Day 24: Skinny Jeans and Airkicks

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

I tried eating a Ritz cracker. I failed. The lesson is: never try.

I woke up this morning and decided to try something new. I started rifling through my wardrobe until I stumbled upon a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in quite a while, due to them being way too tight for my liking. Well, with the advent of 30 pounds of my body disappearing in a puff of smoke, they now fit! I’ll get my money’s worth yet…

I also had the pleasure of sleeping for a full 7 hours last night! I have this nasty habit of starting projects at around midnight every single day of the week. Jaw surgery should send you to bed early because every time you yawn, you risk snapping elastics and hurting yourself. But for me, it’s just not working…

More Ensure than I know what to do with!

Last night, I had the privilege of playing Mario for 3 hours with a couple of friends. It was awesome. In the latest game for Nintendo Wii, everyone can play together at the same time. You can even pick your friends up and throw them off cliffs, which is what I devoted most of my energy to. Wouldn’t it be glorious if we all lived in Mario’s world. Think about it: in Marioland, even the bad guys break into dance when the music is just right. I’ll save you, Peach.

Moving on to a completely different topic, my upper lip is really starting to get cut up. My braces are continually digging into it, and it’s not pleasant. I can literally see chunks of live flesh dangling when I pull it up to look. The inside of the lip is completely shredded. Lovely, isn’t it?

I’ve figured out what the worst part of being in this state of weakness is. It’s not the fact that I’m starving all the time. It’s not the fact that it takes me forever and a day to brush my teeth. It’s not even that I look and sound funny. The worst part is watching the world pass you by. If you’re someone who makes video games the main activity in their life, then I guess you wouldn’t really be missing out on much. I, however, want to run. I want to swim and work out. I want to play sports and go biking. I want to talk to people and go out and climb trees and jump off picnic tables and do awesome airkicks. But I can’t.

To end on a positive note, I broke both of my elastics again last night while yelling at Mario. That means I got to brush my teeth inside and out. I even opened my mouth far enough to stick my tongue out and lick my lips quickly. I haven’t been able to do that for almost an entire month! I think I may return to normal again one day.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the Fortress of Ensure.


  1. Day 23 – I try to read the blogs that relate to the day I’m on but I got weak and read on!

    Your so right about the hardest thing being life passing you by. For the last three years I’ve intensely been studying to become a midwife! I qualified the day before surgery and had four weeks annual leave after my surgery which i haven’t been able to enjoy! Although I did have some friends over Friday night! We drank wine, I attempted to egg Chinese food….. And I sang! Resulting in a very sore jaw for the remainder of the evening and Saturday!

    It’s my birthday in a week, I turn 30 🙁 I’m expecting it to be pretty miserable!

    • Gemma, your musings are fantastic! Congratulations on the hard work in becoming a midwife. Hopefully your days of studying are now behind you. And nice work singing and attempting to enjoy yourself… despite the soreness that followed. I assure you there is a day in your near future where you’ll be able to sing without feeling it the next day. 😊

      And happy early birthday from over here in Poland! I’m 30 right now and I promise it’s not so bad. Your options for celebrating, however, may be limited, haha. 🎉

  2. Hi Graham!

    Like most commenters on this page I’m on day 24 post double jaw surgery too. I’m 17, so my mom flipped out of course and started searching the web for any bit of info she could find. She stumbled on your blog around my day 4, and since then it has really helped the both of us get through each day knowing I’m on the right track!

    Anywho I’m commenting because I had the same experience as you! I was also working out pretty hard before my surgery to prepare for a big soccer recruitment tournament. I lost ten pounds of muscle the first week (I feel like such a twig haha) but I have some old shorts and pants that now fit great. And I totally agree with you: all I want to do is go run and swim and mess around (I live by the beach and it’s my last week of summer right now…). You are lucky you have rubber bands though. I have been wired shut since the beginning, but I get rubber bands tomorrow.

    Finally, thank you so much for writing this blog! I’m so happy you didn’t switch to writing every other day because this blog gave me something funny and relatable to look forward to on my harder days.

    Thanks again,

    • Autumn, thanks for saying hello! I’m always happy to hear when my ramblings provide some comfort and humor for people. I hope the elastic bands make life a bit more enjoyable for you as you rock through the first month and I hope you’re able to get back to exercising soon. I remember being so disappointed when such a huge chunk of muscle mass seemed to vanish during the first week, but I assure you that it does come back quickly once you’re back to training! 😊💪

  3. Hey Graham,

    Been reading your blog daily. Currently on Day 24. Your blog has gotten me through the difficult first days of recovery, and has helped me to learn more about the surgery itself (I didn’t know those things inside my mouth were stitches before reading it on here — good thing I didn’t try pulling them!). So thank you for this blog.

    I have a question: the metal brackets that are in the upper jaw, near the nose — do you remember in the first few weeks if you smiled to much, you could feel them poking into the back of your face? Likewise when I make a sneering face I feel them. It hurt quite a bit the first two weeks, but it’s getting better. I suspect it will continue to get better, to the point where I forget about them. But I was just wondering if you could share any experience you remember about this if you have any?



