by yesterday afternoon to say hi. We chatted for about 5 minutes or so. The poor little boy couldn’t understand a word I was saying and he was really confused as to why my mouth wasn’t moving but I was still able to make sounds. Then boredom evidently set in: “Okay, can we go now? I want to go to the hockey game.” Career as a ventriloquist? I just think I might.

And guess what! I can smile now! You can see my beautiful, flashy grin in today’s mugshot. I think I look like a freaky, circus clown–I’d even be scared if I saw that in the middle of the night!

Well, apparently it’s 13 ยบC today, so I’m going to go outside. Dad and I are going to head downtown to pick my car up since I’m finally up for driving. I hope this goes well. I can see the headlines already:

“Man crashes into all-you-can-eat buffet while steering with his knees and using both hands in an attempt to drink from a syringe during his drive down Whyte Ave. Irony prevails.”

A big thank you to my friend who kindly forgot I was incapacitated and invited me out partying last night. I really do appreciate all these reminders that I can’t do jack squat right now.


(Mmmmm, Cheerios…)


  1. hi! I have to fly at day 19 (not counting day of surgery). Did you fly? Looking for some folks that under went same surgery and flew so I can determine whether or not it’s worth it. thank you!

  2. Your blog give me an idea and support during thag terrible time. I am now on day 6 and the pain from the teeth/lower jaw drove me nuts and the unbearable headache.

    How can you still eating( drinking), i am struggle with syringe feeding as half or most of them get on my bandage, PJ

  3. Thanks so much for writing this. It’s really nice to read about other peoples experiences in recovery. I am on day 6 of recovery now. I had both jaws done and the top in two pieces to correct a large open bite in my molar area, an overbite, and severe sleep apnea. Im 35.

    My first round of surgery failed completely. The surgeon fractured my lower jaw early in surgery and had to prematurely stop the procedure. Two weeks later, second try, and the second surgery seemed to go pretty well. My only regret is that the surgeon was unable to completely close my bite in the back. I have very little swelling, but a good amount of pain and pressure, especially when swallowing. I am still pretty numb from chin to upper lip. My upper gums are completely numb. My ears also hurt, and I am scared to blow my nose because I feel like that whole area has some healing to do. I have completely stopped snoring at night which is incredible, but I am having a ton of difficulty communicating, in part due to a giant splint behind my upper teeth that gets in the way of pretty much everything. Liquid diet, lots of rubber bands. First post-op appt today.

    Today is my first day back at work but my company is allowing me to work from home as long as necessary so Im feeling fortunate for that.

  4. Hi Graham! Im on day 6 as well from a double jaw surgery + a chin implant which makes the recovery road a little longer than yours, so thank you so much for your website, its really helped me feel a whole lot better about this surgery!

  5. @Terry: I’m finding that my calves are incredibly sore, too–started early on day 3 and has gotten increasingly worse through day 5. I hope it’s nothing to worry about. Will probably have my ma call my surgeon tomorrow if it doesn’t let up.

  6. Hi Graham,
    I’m from the US. I apprecaite your blog; it’s really uplifting. I had double jaw surgery and a genioplasty last week. I’m finally on day six of recovery now! The left side of my face is a bit more swollen than the right. My mouth doesn’t close; I hope this changes, because it bothers me the most. Do you know if this is because of the splint?

    • Kayla, I would imagine the reason you cannot close your mouth right now is due to a combination of intense swelling and having a splint in. Your swelling should decrease quite a bit over the next week, at which point this problem should be in the past. Stay strong! =)

  7. I haven’t gone through surgery yet but I just wanted to tell you your blog is hilarious! LOL I’m glad I’m reading it now because if it hurts to laugh after surgery and I had read it then I would’ve ended up in the emergency room!

