Day 11: References to Adult Humor

  • Pain: 3/10
  • Inconvenience: 7/10

Just as a heads up to my 120 or so committed daily readers (I didn’t even know that many people were interested in the inner workings of jaw surgery, haha), I may turn these daily updates into more of an every-other-day occurrence soon. Less and less is taking place regarding my recovery each day, so I’m only going to make a post if something has actually changed, or if I’ve had an appointment with my doctor.

I must say: I’m becoming awfully tired of tomato and cream of mushroom soup. I think I’m going to commence blending cans of chunky soup pretty soon, just for a shift in flavor. I wonder if the chunks of beef will mix up. My father told me that, when he had this surgery 35 years ago (albeit only his lower jaw), he was wired shut and all he ate for 9 weeks straight was tomato soup and chocolate milkshakes. I’m not so sure I have the discipline to eat the exact same thing for quite that long.

I’m going back to work on Monday. I hope I don’t drool on anyone. I also hope nobody makes the mistake of leaning in to talk to me, because they have a world of bad breath coming their way if they attempt to pull that trick. I’ll be heading home for lunch each day so I can make soup. I’m not a big fan of having to eat with a syringe in front of my coworkers anyway.

It no longer hurts to yawn because I’ve stretched my current elastics so drastically that I can now part my teeth when I feel a yawn coming on. It does, however, still pain me immensely to laugh and smile, and to that end I’ll most likely be skipping out on my family’s Easter Sunday festivities. I’ll be missing street hockey, an amazing meal, board games and good times all around. The thing is, I know I’ll be laughing the entire time, which means it will be nothing more than a day of excruciating pain for me. It seems like no matter what time of the year a person undergoes this surgery, they’re going to have to miss some big event, whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, or, in my case, Easter.

It is absolutely beautiful outside today, so I’m going to take the dog for a nice, long walk. I’m also going to make a solid effort to forego a nap today in the name of sleeping through the night and, hopefully, resetting my inner clock. I have a feeling I’ll fail to be productive at work in a few days if I continue going to bed at 4:00 am, getting up at noon, and only sleeping for an hour or 2 in that timespan.

Lastly, I received a message from a friend about how confused he was when I was ranting about the luxuries of the acclaimed Magic Bullet the other day. Apparently, it is commonly mixed up with the slang name for an adult bedroom toy. I kid you not. You can read the interesting story for yourself. By the way, everything that runs through my mind is, of course, G-rated, so if any of my comments ever refer to something dirty, you can rest assured it is purely by coincidence. Here’s the story: Magic Bullet: Super Fun Adult Toy or the Greatest Blender ever created?

“When you mention the Magic Bullet, people oftentimes think you’re talking about adult fun.”

22 Comments

  1. hey Graham. re-reading your blog as I recover. day six, and done with syringe mostly; using it is horribly discouraging to staying hydrated and i can drink water from a normal bottled water if i’m careful, despite numb lips. I had to post cos my bf thought i meant a sex toy when I said I borrowed my AUNT’S magic bullet. honestly, now. thanks again for the blog I’m enjoying it again 🙂

    • That’s really funny, Chelle! I’m glad I’m not the only one who received funny looks when I expressed my love for the Magic Bullet. =)

  2. Hello Graham.

    I first want to say thank you for your posts. They have been a life saver.
    I am day 12 of my double jaw survey with a chin implant.
    Its driving me nuts that one side of my looks like I got sung by a group if bees.
    I miss the simple pleasures… of drinking water in a cup.

    • Hi Crystal, good to meet you.

      Being stung by a bunch of bees is a fairly apt description of the uneven swelling we all have to deal with. Your life will become a lot easier over the next week or so, though, so have faith! I started drinking from a cup after 2 weeks and it sounds like you’re mighty close to that point. Stay positive!

  3. Hi Lance,

    I highly recommend journaling your experience in some regard (even if it’s not public). Writing helps pass the time during those initial weeks.

