Final update! 6-7 months PostOp

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Hey guys!
This is such a bittersweet post – it will be my last entry. 😦
I am 6 1/2 months post-op and I’m so happy with the results.
I will post a couple current pictures. Being as it’s past the 6 month mark, the healing is completely done and everything is settled where it’ll stay. There’s also a video below, “My Experience with Double Jaw Surgery”. It is 17 minutes but it’s my whole experience in one video.

Thank you all SO much for all your support. I’m absolutely amazed at how far this blog has reached. I originally made this blog just for close family and friends to stay updated, I never would’ve imagined it would gather 10,000 views and reach 81 different countries! It blows my mind. I hope that I’m able to help a couple people feel more confident about jaw surgery.

DEAR FUTURE JAW SURGERY PATIENTS:
1. If you have any questions or uncertainty about surgery/recovery, please do not hesitate to ask.
2. I’m rooting for you! Anyone that has to get their skull fractured is a true warrior in my eyes.
3. Try to keep your nerves down. Don’t worry, you can do it!
4. Jaw Surgery is an exciting thing. New face, new smile, new confidence.
5. Don’t be surprised if you have sore cheeks from all the smiling you’ll be doing. Let that face radiate!

I will still be checking this blog 10 years from now, so all comments/questions will still be read.

“Smile! Happy looks good on you. :)”
Thanks again!!!
Xoxo
-Alyssa

P.S. i’m on social media, if you wanna come say hey or see updated pictures of me, feel free!
Instagram: alyssaaa6
Twitter: alyssaaa6

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Want more jaw surgery experiences??-
*Special shoutout to my amazing friend, Alaina, that got upper jaw surgery in December 2013. She found one of my posts on twitter relating my surgery, back when I was in the early stage of my recovery. One of the coolest experiences was having the ability to encourage and prep her for her surgery. Being able to calm her nerves and see first hand a change in her attitude about getting it done was a really special experience that I’m thankful for. I encouraged her to make a blog, as well, and you are welcome to check out her progress! Her blog is:
http://www.jawsurgerylife.wordpress.com

*Amanda also had a successful surgery so if you’d like another review, feel free to snapchat her. She’s super nice! Her snapchat username is @mangraloid

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My amazing jaw surgeon.

I had a checkup with my surgeon. Not much to update on, she was happy that I was doing great! She said she got an update from my orthodontist about him trying to tweak things a bit (and that it’s nice that he’s working so patiently to get things perfect for me). She complimented my smile numerous times and told me that I’ve had a long journey, but it’ll all be worth it.

I asked her if this was my last appt and she said that it could be, as long as I’m not having any problems. I told her that it was sad that I wouldn’t be able to see her anymore, and she said I could come visit her anytime. Well, I ended up walking away with another appt scheduled lol. I’ll be seeing her February 11 which HOPEFULLY by then I’ll have all the band-holders off.

You guys can finally put a face to a name now:
My surgeon- Dr. Pamela Hughes
Call me crazy if you want, but she’s one of my favorite people in this world. She changed my life and restored my confidence. I can say now, that I’m absolutely happy that I got denied by those 2 others surgeons (before I found her). In my mind – at the time of the denials – those were “steps backwards”, but looking at the bigger picture, they were just “steps closer” to finding her. I thank God for those denials now. She’s been a phenomenal surgeon, friend, supporter, and encourager. She’s always had the confidence and reassurance that I needed to see. Though, the insurance didn’t want to pay for my surgery at first, she fought so hard for me to get this surgery paid for. There’s no words to fully express how thankful I am for her and everything she’s done.

Dr. Hughes and I 🙂
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Dr.Brown (surgeon assistant), Dr.Hughes, and I. 🙂 🙂 (my two favs)

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Days of next appts:
January 27 – Ortho
February 11- Surgeon

Day 122 – X-Ray, Ortho Appt, and Thanksgiving

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Hey guys!

I have a couple updates-

1. Yesterday, it was ‘one year’ since my 1st consultation with my surgeon. 🙂 I remember how persistent I was trying to get the surgery before 2013 came. That didn’t happen lol. It was worth the wait though!

