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 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 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 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 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 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 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:

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'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 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 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?"
"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 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, 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. 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 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 "!'
'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 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


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'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.