Day 17: Morph Into A Canine. Check.

  • Pain: 1/10
  • Inconvenience: 5/10

Danger: Extremely flammable. Do not hold next to face.

I posed today with a tiny propane tank. It cleverly foreshadows the fact that I’ll be barbecuing like a banshee when I’m able. And yes, I understand “barbecuing like a banshee” isn’t an actual phrase. But guess what: it is now!

I brought blended soup to work with me today. I thought that having something with a little more pizazz than Ensure might make my day a little more comfortable. It turns out I was horribly mistaken. They tasted alright, but now I have little tiny bits of food scattered throughout my mouth and I can’t get them out because I have no toothbrush here. I’ve decided to stick to Ensure for lunch for the next 6 weeks. I’ll be making a trip to Costco tonight to buy an entire crate of them. The only problem is that I don’t have a Costco card. Mike, if you’re reading this, you’re taking me to Costco tonight. Mike is my roommate. He does have a Costco card.

Dinner, 7 nights/week.

The absence of feeling (or sensation, rather) in your lower lip and chin is one of the oddest experiences ever. I’ll be drinking a glass of water, thinking I’m doing just fine, and all of a sudden I’ll hear dripping. I then put a finger to my chin and realize there’s a steady stream of water running down it. Here’s hoping I regain my full feeling back.

Yesterday was grocery shopping day, or in my case, Ensure-and-prune-juice-shopping day. I once again felt incredibly rude at the grocery store. You wouldn’t believe how awkward it is to have a cashier attempt to strike up a conversation with you as they scan your items through, only to be greeted with a modest “I’m alright” and then a stern look at the ground in a hope that the conversation will end. I’m considering hiring a proxy. Any takers?

Dietary tip: Fiber is useless without water because it doesn’t dissolve into your system. For those of you set to undergo jaw surgery, when your surgeon tells you to drink a minimum of 2 L of water per day, they mean it. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

I’m still hungry all the time. Last night, I ate 2 cans of blended Chunky soup, a can of tomato soup, and drank 3 glasses of milk all in the span of 5 hours. I was still starving throughout the entire evening.

I definitely cannot complain about anything right now, though. Last night was the best night I’ve had since before my surgery. First of all, the stove in my awesome bachelor pad hasn’t worked too well since I moved in. It was impossible to bake or broil anything. So my landlord (being, of course, the world’s greatest landlord) went and bought a brand new stove for the place! Not only that–he also bought a brand new fridge! Then he came by with his friend, took the old appliances out, hauled the new ones in, accepted my late rent cheque and was on his way. I can finally bake all the food I want to! Oh wait, that doesn’t help at all, does it?

My medium for feeding has concluded its 2-week employment streak.

Then my mother showed up with my car, fresh out of the shop. It received a new front axle, a new wheel bearing on the passenger side, and had the power steering fluid flushed all for under $500! A mechanic in the city asked for $360 just to replace the wheel bearing. I’ve found my new mechanic. He lives 1 hour away from me, but he is well worth the drive. He saved me over $1000 this time. I did, however, have to return my parent’s car to them. And I must say, I already miss the fancy backup camera it has. Those little devices are the most useful feature I’ve ever seen in a vehicle. Except for, maybe, wheels. True story.

To cap off my wonderful evening, I randomly stumbled upon a 40″ TV that was on sale. Then I realized it was the same TV that I had just bought a few weeks ago, and it was $50 cheaper than what I paid! So I drove to Best Buy with my roommate and his lovely girlfriend (so that they could relay my thoughts to customer service in verbal form) and they refunded me the $50 difference. I’m been trying to figure out why the universe decided to give me a $50 surplus, and I’ve since realized it’s so I can go for a big, fancy, multi-course meal when this is all over.

I’d like to end this post by informing you all that I am slowly morphing into a canine. As I was driving last night, I suddenly smelled the most delicious food ever. Then, a few blocks later, we passed several restaurants. One of my passengers, bless her heart, forced me to roll my window up so I wouldn’t have to deal with the tease of real food any longer. My sense of smell has become heightened. I swear it.

22 Comments

  1. I went to my 2 week appointment today aND got my elastics loosened aND can now open my mouth a bit.

  2. I just had double jaw surgery almost three weeks ago and was just curious when you were able to get feeling back in your upper lips? This feeling is killing me

  3. This worries me some as my surgeon has told me I can eat whatever I please I just have to blend it. Although, I don’t see myself blending a steak or anything of the sort…. Just the thought of what that would look like is off putting…

  4. Hey Graham,
    I had double jaw surgery and a chin advancement 17 days ago and thought that I was one of the lucky ones because I was way ahead recovery-wise than anyone I had talked to, until last Tuesday. I caught some kind of stomach bug and this might be the problem, but I am also having real bad memory and concentration problems! I will be in the middle of talking to someone and all of the sudden zone out and forget both that I was having a conversation and who it was with. And I am usually someone who doesn’t have much to say about anything, but as you can see I have picked up a rambling habit. Did you or anyone you’ve talked to have anything similar happen?