2. Tomorrow will be 4 months since my surgery!!! 👍 how time flies.

3. Yesterday I had an ortho appt, it went pretty well. I finally got my “after” pictures and X-rays taken! It was crazy to think about, it was 3 YEARS ago (November 2010) that I had my 1st consultation at my ortho when I had my “before” pictures/X-rays taken. November is a memorable month. 🙂

I didn’t get my band-holders off this time either. The good thing is that my ortho noticed that my teeth ARE moving (in a good way)! The overjet is getting smaller. He wants to see what things look like in 2 more months. I’m happy that he’s working with me and aiming for perfection. Even though I get excited about “possibly” getting the band holders off, only to be let down…. they’re on for a good reason!

January 27, 2014 is my next ortho appt.

Next Tuesday I see my surgeon for a final checkup. (It’ll be my last appt, unless she adds another one after it)

Alright, so here is the X-ray. Before and After. The quality of the “after” came out really bad when they printed it. I was excited to show you guys so I decided to post it anyways. They’re gonna be sending me a better copy. (Once I get it, I’ll post it in the “X-rays” tab at the top of the page!)
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Some things I would like to draw your attention to in this next picture:
1. My throat/airway is more wide now.
2. My teeth line up.
3. My overjet is smaller. (This is what my ortho is trying to fix further. The distance between my top and lower teeth will hopefully come even closer together.)
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Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!!!!!
I’m “thankful” for each and every one of you! Thank you all so much for your support of my blog! I can’t believe how far it’s reached! The views are the reason that I take time to write these posts. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
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Day 101 – Cost of Surgery, Healing Jaw, and Current Updates

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Hello everyone!
Somehow, it’s been 101 days since my surgery. WOAH!

I apologize to the people that have been coming to my blog, only to find no update!! I’ve been so busy!

Last week (Tuesday) I had an ortho appt. and was entirely excited because I was expecting to get my last band-holders off and they were going to take my “After” picture. Well, that didn’t happen. I’m not done… yet.

Now to explain it to you guys…
When I had my splint in right after surgery, it basically served as a guide for my bite.
To refresh your memory,
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Long story short- my jaws did NOT heal in that position. My “normal/natural” bite is positioned in a way that I have a small overbite still. My ortho thinks that my jaws “slipped” a little since the surgery. (Not exactly what I wanted to hear.) I’m still able to push my lower jaw forward to my “splint bite” but it doesn’t feel normal. As for measurements, my splint bite sits at 2mm. My “natural” bite sits at 4mm overjet. To give you an idea, here’s a picture.
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It’s not a huge difference and not nearly as bad as my 10mm overjet that I had before surgery. My ortho said that it’s more than what he’d like to see though. Also, he said that I would have to go for surgery again, to get it back in place if I wanted it perfect. WOMP WOMP! 😦 He said he’s going to try and fix it the best he can. In hopes of trying to fix it, my bottom band-holders were removed from my 2nd molars, and new ones were placed on my very last molars. He left the upper band-holders where they were. I got thicker/stronger rubberbands, and I can definitely feel the pressure when I wear them. It’s serving the purpose to pull my lower teeth forward, and my upper teeth backward. And we’re talking about the ENTIRE arch of my teeth will be moving. I’m wearing the rubberbands all the time. When the bands are in, it pulls my jaw forward to the splint bite, and its not possible for my jaw to slide back. So… THATS GOOD 🙂

My thoughts?
I’m still very happy with the results; it’s still a huge improvement from before surgery. The chances of my teeth moving from these rubberbands are very good. They are so tight, but at this point, I want them to be tight! I’m supposed to see my surgeon for a final checkup, after I get the band-holders off my teeth. I’ll let you know right now, that if she says that she wants to do surgery again to reposition (if the rubberbands don’t fix it) I would absolutely be up for it. Crossing my fingers that I don’t have to, but… we’ll see!

Other updates:
**I can eat anything my heart desires now. I’m able to bite carrots, that was the ultimate test! haha
**Remember how my upper gums were completely numb? I’m slowly getting feeling back!! They’re about 50% numb now. It can take up to 6 months until I get full feeling back.
(They typically say that what things are like at 6 months post-op, that’s what you’ll have for the rest of your life. So I still have time!)
**My next ortho appt is November 27
**My surgeon appt is planned for December 3

COST OF SURGERY:
I had to ask for an itemized bill, and my jaw dropped when I saw the numbers!
The surgery totaled: $31,337.66 !!!!!!!!!!!!
How much did Insurance pay? – $31,337.66 !!!!!!!
To give you an idea of small things:
Cost of the drill bit that they used to drill the screws in – $323.00
Cost of the jawbra that wrapped around my head to keep ice on it – $48.13
Cost of the plug things that they stuffed up my nose after surgery – $72.50 for each nasal
Cost of the plates and screws, totaling – $7,500

It’s mind blowing to me. The average that I’ve read is $20k for the surgery!

