Jaw Journal

Day 6: Freedom and Bliss!

Pain: 4

Numbness: Same. You know in Road Runner cartoons when Wiley the Coyote accidentally electrocutes himself instead of Road Runner, and as he walks away, his whole body lights up with electric shock every other step? Well, Wiley the Coyote has been walking his electric-coyote walk across  my bottom lip all day.

Swelling: Almost unnoticeable on the right side, but still a bit pudgy on the left.


Today was the best day of my post-surgery life! Today, I got my rubber bands off!! *cue angel choir singing*

I can officially open my mouth 12 whole millimeters. And you know what that means? I CAN BRUSH MY TEETH!!!

I cannot tell you how blissful it is to brush my teeth after the nastiest, worst-tasting, most disgusting week in the history of my mouth. Having your teeth banded shut for a week is bad enough, but combining clenched teeth with an all liquid diet, the inability to feel most of my mouth, and therefore the inability to rinse it out well, and a day of vomiting…. well, let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

The surgeon took my bands off (have I mentioned how great that is, yet?), and had me open and close. He poked around a bit, and determined the white patch in the gums on my right said is not puss, just healing tissue. He said I look really good, considering it’s only been a week. The swelling is not bad at all, and I have minimal bruising. He wants me to start exercising my jaw by opening and closing, and he told me “be aggressive” in brushing my teeth.

HA! I did not need to be told twice!

Despite being utterly wiped out with the adventure of actually getting to my appointment, when I came home, I took Dr. D’Addario’s advice to heart. I brushed my teeth with wild abandon! It was the happiest brushing experience of my life. 🙂 There’s nothing like stripping furry little sweaters off of your teeth after a week of feeling them being knit into place. It’s a little weird to brush my lower teeth since I still can’t feel the gums, but my child-size tooth brush still managed to make my teeth happy.

The next happiest moment of my day came after a two hour nap.

I ate pudding.

With a spoon.


Oh man, soft food and the use of utensils have never been so exciting! Of course, eating with a completely numb lower lip and teeth that only open 12 millimeters means I can never eat in public again. I’m worse than a toddler. Chocolate pudding gets EVERYWHERE…including my mouth, but only a portion of it makes it there. 🙂 But, I still managed… and gleefully, I might add. Brandon also made me a scrambled egg with cheese–Oh, how I’ve been dreaming about cheese!–and I managed to get that mostly into my mouth within 30 minutes. Not bad, I’d say.

The one sad moment of the day was when the nurse had me step on the scale. You’d think after a week of nothing but chicken broth and blueberry juice I’d lose even one pound. But no. All that suffering, and not even one pound lighter. Rats.

Oh well. I guess I’m not in this for the weight loss. 🙂

My beautiful--although still gross--12 mm opening!

One Comment

  • Diane

    Yaaay! Swelling is down. Check. Pain level is down. Check. Rubber bands are off. Check. Opening and eating “real” food. Check.

    I was so glad I got to go with you this afternoon for the unveiling of a beautifully aligned set of teeth!!

    I love you!