Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A New Jaw

Having suffered continuous pain and discomfort for what's been years now, I still wonder if it is over. I will share my thoughts on my latest operation, the pain and recovery, but before I do, I must say a big “thank you” to all my friends, family and well-wishers who took the time to send greetings and show concern. At times like these, I am truly grateful and overwhelmed at the love and support that has come my way.

The issue I have been dealing with traces back more than two decades when I got a temporomandibular joint prosthesis - which is a device implanted into the jaw to replace the temporomandibular joint located just in front of the ear. It is like a hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. Over the years, this prosthetic started deteriorating causing intense pain and the inability to carry on routine functions like talking and chewing. It also led to facial irregularities since the bones and muscles in the face and head all rest on the jaw.

I had an operation last year which was successful in some respects but uncovered further problems that prolonged my pain and discomfort. In late 2014 I was notified of subsequent surgery date, and suddenly I was under the knife again in the beginning of January at Mount Sinai Hospital, undergoing a double jaw joint replacement.

So far, the prognosis is good. My new titanium jaw fits like a glove and my face and mouth are adjusting slowly. I'm so grateful to the surgeons and all the medical staff who performed this nine hour operation so well. While I've been enduring the pain that comes with recovering from a major surgery like this, I am resting and recuperating as best as can be expected. It might be another couple of months before I can attend events and meetings as part of my regular work but I am looking forward to returning as quickly as possible - better than ever! Thanks to technology, I have already been able to communicate with staff and residents in a limited capacity by e-mail, over social media and other ways - like this blog.

This has been the worst pain I’ve ever experienced and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. But it has taught me patience, endurance and determination to fight all odds, and to continue smiling as much as I can. I hope to exchange smiles, laughter and good conversation again with all of you very soon!

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