But anyways… that’s the current update. I still plan to make a video of “What to expect when going for Jaw Surgery” (for future patients) and maybe another video of my experience and my thoughts. I was an avid video watcher before my surgery, they can be helpful to people that don’t want to read every blog entry of mine. I tend to talk a lot haha

I can’t help but laugh at this picture… it’s hilarious! 😀 This is 2 days after surgery. LOOK AT MY FAT CHEEKS!!! LOL
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A lot has changed since then…
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Day 58 – Ortho appt. ~ Nearing the end! :D

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I had my ortho appt yesterday and I have a couple things to update you guys with!

1. My ortho was happy/proud of my teeth and where they’ve come. It made me that much more relieved that what I was doing with the rubberbands, affected it positively. Woohoo!

2. I got 8 of the band holders removed! I have 4 left. The ones that are left aren’t what I was expecting. (Picture to follow)

3. I got another different type of rubberband. I already gave up on them because they’re too fat for the band holders and they slip off easily. I went back to my trusty old ones.

4. As I was making my next appt, I was having a conversation with two of the employees. One of them being the lady that was assisting with my first consultation (Nov. 2010 for Invisalign). She said to me “I remember when you came in that first day, and you didn’t smile because you were so self conscious. Now look at you, you can’t stop smiling.” Crazy to think that it’s been 3 years, and she still remembers that.

5. My ortho said the next time I go in, (Oct 30) I will get my “After” picture taken…. AND if all goes well, the rest of my band holders will be coming off!!!!!! I had to pinch myself! In just a short time, I’ll be completely done with all this hard work with my smile.

After I get the band holders off, I have to make a final appointment with my surgeon!

Can I show you how unbelievable my retainers look right now? They cut off the back part of the retainers to -somehow- allow my back teeth to continue to come together. They fit together pretty well right now though, just some minor tweaks. I’m trusting my ortho’s expertise on this one.
They’re so tiny and cute! Lol
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Here’s a picture that shows which band holders are left. (I have my retainers in too.) I do see why those ones are there… there’s still gaps that need to be filled in those areas.
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This is to show you the sizes of the different rubberbands I’ve had: (the middle and right fit the best)
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Day 53 – Another day closer!!

One day closer to being fully recovered!! I apologize for the lack of posts lately, not a whole lot has been happening!

Hope you all have been doing well!!!

Here are a couple updates:
1. I have become my own orthodontist lately. As my jaw continues to heal, my bite has still been shifting a lot. I’ve had to adjust my rubber-bands according to my needs, whether its my lower jaw swinging to the side or wanting to slide back. Those are just as important as the rubber-bands needing to pull my molars together. Sometimes I have 6 bands in my mouth! Also, I’m supposed to be wearing thinner rubber-bands, but I’ve been wearing thicker ones that I got from a previous time. The thicker ones actually feel like they’re getting the job done, unlike the other ones.

2. The bump in my lower gum is still there. Its still the same size.

3. I can now open my mouth further than 2 fingers; A good estimation would be 2 fingers and 3mm! Keep in mind, I have rubber-bands in my mouth 99% of the time, my jaw is constantly restricted. I haven’t been exercising it, so it makes me even more thankful that there’s constant improvement anyways. 🙂

4. I still have no feeling in my upper gums. Everything else is feeling pretty normal. In all areas of my face, 95-100% of the feeling is back!

5. My swelling visually is looking great. The only way that I can tell that there’s still some present, is by pressing beside my nose or my cheeks.

6. I have an orthodontist appt on Tuesday.

That’s about it! Time for pictures… AND A POLL!!!!

Care to share your thoughts?! It’ll take 2 seconds. 🙂


^^^ I found out that we can do polls on this blog! I thought it’d be kinda fun for viewers to interact! Don’t be shy 🙂

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Look at the gaps closing up between my molars!!!! Yessss!!! Getting closer!!
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Day 42 – (6 week update!) – Pictures Galore

Every time I begin a blog post, my mind immediately goes back to the time in the hospital after the surgery. It’s been 6 weeks already. Can you guys believe it? Seems like it should only be week 3! I feel so grateful about every milestone I accomplish. Recovery is continuing to be great and speedy!

My jaw joint has less pain now, its gradually getting better! I’m trying to strengthen it any way that I can. I’m able to partially lay on the right side of my face without the discomfort. Today I did a test, I tried to lay on the sides of my face (on the carpet)… it was not successful. I find myself trying new things, just to be able to work towards reaching a goal, if I’m not able to do something.

Eating/chewing: I’ve been chewing a lot of foods lately. It feels so weird, but I love having the power to eat more “whole” things, rather than ground up!

Here are some pics:
Guess what I can do!!!! LOL
Finally, I can open 2 fingers wide! Such an accomplishment!
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In my last post that I saw my surgeon, I asked about a bump in my mouth. At the time there was only one bump, which was the one closer to the front. She thought it was the edge of the plate. There’s another bump now, and I’m almost wondering if the whole plate came undone! I am so confused. It’d be nice to know what the plates look like in real life, the X-ray isn’t very proportionate and its hard to tell. What are your guys’ thoughts? Do you think it’s the plates? Or maybe its a buildup of scar tissue?20130909-232044.jpg

This one is the update on my (L) swelling, which is nearly gone… and (R) the incision lines that still hurt if I bump them. Especially my nose.
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New side profiles:
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Smiling side profiles:
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Now that my incisions are all healed, this is what I’m left with! They healed great!
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Update on the gaps: my molars have been sore lately, which soreness is good. Soreness is a sign that my teeth are moving! We can watch the progress.
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And a normal pic!
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Day 37 – 3rd Surgeon Appt

Recap of my surgeon appt yesterday!

I got my questions answered that I had been wanting to ask.

My jaw joint (as you could have guessed) has been sore and still causing some discomfort. When I open my mouth, I always feel tightness when I get to the last couple of millimeters before its closed. The surgeon said that its because my muscles still have to be trained with the new position of the jaw. She said that its also because of my molars not touching. Once my teeth have contact it’ll be easier for my jaw (and muscles) to adjust.

I have a little bump on the inside of my mouth, by my lower molars. I thought it was a screw coming undone, but according to the X-rays, the screws would be located lower. I showed that to my surgeon and she wasn’t 100% positive, she’s thinking its the corner of one of the plates.

The numbness in my upper gums will last awhile. She said that its normal and it takes awhile for the nerves to circulate blood flow through the scar tissue.

I asked about the flexibility of my mouth, and she said that I can start pushing on my jaws to make them open more. That scares me. i gotta do what i gotta do! I’ll see how it goes…

I got the go-ahead to start chewing ANYTHING I want. That’s probably why my jaw joint has been hurting too…. Ive been chewing soft foods, so that’s been exercising my jaw. I GOT IT. You know if you went to the gym and worked out, you’d be sore. Same situation with my jaw, it needs a workout…. So it’ll be sore, but after the muscles get stronger, the pain will subside.

That’s about it for that appt!

I have one last appt that ill have to schedule after my band holders come off my teeth. She said that it’ll be my FINAL appt. I’m actually kinda depressed that i only have one more time of seeing my surgeon! She’s a big deal to me, she changed my life. I don’t know how ill say bye….

Would it be weird to go out for dinner with her sometime?! Lol. Just kidding….

1 month!! + Look At My Transformation Age 11-23!

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In honor of my one month since the surgery, I’m going to share with you all, the transformation of my smile throughout the years. One of my favorite things to do lately is look through pictures and sit in disbelief at how much its changed. I’m finally at a point where I’m happy with my smile. You guys won’t believe some of these pictures.

It only makes sense to start at the beginning-

5th grade – 11 years old:
Theres no denying it, my teeth were out of control.
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At 15 years old, I got my braces. This picture was when I was 16, after I got my braces off:
Straight teeth! (But no retainer and I didn’t think my teeth would move! Boy, was I wrong.)
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By 20, my teeth were— not straight anymore.
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At age 20, I decided to get Invisalign. My overbite was getting worse. My teeth were getting more spaced and more crooked. At the time that I saw my ortho, he told me that my overbite would not be fixed 100% with Invisalign. Jaw Surgery would be needed.
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Age 21: After Invisalign. Straight teeth and wider teeth arch.
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Age 22 – 3 months before surgery.
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And now, here we are. Age 23. One month, post-op Double Jaw Surgery.
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I’m finally at a point that I’m satisfied. Completely 100% satisfied. For anyone that wants to know…. I’m really happy with the results. This is exactly what I had hoped for and I don’t regret anything. The initial pain after surgery and the healing discomfort were absolutely worth it to me. As for the plugs that they had to stick up my nose after surgery, getting them pulled out was probably the worst part of this entire month. Seriously! I don’t wish it upon anyone.

