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3 Month Update: Steady Progress

Mon Aug 13, 2012

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I think it was mid-April when I made the decision to do surgery and scheduled it for mid-May. At the time, I remember thinking that it meant my summer was shot, as I’d be consumed with recovering, etc. But the truth is, I’ve had a great summer!  The surgery (and most of the recovery) seem like very distant memories now, and I’ve gone days without thinking about it for a while now.

When the soft food restriction was lifted around week 8, it only took a couple of weeks to get my jaw strengthened (and stretched) enough to eat like I did before surgery. At this point, the only things I still avoid chewing are ice cubes and really hard nuts like whole almonds.

So, aside from the annoyances that come with orthodontics, my summer has been pretty awesome since mid July, which in Southern California is really the beginning of the hot season.  And I’ve got most of August and September to go before things start getting ugly (high temps will plummet into the low ’70’s).

There are a few things I can report:

Jaw Opening: My jaw is making great progress in flexibility.  At this point, I can open it about 3 fingers width (around 45 mm).  I feel like I’m very close to my pre-surgery opening range.  I’m pretty sure that the switch to a normal diet has challenged the jaw more, and accounts for these results.

Numbness: I’ve hit a few milestones on numbness since my last report.  Currently, I’ve gotten back ALL the sensation on my face – no numb, tingly, or itchy spots!  Since this isn’t a guarantee for MMA patients, I’m very pleased to have this outcome.

As far as inside my mouth, I’ve noticed that I’m getting some sensation in the top jaw toward the back in the molar area (both sides).  Perhaps the sensation will return from back to front.  Pain on biting chewier food is subsiding a lot, which has helped me return to a normal diet.

Sleep Quality: I’m really feeling the long-term benefits of improved sleep quality.  Morning time is much easier in terms of waking up getting started, I have much more energy during the day.

BOTTOM LINE: t the three-month mark, my life is 95% normal.  I go days without even thinking of the surgery or any recovery issues.  The improvement in sleep quality feels amazing.  There is no question that this surgery was the right decision for me!

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