Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 75 - I don't recommend having a cold soon after jaw surgery....

So in the middle of the night i woke up because i couldn't breathe, brought me back to the days right after surgery when my nose was all clogged with dried blood and such.... not fun! and then this morning i realized that i just have a full on cold. my voice is barely audible due to my croup cough and sore throat and my nose is all stuffy and it kinda hurts my face still to blow it. and worst of all i have SO much pressure in my sinuses. on either side of my nose (where i still have partial numbness) it aches so badly and i just feel like my head might explode. it is like a cold on steroids. gah...... just when i was feeling normal i have to go and get sick...!

and don't even get me started on sneezing.... so i have been trying to sneeze out of my mouth more after surgery, but when you have a croup cough that is not the way to go, but it hurts my nose a lot if i attempt to sneeze normally. and ugh

sorry for this rant....

hope things are better for all of you :)

Day 74 - Appt with Surgeon

I had an appointment the other day with my surgeon! It went well. He said everything looks great, that he thinks my swelling will still get noticeable better for another month. He also said to continue eating soft foods and in 2+ weeks i can try things like steak and other harder foods. yay! hope i am able to chew harder things as fast as possible. chewing still feels super weird. because i feel as if i don't have the strength there to bite down all the way.

i have been starting to have more aches in my face in general and i dont know why :( maybe just the continued chewing? or the extra singing and talking with being back at school? or just the stress of everything? im not sure... but it isn't super pleasant.

but anyway, here is a random assortment of pictures from the last several days. i still feel weird looking in the mirror, i guess since i see something slightly different than what i was used to every other day of my life before surgery. but i don't think it is a negative thought, just different is all. i just wish i could see myself how other people at school see me, if they think i look weird or different, cause i bet their perspective is way different than my own.

i chewed my first piece of pizza tonight!! and let me tell you... pizza is extremely amazingly delicious. i guess im gonna go to sleep because i have 5+ hours of show choir choreography tomorrow. hope everything is alright with anyone still reading :) i really appreciate anyone who has made a blog or commented on mine, you guys are simply the best :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 69 - Subtle Changes (before/after)

So, I hope you guys are alright! 

my biggest complaints by now are the sensitivity, numbness, and clicking of my jaw joint.

you know the sensitivity that you feel if you bite into a popsicle? or just when anything too cold touches your teeth? well, that is what it feels like when i brush my teeth with my sonicare toothbrush OR chew hard things. which is extremely annoying. I'm not sure if it is because the numbness on my upper gums may be returning? or? have any of you guys had a lot of sensitivity post-op?

when i chew soft things it is fine, but say i try to chew a cracker, it just sparks uncomfortable sensations in my upper gums and teeth, and some on the lower too. not to mention it feels like it is too much on my jaw, so i am sticking to softer foods. peanut butter and jelly is my "go-to" lunch! but i am probably being too adventurous too fast with food. definitely have chewed hard crackers, pickles, and hard meats. it is challenging and makes my jaw ache... but the food is SO yummy. ill never take food for granted again after this surgery... that is for sure. i also wanted to briefly mention the annoying clicking/popping of my left jaw joint again.. it hasn't gone away :( sometimes it isn't there, but other times it is... and i am just worried itll be there forever :(

overall though everything is great, swelling is mostly gone (on some days i notice that it gets a little worse again, but oh well). today i had some pain in my face, but some days i have none. it is all just up and down by this point in recovery.

hope all is well with you guys :) 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 66 - My Birthday! and some random thoughts.

Happy (real) Birthday to me today i guess :) just had some quick updates about chewing and my jaw (and i REALLY don't want to finish my homework)

So... i got stuck taking PE my senior year, which kinda sucks because id rather be in physics, but that is an entirely different rant. i just wanted to say that a perk of jaw surgery is that it gets you out of playing the "contact sports" or "fun games" in pe class because getting hit in the head with either a basketball or elbow etc, would NOT be very good..... so YAY. i instead get to walk around the track on game days. which is a huge plus. i am NOT coordinated at all and tend to avoid anything with moving objects, which is one reason i found golf. haha. but anyway, this is one good thing that came of surgery!! i get to avoid the stupid parts of pe. yay.

