Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 19 - Normalcy and My Day of Surgery Story! (plus random things i forgot to mention from the early post-op days)

Hellooo all!

so today was my first day back at volunteering at the library. i volunteer with one of my good friends, so it is always a lot of fun. we mostly just re-shelve books and such. very relaxing. so i was glad to be back! especially to be driving my car and such, i like feeling more independent again. things are more normal! yay! there are even parts of my day where i forget that i have had jaw surgery. i mean, until i look in a mirror, but hey, baby steps!

i forgot to say that 3 days ago i sneezed for the first time. i am one of those people that starts sneezing like crazy when the sun gets in my eyes.... and i kept my mouth open like my surgeon said... and it was no bid deal! yay.

so today not much has changed other than just the jaw pain going away finally!! makes me much happier :) i just have an awful headache, but im used to those... so i though i would write down more specifics from my day of surgery, because i never did originally, and i dont want to forget it all. so i apologize if this is boring and/or random!

Surgery Rewind
The night before surgery I started to get anxious. I was so excited to get surgery over with after years of waiting... but the nerves were starting to get to me. So..... guess who barely got any sleep. I had to wake up bright and early at 3:45am because i had to check in at 5:30am for a 730 surgery and my surgeon is an hour away. I slept through my alarm (only getting 4 hours of sleep will cause that to happen!) and so my mom came in at 4 to make sure i was awake. i got ready and made sure i had everything packed and we rushed to the car so we wouldn't be late. I got to the hospital just in time to check in.

I was walked back to a room and was asked to changed into my hospital clothes for surgery. it was this huge almost paper gown that had all these holes covered with fabric for emergencies i suppose, in case they needed to get to my hear etc. i also got these cool socks and was asked to get in the bed in the room. my nurse was so nice :) i was so grateful for that seeing as internally i was beginning to freak out. they put these squeezy things around my calves that puffed up with air every so often to keep my blood flowing and prevent clots i believe. they were fairly annoying, but i just pretended it was a massage.

After my mom signed another multitude of forms and filled the nurse in on every medication i have been taking recently, i had to get my iv. now, i am one of those pathetic people who is completely terrified of needles. so my strategy is just to not look at what they are doing to me. and hold my mom's hand of course. the first time she tried to put the iv on top of my hand... but that was so painful and she realized that she had hit a valve. lucky me.... so we had to take that one out and try a new one. this one was put on the side of my wrist and was bearable. she then offered to get me a hot blanket. let me tell you... those things got me through my stay at the hospital. they are my absolute favorite! i mean who doesn't love those warm blankets? Then, this really nice guy came in... and ruined everything by saying he had to draw my blood. fun stuff right? but i was good, and luckily they didnt need to draw a ton this time. we also talked to the anesthesiologist. Then, my surgeon came in and took some final measurements because he realized after he constructed my molds and such after my preop appt, that my top jaw was slightly tilted either to the right or left, and he needed to make sure that his molds were correct (which they were). then he reassured us of everything, said he had one surgery before me, and left.

After more preparation to get me "ready" for surgery, my nurse said that my surgeon was running behind because he was still in surgery (that i either don't think he was expecting, or he was just running behind). so now it was 7:30 (my supposed surgery start time)... and still nothing. luckily we had a tv in our room! my mom and i chatted and enjoyed the Today show. i also was texting several friends kinda freaking out. about every half hour the nurse that was going to be with me during surgery checked in on us and just kept telling us that my surgeon was still in surgery... Finally, around 9-10 am the nurse returned and said we were ready! i was fairly annoyed that we had to wait so long. but when she announced i was ready to go and started wheeling me out of the room, surgery finally felt real. and i was kinda terrified. i held my mom's hand until i got to the doors and then had one last hug. we both had tears in our eyes.

then i got wheeled back and saw all of these smiling nurses on my way to my OR. i got a cap to put over my hair and then we stopped outside of the huge doors to where i would be having my surgery. my nurse said that the rooms would be cold, and sure enough it was. I just pretended I was on Grey's Anatomy. Because that is one of the best shows ever. they moved me onto the table that i would have my surgery on and strapped me on and put blankets on me. After that, the anesthesiologist said she was giving me something to relax me. That was the last thing I remember.