    • Thomas, I don’t recall ever specifically feeling those metal brackets. My braces cut into my lips and cheeks quite often, but the brackets bolted onto my actual bone never caused me any grief. My guess is that I was numb during the weeks when I might have felt them and by the time my feeling returned, I was used to them.

      Are you absolutely sure it’s the brackets causing you pain and not your braces? Remember that, due to swelling, your braces will cut into your mouth a lot more than normal because your cheeks and lips are simply bigger and therefore closer to them.

      In any case, it doesn’t hurt to ask your surgeon about this during your next appointment. If you are in fact feeling the brackets, your surgeon will likely want to take a look to make sure there’s no infection.

      Hope this helps!

      • Thanks Graham. I haven’t actually been having any braces problems (other than the ends poking my cheeks once in a while), but when I smile big, I definitely can feel the metal with my upper-upper lip (the part that goes up when reacting to an awful smell). It’s gotten much better since it first became a problem, so I imagine it’s temporary.

        I will ask my surgeon on Monday!

      • Just asked the surgeon today. Turns out what I feel are my stitches! All’s good.

  4. I am a 47 year old dental hygienist.
    My double jaw/genioplasty surgery is on Sept. 11 2014. Of course I am extemely nervous about post-op pain …I am so glad that I found your page ahead of it. You have a great deal of helpful information and I cannot wait to be 1 year post-op!!! If any readers would like questions answered (after my surgery of course) feel free to e-mail me @ I won’t be starting a blog simply because I don’t know the first thing about it but answering questions to the best of my ability would help in my post-op boredom!!!

  5. Bernie Schoenthier

    December 17, 2013 at 4:29 am

    I’m 56 years old….have been wearing braces for 1.5 years now and have just past day 24 post double jaw surgery and bone graph.I have had an infection in my lower right jaw for the majority of the time and been on heavy antibiotics since and for another week.I had an irrigatin installed aweek ago sewn in so they had to cut everything open again…..hopefully when I. Go back to surgeon this fri it will be removed and infection gone….everything else was very comparable to all your comments … all my be taking longer because of my age though….thanks foryour support graham you are truly a compationate and talented individual when it comes to being supportive to people in need

    • Bernie, thanks for the kind remarks, my friend. I’ve met several people in their forties who have undergone this surgery, but you’re certainly a trooper taking it on at 56 years old. Stay strong and be positive for these next 8 weeks and you’ll be well on your way to a comfortable smile!

  6. Graham: thank you so much for chronicling your jaw surgery– I was able use your progress to gauge my own recovery and reading your advice. I look forward to reaching the end mark soon someday. In at Day 24 post op, and one problem that I have is I cannot open my mouth!! I can only open it one finger width wide. It seems like you are open your mouth just fine to brush and eat. Did you ever have this problem and if so, any advice on how to widen it? My surgeon says I have to work on opening it, but I don’t see how I can force it any wider or get it to the way it was. Thanks

    • Cindy, you can rest assured that many people still have difficulty opening their mouth wide at the one-month mark. The muscles in your jaw are tight because they haven’t been exercised by the usual talking and chewing, so it will take some time to stretch them out again. It’s something that will simply take time. The more you talk and the more you’re able to chew (gum helps!), the sooner you’ll be able to open your mouth just like you could before. =)

  7. Hello again, Margaret! That’s great that most of your pain has subsided!

    Have you called and asked your surgeon about your lips? They weren’t physically altered during surgery, so I assume it’s a result of crazy amounts of swelling, but perhaps your surgeon will have a better idea. Like most other people out there, I’ve never heard of or seen that problem.

    Congrats on making it this far and I hope you’re getting ready to smile 24/7 in a few more months. =)

  8. Graham! I’m on Day 24 post-op now and you asked about feedback. So basically I can talk pretty well and there’s not really much pain, my jaw gets sore sometimes but that’s about it. and well the never ending tinglyness, but I’ve gotten used to that now! 🙂
    There’s just one problem… I still cannot close my lips together. Like my teeth are closed(or jaw is shut i guess) but my lips aren’t and you can see my front teeth because of it.. it looks like my mouth is open all the time and it’s really embarrassing.. haha I don’t know what to do about it 🙁
    I looked at blogs and no one else had had that problem.
    I’m guessing it’s because of the swelling? but it hasn’t improved these past 4 weeks. any advice? thanks!

  9. wow, so your jaw surgery journey is over! lucky you 🙂 thanks for all the tips! ive added you on facebook if thats ok? i have a photo album of photos pre-op and post op up untill day 21 🙂 if your interested.

  10. I’m over a year and half post-op. I was back on a normal diet at around the 5-month mark. It takes a few weeks to build your jaw back up to be able to chew through something as thick as steak after the 90-day recovery concludes.

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