Day 22: I’ve Finally Cracked

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

Proud to be Canadian.

That’s my giant camping backpack, or at least the top 1/3 of it. I can pack everything I need to survive in there–a sleeping bag, a thermos, food, water, clothing, rope, knives, matches and a small tarp. Oh, and maybe a toothbrush, if there’s room. Once I’m healed, I’m going to be going camping with said backpack. I’m going to roast hot dogs and fry steaks. I’m going to chop wood. I’m going to chase a bear down and tackle it to the ground, just because I can. Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit on that last point, but you get the idea.

Today, I woke up to the smell of a delicious breakfast. It smelled like eggs, bacon, ham, chives, mushrooms… I’m beginning to think it may have been omelettes. You can almost picture me spinning and dancing through an omellete forest, can’t you? Either my upstairs neighbors were starting their day off with a tasty meal, or I’ve finally cracked. It’s more than likely the second option.

I’m starting to recover a lot more feeling back in my upper lip and cheeks, but my nose, bottom lip and chin are still completely numb. It feels so cool being able to touch my cheeks and actually feel them!

Speaking of being numb, I’ve noticed the right side of my face is far more swollen than the left. As a result, my nose is extremely crooked and my entire face is somewhat lopsided. I trust everything will look normal when all is said and done, though! Right? Ah well, crooked face or not, at least I’ll be able to chew with more than 4 teeth.

I realized this morning why my braces have decided to start cutting into my lips. By the way, when I say “cutting into my lips”, I mean that quite literally. When I open my mouth, I have to grab my lips with my fingers and peel them off of my braces. It’s as uncomfortable as it sounds. Anyway, ever since I’ve been able to close my mouth to prevent the sacred act of drooling, I’ve had to suck my saliva down. Since my lips are closed, that creates a suction in my mouth, so every single time I swallow my saliva, I’m sucking the inside of my lips and cheeks right into my braces. It’s still worth it though, in the name of not drooling like some dog (even though that might be expected, since I am a canine).

To wrap this all up, I thought I was finished with spilling when drinking. I really did. But I was wrong. Yesterday, as I was tapping into my Ensure reserves (they’re like my own little private army), I successfully spilled one all over my desk. I guess I’m not civilized quite yet.


  1. While it’s slightly unnerving to see a lopsided reflection in the mirror, I can assure you that everything will even out once your swelling is all gone.

    Welcome to the team. =)

  2. I just wanted to chime in and say that I am also a member of the “Crooked Nose Brigade”. It’s day 22 for me, and the right-side of my face is still a bit more swollen than the left. :-\

  3. Hi again Lindsey. =)

    That’s great that you’re able to eat some more soft foods now. It’s frustrating at first, isn’t it? Your surgeon gives you to go-ahead and you’re so excited, only to discover that chewing is a lot more work than you anticipated.

    Once you have your splint removed, you’ll feel like a million bucks! You’ll be brushing and flossing and feeling fresh.

    Enjoy the zoo, my friend!

  4. Hey Graham!

    Just to give you more details on my recovery, (22 days yes!), I was given the okay to eat soft soft food yesterday (ravioli, eggs, meatloaf, mashed potatoes), and actually when I went home I was so excited I tried everything I could. Haha, big mistake. Since I still have the rubber bands, I can’t open my mouth all the way so it was/is hard to get the food back by my tounge.

    I feel soo much better now though! I played putt-putt with my friends and even though I was tired afterwards, it felt great!! I actually had a real meal yesterday! (My mom’s famous ravioli and garlic bread!!! I had to only eat the soft parts though..) I have to brush A LOT more though since I’m having chunks of food now instead of liquified stuff.

    I am so happy with my current results though!:) Like you said on here, your right side was a lot more swollen than your left side. I have the same problem. Because of that, my face is lopsided too haha.

    My lips can’t close because of the splint though. :/ I have a realllyyy small mouth so this splint sticks out. Plus I probably can’t close them yet due to swelling.

    I have feeling coming back also! Some areas it’s like pins and needles but at least it’s not numb anymore!:)

    Today, I plan on taking a trip to the local zoo! I’ll have to eat before I go, but I am extremely excited!:) I have energy again!!

    Thank you for your page! It helps me to stay positive through my recovery!:)

  5. It is indeed a long journey, but it’s totally worth it. A lifetime of smiling and chewing is a pretty sweet reward for a few years of dental purgatory!

    I remember the berry skins wrapping all around my braces and splint. So frustrating!

  6. Haha trust me yesterday was miserable I made myself a kiwi/banana/strawberry/blueberry smoothie. The first sip was incredible, then I took a bigger sip and felt like my mouth suddenly was a little more crowded. I looked in the mirror and as it turns out kiwi doesn’t blend well and neither do blueberry skins they were all in my braces. I was also very discouraged yesterday when I couldn’t handle eating overcooked pasta, but evidently it’s too early for that anyways I’m only on day 16 :/

    But, yes it’s surprisingly insightful each day I seem to be recovering at roughly the same speed you did.

