Friday, 14 December 2012

TWO MONTHS! ...and 1 day!

I have hit two months!!! ...and one day.  Sorry, I am pretty terrible at posting these days, in comparison to how often I was posting the first month.
How am I doing at 2 months post op you ask?
Well I am still a bit swollen.  It's a slow process, but my patients has definitely gotten better.  I am becoming more comfortable with my new look.  There are some people that don't even notice that I had anything done, and others think I look completely different.  It's weird when I am walking by a mirror and I catch my reflection from the corner of my eye, I feel like I do look different, and its taking getting used to catching a quick glimpse of myself.  I think my smile is slowly settling. It is starting to feel less forced/fake if that makes sense. It is starting to feel more natural every day. Mornings are still a bit rough, I am most swollen in the mornings usually.  As the day moves forward, the swelling comes down.  Although, the other day for some reason I was really swollen into the afternoon.  I am not sure why, but I'll post a photo to show you how swollen I was that day.
As far as pain goes,  the configuration of the bands make my joints and ears ache like crazy.  Sometimes it feels unbearable. It seems like talking while having them in actually helps though. Maybe it relaxes the joints, who knows.
I had an infection in my glands and tonsils and I am still on antibiotics for it, so that is slowly healing as well.  It was REALLY sore and also swollen, so it did not help with the added aching in my joints and ears at all.  However, like I said, it's slowly getting better.
My diet is improving, eating more.  Trying more food, even if it takes me longer to chew, I think it's good exercise to try tougher food.  My surgeon is a pusher when it comes to eating whatever I want.  He doesn't really have any restrictions with anything, lol.  Pretty much I should keep eating whatever I want, if it's really that difficult to eat, then don't.  However, if I want to increase my strength I shouldn't just stick with mushy food.
My surgeon gave me exercises to do with my jaw, which I haven't been doing a lot.  I feel like it aches so much afterwards, so I avoid it. Although, I know I should be doing them if I ever want to improve the movement of my jaw.
I had a orthodontist appointment yesterday.  They said if they don't have to, they do not plan on changing my wires anymore.  They would like to fix all the last details by just changing the configuration of my bands.  I asked if my braces would be off in approximately 6 months?  He said, "so you want them off before summer time?"  I told him that I would love that, I don't necessarily want them off if my smile is not ready, but it'd be great if we could have them ready by them.  He seemed hesitant to tell me a 100% yes at this point. I was pretty disappointed by the hesitance.  I mean, in March 2013, I will have had these braces on for three years. GET THESE THINGS OFF OF ME!!!!!!!!!! .... is what I felt like screaming in the ortho office.  I restrained myself, lol.  He told me to try wearing my bands as much as possible, as that would help things move along.  I am terrible at wearing them 24/7.  I feel like I slur so much when I talk when I have them in my mouth.  Ya! I know! Bad excuse for someone who wants their braces off before summer.  They changed my ligature elastics during this visit because mine stain really quickly because I drink so much coffee. I always get very light coloured elastics, so that doesn't help.  I wear chain elastics.  Not sure how I explain this to those who don't have braces.  It's a chain of elastic, which connects from one bracket to the next.  Anyways, whenever they change things I squirm and almost cry.  It's the most uncomfortable thing ever.  Not only that, but I am so squeamish since after the surgery with them messing around in my mouth.  Also, since I can't open my mouth 100% and even my lips and around my mouth hasn't settled yet, it makes it uncomfortable for me with their hands trying to stretch it out to get in the back on my mouth.  I am not an angry person, but when they are putting this chain elastic on, I have SO MUCH fury inside of me, lol.  If only they could hear my thoughts during that moment.  My ortho always asks if I need a break because I am deep breathing so heavily. I always respond with a stern "I'm fine!" lol. I just want them to pick it up and get it over with.  Seriously, I'm really not an angry person at all, and I find it funny that I have to resist the urge to punch her out. LOL! Seriously, I would NEVER do that, please don't think I am a violent person.  This may be the only thing in life that gets me that riled up.  Okay enough of my silly ortho shenanigans.
Oh ps.  I have been keeping EXTREMELY busy with work.  Working 6 days a week, 8-9 hour shifts.  It's getting a lot easier and it is nice keeping busy and having some $$ coming in after taking 5 weeks off!! Didn't expect to take that much time off work.   
OH! Ps.  I got a lot of low lights put in my hair.  So I am much closer to a brunette now. 

