Day 10: Just Add Peanut Butter

  • Pain: 5/10
  • Inconvenience: 7/10

That’s my friend, codeine.

We’re in the double digits now–Day 10. Sadly, today is the worst pain I’ve had thus far. My jaw has spent a good portion of the past 24 hours spasming. I’ll barely get it back into a comfortable position and it decides to jump out again. My elastics are, of course, extremely tight, so it’s difficult to move anything around. I’m still not entirely sure what purpose they serve. I can open and close my mouth quite alright when they’re off, so I’m failing to understand why, exactly, I need them. I learn to remove them myself this coming Tuesday though, so I suppose 1 more long weekend isn’t going to kill me.

I was actually able to get some sleep last night! With the right amount of hotpacks, anything is possible. My swelling is nearly gone, but eating remains a difficult task because my feeling has not yet returned. I look forward to being able to locate my lips and nose again without the aid of a mirror.

My mother, bless her heart, started adding peanut butter to my smoothies this morning, and I assure you, they are now the greatest thing since sliced bread. Here’s the recipe–delicious!

  • 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 3 spoonfuls of yogurt (any flavor)
  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 2 spoonfuls of honey (preferably real honey that hasn’t been processed)
  • 1 big scoop of peanut butter
  • Edit: 1/3 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 cup of whole milk

If you mix that all up and blend it in that fancy Magic Bullet I know everyone and their dog owns these days, I guarantee you it’ll be a breakfast you’ll quickly become addicted to. Unless, of course, you’re lactose intolerant (or have the luxury of eating solid foods, like toast, for breakfast already).

I can drink water from a cup now, but it can still become a quick mess if I try to drink too quickly. My lips are also returning to a size more resemblant of a white male than, say, an ogre.

For those of you out there who are on the path to having this surgery carried out (a.k.a. getting the **** kicked out of your face), I assure you that the first 10 days are the worst. Once you become used to using heatpacks, eating soup and allotting an extra 45 minutes to brush, rinse, shower and eat in the mornings, your life will return to a more normal state.

I must say, I’m becoming incredibly efficient with this syringe of mine…

23 Comments

  1. My mom just informed me that we are going to NYC July 19 and I am still not sure I am ready to fly on a plane because I can’t chew either..

  2. Hey how are you
    I will be two weeks in after my jaw surgery tommrrow.
    I did not get wired shut I have Six titanium plates. And on Sunday the 16 the Surgen cut my rubber band off. I am now on all soft food diet no chewing yet. Last Friday I saw the surgeon and he gave me the go ahead to brush my teeth it was so nice but I have to use a sarange with salt water. I am off my pain meds and I had to finish the nasty liquid antibiotics. It was nasty.. I also stop taking the nose spray. I saw the ortho today and he pulled my mouth open and it hurt like no other. I am happy to say i am doing good I can use a straw and I am still slowen my lips were very chapped and sore the day after surgey. I want to eat hard foods really bad I am taking one day at a time I have to do mouth exercise to open my mouth more and my stitches are driveing me insane.

    • Bethany, I’m happy to hear you can drink from a straw and are on the road to being able to eat solid food again! You’ll find a lot more movement in your face over the next two weeks, but the most difficult part is already behind you. Stay strong!

  3. Hi Graham! I had my first post-op appt yesterday and I am very surprised! They cut off all my bands and said I only needed to make 3 squares to keep it wired shut now, but I can move my jaw around a little with them in. I am allow to take them off to “eat” (no chewing) and to brush. When did you begin to eat soft foods again?

    • Emily, that’s so lucky that they removed your bands! I started eating soft food again at 7 weeks post-op, but that’s only because I had my splint in for that long. Most people begin eating soft food again between 2–4 weeks after surgery.

  4. I had my first post-op appt today and I was allowed to brush my teeth. I was very apprehensive at first but then the surgeon did some brushing for me so I would know how much pressure I could actually use…needless to say it was awesome. He did however put more elastics on and I now have less movement, at least for another week. I was pretty tired and sore by the time I got home, we did a Costco run…also first time out in public! Surgeon says all looks good and he had a few things to discuss with my orthodontist.
    Graham I made a smoothie using peanut butter and honey…yummy!

    • Aren’t peanut butter and honey just a match made in Heaven, Terry? So delicious! Enjoy your newfound fresh breath, my friend!

  5. That’s a crazy experience, Michael! I would fear I had lost something vitally important if that happened to me!

    I’m glad you’re now able to breathe easy again. =)

  6. So my day 10 started with me rolling over in bed and bleeding profusely out of my nose (septoplasty!). After several hours of seeping blood and my surgeon telling me this is normal while the clot dissolves I decided to get a shower to see if I could help it along. Low and behold, when this clot came out it hit the shower floor much like a cracked egg would, and about the same size! I could breathe again! And my ears felt so much better! My surgeon then informed me that these clots are usually gigantic and thought I was pretty funny about it. Sigh, surgeon humor I guess.

