Sunday, August 24, 2014

Day 440 - Changes

So, I realized I needed to post before things got super busy. I am officially moved into college and am loving it here. Classes start Monday so I'm about to be very busy!

I ended up getting my MRI and CT scan done. They showed arthritic changes in the joints and that both of my discs in the joint are likely out of place and enlarged from the stress etc. I saw a more specialized joint doctor. He suggested me as a possible candidate for a joint surgery to put my discs back in place. I don't want any surgery at this moment, so I decided not to have it now. But the surgeon was very helpful in explaining more about my jaw to us which was great. He suggested me to apply heat to my jaw joints and slowly open and close my jaw as well as to continue eating soft foods.

The pain has been more manageable in the last few weeks though which is great. I will just hope that the stress of being at a university doesn't make things worse. I'm trying for positive thoughts though! 

Take care all!

- Katie :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day 401 - Trying to fix the pictures..! and updates..

So I just checked my blog only to find that all of the pictures i had up are missing... uh oh. I am going to try my best to fix things! I am very upset about this :(
(update: I am replacing all of the missing pictures manually. yes this is taking a ton of time. but i can't just leave it... definitely not fun)

But anyway.. I had an appt with my jaw surgeon a week-ish ago. Because of my joint pain, he believes I should get an MRI to see if my disks are in the correct places. Also, since my condyle is degenerative, I am getting another CT scan to see if it has changed in the last 2 years. I should be getting those tests done in the next couple of weeks.. so I'll post an update after I hear what my surgeon has to say about them. Although I am sad about how much pain I have right now, hopefully these tests can give us more information and hopefully move to try to fix my issues. I have been really down lately about my jaw. The combined joint and muscle pain has forced me to eat soft foods (and even chewing soft food hurts..) But I'm doing my best to stay chipper and distracted. All is well on other accounts in my life. I'm just busy preparing for my first year of college. Hope all is well out there!

- Katie:)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 365: 1 Year Updates:)

June 10th 2013 - June 10th 2014.
Exactly 1 year.

I waited until I got my braces off to take my senior pictures. 

I don't know how to start this post off. 1 year ago today I was in surgery. I remember waking up to nausea and pain. All I wished last summer was that the surgery would help my pain. I just want to cry right now though, because I am in pain almost every day. And I think the pain is now worse than it was before surgery.

I got really lucky with numbness and can feel everything besides my upper gums. My teeth are straight. But they don't fit together :( My orthodontist even mentioned more braces down the line. I just wish that my pain would go away.

I've been contemplating for days what I should say in this post. I hate hate hate to be a downer, but I just can't sugarcoat this topic.

I had an appointment with my jaw doctor this morning. (Not my surgeon, but the doctor that is working on my special retainer that I wear at night). He asked me if getting surgery was worth it. The dreaded question of the year… I decided that ultimately yes, the surgery was worth it. But that assumes that my pain will go away eventually..

I promise things aren't all bad, I can deal with my bite not being perfect. I mean who can expect that anyway. I just am starting to lose hope that my pain will go away.

I am currently still getting my special retainer to wear at night adjusted weekly because my bite is not settled. Once my bite settles, my doctor plans on adding composite to different surfaces of my teeth to help adjust the bite. I just feel like my bite is too off to fix that way :( and we are getting less optimistic.

But hey, I must try to be optimistic. I survived recovery. and that is pretty great all on its own :)

Here is a year in pictures.

I got glasses a few days ago. They aren't as bad as I thought!

I graduated from high school last month. Onto bigger and better things at college next year :)

I guess a lot can happen this year. I am so blessed overall. The days when my jaw pain subsides make the surgery seem worth it. I see my surgeon in a couple weeks, and I'll be posting more. Until things are perfect, I won't be leaving. haha. I hope things are great out there. I cannot put into words how much other blogs have helped me throughout the past few years. Thank you more than anything. Much love.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 327 - Updates (Another Before/After too)

So, I'm sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've honestly just been putting off a post because things have been hard lately and I've been hoping they get better so I could write a happier post. But they haven't.