I remember waking up in the recovery/icu area. the nurses kept asking me to rate my pain from 1-10. i think i said 7 or 8. i really wanted them to give me medicine so i could feel better. my nurse was really nice and attentive. i kept asking where my mom was... and she kept saying that i could go see her when my pain was under control. this made me sad. but finally the time came and my nurse said she was going to take me to my room :) she wheeled me to the elevators and eventually to my room where my parents, grandparents, and sisters were waiting. they moved me to my new bed and the first thing i asked my mom was for the time. since i was banded shut... nobody could really understand me. which was frustrating. i believe it was 2-3 in the afternoon. she said my surgery lasted around 4 hours. my sisters put this huge puppy stuffed animal on my bed and then left with my grandparents. i then remembered that i had packed my mini whiteboard. that thing was my best friend for the first week. I had beautiful flowers and balloons all over my room from different family members and even my orthodontist sent some beautiful flowers too! I felt so blessed for all the support from my family and friends.

my puppy and whiteboard!
I remember just being so amazed that all of my teeth touched! and i remember hating whenever the nurses gave me morphine, because it made me throw up. and let me tell you, that is not fun when you are completely banded shut. the catheter and tube up my nose were out by the time i woke up luckily. but the breathing tube really made my throat hurt. the medicine the nurses had to put in my iv hurt so badly. i was on a steroid to help with swelling and such but it stung SOO much when they put it in my iv. luckily i had really nice nurses that diluted everything with saline and brought me hot blankets to wrap my arm in. i never mentioned my 2ND favorite thing in the hospital was this little "sucky thingy" (as i called it) that i could suck all of my spit out with. did you guys all have drooling problems? i always put a ton of gauze under my chin but i always remember waking up in the middle of the night with my jaw bra and gauze and cheeks and neck completely wet. it was nasty. but the sucky thingy helped keep my mouth dry luckily. i also never mentioned that my surgeon finally let me use afrin for 2 days to help me breathe through my nose. he said i was only allowed to use it for 2 days, but i was SO glad i could at all! it completely cleared my nose. plus, one of my nurses was able to help clean out my nose with a q-tip. i LOVED my nurses. i had such amazing care at my hospital. it was unbelievable.

another thing i haven't talked about it the stiffness and pain i had in my neck and back after surgery. i never figured out what really caused it. maybe just laying down during surgery for 4 hours? im not sure. but i had the nurses bring me hot blankets. and i wrapped them around my shoulders kinda like a shawl to help me sleep. it was so nice. but the neck and upper back and shoulder pain and stiffness didn't go away until probably day 10. it was very uncomfortable.

one of my night nurses was so nice to me. She tucked me in with warm blankets and sat and talked to my mom and I, giving reassuring words. I almost cried when she left and said she wasn't scheduled to work again for a while. I spent a lot of my time watching HGTV on my hospital tv. (they didnt have many channels). so i watched tons of home design shows and house hunters! fun times.. fun times.. i also brought my knitting to the hospital and did that when my iv didn't hurt too badly.

one morning around 5am in the hospital... i believe it was day 4 post op. the lady in the room next to mine was yelling and saying lots of cuss words. for probably an hour straight. i felt so bad for her. but i was so irritated that it woke me up. i hated hearing her in pain... but she didn't need to yell the f word and many others for an hour straight. it was not the best moment.

i recommend going on lots of walks in the hospital. those were the best parts of my day. they made me feel so happy and energized and yeah. just take walks! all of the nurses on my floor knew me as the "fast walker" every time i can around the loop the nurses were shocked that i was walking so quickly that soon after surgery and such. my aunt also flew in and surprised me at the hospital and stayed for a few days. it was so amazing to see her and get to talk to her in the hospital. i love my family.

oh goodness i feel like i just wrote a book! sorry if you are reading this... that got long!! i apologize! i just had to get all these memories down before i forgot them. 

so a big THANK YOU to anyone that has been reading. until tomorrow.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 18 - Surgeon Visit

Hello! so today we made the hour drive to go see my surgeon for another post-op appt. it went really well! my surgeon said i was still doing a great job of keeping my mouth super clean and all of the incisions looked good. i won't go back to see him for another 2 weeks. which i guess means i am doing well!

i feel like the swelling is continuing to go down, just not at a fast rate anymore... hopefully it just continues to go away! i am ready to stop feeling and looking like a chipmunk. i know a lot of people have talked about stiffness, and i do feel really awkward smiling and talking etc because my top lip refuses to move without a ton of effort! it is the most numb. but i can feel my chin now! so my chin and my bottom lip have almost all feeling back. yay. everything else is still numb though. so my nose.. cheeks... roof of my mouth... under my eyes... upper lip... etc.

My surgeon also said that now that the pain is subsiding, i need to work on opening my mouth wider. he handed me a handful of tongue depressors and said i need to get to 35 mm. right now i am about 20 mm, he said to stack the tongue depressors and then hold them with a rubber band and put them in my mouth to hold it at the widest it can open. then, every 3 days, i need to add one more tongue depressor to slowly get my mouth to open wider. hopefully this isnt too painful!

my assortment of tongue depressors and how wide i can open, sorry the shadows got kinda dark!
let's see, my surgeon also told me to continue weaning off the hydrocodone. i can successfully make it through the day with just motrin and tylenol. so yay for that. i just take hydrocodone at night still so i can actually fall asleep. i fell asleep at 1:30 am last night... i guess that is better than 4. maybe. so hopefully tonight i can fall asleep even earlier! he said i dont need to sleep as propped up as i was before, but i just need to make sure that my head is above my heart. he said my swelling will continue to go away, so i just need to make sure i can sleep.

i want to chew. SO BADLY. on the plus side... i am really good at choking down bigger pieces of food now. i managed to eat an enchilada that my mom made last night! also, i can swallow rice whole. and i am loving stuffing right now. i am really sick of all the food i have been eating though.... anything you guys loved during your "no chew" phase??

i feel more comfortable going out in public now. even if i know i look puffy, i am to the point where i just don't care. it beats sitting at home bored! i even felt okay with eating in public a couple days ago when i went out to lunch. i just want normal! in the next few days i will start golfing again as i have missed a lot of my summer tournaments for golf... i need to get back to practicing so i can be ready for my season in the fall. plus, i miss all of my golf friends!

i know i complain a ton on most of my posts, but i did want to say that i really am glad i did the surgery. i would make the same choice to do it even knowing truly how hard it has been. i absolutely trust and love my surgeon. he has been so amazing and i have been really happy with everything. i just hope i can say that my surgery helped get rid of the jaw pain and headaches i was having. that is all i ask. i never really chose to do this to change my appearance. i honestly didn't even know how is changed people's faces until i started reading other blogs (after i agreed to surgery). im just so elated all of my teeth finally touch!!

thank you so incredibly much to those of you reading :) take care. thoughts and prayers to anyone in recovery as well.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 17 - Baby Steps

soo.... i still can't sleep well. i have been falling asleep between 2-4 am all week :( and once im finally asleep i dont even feel like i sleep soundly. i keep stirring, trying to get comfy, all night. woo. fun stuff. but oh well. it will get better at some point! with my pain medicine i still am just taking it at night. i think i can survive the day with just tylenol and motrin. today feels even better than yesterday.

i think i forgot to mention in my post yesterday that i went to the grocery store yesterday. it was actually very depressing since i was walking by all of these foods that i am NOT allowed to eat! today i ventured into public again. well kinda. i had a robotics meeting at school and so i got to see some friends which was fun :) and i had enough energy and not a ton of pain! i felt normal again. PLUS, i drove my car there since im not on my pain medicine during the day. that was the first time i had driven since surgery. one more step back to normalcy. woo.

the shadows might contribute to hiding my swelling... but it looks like it is slowly going away!

my smile still feels so stiff and awkward!

hmm, in regards to swelling i think today is the best day so far. i feel the most swollen on both sides of my nose, so i guess my cheeks? on the front/center area as well as my upper lip and the area above it. my face isnt as "round" as it used to be luckily. the swelling has really improved around my chin and neck and the lower part of my face. i discovered that i feel like the people on the grinch from whoville! you know, the ones that have the huge puffiness above their upper lip? yeah. that area is super numb and quite swollen on me! so i feel like a person from whoville. lucky me. haha

this was the best picture i could find...  the grinch's upper lip area is all puffy!

note the puffy area above my upper lip, haha
Until tomorrow!