    Did anyone else have this happen? Something to look forward to for those that are coming up to this time period. Just remember to not blow to hard, don’t want your brain to come out too! 🙂

  7. Hehe, it’s funny how the mothers fret more than the actual people undergoing the surgery. Your daughter sounds like she’s well prepared, KaKi. She’s going to do great!

  8. KaKi McKinney

    July 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

    My daughter goes into surgery on Thursday. She is having both top and lower jaw surgery. From a birth defect her face is asymmetrical. The bones on the left side are smaller than on the right. So, it will be fixed. I am worried sick! She is so cool about it. Thanks for this blog. At least I will be prepared to help her!!!

  9. Lindsey Summers

    June 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I just want to say I’m on my 10th day and I tried your shake and it’s thee BEST thing ever!!!! I was having a hard time finding things to eat but now I can eat this plus other stuff!!:)

    Thank you so much for your page!!

  10. Bumpkinrn, I remember the days where laughing hurt. My Dad was cruel and would make me laugh constantly. It wasn’t even fair!

  11. I am on day ten! I will only read a day at a time though because it’s too funny right now and it hurts to laugh!

  12. haha yes another Ensure eater. They really gave me the protein I needed; they just got old because I only had three flavors of them.

    I can hardly wait until I can chew again. Granted, it will be another 6-10 weeks. I have cut up hot dogs and hamburgers into tiny pieces and eaten them whole. That provided some solace. Pizza toppings are in the near future, I think.

    I have used Instant Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat numerous times. They fill me up pretty quickly.

  13. Haha, another Ensure-hater, eh? It does become pretty gross after a while.

    Just wait until you can chew again. You’ll have a newfound respect for food. I still appreciate each and every meal I eat!

    Don’t be afraid to try porridge and things like that as well. They taste good (providing you like porridge) and they fill you up.

  14. First off, thanks for posting this blog. I had double jaw surgery 10 days ago to fix a class 3 occlusion (underbite/crossbite) and they did a genioplasty (chin job) while they were in there. The last two days or so have been the most painful simply because the feeling has been coming back to my top teeth.
    After 7 days, I was given removable bands and allowed to eat foods with a “scrambled eggs” consistency. I can’t open my mouth very wide, though, so it’s pretty difficult. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy are my friends right now.
    Thank God; I was so sick of Ensure’s by the time I got done with liquids.

  15. Mine is on ~June 20th. Be careful though–you haven’t used your jaw for a few weeks, and you’d be amazed at how weak it becomes.

    I had my elastics removed for a few minutes only 1 week into my recovery at my first appointment (so I could brush) and was opening and closing my mouth and moving my jaw side to side, and it was already extremely weak. My doctor said that it only takes 1 week or so to regain near-full strength once you’re eating again though, because you use it so many times every day.

  16. In descending order:
    burgers w/ fries, pulled pork with vinegar BBQ sauce, Chipotle burrito, Monster Dog from Fenway Park, Chicken and Waffles, roast beef sandwich, a reuben, fattoush, and so on.

    There is going to be a massive, massive feast ~April 20th.

  17. Haha, don’t you wish you could just eat a few pounds of meatloaf, or a big chicken dinner, or some roast beef or something? I just finished blending a can of chunky soup. The meat seems to have blended pretty good. I’m hoping I can drink it through a straw.

    I also just got back from an hour long walk with the dog, and I’m pretty exhausted. I wonder how well I’ll fare at work on Monday.

  18. I’ve been back at work for 2 weeks now, which are my 3rd and 4th weeks. I’m 26 and healthy outside of my nose/mouth, so recovery at least should be pretty above average theoretically. I found myself getting tired after about 6 hours of work each day, so I’ve been doing about 7h days since coming back.

    I piled a ton of food into my office, so I just try to eat nonstop. Make a smoothie in the morning or carnation instant b-fast, then an ensure when I get in, a can of soup for lunch, a small Soy milk in the mid afternoon, then a big smoothie when I get home and flavored milk at night.

    It’s not pleasant, but the more you can force food into you the better.

  19. Haha, is it *that* terrible? Maybe I should take a few hours out of my day and attempt to shave tomorrow. Man oh man… I’m going to have to be super careful to not cut myself, yikes!

    I’m going back to work on Monday. My boss is well aware that I cannot speak. I’m also going to go home for lunch each day so I can make soup, but I only live 5 minutes away from work, so it’s not even a problem. I guess I’ll communicate via email and see how it goes. I also have a computer job–I doubt I could do anything too physical right now. I still feel really weak.

    And you’ll be fine when you get your surgery! Just remember to get Ron to respond to your every beck and call. =)

  20. so graham,
    do you think you will return to work next week? i am trying to develop some sort of slightly unscientific formula on my projected rate of recovery after i get the ****kicked out of my face. i am thinking whatever you do, i will add a week to, taking into consideration that my being double your age will impede my ability to generate healing at a rate of 1/3 less than you! i am optimistic!
    you look and sound like things are coming along well except for that scruffy unshaven thing you have going on!
    judy

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