but.... i was running, and it still makes my face feel weird :\ and kinda causes my jaw to ache. maybe itll just get better as the days go on.

i am also struggling to find good snacks/food to eat on the go! it is really hard for me to try to eat any kind of granola bar... but i always used to have a small snack during golf practice or golf tournaments and i just need to go to the store and find some squishy snacks, unless you guys have any good ideas :P

i have also been forced to explain my jaw surgery quite a few times.... i am starting to get pretty good at condensing it :P from telling teachers or other acquaintances who ask about it... idk, kinda weird to talk about it and everything, one thing is for sure though... they definitely all have felt super bad for me for not being able to chew for 8.5 weeks :P

luckily i forget about jaw surgery unless im eating, or thinking about food, or exercising :) i am so glad things are going back to the way they were!

anyway.... just thought id check in, hope all is well with you guys :) positive thoughts,


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 63 - NINE WEEKS. i did it. :)

Guys, i made it to 9 weeks. and things are pretty darn great :) i am doing really wonderful overall and could even describe things as "normal". if you asked me 1-2 weeks out if i thought that was possible i would have said never. but here we are!

So tomorrow i go back to school, hence i won't be writing in this as much. I successfully wrote in this blog every day for the first 9 weeks, and i'd say this is a good time to make it updated less often. which is a good thing! that means i must be doing well :)

swelling- i feel like by the end of the day my swelling worsens a tiny bit from all the talking and chewing that i do. but overall i think it is mostly gone.. still some though. i saw one of my friend's mom the first time since surgery and she commented that she thought i was swollen, but my friend thought it was mostly gone, probably since she has seen me several times since surgery when my swelling is much worse. i guess it all has to do with perspective. but i look very normal, so i am okay with it right now, not too frustrated anymore :)

energy-normal! woo. the only this is that im way out of shape now, i feel pathetic. haha, i mean not that i was "in shape" beforehand... but i even felt kinda tired from walking in golf. oops! normally i work out in the summer.. but it just wasn't gonna happen this year. but oh well.

chewing- i know i have talked quite a bit about this in the last few posts seeing as this is the main thing going on right now in my recovery! i still LOVE food immensely, and things are getting easier and easier to eat, which i am so grateful for. the clicking is still there but not always so we will see how that turns out... so before surgery i almost always had a piece of gum in my mouth, it just felt better to be chewing gum than to have my mouth awkwardly half-closed. and i LOVE chewing gum. but obviously that still isn't an option :( so in preparation for school, i went and bought several containers of tic-tacs, those will have to suffice until gum is an option!

numbness- okay, so this is getting harder and harder to describe... so bear with me. ill place my numbness into categories. the only parts that are completely numb are my upper gums, and the incision areas. everything else i don't count as completely numb because i can tell when i am touching it.

stiffness- this has been kinda annoying throughout recovery and one of my biggest complaints the last few weeks. i mean i can smile fairly easily and talk and make normal facial expressions, but my face just feels stiff and weird! probably partly from the partial numbness still. i assume this will get better

normalcy?- i now quite often will forget that i had jaw surgery during the day until i either have a random ache, or i get hungry and realize that there are only so many things that i can eat. but hey, not a bad thing at all :) it is really nice for surgery to not be consuming my life anymore. it is weird when people ask me how my summer was and i have to make that split decision as to whether i tell them i had jaw surgery etc. i am getting better at explaining it, but it still takes a big of time and idk! i haven't decided who all needs to know about it.

pain- any "pain" is pretty much gone, i have some aches for some parts of the day, but nothing horrible, just kinda uncomfortable. but the times where i feel great is when the pain and discomfort is gone and i forget about surgery.

sensitivity- it still kinda hurts to brush with my sonicare, so i have just been using my regular and/or baby toothbrushes still.

nose- i have had really really bad allergies lately from golf and so i end up sneezing a ton. not good by any means, but not the end of the world. sometimes blowing my nose hurts really bad so i have been trying to be careful with that.

bite opening- i am still working on opening my mouth wider, a hard process that leaves my jaw achy sometimes, but im slowly improving! almost to 30mm need at least 35.


hope all is well with you guys. thank you to anyone who has read my blog or commented, the support has really helped more than anyone can imagine. i hope that this helps someone, but if not, it has been amazing to put all of my thoughts into one place during recovery. on those days where it seems like it wont get better, i can always look back and see how far ive come. which is so great :) take care, until next time.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 62 - Back to Normal...

