I had my third post-op appointment today, which marks my fourth week post-op! Yaaaay! Also, my surgeon removed the horrendous and evil contraption in my mouth (AKA the splint). Double yay! However, that also meant that it was time for my surgeon to hand me over to my orthodontist, who put powerchains and elastic bands (one on each side). The elastic bands will stay on all-day except for when I eat and brush. Nevertheless, now that the splint is gone, I can actually talk properly and ssttttttttop liiisssspppping so yes – I am very happy.
The aching near my temple that I mentioned in my earlier post has ceased, so earsplitting headaches are no longer an issue! However, as I have been talking and moving my jaw more and more, my cheeks sometimes get very tired. It doesn’t bother me much because it does not cause pain or anything, but I thought I should just let you guys know. Other than that, no issues with aching at all!
I CAN FINALLY ARTICULATE SIBILANTS. Articulating and enunciating are SO much easier when your teeth are in the proper place. It used to be difficult to articulate ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘d’ and clusters such as ‘st’ and ‘th’. Now I can do it with ease! So yes, my surgery definitely paid off in this aspect!!
One thing though: it takes conscious effort on my part to actually enunciate and articulate properly. I used to mumble a lot because whenever I opened my mouth fully to speak my lower lip would get caught below my braces brackets due to my protruding mandible. I also got lazy articulating the sounds that I found difficult to do, as mentioned above. Now I need to ‘relearn’ my pronunciation and constantly remind myself to speak properly and take full advantage of my proper bite.
I still have quite a lot of swelling around my cheek area. I know that it is swelling because when I touch my face it feels as if someone stuck beanbags on my cheeks. But to most people the swelling appears ‘natural’, like I have naturally rounder and fuller cheeks.
The fullness in my cheeks also means that I look younger than I used to, so most people who have met me have exclaimed some variation of the following:
- “You look so much younger!”
- “You look so cute, like a little girl!!!”
- “I thought you were [number between 14-16]!”
- And my favourite… “CAN I POKE YOUR CHEEKS?!”
Considering I am only eighteen, I am not sure that looking younger is actually a good thing. One friend told me that I looked “ten years younger”, to which I replied uncertainly, “So I look like I’m… eight…?” She then tried to convince me that I should be happy about having the face of a prepubescent child. Right.
Some friends also told me that I have a friendlier face. I think I mentioned somewhere in this blog that I used to have an unfortunate condition known as ‘resting bitch face’, where my neutral/expressionless face makes me look unapproachable. So yes, tourists now flock to me to ask for directions. (Not really, but theoretically this should happen… anytime now.)
My surgeon told me that it would take around 6months-1 year for all my swelling to go away, but by the third month most of it should be gone already.
I am supposed to be on a soft, no-chew diet for two more weeks. I don’t think it’s that bad, because I am actually able to eat noodles and porridge and a lot of other things without chewing now. I’m not sure it’s good for my stomach to eat unblended food without chewing, but I’m desperate and I will not eat blended food any longer. I don’t think I’ve used the blender since the second week, actually. I’ve been forcing myself to just eat normal food that is cut up into small pieces.
My energy level is 100% back to normal as long as I don’t do particularly rigorous things. I probably don’t have the energy to run or go to the gym and stuff (not that I am in any condition to), but other than that I can go through with the day’s schedule without feeling particularly worn out.
That’s it, I think! I have my next ortho appointment 2 weeks later, and my next surgeon’s appointment 6 weeks later! Now I’m just waiting for 2 weeks to pass so I can test this new set of choppers out!
Thanks for reading!