Day 15: 2nd Follow-Up Appointment

Dinnertime, BUT WHAT'S HAPPENING OVER THERE?
Dinnertime, BUT WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER THERE?

Dr. M said I was looking great. I tried to give him a coquettish smile, but with my mouth still not working properly, I don’t think he got it. He took off the bands and saw how far I could open my mouth (good improvement), listened to me talking a bit, and then did my favorite thing ever: he brushed my teeth. He surprised me (and my increasingly cumbersome gag reflex) by jamming the toothbrush all the way between my teeth. After a stop-and-start (I basically grabbed the toothbrush out of his hand and pulled it out), he got back in there and cleaned the inside. It was the second-most glorious thing that happened today. (That is what we in the writing industry call foreshadowing.)

He said all is looking good and that I should be taking the bands off a few times a day, not just once, so it looks like I’m going to have a normal regiment of meals. They’ll take longer than a normal lunch, which is something I’ll have to remember when I go back to work, but it’ll be a few hours each day I’ll be able to open my jaw.

Oddly, I’m pretty sure my jaws have Stockholm Syndrome. The second they’re free, they immediately do exactly what they were doing before being liberated: clamping together. It’s taking much concentration but I’m trying to really relax my jaw both in the bands and out. It’s relieving my head pressure.

Speaking of which, I did figure out something last night with my sleeping. I went back to the bed, but we brought along two square throw pillows to put under my pillow so my pillow sits in a bit of a trough. Then, I can sleep on my side but my face itself is still angled towards the ceiling a bit, taking the pressure off my jaws. I was able to fall asleep somewhat fast and basically slept through the night. No neck pain either (which I thought would be a natural consequence of doubling my pillow height). Also, Doubling My Pillow Height – worst metal band name ever.

So Ash’s folks made me this delicious beef broth (which Ash mixed with mashed potatoes and blended it up), and I also had a full yogurt for dinner and half a smoothie. My weight seems to have reverse plateau’ed (trenched?) at 170, about 11 pounds down from when I started. I was oddly hoping for a little more, what with me having put on a bunch, but I guess I get to start working out once my body is ready for it.

After dinner, I got to brush again, and that’s when the earlier cliffhanger picks back up. The toothbrush I got at Dr. M’s office was slightly less tall than the baby one I use, and I was able to get it between my teeth fairly easy and brush the insides of my entire mouth. PLUS, and there is no fathomable way I could overstate how important this is, I was able – after some finagling – to brush the bottom of the splint. It had, over the course of two weeks, accumulated what I can only describe as a festering coatĀ of gangrenous mucus pus slime. I think that adequately describes it. It was making me nauseous at times and my tongue had become pretty adept at avoiding that part of my mouth for about a week now. At long last, it is almost entirely clean. Now it just feels like I’m licking a plastic toy, which I’m okay with, given the alternative.

Also, Gangrenous Mucus Pus Slime – best metal band name?

This is the part of the recovery I was oddly looking forward to – just playing a ton of Oblivion all day. I was also going to play some Kerbal Space Program, but I’m still not certain my brain is ready for rocket science. I *did* manage to pack up all the indoor Xmas decorations today, so I at least got some movement in.

Productive day.

PAIN: 1

INCONVENIENCE: 5

REGRET FACTOR: 2 (maybe less if blending that lasagna Granny made tastes as good as it does in my mind)