Day 39: Money, Feeling and Fatherhood

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

This is how wide I can currently open my mouth.

Today, I’d like to talk about money, feeling and the misconception in my workplace that I’m a father of three.

In common fashion, we’ll begin at the beginning: money. People are continually asking me how much money I’m saving by not eating. The reality of it is that I’m not saving any money at all. Ensure drinks are a minimum of $2 each, and soup isn’t cheap either (unless you make it yourself, I suppose). Smoothie ingredients like yogurt, strawberries and peanut butter carry a hefty price tag as well. To be honest, I think I’m actually spending just as much money on food as I was before. I just don’t get to enjoy it or feel full anymore.

Next, let’s have an extremely quick chat about feeling. The perception of sensation in your face is quite skewed following jaw surgery. It seems like random parts of your face regain feeling whenever they please. I’m still a little numb in my cheeks and upper lip. I recently rediscovered slight feeling in my nose again. I don’t have the full spectrum of sensation back yet, but it’s definitely getting better with time. Exactly how feeling comes back is the weird part–it’s almost an overnight event. I’ll go to bed with a numb nose, completely immune to the sense of touch, and when I wake up, I can feel it all of a sudden. As mentioned countless times before, I’m still completely numb in the left side of my chin and lower lip. The primary reason I’d like to have some sensation back in that area is so that shaving doesn’t feel like such a lethal sport anymore.

Let us finish with a quick little story about the false assumption that I have children. I’ve realized lately that quite a few people at work think I have kids. Why do they jump to this conclusion? Well, I put pictures of my nephews and nieces up during my first week at my current job. Since I’m relatively young andunattached, people find it awkward to ask if the cute little ones in the photos pinned to my wall are mine or not. However, every single time I ask someone else about their kids, they jump on the opportunity, without hesitation,to finally ask if those children are mine. I find it quite amusing. The moral of the story is: a picture says a thousand words, but you have no idea what words it’s actually saying.

Believe it or not, these are the exact same meal.

I leave you with a wonderful before-and-after shot of my delicious meal from last night. A kind friend gave me a container full of hamburger casserole, which was very much appreciated, so if you’re reading this, thank you. I blended it up with some milk because, well, that’s what jaw surgery patients like to do with every amazing dish that comes across their table. It was a delightful change from Chunky soup! The only downfall was that the final product looked a lot like butterscotch pudding with a hint of vomit mixed in. Try enjoying your meal when that thought is running through your mind. Sometimes I wish this overactive imagination would go inhabit somebody else.


  1. Thanks for the quick reply! I was thinking that when my surgeon displaced my upper jaw bone, she cut through all the nerves up there and that’s why it was still numb (slight panic when I thought it could stay permanumb?) I guess I’ll ease off the chewing and resort to mashing things up with my tongue on my palate. Scrambled eggs are delish.

  2. I’ve eaten much better post-surgery to aid with my healing process, so my costs actually went up!

    Talking about feeling, the roof of my mouth and all my upper gums still feel foreign – almost like a plastic retainer in my mouth… Was it like this for you too? It makes brushing my teeth a really weird experience, and attempts at chewing are thwarted because I chew the inside of my cheek at the same time :<. I can feel almost all my lower teeth and my tongue is intact though.

    • Fu, the roof of your mouth and gums will retain that “foreign” feeling for a little while longer, but they will return to normal soon, I assure you. Your entire mouth generally feels quite off as the swelling decreases, so this is normal. =)

  3. What the heck is hamburger casserole? Wouldn’t the burger bun be all soggy? I’m quite intrigued to find out lol

  4. I hit Day 39 today. W00t! Nothing seems to be changing anymore, which is too bad since I’m ready to feel better. But I’m happy that time is passing, and I assume I’m healing as it does…

  5. That’s called a transpalatal arch appliance (if it’s the same one I received). Its purpose is to keep the roof of your mouth from regressing until the bone has completely filled in.

    You can see a photo of the appliance and read more in my post about it.

  6. HI all, I am getting splint out tomorrow yay!!! but then I am off to Ortho right away for another appliance…. wth???? Anyone want to elaborate? is it a retainer? or another splint type thing? Hope all of you out there recovering are well.

  7. Twinges? You mean sharp little pains shooting around?

    Yes, I had TONS of them in the first month or so. I don’t get them much now though. My feeling has been returning almost instantly. It’s like an overnight thing.

    I’m so excited to get this splint out soon!!!

  8. Have you experienced twinges as your feeling comes back? I had a bunch in the first weeks after surgery.

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