    I didn’t see a rendering of my “new face” beforehand, no. I desired to have this operation for functional reasons, so my appearance afterwards didn’t concern me much (though I realize this is important for confidence and such).

    I promise you will adjust to your new face quite quickly. The changes are subtle and generally positive. =)

  4. Hi Graham,
    I discovered your website last night, I’m meeting with my orthodontist for the final time before she hands me over to the surgeons. It’s been fantastic to read about your experience, and also to see the before and after photos. It sounds like I’m having a similar procedure to you, reading through your journals has made me feel much more comfortable about the whole thing.I’m even thinking about writing my own journal (probably just for my own benefit and won’t post it online). I only have one question, where you able to see a CAD model of your ‘new’ face before you went in for surgery?

  5. Wow that is great news thanks a lot Graham!

  6. Hi Taylor,

    It’s good to hear you’re 12 days into your recovery. You’re already over the most difficult hump of the process. (Interesting wording, I suppose.)

    I am not sensitive to the cold at this point. I experienced a bit of sensitivity during my initial recovery, but that went away quite quickly.

    It’s definitely not something you need to worry about in the long run. =)

  7. Hi Graham, thanks for your great blog!

    I had double jaw surgery and genioplasty 12 days ago. (Like you I had a class 3 malocclusion prior to starting braces a year and a half ago.) I seem to be recovering well since my surgeon plans to remove the splint in 4 days and start me on soft foods. I have found it helpful in my recovery to maintain a positive attitude. Since coming home after 2 nights in hospital I have not had to use the liquid codeine, just the Children’s liquid Tylenol, which I stopped taking several days ago. Everything is a-ok.

    Yesterday I happened to be walking outside when it was -6C here in Toronto and I noticed that my face was extremely sensitive and it began to get painful: both my numb areas (lips and chin), as well as the titanium plates inside my face seemed to be radiating cold throughout my face.

    Do you also experience such sensitivity to the cold now that your surgery is well behind you, i.e., will I be able to do winter activities like I used to?

    Thank you!

  8. I’ve also noticed I eat quite a bit more slowly now, even a year and a half later. I’m usually the last person to finish a meal, but hey, I enjoy it!

    Keep those spirits up!

  9. Hey,
    Thanks for the reply. Saw my surgeons today, they seem happy with my progress – Although they have put me into tight elastics for the first time which is awful – it aches so much and of course gives me a limited opening 🙁 I’m still being advised to stick to a soft diet so today i blended a curry and ate it with rice – was so nice to have different flavours! I never appreciated food before now im constantly planing ahead my next meal! 🙂 Regards x

  10. Hi Stephanie!

    I’d like to point out that, despite being restricted to a liquid diet, you’re still eating better than I am!

    Hopefully your surgeon gives you to go-ahead to start chewing again soon.

    Best of luck!

  11. Hey im so thankfull that i came across your website. I underwent double jaw surgery and a septoplasty 11 days ago. Until 2days ago I was on liquid syringe feeds but ive been managing to eat tinned spaghetti, noodles and today i managed mash potato, blended chicken, carrots and gravy!! it seems things are getting easier each day, your blog has really inspired me on the difficult days 🙂 Tomorrow i get to see my surgeon and see what the next step is! Thanks for all your help and advice x

  12. Your dad sounds like he’s making this extremely difficult for you! This may sound a little off putting, but there’s no shame in blending up a hamburger. If you can get past the thought of it, you’ll discover it’s actually quite tasty.

  13. i miss food soooo much. i live off burgers and i sware my dad has made so many burgers the past few days. i had to sit through the 4th of july bbq only eating soup. then the next night my dad made two burgers and ate them in front of me. i never want to see tomato or cream of chicken again

  14. My wife actually decided to go on a liquid diet with me, so at least immediate temptation has been removed. Plus, a really incredible decision on her part. We’re both going to go nuts when I’m uncaged.

    I’ve decided on a one week SuperBinge (to regain the 10 pounds I lost), and then it’s back to normal. Only difference is that I’ll enjoy the normal food so much more than I did before. And I’m not having a milkshake or smoothie for the rest of the year.

