Monday, May 13, 2013

Ten Weeks, Tomorrow

Yep, tomorrow will mark ten weeks post-op and the surgery is already starting to feel like a memory. It's no longer something I have ahead of me or something I'm going through. It's done. At least...almost. Of course, there are still some post-op "side affects," if you will...three, to be exact. I saw my surgeon for the first time in a month today and we discussed the issues.

1. I have some spots of hard scar tissue along my incision lines where the stitches were that still hurt when I smile. The surgeon told me that I could massage those areas to break up the hard tissue quicker than my body will do on it's own. But otherwise, he said that should be gone in a year's time.

2. Another issue that is still lingering after the surgery are small holes covered by flaps of skin where my hard palate meets my soft palate (see the circled area in the diagram to the right). According to the surgeon, this can occur in cases like mine where the maxilla has been trisected. There are/were two, one on each side; while the hole/flap on my right side closed up in the first week or two after surgery, the left side isn't being as cooperative and the flap/hole is still there. "But where does the hole lead to?" you might ask. The answer is pretty gross—it leads to my sinuses. This means that nasal mucous (yes, I mean snot) will leak into my mouth. It also means that I can't hold suction, and therefore can't swish mouthwash around or drink thick liquids through a straw very well, among other small inconveniences. I talked to the surgeon about it today and he said that we will continue to try and let it heal on its own—being extra cautious not to disturb it or put suction/pressure on it. If it hasn't closed up by the fall, he'll have to do a small operation to fix it.

3. Lastly, my nerves are not all the way back to where they were before surgery. It's coming along, but my wires seem to be a bit crossed at the moment. When I touch my bottom lip, I feel it in my chin. And when I drink cold liquids, my chin feels cold and wet; basically, it feels like I'm drooling all the time. But when I actually touch my chin—'s still numb. Something similar happened early on in the recovery: when I touched the upper eyelashes on my right eye, I felt a tickling sensation in my completely numb cheek below. That has since gone away as I regained feeling in my cheek, and the surgeon and I have hope that my lip/chin nerves will work themselves out eventually as well.

Other than those three things, though, I'm feeling back to my regular-old-self! And for just two and a half months out, I'd say that's a pretty great place to be :)


  1. So strange in regards to your nerves! Wow.

    How did you know you still have a hole? Did they see it on an x-ray?

    As for the scar tissue, I heard that taking Vitamin E helps!

    1. Thanks for the Vitamin E tip! And as for the hole, I can feel it with my tongue and I can taste the drainage that leaks from it. I also can't hold suction in my mouth because of it, as air escapes through it into my sinuses when I drink through a straw or swish something around in my mouth. I tell people it's like having a nostril on the roof of my mouth, haha. Still no progress with it closing itself up, but I'm still hoping for the best.