My jaw pain has gotten worse again. There isn't a day where I don't have a throbbing headache or an aching joint. I have tried to wear a special retainer that helps put my jaw in a relaxed place at night. This has helped substantially, but it has also revealed that I still have an open bite, which is really hard to accept. My teeth mostly touch in the back again which just makes me want to cry. My jaw doctor says he will help by placing composite on certain teeth to fill in my bite. But my front teeth don't touch in any way :( I don't think anyone would notice by looking at me, but it is just really hard to accept that I went through all of this and still have pain and my bite is far from normal. I think I can learn to accept my open bite, but all of this pain I'm having is worse than it was before surgery. I've just been really down about it the last few months. I wish all 3 of my doctors would have communicated better. Sigh.

These pictures were taken about a month ago. Since then my bite has opened up a bit more. I don't really want to show a picture emphasizing that because it just makes me sad.

Anyway, things aren't too horrible overall. I promise! Just not the best. I have faith it'll get better. Just hoping the pain is fixable, that's all. Take care all :) Thoughts are with any of you in recovery.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 261 - BRACES OFF

GUYS! I had NO clue i'd be able to post this soon :) i had the best day ever which probably is obvious given the title.

So we all know I had an appt scheduled for March 31st for braces removal, but I was sitting in class this morning when all of a sudden my phone starts buzzing. My mom called saying the orthodontist had someone cancel and I was free to go in! the surprise of it all was awesome. needless to say I was in shock.

So after staring at the clock in my AP Biology class for almost an hour, I was finally able to leave. I walked in to the ortho and they just starting breaking brackets off. (ouch!) yes it hurt when they were yanking, but sooo worth it. as I'm sure you all know. but hmm, they left 4 brackets on my bottom 4 front teeth because my permanent retainer that sits behind my bottom front teeth won't be made until next week. but hey, almost all of my braces are off so close enough :)

anyway, like i mentioned, I go in next wednesday to get my retainers and last couple of brackets off.

last picture taken with braces. woohoo.

ill also have an appointment with my dentist/jaw doctor for him to do some shaping/cosmetics on my front top tooth because one of them is chipped and just has a temporary addition on it to make it look normal. plus he will fit me with my special retainer to help protect my teeth from grinding them at night. 
it was a long 3 years with those things… but i survived. and I'm so glad to be one step closer to normalcy. hoping braces and jaw surgery are completely in my past soon enough.

so yeah! off to fill out more scholarship applications. (trying not to let it put a damper on my day) take care all!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 260 - Somewhat Closer!

So I have had 2 orthodontist appointments since the original sad day. They have tried getting my front-ish teeth to have contact after my bite unexpectedly opening up. My orthodontist is please with how all of my teeth finally touch EXCEPT for my top 2 and bottom 2 in the center. but he commented that is as good as it is gonna get with the shaping of my teeth. anyway! he said i am ready to get my braces off!!!

*gets excited*
ready for the excitement to die?

so i walk up to schedule my appointment and the receptionist said they don't have any appointments until MARCH 31st. WHAT??? how is that :( 5 weeks is terrible. so that crushed my happiness.

but… the receptionist said if anyone cancels i'll be first on the list to get in. (so people please cancel your appointments!!!)

so i guess I'm a step closer to getting them off. just don't know what to think… trying to keep my patience!

yay for my front part of my bite for mostly touching now!!

so… the wait for a call from the orthodontist commences… sigh. hope all is well out there! i guess we all have our own issues to deal with and mine aren't too bad, just involve time… which sucks. but oh well. fingers crossed that next time i post i have good news:)


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Day 240 - Disappointment.

So today I had my appointment to get my braces off, but my orthodontist decided that my bite had reopened a bit in the front and that he wouldn't take them off today :( needless to say I began crying in his office. embarrassing right? but i couldn't help it. I've had these things on for 3 years and I just want to keep moving forward in my treatment. I have had so much pain lately in my jaw and so I just wanted my braces off so I can begin treatment to stabilize the pain.

I guess I just got so excited for today to finally get them off and just was devastated that it didn't happen :( I head back to my orthodontist in a week and they'll check on how my mouth is and we'll go from there.

After I got the devastating news they adjusted my braces. I only have a wire on my top 4 front teeth and my bottom 4 front teeth. then i wear my finishing elastics as i showed in a previous post that lace my whole mouth together to try to close the front of my bite. then they took a panoramic X-ray of my mouth and he said he is going to look at my bones and see if more degeneration occurred and yeah.

those were taken before i got the bad news…..

on the plus side we had a snow day today and so i didn't have to go to school… more time to myself to be sad? :(

at least the snow is pretty!
sigh. I just want it to end :( I guess i'll update when i know more…. until then I'm going to go sulk about my braces still being on. next time i won't get my hopes up. disappointment sucks. take care all

-Katie :(

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 214 - Seven Months! (Braces Update!!)

