Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rubber band man

It's all about the rubber bands now.

Exactly two weeks have gone by since surgery, and recovery is moving nice and steady, docs say. In fact, I visited Dr. Relle for post-op part two and he described my recovery as "boring," which he meant as a good thing.

My swelling is minimal. I can eat soft foods. I have no pain, and feel great.

My weight has stabilized. I've lost no more weight from the first week to the second, and only 5 pounds total. Relle said before surgery to expect to lose about 10 percent of my body weight, or about 16 pounds in my case. It looks like that won't happen.

My only obstacle now really is managing my rubber bands. For the next two weeks, I will need to continue wearing my bands throughout the day, taking them off to eat, brush and exercise my mouth.

Those bands, in case you want to know what they look like, attach to my braces on the sides of my mouth and also on two hooks implanted within my front gums. Sounds and looks painful, but it's not. Here's what the front bands look like:

During the appointment, Dr. Relle removed the bands and said I could put them back on when I arrived home. With my mouth free for several hours, I visited my buddy Tim in Redondo Beach while I was in the area (I had to make fun of him for getting older -- it's his birthday today). We walked around his neighborhood and to a juice bar. I drank a smoothie out of a straw for the first time, with ease I might add. And it awesome being able to open my mouth and be understood clearly while I made fun of him.

During the drive home, I opened and closed my mouth repeatedly. Other drivers on the freeway must have thought I was crazy. When I finally made it home, I ate, brushed, and placed the bands back in. It was great while it lasted.

Once I return to work one week from Monday, I will need to take the bands off and on in between interviews and such. Starting two weeks from now, I have permission to go through the day without rubber bands, and use them only at nighttime.

As for food, I keep on trying new dishes. Here are two more, which I had yesterday and today:

This is one of Carla's specialty dishes blended up. It's called Guatemala Pie, a delicious creamy, spicy chicken casserole. Notice the food processor, blender and steamer (for baby food) on the top. It blends great (thanks Vanessa!).

This next one is pasta fagioli on bread, with bread crumbs on the side. Another delicious one, courtesy of Marie. And she brought plenty for leftovers. Thanks a bunch!

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