Day 16

sooo i kinda cheated with my day 15 post... and posted it on day 16..... but i wrote it about day 15! just got too lazy the day before. but ill write a post now!

so with this whole sleeping thing.... gah. i am still supposed to sleep propped up for another week. stupid swelling. but it is SO hard for me... so last night i just gave up and slept normally. i woke up more swollen today. so i will continue to try to sleep propped up! but the extra sleep last night was so worth it. i was a happier person today. haha

today i also tried not to take my pain medication as i only have so many pills left... instead i just alternated tylenol and motrin. so today was kinda hard :( the pain was more than usual. i will continue taking my pain medication to help sleep though.

i am officially wearing my bands! even if i don't want to. they aren't as bad as they were the last couple of days. and i am even getting better at putting them on. my orthodontist was so nice to let me borrow a hemostat to help put my bands on!

my hemostat. it is great! haha...

energy-wise i feel like im getting back to normal. which is good! even though i feel tired, i don't feel weak. yay.

food! i ate hash-browns and CAKE today. they were delicious! ive learned i can eat almost anything as long as i can mash it with a fork (still not much, but hey, ill take it). that being said... i just want to be able to chew :( i want a hamburger. and chips. and wheat thins. and an apple. :( but oh well i mustn't think about it...

awkward smile...

still puffy.
take care all!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 15

Well not much happened today. i still can't sleep. i am wearing my bands. they hurt. i am still trying to get off of my pain medication and just switch to tylenol and motrin. nothing new has happened. ill post more tomorrow....... just not in the mood. not a bad day though!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 14 - TWO WEEKS.

Hey guys! i made it to 2 weeks! that must be some sort of accomplishment. Today has been decent. One of my friends came and visited me this afternoon and so today was fun. I am going to try to organize my post today! woah. that is a first. maybe this will be helpful. otherwise you might just get a long post of me complaining. in which case, i apologize ahead of time. haha.

So.... sleeping has not been my friend lately. I'm still supposed to be sleeping propped up.. but that is so darn hard! i used to sleep on my side curled up in a ball on my face. and so sleeping on my back just is NOT fun. i am alright once i get to sleep. but it is hard getting comfy. i know i shouldn't be complaining. but it is affecting how much sleep i get. last night i got fed up with being propped up and slept laying down. maybe im more puffy because of it.. no clue. ill continue trying, but i dont know how long i can handle it! so i am on a REALLY bad schedule of staying up late and sleeping in late.... fingers crossed for tonight.

Well, i can feel my bottom lip! as you know. hmm my top lip is still completely numb. my nose is still completely numb. the bottom part of my chin is completely numb. my cheeks have feeling on the outside edges. but around my nose is completely numb. that is the part of my face that has been bothering me the most! on either side of my nose. i am also completely numb under my eyes. let me just say that putting makeup on is a weird sensation. so is having water on my face when i shower. and feeling the wind blow on my face. just so much numbness! but im not complaining. as long as it masks some pain. i may be more annoyed over it in a week.

I WANT A HAMBURGER. But i guess i have found enough food. I don't know if i mentioned that i have lost 7 pounds. which is a lot for me already being pretty tiny... i guess not the worst thing in the world though. but hmm. i have gotten pretty good at choking down food. ill list some of the foods i have discovered that i can eat. hence i eat quite a bit of them since my options are limited! my surgeon said i can eat anything as long as i dont chew. so here is what my "no-chew" diet consists of.

  • baked beans
  • scrambled eggs
  • spaghetti - it takes forever to cut up the noodles super tiny!
  • chicken and stars (chicken noodle soup with tiny noodles)
  • apple sauce
  • black beans and refried beans
  • smoothies
  • rice (as long as it is cooked well enough to mash with a fork)
  • mashed potatoes and gravy

I am still taking my pain medication.. not as often.. but i am still on it.. i can't wait for the day that i wake up and don't have pain. my face hurts. simple as that. it kinda hurts the most on either side of my nose and under my top lip. i also just have a constant headache. and the bands just make all my teeth hurt. but it is manageable with medicine. just not fun waking up in the morning with no medicine in me!

here is my band configuration! i don't know if i posted that yet...

