Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Braces be gone!

Just going to let the pictures do most of the talking.
Last time with braces.

Choosing a color for my retainer.
Some of the necessary tools.

First meal without braces.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Random Pre-Op Pictures

This Thursday is the big day, my braces come off!! I was just looking through some pictures for work and found a couple candid pictures taken the month before my surgery. I am about five and half months post-op right now.



 I'm planning on posting a few more pictures once my braces are off, but for now here is one from last week.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Quick Update

I know it has been awhile since I've done an update, but it seems to be a normal occurrence to those that past the first month or two after surgery. As of Thursday I am officially four months post-op. I am suppose to get my braces of on August 29th, but I might have to change it because of work. I am planning on calling my orthodontist office to see if I could go in this Monday or Thursday to have my orthodontist double check if everything is in line. I still have a gap on left side and I don't know if the configuration I've been using with my bands will fix it. Like many others, I've been horrible with wearing my bands. I will try to update again when I have anything new brace related or dental implant related. 

Here are some recent pictures to show how my face has come alone. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Singing a new tune.

I know this morning I wrote a post bashing on the rubber bands, but I have already noticed some movement and that has gotten me excited! Just take a look at the before and after pictures. Please excuse any food in my braces, it happens. 

What was I thinking?

Yesterday I did end up leaving my ortho appointment with rubber bands to wear to close the space between my teeth, but I had no idea that they were going to suck so bad. Last night I put them in really right like the assistant told me and ended up taking them out at some point last night while I was have asleep, I probably ended up swallowing one I'm the process. I'm hoping that with time it will get easier to put them in and that I'll forget they are there. One annoying thing that happened at my appointment was that the assistant noticed that u was missing/broke the part of my bracket on one of my K9s and didn't fix it so when I tried to put my bands in on my left side like she taught me, I couldn't. I called them and she said to go back in to have them put something on my wire by that tooth. What I don't understand was why she didn't do that in the first place. Also I wasn't able to ask my orthodontist when he thinks I'll be brace free. I'm going in for another adjustment in four weeks and will ask him then, I doubt he'll be available when I go back in for them to fix  their mistake. 

Until then. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

9 weeks post-op

Today marks nine days since my jaw surgery and overall life is pretty normal. Chewing has getting easier and easier. The only time I have pain chewing is when I try to chew something that requires more jaw movement, like moving it to the side. I have to admit that I rarely do my jaw exercises and they are going to get harder to do once I get my rubber bands put in. Stretching my jaw hurts!! I can finally open mouth two fingers wide. I heard from another fellow jaw surgery patient that her surgeon told her that how ever wide you can open your mouth six months post surgery is how wide you'll be able to open your mouth for the rest of your life, talk about motivation!!! 

I have an appointment with my orthodontist tomorrow afternoon for an adjustment and I'm expecting to leave with my rubber bands in place to finally close the space between my back teeth. I don't really pay much attention to my face, but I can tell that the left side of my face is more swollen than the other. My nose is also still unturned a little, which is expected. One funny thing I've noticed, also slightly annoying, when I smile really big my left side is lower than the right due to that part of the lip is completely numb. 

Until next time. -E

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Life at seven weeks post surgery.

Hey everyone! Tomorrow marks seven weeks post-op for me, which means I only have one more week of a restricted diet and then I'll be let loose! Granted that I can already eat most things, but according to my surgeon I will be able to eat raw veggies and steak from that day on. It has been easier to chew lately. I have three more weeks with my splint. My next orthodontist appointment is on May 14th, at what time I'm expecting to leave my appointment with elastics to help close the space between my back teeth.

As far as pain goes, I've been getting a sharp pain every once in while whenever I yawn a certain way or if I'm talking and I accidentally move my jaw to the side. I'm not going to lie, it does hurt pretty bad when it happens. That's about the only problem I've been having at this point in my recover and I'm hoping it doesn't last for very much longer, I don't like feeling pain.

As far as numbness and swelling go, my bottom lip on the left side is still pretty numb and so is the part of my chin that is below it. I still have swelling in my cheeks, I don't know when that will go down completely. I guess I'll have to wait another month or so to see where my swelling is at. On Friday I had to attend an agency training and ran into people I that haven't seen me in awhile and most of them said that they can see the swelling. I don't know if it's because I see my face everyday, but I don't really notice it. I can see the swelling more when I look at my profile, but I don't make it a habit of staring at my profile...who has time for that?

Here are some 'candid' pictures a parent took of me and her child, of course I had to crop the child out, but I wanted to share them with everyone. Oh and please don't pay too much attention to the grass that is in my hair. What can I say, just another day at work. :)

Loving my new profile.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jaw Surgery Problems

I've had a couple things that I've been dealing with relating to my recovery that I wanted to address. One thing that I noticed today is that now that I'm "chewing" more, I've also been accidentally chewing my lip (numb part) which has resulted in a blister. Now that I'm attempting to chew I found it very odd. I think part of the reason is because my back teeth don't meet correctly yet.

