So it’s been 3 months since my corrective double jaw surgery. It feels like it happened ages ago but it also feels like it wasn’t that long ago. I don’t really think about my surgery anymore, unless someone asks me about it or of course if I get pain.
I’m at the point now where there should no longer be any pain other than the pain associated with the nerves in my lower lip and chin beginning to work again. I’m still quiet numb, I have that feeling you get after the dentist numbs you, that annoying and sometimes very irritating feeling, yeah you know that one I’m talking about but it hasn’t gone away! You get used to it after a while and I do have some sensation when I touch my lower lip and chin so I cant really complain, at least I know the nerves are beginning to work again.
But pain, other than the nerves should not be an issue at this point but for me it is. I met my surgeon yesterday. He asked me to come in when I called to say I was experiencing pain, and so I did. He did his usual looking around inside my mouth, feeling the angles of my jaw and checking my bite. Everything looked pretty good although he did question a few things, whether I was grinding my teeth at night- could that be causing the pain? Weather I was biting the inside of my cheek when chewing-could that be causing the pain? I am extremely tender on my right side, along the angle of my jaw, where one of the metal plates had been inserted, but from previous x-rays everything looked great with the plate. My surgeon placed me on antibiotics, obviously there is concern that there may be a slight infection causing the pain and along with antibiotics I am to wash my mouth out with salt water twice a day- that has now become second nature to me!
It seems though that if this pain is not an infection, there isn’t really a reason for it. I’ve been pretty miserable this week, not feeling physically well, my face swelling and running fevers which points to an infection alright but it doesn’t mean it is. I guess will now for sure by this time next week when the antibiotics will have finished and had a chance to work fully but right now, right now I’m so frustrated!
There is no doubt in my mind that surgery was worth it, I have no regrets and if I had to do it all over again I would! But what was initially a great recovery has turned into a long and tedious one. From day one everything was going great, I was discharged a day earlier than expected, I was tolerating a liquid diet, I had minimal swelling and bruising and I could talk. It was almost perfect. When I was getting sever pain in the right side of my jaw at the angle a couple of weeks after surgery I was put on another course of antibiotics, to be safe, because there was fear of an infection. If there was it cleared up great. Then at the six-week mark we thought there was another infection but it turned out to be shingles from the stress my body had been under. When things finally looked like they had cleared up more pain ensued, this time around my joints. My orthodontist thought it could be muscle and took off my elastics, my GP thought it could be muscle and prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and my surgeon thought it could be muscle and gave me exercises to do and said with time it should improve and that it did. Initially I was doing the exercises six times a day, trying to loosen my muscles and they gradually loosened and the pain eased, much to my delight. And then this week, after the muscle pain had eased for about two weeks I began to get pain in the angle of my right jaw. Initially I thought nothing of it, it began last Saturday and was barley noticeable but slowly is intensified with Wednesday being the peek and Thursday seeing me call the surgeon. And here we are today, feeling miserable, in pain and on antibiotics that seem to be making me extremely tired and I just feel so frustrated.
I feel like I’m a nuisance, constantly calling my surgeon with some new problem or some new pain. I can’t help but feel he is getting somewhat fed up of me and I cant blame him because I’m getting fed up of myself! It just seems like it is one thing after another. I knew this would be hard and I knew it would take time but I didn’t image it would be this bad. I’m starting to feel the mental strain. I want to get back into a routine, back to my normal life and every time I get back into some form of a routine something else goes wrong, it’s a never-ending rollercoaster. I can’t help but feel I’m doing something to cause this, not intentionally, but maybe its something mental, maybe there is something blocking me from moving forward and taking advantage of the rewards of surgery.
Right now I feel lost, frustrated and angry! I’m angry that my recovery hasn’t been as smoothed as I hoped but mainly I’m angry at myself, angry because what if it is me? What if somehow I’m subconsciously causing the pain? I’m scared that maybe my mind is playing tricks on me or maybe it’s a sign I need to reach out for a little bit of extra support right now. Or maybe it is all physical and I’m jumping to conclusions, nevertheless some extra support right now couldn’t be a bad thing.