I wrote this WAY earlier i just forgot to post it! im sorry! night :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 13 - Public Outing

Hey everyone! sorry this is coming late. i actually had a filled day today..!! i slept horribly last night. just couldn't get to sleep :( but oh well. hopefully tonight will just be better. so today was kinda a big milestone! i went "out in public". haha. some of my friends were in a musical, so i went to go see it with another friend! i felt so awkward in public due to my puffiness and inability to make "normal" facial expressions. but i survived! it was great to have a distraction from everything. plus, i don't think i could have been able to stand another day in my comfy clothes at home. then i spent the evening hanging out with one of my friends. it is SO incredibly great to do more normal things again.

so the swelling seems to be at a standstill at this point... there arent any major changes it seems. im just ready to have it GO AWAY. please face, stop being puffy! i feel like a chipmunk. it was hard to hold my head high when i was out in public today. i mean i don't think anyone really cared or made notice. but i mean i saw friends from my school that probably didnt know that i had surgery, and then to see me just looking a little different and puffy... idk. it just isn't my favorite feeling.

IT HURTS TO LAUGH. i am waiting for the day that i can smile/laugh and not have pain. i dont recommend watching funny movies. i made that mistakes. not fun! haha, but oh well. i will continue to watch them and just deal with it. it is kinda funny how pathetic it is that is hurts to smile! i just get a kick out of it for some reason...

now i guess i should talk about how i have been feeling. without the bands i am actually starting to do really well! my pain isn't bad. but then i put them on, and boom. headache. pain. etc. so i am going to call my surgeon and see how i can balance pain vs bands. i dont know how important they are in my recovery... sigh :(

let's see. the numbness on my face didn't bother me as much today. the tingling and itching has not been as prominent. woo. i can open my mouth about as big as one finger. i am struggling to find foods that sound good. i am SO sick of everything.... gah.

well tomorrow ill make a longer post and try to talk about more relevant things!! take care all.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 12

guess who slept for 9 hours straight last night!! i mean i couldnt fall asleep until 2am... but i slept all the way until 11. without waking up once. yay. so i have felt more well rested today finally. hopefully i can just fall asleep at an earlier time tonight! i did fall over sideway when i was sleeping though... so that hasnt helped with the swelling. my swelling isn't changing significantly anymore. maybe tonight ill try to arrange my pillows differently. even if i do love sleeping curled up in a ball literally on my face. haha. sleeping on my back and propped up is very annoying. but oh well!

after i woke up i was in quite a bit of pain though since i didnt have any pain medicine for 9 hours.. but it was worth it. then i went on a small walk outside. the wind feels so weird on my numb face! i can't get over it. speaking of numbness, some of the feeling in my cheeks is coming back i think. at this point it is hard to tell what has feeling and what has tingling and what is still completely numb! the numbest part is from under my eyes and the areas to the left and right of my nose and then my upper lip. the outer edges of my cheeks are starting to come back and so is my chin and my lower lip has a ton of feeling. it just tingles. so id say im still overall EXTREMELY numb. which is fine. id rather be numb than in pain.

i keep forgetting what i talk about in all my other posts... uhhh. oh! i managed to eat eggs this morning for breakfast! they were completely delicious. as far as food goes... i kinda have to choke it down. and my the roof of my mouth and throat kinda hurts. i don't think this is a good thing.. but i don't know what else to do. i don't think i can handle any more soups or potatoes. i weighed myself today and have lost 7 pounds since i was weighed right before surgery. that is kinda a lot if i think about it! i didn't really need to lose any weight... so i hope it doesnt go down too much more. i guess on a liquid diet you are just doomed to lose several pounds. it was inevitable.

i feel like a terrible person as i havent been wearing my bands as much as i should. i promise i will as the days go on! it just makes the pain go up significantly :( i have noticed that the swelling actually looks better in my pictures than what i think it looks like in the mirror! in actuality i feel like i am actually more puffy than these pictures portray. but you never know i guess! oh random thing. vaseline is my favorite. lips get so chapped after this.. so i recommend having something to put on them so they don't get all cracked. it is painful when that happens. gah.

my bruising is almost gone, and you can see my lip isnt as purple as it used to be! i have a bruise under my chin still, but it isn't too bad at all. i think overall i got lucky with the bruising on my face... well besides my lip being purple and black for over a week. but yeah.

biggest hurdle now will be those darn bands :( maybe ill just have to eat more so that i have an excuse not to wear them!

take care all. more thoughts later. off to read my books!


