Thursday, November 29, 2007

time flies...NEW PICS!

i just realized how long it's been since I've posted a pic. whoops. i was looking back at the pics that i've posted since i'm trying really hard to procrastinate on my homework right now. i guess my bite has changed a lot even since the surgery! so i actually took a new pic of my bite (told ya i really don't want to work on my homework!)

aren't extreme close ups great?!? Midlines are SOOO much better!









this one is back in September...midlines are much more off then









and don't forget the pre-surgical bite...YIKES!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All quiet on the occlusion front...

So nothing ground breaking as far as my orthodontic treatment. I went to an appointment about a week or so ago. It was just a quick look and a new elastic configuration. I have two 'boxes' starting on my canines and one diagonal elastic from a canine on my right side to a molar in the back. At least I got bumped to the 'not so strong' elastics this time for the 'boxes' anyways--the diagonal one is still the really strong ones!

I do see a little improvement with my midlines lining up but I'm really not too concerned with that. You really can't see my bottom teeth when I smile anyways! But my molars are meshing a lot better than before I started with the elastics.

My ortho said I'm still on track to get these things off 6 months after the surgery date which brings me to about the end of February. Hopefully that stays true but, then again I don't want them off before they are ready to. But I really can't wait to brush the entire surface of my teeth again!!! It's the small things ya know!!

I go to see my OS in the middle of December, which I have not seen since September!! I wonder what he'll say.....

My lower lip and middle of my chin still feel a bit stiff (just like the 'wax beard' that Erin explains!) and 'pins and needles feeling. But my front tooth has stopped with the weird spasm feeling thingy that was happening!! Yay!

I will have to update with some pics this week on a day where I actually sorta look presentable and not just like I'm running to class!! Till then...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

it's been a while....

since i wrote anything on here!! whoops. needless to say senior year of college is a ball breaker. so most if not all of my waking hours (which is alot lately-considering my average 4 hour a night sleep) is dedicated to being in school or doing work for it.

on the teeth-front, nothing dramatically different. i'm wearing my elastics faithfully...well all except yesterday. it was another 4 hour sleep the night before and i barely knew where i was when i woke up. i got ready for school, got my books and headed out the door. about 1/2 hour into my drive i noticed that i forgot to put my elastics on!! it almost felt like they were in but nope! oh well one day out of many is still a good track record.

my front right tooth is getting less sensitive as time goes on. once and a while when sipping hot coffee i get a real weird nerve spasm type thing happen. but lately it hasn't been doing it.

I go back to the orthodontist next week. I'm sure for a new configuration of elastics. i hope they don't tell me that have to replace 4 of the bands around my molars which were from my previous ortho. I hope the elastics did their job in pulling down my molars enough that they won't have to change them. they were also trying to get my midline to match up a bit more. i see that it has improved some but not totally. that's the least of my worries really...it is such a minor detail at this point!

well loosing that weight in the summer from the surgery was no match for college and all that weight just came right back on!!! but i am determined to get rid of it once again before my husband comes home from overseas. it's a nice goal to have!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Agony of the Teeth

Ouuuuuuch!! My teeth are wicked sore from these new elastics!! Just when they were getting used to it--the ortho goes and switches it up on me!! Back to applesauce and mashed potatoes for me for a while. :(

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Something to Write Home About...

Yikes! It's been a while since I posted anything!! But...in my defense there wasn't much going on orthodontically since then! But today I saw my orthodontist again!! And...guess what??? MORE ELASTICS!! But they have switched locations. Now I have a triangle way in the back (second to last molar) on each side trying to get my molars to mesh better than they are and one oddball on my right side from my top canine stretching back to my first molar on the bottom. Ouch. My teeth were fine all day until I went to eat dinner...they are back to being sore. Just when I was getting used to the other configuration!! Oh well, this configuration is to get my molars to hit more (when I eat things like lettuce they just slip right through my bite in the way back, so there is a gap back there) and to see if they can get my midline to match up more (it is slightly off but you really can't tell all that much (I don't mind if it stays like this even...you'd have to stare to see it).

The ortho said that if the bands don't work as well as they should, she's gonna have to change 4 of the bands around my molars that were left over from my previous orthodontist. I really don't want to go through the tugging and pushing but...I do want to get my teeth as 'tweaked' as I can. But we will cross that bridge when we get there (more like pushed over the edge and swim to shore when we get there!!!).

I asked about my front right tooth that gets zings when I drink something hot. It hasn't happened as much lately--or it's not as intense and long when it does. She said it is possibly just due to the nerves healing since that was an area that was cut through. She said to give it some more time and if it gets worse or stays the same they will check it out further. Sounds right...that area is the most sensitive still so it's not out of the question for there to still be some zingers!

I return to the ortho next month and don't have to see my surgeon until December!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Still Going...

So, still going with the elastics. I don't see my ortho until October 16th so I'm just keepin on keepin on till then. My front right tooth is being a pain...literally. Whenever I eat or drink something hot I get this like nerve spasm thing that happens. Not every time but enough that I'm not surprised when it does. I don't know if it's just the nerve freakin out or something wrong. I mentioned it last ortho visit but they didn't seem too concerned. Of course, they don't have to feel it either!!! Well, when I go back I will bring it up again. I definitely feel more of a pulling sensation on the right side where the elastics are then the left when I open my mouth. Is it just that this side is more sensitive at the moment or has more feeling then the other side??? I dunno. My teeth are more sensitive on my right side when I chew on food and I still get a clicking sound when I try to chew on my left side...but that has improved I guess, especially when I concentrate on chewing up and down and not side to side like a cow how I used to!!!

Ugh. I'm tired of these elastics. It's like trying to land the space shuttle when I eat with a fork...if you don't enter at the exact angle, time and area...it's all over (my lap usually).

Monday, September 24, 2007

New Pics!!



I know, it's been a while since I've posted some pics. Between Chris being gone, school starting back up and homework stacking up I've been all over the place!! But this morning before running off to school I took some quick pics of myself. Taking pics of yourself is difficult!! :) I notice alot of the swelling has gone down even from my last pics and I feel like it's gone down too. There is still some swelling right under my nose and a little on either side still as well...but not nearly like it was! So...enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Elastics are Fun

Yikes! It's been a week since I've posted anything new! Sorry, but school is putting the beating on me this semester. I had to do 100 different sketches of logo designs as well as 50 different resume layouts. That's just for ONE class I have 2 others!! ugh! But, I can't forget about this either!

Well, I'm getting more and more used to the elastics. The teeth they are connected to aren't screaming anymore!! I do get that 'heartbeat' throb like right around my front teeth area. I'm sure it's just due to elastics and healing and braces...etc., etc. Eating is difficult with the elastics in. Sometimes when I put the fork into my mouth I catch one of the elastics and get stuck!! It's very embarrassing when it happens around other people!! For lunch at school (if I was lazy and didn't pack a lunch) I get either soup or a tuna fish sandwich and eat it with a knife and a fork. Yeah I get some strange looks from my classmates but all I have to say is "I had jaw surgery this summer" and they immediately understand why!!

Chewing is a bit weird. I do favor eating on my right side. When I try to eat on my left my jaw starts to click. I'm not sure if I'm moving my jaw off to the side (and not up and down) when I chew on that side or not. You see, before the surgery, the only way I could chew food was to move my jaw over then bite down. I must be unconsciously trying to do the same thing now. But only on the left side. Maybe I'll look in the mirror next time to see. I don't see the orthodontist again until October 16th. So, I have to keep up with my elastics till then. It is hard to change them at lunch...we don't have much time to eat let alone switch elastics!! But I change them every morning and night.

