Here are what I think are the important events in my recovery from my various injuries. All dates are in 2009.
Sunday, April 5, 10:45AM – I am transported to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center after falling off of my bicycle. I know that my front teeth are chipped, I’m bleeding everywhere, my jaw is sore on the left side, and I experience an intense pain when I try to tilt my head back.
Sunday, April 5, 3:00PM - I am released from the hospital, having learned that my jaw is broken, without any bandages (but some stitches) on the abrasions on my right shoulder, my elbows, my cheek, or my hands.
Monday, April 6, morning – I begin taking Vicodin twice per day.
Monday, April 6, morning and early afternoon - I see various doctors. At University Health Services, a doctor authorizes my visit to the oral surgeon and has a nurse examine and bandage my wounds. The oral surgeon tells me that he’ll need to wait until my face is less swollen (either later this week or early next week) to work on me. He sends me to my dentist, who temporarily seals my chipped teeth.
Wednesday, April 8, 10:15AM – The oral surgeon puts my bone in its proper place and wires my jaw shut.
Thursday, April 9, afternoon and early evening – I am scheduled to teach but have other people fill in for me because of my condition.
Friday, April 10, morning – A number of significant events:
- I return to class, but have trouble staying awake.
- I have my stitches removed at University Health Services. I’m told that I’ll only need the bandages on my face for another day or so.
- I take my last Vicodin.
Saturday, April 11, morning – I wake up to find myself able to talk. I conjecture that this is related to my having stopped taking Vicodin. Also, I no longer need bandages on my face, but I do bandage both of my elbows and my right shoulder.
Wednesday, April 15, 1:15PM – I have my one-week check-in with the oral surgeon. Everything seems to be going well. I make my appointment to have the wires removed.
Wednesday, April 15, early evening – I arrive at home to find my supply of Vega, which revolutionizes my diet.
Thursday, April 16, afternoon and early evening – I teach as regularly scheduled.
Thursday, April 23, evening – I am finally able to catch up on my school work.
Wednesday, April 29, 2:15PM – The oral surgeon removes my wires, but I’ll still have to wear rubber bands in my mouth when I’m not eating or brushing my teeth. I learn that I can’t chew for another three weeks, and I’m also not able to open my mouth very far.
Friday, May 1, ~12PM – I’m experiencing enough discomfort in my jaw that I call the oral surgeon to ask whether I should do something about it. I leave a message but don’t hear back by the end of the day.
Monday, May 4 - The oral surgeon returns my call and tells me that my discomfort is normal, but by this time it has gone away.
Wednesday, May 6 – I begin commuting by bicycle again.
Tuesday, May 12, 3:15PM – I have a check-in with the oral surgeon. He looks at my mouth briefly, but not much happens. I make an appointment to see him again next week.
Wednesday, May 20, 2:15PM – My oral surgeon authorizes me to chew all but “super hard” foods. He leaves the arch bars on my teeth, in case they should prove necessary for straightening my bite later on. I celebrate the occasion by getting a falafel sandwich, which I have trouble fitting in my mouth.
Friday, May 22, 9AM - My dentist repairs my two chipped teeth by composite bonding, but warns that this will probably eventually require a crown.
Monday, May 25, 7:30PM - I discover that one of the two bonded teeth has broken already.
Tuesday, May 26, 2:00PM – The dentist repairs my broken tooth again.
Friday, June 10, 9:00AM – I have my teeth cleaned. The hygienist does not find any cavities, which is no small matter given the various challenges to cleaning my teeth my treatment has presented.
Friday, June 10, 12:45PM – The oral surgeon is impressed with my mouth opening and removes the arch bars. He tells me that I’ll be able to eat the hardest foods around July 4. I am warned that my gums are likely to bleed a lot when I floss for the next two or three weeks.
Friday, June 17 – By now, my gums have stopped bleeding altogether, even when flossing.
Saturday, July 4, 12:05AM – I eat a whole apple for the first time since the accident.
Current status (as of Saturday, July 11, 11:30PM) – I can open my mouth a little bit further than when I got the arch bars off. I still have some numbness on the left side of my face. I’m hoping it’s just due to internal swelling around the nerve. I had something like that last year after getting my wisdom teeth out, but I have also read that mandibular fractures can be accompanied by nerve damage. I have occasional pain in my jaw, usually on the right side (opposite the fracture). I also have some scars on my hands and elbows.