Day 11 - Part 2 (attempted positivity!) (and before/after pics)

so i feel like in the last couple hours everything has just drastically changed for the better! and i just had to update on here of course to redeem myself for the slightly depressing posts. i finally have resolved most of my stomach issues. (not being able to have a bowel movement for 12 days is AWFUL, but not talking about that anymore. ew.) im just so happy my stomach pain has lessened! and i started taking less pain medication today and i even felt okay. so there is hope. also, the country club in my neighborhood had their firework show tonight, and i even felt well enough to walk down to the end of our street and sit and watch. improvements! the fireworks were completely beautiful too. who doesn't love them?! so i decided that it was time to compare some before and after pictures. not from the front, since i still look like a marshmallow!

it is so cool to see how my profile changed. i know these angles arent exactly the same, but it shows the change well enough! i am so pleased that my lower jaw no longer has to slide forward just to fit into my bite and upper jaw. and i guess my nose is a bit perkier too! haha, which im all good with. obviously you can still see my puffiness. but it is weird/cool to see how they actually did move my jaw. hopefully it takes care of all my jaw pain:) thatll make this all worth it. im just trying to keep in mind that this whole ordeal should be worth the removal of my jaw pain and headaches etc...

i also found some pictures of my bite/teeth and just had to put them together. it is actually super cool how my teeth actually sorta fit together now! my open bite is gone. woo! even if i still have some tweaking with bands to do.

i finally see how this can be worth it. i can make it through. woo. this pep talk may actually be working...

i do have to complain quickly about the itches i get from my annoying nerves! and when i itch my face i can't feel it! since im still numb. it may be the weirdest thing ever.... haha. i would LOVE to be able to feel my top lip. please wake up nerves!

take care all. thanks for all the support and to anyone reading this. sending warm thoughts to those going through this as well.

now to try to sleep a ton!!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 11

so i got to wake up at 6:30 this morning to drive to the post op appt with my surgeon. fun stuff... so i barely got any sleep last night :( suffering today from the little sleep. my appt with my surgeon went well. i got an x-ray done! my surgeon said that everything looks great and even said i did a great job of keeping my mouth clean. i am to start getting off of my pain medication.. which won't be easy, but ill do it! here is the x-ray.

lots of metal in my mouth. haha....
then my surgeon decided i needed to wear bands again :( boo. these things will be the end of me. im not wearing them today as much as i should have... the pain got to be too bad. sigh. but here's the configuration of that.. sigh. just when i thought it was getting better! ill try again with the bands tomorrow :(

im still having stomach aches. this is my biggest complaint at this point. i just feel so terrible. curled up in a ball on the couch all day. sigh. I'm taking lots of medicine and even have had to drink magnesium citrate. ew. hopefully things will get better tomorrow :( i need to get past my stomach issues! i want to feel better.

ill keep posting. sigh. just dont know what to say :(

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 10 - Looking Up

wow, 10 days is somewhat of an accomplishment! yay for making it to this point. surgery feels like it was yesterday... but luckily today has been pretty good. i actually slept fairly well last night! i havent slept longer than 5-6 hours straight... due to my need for pain medication and such, but i got a total of probably 8-9 hours last night. so i woke up and had a really good morning and afternoon! my friends even came and visited my for a bit which was amazing, i hadn't seen them since before surgery! we giggled about my inability to smile or laugh well along with my puffiness. but it was great to catch up. i even put mascara on today! haha, i guess that says something. maybe.

i am experiencing stomach pain since i still haven't gone to the bathroom since before surgery... i am on stool softeners and miralax and other things trying to make me go.. until then ill be miserable... nobody warns of this side of the recovery! this is awful and my biggest complaint today. sigh. sorry i know you don't want to read about this. it is quite gross. moving on!

the swelling continues to go down and my bruising is beginning to fade as well. i am pretty sure i can feel some of my chin now and random parts of my cheeks. it is just all tingly and weird feeling! i don't know how to describe it... i am getting fed up with the random itches though! my face or nose just gets itchy, but i can't feel anything when i scratch it since it is numb! such an odd sensation... and annoying. well hmm, i am still on my heavy pain medication and it has been helping a ton. i do feel lots of pain when im not on it though. boo. so im continuing taking that every 4-5 hours... the swelling and bruising around my chin and neck kinda makes me feel claustrophobic and like it is choking me today. i just want it all to go away! let's see. ill talk about food again! i don't know if i had mentioned previously that i am lactose intolerant.... so i can't have dairy products. that has made this liquid diet even harder! but oh well. i have found substitutes. just you guys enjoy your ice cream since i can't! but hmm, today i mashed up more noodles in spaghetti sauce which was pretty great. i also enjoy smoothies, soup, baked beans, ginger ale, apple sauce, potatoes, jello, pancakes. oh! maybe ill try scrambled eggs tomorrow! here are a couple pictures before i forget.

