February 12 marked my 12 month jawiversary, one full year after my face was sawed open and screwed and wired together. Wow. It's hard to believe. It feels both like forever ago and like it was just yesterday.
Things have finally started settling down for me. I still have the braces on my top teeth (put back on in October after three months of being off) and the gaps are closing nicely.
A month or two ago, I started developing some problems with my right joint - crackling and clicking and pain upon opening and chewing. Fortunately, a physiotherapy session helped resolve that. I am confident that once the braces are off again, the joint will settle into place, because I don't recall having problems with that joint when the braces were off last time.
My opening is at about 44 mm and my jaw swings slightly to the right when I open to my full range of motion. Again, some physiotherapy exercises are helping to correct that, and also build some more strength in the jaw. Though I am told that it will take months of these exercises before I will be opening straight. It's a marathon for this kind of thing, not a sprint.
I have my one-year checkup with my surgeon next week, so we'll see what he thinks. I have a feeling he'll be happy with how things are going. One thing I noticed over the past few weeks is that there's a spot on the left side of my jaw that's a bit tender. It seems like the location of where the screws are, so I'll have to ask him about that.
There is still a slight, slight amount of numbness in my chin. I only notice it when I run my finger very lightly across it. When I touch my face normally, it feels fine. I notice minute improvements still, so I know it continues to get better, even though it's at a slower pace than at the very beginning. I am hoping that full feeling will return eventually, though I can live with the amount that I have now without any discomfort, so I'm not too worried about it.
As for the depression I have been dealing with since after my surgery, it seems to be lifting with the proper drugs and treatment. I've had to accept that this will likely be a life-long struggle for me, as it runs in my family, but I am sure that I can fight it and come out on top.
I always come out on top.
I thought you might like to see some pictures of what I look like now: