Tuesday, July 30, 2013


YAY. guess what... well i guess the title says it all, I get to chew soon! but ill backtrack to this morning with my appt with my surgeon. After waiting for quite a while... we got in to see him. My surgeon said that i looked great, and said that starting monday (8 weeks post-op) i can officially begin to chew!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. if you can't tell, i am overly excited. i mean.. i realize that ill have to go slowly and reteach myself how to chew... but im so pumped regardless. my surgeon said the goal is to slowly work my way up with the hardness of food. and hopefully by 12 weeks.. i will be able to have steak. so yeah! i decided that on monday, i want arby's curly fries. those sound wonderful. but this week will consist of me making a list of all the food i have been craving the last 7 weeks! then my surgeon said he will see me back in 3 weeks. school starts 2 weeks from today..... so in 2 weeks ill get insanely busy and it may seem like i slipped off the face of the planet. but ill be here!

but anyway, after the appt with my surgeon, we had lunch in the hospital cafeteria before our hour drive home (the cafeteria almost always has mushy food!) and i found lasagna that i could mash up, and THEN i ran into one of my favorite nurses from when i was in the hospital. she was the one that was assigned to me the day i had to be readmitted to the hospital for nausea and pain that we couldnt get under control at home.. and she was amazing and so nice. and yeah. so i gave her a big hug and said thanks for everything and she said i looked so great now and asked how i was etc. the nurses in my surgeons office kept saying how the swelling looked great and that i looked great, and it just made me feel happy. so yay for looking somewhat normal!

my surgeon and orthodontist finally are trying to get my surgical hooks back on in the front so i can have a band in the front to help guide my jaw still. gosh.... that was so irritating that they couldn't get this figured out. i already ranted about me never getting an appt with my ortho because he claimed i didn't need the band up front.. but then my surgeon said otherwise, and yeah. so i should get an ortho appt either tomorrow or the next day. but we will see, im fine with wearing rubber bands if it means my braces come off sooner! (and my bite gets better).

now please excuse me while i constantly wish for it to be monday already... haha. but seriously...
take care everyone!

Day 49 - SEVEN WEEKS. :) :)

GUESS WHAT. 7 weeks today since surgery!!! woooooooooo. today has been the best day since surgery i think. by far. i just magically feel pretty darn good :)

at 8 weeks ill do a huge long update about every single little issue, but tonight im just choosing to ramble on about nonsense, so i apologize.

let's see, i had a milkshake tonight.. and figured i could try to use a straw since i was cleared to use those, but NO. just no. huge headache. don't try it... takes a lot of effort with something that thick... ouch!

today was a momentous day, for part of the day i forgot that i had jaw surgery. WOW. I didn't think that would ever happen... as either the pain or numbness has been a constant reminder of this whole ordeal. but i hope i have more parts of the day where i forget :) i was reminded again once i realized that i couldn't chew anything... oops...

BUT, originally my surgeon said i could chew at 8 weeks post op! so ONE WEEK LEFT. hopefully. fingers crossed. I have an appointment with him tomorrow and i will update on that! it is still hard to tell myself that i can't chew when i don't have any pain... you guys that got the "ok" to chew early on are VERY lucky, please enjoy your ability to chew. please.

my teeth continue to ache as if i had just gotten my braces on. but could be worse.

swelling is pretty much gone!! whoopee. i went out to lunch with some friends today, one of them said she couldn't notice it anymore, and the other said, hey, your facial features look more normal now! and i consider both compliments. woo:)

these next ones i just though were a good comparison of before/after

before                                                            after

since my teeth actually come together now... i feel like my face is more round and not as long... not sure if this is good or bad, but not complaining, i love my bite too much! overall i feel like i look pretty much the same. but i guess in the old pictures i got really good at sliding my jaw forward! so i wont have to worry about icky profile shots now i suppose.

so... i grind my teeth at night.. and i feel like this is making me wake up with really bad headaches and jaw aches lately... if you read my first post ever, i think i talked about it. so i am going to bring it up with my surgeon tomorrow and see what he says about it... cause all the pressure from it just hurts!

anyway, ill update tomorrow after my appointment with my surgeon, maybe ill have good news!

hope all is well with you guys!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 48 - Frustrated

Hello to anyone and everyone :)

So today has just been a day of ups and downs. and i don't even think anything is really even that significant... but it just feels like everything is such a big deal :(

On the positive side, i feel like my swelling went down a tiny bit today... it may go back up again tomorrow, as that is what normally happens.. but i guess as long as it goes away eventually ill be okay.

But.. i do want to just rant for a brief moment about how i have been thoroughly annoyed with my puffy face throughout recovery.. i mean, i never really minded people seeing me, but the part that is kinda annoying is that i have pictures of me taken with other people where my face is blatantly puffy. like, my cousins were in town a couple weeks ago, and there are lots of pictures with me and all them and other family, and now just in my mind all i see in those photos is "katie's puffy face". same with pictures i have with my friends. it could be worse.. but im just annoyed. okay. end rant.

but the swelling appears to be nearly gone today, so ill be done complaining about that!

While I'm ranting about things that bother me... might as well add my nose to the list, and by nose, i mean how the middle part is pushed to one side now (i believe this is a deviated septum)... i can never ever breathe out of the left side of my nose now :( i mean sometimes.... but if i am the tiniest bit stuff due to allergies.. then that side of my nose is screwed. makes being outside and golfing really fun... plus it just itches uncontrollably. why? i don't know. besides allergies. but idk... also, i have pain on the inside of my nose sometimes, and i don't know why, and i don't know how to stop it. plus... i can't stop sneezing. i feel like i sneeze every 15 minutes. and it kinda hurts both my jaw and nose when that happens.. yay....

goodluck to all of you guys in recovery :)


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 47 - Thank You Hair

I just wanted to say that i am grateful that my hair is long enough to cover the sides of my face and hide the swelling. literally throughout recovery i got pretty good at hiding the sides of my cheeks with my hair. it just makes things easier. haha. the day i am brave enough to leave the house with my hair in a ponytail will be big. well besides when im golfing... i probably look very puffy when i have my hair up for that. but besides the point! yesterday when i was looking at all my photos.. i discovered one that deserves its own post.

behold. the braid that hides swelling. too bad it isn't suitable to wear out in public :P although i considered it.

this is from day 12. i believe i went to the grocery store that day
and really wanted it to be socially acceptable to wear my hair like this...
so this made for a good laugh when i found the picture again! luckily i am past that point :)

so hmm, my last set of stitches under my top lip fell out tonight! yay, so now when i smile you can't see random white strings hanging down.. haha

lately i have felt some sort of stinging either on my cheeks way back in my mouth, or the incisions back there... i don't know if they are rubbing against the braces.. or what is making it feel so uncomfortable :( also, my teeth have started to ache, as if i just got my braces on. no clue if they have always felt like this and my numbness going away is just making it more prevalent? or just if they are moving for some weird reason... no clue! but hey, this pain is better than the pain i had a month ago.

writing all of these posts has been the best thing ever during recovery.... i am allowed to complain as much as i want to without people getting too annoyed (hopefully). so thank you :) take care all.


Day 46 - Pictures Galore (Before/After)

Okay... so today i am forcing myself to put together a bunch of pictures showing before/after and the progress i've made in recovery! even though it is kinda a pain...

today i feel much better than i did yesterday, must have just been a random bad day. i guess we all have those sometimes. my numbness is back to being less bothersome, and my face doesn't ache as much. no need for medicine! yay.

So tonight i got to hang out with the golf girls and our coach, and it was the first time i had seen some of them since surgery. my coach said that someone said that i looked completely different now, which surprised me. maybe just the swelling? she kinda agreed with them and said i still look puffy to her. which is great. i hate when people say "oh you can't notice that you are swollen..." because obviously i am. and i don't want to be stuck like this forever. so no use pretending i look perfectly normal. but anyway, it was weird trying to talk about this whole experience to them in just a few words. they all asked how my jaw was doing, and i just don't have a short explanation for that! this whole recovery has  just been SO much for me. too overwhelming. but i did my best to explain, they were the most perplexed on how i have managed to go this long without chewing. but it isn't the worst thing in the world. i am pretty darn amazing at swallowing and mashing food. haha. really... the only thing i want is some carrots and cucumbers dipped in ranch and some wheat thins or potato chips.

anyway.... here is a mish-mash of photos.

these 3 are of today

here is my attempt at putting some pictures together

Before                                                                                          After (so far)

i am just so thrilled with the fact that all my teeth touch now, i don't even care how my profile or face has changed. as long as the swelling goes away eventually i don't even really care. fingers crossed that my jaw pain will not be an issue like it was before the surgery. anyway, take care all! thanks for reading :) until next time...


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 45 - New Kind of Numb

So today for some reason my entire face feels SOOO different. and i don't think i can explain it well, but here goes.

Okay so the numbness i felt after surgery didn't feel exactly like the numbness feeling i would feel after having a shot of novocain for cavities etc. I just couldn't feel my face. but today i woke up and the inside of my left cheek just feels heavy and numb as if i just had a cavity filled. the inside of my right cheek isnt numb in the center but if i move my tongue either up or down to touch the stitches, it feels more numb. Maybe this is just all due to the fact that more of the feeling is coming back, so it just makes the patches that are numb more apparent?? no clue..

I JUST FEEL REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE TODAY. way worse than i have in over a week :(

You know the feeling after you clench your jaw/teeth together really tightly for a long time? i feel like that today, maybe because i know i grind my teeth at night... but i literally am about to go insane with all of this. I am fed up with the constant tingling, aching, and itchiness of my face, jaw, and teeth.

why can't everything just be normal already... i mean it isn't that bad, but i still am not allowed to chew anything and i don't know. i just feel like i need to quit complaining to people about my surgery. i think that my friends assume i should just be back to normal by now, so i quit talking to them about surgery... i just don't think most understand everything you go through with this surgery.

here are pictures. i think the swelling is just here to stay for a long while :( some days i wake up worse than the day before.. and idk. just annoying since it is just barely there. why can't it just all go away!

on an entirely different note.....

so at my appointment with my surgeon 2? weeks ago, he mentioned that he thought that i should have more than 1 rubber band (in a box configuration) on each side. i had seen my orthodontist 2 days prior and he had placed my new bands like that. so my surgeon said he thought it may not be enough and thought i should have one in the front again just to keep my bite and teeth together i guess? so my surgeon said he would call my orthodontist and see if anything needed to change. so 2 weeks passed.... and we didn't hear anything. so yesterday i reminded my mom of this and we called my surgeon. the nurse said we need to just work this out with my orthodontist... so then we called the orthodontist... and they said they didn't have records of my surgeon asking... so then we called the surgeon's office back... and this goes on and on and on. now we are caught in the middle. and i guess we are trying to get an appt with my ortho on monday now... but i have an appt with my surgeon on tuesday and hopefully we can worth all of this out!! i just hope this doesn't affect my bite in the long run.. or how long i have my braces on.

last night i had a dream that i was chewing wheat thins and potato chips. and i knew i wasn't supposed to in my dream, but i did it anyway.... i woke up very scared that it was real! luckily, i havent chewed, even though i desperately want to... and i guess it shows with me dreaming about crunchy foods :P

take care all, things do get better, slowly, but they do! (or at least i keep telling myself this)

Day 44 - Sensitivity

Hello to anyone still reading my thoughts :)

Today i was thinking about how my teeth are very sensitive now. I don't normally notice it since i'm NOT allowed to chew yet... but 2 weeks ago my surgeon gave me the "ok" to use my sonicare toothbrush again which i was super happy about.. but then i actually tried it and that was not a fun experience. my teeth just feel really really sensitive. the vibrating of that toothbrush was just way too much. so i just went back to using my baby toothbrush..! haha... I'm working my way back up to using my normal one though. that day will come eventually. also, if i run my tongue along the edges of the roof of my mouth (the areas near my molars) sometimes i get this really weird sensation and it just makes my teeth feel sensitive and yeah.

