Category Archives: ameloblastoma

Put on a Happy Face: A Healing Update

It’s been a while since the last update, and in this case no news is good news. There are still the little things that only I notice, but the bigger issues seem to have resolved pretty well. I need to steer around foods that are crunchy (so long tortilla chips and cookies), foods that require more range of motion than I have in my jaw these days (bye-bye sammiches and It’s Its), and I’m still taking baby bites because of the range of motion thing–but nearly four and a half months post-op, I’ve made big improvements. As my daughter points out, I am able to eat with a fork without stabbing myself.

One thing I can’t quite do yet is put on lipstick without looking, which used to be second nature to me. Since I’m still numb at the corner of my mouth, I have to look to see where the lips end and my face begins. Also, because I’m numb, that corner tends to do its own thing, giving me a resting you-know-what face and a bit of a smirk. Not exactly like this, but still–not the way I want to present to the people I see.McKayla Maroney

So, on a recent vacation, I started making an effort to keep the corners of my mouth turned up–basically turning that frown upside down. I don’t smile all the time, but I’m trying to keep it up because it also makes me feel a little bit happy when I do. Again, not exactly like this:


There’s still a way to go before I get all the feeling back–and I do believe I will someday–but for now, I’m just going to put on a happy face.

I love the duet with Tony Bennett and James Taylor, even with the talking parts in between the singing parts.

As they say:

“Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy
It’s not your style
You’ll look so good that you’ll be glad
You decided to smile
Pick out a pleasant outlook
Stick out that noble chin
Wipe off that full-of-doubt look
Slap on a happy grin
And spread sunshine all over the place
Just put on a happy face”


Wait, there’s more!

And how about these kids? And the lovely Boylen Sisters! Smile, darn ya, smile!!

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The Boys are Back in Town!

I had not assigned a gender to my teeth prior to this post. For all I know, they are girly teeth–but the point is I got my new long-term temporary obturator today, and it includes facsimiles of my dearly departed molars. I’m sure it’ll take some time getting used to having teeth up there afterContinue Reading

One Fine Day

I don’t want to forget that this happened, finally. One fine day this week, I woke up and didn’t feel different, didn’t hurt anywhere, didn’t think about the strange new arrangement inside my mouth. I just woke up, opened my eyes, and thought about what I wanted to get done that day. It was theContinue Reading

Living the Toddler Life: Another healing update

In many ways, I have accomplished the sorts of things we praise toddlers for: I’m eating solid foods! I’m using a fork! I’m getting new teeth (coming soon), and sleeping through the night! Oh, and I had to get one of those ear tubes, also known as” tympanostomy tubes or grommets,” due to a caseContinue Reading

Numb and Number: Or, Healing is Not for Sissies

It’s now been five weeks since my surgery. Although I look almost normal, with some visible swelling on the right side of my face, I still feel as though I am wearing one of these: I can tell the numbness is going away by the sometimes tingly, sometimes sharp messages I’m getting from the nervesContinue Reading

Here’s a visual

  So, yes–right down the middle. Including teeth. It may look almost normal, but it sure doesn’t feel that way! Hurts to smile, or I would’ve tried. Upper cheek and nose are the worst in terms of numbness. Kinda feels like I’m touching someone else’s face when I check for sensitivity. Weird. It’s getting better,Continue Reading

Healing Update: In Which we observe Changes That Have Occurred in the two-plus weeks after surgery

Some things are the same, and a few have changed, slightly. Same: numbness, sensitivity, eating/swallowing related challenges, and getting used to the obturator. I have been getting better at taking it out for cleaning and putting it back in, and was reminded of the story about Eeyore’s unhappy birthday. No one can throw a pityContinue Reading

An Update on the Fiendish Thingy

AsĀ  friends and family are aware, I had surgery one week ago today to remove a benign tumor from my upper jaw. I’ve written about this tumor before, a couple of times. It may be too much information, but here is a health update on the ameloblastoma that I refer to as “the fiendish thingy.”(AndContinue Reading