I'll try to post new photos tomorrow. I was going to the other day then noticed my batteries were dead! whoops! The swelling has come down more but...still hanging on a little!! The left side of my chin is the only place that is not quite 100% feeling back, it still like that pins and needles feeling when I touch it. My gums are taking a bit longer to get all the feeling back too. Some spots it's back, some they're not. The surgeon said that would take a bit longer to get back. It's kinda funny when you drink something hot and only feel it in certain areas and not others!!! Oh well such is life post-op!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two at a Time

So I had both an OS and an OD appointment today! The surgeon said everything was looking and healing great! Again, I forgot to ask about the possibility of that palate/appliance thingy he mentioned weeks back. But, hey maybe they will forgo it? He cleared me to eat anything within reason...'no jawbreakers!' he said. I would be petrified to eat something hard anyways. With that he said he didn't need to see me back for another 3 months! My next appointment won't be until December! wow!

So off I went to buy some bread and cheese...I've wanted a grilled cheese for some time now!! I made one for lunch but still cut it up into bite sized pieces!! It's just easier that way!

Then this afternoon I had my orthodontist visit. It went smoother than last time. Taking the surgical wires off is tough! They have to clip it into pieces and slide it through the brackets instead of just pulling it right out. I guess that's due to it's rectangular shape instead of the normal round wire! After that, it was time for the real test...rubber bands. Yes they are back, with a vengeance!! I have a band on each side of my mouth in a rectangular shape, nothing really drastic but oh my god are they tight bands!!! I have to wear them 24/7 and change them 2-3 times a day!! They also suggested to wear them while eating. While eating?!?! But, they explained that 1) they are there to have constant pressure to ensure my bite is where it should be 2) I need that guidance even when I'm chewing (which I agreed with) 3) people are less likely to forget to change them after eating when they are know they are probably gunked with food!!! So off I went with my diagram of which teeth they go on and two bags of bands--one for the purse and one for the medicine cabinet! I didn't get any word on how much longer they suppose I'll be in braces. They were really busy today so I'll try again next time.

I figure I should go and take some Advil before something decides to hurt a lot!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Getting by

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. The last few days have been crazy ups and downs. My husband got shipped off overseas this past Sunday and won't be back until early next year (next year!!). So needless to say, I wasn't in the best shape that day. But, I have school to keep me occupied which they wasted no time in doing that. It's my senior year and they push you quite hard!

On the teeth front, my front teeth are calming down more and more. They still get a bit sensitive but, much better than before. I seem to favor eating on my right side since when I try to eat on my left my jaw on that side seems to click and it doesn't feel as strong as the other side. It's a new way of chewing and I'm still getting used to it I guess! I almost want the bands back just to give me a guide of where and how to chew. I'm sure they will be back shortly! I see my OS on Thursday morning and then the OD Thursday afternoon. I wonder what they are going to say!?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The H2O Factor...

So with school starting this week I'm way off in my water and food intake. I'm already bad at drinking enough water but I was doing good for a while there. Now that I'm back at school and water is at a steep $1.35 a bottle...I forget to drink any. Now I feel like I'm paying for it. My face felt really puffy yesterday and I didn't feel like talking a whole lot. Drink, drink, drink is my new motto!

Also, I had someone else tell me that my voice sounds a bit different. Chris had already mentioned this to me once before. He says it sounds a little higher pitched. I can't tell! I know it feel a bit numb on the right side of the roof of my mouth and a little in the way back of my mouth too. I wonder if it's still swollen and that's why I sound different or, it's just because the roof of my mouth is a different shape now which affects the sound of my voice?? Hmmmm...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Back in Books

So, I'm back to school. I had one class yesterday but only knew a few people in it. But today, I got to see my entire senior class. I got many a mention, or a look like 'you look different somehow...' My close friends knew what I was going through during the summer but wanted to see it in person. They noticed the difference...even the small stuff I wouldn't think anyone would!! yay!

As for my teeth, my teeth are calming down with the occasional zing! My mouth does get a bit sore with all the smiling, laughing and talking now that I'm around people all day long!! But with my 45 minute commute I relax the mouth and take it easy.

I've found myself clenching my teeth sometimes right as I'm waking up. I used to do this before the surgery as well. I do catch myself and tell my brain to tell my mouth to knock it off. Maybe that's why some teeth are sore!?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ahhhh...ouch...to not have a splint.

It's great for eating and talking but now...my teeth are sore!! About three teeth are being pains...literally. My front right tooth, the one next to that and a molar in the back left are sore to the touch. I guess I should be happy that I'm feeling anything in my teeth but...ouch! But, a little Advil does the trick. I might also stop tomorrow to get some Sensodyne toothpaste...that used to help with the post-OD tightenings.

It also seems that my top stitches fell out as well. I used to see to little white strings hanging down under my top lip but...they are gone!!

Well we were gone all weekend visiting family and school starts tomorrow so I'd better go and get my stuff together!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

My New Bite pic!

Ok, here is a mega close-up of my bite in all its fantasticness! My husband is still snoozing so I had to take this on my own. When I smile big you really can only see my top teeth and not alot of them either. My top lip is still stiff and my bottom one as well since the Genio stitches were right in the front! So I had to hold my bottom lip down myself!!

My midline isn't quite lined up perfectly (but we 're not out for perfection are we?!) but the OD hasn't started her magic yet either. But it is a vast improvement from my open/cross bite (see second pic)! Oh and nevermind the tea stains...I just can't part with my tea and coffee!!

This is the before...big difference huh!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Week 6 - New Pics!




So I found some batteries that still worked and took some new pics of Week 6. The splint is out, my lips are happy to meet each other and talking is supremely easier!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It was nice knowing ya...

Yes it is farewell to Matilda and all her bulkiness!!! I'm free!

I owe my OD so much for squeezing me in to removed my god forsaken splint!! That goodness she had her mask on, cuz when she snipped those wires and it started to come loose a stench that came from the bowels of the Earth came up and slapped me in the nose!! Even with all my rinsing and brushing that thing stunk!! I guess that's normal though. When it was off I didn't want to touch my teeth or top of my mouth but...of course curiosity won out. Eww! The roof of my mouth felt all dry, wrinkly and just plain nasty. Like when you have a band aid on too long and your skin gets all nasty underneath. I didn't want to brush at their office because their toothbrushes are harder then brushing with rocks and I could tell my gums were mighty swollen still. So I rinsed and rinsed again. (I brushed at home with my extra soft toothbrush about 2x and rinsed about 4x...my gums did bleed -not too much though-so I have to remember even though I can't feel it as much I need to be gentle!) I noticed I can feel my gums on my left side a little better than my right side. It will come back...all in good time!

After that, the fun started. Removing all the little wires that were holding the archwire on. Each one had to be snipped and removed. Then the archwire had to be taken out in pieces--I'm pretty sure this was for my benefit so there wasn't as much pulling and tugging. I'm still very nervous about things going on in or near my mouth so it was rough but not too bad. I had one tooth that when they were taking out the small wire around the bracket sent a pain that shot up to my eye! Other than that...it was the regular pressure and zings you get from the OD. But pain does mean nerves are there and working so I guess I'll take it as a good thing! So now my top wire has been changed, I'm back to using my regular silver ligatures around the brackets and no more surgical hooks!! Well...that's only my top teeth. I'm going back in two weeks for them to remove the bottom wires and hooks. That shouldn't be as bad since I'm not as sensitive about my bottom teeth as I am the top since I didn't have the lower jaw surgery besides the genio.

