Day 25: Luxury
Yawning. Now, I know, this doesn’t sound like a luxury to most of you, but it’s one to me. Before my jaw surgery, I couldn’t yawn without my jaw locking (literally getting stuck) and the ensuing shooting pain when I went to close my mouth. I couldn’t sleep on my stomach lest I wanted to wake up with throbbing TMJ muscles that would lock and unlock while I chewed. Seriously. It was annoying and painful as heck.
Jaw surgery isn’t in everybody’s budget. A couple of days ago, I was talking about my jaw surgery with The Honking Goose and she related her story about how her husband had to fight their insurance company for months before she was able to get one. I was lucky enough that my parents didn’t have to do this.
Also, with every surgery comes risk. Just a week or so after my surgery, I heard a horror story about a man who also had an underbite and received the same surgery at the same hospital as me but with a different doctor. They must have performed 3 separate operations on him but his jaw still wasn’t fixed. Meanwhile, my surgeon had to re-do one thing, one time. I almost didn’t get him as my surgeon either. I used to have a different doctor — who was very well-experienced but not as approachable — and he actually moved to a different city last year just as I was drawing closer to scheduling the surgery. I’d like to say that God was watching out for me.
My recovery was brutal but it went well. Keep in mind that I couldn’t brush for a full week, I had to swirl mouthwash around my mouth to stay clean. I didn’t get a single infection then or for the next 6 weeks. Everytime I saw my surgeon, he was a little taken aback at how quickly I was returning to normal (apparently I healed substantially quicker than the average person.) While my age most likely played a role, I’d also like to think that the combined prayers of my family and community helped speed things along. I remember when I went to visit my orthodontist a couple months ago, first of all, the receptionist hadn’t seen me since I had the surgery.
To say they were surprised by my transformation would be an understatement. Just imagine three amazingly kind-hearted, middle-aged women fawning over a teenager’s face in front of everyone in the waiting room and you’ll get the picture. (The looks on people’s faces killed me because they had no idea what was going on.)
Once they calmed down, one of them told me that she prayed for me the day of my surgery. The same goes for all of my mum’s co-workers.
All of that culminated into me now having the blessing of an almost perfectly normal bite. I can yawn without pain or my jaw locking and that’s all I could have asked for. (Looking younger and not having a blob for a chin are just added bonuses.)