  15. This is true. My Dad is eating a burger beside me right now. It’s brutal!

    And I know what you mean. I have so many plans to go out for dinner and to have barbecues with friends when this is all over.

    I wonder if I’ll get ridiculously chubby this summer. I have this odd feeling I’ll be eating all the time…

  16. I highly doubt you will be. While my upper gums are still essentially without feeling, I can gradually feel more on my right nostril than I did in the week or so following the surgery. The swelling also goes way way down, though your brain starts to question if it’s all the way down, or will I have a fat face for the rest of my life?

    The option presented to me by my doc was: wire your jaw for 3 weeks, we’ll partially-sever your lower jaw about mid-way and put in a titanium plate with screws, but there’s a 10% chance of temporary nerve damage and a roughly 1% chance of permanent nerve loss. The second was wire my jaw for 6 weeks, completely sever a large portion of the jaw farther back, no titanium plate or screws. 1% chance of temporary damage, essentially negligible chance of permanent damage.

    Knowing I could never forgive myself given this option, I opted for 3 more weeks of misery but peace of mind. now that I’m past 3 weeks though, the logical long-term part of my brain is being questioned by the I-want-a-burger-now part.

    Just think of the added joy that actual food will hold after this ordeal is over. Food will be savored and not taken for granted ever again.

  17. That’s interesting that you were able to have the lower jaw done with no nerve damage. My doctor told me that whatever feeling I have left after 6 months is probably what I’ll live with for the rest of my life.

    I spoke with others who had the procedure done and they all received full feeling back. I’m just hoping for the best. If I’m *this* numb for the rest of my life, I definitely won’t be impressed.

  18. No to both. It seems our surgeries were rather different. I had a 3-part osteotomy, but I decided that any potential long-term nerve damage was too risky on my lower jaw. So, no titanium implants for the lower, they actually severed the lower jaw back beyond my teeth and essentially tucked it under the existing part, thus shortening the underbite. So I have no numbness at all on my lower jaw, and only my upper gums and right nostril have (temporary) nerve damage.

    I don’t eat with silverware or a straw, I just drink everything. I’d say 90% of my diet is still milk-based: milk with syrup, milkshakes with frozen strawberries or fresh banana, and chocolate ensure (I, likewise, am so freaking sick of chocolate flavoring). Last night I tried blending a chicken gumbo soup, but even after adding a half can of water it was too thick to get more than 10% of it down. I’ll try again with more water mixed in tonight.

    I have difficulty with savory food that isn’t fully intact, so it’s been a struggle, hence my reliance on milk-based sustenance. I found that Chinese egg drop soup blends well and is delicious, and french onion soup also blends pretty well.

    Seems like some of each of our respective surgeries was worse than the other. You had an impromptu Septoplasty, while I had nasal polyps removed from both nostrils. If you can believe it, my blood container in the hospital was probably twice as full as the image you posted, not counting the suction device mixed with water that flowed into a sep. container, or the result from several vomiting episodes. ::shudder::

    While I’m “only” wired for 60 days, I haven’t been able to open my jaw for a second since the surgery. Nor am I able to touch my elastics on my own, so I’m essentially drinking due to the gaps in my lower teeth. Apparently my bite wafer gets removed on Monday, so I should have an actual ability to talk, as opposed to our shared mumble/gesticulation method.

  19. Day 23? I’m jealous. I’m only halfway there.

    I’ll definitely try that soup. I’m going to start attempting to blend potatoes and gravy soon, I think.

    Do you eat with silverware now? Or with a straw?

  20. I’m on day 23 right now after upper and lower jaw surgery (plus some nasal reconstruction to boot). It’ll only get better from here. 2 1/2 more weeks for me, but I get my bite plate removed Monday.

    The few bits of advice I have:
    buy syrups for milk – I have vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and chocolate. It’s a lifesaver, and makes it easier while you’re still using the syringe.

    Select Harvest Zesty Tomato Bisque – needs to be blended, but the best tomato soup I’ve tried by far.

    Good luck.

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