Tomorrow golf tryouts begins and school starts tuesday. I am really sad my summer has come to an end... but i am glad i made it through jaw surgery :) i was dreading the actual surgery for so long (even though i was so excited and anxious and nervous too) but i managed to survive it and end up having some good days this summer :) now just working on being able to chew more. which is great that this is the least of my worries. anyway, ill write more tomorrow, my last day of summer :(

take care all


June 10th-August 10th

a lot can happen in 2 months. that much i have learned.

today my grandparents came over to celebrate my birthday, we grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and brats. and GUESS WHAT. i had my first hamburger :) what a great way to celebrate 2 months (and my birthday!) i also was able to eat my cookie cake which is just about the best thing ever :)

so while i was able to "eat" a hamburger, i wasn't able to in a traditional way. chewing is such a weird sensation... i have realized that there is a huge difference in being able to "bite" things vs "chew" things.

I went about eating my hamburger just by cutting it up into bite sized pieces and then chewing those slowly, which worked. there is no way that i would have been able to bite into my hamburger, my jaw isn't strong enough yet. luckily i don't have pain though :) i was really worried that it would hurt to chew... but luckily it doesn't!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 60 - I LOVE FOOD

Wow. I don't remember food being this good before surgery :) I AM SO HAPPY GUYS. chewing is the best thing ever. not taking that for granted again.

i had Chipotle last night.. yummmm, and had some scotcheroos today. is chewing weird? yes. but it doesn't hurt and i am grateful for that, although my jaw does ache a bit tonight, i may have overdone it with everything that i ate today.

getting ready for school and golf and robotics and show choir to all start. im gonna go insane with how busy i'll be, so i am savoring my last couple of days. hopefully soon ill be able to forget about jaw surgery for longer periods during the day :)

sorry this is a short post.. i guess i really am just far enough out from surgery to have less and less to say. that is exciting. but ill write a ton on monday for my 9 weeks post. just am kinda lazy tonight :P

take care to all, there is a light at the end of the tunnel :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 59 - well... at least i can chew again!!

YAY. I can chew. long story short.. ahha. but ill back up to my appt.

my surgeon checked to make sure my plates and jaw position wasn't unstable or moving. and said it was all stable and healed super well, so yay for that :) makes me feel better about putting pressure on my jaws by chewing. he then tested me opening and closing my mouth and didn't notice any clicking in my jaw.. so said i should resume eating. he said the clicking isn't anything major as long as it isn't hindering how far i can open my mouth... and with that... he said i need to keep at opening my jaw wider, i am now at 27 mm and need to be at least 35 mm wide. so i am continuing with my exercises with my tongue depressors! haha... he said by my next appt in 2 weeks i need to be at 30 mm. so i better get at it.. i want to be able to open wider too. especially with singing..! show choir started up this week! and im so happy for that, absolutely love show choir... singing and dancing on stage is just too much fun. and we get to sing parts of Phantom.. who doesnt love that theme?! woo :)

hmm... other things, i got back to school on tuesday. so i am going to stop doing daily posts starting monday (at 9 weeks post op). because ill be too busy to post... and also I've started to have less and less to say... which must be a good thing!! :) but trust me, ill still keep this updated, itll be weird not to write in this before i go to bed every night....

also, my birthday is a week from today! so yay for that.

in chewing news... i tried chewing on my way home from the appt (grabbed a cookie from the downstairs cafe at the hospital which was delicious btw) and the clicking was minimal, so hopefully that goes away eventually :( super annoying....

as far as pain goes at this point, some days i feel absolutely no pain. just some discomfort still, but other days, like today, i have some areas that ache. yesterday the left side of my lower jaw ached while today the right side does. it isn't bad enough for me to feel like i need medicine (trying to stay away from all of that, even motrin and tylenol). if it ever gets bad enough ill take medicine, but luckily i can easily manage without it!

until tomorrow,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 58 - Another Before/After

Well guys... nothing new to report today. just here. NOT chewing. just what i wanted :\