A lot of people take things for granted. Be grateful if you have straight teeth, or a perfect bite, or if you’re able to close your mouth properly. I am just now realizing what it’s like to be able to experience all 3 of those things together. I finally know what it feels like to have “normal” teeth. It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve never been truly happy with my smile until now. I’ve always struggled with knowing that God purposely designed my teeth like that. I didn’t know why would He make me deal with the deformity. He wanted me to have that mouth for a reason. He knows about all the times that I got bullied and made fun of – because of my teeth. He knows about all the times people would stare at my mouth. He knows about all the times I was in tears because I was hopeless. Even though (at times) my teeth were straight, I still hated my overbite and gummy smile. I always hated that aspect. Dealing with the negative comments have impacted my self esteem and confidence greatly. Its never fun to be judged about your appearance. I had no idea that jaw surgery was even an option until my orthodontist told me. In the year that i had Invisalign, every time that I’d see my ortho he’d mention the jaw surgery. What were my thoughts? “Yeah, that’s not happening, thanks though.” I did not want surgery. I was scared beyond belief. The sound of getting my jaw fractured did not sound appealing to me. I was starting to dislike going for my appts because I knew that surgery would get brought up again. Towards the end of my Invisalign treatment, I feel like something casted over me and told me that I should consider it. I was still really scared. Getting the jaw surgery, the thought of disrespecting God and changing my face was unsettling for me. However, having everything eventually fall into place, I feel like this was His gift to me. If it truly wasn’t meant to be, it wouldn’t have happened. He wanted me to get this, and I’ve been so blessed to have a fast recovery.

I’ve been getting positive feedback from people around me and it brings me great joy to hear it. It’s made this past month so much easier. I don’t think you all understand just how much it means to me! I’ve been so lucky to have the support! I’ve heard of people going through a depression state for the first few weeks and I can attest to it. It affects you mentally and emotionally. From my experience, recovery is what you make it. A positive outlook gave me a positive recovery. Yes, my teeth still need a few adjustments. Yes, I can’t feel my upper gums. Yes, I still get pain in my jaw joint. If I mention some type of pain or discomfort that I’m dealing with, I’m welcoming it with open arms. Going through this pain has lead me to a huge gain. It could be so much worse. My overbite and gummy smile are fixed and that’s the only thing I asked for…

I never thought I’d be able to say it, but — I really love my smile. I will never take it for granted.

Day 29 – 2nd Ortho Appt

Today I had another orthodontist appt.

I was really excited about it because as I said in my last post, my jaw had been wanting to swing to the side. I added one rubber-band which seemed to help for the time being… but it didn’t last. I ended up adding another one (on the other side of my mouth) which crossed over the rubber-band on that side. That did the trick. It kept it straight and it pulled my jaw where it needed to be.

So, when I went to my appt I told my ortho that I had 2 extra rubber-bands in because my jaw is wanting to shift so much. He told me that he could hire me and I could be an orthodontist myself! He said I was very perceptive!

At my appt, they took the old glue off from the bracket that fell off in surgery and put a new one on. They’re now using that hook to make a “triangle” form with the rubberbands. (So far, my jaw hasn’t been going to the side.)
Also, notice: In one of my other posts, I talked about my molars not touching. This picture shows what I mean. With the triangle form, my ortho wants to focus on closing those gaps. I’m just glad that its the back teeth that need to be pulled down, rather than the front ones.
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In other news:
My jaw bone on the right side has been bothersome. It’s the same spot that I was having those ear/jaw joint pains awhile back. I noticed that its actually a bump (the bone), comparing it to the left side. When I push on it, it hurts! I can’t sleep on that side anymore. I see my surgeon next Tuesday, so I’ll be asking her about that. Other than that, no pain elsewhere!
Here’s a picture that shows where that is:
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Swelling- I still have some noticeable swelling, which is expected to stick around for awhile. I’m wanting it to go away so I can see if I can feel the screws under my skin! Haha. But more importantly, I want the swelling to subside because being fully recovered is something I’m REALLY looking forward to! 🙂

Numbness- The numbness is getting much better! My chin was the most numb last time I updated, its now maybe 30% numb. Still a little numb in my cheeks and nose. The numbness in my mouth is getting better too, except my upper gums. I still have no feeling in my upper gums. (Another thing I’ll ask my surgeon)

I noticed this morning, my lips have a slight tint of blue coloring in the spots that are more numb. So weird!

