Category Archives: healing

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

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