  8. Hi graham,
    I’m on day 6 post-op from double jaw surgery today. I switched from pain killers to essential oils and it’s amazing how the pain and swelling has gone down. But I have two problems, 1. There is so much pressure on my cheek bones! Is that normal? And 2. My stitches on the insides of my cheeks are itchy and sore and they prevent me from sleeping at night. Any suggestions on how to help? Thanks for your blog, it’s so helpful!

    • Hi Alyssa,

      1. The pressures on your cheek bones is likely due to the intense swelling you undergo during the first couple of weeks. Unless it becomes painful, I wouldn’t worry about it at this point.

      2. If your stitches are sore, try gurgling warm salt water a few times each day to help your skin heal more quickly. You can also drink a cold smoothie to try and numb them slightly. Again, this should go away within the next two weeks.

      I hope you’re sleeping better soon! =)

  9. hey, thanks so much for your blog its been so great to read it. i just had double jaw surgery, its been 6 days and im starting to feel better. have a look at my blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I had my surgery last week, on the 13th I had a bi-max. Like you I gorged into every delicious food I could lay my eyes on.( well just an extra portion). Thank God for your blog, I compare my symptoms to yours, so anything I get,” Let me go check what that Canadian guy has to say on this”, and you put my and my mum’s minds to rest on so much stuff. Thanks again for the blog. My swelling decreased rapidly, but now it’s slowing down,and I look like of them chipmunks form Alvin and the Chipmunks. But it’s a temporary thing so I need to look at the final goal- a good smile:).
    Thanks man and,
    Keep smiling! Ruth

    • Ruth, so happy my experience here can provide some comfort for you! What’s your first meal going to be once you can eat comfortably again?

  11. Thanks for the reply. She is doing much , much better now. She has taken a huge turn for the better in the last couple days. Her surgery approach was a tad different than yours. She had upper and lower but they did not wire or band her mouth shut. She does have the dreaded splint though. We seen the surgeon Thursday and learned she should have been able to shut her mouth this whole time, but they moved her lower jaw so far forward (15mm) that her upper very back molars are now kitting her far back gum line and preventing her from closing her mouth, so in 6 weeks when the splint is removed , those molars have to come out. She is able to open her mouth a good deal now, enough to fit a spoon and be able to eat mashed potatoes and such. One thing we discovered works well for somewhat thicker soup that is too hard for her to try to spoon eat (slips off the spoon before she can find her numb lips, lol) is to take a childs plastic sippy cup, then take a hot nail and melt the holes so they are much much bigger or make it just one large hole, then she is able to slurp the thinker soup through the cup without spilling it all over. Oh the things we think of to help someone eat. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I just wanted to shoot you a HUGE thanks for writing this blog. My 17 year old daughter had upper and lower surgery last week, and when she was feeling pretty hopeless about ever gaining control over her lower lip again we found your blog and she at least now has hope. Think already self conscious teenager with a new enormous drooling issue and you will see why she was horrified, lol. We had no warning of the drooling. We were told about the pain, the diet, the inability to open her mouth much and not being able to close it, but somewhere along the line, drooling was left out ๐Ÿ™‚ . She is supposed to go back to school on Sept 30th but if the drooling is still present , I think we will wait a week. Making a 17 year old, deaf sounding, chipmunk faced, drooling kid go to school has to be considered inhumane, right?

    • Tonika, it’s amazing how primitive this surgery can render a person during those initial weeks, isn’t it? I would keep you daughter home from school until she’s able to communicate somewhat clearly, but know that she’ll need to return to school while she’s still swollen and not perfectly understandable. She should be able to control both her drooling and her speech by around the third week. Best of luck!

  13. Hey Graham,

    I am on Day 6 of recovery, which is why I chose to comment on this post even though the topic isn’t necessarily relevant.

    Throughout my recovery, I have been suffering from extreme insomnia (to the point of two hours of sleep last night). My main problem seems to be that I am naturally a sidesleeper with a mild case of scoliosis, which means that my back is very determinedly and loudly Not Happy when I sleep on it. Do you or anyone else who may have faced this problem have any suggestions for me on how to overcome it?

