Jaw Stretches

One thing about the brain surgery I had, was that they had to cut one of my jaw muscles to get in there. The way it’s healed back, I am unable to open my mouth as wide as the normal person. They did the measurements and technically I have a reduction in my mouth opening by 50%. I finally got to meet with my surgeon this past week, and he gave approval for me to start on physical therapy, lifting again, and other physical activities. Apparently my jaw muscle was so ripped I probably had a stronger one than Arnold. He asked how my muscle was so strong, and I told him that unfortunately the stress makes the most inconvenient muscle in my body get super strong. Too much teeth grinding and clinching.

I get to start my physical therapy sessions soon which will involved someone sticking their fingers all up in my mouth and causing me to take those pain killers. For now I’ve been instructed to do some stretching exercises using tongue depressors. Every two days I add another tongue depressor to increase the stretch.

The biggest disadvantage of all this is I haven’t been able to eat any subs or larger sandwiches in the past couple months. Eating a sub is now the highlight of this work for me. Jimmy Johns, I’ll be visiting you soon.

Here’s an old school tune to help with the jaw stretchin’: Whodini – Big Mouth

10 Comments

  1. Mom

    It is amazing how you can find music to go along with just about anything. So funny how some of the graphics are right on.

  2. Andrew

    Why are they labeled L and R? Are they different in any way or do they just feel a need to label them? Or were you sitting next to someone else stretching their jaw and wanted to make sure that you didn’t get your stretchers confused? Personally, I have gagged on those tongue-pusher-downers way too many times and feel like I would just gag at the thought of putting them anywhere near my mouth, more power to you.

    • Loren Knack

      L for left side of jaw, R for right side of jaw. Apparently due to the pain on the left side I was doing a lot of chewing with the right side keeping it a little more flexible. So the right side started out with more of those depressors.

      Yeah, those things are always gag worthy at the docs. Luckily since I just wedge them between my teeth I don’t have that reaction.

    • Robin

      Lord a mercy!! I gag with one of those You are going to be the Present JAWS of the 21st century after this PT. We need to have a competition and see who can do the most. Hey it might become a new song with all of the different gag tones

        • Jessi

          I am in for a Jimmy John Party when you are able to eat one. We were at Shands yesterday, not today, when you were for PT, and I was thinking how cruel to put a Subway in a place where some can’t open their mouth that big!!!! I feel for you as I became a “Pin Wheel Maker” of subs. Why? Because I was in so much pain for so long that my jaw locked up in High School. I had to resort to Ensure, yuck, at school, and became on first name basis with those at Morrison’s/Piccadilly, they had everything from Jello to soft food so I could eat a little. The head guy of the Jaw area of Shands, Dr. Mayhan, he is a legend, anyway, he went to church with my grandparents, and he worked on me and I had to sleep with this thing that he said no way I could break, but they didn’t want me to swallow it so attached it to my night gown. Anyhow, I was biting so hard broke it, in my sleep, just wore it at night. In between the crew, and they were at least caring and tried to make me laugh, but they stuck lots of needles into my jaw to try and open my mouth more. I still get the “that’s it, that is all you can open to? when I have to have surgery or procedures. My Jaw has Yup! That’s it. My heart goes out to you, mine has been popping, I just opened my mouth for a straw and it popped, more annoying than painful. You are one brave soul. I wanted to call and ask you something, but knew with PT today you were probably tired and hurting so I will try another time. Nothing big, just a question about music. Hope you are able to keep the pain level down. Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping Jimmy John’s is at least a nice goal for the future. We love you very much and keeping the positive vibes going out to you on your good and bad, and everything in between days.
          Love you lots,
          Jessi and Mama and Mattie

  3. Jessi

    You are one tough guy, You have taken this all straight on, and that courage, I am sure like anyone, your human, and times of anxiety and emotions well up, but you have maintained such courage. I wish I could hear your music, working on my computer. But I bet it is great. Keep up the positive attituded,
    We love you very much, Alex too!!!!
    June and Jessi and Mattie sends a Meow!!! GO LOREN!!!!!!

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