Day 59 – Speaking in Past Tense

I haven’t noticed how time has flown by since my last update until I visited this blog again today! I’ve come to the stage where progress is so gradual and issues are so few and far between. It’s a good thing, definitely. I don’t think about my jaw nearly as much as I used to, because I no longer experience issues with eating and the constant discomfort that never seemed to go away. At this point I’m reminding myself to speak in past tense regarding my underbite. I used to have one – not anymore!

A few things of interest:

  1. I can barely fit two fingers in my mouth now, and even then it’s only the tips of the fingers. So motion is still severely limited, but getting better.
  2. At the end of the day, I usually feel puffy and swollen. People around me don’t notice, but I can feel that my face has expanded slightly.
  3. I am now able to chew sliced apples!
  4. I no longer feel much facial ache, even after a full day of… facial activity (smiling, talking, etc.). I’m working part-time as a restaurant hostess so I’m talking about quite a lot of facial activity.
  5. My speech is much clearer now, although I still sometimes face a problem with talking quickly (which may be because I can’t open my mouth widely so small mouth movements lead to faster speech)

This doesn’t really have to do much with my progress, but I’ve made new friends since my jaw surgery who don’t know that I’ve had this surgery. (Yes I’ve come to the stage of my recovery where people just think I’m normal and that my jaw isn’t actually still healing after being broken into bits mere weeks ago.) It’s not that I wish to intentionally hide anything, it’s just not a very natural conversation-starter.

“Hi, my name is Kim, and I underwent jaw surgery 59 days ago.”

…It’s not the kind of issue you can naturally bring up in a conversation, unless someone leads into an issue that will allow you to share this bit of information. When they ask me to add them on Facebook, I’m not sure what to do either. Do I just add them and not tell them about my jaw surgery so when they look at my pictures, they’ll see this person they’ve never met before? Or do I just tell them the whole story of my jaw surgery journey, to someone I’ve barely just known? I’m still figuring out how to handle this issue.

But of course, that’s unrelated to the actual jaw surgery recovery. On that front, I think I’m doing pretty great. Nothing is troubling me much, and most of the time I just forget I’ve even gone through this whole jaw-breaking ordeal.

My next adjustment appointment is on the coming Thursday. In the meantime, all the best to everyone who will be going for their surgery soon. To everyone else who is still waiting, I understand the anxiety. I was in your shoes a bit more than two months ago. Waiting can be a very taxing experience. But, at this point of recovery, I can tell you that the wait will be worth it. It’ll take weeks of difficult recovery and copious amounts of patience before you can finally declare that you are glad to have gone through jaw surgery, but one day you will be able to make that declaration. When you do, you’ll realise how far you’ve come since your pre-surgery days: how you no longer face issues with simple things that required proper teeth alignment, and how your confidence has soared. You’ll feel like a newer, better version of your old self. And that is a very liberating feeling indeed.