AuthorGraham Swan

5 Years Later

5 years later and still smiling!

Despite trying to walk away from this blog twice (here and here), I’ve been drawn back yet again. It seems helping people through the experience of having jaw surgery is something of an addiction.

Perhaps most importantly, I should let you know that I am back to help answer your questions (and have been doing so for nearly 2 months already). It’s been encouraging to see people helping each other out in the comments as well, so thanks to all of you who are sharing your own wisdom with people new to this surgery.… Continue reading

The Final Product

Three years of dental purgatory later…

Since I’ve been repeatedly asked to post a picture of myself sans hardware (read: braces and appliances), I’m updating this fancy little blog one last time.

I had a date with my orthodontist earlier this week where she kindly removed my braces for me. The entire process took no more than 5 minutes and was relatively painless. I was shocked that something that was such an inconvenience could be eradicated in mere moments. My teeth felt extremely slimy at first, but I later realized that I’d simply forgotten what smooth teeth actually felt like.… Continue reading

The 6-Month Update

Kodak moment!

It’s been six months since my face got kicked in with a scalpel. My surgeon told me that the results I experience after six months will most likely be the results I’ll live with for the rest of my life.

I’ll begin with the good news, since I believe we should always focus on the positive (unlike, say, the news). My braces should be off by Christmas time. Apparently they’re only still on so I have a place to hook my elastics on to.… Continue reading

Before and After Photos

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

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a mugshot!

Have you ever bitten clear through a sandwich? How about a piece of pizza? What about a hot dog? Let me tell you something: It is absolutely incredible! The mere fact that I no longer have to tear through my food like some rabid beast makes this entire ordeal well worth the time, money and discomfort. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I never knew how simple chewing was until now.… Continue reading

Day 90: The Final Post

  • Pain: 0/10
  • Inconvenience: 1/10

It’s been a slice, folks!

Today marks Day 90 of my recovery. That means my jaw is completely healed, as far as the medical world is concerned. Is my bite perfect? No. Do I still have numbness in my chin? Yes. Has my full range of motion returned? Not yet.

All that’s left now is orthodontic work. The elastics will slowly bring my molars back together and cinch my teeth up to close all the gaps.… Continue reading

Day 88: The Official Mugshot Roundup

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

Only 2 days left until my 90-day trip is complete!

So today marks my mugshot roundup. I imagine my facial change would be somewhat chartable had I positioned myself the same way for each photo, but since I’m all over the map when it comes to these pictures, the change is slightly more difficult to follow. Perhaps I should be calling this “88 Days of Clown School” instead. It seems more fitting.

I finally ate cereal for breakfast.… Continue reading

Day 86: Baseball, Providing A Lack Of Excitement Since…

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

My awesome new biking helmet. I thought it was white and red, but I realized it was actually white and pink after being mocked by some little punks.

I went to a local baseball game last night. It consisted of 9 long innings, each with a top and a bottom, consisting of repetitive pitching, hitting, catching and running. I was satisfied after 2 of them. This pattern continued for approximately 3 hours, at which point the teams commenced the shaking of each other’s hands and I commenced my return home, vowing to never again be romanced into watching a game of baseball.… Continue reading

Day 84: Chocolate Fail

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

This is why I don’t grow beards. Ever.

I think I’m going to make tomorrow my shaving day. My patchy beard is growing out of control. If you’ll notice, I can’t connect my mustache to the rest of my facial hair, so I end up looking, well, dirty. I can appreciate a solid mustache, but I cannot stand the thin, wispy excuse that’s growing on my face.

I attempted to eat a chocolate the other day.… Continue reading

Day 82: Recovery Tips

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

Aye aye, captain

I’ve decided to cook up a nice dish of recovery tips here for anyone on the road to partake in the feast that is jaw surgery. We’ll start with an appetizer consisting of items you should have handy when you first arrive home from the hospital. The main course will consist of a plethora of useful recommendations, followed by a story about cat burglary for dessert.

I highly suggest you pick up the following essentials before your surgery:

  • Food — chicken broth, Ensure, tomato soup, prune juice and smoothie ingredients (whole milk, ice cream, yogurt, peanut butter, honey, strawberries, bananas and oatmeal)
  • Entertainment — movies, video games, books and anything else of interest to you that requires minimal energy
  • Other — medicated lip balm, several cloths and a couple of hot packs (the ones you’re allowed to heat up in the microwave)

You need not worry about medicine or syringes because the hospital will provide both of these for you.… Continue reading

Day 80: Suck, Spit and Lick

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

Elastic mayhem!

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.Continue reading