The musings of a final year medical student

Sunday, 1 November 2015

3 months after double jaw surgery

I cannot believe it's been 3 months!

Despite the operation being so long ago, I am still dealing with issues to do with my jaw.

I have pain on a daily basis. Most days it is only a mild discomfort when I yawn or eat, but on other days it can get quite bad. Pain relief doesn't seem to improve the pain. I can tell that my jaw becomes painful when I eat crunchy foods, talk a lot or yawn a lot. 

I cannot brush my teeth yet properly; it hurts to open my mouth wide so I cannot reach the inner surface of the teeth. Hence I am still using the Corsydyl mouthwash. 

I can eat most things, but slowly. I tend to opt for easy foods like pasta and rice because they are less embarrassing to eat in public.

In terms of how I feel about the surgery, I'm still not sure if it was the right thing. The surgery was a success of course, but I feel so different now. I liked how I looked before, and to me I don't like how chubby my cheeks are now. The swelling takes 9 months to completely disappear. 

My upper gums are still numb and there is altered sensation in my upper lip area, but otherwise all the sensation has returned. 

What makes this operation hard is the after care. I had so much advice about the operation itself, but nobody really prepared me for what recovery would be like, or how long it would be. If you are having a gap year then the recovery process would probably go really well. However, it has really challenged me to maintain my medical studies whilst recovering from this operation. I have had to have time off because of the pain and appointments far away from my university. It has been incredibly stressful. 
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