Day 7: The Miracle of Codeine

  • Pain: 3/10
  • Inconvenience: 8/10

Holy *huge* lips!

Edit: I added a mugshot to show how excessively large my lips are today. Holy ****!

Edit: I also noticed that this blog is now the #2 hit if you search for “double jaw surgery” on Google. I’ll drink to that!

It’s been a full week since my surgery and things are looking up. My swelling has decreased dramatically. I can open and close my lips quite easily and I have feeling in my top lip again. The downside? That very lip is split wide open due to the swelling from the past few days (because I didn’t get Vaseline on it soon enough), so that’s the most painful part of my day right now.

My nose and chin keep getting itchy these days as well, so I scratch them in an attempt to remedy the sensation. That’s great and all, except they’re both still completely numb, so I can’t actually feel myself scratching them. Perpetual itch.

I went and saw my sister and her children yesterday for a few minutes. I find it amusing how adults can understand me, but the young ones just can’t wrap their minds around the fact that a person can talk without moving their mouth. The only acceptable explanation I’ve found so far has been to tell them my teeth are glued together. My sister also kindly reminded me that my puffy cheeks make me look like a cartoon character. Thank you for that.

I’ve stopped attempting to speak in words and started speaking in tones and murmurs. I’ve discovered that the mere inflection in my voice is enough for most people (sans children) to figure out what I’m saying. I really appreciate the people who listen to me, clearly don’t understand what I just tried to say, and then nod and say “yes, okay” as if they had heard me perfectly fine. I see right through your false responses!

Oh, and yesterday I had some tomato soup for lunch. What a welcome change! I also went for a little drive, but I was a little lightheaded during the trip because I was so hungry, so in hindsight, that may not have been the best idea.

I have my very first post-op appointment with my surgeon tomorrow morning. I’m hoping he’ll put looser elastics on so I can start eating a little bit more.

To sign off, I’ll leave you with a simple, yet profound revelation that struck me at about 11 o’clock last night. It goes something like this: codeine is straight from Heaven itself. Seriously.


  1. I am currently two weeks post op and my biggest annoyance is the Unitchable itching caused by the nerves waking up. Did you ever have this problem? If so, how did you deal with it??

  2. Reaching day 7 today; found out I can drink from a glass as long as I’m watching myself in a mirror. My lips have been great: I really really recommend AQUAPHOR to anyone that’s going to be going through this. It’s petroleum based rather than vaseline based, but my lips “shed” at like…day 3, and the skin below was very very soft and healthy, and has remained so as I’ve kept using it.

    I’m finding I’m having some problems with either a stitch or my top lip catching on my braces though–owwww. :p I’m also incredibly sensitive to cold anything and have started trying to warm my smoothies/shakes up before drinking, as well as drinking lukewarm water. Didn’t even attempt to talk til yesterday. Soup is the best thing in the world.

  3. My daughter had her op Tuesday 11th and out of hospital on 12th after double jaw surgery and wisdom teeth removal. Yesterday was a painful but ok day for her. She was taking tramadol in hospital with ibuprofen but came out with just liquid ibuprofen and paracetamol. This evening has been a bad one for her, she seems to has swelled even more throughout the day and lips very puffy. She did manage water, complan, juice and 1/2 tin of soup so pleased but she was in awful pain tonight, I have bought some co-codamol tonight and going to doctors tomorrow. i am hoping the severe pain will subside tomorrow??? (Day 4) She worries that opening mouth even slightly will move her jaw. We have follow up on day 7 but feel very alone with post op

  4. Hi I had double jaw surgery, thought it was single so that was a bit of a shock. I’m on day 7 now, I’ve got most of my feeling back now but I’m using ice packs which are my favourite thing in the whole world at the moment, just wondered when you started to get your feeling back?

  5. ALSO these braces with the hooks on them are from the devil himself LOL! I can’t wait to eat pizza again

  6. Hi!! I had double jaw surgery last week. I am completely wired shut and MISERABLE =/ I go tomorrow to my 1st f/u appt. I am hoping that they release some of these bands. I am still really sore and swollen. What should i expect at my appointment? These posts have been so helpful.

