And let’s also add ‘jaw stretching’ to the list of things you don’t think of having to deal with…
So last time I went to surgery clinic, Deepti asked how my jaw opening was going. It was ok. The last I time I had it measured it was ’30’. I’m presuming that’s mm. Apparently 35 is the bottom of the ‘normal’ scale.
Deepti pointed out that once I get teeth, there will be a lot less room in there so it’s probably best to try stretching it. A couple of weeks later I got a package in the mail and a referral to the speech and language people to learn how to use it. My appointment with them happened on Wednesday.
So I’m meant to do it by the old 7-7-7 rule. 7 second holds, 7 repetitions, 7 times a day. Let’s be real. This thing isn’t small and I’m not carrying it around everywhere with me. She was like ‘every couple of hours – you can just go and do it in the bathroom at work’. Can I? Lol.
I’m aiming for 4 times a day. I mentioned this to someone I know and they said ‘oh are you buildings up to it?’ Uh… No… I’m just not carrying a big apparatus around with me everywhere I go so I can pop off to the bathroom in the pub on a Friday night to stretch my jaw.
I feel like that’s important when it comes to recovery. Sure, aim for some excessive amount but also just do what you can without burning yourself out. I mean I should probably be putting cream on my scars 3x a day, carrying my resistance bands around with me to do exercises during the day, taking my iron tablets every day, rolling ice on my face every morning and night for inflammation and never eating red meat, and so on and so forth…
And then I’d be constantly stressed, anxious and well… Still living ‘ill’. So. Yes I try to do all these things and many others as often as possible but I’m not stretching my jaw every 2 hours. Sorrynotsorry.
As for the jaw stretcher (/torture device?) itself… Does it hurt? No not really. It aches a bit after each use, which lasts for a little while, but it’s ok. Sure if I overstretch it then it’ll hurt but I just do it so it’s not too much.
The Speech and Language Therapist measured my mouth opening amount before and after doing my first 7-7 set and it went from 33-37(mm?) so that’s fun!
Another cool thing and a shout-out to my twitter community… My friend Liz messaged me saying:
How’s the mouth stretcher? I read a lot about them when researching radiation damage and you’ve got the nicest type.
There’s something quite reassuring about having these people, there is always someone who knows, or at least gets it! I’ll write a bit more about them later.
Last thing, it’s MRI FRIDAY. Which, if you’ve been reading my previous posts, you’ll know terrifies me these days – not because of #scanxiety (I don’t get that) but because of #claustrophobia (not sure that one is trending). But I’ve got Lorazepam and an eye mask, and Clarence the cow is coming with me. He said he doesn’t mind because he doesn’t find MRIs too scary. This is THE MRI, the results of which should hopefully result in me being referred for… TEETH! I’ll let you all know how that goes next Friday!
Happy weekend all. I’m treating myself to go to the Cabaret tonight after the MRI so I’ve got that to look forward to. Also catching up with a dear friend who is passing through London after visiting his mum who just had breast cancer surgery. I’m so excited to see him but I do so wish it were under better circumstances. All my thoughts go out to his family, I love them dearly and if any of you have a spare thought, please send one their way. But, to not end on such a sad note, last I heard she’s doing really well. So that’s worth celebrating.