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. Hahahaha…I know I have some super heavy bands now but didn’t even realize they had names. I’m lovin’ moose and wallabe…lol…..too funny! Suzie, I’m Day 10 post op – same procedures as Graham.

  2. Using wallabe’s here, the animal names are so funny. I’ve been lurking, on Day 8 post my lower jaw and chin work.

  3. I have Moose. They’re 5/16″.

  4. What kind of elastics do you have? Right after surgery I had Extra Heavy – and thick. They were Kenya (had a pic of a giraffe on the bag).

    Right now I have India elastics. They are Heavy – 4 oz, 1/8″ (they’re teeny, but strong).

  5. The first time it didn’t feel any different. I’ll let ya know if it hurts after I change them tonight.

  6. Did your face ache more (again) after the new elastics were put on. My teeth and face both ache like crazy now.

  7. Changing your elastics every few days is not going to get you the progress towards eating real food that you want. Once/day is the minimum. If you can, try to change them in the morning and then again before you go to bed. When I first had elastics last year I changed them 3x/day and my bite changed FAST. I was then told I could change them once/day to keep the bite where it was.

  8. Discantus,

    I talk *almost* as well as I did before. I still have a lisp, but that’s because of my TPA. If I didn’t have that appliance in, I think I’d sound perfectly normal.

    I hope your bruising is going down!

  9. Audra, I was wondering about that. I’ve only been changing mine every couple days, but I notice they become significantly more stretched out as time goes on.

    I’m going to start changing elastics nightly so that I get quicker results. I don’t think I can swing 3 times a day though!

  10. Hi Graham,

    Good to hear you sounding more positive after your splint day disappointment! Was wondering how you’re finding the speech these days, is the lisp still there? I’m still sounding (and looking) like a squirrel with a mouthful of nuts so it’s impossible to tell if mine has gone…

  11. I agree Tammy. A pirate pic is definitely in order.

  12. Just so you know, I (and others I’m sure) am totally expecting an eye patch in one of your upcoming updates!

  13. Graham, I’m gonna tag a photo that’s in my sister’s album just for you. Just don’t laugh too hard. It’s on my profile now. My mom made all our outfits.

    Ortho’s assistant said if I change the elastics 3x a day they’ll work better because they lose elasticity through the day. This will ensure that there is enough pressure all the time to get the result I want – a bite that’s closed by my next appointment on June 14. As a result, my teeth are SORE!!!!

    I got them in within 5 minutes this morning. I was quite happy about that.

  14. Yes, only those of us who have gotten the **** kicked out of their faces know! lol

  15. Judy, I add TONS of rice to all the soup I eat, so that fills me up. It’s just white rice though, so it doesn’t last too long.

    I’ve been drinking those protein shakes immediately following the gym though. I think that’s when they’re most useful.

    Are you getting pumped up for your amazingly comfortable surgery (a.k.a. impending doom)?! 😀 Just kidding, it’s not so bad. Just teaches you discipline and appreciation.

  16. Aimee, your comment about drinking soup to that is something only jaw surgery patients would understand, eh? 😉

  17. Audra, octagon glasses? Haha, I’d almost pay to see those!

    Why must you change your elastics 3x daily? Is that because you’re taking them out to eat?

    You’re gonna have that down to a 2-second job by the time you’re done.

  18. looks like you are in soup for a few days anyway!
    try some carbohydrate before your workout for energy to avoid that passing out feeling. energy comes from carbohydrate. Audra’s previous suggestion of adding oatmeal to your shakes is an excellent one. aim for real food sources for your carbs, as supplemental sources tend to be too refined and sugary and cause blood sugar spikes as opposed to nice sustained energy. brown rice is another good source! protein is what you feed your body to build and repair your muscles after you rip them all up with weights! : )

  19. This all sounds promising and your doctor sounds very, very good! Anytime a doc doesn’t want to do a quick surgery impresses me. I’ll drink (soup) to that! lol

    I didn’t have an eye patch, but I think I’m more jealous anyway of Audra’s stop sign shaped ones…

  20. Hey Graham! So happy to hear that your surgeon is advising against a second surgery as I know you REALLY don’t want to do that!

    You sure have a great friend!!! I was gonna say you’ll be in soup for a while, but maybe not judging from what I’ve read about how much you eat. Glad to hear you’ve incorporated some protein shakes.

    My bite has closed on the left side and is now only open on the right – exactly opposite from you. I visited the ortho yesterday and now I have elastics way in the back on both sides – triangles. And class II elastics nearer to the front. So 4 elastics total that I get to change 3x/day. Took me forever this morning.

    So, I didn’t have an eyepatch as a child, but I did have stop sign shaped glasses. I try to block that out as much as possible though 😉

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