Just wanted to say for the record that I am no longer wired shut and am finally able to open my mouth for meals. It felt like the day would never arrive. The bad news is I still have my splint BUT only until next Wednesday! Dr. McKenna said he would have to numb me up in order to remove the wires currently connecting the splint to my gums...yes directly to my gums. As in the wires are secured into my mouth around the point where the gum meets the lip, but only in 2 places. The surprising part? I hardly even notice it unless I'm brushing my teeth. So a numbing shot or two seem to be the only remotely painful procedures left to endure. I think I can handle that.
The moment the last wire was snipped and removed from my mouth was honestly one of the strangest and most liberating experiences in this journey so far. After 19 solid days of not opening my mouth, finally being able to do so and talk like a somewhat normal human being was downright bizarre. Now, before the image of this becomes too wonderful-sounding, I have to admit my jaws were both very stiff at first and could by no means open as widely as they normally would. Even now, a day later, I can only open to the point of sticking 2 fingers in with my hand turned to the side (if that makes any sense,) and even that is quite a stretch. Tylenol and Ibuprofen have taken care of the soreness though -- PILLS and not the disgusting liquid crap any more! Hallelujah for that.
I'm not completely home free though. I still have to stay in elastics (3 bands to be exact) when I'm not eating. There is one on each side of the frontal view of my teeth (in upside down V shapes) as well as one going straight up and down in the middle. My goal is to still be in them for 22 hours a day at least, but that leaves plenty of time to enjoy each meal without them. I'm still not allowed to actually chew anything, but foods that can be swallowed without hardcore chewing - soft noodles, oatmeal, ice cream, pudding, soft vegetables, cracker mushed up in soup, etc. - are fair game as far as I'm concerned. I know that still makes it sound so limited, but you have no idea how much better it is than trying to fit my entire diet through a rubber tube. I am so chucking those syringes as soon as I figure out where the dumpster is here at the apartments. By the way, I think my final weight loss ended up being around 9 pounds total (113.6 pounds last time I checked.) I do not anticipate any further shrinkage due to my new dietary freedom. :)
My first meal without the wires was absolutely incredible: a large bowl of cheesy potato soup from Rafferty's (see above image) with a slice of cheesecake for dessert. The soup even had some chunks of potatoes and really moist bacon, but mashing those with my tongue against the roof of my mouth worked pretty well. Come on now, it's not like my stomach can't handle a bit of extra work now that it has enjoyed a nearly 3-week vacation. I EVEN GOT TO USE A SPOON! :O This meal provided more satisfaction than I've had in a very long time.
To anyone who is considering or anticipating this surgery: DO IT. All the pain/discomfort, the torturous diet, and even the blood-vomiting are COMPLETELY worth the trouble. The physical struggles that go along with recovery are no match for the emotional struggles I was going through regarding my appearance before the surgery. I have no regrets at all. And once you make it to the point of being unwired and able to eat food with your mouth open again, you will feel so much more human.
I promised myself this one would be brief, so I'll stop here. To the person who commented on my last post, I responded on there but I'm not sure if you'll get an email or what, so go check it out!
No longer sippin' on a rubber tube,
PS - That apartment tour is coming soon!