But anyway... I had another college visit today that went well :) need to get my stupid essays done for all of these applications... ahh.... major stressing about to happen. but ill just shove that to the back of my mind and pretend that it doesn't exist. as i do with all of my problems. including the fact that my jaw clicks and im not allowed to chew and i need to have a visit with my surgeon tomorrow instead of in about 3 weeks. but la la la la... im ignoring anything negative tonight. i will be in bed reading a book for fun (instead of my summer book for school..oops) haha.

the before was taken on my drive to the hospital the morning of surgery. thought the angles were similar enough to compare. yay for my new profile:) weird how it changed my nose, not bad, just different.

hey, quick random question/comment. so i feel like my face (all throughout recovery) has always swelled up more from the heat. so today for example, on my college tour, it was fairly warm outside and my face just begins to feel wet (weird numbness sensations) and just feels like a puff-ball. i don't know if it makes a huge difference physically to other people, but it sure feels noticeable and uncomfortable to me. anyone else experience this at all...?

fingers crossed for a good appointment tomorrow, hope all is well with you guys :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 57 - :( One step forward, two steps back (not allowed to chew again)

So... I mentioned in my last post how the left side of my jaw was clicking when i ate... so we called my surgeon's office to let them know. They just called back... and said that they don't want me chewing anymore and that my surgeon wants to see me in a couple days. sigh. just when things were getting better.... I don't think i have anything else to say... :(

at least i could barely notice any swelling today. that is a first for me.

as always, take care.

Day 56 - 8 WEEKS!! - i can chew! (well.. kinda)

THE DAY HAS ARRIVED GUYS. as you can tell im pretty happy. best day ever. :)

i can chew. whoopee :)

my day started off with an early 7:30 am appt with my orthodontist. okay, i know i posted a little bit ago about the whole ordeal with rubber bands on the front of my mouth and the communication issues between my surgeon and ortho and their offices... blah. so today i finally got scheduled with my orthodontist. first they pulled out my lower wire. ouch! only to put the same one back in.... :\ did they really have to torture me that extra amount for no reason? they then switched my top wire, and i still have boxes with rubber bands... on the sides... just smaller boxes. i realized they weren't putting bands on the front... which is what my surgeon wanted... so i asked my ortho about this... cause i was concerned and confused. he told me that my front 2 teeth slightly were overlapping one another and so the band on the front would only worsen that. which i guess makes sense.. hopefully my surgeon is okay with this? anyway... so i go back to see my ortho in 4 weeks. all of the nurses/assistants there were all over me again asking how i was, even ones that i barely recognized! so weird (in a good way) and cool that they all know about me and such :) it was very nice of them.

after my early morning appt... (i have been suffering all day from not getting a ton of sleep last night :P better get on a better schedule again, oops!) i walked into my kitchen contemplating whether i wanted an egg or smoothie when suddenly it hit me. i could try something new. i immediately went for the cinnamon-sugar toast. well... i just microwaved it so it would be soft, so actually it would be bread not toast :P and then just put a ton of butter on it. and had my first attempt at chewing! after EIGHT WEEKS of nothing. wow. the first thing i would call it is.. weird. really weird. it feels like hmm.... like i am chewing a piece of rubber. because i feel like my jaw isnt strong enough to bite down completely on everything. just kinda squishes the food down enough to swallow. and it kinda gives me a headache. and my left jaw started clicking/popping which has me super worried..... i hope this goes away :( so i need to start practicing and reteaching myself how to chew! was i expecting it to be hard to chew? yes. was i successful at chewing? only a tiny bit. was it still amazing? YES:)

so, one of my friends texted me since she knew today was the big day. she came and picked me up and we adventured through target. i decided that what i wanted the most today, was potato chips. i figured they would dissolve easy enough to make them manageable to chew. so we picked up 2 bags and just sat and watched a movie and netflix together all afternoon. it was pretty great. :) i basically ate potato chips for both lunch and dinner and am not even ashamed to admit it! ill go back to eating "healthy" stuff tomorrow... today was a special day.

