Wednesday, November 26, 2008

4.5 Weeks

Wasn't that a famous movie? Except with the number 9? Rest assured I won't go into any torrid detail here, and Mickey Rourke will not be making a guest appearance in this entry (dammit.)

So here we are! Just a hint more than a month since I had my surgery! Things are continuing to go really well. I've graduated up to (mostly) soft foods with the occasional use of the baggies (some things are just better eaten through the straw,) which helps my mental state IMMEASUREABLY. I weathered that cold my daughter gave me, and seem to be none the worse for it, although it did knock some more blood out of my sinuses for a brief while. Had a few really impressive and colorful blows in there. Speaking of nose-blowing, I do still pop my ears almost every time I blow my nose; with the sinuses being somewhat traumitized during surgery, I've got the long-running symptoms of a head cold, which doc says is very normal. Ditto for the very occasional ear-infection-like stabbing pains below my ears. All normal, normal, normal.

My energy is slowly coming back, although I am still a bit draggy because I am still undershooting a bit on the liquids/caloric intake (have lost 20 lbs in 4 weeks.) Adding to the problem is that I am also tapering off of some steroid medication I was on pre-surgery (have been on it for more than a year due to previous brain tumor surgery,) which makes me feel kinda crappy. Obviously is a very speciallized issue for just me; anyone reading this for reference should not have that problem tapering off of any steroids you may have received in the hospital.

Numbness: Can't lie, butI'm not at all surprised to find out I still have plenty of numbness. But, there has been a tiny but noticeable change in the amount. My tongue still has just the slightest bit along the front edge, but is otherwise fine. On my chin, it feels like the boundary between totally normal and "Hey, who took my chin?" has shrunk by a few millimeters, with a small chance that I'm just projecting some wishfull thinking, but I don't think so. Because while I wouldn't say that I have feeling back, I'm definitely getting some sensations back. And let me just say that I'm realizing how lucky I was that I haven't been able to feel much of anything for a month. Whew! I'm definitely getting teh aches in my chin, be it from talking too much, or eating with a baby spork or what. Have even had to take ibuprofen a few times just to knock it back a bit. And when I apply any pressure to my jaw - say when I am applying new wax to the braces - it causes pain now. Not oh-god-kill-me! pain, but yes-something-is-definitely-going-through-a-healing-process sensation. My upper palette is still pretty numb, as I've discovered when brushing my teeth: I can't tell that I am. But I have faith that'll come back. Oh, and that small strip of kinda-numb that went up to my right eye has backed of noticeably as well. Again, still a hint of not-quite right, but improving.

Range of motion: getting pretty good with this one. I think between a lot of the incisions healing, some of the numbness going away, and just losing my fear over having my face split in two if I used it too much, my mouth is much more flexible. I've got much more movement pursing my lips that doing anything that requires stretching (ie: smiling) but its coming along. The left side is stronger that the right so far so I always look a bit lopsided, but at least I get to kiss my kid again. The tongue is doing great. I'd had a lot of fear about this one as I was going to have GA on top of just the jaw surgery, and so far, its been a non issue. I do occasionally get a twinge of pain at the base, but that's about it (ok, well, I get a lot more than a twinge of pain when I chomp down on my tongue with all those teeth I can't feel, but that's a different story.) I can wag my tongue from side to side around in my mouth and can actually stick it part of the way out of my mouth! (Both of those are a bit hindered by the bands I am still wearing.) Only time will tell, but I think I dodged some bullets there.

Braces: Ahh, braces, how I am tired of thee! Really, they're currently the worst part about the experience. My teeth ache all the time from them. Again, not pain enough to drive me off a cliff, but discomfort enough to really really REALLY want them out of my mouth. Making things even more intersting is the rubber band at the front of my mouth. I've got one that goes from the center of my lower jaw to the outside edge of my right front tooth. Well, there's a bit of a space between my front tooth and the #2 tooth, so that rubber band constantly slides in between, and actually sits BEHIND my front tooth. The docs are fine with it in that it ios still holding my jaw in alignment, but its presses into my gums something fierce! Sore all the time. All flossing, all the time, you might say. I'm quite over it.

But that's ok, because when I went in for my check up today, doc says I am getting my braces off next Tuesday (Dec 2nd) -- failing any catastrophic failure**, of course. So! Happy! I! Could! Cry! Must rememebr to take a few more pictures before they are Gone! For GOOD! :D :D :D

**Doc is still a bit concerned that my jaw still pops out of alignment when I sleep, and that in the mornings I have to sort of manually line everything back up. But he's pleased with progress to date and is buoyed by the fact that I *can* move my lower jaw from side to side just using my muscles already (apparently that's pretty uncommon at 4 weeks,) and said he thinks worst case I may have to go do a little PT until its no longer an issue. I think I can deal with that.

So, really, its all going well! Fingers crossed/knock on wood/burning a goat in sacrifice, it will continue to do so and soon this will all be no more than a collection of blog entries! (And by soon, I mean over the next year, probably.)

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