Recovering and How My Surgeon is a Jerkface

I have a very small mouth. I’ve lost track of how many teeth I’ve had pulled because they couldn’t fit in my mouth. And now that my mouth is wired shut, I think it’s causing me even more problems.

If you don’t know what it means to be wired shut, I’ll explain. The first thing to note is that I have braces. On certain brackets, I also have “surgical posts.” These little posts stick up, away from the bracket and towards the gums (so, they stick up on the top and down on the bottom).

Second item of import is the splint. The splint is a piece of plastic with the impression of my teeth on it. This is stuck between my teeth, kind of like a mouth guard, but flat.

Then the “wired” part comes into play. A metal wire is threaded from post to post, alternating top to bottom, basically sewing my teeth together. The x-ray of this is hilarious.

I’m no expert on this stuff, so maybe there’s more to it than this. And maybe not everyone is wired shut the same way. I don’t know. Go ask Google.


There should be enough gaps and spaces for me to do things like breathe. Well, there isn’t. I can get some air through, but the force of trying makes my ears pop and the whole thing just isn’t very productive. And if I can’t breathe through my mouth, I can’t talk.

These gaps are also what should allow me to drink. As you can imagine, if air can’t get through, thick liquids can’t get through, either. This limits my diet even further, as I can’t have smoothies, milkshakes, or nearly any other blended concoction you can come up with.

Straws are another issue. With all the metal and plastic coating the outside of my teeth, closing my mouth is like trying to shut an over-stuffed bag. Getting my lips around a straw is a struggle. Even if I manage it, there is no room inside my mouth for the straw. Assuming I can manage THAT, I still can’t inhale and therefore, cannot actually suck anything up through a straw.

So how do I eat er, drink? A bleedin’ SYRINGE. Yep. I suck up whatever liquid I want into a giant syringe, tilt my head back, and feed myself that way. It’s embarrassing, really, but what can ya do? I need to feed myself somehow, and this is better than being stuck in a hospital with an IV.

As I said, I’m no expert, but if I had to guess, I would say all these issues came down to my mouth being too small. It’s so crowded with teeth, metal, and plastic that there’s nowhere for anything else to go.

You know those molars way in the back? You know how there’s a bit of a space between those molars and your jaw? Yeah, I don’t have that. It’s all one big wall.

At my appointment with my surgeon today, I planned to set things right. I wrote down the issues I was having, and made sure my mum knew so she could speak for me.

As predicted, my surgeon lectured me about not speaking yet. I stared at my mum for help and when she finally chimed in and explained that I couldn’t breathe through my mouth, what did my surgeon say?

“You just need to practice more.”

He then proceeded to have a difficult time getting one of those handy little teeth mirrors into my mouth.

Unfortunately, my mum is a terrible translator. Every time someone asked me a question I couldn’t answer with a universal gesture, I turned to her to help me out. She would then stare at me and smile, like she was expecting me to suddenly start speaking after being unable to for the past three weeks.

Now I don’t know what to do. I want to start my new job, my start date for which I had pushed back because of this mess. But with all these issues and the fact that I’ve lost enough weight to be unhealthy… I don’t think I should be going to work.

Splint comes off in exactly two weeks. Do I wait and start work after that? Or should I try to go to work sooner?

Do I want to wait because I don’t think I am healthy enough to work yet? Or because I don’t want to feed myself with a syringe in a public place?

Most important of all: What do I tell my employer?


About Squishy

Writer, dancer, gamer, and admirer of all that is beautiful.

Posted on July 17, 2012, in Education and Work, Real Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Sounds like your surgeon might need a setup like yours to fix that jerkface of his. Wait, no, that sounds like I’m calling you a jerkface. You know what I mean to say, I’m sure.

    It’s not much help for breathing or drinking, but in the off chance you haven’t explored the option yet maybe you could use text to speech on a cell phone to account for your temporary muteness. I found out the other day that my friend’s antiquated phone is capable of such feats, and if you have any sort of smartphone I’d be shocked if there wasn’t an app for that at least.

    • Text-to-speech wouldn’t help much, unfortunately. Typing on my phone is tortuous (touchscreen keyboard + long nails = obnoxious), and even on my netbook or PC, my conversation partner can just read what I’ve typed and we can avoid the awkward computer voice. Not to mention I’m not around a computer 24/7 (shocking, I know!), so pen+paper works fine. Or marker+whiteboard as one of my roommates gave me hah

      But yes, I would love to wire my surgeon’s mouth shut and see how he deals. I understand he’s had many patients with wired-shut mouths, but not every patient is the same, either. Would be nice if more people realized that.

      Maybe some day I’ll post a rant about the horrific hospital staff…

  1. Pingback: History « Delightfully Twisted

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