I just flew back from a trip to NY (and boy are my arms not prepared to make such a cliched joke!) It was a last-minute trip to say goodbye to the NY office, which unfortunately was closed in a somewhat shocking move by the parent company. I still have a job, but I’m not exactly oozing with confidence (much like my normal social life, where ooze is exactly what I do, and sometimes even with confidence). It was a short trip and a nice chance to see some friends and say my goodbyes. And I got to play my first game of Crack Uno, which we’re pretty sure we haven’t actually had a game since my move in 2008.
It was also a chance to see how well I’d exist on a “normal” diet, meaning I wouldn’t always have the ability to get soups and smoothies wherever I went. This was only half a problem. My travel days themselves were difficult – if I didn’t have time to actually sit at an airport restaurant and eat, I basically had to eat yogurts and order high-fat drinks (chocolate milk, etc). I did attempt a muffin (very crumbly, it did not go well), and then switched to yogurts when I could find them. So, in short, I really didn’t eat on my travel days until I reached my destination, at which point I engorged on pasta.
Of course, this brings up another problem. I had given up gluten a few years ago because of stomach issues. Now that I’ve put gluten back into my diet, I’ve not had stomach issues because I’ve made a serious effort to curb my wheat eating. Well, this trip was pasta with a side of pasta. By the third day, my stomach wasn’t happy (though the copious goodbye alcohol probably didn’t help).
It’s a weird place I’m in. Still not ready for much chewing (opening the mouth is harder than chewing, truthfully. I probably could eat a PB&J sandwich if I smooshed it flat enough. But for the most part definitely over the liquids (aside from my Ensures which I still go back to like an insecure boyfriend, I really don’t want to eat soups, and not always want smoothies).
One other thing that I’m not too happy about – pain. I have had very little pain throughout this process. And by day 50, I had assumed I wouldn’t have any. But I do, and it’s random and very short bursts. It happened a few times when flying (which is to be expected), but other times parts of my jaws will just have a quick stabbing pain. It’s sometimes on the sides by my ears, sometimes on my lower jaw by where my incision points were. Sometime’s it’s when I’m yawning, sometimes chewing, and sometimes doing nothing. And I still have a significant chunk of my lower left jaw that feels like the novocaine is only just starting to wear off. But it’s felt like that for weeks.
I can’t help but feel disheartened – I expected some plateau-ing of my feeling-better, but it almost seems like the line-graph of my recovery is going back down slightly. I’m sure that’s just the perspective of a frustrated recoveree, but I’m definitely getting antsy. I have my energy back, I can talk for long periods of time (though my jaw does get tired), and I’m for the most part “normal”. But I still can’t eat what I want and I still get random stabs of pain. Just about every part of me feels healed except my jaw.
Anyway, I’m about to hit my Golden Day Anniversary. I’ll celebrate by probably not blogging, since I can’t expect much to change by tomorrow.
PAIN: 0-3 depending on what feels like spasming
REGRET FACTOR: 2 (travel sucks)