When I was about 7, I went to a gymnastics day at my local sports hall. For some reason I put sunscreen on… perhaps it was the day before that I put it on? Perhaps I’m mixing my memories, but this feels right. That day I found out I was allergic to sunscreen. Banana Boat, specifically. I suppose I had worn sunscreen before that, but that day we used Banana Boat and my skin screamed. I came out in big, scary, angry red welts. My skin felt tight, itchy, unmovable. I’ve always remembered the itchiness, but up until now I hadn’t remembered the tight feeling across my face and the inability to make facial expressions. As I tried to smile, the creases my face made felt like I had layers of thick mud on top of my skin. But no, that was just the swelling and reaction to the sunscreen.
Post implant surgery I have been like that again – not red, not itchy. But the tightness and the swelling has brought back memories to that day.
A particularly odd sensation – my ears have felt like they’re being lifted forward off my head. I’m not sure why, perhaps because of the tightening of skin in my face. I remember this from the last surgery too, but there was a lot of other stuff going on that it wasn’t my top worry.
Well the obvious thing to say is that what I’ve been going through this time is nothing compared to what I was going through coming out of surgery over a year ago. It doesn’t even register on the scale compared with that.
But with me being me and thinking everything will be ‘all good’… it’s also a lot more serious than I thought it would be. I’ve needed more recovery time than I was anticipating.
Weirdly, the pain in my face has been greater than it was from THE surgery. I guess it’s less numb now and I’m on less pain killers…
They cut all the gums in my mouth in order to access all the points they needed, so there are stitches and raw wounds in there.
My lips have been cracked and sore from a couple of hours of having tools shoved past them.
My face is bruised from having instruments on it and people working on top of it.
My neck has been sore from the angle they had me at during the surgery.
My jaw has been really painful.
My cheekbones ache from the inside and hurt from the outside. They feel bruised to touch.
When I wiggle my right cheekbone it wiggles my lip… that’s kind of fun.
I am exhausted most of the time.
I’ve had to sleep upright again, which has been mentally taxing. Trying to get comfortable by stacking pillows on top of each other has thrown me back to what it was like a year ago. Things always seem more difficult at night.
Sometimes I wonder how my body is able to take all this beating and still come out the other side, essentially functioning… But here we are, still going.
So. I went in to see the dental implant guys at Dawood and Tanner and they have given me some teeth… kinda. They’re just temporary teeth. Placeholders. They don’t really fit right (they just kind of stick out in the middle of my mouth), I can’t eat with them (super difficult since I can’t take them out…), but they’ll stay in for the next 3 months until I get my proper ones. I did a few videos on my instagram so you can see them – click on the circle on the top left that says ‘implants’ at the following link:
They’re uncomfortable, painful, don’t look right and make it quite difficult to talk and obviously eat, but they look like teeth, and it’s nice to know that people won’t look at me strangely anymore. Well not quite so strangely, anyway. Still a way to go before we get them right, but I’m one step closer.
6 Comments Add yours
Dear Jen, these awkward feelings and inconveniences will pass. Compared to what you have endured they must seem minor.
Look forward to seeing you soon. xx
Just thinking of you and sending my best wishes. Mx
You are amazing Jen. This part of your journey is far from easy but you demonstrate great resilience ☺️😘
Hi Jen, good to hear you’re looking at the long game. I was certainly in more discomfort when I recovered from implant surgery but didn’t make it further than placing the ‘foundations in’. Guess nerves are heightened inside the mouth again and yes, something to do with the stronger anaesthetic with MaxFac surgery. I sometimes wonder what’s the point as unlike you, My top lip doesn’t rise to reveal a toothless area, but I guess that might change down the road. Wishing you well Jen.
Love reading the blog and getting all the nitty gritty details you provide, Jen.
A major step and one step closer to getting your final set of teeth.
It’s been a long and winding road but you have kept yourself focused on the main game.
“The final outcome”
So proud to call you my daughter, may the next 3 months pass quickly and you soon find yourself in a far better place.
Oh, Jen, what a warrior you are! It’s truly humbling but – at the same time – empowering to read about your constant battles. Bravo xx