Now talking is sooooo much easier! No more sluring! But my top lip is still stiff and since my teeth are in a different spot I have to relearn some sounds. "Sss" is a new one. With my old open bite I guess I had a way of making the sound...now it sounds funny. So I've been practicing saying "Sss" with my tongue in different spots or my lip in a different shape. Very weird! And, now with my bite closed and lips at rest...my lips actually touch all the way!! They didn't before the surgery without the noticeable 'chin flex' and with the splint they were still open slightly.

I'll take some pics soon to post, right now I gotta go make some dinner!

Matilda's Debut

So today is the day Matilda (my lovely splint) comes out! They are squeezing me in during their lunch break to take it out and put new wires on. They are great over there!! I hope the surgical hooks come off too! They dig into my bottom lip so much!! Ouch! I guess I'll have to wait and see. I go in for 12:40. The question is should I eat before or wait till after?? I might wait till after and just take some Advil or something in case I'm sore. Last night I did an extra long session of brushing and rinsing. Not to be gross but, after a good rinsing I saw a piece of rice in the sink. I hadn't had rice in 2 days!! YUCK!

I think I'm just going to have to apologize for Matilda's bad food habits before the OD or the assistant gets near to her! Ugh, how embarrassing!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Splint Removal Update

I was actually out and about this weekend so I didn't have a chance to post anything. I saw many of my co-guardsmen this weekend and got alot of favorable comments! Mostly the comments were 'yeah I can really see a difference in your profile' or 'you don't look that swollen to me!' or 'was it worth it' and mostly 'what can you eat?!' It was nice to see everyone again!

Today my orthodontist called me about removing my splint!! My OS called to ask if she felt ok with taking it off since he would be on vacation. So the OD called me to say they would also be on vacation next week. But...if it was bothering me she could squeeze me in this Thursday and take it out. That would put me right the 6 week mark, which is how long my OS wants the splint in for. So I said, no it doesn't hurt me but...I am starting school back up and it would be nice not to have it in and lisping and slurring all my words trying to talk to my new professors!!

So Thursday at 12:40 I go to get it removed and new wires and stuff put in. To be honest I'm a bit scared. I don't know what's going on under that ginormous thing. What if I want it back on!! I guess it kinda my security blanket now.

Maybe I should name it...Matilda.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hurry Up and Wait

So I just got back from my OS appointment. Everything checks out good...more than good, 'fantastic' as my OS puts it! He gave me the go-ahead to start the orthodontic 'tweaking'! So as for the splint removal...it can come off next week but...he's on vacation next week! That's timing for ya! But he did say he would call my orthodontist to see if she is comfortable taking the splint off (I guess you just clip the wires and that's it!) and if they can get me in next week (unless they too are on vacation!). I just would love to have it out before I return to school after Labor Day but, if I have to wait another week...so be it! I've lived with it this long!!

He didn't mention the stitches coming out or the palatal/retainer (I'm guessing it's a TPA...but we'll have to wait and see) being put in yet. I always forget to ask about something and remember on my way home!! But I will be seeing him again in another 3 weeks. I'll be sure to write those things down now so I don't forget!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jump before you Think

Nothing fabulous going on here. Just another day of being a slacker!!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my OS for a checkup. I'm gonna ask if this splint is gonna come off next week or not. Maybe I'll get an answer instead of a 'we'll see'!! (Thanks to Erin) I'm gonna ask if I need to see the ortho ASAP after the splint is taken out. The top archwire is cut right between my two front teeth due to the widening during surgery (and not my own fault which I thought at first!) and I'm afraid to leave that for too long without the splint holding everything in place. Trouble is, my OS appointments have been on Fridays, but my orthodontist is not in on Fridays (that's Cape Cod for ya). Soooo, if he's gonna take the splint out next week...I might need to coordinate things with the orthodontist. Ugh! I think too much. I should just wait to ask him if it's coming out at all!!

I only have one full week left (of being a complete slacker) before fall semester starts! I wonder what my friends reactions will be? Will they notice? Hmmm...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Karaoke in Slow-Mo

Well no big news the past 2 days. Actually I've been running around doing my 'back to school' shopping! Ok so it's not as fun as when I was a kid...mostly because I have to pay for all of it!

Feels like the swelling on my left side decided it wanted to budge because when I smile I don't feel as much resistance! I'm thinking I'm getting some feeling back in my top teeth as well. Mostly my front two teeth, but it is still difficult to tell with this huge splint in the way!!

Now that I'm getting used to eating and using 'big people' utensils again...I've found something else that is proving difficult....singing along to songs! Now I'm sure if I listened to mushy slow ballads I could keep up but I don't. It's really tough to keep up with the words!! My top lip just doesn't want to move that fast!! It's so funny...kinda sounds like a 4 yr old trying to sing along, always a few words behind! Oh well it's only me in the car, cracking myself up!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

1 Month Pics!

Since I forgot my Friday pics, I thought I'd post some on the actual 1 month anniversary date!











...why do I always decide to take pics when I have no makeup on and didn't do my hair?? oh well.

Just for fun...

Leave it to the Japanese...they've invented a way to start and control your iPod by clenching your teeth. Maybe now that I have a normal bite, this would make sense!? Check it out:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070820/lf_afp/lifestylejapan

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Eating with an Audience

Whoo-hoo my first restaurant outing!! Yes I finally went out to eat for the first time in 4 weeks! We were out doing some shopping and decided to stop to eat. Yikes, what am I gonna eat I thought. If worse came to worse I could just ask for a plate of mashed potatoes! But I didn't have to. I got baked scrod and mashed potatoes...loaded mashed with cheese, bacon bits and chives!! It felt good to be able to use a real fork and order off a menu! Of course it takes me a long time to eat now but hey...it's better for digestion right!?! I sat in the inside of the booth so I didn't have as big of an audience watching me eat!

My chin feels sooo much better today. I get some tinges of pain if I move my bottom lip a certain way or just for no reason. But a tinge of pain is better than complete numbness! Getting feeling back on the inside of my upper lip is great too but also comes with feeling all those surgical hook antennae poking me again!! I'll be glad when they are off! My poor mouth, it's been through a lot. It needs a vaca.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Don't be a hero.


Today for some reason or another I feel more puffy and more pain then I have in a while. The pain is really concentrated around my chin area. It probably has to do with more feeling coming back therefore, now I can feel the pain. It's like a bruise kind of pain. When I move or touch it, it hurts, if I leave it alone I'm fine. A little Advil or Tylenol takes the edge off but for some reason I try to be a hero and bare it! Why I don't know, some type of self torture I guess! I am an artist...

I've noticed now that I'm home alone with only the cats to talk to, my face seems to get tight. So now I try to talk to myself and make some funny faces to give my face a stretch.

I also ran out and got some frozen peas. One of the nurses at the hospital said they are great to use instead of ice packs. Ice packs are too bulky and heavy to put on my upper lip and sides of my nose so I thought I'd give the peas a shot since they are small and can contour better to your face. I'm gonna put some into those ziplock snack size bags and see how it feels.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tongue Tied?

Another non-eventful day....having alot of those lately. I had to wait around the house today because the housing office had to do their yearly inspection. It lasted all of 4 minutes!! Pretty much they just wanna make sure you're not tearing the place apart.

