Q: I'm 20 years old, work and go to school full-time, and I'm having my upper jaw advanced, lower jaw set back, and maxi expansion. my case is pretty bad, to the point where my insurance is covering 100%! I will be ready to get my jaw surgery in April. My ortho's assistant told me that from what she's observed with other patients, I could do the surgery over Easter break (one week) and be back at school after that. I nodded politely, but in my head I was thinking, "Uh, no." From all the research I've done it seems like you need at least a few weeks. I was thinking about taking online courses next semester so I could get the surgery in April and not have to spend the summer healing. From your experience, how long would you say I should expect to be out of school/work?
A: When your ortho assistant told you that you'd be back at school in a week, did you happen to notice a crack pipe nearby? Or perhaps some telltale trail marks on her arms and a glazed look in her eyes? Because she had to have been on something to say that.
Seriously. That is nuts.
I only had my lower jaw done and I was off work for a month, and I wish I would have taken six weeks off. My surgeon had told me that I would be fine to go back to work after two weeks, but he might have been smoking the same thing that your ortho's assistant was, because there was no way I would have been able to go back in that time frame.
It wasn't so much the pain from the surgery, but the exhaustion of my body trying to heal and also not being able to get enough calories in that did it for me. Granted, I am 12 years older than you, so you could heal faster and have more energy, but for the first month after surgery, I had to take a two to three-hour nap after I did just about anything. Even something simple like tossing a load of laundry in the washer knocked me out for a few hours afterward. Ditto for when I had to put stuff in the dryer.
Because my surgeon had told me that two weeks off would be enough, I only asked for a month off work, and felt that I was being indulgent taking that. In reality, I needed more time to rest and going back to work that soon probably set my healing back awhile.
I think it's a great idea to take some online courses and then you can take things at your own pace and not worry about rushing yourself to get back to school/work before you're ready. Just listen to your body and do what's right for you.
Best of luck to you!
*To ask Bella a question about her jaw surgery, email her at smilingbella at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post. Go ahead: ask away!!