In regards to my progress with opening my mouth wider... i am now at 25 mm! i need to get to 35 mm.... but i have improved about 5 mm since i started the "exercises" with my stacked tongue depressors. hopefully i can continue to to improve it!

- Katie:)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 43 - the post that kinda replaces the "6 weeks" post

i made it back from my choir camp!! i missed my 6 week post though... or at least a long one with relevant information. SO.. since i am home now, you get to hear all about everything.

HAPPY SIX WEEKS. wow. i am literally so happy i made it to this point! yay! i walked upstairs from camp today and the first thing my sister said to me was, "hey! you actually look normal." way to be nice about it... but i guess that is still a positive thing! i have pictures from the last few days

the aftermath of singing 12 hours in one day...

MY NUMBNESS IS GOING AWAY. if you can't tell... i am really extremely happy. i can feel part of my upper lip now and roof of my mouth and nose. the area between my upper lip and nose is still tingly/stiff/numb, but improving every day! i now have hope that i will regain most of my feeling :)

all in all. i feel pretty normal :)

now that my pain is pretty much gone... I really want to chew. and so it is really hard to rationalize the whole "no chew" diet when i don't have pain. but hey, hopefully ill get to do that soon!

so i was brushing my teeth tonight and 1 (out of 2) of the stitches left under my upper lip fell out! very painless luckily... although this is the same one i accidentally snagged on my toothbrush from last week. but hey, not complaining

i am still glad that i did the surgery.. although i feel kinda weird with my face... this may be partially due to the stiffness, but also, i can tell the slightest difference to my face that most people would probably ever notice..

i can't believe it has been 6 weeks though... incredibly blessed to have had my family and close friends that put up with me during recovery. 

life. is. good.


Day 42 - 6 weeks!!!!

will update when home from choir camp. take care all!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 41 - Singing

this post may or may not even be relatively interesting... but!

good news: i can still sing

bad news: my jaw doesn't open as far as it should... and so singing kinda sucks at this moment. plus switching into my head voice is kinda hard. but oh well. 

i have a full day of "exercising" my jaw tomorrow....! :( at least i have medicine packed. my face kinda aches!


Day 40 - Cookie Incident

Soo.... today I was volunteering at the library as I do most weeks (we all know im a nerd) and one of the ladies that works there brought in cookies (i believe it was somebody's last day there, but not sure) and towards the end of my volunteering, I was asked if I would like a cookie. They were homemade and so i felt so bad turning it away! but seeing as i didnt have a plate, fork, and knife to make the cookie "eatable" by my standards I had to say no. But i felt rude, so then i quickly added on "because i had jaw surgery and can't chew otherwise i would!.." definitely got the sympathy looks, but since i had to get back to reshelving the books i didn't really elaborate on the surgery etc. i find these situations incredibly awkward because i can never decide if i tell people about my surgery or just let it go...

tomorrow i leave for a choir camp, i guess it'll be my first big test to see if i can sing somewhat normally still! *fingers crossed* granted, i can't open my mouth super wide, but it'll just have to do as is. I'll let you know how it goes... if anything, singing will help with me trying to get my mouth to open wider!

At this point, I am completely off any medicine for pain or discomfort in my jaw, just the occasional tylenol or motrin. yay! I am realizing that my numbness is going away too. i can feel part of the roof of my mouth, part of my nose, under my eyes, and a small part of my upper lip now (in addition to my outer cheeks and chin and lower lip) the most numb part is still the areas directly left and right of my nose, but.. everything is SUPER tingly and feels like it is constantly vibrating or something. so annoying. it bothers me a ton lately... I am also bother by the fact that even though the pain has gone away (mostly) i still can't chew!! like... it has been ages.... why can't i chew yet? :( so for you guys out there that are able to chew. please just love chewing as much as you possibly can.

i have been craving wheat thins, carrots, chips, and cucumbers this last week. mostly carrots though. but i doubt ill be able to eat those for a long, long time.

