I (finally. FINALLY) had my jaw surgery last Tuesday. I am six days post-op, and I'm feeling much better now. I think I may even be able to stay awake all day, although I won't be running any marathons any time soon.
The constant grogginess and crankiness is something I'm looking forward to living without. I think that I have kept a very positive attitude about the surgery and the recovery so far, but I also know that I haven't been little miss sunshine over the past week, either. I decided to continue on the pain medication, even though I was told by the doctor that I didn't seem like the kind of person who would depend on it. I took his words entirely too far, and sort of stopped taking it when I got home from the hospital (they only kept me one night), relying on the Ibuprofen instead. You know, there's a reason that they prescribe the pain meds, and as someone who battled with a lot of inner conflicts to finally decide to take anti-depressants, you'd think I'd have finally learned that pain medication is no different than any other medication. Relying solely on the pills to keep me hazy and remove me from reality is not the same thing as using them to help make my recovery less stressful. It took me two days of incredible pain to figure that out.
My face is changing every day, now, and as the swelling goes down, I am starting to hope that everything falls into place without altering the way I look too drastically. I liked my face before the surgery, which was never considered cosmetic. My surgeon, however, is of the opinion that it will improve my profile and minimize the impact of my chin, a nice by-product of trying to stop the mind-numbing headaches and inability to eat chewy things. Thing is...I really liked my face before. Okay, so I wasn't in love with the chin, but I had never had to teach myself not to hate it, either. I just don't want to have to get used to any drastic changes. I guess I'll have a long time to wait and see, though, since the message board I've been using as support has indicated that my face will be changing for months, maybe a year. In the meantime, the thing that surprised me most as I was examining my face today was the bruising:
I guess now that the swelling has gone down a little bit, I'm more anxious than ever to get my "old face" back, which I just said will take a while. Then again, the bruising makes me all the more aware of the fact that...well, they took a saw to my skull...and moved a part of it forward. My face has suffered some serious trauma. And despite all of it, and whatever may happen in the future, I'm really really happy right now. I feel complete, like I just crossed a major finish line in my life. I may not have run any marathons, but I did cross off a BIG to do on my life list.
Next up, I can't wait to get these braces off, y'all.
*The funny thing about the bruises being a reminder of the enormity of what has happened to me in the last week is that they're the bruises that occurred from my wisdom tooth removal. Simple wisdom teeth bruises that 99.9% of the population understands because people go through it all the time. Not that my surgery was in any way special, out of the ordinary, or even particularly serious, but the thing I'm most concerned about is a side-effect of the most mundane and routine part of this jaw stuff.