Last night and today the area right under my bottom jaw has become very sensitive when I touch it...like a bruise. It kinda hurts when I swallow but it's not in my throat. It's like my tongue pushes against it from the inside. Does that make any sense??? :) I'm sure this splint doesn't help either cuz my tongue can't quite go where it's supposed to! It's cramped up in there!!

Well the cats are tearing this place apart cuz they wanna eat dinner so I better go!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Day 26

Another quiet day around the house. I could always clean but...nah.

Things are still going strong. My upper lip and chin are like the little engine that could. I think I can feel, I think I can, I think I can...

I had mac n' cheese last night which I tried to cut up but those little suckers are slippery! I mushed it up best I could. Cheese is so good. I've been forcing myself to get used to drinking from a cup. I really didn't want to go back to school still using the zip n squeeze (i get enough weird looks!). I found a paper cup works the best. I can squeeze the sides together so it's easier to get the liquid in my mouth rather than out the sides and down my chin!! Plus, I'm sure using a cup is giving my top lip some exercise (aaand...lift and squeeze and pout...).

I don't see my OS till next Friday the 24th. I got this week off for good behavior!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tea Time!

Sorry I missed yesterday...there was a wicked thunderstorm that rolled by us. I had to unplug everything!

Well we went grocery shopping to find some new ideas for no chew foods. I didn't want to get sick of what I was eating so far! Some of the new things I bought are the packaged noodle/rice side dishes, meatballs and lasagna. All of these things I figured I could cut/smoosh up to be able to eat them. Last night we made lasanga!! YUM! Ok, so it took me a while to get through eating 2 pieces but so worth it! Maybe this whole experience will get me to eat slower or maybe less? Nahh, probably not!! I love food!

Everyday more feeling is coming back into my nose, upper lip and chin. It's hard to tell if any of my teeth are getting feeling back or if it's just the bone above my teeth...but all I know is when I push up on my splint with my tongue in certain spots, I can feel it...some spots I cannot.

Drinking from a cup is still proving difficult. I can do it but it doesn't feel nice (top lip is still tight and tingly) and I dribble alot! I just can't quite get my top lip to connect fully with the cup rim. So I drool. But, that didn't stop me from having a cup of Green Tea with Mint. I missed it so much! I just made sure I had my old standby available...the drool bib!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back to Bed

Well last night I finally slept in my own bed again since the surgery. I've been sleeping on our reclining sofa since then since it propped me up at night. But, I kept waking up with neck, back (and butt) aches in the morning. I'm no spring chicken anymore! So...I gathered all my pillows together and made a sleeping ramp on my bed. Worked out well! I put a little TV tray next to my bed to put all my 'stuff' on it like tissues, water, chapstick, tylenol (just in case), phone, etc... It felt a bit weird to look 'down' to see Chris sleeping next to me!!

Other than that, things are going well. I've had a lot of tingling and itchies all around my upper lip and nose the last day or so. It does drive me nuts to have an itch you can't scratch but...it payed off. I can feel (when I say feel...I mean ever so slightly but much better than absolute numbness) my left side of my upper lip! Ta-dah!!

It's funny how sometimes I will try to use my old 'correcting' bite (usually when talking not eating) which veered off to the right and I end up hitting my teeth crown to crown with a wince and a quick correction. My mind is learning quick not to do that anymore!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Week 3-New Pics

Week 3 and going strong!

I visited my OS today for my weekly appointment. He said things are looking great! He even removed the other two elastics! He said they were just needed to get me used to my new bite and now that my jaw likes being there, he can take off the other two. I'm free! Ok...well, besides the huge splint! He pushed back our next visit until 2 weeks from now instead of one. It still feels so creepy/wierd/unnerving when he's moving my lips around to see everything. It's like my nerves go on hyper drive with the pins and needles.

He also said the splint will be out at 6 weeks which is 3 weeks from now...right before I start fall semester! But he did say I might have a retainer/palate thingy in there afterwards for a while. All I wanted to know was
"Is it as bulky as this splint?"
"Nope!"
"Thank god!"

The swelling is down alot but I still have some pockets in my cheeks and my upper lip/right below my nose that is still a little puffy. But, I know, I know...I can feel it which makes it easy for me to see!!

That's about it for today. At home again watching movies and curling up on the couch since it's only 59 degrees and rainy...in August...gotta love New England!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Shopping and Storing Nuts

I went shopping on my own today!! I needed to get outta the house, needed a few things and it was a beautiful day out so away I went. I picked up some more Peroxyl (well the CVS brand-they were out of the other stuff) and I thought I'd try the Crest Pro-Health alcohol free rinse as well. I'm really paranoid about my dental hygiene since I know I can't get into all the grooves and stuff like I wished I could. I miss my Sonicare! Then I ran some more errands.

I don't think I got as many weird looks as I did before. (I'm blending, I'm blending!!) Well all except when the cashier asks me a question...then I get the inquisitive look. I had to stop in Petco to pick up cat food and the cashier asks if I had a Petco card. I do but I just switched wallets and not sure where it went. After searching I said "Hmpf, I guess not". Then she asked "If you spell your last name I can look it up for you". Well...first of all my name is hyphenated so half the time I'm not sure which last name it's under. Second, my maiden name has 9 letters. I didn't feel like trying to spell that one out to find that it's under my married name. So I said "No it's ok". I think she saw all the machinery going on in my mouth and said "Don't worry I'll just use mine to get you 10 dollars off". "Cool, thanx!" I guess it does pay to have all the stuff going on in my mouth!!

Even though I get semi-normal looks from others, I'm still paranoid about what I look like. I guess because this is how I feel I look:



















At least it's a cute look...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Another day another movie...

Nothing groundbreaking here at home. Today was cloudy, foggy, damp and just boring! So...I stayed in and did nothing...again.

Things are about the same. I'm feeling more of my chin than I was along with some tingling in my upper lip. And of course along with the itches that I can't scratch! I'll take some pics soon...I didn't do my hair at all today and I don't want to scare anyone!

I see the OS on Friday, wicked early! They must have alot of patients that day. I had my husband call to cancel a dentist checkup I had scheduled for the end of August. Don't think I'll be making that one!! It was scheduled before I even knew the surgery was going to happen this summer. whoops. I'll have to reschedule when I know I'm cleared to go.

During my movie watching as of late, I stumbled upon a new found empathy for a character of a small boy who just wanted to eat some Halloween candy....








poor Willy Wonka...I feel your pain.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Home Again

Just another day here at the ranch...er, uh...base housing. Chris is back to work so I'm forced to make my own entertainment. What would I do without the internet...probably be more productive!

The swelling continues to go down in small, small amounts. Seems like my left cheek just can't seem to part with being swollen. When I smile I feel my left side being swollen a bit more then my right. All in good time...all in good time!

Alot of my stitches have been falling out lately...well the knots anyways! Kinda gross but I find them in the sink after brushing and rinsing. I'm not sure if they are from the top or bottom. I don't really have the guts to go investigating that thoroughly. Some stuff is just better unseen ya know!

I made a good breakfast discovery this morning: 2 mashed bananas, 2 dollops of plain yogurt, splash of vanilla extract, little bit of allspice and cinnamon and some brown sugar. YUM! Looks (and feels) like baby food but tastes really good! For lunch I had mashed sweet potato with some brown sugar and butter and chocolate and vanilla Jello pudding. I'm trying to get some more ideas on 'no chew' stuff to eat...if anyone has any ideas....thanks!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Leave it be...

So I called my OS this morning about my loose hook. To make a long story short, after two phone calls from me he said not to worry about it and just leave the center elastic off for now. Which kinda works out for me...without the center elastic I can open my mouth big enough to eat and get my teeny toothbrush in there. I will see him on Friday anyways for my weekly post-op visit.