In regards to the whole chewing thing, itll take a while to get anywhere near normal. Today, i started to get sores underneath my top lip and cheeks from rubbing against my braces... whether this is from talking a lot, or the ortho adjustment this morning, or chewing, i have no clue. but it makes it hurt to talk! so hopefuly those heal up quickly. i may be wearing wax tomorrow.

also... i wanted to complain quickly about the numbness still around my incision areas or areas in the back of my mouth still being numb, because now that i can chew, i got food stuck in all sorts of places in my mouth and didnt notice for a while! so annoying... don't know the best way to clean that out besides just brushing my teeth (since im not allowed to use my water pick yet). so ill just be brushing my teeth a lot for a while...

so! since this is a big "8 week" post... ill write more about how i am feeling/doing overall

sleep - i can now sleep on my face without pain, so yay for sleeping curled up in a ball:)

energy - normal! i havent exercised yet mostly because it feels weird on my face to run and/or jump... the pain is slowly going down. but i feel like it would be kinda painful for me. i could tough it out if necessary though!

so this is getting harder and harder to explain. ill start off by saying that i can "feel" everywhere i touch except for my gums on my top teeth. which is pretty great. now.. i have a TON of partial numbness though. the inside of my mouth has the most numbness. areas around the incisions are pretty numb. hmm, so are the insides of my cheeks. my left cheek is way more numb than my right though which is weird. the areas on either side of nose are the most numb on the outside of my face. but idk, it is really hard to tell what is numb and what isnt and what is tingly, idk! just all runs together. ill include in this part this my face is still stiff. smiling is still a tad awkward. and yeah

random stuff now... so... im still working on getting to open my mouth wider, im slowly making progress! im at about 28 mm, and gotta get to 35 mm. hopefully i can! cause it makes singing easier when i can actually open my mouth.

my nose still is annoying... pretty sure i have a deviated septum now :\ so i can almost never breathe out of the left side of my nose... but idk. we'll see what happens in the future...

i am still not taking any medicine for pain, even though sometimes i have it, it isn't bad enough to take medicine normally. yay for that :) i have a lot of headaches though... and just random aches. but oh well. gets better by the day still.

swelling is pretty much gone. some people say they notice it, some don't. not sure what to believe, i feel kinda puffy, but i think this is mostly just from the remaining numbness and stiffness.

anyway, i think i got enough into this post... overall things are great :) hope all is great with anyone still reading this. a big thanks if you are :) this blog has been amazing. much love.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 55 - Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow!

So today i have been humming (and singing of course!) Tomorrow from Annie. because, tomorrow, I GET TO CHEW. hence, i completely love tomorrow. and am excited. if you can't tell.

I am a tiny bit terrified that either A) I wont be able to chew anything... or B) it'll hurt a ton...

but hey, gotta try! i am just so ready to chew. and i know it maybe isn't the biggest deal ever to most people... BUT this is what i have been looking forward to for ages. so fingers crossed that my diet goes back to normal quickly!

Since tomorrow is also 8 weeks ill write up some huge long post about everything i can possibly think of :P so ill quit going on about nothing tonight! hope all is well with you guys :)


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 54 - Patience and Positivity

If there is one thing i have learned throughout this recovery.... it is how vital patience is. I am not the most patient person.... as i'm sure you can all tell by my posts and their complaining nature :P I feel like a lot of things in this recovery revolve around waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting... waiting for swelling to go down... waiting for numbness to disappear... waiting to be able to chew... waiting for normalcy. BUT, I wanted to say things probably aren't as bad as how they may have seemed this whole time!! i have just used this blog mostly to complain. because venting about everything just makes it better. but sometimes i feel like i havent always done a good job of including all of the "good" things in my recovery. overall things are great. i promise!

I don't need to take any medicine for pain, my swelling is pretty much gone, all of my stitches fell out, my numbness gets better by the day, and my energy is normal! sometimes i even forget that i had jaw surgery, well.. until i get hungry and realize i can only eat so many things.. so monday will be the next step for things going back completely to normal! CAN'T WAIT. it is one thing to suck on bread until it is mushy enough to swallow vs. chewing it. food tastes so much better when you can chew. i promise. haha.

plus... i am still loving my profile. yay for no overbite!! or open bite for that matter. I'm obsessed with the fact that when i bite down my teeth all touch! not just my very back right molars.

best of luck to all of you guys going through this whole process as well, take care :)