Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Maxillofacial Surgery: All your questions answered, at last!

I've got this nifty thing called a Stat Counter attached to my blog that tells me some very interesting details about the people reading.

The most interesting thing about reading my stats is that I can see what people search for that leads them to the blog. Not surprisingly, the majority of searches revolve around having your jaw wired shut, and because I appear to be misleading people with my blog's title and subsequent content, I think it's time I answer some of those queries. After all, I am speaking from experience. I had my jaw wired shut.

So let's address all your surgical inquiries!

1. "kissing with my jaw wired"
This will be difficult. During the surgery, many of the nerves in your lower face will be cut, and while the regeneration (regrowth?) time is relatively quick, it does take a while and require some physical therapy (although you may never regain full feeling -- I've got a little numb spot on my chin that I sometimes stroke as though it were a beard or something). Some exercises that speed along the recuperation process are to "pucker" and "smile" which is much more difficult than you might expect. Puckering is especially tough, hence the primary obstacle in any attempt to kiss. I would not recommend trying to kiss anyone if you have your jaw wired shut. Also, anyone you might want to kiss will probably be grossed out by the fact that your face is swollen to the point where you resemble a volleyball and your cheeks are bruised a weird yellow color.

2. "can you talk with your jaw wired shut"
Somewhat. The first few days, especially when I was still in the hospital, I wrote a lot of what I wanted to say in a little notepad. The doctors don't want you to do that, because the sooner you attempt to use your facial muscles the quicker your recovery. However when you are all hopped up on drugs and feel like there's a shard of glass going through your mouth one minute, and that you are floating on a cloud of angel wings the next, talking seems like the last thing in the world you'd want to do. Later on it gets easier to talk, although not everyone can understand you. My dad found it incredibly difficult to figure out what I was saying while some of my friends had no problem (they were already used to hearing me mumble when drunk).

3. "vegan food jaw wired shut"
I recommend against. Look, when you can't open your mouth for two months and are on a liquid diet (and I am talking liquid -- the first month I couldn't even have a Jamba Juice smoothie because it was too thick) with a restriction like being vegan limiting what you can eat on top of your already impaired food intake, getting all the calories and protein you need could prove to be way too difficult, and probably unhealthy. Then again, I did live off of finely strained vegetable soups and vegetable juices, as well as a few protein shakes a day -- I'd say vegetarian is doable, but not vegan. Also, you are going to experience some crazy cravings. One night near the end of the two month liquid diet all I wanted was cheese. The solution? A giant bowl of finely whipped cheesy mashed potatoes. Delicious. It was also during this time that I discovered my deep love for pizza. There was perhaps no other food item I desired more.

4. "wired jaw smoking"
Uh, no? Are people still smoking cigarettes? You can't even use a straw so good luck trying to get a cigarette in between those lips. I am pretty sure that smoking after major reconstructive facial surgery is a very bad idea. Unless you're smoking weed. I still think you're gonna have trouble smoking anything with your mouth all jacked up.

5. "sleeping jaws wired shut"
Yeah, this sucks too. You have to sleep with a few pillows so you can stay propped up... anything to make breathing easier and help decrease the swelling. Thanks to the drugs I slept really weird hours too. This meant a lot of 4 am Oprah viewings which is okay as it's the only time I seem to be able to tolerate Oprah.

6. "dog jaw wired shut"
Huh? Why would you have your dog's jaw wired shut? This makes no sense.

7. "jaw wired avoid panic"
Ahh yes, I recall the severe panic I underwent the last days leading up to my surgery. You'll be fine. It might one of the worst experiences of your life, but it gets better. It's character building! And they give you drugs. Lots of them. All of the drugs.

8. "jaw feels heavy pops shakiness"
Get that shit checked out.

9. "products for jaw wired shut"
Hmm. Morphine, codeine, oxycodone, vicodin... there were more I don't remember the grocery list. Oh and the classic Ibuprofen of course.  All in liquid form, taken with a syringe, so you feel extra sketchy about it. They taste nasty so I mixed everything with fruit juice. Although the morphine made me feel sick (which is odd, because I always had imagined I would have a wonderful relationship with opiates) so I only had that in the hospital via IV drip. The codeine was interesting. I built a weird sleep dependency on it so it caused crazy dreams and my arms would lose feeling in the middle of the night. Very, very strange. But some interesting products, sure. Lots of products.