I'm getting some 'zings' in my top front teeth. I guess that's kinda good (although they don't feel that great!) seeing that I'm feeling something is better than nothing!!

My swelling hasn't gone down dramatically like it was. It's still hanging around. But, it's mostly just concentrated in my upper lip and in my cheeks right next to the sides of my nose. I guess that's where most of the healing is happening.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Why always on the weekends??

Well this morning after brushing my teeth...I tried to put the center elastic back on. Well...to my surprise the surgical hook slid over to the side and the elastic slid between the wire! What!! I looked and I guess the hook came loose and is able to slide over to the left exposing the wire which has a gap in it. Was the wire always in 2 pieces? Was the surgical hook crimped on to connect the two ends of the wire?? I dunno. So I left the center rubber band off for now. The hook isn't loose enough to come off, so there is stays. I'll be calling the OS office in the morning to find out what to do and who to see...ortho or him? yikes!

I just hope they can understand me over the phone... :))

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Day 15

Every day things are feeling better. It's exciting every day to see what more I can feel or what area went down in swelling. Today I'm feeling tingling in my left upper lip which is cool cuz I couldn't feel anything there yesterday. The right side has that stinging/needling feel when I touch it. But at least I can feel it!

Eating is rewarding but tough. I tried to eat pastina today (for those who don't know they are tiny star shaped pasta usually put in soups) but that proved very, very messy! They got caught everywhere in my mouth and all over me! So I ate as much as I could then switched to applesauce with cinnamon--much easier!!

My jaw muscles are getting more and more used to being where they are. Where it used to feel tight and stiff on my right side now feels nice and relaxed!! I'm sure opening and closing to eat helps stretch them.

Well that's about it...just a lazy Saturday at home doing laundry and reorganizing our CD collection! But I'm glad...it means I'm getting back to my old routine. :))

Friday, August 3, 2007

I heart Food.

Met with Dr B again this morning. And YES I can eat no chew foods!! Here's how it went. I came into the exam room with all the people in the office so happy on how my swelling has gone down. Dr. B came right in and had me open and close a few times, checked out the suture areas and my profile. 'Looks great!' The elastics did help my jaw 'find' where it needed to be...and it likes it! I asked him about the lump along my jawline. He felt around and said there will be a slight 'step' there since that's where the bone was cut but that he didn't feel anything out of the ordinary and after time the bone will fill itself in.
'Good I'm normal' I thought.
With that he said do you have any more questions?
I said "Yeah...food?!'
'How did I know that was coming?!' he said
'I'm Italian, you know I'm always thinking about food!'
And so I was permitted to eat a no-chew diet. So you know what that meant...grocery shopping! I have been thinking up things to eat all week! So me and Chris headed out to Stop n Shop. I got mashed potatoes (4 kinds), refried beans (one with green chilies!), pastina, yogurt, bananas, butternut squash, turkey gravy (for the mashed potatoes!), pumpkin filling (yum!), some more creamed soups and ice-cream. I'm psyched!! I rushed home and made 4-cheese mashed potatoes. I took out the middle elastic so I could get a spoon in there. Baby spoons work great, they are small enough to fit in my mouth! Eating was slow going but I didn't care. I was so happy to be eating real food again. I found the easiest way to eat was to take a spoonful, flip it upside down, put it in my mouth and use my tongue to scrape it off the spoon. The right side up way was tough since there's only a little feeling in my upper lip.

Ahhh...eating a bowl took about 45 minutes but it was SO worth it!! :))

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ho-hum-Day 13

Today wasn't all that eventful. We went out to run an errand earlier today then I was working on something for college all afterfoon which I was putting off for so long! I still have another month of summer vacation left, so I am a little reluctant to think about school yet!

Things feel good. I just wish I could feel my lips more. I tried to drink out of a travel mug today but it was just too weird. Between not being able to feel the liquids going over my lips my elastics also got in the way. Paper cups work better because I can fold the rim into a "V" so I don't feel like it's going to go all over me!

I do feel a lump right under the right side of my lower jawbone just about halfway between the tip of my chin and the back of my jaw. It feels like a bruise when I touch it...maybe it's just a goose-egg I got from being roughed up. I had one on my forehead too! Well I'm going to see Dr B tomorrow morning for another checkup so I'll ask him then. I wonder if I'll be stuck with all 3 elastics still...hmm. I guess I'll just have to wait and see!! I'm so impatient!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Before-After....hmm

Why do I do this to myself? I dunno...




Pics Day 12


Pics!! yay! My smile looks a little painful but really it's not! Just swollen ya know!

Today me and Chris stopped by his work which is my squadron too, to say Hi to everyone. My first debut with friends! There is a girl at work who went through almost the exact same surgery who I really wanted to see. She caught us while we were walking in and was thrilled with the way I looked. It's nice to hear that from someone who went through the same thing!! She was like 'Oh you have a chin now too!!' I got some mixed reactions, all glad to see I was up and around but some like 'I thought you'd look so much worse...Can you talk at all?...I don't want to make you laugh!...Does it hurt?...That gives me the creeps!...That's alot of machinery you got going on in there!...When will you be back to normal?' That last question is hard to answer...what normal do you mean?? I just tell them it works in stages but it could be almost a year for some to get 100% back to normal. I guess they just mean when can I eat and talk normal again! We then headed off to BJ's for more water, Vitamin Waters and such. I did buy some applesauce in hopes that my OS will clear me for some semi-solid foods this Friday. A girl can hope right!?

Has anyone had this problem? My facial skin just in the middle area (nose, mouth and cheeks) is strange...it's oily but yet it's peeling like it's really dry. I don't know if it's just from being swollen or my skin is even trying to get back to normal...weird.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Toothbrushes and "24"--Day 11

So nothing spectacular today...but I was able to brush my teeth, with a real toothbrush! Well, ok it's a Dr. Seuss toddler's toothbrush but so what! It works! Things feel good, I'm getting more feeling back into my upper lip which is sweet! It's a pins and needles feeling but I can feel it! The swelling is slowly going down. If you draw a straight line from right under your eyes down to your chin that's where most of the swelling is still concentrated...and some still in my lips.

I still can't tell exactly what my face will look like because of the swelling...and I don't want to make any judgements yet but, I can't help but sneek looks and think "wow, I have a chin! how cool!!" So I'm pleased so far!

That's about it...me and Chris are having a "24" tv series marathon today and being lazy. I still have to remind myself to drink more. I've never been good at drinking enough water or anything during the day. But I know it will just help me get better. I can sort of drink from a cup but it's a bit messy so I'm still sticking with the zip n' squeeze. It's just much easier!

I see the oral surgeon on Friday so hopefully I'll get good news and maybe get cleared for semi-solid foods. (I'm crossing my fingers Erin!!)

Monday, July 30, 2007

First Public Debut

So me and Chris went out to CVS today out in PUBLIC!! I couldn't tell if anyone looked at me funny, I was trying not to make eye contact!! But it felt good to be out except for all the tourist traffic! I even blowdried my hair for the occasion...ok not all the way but at least part of it. I feel fine minus the swelling. Just a little bit off-balance because my ears feel clogged like having a head cold.

Another milestone too...I finally got to semi brush my teeth! Ok so I can't quite brush them with a toothbrush but I used one of those little pipe cleaner looking things. Proxabrush I think they are called. I got to all the teeth I could between the elastics, splint and braces...oh my! But even just the little bit I got to, felt so good! Then I rinsed with diluted Peroxyl since I can finally close my lips...most of the way, I still drool some out when swishing! What a sight huh!