So I made it to 7 months! June 10th - January 10th. pretty awesome. (happy belated new year!)

So hmm, a few days ago I had an orthodontist appt to check my finishing rubber bands (the really tight ones) that were the last step to me getting them off. They said my teeth look great and that I can get my braces off February 5th!! YAY!!! I am so excited. Literally can't even wait. A month is gonna feel like forever even though I've had my braces on for 3ish years. Since my freshman year. and now I'm a senior. that is way too long! but anyway.. i guess i gotta talk about the issue.

Although all my teeth touch and I'm thrilled to get my braces off, my jaw has been killing me the last 3-4 weeks. I grind my teeth a ton at night, and i think a combination of all the stress I've had lately combined with the finishing wires has made my jaw pain flare up. also, it has been clicking much more often and i have been getting awful headaches again. The part that scares me though is that it has been going on for so long… just makes me question if ill ever get past this all :(

So, i talked to my jaw doctor the other day. He is the one that fitted me for a special retainer before i even had braces and before i even knew i had to have surgery (in 8th grade). This helps get my jaw in a relaxed position while protecting my teeth and jaw from grinding. The thing is.. I can't wear it with my braces. So, i need my braces off before i can get treatment for grinding my teeth at night sadly. So… i guess ill just wait a month and hope for the best.

I just can't even sleep it hurts so badly :( I've been taking lots of medicine too. sigh. hoping things get better, but I have hope that they will. I think the thing causing everything is my grinding teeth issue. but anyway, ill be done ranting for now! hope all is well with anyone out there. thanks for listening.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day 195 - All Hail the Waterpik

soo…. today I discovered the glorious thing that is the waterpik. I was cleaning today to prep for the holidays… and i found my almost new waterpik tucked under my sink! I know lots of blogs i have read raved about how wonderful it is. But today, i discovered how right they truly are. haha

My surgeon didn't want me using a water pick after surgery because he didn't want it to possibly hurt my incisions, which makes sense to me. I just completely forgot to take it out after my incisions healed…. until now anyway.

That thing is amazing! gets food out SOOO easily. It is like Christmas came a few days early! hahahahah. Easily the highlight of my day.

So, I just thought I'd update. Also, with essentially being banded shut at night, my jaw has started hurting again…

I'm super worried that the bands are pulling my jaw to an uncomfortable, unnatural spot :( So, I kinda want to call my orthodontist and just talk to him for reassurance. I just want the pain to go away. It isn't my teeth that hurt. Just… my jaw hurts badly when I wake up after wearing the bands. feels like the before surgery pain. noooo :(

but i guess ill get it figured out. just wish it was easier!

but anyway, i hope all of you guys have a wonderful holiday. enjoy any break you have :) I'm off to ignore reality by reading The Book Thief. take care :)


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 183 - SIX MONTHS:)

June 10th - December 10th.

I made it to 6 months post-op. Wow. Who would have thought I could have made it this far :) So i was gonna write a super long post… but it is late.. and i had a full day of homework and college applications. so to say i am exhausted is an understatement. anyway, ill still mention a few things! basically though things are the same from my last post.

I do have some updates though because i had an orthodontist appointment today! and it was exciting because it was to get my "finishing bands" (which is code word for a big pain in the butt) basically i have one huge rubber band for each side and i have to zig zag it up and down across every tooth. this basically makes me unable to open my mouth at all. reminds me of days after surgery…! and i didn't miss it at all… luckily i only have to sleep in the bands.

what is really odd to me is that my orthodontist cut my wires and only kept them across my front teeth. maybe that helps the tiny movements of my back teeth allow for a better bite? I'm not sure. i see the point of the rubber bands to move teeth to fit a comfortable bite. i just better make sure i wear them every night! because during the day my back teeth don't have any wires or bands on them. weird right?!

today i had to see my incision sites in my lower back of my mouth as i have to start the bands on my last molar. it was bigger than i expected and kinda scary to see. but it made surgery seem like such a real and lifelong thing i guess. idk, it was good and bad to notice!

but anyway, i go back to the orthodontist in 4 weeks for them to see what everything looks like. and then hopefully by february i get my braces off!! woo :)

my last post had so much info… and i feel like I'm only repeating myself… but hmm. things are good! ill keep you guys updated with how i end things with my braces :) hopefully we get to part sooner than later.

here are a few random pictures i guess?

definitely feel like swelling is gone. yay :)

when they had my wire out at the orthodontist and i was pretending like i didn't have braces… if only it were real. haha.

before bands.

soooo many bands……………..! but you can
 see how there isn't a wire on any of my back teeth.

hope all is well with those of you on this journey too :) off to sleep for me..! if ya need anything, just holler :)


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 173. Holy Buckets.