    By the way, I HAD a class 3 Occlusion as well. All my dentists/orthodontists and the surgeon said it was the worst they had ever seen haha. Plus I’ve been waiting for this surgery since I was in the 6th grade when they told me braces were pointless because I was going to need the surgery eventually anyways. Now I’m 20. Long journey.

  7. Great jaws think alike. No wait, that doesn’t make sense at all!

    I guess this site is a look into your immediate future, then!

  8. So I just had my surgery May 19th and so far every single reason for the surgery all the way down to only being able to chew with 4 teeth, and every result from the surgery down to the right side being more swollen than the left, etc. Has been identical to my own situations haha. It’s crazy I think we might have had twin jaws before the surgery LOL

  9. Leigh, I honestly don’t think your daughter will be ready to dance only 2 weeks from the day of surgery. All swelling and discomfort aside, she likely won’t have the energy to do so. I could barely make it through a day at work 2 weeks post-op, and I simply sit in front of a computer at work.

    A dance recital is physically exhausting and she’s not going to have the energy to go through with it, especially if she has 2 of them. She also won’t be able to talk yet, so the entire ordeal may be slightly awkward.

    I’d try to talk her out of it. Have her read my post from my 2-week mark to make her aware of the discomfort and annoyance she’ll be experiencing on the day of her recital. 🙂

  10. My daugther is scheduled to have double jaw surgery around May 15th. She has a dance recital on May 29th (2 actually) and thinks it is okay to dance in those. From reading about, I don’t think that sounds very smart. Any suggestions on how to get her not to do this and screw something up.

  11. Hi Julie,

    I’m almost 5 months in and my nose is still crooked. Not enough that anyone notices (unless I point it out).

    My surgeon told me it’s from the swelling, but there’s a chance that it was just left crooked. Nothing is ever perfect, right?

    I’m still going to wait until my 6-month appointment before I ask anymore questions about it though.

  12. Heyy Graham,
    I was just wondering, did your nose ever completely straighten out? I’ve still got a long way to go until I reach the 6 month mark but I’m curious as to whether or not I should worry about my crooked nose lol. Any advice? 🙂

  13. I got my splint taken out at 7 weeks, but still couldn’t eat for another 2 weeks after that.

    I can’t recall when my stitches were dissolved, but I think it was around 8 or 9 weeks.

  14. I am 20 days post-op, as I mentioned in Day 90, and just wanted to let you guys know how my recovery compared, having also had double jaw surgery.

    I can definitely eat an omelette, bacon, ham, chives, and mushrooms at this point. 🙂

    My cheeks completely regained their feeling within the first four to five days. As far as I remember, they were never totally numb. I shaved on day 13, and don’t recall hitting any “dead zones.” My upper lip regained around day 7 or 8. My bottom lip and chin are still half numb, but every day they get a little more sensitive.

    Re: swelling, I saw an 80-90% reduction by day 10. The daily improvement from that point was marginal probably because I was off the anti-inflammatories. But I can barely see any swelling anymore.

    Still drooling (when I talk at lengths), but I’m betting that clears up in a week as my lower lip regains feeling.

    I’d love to understand why there is such a difference in recovery. I’m 22, if that helps at all. I will attempt to post photos of my reduction in swelling for those of you who are skeptical. I will also consult my surgeon in two weeks when I see him and ask him point blank, is it you or me who is awesome?

    Graham, when did you get your splint taken out, and how long did your stitches take to dissolve? They said they have to leave the splint in longer for me (4 weeks total) due to my relatively large top palate expansion.

    Good luck everyone, sorry if you have/had a slow recovery like poor Graham here! I don’t blame you for cracking.

  15. Hi Jojo,

    I took Ibuprofen to reduce swelling, but I only used 1 bottle of it because it tasted so gross. I had to get the children’s version because it was liquid.

    My swelling started to decrease substantially after about 4 weeks, but the last bit just went away last week, which is 10 weeks in.

    Your swelling *will* go down eventually, but as soon as that happens, you’ll be talking so much that it will shoot back up from that. 🙂 So I wouldn’t worry about it–your face will be a little inflamed until about the 2-month mark probably.

  16. Ok I am going thur the same thing I am on day 22 and my face is still huge and swellen. I m not starting to feel my bottom teeth and it doesn’t feel good. How long did it take for the swelling to go down? Did they ever give you anything for the swelling? I only had lower jaw surgery and every one else seems to be done with swelling. So I wanted to say thank you for having this blog out there.


  17. Haha, apparently another of my surgeon’s patients once took a short video with him “for a memory” and then proceeded to put it on YouTube without asking him.

    He said one of his assistants called him one day and said “You’re on YOUTUBE!”

  18. I live in Virginia. I’m guessing by the places on your Binge Menu that you live in Alberta. That may be too far a haul for a meal with fellow jaw patients 😀

    Extra bonus points if you film your first meal and put it on YouTube. “OH THIS IS SO GOOD!”

  19. I don’t know where you’re from, but my fellow jaw surgery friend up here and myself are going for the biggest meal of our lives when we’re both healed up.

    You should fly in from potentially the other side of the world and join us. I don’t see any logical reason why you wouldn’t do so. 🙂

  20. You should invest in one of those suckers they have at the dentist’s office.

    Today there were free bagels and pretzels at work. I was sad.

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