Friday, October 28, 2011

The fallout

Yesterday I was supposed to have the final surgery in my “dental transformation”. It was cancelled for other medical reasons (more on that later). Today is exactly 7 months since my jaw surgery. Wow, my recovery has been complicated, fatiguing, disappointed, and sometimes exciting. Do I look different. Yes, I very much do. Does anyone else think I look different? No, not really. Except my boss. Do I like the way I look now? No and yes.

I had planned on being off three weeks and was off closer to six. First the good: My teeth come together for the first time in my life. My pointy witch’s chin is gone (mainly from the first surgery). I have teeth on the lower bottom center now (mainly from the 2nd & 3rd surgeries). I can gently bite into things. When I smile you can see both my upper and lower teeth like a normal person. The main thing or “fallout” if you will from the surgery was that my left inferior aveloar nerve was cut. In half. By the saw used to cut through my jaw bone. It rests in the middle of the spongy bone, which is packed by hard bone on each side. Apparently I had no spongy bone and it was something they had never seen before, so they didn’t know to expect it. When they told me this after surgery, I was drugged up and just kind of blew it off, thinking it would be numb-ish for a while. And it was. Now it burns and tingles, prickly through the numbness. It’s painful to touch. I think another facial nerve was injured too, because I have some burning/itching up into my left ear on that side. I pray to God constantly that doesn’t turn out to be TG (I don’t even want to say the words).

The chin is a pain. I can’t really put on lipstick or chapstick because it is so uncomfortable to touch it. It is uncomfortable to kiss. I drop food out of my mouth when I eat and often when drinking out of a bottle or can, the fluid dribbles right out of my mouth. It is difficult to chew with my mouth closed. I am constantly checking my chin & lip area to make sure there is no food stuck there because I can’t feel anything. I can’t whistle. I can’t blow bubbles. My speech was pretty slurred for a while. I discussed this with the surgeon, and he wanted to start me Neurotin, because he thought it would help. I didn’t start it yet. This really stinks and I try so hard to be positive about it. They think/hope it will get better with time.

Would I have the surgery again? Honestly I don’t think so.


Searching for Serenity said...

Wow. What long road you've been on. Have they given you any positive expectations for how things could improve after the final surgery? Or are the outcomes of your last surgery to be expected and that's simply the best they can do? How frustrated you must be!!

Anonymous said...

sounds frusterating....maybe next year you'll feel differently?? definitely wait on the neurontin!!

i actually think that things will continue to improve over the next year, too!!!

Julie said...

Oh what a journey this continues to be for you. I'm so sorry you're suffering in this way. ;( I will be praying for you, friend. xoxo

Barb said...

I'm so sorry Jen. I hope it gets easier. I'm glad you like your looks though.