Tuesday, December 24, 2013

5 Days Post-Surgery

It's already been 5 days since my surgery, and it's one day until Christmas!

The last few days have been somewhat eventful.

On Sunday, Anthony and I came back to Sarnia as the dad's side of my family went out for dinner. I'm not sure if it's the surgery or the meds but my ears are very sensitive to noise. The noise in the restaurant was almost too much to handle. I was able to eat the clam chowder I ordered. It was delicious and so good to eat something normal adults eat. I was even able to chew it a little bit, although chewing feels very weird.

On Monday (yesterday), I had an appointment with my orthodontist. They showed me how to turn the key for the RPE. It felt very weird and uncomfortable. I swore I felt blood trickle down my throat from my nose, but the assistant seemed to shrug me off. I later had bleeding from my nose (first time since surgery) so I think I was right. They want to see me back in 2 weeks. My gap will be approximately 1cm by then!

Right after that we had to drive to London to see my surgeon. He told me I'm actually ahead of schedule as far as healing, and I can do more than most people can at this stage. That made me really happy although you couldn't tell because I can't smile! I have to go back to London in 6 months to see how things are going.

In comparing myself to SARPE blogs people have written, I do feel like I'm doing really well. I can move my lips/face more (this is what the surgeon pointed out), I've only bled from my nose once, and my swelling isn't too bad. I think I'm also eating more and getting up to do more moving around. My surgeon was surprised that I already have tingling in my face because that usually comes later. I've had tingling since the day after surgery so I am very happy that my nerves are bouncing back so fast.

I do get really tired out from being out of bed, walking and talking, etc. Talking and swallowing tire me out the most as the pain tends to overcome the Percocet.

I have to say, the idea of turning the key in the RPE has me pretty nervous. I've heard all sorts of stories about it hurting, although those who got the surgery to go with it (like me) say it only feels weird. So far, "weird" has been my experience. It makes sense, since my jaw is loosened up and all. It's just kind of a barbaric thing to do to yourself. If I haven't really explained, the appliance in my mouth widens my palate .025mm every time I turn the key in it. Younger kids are able to get the RPE appliance without surgery but as you age, your skull bones get fused into place, requiring surgery to loosen them.

Here's some photos from today. Sorry for the greasy hair. I have oily hair as it is and the lack of showering daily is terrible. I'm about to rectify the issue with a nice hot bath.

5 days post-surgery, holding the RPE key

Side view, still looking pretty swollen from this angle

The gap, after 2 turns of the key (possibly some during surgery?)

Smile progression...I can actually sort of smile today.
I would like to take this moment to brag about the fact I turned the key in the RPE on my own, on my first try. I keep hearing about how hard it is to do it yourself, how you "need" someone to do it for you. A desk lamp, a mirror, and some determination go a long way, my friends.
Oh and Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope your Christmas is joyous and relaxing.


  1. awww What a sad little smile!!!

    You look like you have gone through more pain than me!!!!

    1. I seriously, seriously doubt that, Kara! We are on the same pain meds now, though (1 percocet a day)! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing all these. Me as a to-be SARPE victim, reading your story is a great help to understand what I might experience too. Esther

    1. You have no idea how glad I was to hear my blog is reaching future SARPE victims! I'm happy I could be of some help to you. Good luck, feel free to ask me any questions you might have.



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