Day 28: The Best Buy Movie Date

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

I’ve got soul.

See that sad excuse for facial hair, hiding under my lip? People call that a soul patch. It was popular during the 50s and 60s among jazz trumpeters because it provided comfort in the presence of a trumpet’s mouthpiece. I, however, do not play trumpet, nor do I live in the 60s, nor do I like soul patches. Why is it there, then? Well, I can’t get my razor up under my big, puffy lip, so it shall remain there until I can accomplish that so-called menial task again one day.

Today marks the end of my 4th week post op. That means I’m officially allowed to return to work. Let’s all be a team here and not tell my doctor that I’ve been working for 2 weeks already. Shhh.

I’d like to offer a tip for those who are lucky enough to go through the jaw surgery experience in the future. It’s a simple tip: surround yourself with good friends. You may be beaten up and exhausted for the first 2-3 weeks, but after that you’ll want to at least have people to talk to and walk around with. Call people, get outside, and make sure you have a little bit of fun despite your non-eating state. I promise you one thing: it will make your recovery days go by a lot more quickly.

Friends have now started to make special soups for me. I’m not talking about the “special brownie” kind of special, but rather the “they’re-making-soup-for-me-because-I’m-a-poor-starving-child” type of special. Yesterday I was blessed with both split pea and ham along with chicken noodle, both homemade. I’m thinking of writing a breakup letter to Campbell’s to end it before things become too serious.

I was invited to a barbecue in the park yesterday. The weather was beautiful and the sky was blue, so I really had no excuse other than the fact that I couldn’t eat, play football, or play soccer with the people there, so I’d have to spend the entire time sitting and trying to speak in an understandable manner. I didn’t go, so the person who invited me called and yelled “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” into the phone. That made me laugh, which in turn made me smile, which in turn hurt because of, ya’know, that whole braces-cutting-into-my-stitches thing I’ve got going on.

Both of my elastics snapped quite early yesterday, while I was yelling about President Obama’s Prolonged Detention policy to someone in my car. I figured that I should only be required to replace them once per day, so I was able to enjoy the majority of my day without my teeth being forged shut. It was incredible! I could talk a bit more clearly! I could drink quite a bit faster! I could move my jaw back and forth, and side-to-side! I could sing! I could dance! But alas, I could not eat.

I leave you today with a new date idea. This would only work for a girl who’s not afraid to be slightly embarrassed. The idea was spawned when my friend and I were in Best Buy and decided to sit down and watch a movie for a few minutes (which later turned into 30 minutes). Anyway, take your friend, girlfriend, fiance, wife, whoever, really, and make some popcorn, grab a couple cans of pop and head over to your neighborhood Best Buy. Find the setup with the comfy chairs (usually with cup holders), surround sound and the huge “latest and greatest” TV. Restart whatever movie they have playing, sit down, and enjoy the fact that you’re not only about to have a completely free movie date, but you also get to entertain that date with all the newest technology.

Disclaimer: The aforementioned date may only prove to be successful if both parties involved are as odd as myself. Side effects may include being forcefully removed from the premises, having to sit through a terrible movie, or missing the final (and important) 10 minutes of the show due to the store closing. Your experience may vary.


  1. Bahahahahaha!!! I did that! Not long after 3D tellies came out.. Sat there, in the theatre room of the store and watched …. Oh what was it?… I think it was either Finding Nemo or Avatar..

  2. I’ve been following your blog since Day #1, thanks for putting this out there. I was toying with the idea right after surgery but after discovering yours, didn’t feel like I could compete, haha.

    I’m currently 4 weeks post-op and can not wait for this to done. I desperately want to eat a taco and party on the weekends with my friends without having to explain to everyone why I look like a chipmunk. For now, I’ll just remain a recluse since I still have major swelling.

    In any case, wanted to leave a comment and tell you your blog is awesome and will continue to read. It’s how I get my day started at work, I’m trying to refrain jumping ahead and seeing when all of this will be over!


    • Vic, be happy you’re already a full month post-op, my friend. The worst is definitely behind you. I promise you’ll be able to enjoy that taco soon enough. Only a couple more months and you’ll be back to normal!

  3. Thanks for replying!!
    I’ve been told not to move my jaw from side to side and only up and down so I’m not sure how easily I can chew gym but I’ll definitely give it a go!!
    I can ‘almost’ whistle but my lips tend to not meet each other unless I force them to so I’ll keep trying each day and I’m sure it’ll help. Your advice is very much appreciated and hopefully I’ll soon be back to my normal self again 🙂

  4. Hi Graham,
    Loving the blog, it’s so useful as I’m on day 28 at the moment and finally beginning to look and feel normal again.
    At my last appointment I was told that I was a little bit behind as I could still barely open my mouth when I’d been de-wired. I now have elastics that I can take off and was wondering if you remember being given any exercises to help with strengthening your jaw or allowing you to open it further.
    Any advice is much appreciated since I just want to recover as quickly as possible in time for starting university. Thanks.

    • Hi Ella!

      My surgeon gave me exercises to increase the strength in my jaw, but after trying them, I found the following two activities to be the most useful.

      1) Chew gum. Soft gum at first because your jaw will be weak, but try to chew gum all day if you can. The constant motion will rebuild strength and elasticity in your jaw quite quickly.

      2) Whistle. You’re going to have lots of scar tissue in your face from the operation, and whistling will help to break that up. It will be difficult at first, but keep trying.

      I hope these exercises help. I know they worked for me. Good luck!

  5. Catherine, you definitely don’t need to remove the bands when you drink water. Your orthodontist was probably referring to things like smoothies and was making the recommendation to keep the bands and your mouth as clean as possible.

    You should be wearing the bands as much as you can. I kept mine in 24 hours a day sans eating and brushing.

  6. My ortho told me to take out my rubber bands whenever i eat, drink, and brush my teeth. I get the eating and brushing part but do u think i really have to take it out for drinking water?
    and did you only put them on when you sleep or keep them on all day?

  7. I guess you are right, its a whole learning process again, learning how to chew, how to eat, how to kiss. OMG, i so wana be like a normal human being again. Tcare Graham.

  8. It’s a question we all think about: what will kissing be like with slightly numb lips and a new face?

    I guess it’s like anything else. Practice makes perfect. 🙂

  9. I cant wait to meet my boyfriend. My classes are resuming on the 10th and i only met him abt 6 times since my op. My friends come home. I live with my parents, here we have a very different lifestyle. Girls especially hindu girls stay at their Parents until they are married. And I live in an extended family if you can say that, grandma lives next door with my aunt, uncle and little cousins, so I have good company the whole day. I wonder when I will be able to kiss again, lol 🙂

  10. Yes, PBR is Pabst Blue Ribbon. I’m glad you haven’t heard of it previously. Please promptly forget its existence.

  11. What’s PBR, exactly? Is that a beer? I saw on Wikipedia that it might stand for Pabst Blue Ribbon.

    Sean, are you able to eat quite a bit already? I’m wondering how quickly strength in your jaw comes back. I hope it’s REALLY REALLY fast.

  12. You’re so right about making sure you spend time with friends. I attended a big house party on Friday, and even though I couldn’t eat anything except PBR (mistake!), I had a blast dancing the night away.

    As for the Best Buy movie date idea, I’m intrigued by this, but can’t do it locally because the Best Buy people around here just loooooove to bug you. For bonus points, I’d bring pizza. May as well make it dinner and a movie.

  13. I want to see your before and after pics!

  14. Freedom is everything you hope it would to be.

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