This was on Monday I think, I had swollen up a bit for some reason. :( 

Day before surgery and two months after

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Day 49 - 7 weeks

Hi all,

So today I had my seven week post-op check up with my surgeon.  He gave me some exercises to do in order to increase the flexibility/movement of my jaw.  Stretching by opening my jaw, but also putting my fist under my chin and putting resistance on it, and doing the same but putting the resistant from the inside of my mouth by pushing with my fingers down.  Also, I can't move my lower jaw side to side much, so I am supposed to forcing my jaw to the left, again putting resistance on the left, pushing against it, and likewise for the right side.  I should also mention that I can still only open my jaw two fingers apart.  It should be three.
He asked me to change the way I put my bands on, on my right side, then check with my orthodontist to make sure they're ok with it.  I have an orthodontist appointment next Thursday. I'm excited for this because I want to get the show on the road, so to say, lol.

For the past 5 or so days my throat has been sore and dry.  It's affecting my sleep; every time I turn over it hurt me.  I asked my surgeon about this and he thought it was unrelated to the jaw surgery.  So I went to the walk-in clinic and turns out it is an infection.  So I am back on an anti-inflammatory medication.  Needless to say, the reason I've been exhausted this week is because of this infection.

I've been working 8-9 hours shifts lately and it's getting easier.  I am still just supervising.  I am nervous to get back into serving, because I feel like people still look at me funny with the way I talk.

My diet is improving slowly, because my chewing is getting better.  It's not perfect yet, I think, because I cant open my jaw fully yet.

That's about it for now friends.  If anyone has any questions let me know.  I'll try to post photos sometime soon.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Day 43 - One day past 6 weeks

So I have finally reached six weeks.  This week I have been keeping busy working.  I haven't been working serving shifts at the moment. Instead, I have been supervising.  Our assistant manager got promoted to a managing position in another department, so while my manager is looking to hire a new assistant manager, I am helping out.  It's really great that we can help each other out during this time.  As supervisor I am not constantly speaking to tables or getting too overwhelmed.  Like I have mentioned in my past post, I am still quite self-conscious about speaking.  I am working 8-9 hour shifts right now, I get pretty tired at times, but I think this will be good for me.  Besides I really didn't expect to take so much time off work, so I need the money to be honest.
A friend of mine from work has been commenting that she has noticed the swelling is coming down as the days move forward.  It means a lot to me. Although, by touching my face I can tell I am still quite swollen.
My joints still get achy and I just have to exercise my jaw every hour or so.  Also, still trying to exercise my lips by making kissy faces and move my lips in weird positions.  Half of my bottom lip and most of my chin are still majorly numb.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Day 40

Hey everyone,
Sorry I haven't been posting as much.  I probably won't post as much anymore as the days move forward. However,  I will make sure to give you updates on how I am doing. Also, I'll provide you with photos. 
Friday I had my first real shift back at work.  I worked for about 4 hours.  I work as a waitress, so I was really nervous speaking one on one with tables. Luckily, we were holding a fundraiser that night, so it was pretty chill.  My coworkers were great, made me feel comfortable.   It still feels weird speaking with others because I am so numb, I feel like it looks funny when I talk.  However, everyone tells me I don't.  So I'll just have to believe that now! lol.
Last night my roommate held a grey cup party at his place.  There was tons of food(appies), and snack food.  Obviously I couldn't pig out on the chips, but I did eat some shrimp cocktail, pizza, and a spring roll.  I just cut everything up really small and munched away.  It was delicious. A friend of ours came over and he didn't know I was going to be there, and I haven't seen him in a long time.  When he walked in he casually said hi and continued on.  When I got up from my spot and walked to the kitchen he shouted "Nancy!! Wow! I didn't even recognize you.  You look so different and great!"  I love that he followed the "different"  by "great".  Definitely the type of reactions that flatter me during this time.  I ran into another friend this past weekend at my old place of work and she also said I looked different in a really good way.  That makes me feel really good.  I feel like I am starting to feel better about the way I look.  I guess every now and again I just have my down days where I question it.  I think eventually I will love the new look every single day.. lol. At this point I'm just waiting for more swelling to come down and the numbness to decrease around my lower lip.  I'm ready to feel 100% normal.
I'm headed to work tonight for a 8-9 hour shift as supervisor, so wish me luck all! I'm hoping my joints stay relaxed and don't bother me at all.  Hopefully, smooth sailing.  :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Day 34

Hi friends!