yay for awkward and painful smiles!

puffy. cheeks. are. just. so. attractive. :P

bruising continues to go down
let's see... what else... oh. i have begun to notice the stitches in my mouth? a couple have fallen out i guess. it feels really uncomfortable! i don't want to know or feel where the incisions were etc. idk. also, my surgeon got called in for trauma surgery today and so they had to move my appt to tomorrow morning. so ill just let you all know what he says then! hopefully the visit goes well. fingers crossed.

eating hasnt been too hard once i have food in front of me! i do eat in front of a mirror though. haha, i feel like a baby just starting to eat solids. i am kinda a messy eater and yeah.. im sure you can imagine.. okay well i think i just ran out of things to say... but no worries! my rambling will be back. take care all. thoughts and prayers out to those going through this process as well.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 9 - not much. sigh.

Well, sleeping last night wasn't super fun. I don't like falling asleep only to wake up in a puddle of drool and more discomfort. It just felt like a long series of "on and off" naps. I eventually just gave up this morning and watched tv. maybe i can nap soon. i was having a decent day until about an hour ago. hmm let's see. i started my morning off with some more pancakes mushed up in a cup in syrup. my pain medication makes me feel so out of it... but i guess it beats the pain :( my numbness is starting to bother me. my top lip has weird poking feelings and then it gets REALLY cold when i try to drink anything. my teeth feel sensitive too. so annoying and weird... i kinda have the constant pulsing throb of pain behind my eyes and nose that i don't know what to do with, but at least my medicine helps. i went out into my backyard and walked around a tiny bit earlier today. made me miss golfing! :( and just being normal. i miss my friends. :( i miss normal. then hmm, today i have also eaten chicken noodle soup, baked beans, and some more random smoothies my mom makes. my nausea is back. my main issue is that i still havent had a bowel movement since surgery..... i have had a bad history with constipation and am on lots of medicine trying to help things move through me. so my stomach has been suffering :( definitely doesnt help with the whole eating ordeal. sorry, i know that topic isn't great. but i just had to share. my sister painted my nails today which was nice of her. im scared i am snapping at my family :( i don't mean to be short with people, it just isn't fun to talk and im so uncomfortable. i was extremely happy that today though i was able to get my library books! now i just need to feel well enough to read. i had my mom go in to check out the stack i had on hold because i didn't feel like being seen in public... is that bad? i just decided sitting in the car was the best way to avoid stares. im too puffy. i also decided that i don't like the car. it makes me dizzy and gives me a headache. for some reason my eyes get really sensitive and it just makes my head throb. tomorrow i have an appt with my surgeon, just gotta survive the one hour car trip yet again! ew. id rather avoid cars for awhile... ill update on what he says at the appt tomorrow evening. also! i think a couple of my friends are going to come visit me tomorrow which may help! today i have come to the conclusion that i feel lonely and secluded. sigh. this recovery isn't easy. i applaud anyone who has made it through. really hard to keep my head up through it all... it is getting harder to stay positive. but i will prevail. i refuse to have too many bad days! i was just able to eat spaghetti for dinner!! i mean i just took a knife and fork and sliced up the noodles as small as possible and kinda just swallowed them whole. but it was still yummy.

note to self: avoid yawning. i just experienced a yawn for the first time. ow!

behold the puff!

the extent to which i am able to open my mouth

lip bruising and neck bruising
thanks to anyone still following along. makes me feel like i'm not going through this alone. much love

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 8 - home! (yes again...)

GUYS. i made it home!!!
and this time it feels like i'll get to stay :) things are looking up. i just want to go on again about how much i loved some of my nurses. they do wonders for patients. i felt so grateful to have such a great team working with me.. :) love and thanks to anyone that got me through this week.

i found a pain medication that works. and im enjoying no bands on my teeth even. potatoes, soups, pancakes, and smoothies are my favorites:) i take my pain medicine every 4 hours, but last night nobody woke me up to take it at 2 am, so i woke up at 4 am in TONS of pain. note to self: don't miss a dose of medicine yet. ouch! so last night was just not a great night of sleep... i did make up for it today though with 2 two-hour naps! i am learning to love sleep. anyone else drool massively after surgery? (i know gross sorry!) i just am having a lot of it and wanted to make sure im not the only one?