I feel like my swelling goes up or down depending on the day at this point...... I know that it is at it's worst when i wake up in the morning, partially because i sleep on my side. but idk... this just bothers me so much.. because i feel so puffy still looking in the mirror. i know it doesnt look bad in most of the pictures i take, so i guess that is good... but seriously.... i know i look swollen in real life still. my family notices it too. but i just want it all to GO AWAY. nobody likes you swelling. fingers crossed that in the next 2 weeks it goes away.

another thing that bothers me immensely is my stitches! with regaining some feeling... i am now very aware of where they all are. and i despise them.

but until later,

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 39 - First Cold

Guess what......... I woke up this morning with a lovely headache and runny nose... yay for colds in the summer? at least it definitely beats how i felt right after surgery.

so, i got the clear to blow my nose last week, but that doesn't make it painless! ouch, my nose is still kinda tender. and don't even get me started on the sneezing... so TRY NOT TO GET SICK after surgery. as if i could choose... haha


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 38 - Before/After Profile

Soo... this profile comparison may or may not show much of anything, but I needed something to do to waste time tonight. Made it back from camp! so yay for sleeping in my own bed tonight :)

so at my camp, i randomly found out that another girl there had this surgery last year! and we even have the same surgeon... kinda weird and random to meet someone else that has gone through this! She was surprised that i was able to eat all that i was eating without chewing. she mentioned that she just used a blender for the 8 weeks of no chewing. but i just couldnt handle that texture any longer... so i decided that it was worth it to kill my throat with bigger pieces of food. but it is definitely worth it. haha.

hmm... so i kinda was just messing with pictures tonight, and i realized that i have a LOT from my recovery... i guess taking about 5 pictures every day really adds up... it is cool to see the progression of my swelling, since it shows it really going down :) yay for proof!

take care everyone

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 37

i can't bear to skip a day of updating!! i feel bad.... i have been really lucky with the foods i have been served. tons of potatoes and rice and noodles. yay!! so weird to be around people who don't know that i had jaw surgery. well, it comes up whenever we eat, but they all looked surprised when i said i had it recently. yay! that means i must look relatively normal. even though i probably look ridiculous eating... haha. nothing new going on, just feeling better each day:)

hope all is well with all of you guys. 

Day 36 - Pizza!!


well.... i didn't chew pizza... since im not allowed... but! i cut it up into the tiniest pieces ever and swallowed. it definitely took me about 75 minutes and i didnt even finish the whole thing. but it just made my night!! yay for "real" food:)

i also accidentally tugged on of the stitches under my front lip when i was putting my bands on... that stung! it is still in... but ouch. the whole area kinda hurts. so i just took some motrin. not the end of the world

but until i hurt my stitches i hadnt taken ANY medicine for over 24 hours. yay for almost no pain!!

well, off to class. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 35 - Five Weeks!!

Wow. Five weeks. Yay!

At this point, things are pretty darn great :) and this is the first time i can actually say that. All i want to say, is even though the first 3 weeks i thought things would never get better..... they do!! things do get better. i promise! even if i never believed id feel this great at 5 weeks out... yes it took forever.. but i made it. i may even get to chew at 7 weeks out instead of 8!! so we will all just keep our fingers crossed.

i am still working on opening my mouth wider. i have only been able to improve by 2-3 mm in the last couple weeks. but hey, progress is still progress, no matter how small!

Soo... with this engineering camp that i am going to, we get to eat in the dorm cafeteria, and i went to a similar camp last year, and i am worried about the food that i will be able to eat. i think breakfast i will be fine! between eggs, yogurt, and mushy pancakes, i will find something. then as long as they have noodles, potatoes, rice, or baked goods for the other meals i should be fine too! but... just in case.. i am bringing my applesauce packets and some microwavable soups and pastas just in case.

