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

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Day 28 - Week 4!

Hi everyone,

Today, I don't have any proper photos to show you.  I worked for two hours yesterday, and that went well.  A bartender that started there about a month before my surgery was working and he said I look completely normal and didn't notice the swelling.  Most likely cause he hasn't really known me for long.  Others said they noticed the swelling has come down substantially in a week already, so that's really nice to hear considering I don't really notice that at all.  Feeling like I am at a stand still.  I am really enjoying being treated more normally right now.  Everyone is getting more accustomed I suppose.  I'm still a bit self-conscious, touching my face a lot...  My boss had to keep telling me to stop touching my face, lol.  I am excited to reach the point where I don't constantly think about my face and how I look when I'm talking.  Everyone says I look normal when I talk, but I think the fact that I am still really numb in my lower chin and lip, it makes me feel like it's not moving normally.
Tonight I went for coffee with some of my best girl friends.  They were so great. First of all it was great seeing them one of them (who is my cousin) recently found out she was pregnant, and another just got engaged.  So there was so much exciting news to catch up on.  Anyways, they were so ridiculously kind and made me feel so good.  I'm really appreciative of friends like them who understand this hasn't been the easiest experience emotionally over the past two weeks, it means more than anything to me right now. I honestly cannot stress enough how much friends like them mean to me right now. Genuinely amazing and kind friends.  I couldn't have done this without their support.  They really help me feel so much better. Also, I kept thinking that I sometimes look like I am looking like my swelling is getting better with how it shows in photos, but in person it doesn't look like much progress has been reached.  However, one of my friends mentioned, that she said that my day 26 photo looks great, but she felt I looked even better in person.  That made me feel really great as I can be really self-conscious in person at the moment.  Nonetheless, they made me feel 100% comfortable, it was fantastic. Friendships like these remind me how truly blessed I am.

Anyways, I guess most of that is not largely surgery related.  Like I mentioned my chin, bottom lip, and right upper lip are still really numb.  They changed how my bands are configured on my left side yesterday at my ortho appointment.  This is causing me a lot of TMJ pain/aches, which is causing my ears to ache like crazy.  UGH! This is probably the most pain/aches I have dealt with this whole month.  Lucky me, but this SUCKS! lol!  Energy isn't really at the optimal level.  I am starting to take more vitamins again, definitely got off track with that this month. Sticking with the antioxidants, vitamin B & D.  I'm sure those will all help my energy level soon.   I am slowly starting to like my smile more (yay! starting to sound more positive!!! ha!) The current problem I have is that I feel like I look really mad when my mouth is closed now.  So I don't know how to hold my mouth when I am having a conversation with someone because I look like I am majorly pissed off... great! :p  It's not like I can constantly smile if they are telling me something serious.. I'll have to brainstorm on this one if that part doesn't start improving, haha! Hmm... What else?  Well it is amazing having those surgical hooks off.  I feel it looks way better, and they're not there to irritate my gums anymore:)

I think that's about it for info about how I am doing.  Sorry this post seems like it's filled with random nonsense.  However, to me it seems related with how I am doing interacting with my friends, and how important their feedback is for me in order to be reassured that I don't still look like an ogre. It really gives me a confidence boost hearing their encouragement. Those reading this who have read my past negative posts should know things are slowly getting better with me accepting my new look and becoming more comfortable with it.  I am trying really hard to stay positive, pray a lot, and learn to love my new look.  I do see a light at the end of the tunnel :) I know it'll get brighter and brighter as time moves forward. As a Christian, I know God only has amazing things planned for me, which reassures me that things will be ok:)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Day 27

Hey Everyone,

So close to my one month post op! YAY! One more day.
So last night I went to my work and ended up working three hours, not serving, but just training for some supervisor duties.  I was slightly uncomfortable, but much less nervous than the week before. Since I worked a three hour shift, it obviously went much better than last week.  I felt pretty tired after three hours of walking around the place and interacting with coworkers.  Yikes, I thought I'd feel more up for that stuff this far past the surgery.  Hopefully that continues to improve because supervisor shifts are 8 hours.
Today I had my orthodontist appointment.. yay!! My orthodontic treatment is actually through the university graduate program.  My student orthodontist is great, and there is always a licensed orthodontist who checks my case (same guy every time).  Anyways, this is one of the huge reasons I got such a great deal on my surgery ($400), whoop! Anyways, I seem to get distracted easily.. My student orthodontist was really impressed with how I looked, she showed me off to about 5 other students who were are so amazed when looking at my before photos.  I was drowning in compliments from everyone (the good kind of drowning, lol).  Everyone was SO SO nice and kind.  Next time I need a confidence boost about my new look, I'm heading straight to their office.  Today she took my surgical hooks off, I was so happy with that.  She had to take the wire out in order to get the hooks off though, so she did that, and changed my chain bands on my braces.  In addition, I mentioned the space on my left side to her and she changed the placement of my band on that side.  Now I have more of a rectangular shape on that side.  Hopefully that helps things progress more into the right direction.  On the right side she kept my bands the same.

I decided to stay at my place in the city for another night.  I am going to see some friends and then head to work later tonight just to train for a couple hours again.  I don't know if its from seeing everyone, which may be causing tension in my jaw. My joints are really achy and my right ear.  My right ear was bothering me a lot at night and in the morning as well and seems to be acting up again.  My guess is it is just from the tension in my jaw.  Hopefully I am able to relax a bit more and it eases up.