  7. Abby Williams

    July 1, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I’m a week post op today! so far so good! I can talk pretty clearly, sell in has gone down massively, the bruising is starting to leave and feeling is starting to return! I can feel upper lip and up and I have feeling of sensation in my chin and left side of my face.

    i feel like I may have a slight over bite, if so will the orthodontist be able to correct that?

    • Abby, welcome to recovery! Feeling like you have an overbite (or like your nose is crooked, or like your lips are huge) is perfectly normal at this point. This is all related to the intense swelling in your face, so as this goes away, the shape of your face—overbite included—will return to normal. Also, remember that your jaw is actually in a different position than before, so it may take a few weeks of looking in the mirror before you’re able to accept this as the new you. =)

  8. Graham,
    You are truly an inspiration! You have helped us so much in preparing for this journey and now on day 7 and we’ll continue to use all your helpful information and humor! My daughter Kaitlynn is 17 and had double jaw surgery last Friday. The first few days were awful the on to a couple good days! Pain has not been an issue,drooling is just an annoyance! But food is the biggest struggle right now! She has a syringe with a pretty small tube to eat through but I try blending anything! Thank goodness for Ensure! Never thought we’d say that! Last night she cried because she is just so hungry! She’s a tiny girl but a good eater normally! I have a new concern and appreciation for parents who struggle to feed their children….in any circumstances!
    We are trying to stay positive and think of her senior year of high school, senior pics & future cheeseburgers!
    Thank you for creating this resource for patients as well as families helping them recover!
    Shannon (Kaitlynn’s mom)

    • Shannon, it sounds like Kaitlynn is in good hands with you taking care of her. I was hungry for roughly the first 6 weeks of recovery… it truly makes you appreciate the food you’ve been eating all your life! She will be fully recovered and smiling again soon, so hang in there and do your best to keep her busy. =)

  9. Hello! I got jaw surgery last friday but i’ ve been reading your blog for over a year, since i was told i needed to get the surgery! It is really funnh and helpful and i am really thankfull that you shared your process here! I am on day six, and my biggest inconvenience is the drooling! I cant close my mouth yet and so ive been drooling terribly! Anyway thankyou and best wishes!

    • Alex, I remember the “drooling days” well (perhaps unfortunately). Stay strong and try to keep busy with walks, TV shows, and books. =)

  10. Hi Graham! Today marks 7 days from when I had my double jaw (+ genioplasty) surgery done. Just wanted to let you know that your blog has been so entertaining and I’ve been reading each of your days as I go along, kind of as a way to compare my progress! I’ve gotten over the peak of swelling and don’t seem to have any major issues at the moment. I just want this swelling to go down! I’m a pretty petite person so I’ve told friends who haven’t seen me in person yet that I currently look like a bobblehead because my face/head is just so ginormous. Anyway thanks so much for the blog!! 🙂

  11. Graham I want first thank for your blog it has really helped me a lot. I am on my 6th day of double jaw surgery. My mouth can open a little it was closed with rubber bands but they all broke off day 2 but my doctor said it was ok because the retainer is holding everything tight enough. My biggest problem is my face is bruised and now it has spreading to my neck is that normal. I am swollen but also black a blue. I also have been having a hard time holding liquids down so body feels week. I going to my doctor tomorrow to see what he recommends.

    • Kam, while the bruising can appear frightening, it is perfectly normal, so there is nothing to worry about. It seems approximately half of the people I meet who have this surgery end up with fairly intense bruising on their face and neck during the first two weeks. It will go away soon and you will look healthy once again. =)

  12. I’m assuming the jaw surgery position! Sat bolt up right in bed looking again at this wonderful blog. I’m 7 days post bilateral saggital split surgery (so just the one jaw). I see my Orthodontist tomorrow, hopefully they will take my splint out and pop some bands on. I just wondered if any of you guys had it where your jaw muscles just fell asleep and I have to make a conscious effort to keep my jaw shut? Also Ive got a nagging pain in my right side? Any suggestions?

    • Smithy, welcome to your second week of recovery! You’ll be quite numb for a few more weeks, so it’s fairly normal for your mouth to hang open like you mentioned. As for the pain in your face, it could be any number of things, and if it’s not preventing you from sleeping or enjoying life in the meantime, there’s likely no need to worry. If it becomes chronic or unbearable, I’d give your surgeon a call. =)

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