I had another thought too as we were driving today. So, in a 1,000 years from now some archeologist might dig up my bones and see all these little metal screws and plates! What will they think?! I guess they'll find alot of people with metal parts. Just a random thought...they happen alot to me. Chris has gotten used to the 'out of nowhere' things that come out of my mouth!

Well gotta go see what I can blenderize for dinner. Oh yeah only one more penicillin pill to take!! Thank god...those things taste nasty when crushed! yuk!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

bored, bored, bored

Home still. I'm getting pretty stir crazy which makes me think of what else...food! I did make a nice strawberry ice-cream and banana milkshake today. Yum, that was good. Chris went to help one of our friends move his family into base housing. So I've been on my own for a good chunk of the afternoon, but within cell phone reach of him if i need him.


We had a good laugh yesterday coming home from the doctor's appointment. We live on base so you have to stop and go through the security gate everytime you enter the base. Well, the guard gave me a wierd look as we went through. After he let us pass I turned to my husband and said "I wonder if they think you beat me or something?!" We both laughed and he said when we returned from the hospital the guard hesitated and gave him a look like 'should I be worried?'. I should wear a sign or something!

Well, it's time to go drink some dinner...

Friday, July 27, 2007

First Dr Visit with pics! what a day!









Post-Op 1 week!
My first post-op OS visit was today. I was a little hesitant...i know i've been babying my face but I'm sure Dr B wasn't gonna as much as I did! But, things went well. I got there and right away they wisked me into one of the exam rooms. They took a panaramic x-ray then Dr B took a look around. I can't really feel my upper lip and bottom of the nose 100% yet, so someone moving it around felt SO strange! He asked me to bite down and i told him how i wasn't really sure where to bite down! So, with some help i found it and he added...3 elastics (yes the triangle form!) from my top brackets to my bottom ones to keep my jaw in line. One is right in the middle of my two front teeth then one a couple of teeth to the left and right of it. They are not so bad. I can still open my mouth fine but there's just more stuff in the way when I try to drink through my straw! At first my muscles felt really tense when he did it, but i guess they are just not used to being in that spot. I have to give them time to get used to it...but it already feels better than it did at first.

He said everything looks fine and the swelling went down alot! He said my lips really got a beating during surgery. I have a small mouth so he had to do alot of stretching. He said he did a similar surgery on Wednesday and it took 2 hours shorter just because she had a bigger mouth!!! I said "sorry"!

It was nice to be out and about. We actually stopped by one of my husband's co-workers that was moving into base housing. I just wanted to drive by to see where they were gonna be but to our surprise they were there. Chris asked if i wanted to stop or just wave. But, i felt fine and i know they already knew what i went through so i wouldn't have any scary looks! My first encounter with outsiders! Being outside gave me a burst of normalcy and confidence that i won't be locked away in my tower forever!

Oh to those who were curious...my splint covers the roof of my mouth, the back of my teeth and wraps around the bottom of my top teeth enough to lock them in place. I wish just the back of my teeth were just covered like some of you!!! It really is like putting a huge piece of taffy on the roof of your mouth and teeth!!

Well, that's about it for now. Chris just went out to go grocery shopping...he getting me some ice-cream! yum!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I need a tic-tac...or twelve

Ahhh, a real night's sleep. Last night i actually slept for almost 7 hours straight! I still have funky dreams...like the one where i had a wad of Laffy Taffy stuck to the roof of my mouth and i couldn't get it all out no matter how much i pulled out!!! (For those who haven't had the first hand experience--that's what having the splint in is like...a big piece of taffy shoved on the roof of your mouth and against your teeth!!)

I can sort of make my lips touch today but it's definitely a strain! But an improvment. I'm not sure where to bite though. Because my nose is stuffed up most of the time, i'm a mouth breather during the day! But my OS said my bite is where my bottom teeth feel like they 'click' into the splint. I think I found it but it feelt wierd when I do it! I guess that's cuz I don't really know what a 'real' bite is supposed to feel like. But I'm still swollen so I'm not going to pass judgement just yet as to what it feels like. I know my muscles need to get used to the idea of a new bite just as much as i do! But I trust Dr B and he said everything fit together just the way they were supposed to in the operating room. I'll just have to be patient.

Tomorrow I have my first post-op appointment with Dr Bravman. I feel so bad that my breath stinks! I'm sure they are used it but, yikes. I tried to swoosh (more like put it in my mouth and roll my head around a bit) with some Peroxyl diluted with water yesterday. It was nice and minty but i couldn't really get it around the top of my mouth where it needs it the most!! But I'll give it another college try before we go tomorrow afternoon. At least they'll know I tried not to be stinky!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Post-Op Pic

Ok, ok here they are the post-op pics (ta-dah!) I still can't quite close my mouth all the way so my profile isn't quite right yet...




Side shot--notice the lovely bruising and tape residue on my face! nice!







The drool bib!!! Never leave the couch without it!




















Looks...familiar...hmmm......

Drowning in Drool

Post Op Day 5

I feel good today. Got a bath and actually washed my hair--what a grease trap that was! I've been able to sleep better at night, although i just wish i could sleep normal and not propped up on the couch. But, the reclining couch is better than nothing! My lips are getting closer but not able to get them to touch quite yet. Fish face is still in full effect, which makes me drool ALOT! Everytime i look down or sit up a long spittle of drool starts to flow. I always have a washcloth on my chest or in my hand to catch the water slides!

I can't get the sticky residue off my face from my chin being taped up! We tried baby oil, then rubbing alcohol, even nail polish remover--nothing is taking this off! I tried the old standby of soap and water with a washcloth which loosened some of it but i can't scrub too hard--i'm too sensitive in spots still. Any suggestions on getting this goop off would be much appreciated!

I think that the mornings and right before bed is the hardest times of the day. That's when I feel the pressure and muscle aches the most. So I've been able to get away with taking my pain meds less then before. I do get times where I just get frustrated with eating, drinking, or just not feeling totally comfortable. Then i get snipy and my poor husband gets the brunt of it. But i know he understands i'm just frustrated and it has nothing to do with anyone else.

well, my husband is conked out on the couch next to me with one of our cats, Jasmine, sleeping on his lap. how cute! i'll let them sleep a while longer...till i have to wake him up to help me!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the wall..

I'm afraid to look too much at my teeth. I'm kinda glad my lips are still very swollen so they cover everything that's going on. I'm not sure I want to know yet.

Ignorance is bliss sometimes...

Post-Op Day 4--ugh

I'm home! The surgery went well...as far as the doctor says that is--i have no idea what went on. Me, my husband Chris and my dad all got to the hospital at 6:15, I got changed and sent to the pre-op waiting area in no time. That's when the crying started. I couldn't help it but i couldn't hold it in either. Plus there was a little girl about 4 yrs old getting admitted when i was. She was changing into her hospital gown with her grandma in the changing stall next to mine crying saying 'i want my underwear back, i wanna go home. i'm scared.' Well, i lost it right there--she hit the nail on the head! Then they put the IV in, took stats and asked a bunch of questions. They let Chris and my dad be with me right until i had to go in. But the anethesiologist (spelling?) assistant saw me having meltdowns and decided to give me a little something before i actually got wheeled in. i remember telling chris how i saw all the ceiling tiles moving around, then just being in another room, someone looking over me smiling and being cold. The next thing i knew i was in the post-op area and Dr. Bravman calling my name to wake me up. Then off to my room. I was in a room by myself in the new part of the hospital which was really nice! I had a nice flat screen tv, there was a chair and sofa that pulled out to a bed and a small desk in the room as well.

