Warning: The following may be slightly graphic.
I just got unwired! After six week of being immobilized and seven weeks since the accident it feels pretty strange and exciting. My doctor (who I think is the sweetest) told me that I’m allowed to do whatever I’m comfortable with as far as chewing and I’m allowed to lift heavy objects again! I’m feeling pretty elated. My mouth is opening much more than I had anticipated. I read a lot of the other blogs and they made me think that I’d only being able to get the tip of my pinky in my mouth by the end of today, but I can open my mouth the width of my thumb! My doctor said that I was able to open it abnormally wider than most.
I’m going to walk through the process of having the wires removed. I couldn’t find an account online lining it out so I thought others might want to read this. This is the potentially graphic part.
I arrived and the doctors did what they’ve done for other check ups. They visually inspected my mouth and the wires. They asked me to move my lower jaw to see how much the wires had stretched out and after a quick look they nodded and said “let’s snip some wires”. They let me know that they would unwire my jaw and then do another inspection to see if the arch bars could come out today. They took wire cutters and went around as you’d expect and removed the wires. The process is fast and then comes the moment you’ve been waiting for: opening your mouth.
It’s weird. I read a lot of accounts of the feeling and I still wasn’t prepared. It was really strange to talk for a minute or two. I didn’t feel like my jaw was going to fall off (like I’d read so many times). They had me open and close several times and then nodded again and told me that we were going to take out all the hardware today. Much to my relief. If my bite didn’t line up there was going to be a couple more weeks of the arch bars with rubber bands. Not the end of the world, but I’m pretty delighted by being hardware free.
So next steps. A nurse came in with some analgesic mouth spray. Be warned this spray is perhaps the worst part of this process. It tastes horribly, stings, and you have to swish it around for 60 seconds. The doctor comes back and snips the wires around one of the arch bars. People had been asking me how the arch bars were attached and I kept telling them I didn’t know, because I had been put under for the installation. I had assumed glue, like braces. Well they are attached with wires going through between your teeth wrapping around a few teeth and coming back to the other side. To remove them once the doctor snips them, they have to basically just yank them out. When I say yank, I’m not being hyperbolic. It took a significant amount of force for the wires to come out. I was numb, but it still felt like someone flossing my teeth with a little knife that was too big to fit where it was.
The upper bar was much worse than the bottom bar and the front my mouth was much worse than the sides. There was a lot of bleeding, which is to be expected. She inspected me again after I rinsed for any stray bits of wire and that was is it. The whole thing was done within about 15 or 20 minutes. Overall, a pretty small price to pay for this wonderful feeling of liberty.
My teeth are pretty discolored. The doc says it’s from the spray. Initially she said it was probably overly optimistic to see a dentist five days after getting unwired, but once she saw how far I opened my bite she said that it might be worth going to get a quick cleaning. Once I saw the color of my teeth, I’m pretty sure that a visit to the dentist is a great idea.
On the way home, I popped a blackberry into my mouth. It was perhaps the most perfect blackberry that I’ve had.
I ate a banana just a moment ago and it took some work but it was fun to have texture on my tongue. I sort of sliced the banana on my top teeth to get it in there and slowly mashed it around with my tongue and sort of half chewed. My teeth feel pretty sore from the wire yanking, but it’s pretty manageable.
It’s looking like soups and soft foods for a while, but right now that seems amazing.