Day 70: Polished Balls

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

I’m makin’ CHILI!

Do you know what the single greatest item in this life is? I’ll give you one guess, and one guess only. Alright, your time is up! The correct answer is: solid food.

Over the past few days, I’ve eaten as much as I possibly can. I went for breakfast over the weekend with some good friends and made an attempt at bacon, eggs and pancakes. I ordered my meal 20 minutes before the rest of the table, and I still finished eating 30 minutes after everybody else. I had to focus extremely hard on chewing properly, but I managed. Bacon was the only thing on my plate that I couldn’t power through because it’s too thin and too tough for my open bite.

I was also able to gnaw through 4 pieces of pizza that same evening. The food was a thank you for helping my friend move to their new place. I thought pizza would be too difficult, and I was absolutely sure I wouldn’t be able to bite it, but with the aid of a fork and a knife, it proved to be no trouble at all. Like a stubborn child, I avoided the crusts. They were just too solid. I’d like to thank my friend for forcing me to try pizza.

I won’t bore you with a story about every little thing I indulged in over the weekend. I’m just happy that I didn’t have to blend anything for the past 3 days (except for smoothies, of course, because they’re still appealing). I also brought pasta to work for lunch today, so I no longer have to drink Ensure to survive. I’m going to eat at my desk though, because I don’t feel comfortable eating in front of others yet. The thought of my coworkers having to sit there and watch half-chewed tuna fall out of my mouth is quite frightening.

Since it takes me such a long time to eat anything right now, it’s still difficult to attain that feeling of being full. I’m quite confident that I’m burning calories faster than I’m consuming them, so I just keep eating and eating. It takes me approximately one full hour to eat a plate of pasta, however I’m sure that will be drastically cut down within a week or two.

I’ve no reason to complain about my liquid diet phase. Being an engineer, I tend to turn to mathematics to answer my questions. I was unable to eat solid food for 10 weeks. That’s less than 1/5 of a single year. Based on the fact that the average lifespan in Canada over the past decade has been 80.7 years (sources: CBC, Wikipedia), my liquid diet harassed a mere 0.25% of my entire life. That’s peanuts.

In other news, I was at a friend’s birthday party at a local downtown pool hall over the weekend. When we requested a table, we were told that none were available. There were no official games that night, however, so they granted us access to the V.I.P. table. It was in a lounge all by itself, complete with ambient lighting, leather couches around the table, and, get this, polished pool balls! I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’ve never had an experience with polished balls before. They were wonderful!


  1. So I am two months post op. And I still haven’t had any feeling in my lower lip And my chin is a bit numb. My teeth are also sore so it’s kind of hard to eat. It’s a very weird feeling. When I put my touch it’s just so sore. Is this normal. How long did it take you to regain feeling in your lower lip and chin. Well I’m really worried about my lip because I’m not sure if I’m smiling correct , I just let my top lip guide me

    • Danielle, it is fairly common to still be numb at 2 months post-op, so I wouldn’t worry about it just yet. As feeling returns, certain sensations can be uncomfortable or even painful, so the fact that you feel slight pain when touching your lip might mean your nerves are healing. I encourage you to try to be patient for another month to see if more feeling returns. 😊

  2. Hi there! Thank you so much for your site! I am at week 10 so 2 more weeks & I get my splint out!! I am so excited about this!! I was wondering if you had a lot of itchiness in your face & especially in your chin when your feeling started coming back! I wake myself up clawing at my chin! I honestly have referred to your site at least once a day since my surgery! It has been a lifesaver knowing I haven’t been alone. Double jaw surgery plus my septum fixed too has not been as bad as I thought!! Also, did you get all of your feeling back by 3 months or did it take longer?

    • Christy, I also experienced “phantom itches” as my feeling returned. Sadly, there’s not much you can do about it. They will go away in the next few weeks, though.

      As for regaining my feeling, I have numb patches left in my chin, but they honestly don’t affect me in any negative way. Your brain quickly adjusts to losing small patches of feeling. You should have a good idea of how much feeling will return by the end of the third month.

      Stay strong and enjoy life without the splint soon!

  3. Howdy Sky!

    My face was still fairly tight on Day 36. You have a lot of scar tissue in your face, not to mention the actual swelling, so your skin and muscles will be tight for another few months yet.

    Try chewing gum and whistling to loosen everything up (once you’re able).

    I could move my jaw side-to-side a tiny bit at this point, but I certainly didn’t have full movement back yet. You won’t have your full range of motion back for another few months.

    It’ll all be worthwhile, my friend! I promise!