    Thanks so much,

    • Megan, while I was able to sleep for more than a couple hours per night, I did find it very difficult to sleep through the night for the first 3โ€“4 weeks. What you’re experiencing is perfectly normal (despite being a slightly more extreme case) and you’ll be able to sleep through the night again in a few weeks. The only suggestions I have right now are to use a hot pack on your face while you sleep and to take a painkiller that will make you drowsy before going to bed. It’s frustrating, but I promise you’ll be in good shape again within the next few weeks! =)

  14. I was not given any instructions about brushing yet and I do not see my surgeon for my first post-op until Monday. My upper right lip and bottom lip are still quite swollen and numb and the issue I am having is that the inside of my lips seem to be sticking to my braces…which is gross! I also wasn’t given any other nasal spray other then saline so I might pick up some Dimetapp today. I also have very sore calf muscles, not sure if it is similar to Graham’s “butt” situation but has anyone else experienced this?

  15. Wow. I wish I got given liquid meds. The doctor prescribed me ibuprofen, panadol (regular pain killer), endone and antibiotics. They were all in tablet form.
    Struggled to get them down in the first week, pretty sure I gagged on the antibiotics every time due to the size of them (about 2x size of a thumb nail).

    The only liquid medicine I was prescribed was the mouth wash. It left a nasty aftertaste in my mouth, although it was a lot better than my breath after the surgery..

  16. Hi guys. Im on day 6 now. I sleep ok however i struggle with saliva. Its sticky snd stretchy n grose n i need to rinse my mouth all the time. I for some reason feel i cant swallow it. Due to this its hard to breathe. Im eating with the spoon have been since day 4. I drink tablets too. Im not in a lot of pain just very very uncomfortabke due to sticky saliva and swelling

    • Jasmina, the only “cure” I know for having thick saliva and mucus is to drink lots of water in an effort to keep yourself hydrated. That should clear up some of the issue.

  17. Hey! I’m 17 and I’m frm Australia. Finally on day 6. At the start I wasn’t able to drink anything thick. But last night mum spoon fed me melted ice cream. God bless her. I love your blog, you have a great sense of humor! Few things bothering me is that 1. I still drool and bleed from the nose when I stand up. 2. Does not look like the swelling has gone down at all. 3. I have a tingling feeling on my right cheek and it’s distracting me from sleeping. Can you suggest anything? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Sara,

      I’m jealous of the fact that your mother is feeding you ice cream. I have the worst craving for it now!

      You’ll be drooling for another week or two, so I would just keep a paper towel or cloth nearby until some of your feeling comes back. Your swelling will begin to decrease soon, but you’re still very early in your recovery. It’s going to be uncomfortable for a little while yet. As for sleeping, my only suggestion is to put a hot pack on your face to sooth it. I was unable to sleep through the night for about a month, but each night was a little better than the one before it.

      Hang in there. You’ll be back to your normal self soon!

  18. Hey Graham!
    It’s a glorious Day 6 and I’m a week away from removing my rubber bands so I’m feeling ok!

    I’ve managed to keep my emotions together for the most part, but still can’t help feeling aggravated at things like drinking my meds through a syringe and being slightly weak. Can’t really stand or do alot of things for long. Oh and what I wouldn’t do for some soft food in my mouth now. When exactly did swelling go down for you to the point when you started looking like your old self?

    I hope you salsa-ed(might be inaccurate here) to your next destination! I see you’re in Amsterdam now. Maybe you should it do in clogs instead. What good christmas cards those would make ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hi Alarice,

      You’re in your second week nowโ€”exciting! I recall beginning to resemble my old self after about 6 weeks. It sounds like a long time from now, but it will fly by, I assure you!

      I’m currently living in a city called Lubumbashi in Congo. Amsterdam was certainly the most relaxed city I’ve ever been in. I can actually see myself living there! =)

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