- Pain: 0/10
- Inconvenience: 2/10
Get your mind out of the gutter. You do all 3 of those things every single day. I miss those simple functions of my mouth.
Brushing when you cannot spit is more of a challenge than you might realize–you have to gurgle and swish water around constantly. Then, when you finally go to expel all of the matter out of your mouth, you can’t, because you can’t purse your lips into that “spitting shape”. Never, ever take spitting for granted again.
Eating without being able to lick your lips makes you feel like an invalid. You need to make sure there is always paper towel or, even better, a cloth nearby that you can use to wipe your mouth and chin with. And you don’t even retain the luxury of wiping your face after the meal is finished. No, I mean you must wipe your mouth after every single bite. Or, in most jaw surgery patients’ cases, after every gulp.
Drinking without being able to suck sucks. Read that again–I assure you it makes sense. You’re unable to form a seal around the glass and, as a result, whatever you were drinking soon starts dripping down your chin and then onto your pants. Then you’ve got to take a few moments to figure out how you’re going to conceal a giant chocolate stain for the last 6 hours of your work day.
I just thought I’d share with you some of the frustrations of jaw surgery. I’m almost able to spit properly again, so brushing is becoming less of a chore and more of a pleasure. I can lick my bottom lip, but I still have to stretch my tongue to reach every part of my top lip. I have the privilege of drinking properly at this point, although there are still times when I spill water on myself due to the lack of feeling in my bottom jaw.
Healing is a slow process, but it works. The human body is an amazing machine, and if we can just find the patience, we’re able to overcome most physical hardships in our lives. If anyone out there is considering undergoing jaw surgery, be warned that it requires a commitment of at least 3 months from you. If you’ll go crazy in that short span of time, I highly suggest you engage in some fierce mental preparation.