It's hard to believe eight months has gone by since my surgery. It feels like forever, making me wonder if it ever happened in the first place. But I need only look in the mirror to see my new chin and smile to remind myself that yes, it really did happen.
In good news, I went to my physiotherapist yesterday and we got up to 45 mm for the first time! I'm almost at the end of my range of motion, so that's incredibly exciting. I still have some work to do, though, because my muscle memory is interfering with my mouth opening properly.
When I open my mouth wide, my jaw swings to the right, because the muscles are remembering the way my jaw was positioned for 32 years (it was a bit asymmetric before). So, I have to start doing exercises using my hands to guide my jaw into the proper position while opening my mouth.
I've also noticed the muscle thing when I smile. My smile is still somewhat crooked because my muscles have been compensating for the asymmetric jaw. I have to start taking time each day to practice smiling in the mirror so my muscles can relearn what to do.
I have to spend hours in front of a mirror smiling at myself? How tragic.
In other good news, I have full feeling in my chin now - no more numbness! If I pay super close attention and use a very light touch across my chin and lower lip, I can tell that the feeling isn't 100% back yet, but it's barely noticeable (we're talking 99.999876%). There are still improvements every day and I am positive that I will get to 100% in the next few months.
In the not-so-good news department, I am one week away from getting my top braces back on to close a couple of gaps that opened up at the back.
Until then, I will be eating popcorn, corn on the cob, apples, and other crunchy "forbidden" foods to my heart's content!