Day 36: Spider Legs and Impure Thoughts

  • Pain: 0/10
  • Inconvenience: 4/10

My favorite type of chips are Sun Chips. Most people think they’re less than appealing, but I love them. I walked into the grocery store last night after work to pick up the essentials: milk, yogurt and bananas. Ya’know, the few items I would most likely perish without. You’ll never guess what the big display in the entryway was showcasing. That’s right: Sun Chips. 12 vertical feet of them, too. I received several weird looks as I continuously snapped pictures with my 80s-era cell phone in an attempt to get both my face and the chips in the same frame, but it was worth it just to show the sheer magnitude of the mountain of chips I’m not allowed to eat. Shucks.

I’ve been getting a little creeped out every single time I brush too. I always have to pull my lips up to brush the tops of my teeth, and when I do so, I can see all my stitches coming out. They look like little spider legs crawling out of my lips and gums, and it’s quite unsettling. I’m not an avid supporter of spiders even when they’re not around, let alone when it appears that they’re crawling out of my mouth. I definitely won’t mind when all these stitches go away.

I don’t have much to report today regarding my jaw. My cheeks are still quite swollen and certain people have told me I look completely different as compared to 5 weeks ago. I guess that will all be determined when I post my before and after pictures on Day 90. I’ll be sure to get a copy of my x-rays and put them online as well. They’re pretty neat to look it because you can see all the titanium plates holding my face together, along with the little screws that are keeping those plates adhered to my actual bone.

On a completely unrelated note, I’d like to extend a thank you to my friend from down under who enlightened me with the amazing Graham Diet. Developed by Sylvester Graham, it restricts its participants from eating meat or spices, a formula which its creator thought would prevent people from having impure thoughts. While that sounds weird (primarily because it is weird), it eventually led to the creation of the famous Graham cracker. And we all know that s’mores just wouldn’t be the same without those tasty cookies.


  1. Hey Graham! I’m on day 36 now..just had mouth unwired on December 3rd. I’m only opening at 20mm when I should b at 40. I had appt Wednesday & dr said that if I don’t get to 40mm.. He will have to sedate me & stretch it himself…I don’t want that..I’m really working very hard on the exercises & I actually thought I was doing good because I am making progress but according to dr I’m not making it fast enough…did u have difficult time opening to appropriate range of motion? Did u feel pressured? How was your experience with that???

    • Karla, I also had trouble opening my mouth as wide as expected during my recovery. I was able to stretch it by chewing gum (to stretch the muscles), whistling often (to break up scar tissue), and talking as much as I could (though, be warned, this will result in swelling). Try these exercises for a few weeks and see if they loosen your jaw up a bit. =)

  2. What!? Who slaps a jaw surgery patient!?

  3. So yesterday I explained “the game” to a friend of mine and she promptly spun around and slapped me in the face. I’m still not allowed to eat because that “has a risk of moving my jaw” but I think getting slapped is a lot worse. My oral surgeon isn’t available till tuesday so I just have to wait till then to call him but what do you think???

    • If your jaw doesn’t feel any different, I’d say you’re alright. A slap, while annoying, is a pretty light form of impact. You should be okay. =)

  4. Ok, thanks for getting back to me on that, I’m not too worried anymore, I’ve just been leaving them alone and letting them do their thing.

    Yeah Graham, family definitely plays an awesome role in feeling better when recovering! Have to say, those initial first days recovering at home…I really enjoyed mom and dad doting on me and waiting on me hand and foot 🙂 You gotta milk it a little bit….it’s not everyday we have huge jaw surgery! 🙂

    I also put a link to your site on my blog, hope that’s ok. I just realized there was a place to put links, and first person I thought of was you!

  5. There’s definitely so set date regarding your stitches coming out. They should dissolve (or fall out) over time.

    I’ve been following the updates on your blog and it looks like you’ve got a lot of people in your life that are right by your side. Isn’t family just the greatest thing ever? =)

  6. Hey Graham, is there like a time-line for when people should expect to have these “spider legs” appearing? I just snipped a really long stitch that was up in my gums, not too short, but it was so long it was like coming out of my mouth! I’m only on day 16…is this too early? Should I panic and call my surgeon? I think I’m normal, I’m actually pretty sure I’ve swallowed a few stitches already 🙂 Yummy

  7. Yes i guess you are right. Am not using my blender anymore, instead the pressure cooker has become my new friend. I crush my food with a fork, rice as well. I wish time could move on quicker 🙂

  8. Wooooooo!!! Don’t get too excited, because chewing will take a few weeks to come back. It’ll be quite a chore at first.

    But as soon as you’re allowed, get rid of your blender and start chewing everything. Give yourself an hour to eat dinner and just enjoy it.

    Most people say you can chew just about anything 2 weeks from the day you start chewing again, but for me it was over a month. Still fast enough though!

  9. I love chips too and its hard to see people around you eating them when you cant. Dad bought a box of pringles yesterday and whats most annoying is that they forget i cant eat so they keep telling me, i brought chips, pringles. My threads came off pretty quickly, maybe in the 3rd week itself. Graham I got gud news, doc said that in 10 or 15 days ill start chewing.

  10. Hmmm… I have an appointment in a couple days. I never thought of asking him to take the annoying ones out. Maybe I’ll do that.

  11. Graham, you prevent people from having impure thoughts. But if I knew you in person, I’d be way too tempted to pinch your jaw surgery face. You have irresistibly puffy cheeks!

    If the stitches bother you, see if your surgeon will remove them at your next appointment. You also can snip them a little shorter on your own.

Leave a Reply

“Over the past several years, I’ve done my best to respond to every comment on this blog, but unfortunately I no longer have the time to do so. If you have questions about jaw surgery and want to connect with others on this journey, please join the Facebook group. Don't worry — it's free!”