anyways... hmm. well i go back to see my surgeon on thursday! im guessing he may mess with bands then? im not sure why i have been completely free of them since saturday, but im not complaining! hmm in regards to numbness my top lip is tingling and kinda vibrating.. not super comfortable! but maybe this just means ill get feeling back there soon? my face is starting to feel really weird since it is numb! the only thing i can feel is my bottom lip, otherwise im still numb all the way through my eyes. the roof of my mouth being numb is fairly bothersome as of today. but oh well. hmm, i think today i am finally feeling well enough to want to read a book! this is big! so i have had a great day:) i am just loving being at home again... my favorite part of the day continues to be when i shower! i love the water just clearing up my face and it makes me feel less stuffy and just a happier person. i also recommend sleeping!! i feel so much better after i wake up.. it is just hard to fall asleep propped up! hmm... well... after over a week in the hospital i realized that i am kinda lonely. i really miss my friends!! the few that have been able to tolerate talking to me all week are quite amazing. it must not be fun to talk to someone all drugged up and upset!

recovery has been hard. i think i knew it would be this hard to an extent... but i didn't think it would be this hard for so long. if that makes sense! i just ask anyone to hang in there. today is the first day i see that there is an end to it all. even if it is still very distant.... i don't know how i feel about the results of my surgery, but as long as it takes away my jaw pain ill be happy! it is SOO weird biting down and having all my teeth touch! i feel normal! love it!

the swelling has become annoying. why do i have to be a puffy mess still?? why can't i just look normal again? why?? ahhhhh. oh well! i can finally smile, but it does hurt to laugh and smile!! i can also make some weird faces. i feel like a mixture between a monkey and a chipmunk. OH. i forgot. have i gone on already how much i LOVE being able to swallow pills again?!?!? liquid medicine is NASTY. so happy i get pills now:) life. is. good.

last night in the hospital after a dose of morphine... i realized i can still cross my eyes i guess! also i can stick my tongue out!

car trip home from the hospital today! i tried to smile, even though it is painful. you can see the bruising is yellowed on my face. that has been there for hmm, 2-3 days?

ill post more sometime! i have lots of free time where i am sitting alone in my house....! take care all

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 7 - ONE WEEK

WOW. one week ago today i was just getting out of surgery... it seems so long and short at the same time. i am so happy and blessed that i made it this far. i most likely get to leave the hospital tomorrow... so hopefully i am ready by then! crazy that ive spent so much time in the hospital.. i know most dont stay this long. my surgeon stopped in today and said that i looked good! i havent had any bands on since saturday, but tomorrow my surgeon will put new ones on (but ill be allowed to take them off to eat). GUESS WHAT. for breakfast today i ordered a pancake. then put it in a cup and doused it with syrup and microwaved it. then i just mushed it up reallly good and ate it with my tongue! so extremely delicious. potatoes are still my favorite. but that was one good breakfast. haha. hmm. so last night i slept from 2-6 and 6:45-11ish. ill take it! my stomach started hurting last night around midnight, so i had difficulties falling asleep. still completely numb except for my bottom lip! which has a lot of feeling. things are starting to tingle though! such a weird uncomfortable feeling. hmm, for pain i am taking children's liquid motrin every 6 hours.... but it doesnt do much... at all.... i am still taking morphine as needed but i need to figure out the best medicine for when i go home! because the hydrocodone etc makes me kinda nauseous. so today well will mess with different medicines in hope that something works! i am still getting morphine to keep me comfy cause the pain isnt fun :( my teeth do tough though! it is so weird to bite down and feel that contact! last night i noticed one of my surgical hooks on my top left side kinda fell partially out and was stabbing my check. ow! my surgeon just tucked it behind my braces at least, woo.

     this was driving to the hospital the morning of surgery! just found it.

yesterday i woke up with a little bruising on my face.. so weird! hopefully it goes away.

i can kinda smile! my random purple lip bruise is persistent!....... still :( but i think the swelling is continuing to go down. so yup!
hmm, i don't know what else to say, just goodluck to any of you on this journey! it is really tough :( but things are starting to look up. eating makes me happier. i just wish i could sleep more. doesnt feel refreshing yet. i am also sick of sleeping propped up on my back!! im a person that sleeps curled up in a ball on my face. haha. thanks for reading:) more to come.
- Katie:)