I think going through this jaw surgery has been the second hardest thing I’ve had to go through so far in my life. (First would have been planning our wedding).
I don’t wish it upon anyone. Except maybe a couple enemies. Joking (or am I?).
I am Post-op Week #3 at this point and have only worked a total of five days in the past three weeks. The literature that the oral surgeon gave me said I’d need “2-3 days off work; in some cases, up to one week.” Well, that’s a lie. I don’t know how anybody could have gone back to work that soon. I am still on painkillers to this day. I am just starting to feel normal again now, three weeks later. Still painful – but that’s to be expected as once per EVERY WAKING HOUR, I have to do a painful jaw exercise that takes up to 15 minutes. The purpose of this exercise being: to stretch my jaw muscles really wide.
As I’ve been told by four different dentists/surgeons, stress is what got me into this mess with my jaw. And that it’s been YEARS AND YEARS of buildup in my jaw that the surgeon had to scrape out when he did the surgery recently – meaning it was not just my wedding that caused this, it has been happening for some time. I have always been a worrier and high stress person so this wasn’t a surprise to me.
I CAN NOT go through the surgery/recovery again – ESPECIALLY when I now know what I would be in for this time around. So some serious changes need to be made in my life. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m really trying to better control stress now in my life. But now I need to really, really try. Here are some ways I’ve been trying to accomplish this:
- First way of eliminating unnecessary stress is to leave in plenty of time to get anywhere, so that I’m not always rushing. It’s amazing how much less stress you have when you know you won’t be late. Kenz is really bad at being late, too, so I’ve been learning to tell him we need to be somewhere a half an hour before we actually need to be there.
- Stop checking my phone while in bed. I’m still working on this one, but why am I checking emails/social media right before I go to sleep, or first thing when I wake up?
- Choosing only one or two things I want to accomplish per day around the house. Right now, there are a lot of spring tasks that I would love to accomplish, like: cleaning my windows, cleaning the fridge and cupboards, defrosting the freezer, washing the bedspreads, etc. Before, I would have done all of those things in one day and then stressed myself out with getting them all done, and then wondering why I’m exhausted and not having time to do things like use my craft room. Instead, last weekend I chose to clean the windows and clean my car. Then, enjoy the rest of the weekend, even though there was a lot more I knew that needed to be done. This upcoming weekend, I’ll accomplish something else. Yes, things take much longer this way but I feel way more balanced. I have realized that there will always be more things that need to be done, so why try to do it all in one day?
- Do some form of yoga/meditation regularly. I was doing yoga regularly up to the surgery, but have yet to get back into it as my face still hurts. Having my head drop towards the floor (like in a lot of yoga poses) makes the blood rush to it and it hurts even more. I went to a free meditation/Reiki seminar when we got back from Florida and it was great. I always thought meditation was a bit hokey pokey but it was awesome. The teacher taught us a little exercise that I’ve used since the class and it really does relax you. I’d love to find a class nearby that offers meditation.
- Relaxing a bit with household chores. For example, letting dishes air dry in the sink every now and then. Or – GASP from “Sarah from before jaw surgery” – leaving some dirty dishes in the sink at night (if there aren’t that many) and just doing them the next day.
Anywho, I asked Kenz if he has noticed my efforts lately and he said he has. He told me he’s proud of me. He knows firsthand that I am usually go, go, go all the time and has been my #1 fan throughout this (and pretty much everything else in my life), reminding me when I start to go back to my old ways and how to change gears.
Just another reason why I love him so much.