Friday, February 10, 2012

90 Days Post Op

Day 92...smiling again
I have arrived at the three month post op stage.  Supposedly the jaw bones are healed.  Saw the surgeon and the orthodontist this week and while the orthodontist is still fiddling with my bite, the surgeon said I am done with him.  I still have to go back for a 6-month and then 1-year visit, just to be sure everything is ok, but basically, I am recovered.

This is not to say that the nerves are fully recovered, because they are not.  But they are significantly better than they were a month ago.  I have feeling back in my entire chin, although it still feels weird.  I still get electric-like shock waves when I run my finger over my chin.  The right side is "thawing out" faster than the left, but I have hope it will all come back now.  I can put lipstick on without cringing.  This is huge.

I am eating most everything that I ate prior to the surgery now.  Not eating nuts or hard crackers or popcorn, but I wasn't really eating those anyway since the braces went on.  I can eat orange slices without even thinking about it and I can even eat a Lara bar now.   The other day I bit into a banana the normal way, instead of cutting it into small pieces or mashing it.

Day smile...wearing computer glasses.
Still clenching at night, but until my teeth fit together better there isn't much chance of that changing.  My front teeth are still hitting funny in one spot.  The orthodontist closed up the spaces between the teeth on top but because the teeth are too small it meant that my front teeth were hitting funny on both sides.   So, now he is opening up the spaces again...a little.  He says I am on normal track for getting the braces off after surgery — 6-12 months.  So, since I am at 3 months, I suppose it is possible I could be out of these things by summer.  But I'm not holding my breath.

I am talking almost normally.  I can even talk in Russian again.  My conversation tutor was so shocked when she called me the other day and I could talk to her!  Still some Russian words that I have trouble pronouncing, but hopeful it will come back when the braces are off.

I am starting to exercise again.  My hip (from the bone graft) is totally healed, but now I notice the knee pain more from my cartilage removal surgery last year.  Still can't put on the armor and spar in my Naginata practice (have to wait until I am a year out from surgery), but I can do the non-sparring things until my knee hurts too much.

Most importantly, my smile is back.  It is a little different now, doesn't go up at the corners as much, but hey, it's a smile.  And I'm doing a whole lot more smiling lately.  If you are still in the liquid diet, drinking out a syringe or sippy-cup stage, take heart.  It does eventually end.