Day 48: “You Don’t Look Like You’re Dying Anymore!”

  • Pain: 0/10
  • Inconvenience: 3/10

Ich kann meine Zunge kleben jetzt!

I can finally stick my tongue out! I’m also able to lick my bottom lip, but my tongue continually fails to reach around the giant splint to access my top lip. I guess one is better than none though, right? I added a German caption to the photo because I know I have a sole reader from Germany, and I aim to keep them interested. You know who you are, my old coworker.

So I finished off my first full week back at the gym on Friday. Most of my weight limits have dropped by 10-15 lbs, but for the most part, I didn’t lose a lot of strength. I was quite surprised at how much I was able to lift after my 7-week hiatus, to be honest. A few things I learned all too quickly:

  • I feel a lot of pressure building up in my face when I’m lifting heavier weights
  • I get tired extremely quickly, almost to the point of fainting (I stumbled around and had to lean up against the wall several times this past week)

“You don’t look like you’re dying anymore!”

My surgeon told me to take it easy, but I’m a stubborn man, so I did no such thing. It feels great to be back working out again! I even gained 6 lbs this past week, which I find quite odd because I’ve been eating the exact same amount of food. A couple people have mentioned that I no longer “look like I’m dying”, so that can only be a good thing. The guy I go to the gym with informed me that he’s lost a few pounds this past week, so I think the universe is just doing some micromanagement and putting its resources where they’re needed most.

I currently have an elastic wrapped around one of the hooks on my braces. It’s been there for 4 days now. I tried cutting it off, but it’s still very much stuck. It’s oriented like a square knot, so the more I pull on it, the tighter it gets. I’m going to get my surgeon to remove it with all of his amazing dental instruments tomorrow.

My friend and I were craving smoothies last night, so we made the trek to the local Walmart Supercenter to pick up the 1 ingredient I was missing: strawberries. We arrived at the store at exactly 12:00 am. Guess when the local Walmart closes: that’s right, at midnight. We watched the employee lock the doors as we were running towards them. That’s Murphy’s Law in action, my friends. Needless to say, we had strawberry-less smoothies last night.

Tomorrow is my lucky day: I’m getting my splint taken out. I believe that event is coupled with permission to eat soft foods again. You can rest assured that my next post will be chalk-full of rants about how I can lick my lips and eat again, and how big my mouth feels with the absence of the monstrosity that is the splint.


  1. Ps…. I TOTALLY get the whole not feeling your age! I’m still mid twenties in my head and hobbies lol

  2. @PJ. I’m 37… My 17 yr old daughter is having the same treatment as I am at the same time.. Although her surgery will be earlier because of her younger bones.. I see your comment was back in 2010. How’d it all go!?

  3. Mike, I fully support you hitting the gym again. =)

    You can expect to feel a lot of pressure in your face when you’re lifting heavy weights (read: exerting yourself), but it’s nothing to worry about.

    It took me about 4 weeks to attain the level of lifting I was at pre-op. Just take it slow and make sure you’re eating enough since your body is still trying to heal.

    Have fun!

  4. Today is day 49 for me, and I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous about getting back to lifting weights. My oral surgeon gave me the go-a-head a few weeks ago, but I’m hesitant. Graham, what was it like when you finally started lifting heavy again? And how long did it take for you to get back to your normal weights?

  5. PJ

    May 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for the reply Tara, I hope all is going well. I’m sure you will be so glad that you did this. My daughters definitely have no regrets and they look great. As far as age is concerned, I don’t feel like I’m 52 (except occasionally), I could be a grandpa… Time goes so fast, though it may seem to creep for you now with your immobile face. Congratulations on having the guts to go this far and do this. Best of luck.


  6. Really? Wow, they’re over-the-counter goodness here.

    That’s odd. It’s not like there’s anything medicinal in them… unless UK Ensure has some sort of super drug in it. 🙂

  7. Lol, I’m in the UK so send me approx 1million canadian dollars for shipping and the ensures are yours! You can only get them on prescription here so I can’t even sell them on to someone who needs them which is poo.

    Looking forward to the post-splint update

  8. Hi Graham!

    Congrats and I can’t wait to hear! Not sure if you made the connection, probably not, but I am the same person who messaged you on FB the other day! I figured it is much easier to communicate on here! I am so excited to hear what it feels like without the splint!!!! And I am so curious about the bands also and what they feel like in comparison! Please just tell me it is better than the splint!!!

    And PJ, I am 34 and just had my surgery 10 days ago. I know not quite the age you were probably hoping to connect with, but I am a bit older than most of the people I came across. The hardest part for me right now is I have a 2 and a 4 year old and they have a hard time understanding me, but it is getting better! I also have a 13 year old and she and I got our braces together!!! Thankfully, no surgery for her though! Good luck to you!


  9. Hey PJ,

    You’re the first person beyond 30 that I know who is getting this done! I think you’ll be fine though, as long as you can lay low for about a month.

    It sounds like your family is a bunch of seasoned veterans when it comes to jaw surgery. 🙂

  10. Kelly, that’s before. My hair is now short and I look like even more of a little kid.

    Plus, you can definitely tell how skinny my face is now. Maybe I should have kept the shag.

  11. @Charlene: Send your Ensures my way!

    The splint is out, but I haven’t tried eating yet. I’ll try pasta for dinner tonight and let ya know how it goes. My teeth don’t line up very well yet (open bite on both sides), so I think eating will still be tough. 🙁

  12. @tjaime19: I have a *lot* to talk about in tomorrow’s update. The orthodontist went crazy on my mouth today. I’ve got appliances, elastics, hooks…

  13. Just found your site. Great job. I am 52 with braces and a Class III and will be getting the surgery in about 5 months. Two of my daughters had it done and their smiles are beautiful, but it was tough getting there as you all know. Crazy thing to do at my age, but what the hell it’s bugged me long enough and I’ve still got a few good years left… Anyone know anybody my age to have this done?

  14. was the picture before or after the hair cut


    just wondering


  15. Good luck. Don’t know how long you’ll be sticking to the soft foods for, I was advised to try 2-3 weeks on soft food before advancing but I was always pushing my luck and was always so hungry that I just ate whatever I want after the first 3 days or so. 3 weeks post surgery today and I’m still full from my roast pork, cauliflower cheese and veg tea last night.

    No idea what I’m going to do with these 95 or so Ensures I have lieing around though :-/

  16. I am sooo jealous you get your splint out tomorrow! I can’t wait to read your update on Tuesday to see how it feels with out it! And I still can not believe both my upper AND lower jaws are stuffed into this huge thing!!!! Enjoy your freedom!

  17. You got snow in May? Where the heck do you live, Alberta?

    And I’m still going to wait a day because then I can rant about what I’m able to eat! 😀

    It comes out in T-minus 8 hours though! Woooo!

  18. I understand that there is a really…great…noise that your upper jaw makes when they remove it from your head.

    OMFG the splint is almost gone! You must update us immediately. No waiting another day!

    I’m up in Buffalo today. It snowed this morning. I am unimpressed.

  19. Oh dear Lord.

    I’ve never looked that up, but you peaked my curiosity. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight after *that*.

    I watched the one where they broke the guy’s chin. I’m glad I was asleep for it all.

  20. Sehr gut!

    I just looked up some videos of jaw surgery on YouTube and you know what? I really wish I hadn’t done that…

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