Day 58: The Repressed Memories of a Young Pirate

  • Pain: 0/10
  • Inconvenience: 2/10

My smile is slowly returning!

I met with my surgeon again yesterday. Our little shindigs are full of good news these days, so I look forward to each one of them. He assured me, once again, that I was healing quite well, and told me not to worry about any lack of feeling in my chin and lips for at least another month. I also learned the following:

  • I’m finally allowed to blow my nose, but I have to be gentle about it so that I don’t pop any blood vessels.
  • I’m not allowed to have my splint because they keep it for “historical purposes”. I’ll take a picture of it at my next appointment though.
  • My open bite is only on the left side of my mouth. Once the brackets on my lower teeth are adjusted, my bite will close on the right side.
  • I had the privilege of viewing my before and after x-rays, and I must say, the change is quite incredible. I was also able to see my initial x-ray from a few years ago, back when I had just been fitted with braces. What a difference!
  • My surgeon strongly advises against a second surgery. Surgeons straddle a fine line when weighing out perfect results versus safe surgery, and he said he didn’t want to close my bite with surgery the first time because my face had already suffered enough trauma. I respect that decision.

Welcome to my dinner for the next several days.

I’m beginning to sense hints of my previous strength at the gym again. I still feel a lot of pressure in my face when I’m struggling with heavy weights, but I’m not longer on the verge of fainting afterwards. I’ve also started drinking protein shakes again in an effort to amp up my energy. My current weight is 174 lbs, which means I’ve gained 10 lbs back in just over 8 weeks. For you statistically happy people out there, that means I lost weight 12.46x faster than I’m gaining it back. Crazy.

My generous friend and I made a boatload of soup once again. This weekend featured the delightful scents of:

  • Taco soup
  • Corn chowder
  • Mushroom, onion, sour cream and perogy concoction, and
  • Beef and vegetable

My partner in crime is incredibly talented. I think they need to open up a soup stand downtown somewhere.

And now for a quick note of encouragement to those of you who have triumphed over jaw surgery: Don’t become too self conscious about what you see when you look in the mirror. You just need to take time to adjust to your new face, cheeks, teeth, nose and smile. You may think your nose is crooked, your teeth are big and your cheeks are sunken, but chances are they look exactly how they’re supposed to. You’re just not used to looking this normal.

Speaking of repressed memories (that’s what we were discussing, right?), I recently found out that I used to wear an eye patch as a child. My left eye is lazy, so apparently I wore a patch over my right eye to force my brain to depend on the left one. I’ve never seen this eye patch in any photos and I have absolutely no recollection of it whatsoever. However, my entire family clearly recalls the time when I ran around like a little pirate. Some of my friends even remember it! Perhaps when I see pictures from my childhood, I just gaze right through the patch and see those cute, little hazel eyes resting beneath it.


  1. It’s so comforting to hear that your lips and chin were still numb at this point. I’ve been telling myself not to worry to much yet, but it’s still nice to have confirmation from someone else who’s been through it 🙂 My gums are still mostly numb too, which feels even weirder…when I get all my feeling back I may have to throw a party to celebrate! That’s how excited I will be!

    I’ve been checking your blog pretty obsessively since I started on this journey, and I have to give it some credit for keeping me sane during the whole thing. It’s a testament to how far things have come that I actually forgot to check it yesterday–today is actually my day 59! So cheers to normal life seeping back in.

    Another thing I have to tell you–and I can’t believe we have this in common–I was also a pirate child! I wasn’t cool enough to have a black patch though, just some gauze I sometimes put stickers on. Aaaand since I used to take it off all the time, my eye never actually got better. I’m still legally blind in that eye. I think if they’d given me a pirate patch my life would have turned out very different.

    • T, a fellow pirate baby, hurray! It’s funny, ya’know… I didn’t recall that experience until writing this blog post. It’s like writing is a means to reminisce. =)

  2. How do you not blow your nose for 2 months? I am having both jaws done this summer and I am afraid of breathing issues. I have asthma and allergies. Also a bit claustrophobic.

    • Julie, it’s indeed frustrating, but you’ll get through it. You can still wipe your nose with a tissue, so it won’t be running everywhere. Also, you’ll be able to breath through your mouth after the surgery as well, so breathing will be more of an annoyance than a legitimate issue. =)

  3. Courtney, you had an eye patch as a child too?! I’m so happy I’m not the only person around whose first career attempt was being a pirate!

    Good luck with your next appointment!

  4. Graham,
    This entry is too funny! I have been reading along with your recovery on the same days as mine, I am 58 days out today. I had the same surgery you did and have gone through so many similar experiences. In the beginning I must say it was painful to do it but I couldn’t help but laugh at your entries on drooling, bands and ensure. . .I had the same thing happen at work and was liberally made fun of about my slurping. I also had an eye patch to correct a lazy eye as a child. I am still waiting to blow my nose , and to use a straw which I have been dying to do. . .hopefully at my appt. next week I will get the go ahead! To all others, I guess my ortho needs some new elastic names we don’t have animals we have names like Kenya, and Japan. Hope you are doing well these days Graham!

  5. So, the moral of the story is, don’t switch dentists, hehe.

    I can’t wait to get my x-rays and see all the robot-worthy materials embedded in my face!

  6. Speaking of X-rays – my friend with the 2.5 cm removed says that going to a new dentist is the most annoying thing in the world because they inevitably demand to do a Panorex to see just how much titanium and steel are holding her face together.

    So there is -that- fun stuff to look forward to.

  7. I know what you mean cin! Eating takes sooooooooo long these days. I almost appreciate the liquid diet now because it’s quick!

  8. uggh yes this is difficult!!! I have been very anxious and can’t wait until I get my splint off on tuesday, I was so hungry yesterday, I took a slice of pizza and cut it into tiny pieces and it took me an hour, but I ate the whole thing!!!! I guess I am not the only one going through the things you mentioned above. (sigh)…..

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