  4. at this stage of the recovery, were you able to move your jaw side to side and forward? I am currently on day 36 and I cannot move my jaw much. I can also open only about 12mm only. My surgeon gave me exercises and that is helping with the opening.
    Also, did you ever feel any tightness in your face? I can make facial expressions but they feel so tight and unnatural. It becomes hard to stay positive.
    I don’t know how you stayed so positive! *applauds*

  5. It’s only 4 days earlier than anticipated but seriously, it feels like months! LMAO The roof of my mouth has been tender since surgery since they had to split it like yours. It’s MUCH better now and since coming home, I do a salt water rinse, at minimum, 5 times a day and nearly every sore in my mouth has healed. It’s wonderful. I go in tomorrow again to have the bands replaced. We’ll see if I can open my mouth any further this time. Last time, I couldn’t open quite far enough to brush inside my teeth, only on the outside…I SO want to brush my tongue, too! I’m a freak about taking care of my teeth and mouth so I can honestly say, between the salt water rinses, brushing and my mouthwash, I haven’t felt like I’ve had nasty breath at all. I’m almost OCD…lol.

  6. Aimee, that’s great to hear! I had my splint taken out a week early as well–it was wonderful!

    The roof of your mouth will be pretty tender (not to mention slimy) when it first comes out, but just keep brushing and using mouthwash and it’ll toughen up in no time.

    And guess what! Your breath is going to be fresh again! Hallelujah!

  7. Sounds great, Graham….wow, you’re just truckin’ along, aren’t you? I’ve also got a fantastic tilapia recipe, I can email it to you if you’d like. It’s wonderful! So many things to try, so little time…LOL

    Off topic…Brian and I have an event to go to on June 12th. I am SO disappointed as the day that I get my splint out is the 14th – I was SO hoping to be able to go to the event and be a LITTLE comfortable! Anyway, just on an off chance, I emailed my doc this morning, asking what the possibility would be to go in on the 11th and remove the splint, knowing full well that since he’s SO by the book, it would never happen. Ha! He did me one better….they rescheduled me for the 10th!!!!!!!! 10 more days and I’ll be splint free AND be able to go comfortably to the event! Yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

  8. Mmmmm…Salmon.

    Our favorite is the cook-at-home tortillas, with butter and lemon-pepper tilapia that’s been flaked and then served with cheddar and Mango-Salsa-with-Peach.

    You should try that some night.

  9. Indeed I am! Tonight is going to mark my first attempt at a grilled chicken breast. Last night was salmon–that was really easy to chew.

  10. I’m sure you’re planning meals out now, figuring out what new, exciting food you can munch on between taking shots at those polished billiard balls…

  11. I was shocked…and we get a discount there as a member so it’s totally worth it. I’m sure some of it really stinks and doesn’t taste good, but they’re really perfected that stuff. Ready made food…how simple can it be?? Really, just add water and blend it up. It’s perfect. Have to give credit where it’s due though….totally my hubby’s idea. He’s a genius!

    I’ve been an astronaut a LOT of days…and here in DC, whenever I get the urge, I go to the Air & Space Museum and buy Neapolitan ice cream. Hehehehehe

  12. @Audra: Only if it’s cheese filled!

    @Tammy: It totally is! I had calamari at the bar and was in Heaven! I get so excited over the simplest foods now! My roommate finds it humorous, but he just doesn’t understand…

    @Aimee: Wow, that is so cheap. I thought dehydrated food was for space people. I remember seeing dehydrated strawberries at the local Space and Science Center as a child. I bought them and ate them so I could practice for being an astronaut one day. 🙂

  13. @jawnomnom: I think I’m going to give my parents their blender back now. Although, smoothies have kind of become a staple in my diet…

    And polished balls are better because I can use the reflection of the lights off of them to better angle my shots, resulting in a more skilled execution of triple-kiss shots.

    I made that up.

  14. Huh…I’ve never thought about polished balls….until now. I might have to do some research on why they’re so much better! hehe

    So glad you’re eating – sounds like things are going well. You sound so positive, it’s great! I’m jealous, too…lol. So far, after three weeks, I’m not tired of Ensure at all, in fact, I still love them and have them OFTEN! Brian’s been making me so many awesome things, I can’t complain. And get this…omg, you’re gonna laugh. We went to REI (sporting goods store) and picked up some camping food – you know, the dehydrated stuff? Brought two packages home..made one last night, lasagna. You open the bag, put two cups of boiling water in it and let it sit for 10 minutes. Throw it in the blender or food processor, thin it with a little broth and pasta sauce and done! It was actually good! And…$5 for 2 servings! How cool is that?

  15. Congrats on the solid food! 🙂 Wow it must be like you are discovering everything for the first time again!

  16. The crust is the best part of the pizza.

  17. So glad that you’ve been chewing it up. You are DONE with blending unless you feel like a smoothie one day.

    Please explain how polished pool balls are better. I…need to know.

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