Another issue that I haven't really address is my weight loss since surgery. As of a couple weeks ago I had lost almost 10 pounds, but I haven't weighed myself since then. (Side note: use the scale at the gym, but feel guilty for going in just to use the scale. :D) At first I didn't notice the weight loss, I mean, five pounds is nothing really. But now my weight loss is to the point that people notice and have been bringing it up. I mean come on, what can I do about it now? I still can't eat whatever I want, it's not like I put myself on a diet to loss the weight, it's just part of the process.

I've been petite my whole life, but thankfully after puberty my lower body became a little more curvacious. Bottom line: I miss my butt, it was my best assest and I want it back!! Plus, I don't like seeing my bones, eww gross. I'm already planning on eating anything and everything once I'm cleared. I do want to do it gain my weight back in a health way, I just hope I don't loss anymore. I'm planning on weighing myself again soon and I'll let you guys know what the verdict is. 

Getting a blister from biting my lip when I'm suppose to be chewing.

Looking more boney these days.

I wanna eat this!!

Five Weeks!

On Friday I had my first real appointment with my orthodontist post surgery and it went ok. My mouth was definitely pulled more than I would have liked it to be, but the final product was me free of my surgical wires and that's all that I wanted. I guess I should meant that when I saw my surgeon last Wednesday he kinda wasn't all for that and said he'll just send a letter to my orthodontist. I have noticed that my splint has been harder to take off on one side, can probably blame that on the new wire. I'm just going to make sure not wear my splint more religiously to make sure nothing bad happens. I have five more weeks to wear my splint. On May 6th I'll be able to eat whatever and on May 20th I will be splint free!!!!

No more surgical hooks!!!

Bite from Right Side
Bite from Left Side

Bite from the front
Current Opening

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4 week post op appointment

This morning was my four week post op appointment. The appointment week pretty well. Didn't wait more than a couple minutes and I was in and out in about twenty minutes. My surgeon said that I looked great and so did my bite which surprised me. He explained to me that for my particular case to make it so that my teeth met properly in the front the back teeth won't right after surgery. He was like, that's what the braces are for after surgery. He actually said the bite was actually where he wanted it to be which is reassuring. He is releasing me back to my orthodontist and will send him a note letting him know when he thought was a good time to take off my surgical wire, won't be this Friday that's for sure. When I told him that I had an appointment on Friday with my orthodontist, he's like, I want to make sure everything is good with your arch.

One thing I did make sure to ask him was how much movement did he do to my jaw and I have the answer. He moved my lower jaw forward 10mm, top jaw up 2mm and widened my upper jaw 4mm. Because he widened my upper jaw I have a splint and he told me that I will need to wear it for 10 weeks total, 6 more weeks to go. Thank goodness my splint is not the typical splint people have because I would die if I had to wear that for 10 weeks. Luckily mine is removable so I can clean it and people actually don't see it. The only unfortunate thing about my splint is that it gives me a lisp like any other retainer, guess I'm practicing for when I get my braces off and have to wear a real retainer. I do have to admit that I haven't been wearing it like I'm suppose to lately. I normally take it out before I eat and have been forgetting to put it back in.

I also asked he about my diet and he said he still wants me on a soft food diet for another month. After I'll be able to get everything including raw veggies and steak, at least that's what he said, we will see if I actually can chew that in a month. We were talking about chewing and he said that I'm going to have to basically learn how to chew all over again. To aid me in that task he wants me to chew more soft foods like pasta and such. It feels really weird to chew I have to admit. I find myself concentrating when I'm chewing and that causes me to have a funny expression. Yesterday when I went to iHop for breakfast I noticed a women watching me eat. I didn't let it bother me or anything, I just kept ripping small pieces of my pancake with my hands and popping them in my mouth.

I'm also at the point in my recovery where I have to start doing jaw exercises. He measured how far I can open my mouth, which is 17mm, and he says the average person can open their mouths about 40 something mm. I have awhile to go. He instructed me to do my exercises five times a day and to hold the stretch for twenty seconds. He said that this will also help with reducing the remaining swelling I have in my cheeks.

The last thing I wanted to mention was the pain I've been having pain on the left side of my jaw around where the he broken the bone and it travels up to my ear. Not fun. He had prescribed me an anti-inflammatory and it helped, but then I stopped taking it. The pain started coming back and I've had to start taking them again. I don't know if it's suppose to go away on its own or what. I told him about it, but he didn't seem concerned about it, just told me to keep taking the medicine. I also mentioned to him that I hear a cracking sound sometimes when I bite down on the same side, but he didn't say that was unusual or anything. I have noticed that since I started taking my medicine again I haven't heard it.

Until next time.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Week Four Video

I have my four week post op appointment on Wednesday and an appointment with my orthodontist on Friday. Will update again then.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Week Three Post Op Videos

Forgot to post these on Monday.

How's that bite?