    • Shelby, I recall having trouble focusing on tasks and remembering things when I returned to my job at 2 weeks post-op, but by the end of my 3rd week of recovery (day 21), my memory was intact and I was more or less at the same mental state as I was prior to having surgery. Your concentration problems could be related to your stomach flu, since that, coupled with your body trying to heal the bones in your jaw, would require a lot of your energy. However, if you don’t notice any positive progress within the next 3–4 days, I’d give your surgeon a call and ask if they’ve had other patients who experienced loss of memory during recovery. I wish you all the best! =)

  5. My son is on day 10 after double jaw surgery. Was already re-admitted to hospital. Was dehydrated because he couldn’t swallow. Turns-out he had a bad case of thrush. Also had a high white count but they have been unable to find the source of the infection. Still on heavy pain meds. Also has nasty cough (had chest X-ray &it was clear). Has no appetite. Anyone else experience any of this??

  6. Hi again!

    Still loving your posts and read them every day. Day 17 has been pretty good and you are right every day seems to get a little better. Just to let you know – my own recovery seems to be at a slower rate than some of the others posting on here so thank you for keeping it real as it is comforting to know that I am healing at a “normal” rate. Figure it is probably because I am mid thirties with 4 children at home. I see from others that they are not necessarily elasticed with a splint like I will be for 5 full weeks so that HAS to be a bonus for them. Question for the night to you is this – when did you get your feeling back to your lips? I see from your previous posts that you were able to drink from a straw however I can just barely now and find I make so much noise that it’s embarrassing! Can’t wait to be able to use one all the time.

    • Terry, props to you for being able to recover from an operation like this on top of raising children, wow! As for feeling, I received most of my feeling back about one month into my recovery, but it’s different for every person. You’ll regain a lot more control over your mouth and lips over this next week alone. =)

  7. Thanks so much for your blog Graham, I pretty much read it start to finish in the last couple days I found it so compelling. Good to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Seeing a few friends has helped a lot. I started taking daily pictures after seeing yours here, its an amazing boost to see the gradual difference already as the swelling starts to go down and I look less like a puffer fish, haha. Thank you 🙂

  8. I’m on day 5 post surgery after my double osteotomy. I’m only 18 and living in the UK. The 3 days in hospital were for sure the worst days of my life, very painful and very emotional, probably from the morphine. Slow and steady recovery so far, starting to feel more human every day. The hardest thing so far has been the limited diet, being hungry all the time is very hard. Especially when you’re surrounded by family eating normally. I still have a panel of numbness from my nose down to my chin, hopefully the feeling will come back soon. I’m definitely planning my first meals post-recovery!

    • Alice, hang in there for another week and a half and life will become much better! Being hungry and emotionally weary is certainly difficult, but it will build character as well. And just think, you’ll appreciate every meal you have the privilege of eating for a long time following these first few weeks. =)

  9. Chelsea Semple

    May 13, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I have an appointment on Tuesday, and they have been taking x rays every few months but I never found out I needed surgery until last week :/, but thanks ill ask my orthodontist tomorrow about whether its done growing or not 🙂

  10. Chelsea Semple

    May 12, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Ok I’m honestly relying on you for the next 3-5 months on what to do, I haven’t gotten my surgery yet but I will be in the summer and I’m only 14 so would there be any big differences from what you have been through in the healing process from me? If that made sense…

    • Chelsea, if anything, you should heal even more quickly than I did because of your age. As long as your surgeon has taken x-rays a few months apart to verify your jaw is finished growing, you’ll be okay. Most people’s jaws grow beyond the age of 14, though, so make sure there is x-ray proof that your jaw has finished growing.

  11. First of all.. Gotta say.. It makes me really happy you healed slower… I keep getting super frustrated at how slow my body has healed.. ( on week 3, still not at work) and oh my goodness are you right about smells! I still have been trying to find foods to satisfy and give nutrition because I’ve joined the always hungry crew.. Did you find your taste buds change at all? The envy the real food around me but the liquid foods I can have are just tasting gross!

    • Tricia, I haven’t met a single person who took as long as I did to heal, so I suppose if you peg your recovery against my own, you’ll always feel like you’re on a roll! Your taste preferences won’t change, but you’ll find yourself appreciating every bite for a long time following this experience. =)

  12. I’m on day 17 today and can totally relate to the hightened sense of smell in this post – When I wake up i’m adamant I can smell bacon cooking!

  13. Brushing is so much work though!

    Do you have elastics keeping your mouth shut? Those elastics make it infinitely more difficult to brush, because you can only do the outsides of your teeth.

  14. Go invest in another toddler toothbrush. You should be brushing after every meal anyway, and that includes at work.

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