10. "jaw wiring laguna"
That makes no sense. I suggest redefining your search terms.

Well, for all you "jaw wired shut" searchers, I hope this helps. It's been exactly a year and a half since my surgery, but in a way feels like decades ago. So nice to have that over with. The worst part of the whole thing might the braces. Because no one wants to relive the agony of their puberty years in their twenties. I did that for three years. Terrible. But character building.

38 comments:

jon said...

Lots of good facts here...

I'm about 1 week into my wired jaw,
and it sucks!
Definitely not a good experience..
Simple things like sneezing and coughing become impossible and painful!
And boy,
do I miss food!

ish! said...

I am about to get my surgery in 3 weeks and I leave work for 6 weeks after the surgery. To be honest i know some tough days waiting for me being wiredshut. I am still so excited to be away from work for 6 weeks and I am trying to make myself ready and have everything i need, so i am trying to put up a list of thing s i will need. I gotta tell you your page and inputs answered some of the questions i had . Thank you and i will recommend this page who is interesting in learning the daily situation they may face during their post op.

Crystal said...

lol, I found your blog when looking up information on dogs with their jaw's wired shut.

6 weeks ago he was attacked by another dog and had a broken jaw, they wired it shut to allow it to heal. Makes more sense now?

Anonymous said...

24 hours since surgery... and the hardest part for me is the drugs, I'm a recovering alcoholic so the drugs kind of suck in a good way...

Anonymous said...

Ugh...
I have to get my jaw wired shut in two weeks... and two weeks after that I'm doing a stand up comedy about it!

Chris said...

Lmao at some of the searches that lead people to your site - post more :P

pcep09 said...

this was interesting to read, i actually can use a straw, on the non-swollen side though. Manythings are difficult, I go to college and life is actually really tough now, No one but the people I'm already friends with want to talk to me and I always get strange looks from people...so many people stare, and I know that it shouldn't bother me, but for some reason, I just can't seem to get over it..I haven't gone to any classes yet, because i the codeine makes me sweat so much whenever i do physical stuff, even if its just stairs!
Oh well, only 2 weeks...

Anonymous said...

The true answer

Anonymous said...

ok so my jaw is wired shut now and its the worst!!!!! i gotta new favorite friend THE BLENDER !!!! im throwing lots of foods in there so i dont lose to much weight. got 3 more weeks to go !!!

Adam Merberg said...

I'm a vegan, and I had my jaw wired shut last year. It was only for three weeks, but I didn't even lose weight. A lot of my calories came from peanut butter in smoothies. I also used a great vegan meal replacer called Vega, which is far more nutritionally complete than the likes of Ensure. I've written about this more extensively at my own blog, which I think should be linked from my name at the top of this comment.

The truth is that there is no shortage of sources of plant protein, even in liquid forms. It's a little bit disappointing to me that you suggest otherwise here.

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.

stereogirl said...

Okay, I just had to comment. I found your blog by searching for whether or not people can talk with their jaws wired shut and I had to post a comment that has nothing to do with that whatsoever.

I have a horror movie blog (aside from the personal blog URL I used for this comment - didn't want you to think I'm spam) and I put stat counter on it. That this is hilarious! Although... I found out a disturbingly large number of people find my blog searching for 'donkey orgies'. I, however, am not going to make a post to help them find what they're looking for. Some things just shouldn't be found. Eek. Anyway, just had to share.

Oh, your post was very helpful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

When you had the surgery done, did they use general anesthesia or conscious sedation?

Anonymous said...

To answer the last question yes they use general. My mouth has been wired for 3 days now and ive got a total of 3 weeks then move to rubber bands. This is NOOO fun what so ever I have found that LIQUID is really all you can do. Ive tried some puree soups and just not working for me. I know that when this is done IM GOING TO PIGGGG OUT!! gosh im soooo hungry. The pain is harsh but they do take care of you on the medicine side :)

edgejessica@gmail.com said...

My husband is currently in the hospital, he JUST got out of surgery... He broke his jaw in 3 places and has had his jaw wired shut. So I am looking for some help...
The doctors are saying I've got a long haul ahead of me... I dont know what to feed him or how I'mn going to admimsiter his pain and anti-botic medication..
crush or liquid form?
How to do I stay on top of his pain?
How am I going to keep infection from setting in..

any help would be greatly appriciated...

Najma said...