Finally a real post (a short one, but still) and not a video after surgery! I just sitting and thinking about my surgery and if it has been worth it only three weeks in and it's definitely not a no, but I haven't had my aha moment yet. I think the main reason why is because I'm hungry for REAL food and right now the jaw surgery is holding me back! Lol. I know that this will be correct is a few weeks, but I'm ready to feel like my old self again and proper nutrition is part of it. I do like my side profile though. :)

Another problem I have is that my teeth don't meet like they are suppose to. None of my back teeth meet at the moment, gaps on either side, which is kind of ironic because prior to surgery those were the only teeth that did meet. Just wanted to share. I have my one month post op appointment next Wednesday and I'll see what my surgeon says. I know I'll be put in elastics to help correct the problem and I'm hoping it's a tolerable experience. A part of me wonders if my surgeon moved my lower jaw forward one mm too much and that's why I can't bite down correctly....I'll ask. :)

Until next time fellow bloggers. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not what I expected.

I'm currently still in the hospital waiting for my doctor to discharge me, I have a couple for hours I think. Last night was a lot harder than I expected and it just seemed to drag on and on. Finally this morning around 1:00 I was able to go to the bathroom and end how with me throwing/coughing up blood.

My surgery was about there hours long and as of right now I still don't know many deals. Before they took me to operating room they have me my "I just don't care" drugs that make me forget anything from then to when I was in the recovery room. By the time I was brought to my room it was 1:00 in the afternoon. I remember a guy helping me out in recovery that asked me if I spoke Spanish and then wished me good luck, at least I think I remember that.

My face is also a lot more swollen and stiff than I expected. When I look at myself in the mirror, I scare myself. Lol. Makes me wonder what I am going to look like on day 3 and 4. Yikes! I also woke up with what I thought was a splint in my mouth, but turned out to not be your average splint. The right side of my jaw was hurting so I had the nurse cut a couple of elastics and after an hour or so of sleeping I realized that my "splint" came out. Now I can't really close my mouth all the way since then and since my cheeks are so stiff.

I'll update you guys later after I get discharged and am back in my hotel room getting comfortable.

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's almost time.

The big day is finally here! I'm just sitting in my hospital bed with my IV and my mom in the chair next to me. To be honest I'm not even nervous. I'm still waiting for my surgeon and the anesthesiologist to come talk to me. I'll update you guys after surgery. Thank god for my iPhone because that will let me keep you guys updated. I post a new video on my YouTube, but my phone doesn't let me add it to my post. I guess my iPhone can't do everything.

I'll add my before pictures below.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New surgery date.

Good morning everyone. My new surgery date is next Monday the 11th. Only one week away which isn't too bad. The plan right now is to drive up today (already on the road) for the funeral (it's tomorrow) and then just stay with family until Sunday. In Sunday we will go to Seattle and then Monday have my surgery.

My surgeon wasn't schedule to do surgeries next Monday, but he was willing to do mine due to the circumstances. I'll update you guys later.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Change of events.

It looks like I won't be able to have my surgery on Monday. Early this morning we found out that my mom's dad past away. He hasn't been doing well for a while now, but it's unfortunate that it had to happen right before my surgery. I called my surgeon's emergency line to leave him a message asking if I could reschedule my surgery. I'm just hoping that A) I can reschedule because I don't want to be selfish and make a family member miss out on his funeral and B) That I don't have to wait forever to get a new date.

This was not what I was wanting to wake up to, but at least it happened before my surgery and not right after my surgery and I'm super swallow.

I'll update you guys when I know more. 

3/2/13 10:57 am: I talked to my surgeon and he said it's possible to have my surgery on Friday instead, but I have to call his office Monday morning and talk to his scheduler.

Yesterday I made another YouTube video about my surgery.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

1 week to go.

I think the reality of my surgery finally hit me today. For almost two years I have been saying that I will be getting jaw surgery, but sometime in the future because the date of that surgery wasn't set so it didn't feel real. This whole month has been flying by and I don't feel as prepared as I should be; that is one of the reasons that I'm starting to get anxious.

When I started my current job in mid-November I told my families that I won't be able to do any home visits during the month of March due to my surgery, but now that we've had time to get to know each other and get used to seeing each other every week, it's hard to imagine not seeing them for 5 weeks. I work with kids under age 3 and they grow so fast, I feel like I'm going to be missing out on so much. My previous job was just a desk job as a program assistant for the same agency, but back then I would have loved to have that much time off.

Even just writing this post and thinking about all the unknown that comes with this surgery is getting to me and I'm not an emotional person....well I don't like to be anyways. Today I had this urge to just run away and not think about it. With my surgery being so close it's all I think about and I need a break from it. Whenever I'm stressed I find myself driving around. I went to a couple stores trying to find a freakin' squeeze bottle to help me drink water and slippers for my surgery and finally I found them. I took more then a few stores, but I found some.

After all that shopping I ended up at the beach. I live in a very rural area of Northern California where we have many, many redwood trees, plenty of beaches and rivers. Nature calms me. It was a windy day at the beach. It was exactly what I needed. The roads are windy that are fun to drive and it was actually sunny. This week is going to fly by and I leave Saturday morning to head to Washington and won't be coming home until Thursday. Not being home during the first part of my recovery will be an interesting twist, I hope I can do it.

Well, until next time. Below are some pictures from today.