Here are just a few jaw surgery recovery tips I’ve got for you! It’s only week two of the recovery period, but if you go in knowing/doing all of these, you’re in great shape.
Lesson #1: If you can afford one, get a Vita-Mix or BlendTec for your post jaw surgery diet. Otherwise, don’t skimp out on blender usage. Blend everything if you have to!
Since I’m banded shut, I’m still on a liquid diet. The first week consisted mostly of clear liquids and Ensure. In the second week, I’ve added rice porridge and even carrots. This is all made possible by the Vita-Mix that my parents have. It is absolutely amazing, and if you’re a juice/smoothie/soup junkie, it is essential. It turns all the bumps and lumps of porridge and carrots into liquid. And lately, the family’s been indulging on Dungeness crab! They finally decided to throw some of it into the Vita-Mix with some soup, and ZOMG – SO GOOD. They got their Vita-Mix from Costco, in case anyone else is looking for one!
Lesson #2: The correct bowl, spoon, or cup is crucial.
Maximizing the amount of food that ends up in the mouth rather than the chin and clothing depends greatly on what you use. Find out what works for you and make sure to keep ’em washed and handy! What worked in week #1 was the syringe. I’ve since moved on up to a spoon, and then to a cup, and then to a bowl. I now use a combination of bowl and cup, depending on the consistency of the drink. I think I drink more than a gallon of liquid a day. I’m very amazed with myself!
Lesson #3: Rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse. Even if you don’t feel food particles, they are there in your mouth. Use a Waterpik if you have to! Practice circulating the water in your mouth to get good flow going.
I figured out a more effective rinsing method, so now I know that the inside of my mouth is cleaner than it was getting before. They stress oral hygiene because the incisions are still healing, and since I’m banded shut, I can’t really get in there to brush the tongue and the area behind the teeth. YUCK! Having a Waterpik certainly helps too.
Lesson #4: As cruel as it may seem, having people eating lots of delicious foods around you isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, everything smells fantastic, and you can just imagine those same flavors in the liquids you’re drinking.
Today, I went out and saw some friends. They say that I don’t look so puffy, but that’s because they didn’t see me days ago when I actually was very swollen. I saved them from the trauma that it would have caused, haha. Anyway, it was a wine tasting event, so luckily, not too food heavy – just some cheese, meats, and fruit to pair. I don’t get easily irritated by being surrounded by the smells of food too much. Perhaps that was what my parents intended when they took us to dim sum the other day. Of course, I could only sit there and drink tea! And having to stare at Dungeness crab for the entire week, I’ve become as numb as my face!
Lesson #5: Even walking is exercise!
It was good to get out of the house. Plus, we walked there from Ryan’s apartment, which is about 1.5 miles away. That’s the most walking I’ve done since surgery, and I was pooped. We walked most of the way back too. Considering the hills from the FiDi to Pac Heights, it was a much needed workout. The problem with being cooped up and sitting around most of the day was that my body immediately converted to jelly. I’m serious! I would sit in a spot too long, and the jelly parts of my body would mold into the shape of the surface I was on. It really scared and grossed me out, so I’m motivated to walk longer distances for the exercise. It’s hard to participate in any strenuous activity, so I’m hoping a few random exercises will help. In fact, just from walking the 2.5 miles today, my legs have regained some muscle. It’s not just squishy jelly anymore.