Goodluck to you guys with upcoming surgeries or that are still in early recovery. I will post in a few days when i am back from my engineering camp :p take care to all


Guys...!!! it is midnight, and i havent had any pain medicine since this morning. and for once, i don't think i will need any to help me fall asleep tonight!! You have no clue how thrilled i am :) i mean, the pain wasn't at "0" the entire day, but hey, it is just a soft ache mixed with discomfort. and i can deal with that.... so i am just hoping i can continue taking only a tiny bit of tylenol and motrin now :)

today, my sister told me that she thought my swelling had gone down a lot from yesterday to today! as she hasnt commented on my swelling improving in over a week, i took this as excellent. the rest of my family agreed with her. i think my swelling is pretty much gone as of today:) just a couple small areas... i have spent the last few days with extended family, and they are so happy with how far i have come. and so am i! to think of how miserable i was in the hospital and just overall the first 2-3 weeks. just yay :)

as far as numbness goes it has improved A LOT in the last couple days!! yay. the main place that i have noticed this, is under my eyes. it no longer feels super bruised, but i think i can feel it like 80%! wow. the upper half of my nose feels bruised. and the lower half feels tingly. better than completely numb? probably. the little areas on either side of my nose are tingly too. is all this tingling annoying?? YES. completely. anytime anything touches my face... i just get a weird range of feelings... haha. but i am more hopeful about my numbness going away as of today. so fingers crossed! my top lip still wins the award for most tingles possible.

So, the next few days i will be at an engineering camp (yes, i am a complete nerd. haha). so i am not sure how much i will get around to posting! but ill be sure to update if something major happens. take care all!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 33

I am starting to run low on things to talk about... maybe this is a good thing?? I am back on a "normal" schedule by now. so yay for that i suppose. let's see.... new updates? not sure. well my nose is EXTREMELY itchy. all the time. my biggest fear right  now is that my numbness won't all disappear :( i am scared that ill be stuck with a numb face forever. but i will keep positive. at least some things are tingly now.

oh! today when i was carefully applying sunscreen to my face like i do every time i venture outside (yay for being pale?) i felt the gap in my lower jaw where the bone was pulled forward for the first time! i was too terrified earlier in recovery to even touch that area for fear of increasing the pain... but wow. that was weird. just to feel that huge indent in my bone. very scary! but crazy how eventually thatll be healed completely.

the swelling looks pretty good now! i mean am i puffy still? absolutely.... but at least a stranger probably wouldn't be able to tell i just had jaw surgery. so yay for that!

 maybe ill put together some before/after pictures when im not too busy being lazy! sorry i feel like im slacking on everything... just kinda don't know what to write :P


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 32

So, I saw Despicable Me 2 several days ago. Let me just say it is such a cute movie. definitely both adorable and still super funny! But the main reason that i just had to bring this movie up kinda does relate to my recovery! welll.... loosely.. but still. so at one point in the movie, all of a sudden. a chip and guar hat is show to us. like a hat made out of one huge chip with guacamole in it. I WANT ONE. i moved my top craving (that was hamburger and fries) to chips and salsa. oh what i would do to eat chips again.

see!! that hat has guacamole inside the brim. and you just break off part of the hat to eat. HOW COOL IS THAT??!?! I mean... i guess eventually you either spill salsa or guacamole on yourself. but this is a happy moment. who cares that it may be impractical!

On the plus side.... i made it through yet another day of no chewing. BUT guess what.... tonight for dinner was steak and potatoes. so i decided i was going to choke down steak if it was the last thing i did. So i made my mashed potatoes with extra butter and cut up the steak as tiny as i possibly could, mixed it with the mashed potatoes, and woo! guess who managed to swallow it :) yay.

So... while yesterday i did get the clear to blow my nose... i realized that THIS DOES NOT HELP. my nose still is just constantly runny all day... whoopee..

All of a sudden today, I am pretty sure i can feel a lot more of my face.... woo. I don't know why i all of a sudden discovered it today, since i have been keeping close tabs on my numbness... but hey. not complaining.  i can now feel the top half of my nose, and the bottom half is tingly. i can feel a little more underneath my eyes, they mostly just feel bruised.. and the areas on either side of my nose started to tingle finally!!! i mean is the tingling annoying? yes.... but that means hopefully ill be able to feel them eventually. so fingers crossed.

sorry for the laziness. let me know if i need to write more about something in specifics!