It's a highly specialized field, and the relationship between your Arizona dentist and your Arizona maxillofacial surgeon can be similar to that of your family physician and your radiologist or cardiologist. Maxillofacial Surgery in Thailand

Jayne. said...

I'm having my surgery in 6 weeks, just booked the 6 weeks recovery time off work. Starting to buy a couple of things each week when I go shopping such as fruit juices and soups etc. My orthodontist has suggested blending food, then putting it through the sieve and putting what's left through the syringe... eeww! My main concern at the moment though is I'm asthmatic and I have no idea how I'm going to take my inhalers.

facialsurgery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
facialsurgery said...

A maxillofacial surgeon was called to help rebuild the face of a patient whose facial bones were fractured in a serious car accident.

facial surgery

Alexandria Rosas said...

Great article. I like your post. I will keep visiting this blog very often. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and your clarity on this important subject on trees can be easily observed.
James Makker Neurosurgery

Heather said...

I've been wired shut for like 3 or 4 weeks now. and ive lost 8 pounds do you have any ideas on how i can try and gain weight and did you get depressed while your jaw was wired?

PeerMurphy said...

This are all nice photos of before and after facial surgery. The facial surgery is one of the best and the most finest for improving the appearance of face.

facial surgery

Anonymous said...

This is good site to spent time on. allergy

Ldubb said...

I Just had my jaw wired 4 days ago and I am on the 4-6 week plan. My jaw was broken at my chin where i got a plate and at the hinge. most of my discomfort and pain has gone, although the wires that poke my gums are very irritating. i have found that the best thing to do is to continue to nourish your body; boost, ensure, carnation or anything with plenty of vitamins, calories and protein. also calcium and vitamin D. I am also using Herbalife supplements in all of my smoothies. Nutrition is key. There are plenty of websites dedicated to a straw based diet with plenty of yummy recipes. Last night I had Chunkys Loaded baked potato soup heated up with a little chicken broth and blended till it was smooth. It was delish and filled me up. My best advice is keep that chin up and consume as much as possible!

Anonymous said...

I have been wired shut for 4days now and im going nuts!!!the pain is pretty much gone but the wires are cutting my mouth....any tips

Lisa said...

They should have given you some wax for that. I have been wired for 12 days now. I am adding whey prorein powder to oatmeal and cream of wheat in the mornings. Making lots of soups which I add eggs and tofu to for prorein. Also add lots of spinach and kale as well as the other more basic veggies. Gotta make sure you get that protein though, or the weight you lose will be muscle instead of fat!

Idot11 said...

Hey Sosa

Cash Corleone said...

All the meds they give him will be liquid. All his meals have to be liquid. It SUCKS..I know..I'm going into week two.He's gonna be able to smell every meal around him...McDonald's was torture for me lol. The antibiotics will be liquid and may even come with something for him to take it with. Good Luck and God Bless.

Cash Corleone said...

You should still be able to get the vapors through your teeth

redsox said...

Can you smoke weed after jaw surgery? Or is it bad. How long should you wait untill smoking again? I have elastics now.

Katelyn Boyd said...

So my jaw was broken and I had surgery a few days ago. I'm concerned because my gums or my lips.. I'm not sure what part, but anyway it's growing overtop of the 4 screws in the upper and lower area, at first I could touch the screws with my fingers no problems. Now it's like there is skin overtop of it and and swollen and feels like if I wanted to I could pull at it to get the skin free but it hurts to bad. I don't think this is normal... Or is it?

amynicole86 said...

Hey,

I wondered what happens if you have the flu or need to vomit while your jaw is wired. Could you potentially choke and die?

kelli graham said...

I can assure you that there is nothing funny about this

kelli graham said...

I'm am wired too. So awful. I've had jaw surgery before and think I really downplayed it this time and it's the worst... The pain meds aren't helping and I'm almost out of the liquid. Any suggestions?

Satinna Jimenez said...

They give you emergency wire cutters you are supposed to have at all times

Satinna Jimenez said...

They give you emergency wire cutters you are supposed to have at all times

Tora Getgen said...

I have my haw wired shut but I dont know of any like food that ace taste good when in a blender! Can ya help me out email me dylans_babie@yahoo. Com

Tora Getgen said...

I have my haw wired shut but I dont know of any like food that ace taste good when in a blender! Can ya help me out email me dylans_babie@yahoo. Com