I thought i'd be more scared just being in the hosptial (i do not like them to begin with) but i did feel safe knowing the nurses were all checking up on me and i had them to ask all my paranoid questions to! I had an IV in giving me fluids and my meds, they also had a catheder in me so i didn't have to get up to pee! I thought i wouldn't like that but it was great not having to get up to pee all the time! I didn't get sick but did feel nauseous a few times--i had to get an x-ray later that day and felt sick and getting used to the pain meds. But the nurse gave me a shot in the butt and no more feeling sick for me! I got released Saturday and left about 7pm.

Home is nice but i do have to go upstairs to go to the bathroom which stinks but at least it gets me up and moving around. It's hard to sleep for a long time so i end up taking 2-3 hour naps all throughout the day. When I take the pain meds it makes me sleepy as well. We've had to crush up the meds and put in juice for me to take. Dr B said getting liquid doses would take longer for the pharmacy and i did not want to wait for pain meds!

I'm very swollen and can now only barely touch my lips together. So, i drool...ALOT! I had my chin taped up until yesterday which pushed all the swelling up into my cheeks. It was also pushing my lower jaw back which strained my jaw muscles. It's a bit better now that it's off. I can breathe fine...sometimes my nose gets a little stuffed up or only one nostril will work! I am not banded so it leaves me a little more freedom. I eat with the Zip n Squeeze which is tough but SO much easier than the syringes they gave me in the hosptial. The hardest thing is the pressure. I get some little zings of pain in my chin or face but mostly it's an extreme feeling of pressure from my eyes down to my chin that bothers the most. And the fact that my breath stinks and i cant really get in there to clean yet! I feel bad but I can't do much about that yet. I cant keep my lips together even to swish some antiseptic or anything yet!! Chris is a very patient and loving husband to put up with me all day and night!!

Well, i'm gonna go now...the pressure is coming back so i think i'll call my nurse (aka chris) for my meds now.

Thank you all SO much for your emails, text, voice and cards of love and support (i even got flowers!!!)!! It is so appreciated...just to get my mind off everything for that chance little bit helps so much! :))

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Surgery Eve...all the anticipation except without presents

And so here it is...the night before. Nervous? yes. Anxious? yes Freaking out? not quite yet. It's a very weird feeling...I think its just pure DENIAL! I got the confirmation today that I am scheduled for surgery at 7:30 and to be at the hospital at 6:15. I'm not sure what to bring so here's what I'm taking: change of clothes, glasses, a book (in case i can't fall asleep at the hospital) and chapstick. My husband will carry my wallet, cell phone and paperwork with him in case they need anything from it. I'm not sure what to write now...just waiting, prepping my 'area' (right side of the couch) and getting packed. I will write on here as soon as I can when I get home.

Ugh. I hope Dr. Bravman gets a better night's sleep than I do!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I should be able to pick up cable soon...

I had my last orthodontist visit today before the surgery. They put on the surgical hooks (more like tiny antennas!) which wasn't too bad. A few times i cringed as they crimped it down on the wire. A few of my back molars on the right side are tender and it's hard getting my top lip over some of them without looking like i'm blowing imaginary kisses in the air but, other then that it was fine. It took about 45 minutes to get them all on plus replacing the little rubber bands that go around each bracket with individual wires. (you can see them on the pic) It's getting real, especially when people ask me when is the surgery and now I say FRIDAY! yikes. still nervous.
You can see in the second pic how much I move my jaw to the side just so I can get more than 2 teeth to chew with. If I do the trick the OS taught me (put your tongue all the way back on the roof of your mouth then bite down) my midlines match up but I only have 2 molars that make contact. Definitely not enough to bite or chew anything!

I bought some food stuff for next week but I'm really getting very creative with it. I bought some tomato soup, cream of broccoli and mushroom (which i can blend totally smooth) and even chicken broth. I also got a thing of V8 juice blends. The kind with fruit cuz I can't stand straight V8!


I tooks some pics of what I got so far... Here is my food/entertaiment stuff: Blender, soup, Vitamin Waters, Ensure, music, Netflix, 24 season 2 and 3 and two books (Macbeth and one on Mythology--yes I'm a big nerd). Oh yeah and of course one of my cats--Jasmine...she just can't stand not being in the middle of everything!

Then for medical or not so fun stuff I got: a neck pillow for sleeping on the recliner couch, 2 ice/hot packs, Afrin nasal spray, Colace (cuz the nurse recommended it saying that the narcotics make you constipated--great!), Tylenol Extra Strength Easy to Swallow pills, Baby Vicks, baby spoons (since it might be hard to open my mouth all the way for a while), baby Dr. Seuss extra soft toothbrush, Hibiclens (the hospital gave me to wash with the night before or day of surgery) and the Zip N Squeeze bags. I did forget to buy the Peroxyl stuff...again. Oh well I've got two more full days left.


I definitely need some Ben & Jerry's to get me through this week...

Monday, July 16, 2007

monday, monday...

T-4 days.

Yup...it's that close. I am starting to feel the "bring it on" attitude the OS was talking about a month back. I'm a very nervous person and thought I would be a basketcase this week. But I'm not. Sure, I get the 'what the hell am I doing!' feeling every now and again...you know just like the one you get as you're climbing the first hill of a roller coaster. But I'm ready, ready for the beginning of the end. No more jaw aches after talking all day, no more headaches, no more picking food out after eating, no more lips getting caught on those little antenna thingys, no more brushing with something used for dentures, no more braces, no more metalmouth!!!! ugh.

Well I bought a few more supplies today and I will finish up the list by tomorrow. I broke down and bought a Waterpik from Amazon. I thought I could muddle my way through the splint without having to buy one but, the more I thought about it...the more I wanted one. My OS suggested it for cleaning around and about my teeth when the splint is on. Plus, even after I'm done with recovery they say it's as good or better than flossing which I can't stand doing. It has 10 different pressure levels so I can be gentle on the teeth for a while. I also bought a neck pillow. I figured since I'd be sleeping on my reclining couch a soft neck pillow would make it more comfortable. Lastly, I bought two 24 packs of Ensure from BJ's. One chocolate, one vanilla. If I don't drink all of them before moving onto a semi-solid diet, I can totally use them once I go back to school in Sept. There will not be many soft options to eat there.

Tomorrow I get to see Dr. Markovich my orthodontist to get the surgical hooks put on. FUN! I wonder how much more annoying eating is after those are on! But I kinda like going to the ortho office. They are all as excited as I am about the surgery!

All in all I had a great weekend (my brother and his girlfriend make the trek to the Cape from New Jersey--our first house guests!) and a nice day of shopping today. The rest of the week is packed full of errands and appointments as well as my dad coming up to be here for the surgery. I promise to take some pics after tomorrow's appointment and the mug shots too!