GUYS! hi :) :)

i apologize for not posting anything recently, but hey that must be a good thing! i have been thinking about my jaw surgery less and less as the days go by. luckily. overall i have been feeling great! i did have 2 sinus infections within a month, and let me tell you…. those made the plates and the area behind my cheeks hurt a TON from the infected sinuses. I also experience tiny flare ups of swelling on those days. so i hope you guys don't get sinus infections in the first few months after surgery!

I am slowly but surely approaching the 6-month mark, which is december 10th. and wow does it feel great to be so far from surgery :) life is pretty much normal!

OH. guess what I ate yesterday for the first time since surgery???

raw carrots. the ultimate hard food. hahahah, and it didn't even really hurt :) yay!

the most negative thing that i experience after surgery remains my jaw clicking. I didn't experience and clicking prior to surgery. but afterwards… my left side clicks with almost every chew. i have discovered that if i chew a certain way sometimes it subsides though, so there is hope!

I also still grind my teeth excessively at night… and since i have braces still, i don't have a special retainer/guard to protect my teeth at night. so maybe, once my braces are off and i get my retainer and my mouth guard, that will take care of the issues from grinding my teeth. I feel like the grinding contributes to my jaw clicking as well as the headaches and other jaw aches that i experience when i wake up.

just as before surgery, some days are better than others. I'm not completely pain free. definitely still get headaches occasionally, and my jaw still just aches, but I'm just staying hopeful that it'll get better some day :) if I'm not hopeful… then ill just be too sad.

i still have complete numbness in the upper gums of my mouth. everything else i can at least feel if i touch. i have these weird sensations around my lips, like if i pinch the skin on the left side of my chin, i feel it in my upper left teeth. don't know why… but i do. and it is annoying. similarly, if i poke or mess with the left side of my nose, i feel it in my front left upper tooth. sooo weird. maybe it was just that the nerves healed a bit off? idk. i guess i can live with it… just an extremely odd feeling.

overall though, things are awesome :) even with the things that annoy me… i would have surgery over again. i would make the same choice. nothing will ever take away from the fact that my teeth actually TOUCH. (this is a completely magical feeling that i didn't really experience before surgery).

hmm let's see… oh, as for how i feel about my appearance, some days i feel like my face is too round or puffy, but i just love my profile, and so it is all good. the other day i was buying some new clothes, and i was in a dressing room that had a bunch of mirrors, and out of the corner of my eye i saw that the side mirror showed my profile. and it shocked me how different i looked from before. it was a great realization :)

OH! I saw my dentist and jaw doctor for the first time since surgery 2 weeks ago. He was shocked at how great my surgery turned out. He even brought out the old model he had of my teeth and our mouths just dropped at how bad it was before i had braces and surgery. oh how my teeth have changed in the last 4 years! AND somehow i made it through recovery with ZERO cavities! i definitely way not expecting that. so Go Me i guess! haha.

I am still on track to get my braces off at the end of january… which seems soooooo sooooo far away…. but i guess i trust that my orthodontist will use this time to get my teeth perfect. and i guess having pretty awesome teeth will be 100% worth the wait.

for anyone still in the earlier stages of this process… i assure you, it. is. worth. it.! hang in there :) we have been in similar situations, but it all works out :) worrying doesn't do much good. but i also assure you that i worried too….. i am a huge worrier… but it all worked out. but boy am i glad that i am through the hard part… i almost get to celebrate being done! until that point though, ill just try to forget that I've had braces on for almost 3 years, i guess. ahha

and i guess i can't leave this post without adding a few random photos!

i hope everything is going well with all of you guys. i am so incredibly grateful for the blogging community for helping through this whole ordeal. so a big thank you :) please talk to me if anything is needed. anyway, until next time!