So my energy level is coming up slowly when I wake in the morning.  I still do get times where I need to rest, but its slowly getting better
My jaw/teeth are feeling stronger every day.  It's weird how I can feel how they are stronger... It just feels more solid if that makes sense. When I bite down on my teeth, it doesn't feel like I am biting down with styrofoam teeth anymore.. they're starting to actually feel like teeth when I bite down.  Maybe other jaw surgery bloggers can relate so I don't sound like a nut, lol.
Still slowly getting used to my smile, I feel like it looks pretty awkward/forced.  I would appreciate some honest opinions.  I am assuming that it will settle and relax as the weeks/months move forward.  I am not sure if I am just seeing this, or if others notice this as well. I would really love some feedback.
Other weird thing?   I have some weird skin discoloration on my upper throat and below my chin.  I am not sure what this is from.. Could it possibly be bruising this late in?  Or is it from all the heat I am still applying to my face? 
I very slowly starting to get a little bit of feeling back on my upper right side of my lip.  My chin and lower lip are extremely numb still. Sometimes I feel like it has improved slightly, but it's really hard to tell.  Does anyone else feel weird talking to others because it is numb?  I keep worrying that my face isn't moving correctly... that it looks funny because maybe my bottom lip isn't moving at all, or going in some other direction, or that I am drooling and have no idea.  I am constantly making sure I am not drooling. However, I know that part isn't even close to as bad as my first and second week. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Day 33

Hi everyone,

So last night I finally had more of a peaceful sleep. I haven't had one of those since before the surgery. I slept 9 hours... Yikes!!!! It was wonderful, I woke up feeling pretty refreshed.  Hopefully, I continue to get a good nights rest.
Last night and today are the first days in the past week or so that I haven't had TMJ pain.  It feels wonderful :)  Those ear aches were killing me.
As far as my diet it goes, my portion sizes are increasing.  I am eating more ground beef.  In things like enchiladas, and tomorrow I am going to make some lasagna.  I can bite down on food, it's just a struggle to grind it apart.  They are definitely still weak, but I feel like I am slowly making progress.  This is a lot better than the first week diet of liquid and mush! :)
 I feel like I am pretty swollen looking still. I know it takes time, but patience has never been my strongest quality. My mom keeps telling me it is getting better. 

The space is slowly closing up.. YAY! Makes me feel better about my smile.. Progress!!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Day 29

Hi Gang!

Today was a chill day for the most part.  Just stuck around the house all day and relaxed.  The only complaint I still have since my ortho appointment is these bands are creating pain on my left TMJ and ear.  AHH it aches SO MUCH!! Taking a lot of advil for that at this point.  Sometimes I take the bands off for an hour just to give my jaw a rest, and it feels great.  I thought the aching/pain was easing up but then.........  This evening my sister and I went to a friends house and we ended up watching "Elf", only the greatest Christmas movie ever.  I think it's so full of joy and innocence.  Also, I think its hilarious; I was laughing a lot and smiling most of the movie.  At this point my TMJ and ear are hurting SO MUCH.  Took some Advil and relaxing now; giving the jaw a rest. Hoping the pain subsides soon.
OH!  I ate a slice of pizza tonight.  My sister was having some left over pizza at our friends place and I couldn't resist, I had to try.  I obviously couldn't take bites from the slice, so I cut it in very small pieces and attempted to chew.  It's not easy, but eventually my teeth mush it up enough that I can swallow it. It was tasty! Thought I had to share that exciting news :) 

Sorry, I messed up the photos on this one. The top right photo should be switched with the bottom left.

See how my mid lines are off? I really hope that my orthodontist can fix that.  I forgot to mention it last appointment. It almost looks like I have a cross bite?? I think that's what it is called. :-s