YIKES 4 DAYS!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Batteries, Blood and Bites

So I went to get my pre-op blood tests done this morning at the hospital. First of all the day just didn't start out so great, I get into my car and the battery is completely dead. Great. Thank god my husband only works 5 minutes away. He came back to get me so I could use his car. But that's one more thing I gotta get done! Anyway, the nurses at the hospital were very cool and understood how I tend to get chatty when having blood drawn. I can't look or think about it or I get creeped out. At least I don't faint. I remember people dropping out everywhere in basic training when we had to have blood drawn and then a series of air injected shots. fun! But, now everything is all set at the hospital for the 20th. I have to call the day before to confirm the time they want me in at. No eating or drinking after midnight the night before and I have to shower using some anti-bacterial liquid soap stuff from the neck down the night before or morning of the surgery (regular face wash and shampoo though--they don't want you using that stuff on your face because it could irritate your eyes. I think I'm gonna take the shower in the morning...who knows when I'll be able enough to take one again! Get this, one of the nurses was about to put me into pediatrics before she looked at my date of birth again and said "you really don't look 29!!" which I responded "yeah it's a blessing and a curse." So now my only other appointment before surgery is with my orthodontist on the 17th getting the surgical hook/loop thingys put on.

So here's how the OS visit went yesterday. He did a wax impression of my 'supposed to be' bite (that's what I call it when I don't correct it). Then he did 2 (yes 2) sets of molds using the tray filled with that goopy nastiness stuff. For those of you who haven't had the lovely experience it is a goopy material that expands and then sets around your teeth (and roof of your mouth) that is in a tray that is shaped like the top and bottom of your mouth. Then they yank it (literally) out of your mouth after 2 minutes...that's if the suction it creates breaks free alright. Man, you really have to focus on breathing when they do the top tray, it really feels like you are going to choke on that stuff, especially when it starts to expand in the back of your mouth. Then when they are done you've got all this white gunky stuff all over your face, neck it even got in my hair! They took some mug shots of me and did some other measuring for the surgery then we sat with the doctor and went over any questions. So I pulled out my handy list and fired away. Here's the answers I got:

Q.With the 2 Piece LeFort I, should I expect a gap between my two front teeth right after surgery?
A. There may be a slight gap but no, he's expanding the back not the front.

Q. Will I be banded shut? (I thought he said no last time...I really gotta write this stuff down)

A. Nope!! Not even with elastics! I will have the splint in but will be able to open my mouth freely (that's probably only until the orthodontist wants to put some on!)

Q. How should I clean my teeth? A rinse, then what kind? (I saw the Perxoyl rinse at the store but I wanted to wait to see what they recommend)

A. Since I won't be banded shut, I can brush my teeth gently but I still couldn't get to the ones covered by the splint. The Perxoyl over the counter rinse will work just fine. (I already picked up a toddler sized extra soft toothbrush)

Q. Approximately how long will the splint be in for?

A. Hard to tell, approximately 4-6 weeks. I will be seeing him every week after the surgery for a while though so he can monitor the recovery.

Q. Are there any foods/drinks that I should stay away from post-op? (Obviously alcohol, but I would think caffeine or carbonated drinks as well??)

A. Aside from the liquid diet for a while, I could have anything. If that caffeine craving hits me it's ok to have a cup--I'm thinking Iced Coffee since I won't be able to feel much and don't want to get burned!

Well I think I wrote enough for now! If I think of anything else I'll write! Now to call the dealership about that battery...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Getting Warmer!

T-10 days.

I'm feeling a bit less anxious about going in for surgery. I have some great support from family and friends...plus a cousin who is in the surgical "biz" who always puts my mind at ease. Just as a side note for all you other ortho goers...she told me how expensive the plates and screws are that are used in the rigid fixation. She told me one tiny screw is worth $1100!! Finally, all that money we pay for insurance actually pays us!

I did buy some more supplies and all my appointments are scheduled and ready. I picked up some Tylenol (extra strength, easy to swallow pills), Afrin spray and Baby Vicks (it smelled much better!) oh and the Zip N Squeeze pack came in. I was having trouble with their online ordering and I could not get anyone over the phone. I found another vendor selling them for the same price so I ordered the Hospital Pack that came in yesterday!

I have my final pre-op visit with the Oral Surgeon (OS) today. I wrote down a bunch of questions which I'm sure he already answered before. But, I'm sure I just forgot over the months/years! Here are some of the questions:

* With the 2 Piece LeFort I, should I expect a gap between my two front teeth right after surgery?

*Will I be banded shut? (I thought he said no last time...I really gotta write this stuff down)

*How should I clean my teeth? A rinse, then what kind? (I saw the Perxoyl rinse at the store but I wanted to wait to see what they recommend)

*Approximately how long will the splint be in for?

*Are there any foods/drinks that I should stay away from post-op? (Obviously alcohol, but I would think caffeine or carbonated drinks as well??)

Ok, I got my list of questions and ready for more bite impressions this afternoon. My husband is coming with me this time so he can hear and see what to expect as well. Plus, he'll get to experience the plastic skull with all the rubberbanded parts that the OS uses to explain the process! yum!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Memories...pics

It took some digging but I found pics of me throughout these past 5 years without braces, with clear braces, then with the current metal braces. Here we go...




This picture was in 2002 at the Barnes Air National Guard Air Show. This was me pre-braces. Wow...looks so strange. Don't mind the military bangs and pudginess...I just got out of 6 months of basic training and tech school--Air Force food packs on the pounds! Ugh...I really hate pics of myself. It was a long hot day.



Here's another that's from Halloween 2002, again pre-braces. This one gives a better shot of my face all prettied up. You can really see the gummy smile here.










Here's December 2004 with my ceramic braces on top and metal on the bottom...oh yeah and my perfectly straight-teethed husband (not fair)!! At this point the braces had been on a year! ...I can't seem to find any pics from 2003...hmmm must have been hiding from cameras.







And lastly, a funny face pic of me last year in 2006. I am exaggerating the gumminess of my smile but I think I did that unconsciously. I had to take funny-face pics of me for a digital imaging class I was taking that semester. I guess I knew what already looked funny about me so I showed it off!!





...So there it is. I will be taking some front and side profile shots before the surgery. You don't always get to see yourself from the side profile (and thank god to that for those with no chins like me...it's scary) so I want it clearly documented before it changes!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Feeling Unprepared

OK, so lately I've been searching the webwaves looking for other personal blogs for people that have gone through similar ordeals. First, I had no idea there was so many out there!! But, now I feel really, really unprepared. I haven't gotten anything to get ready for my surgery. I don't know if I'm procrastinating on purpose or what but..I gotta get my butt in gear!

OK so far this is what I know I need to get:

Tylenol -- I only have Advil and on my pre-op paperwork is says not to take them within a week of surgery.

Ensure -- I know I like the Vanilla kind from when I had my wisdom teeth out (10 years ago!!!).

Zip n' Squeeze -- I may be too late but I was having issues trying to order online. (?)


What I've gotten done so far:

Netflix Queue -- that's totally updated with all the movies I want to see

Amazon -- I ordered two new books to read.

The couch -- Gotten used to the idea that's where I'll be for a while


I think I need a good list...and actually get everything on it done before the 20th!!

yikes.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Countdown Begins! (T-19 days)

T-19 days.

And so it starts. I've decided to set this blog up to follow the journey to the center of my mouth. I am scheduled to have upper jaw surgery and Genioplasty done on July 20th.

This has been a 4 year project in the making. I initially just wanted to get braces to straighten out some crooked teeth. Little did I know that the first Orthodontist I saw would label me a "special case" and refer me to someone else with more experience. That should have been my first clue! Next, after finding another orthodontist, they led me down a path for 2 years that really wasn't in line with what orthognathic surgery needed. So, after moving I found a new orthodontist who pretty much told me "we've got to start over with new braces"...great. But now...two sets of braces and an amount of money I don't like to think about later...

I'm finally ready for surgery! Medically that is...mentally is a whole other thing.