All the incisions still feel tight in my mouth. Not much flexibility in the upper lip.

As for opening my mouth, I still cant open wide enough for two fingers yet. For anyone wanting to be technical, I can open my mouth 19mm (almost 2cm)! I don’t know if that’s normal, considering its been 29 days. (I’ll ask my surgeon about that too!) Thats a main thing that I’d like to see improvement on right now.

As for eating, same as before, I can eat most anything. I’m able to start chewing soft foods now, but my molars aren’t allowing! I can somewhat chew with my front teeth very carefully. It works for now! As long as I’m able to eat basically anything, I’m not too worried. My teeth will come together eventually.
This is an example of how I eat things that don’t seem possible:
Turkey sandwich?? No problem! Get some bread and turkey with some cheese and mayo, add a little milk… and boom!
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I’d still be on mashed potatoes and protein shakes if it wasn’t for our bullet blender! Thank you God!

Thursday is the “Big” ONE MONTH since the surgery!
That might be another long blog. Just a heads up! 😉

Day 25 – New firsts!

I’ve had a few “firsts” since the surgery-

I drank out of a straw. It was so strange. I had to ask if my lips looked normal because it definitely didn’t feel like it lol. It was a success though!

I had to blow out a candle… and WOW. My air flow direction is completely different. It took me about 5 times to put out that flame! Before when I had my overbite, the air came out at a downward angle. Now the air comes out straight. Something to get used to!

I tried to whistle since the surgery… fail. There is no sound whatsoever. I’ll have to relearn!

I have ZERO stitches left in my mouth! I had 2 left in the top, and I pulled on them to see how loose they’d be… both would’ve fell out if I would’ve rinsed my mouth!

My jaw had been wanting to slide back further than what it should be. That’s the only position my jaws had known. I started to deliberately pushing my lower jaw forward to train it. All is well with that. But now my jaw wants to swing to the side! It’s really testing me haha. It’s only off by 2mm or so, but . I put in an extra rubber-band to keep it tighter. It does seem to help. I’ll be seeing my ortho on Tuesday, maybe he’ll have a tip for me. I’m wondering if its because one side of my face is healing faster than the other, so it’s getting pulled by the muscles? I’m not sure.

I’m off to college on Monday, hoping my energy can last through my classes!

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Time for a “before and…. not quite ‘after’ but getting there” picture-
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Video

Day 21 – VIDEO: Tips & Tricks for Recovery

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ITS BEEN 3 WEEKS SINCE MY SURGERY!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot believe it!! It seems so surreal. Just thinking about what I was doing exactly 3 weeks ago. At 10pm, I was laying in my hospital bed… still kinda out of it… annoyed with the plugs in my nostrils… very tired… missing my mom and sis-in-law that left a couple hours previously… and so thankful for the awesome nurse that I had taking care of me! Some things will never leave my mind.

I made another video. This time, I’m showing you things that have made my jaw surgery recovery a little easier to deal with! When you have surgery you learn tricks that work, and I wanted to share it with you all. This may be helpful to anyone that plans to get surgery in the future, too! 🙂

P.S. I made this video last night, so that’s why I say “Day 20”, but I was having technical difficulties uploading it.

Happy 3 weeks to my new smile/face! 🙂

Day 20 – I love improvement.

It’s been a few days! Time is flying.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

It’s now Day 20, and everyday is still better than the day before.

My stitches have been falling out left and right. There’s 4 left in the bottom, and I’d guess I started out with 14. As for the top jaw, from what I can see, there’s 7 still in there. I had at least 20 in the top.

I’ve noticed more signs of healing! They’re uncomfortable but I can deal. It won’t last forever!
*My front top teeth have been pretty sensitive. It feels like an ice cube is pressed against them.
*My cheeks have been tingling a lot.
*The corners of my lips have a burning/itching sensation.

I’ve found ways to eat almost anything now. I’ve put pork chops in the grinder, DELICIOUS. Hamburger ground up, mixed with some ketchup and pickle juice… pretty close to the real deal. 🙂 As long as food isn’t scratchy, I can swallow almost anything. I’ve gotten tired of cutting things up so small, so its always a test to see how big i can leave something to swallow it! My taste buds are getting better, things are starting to taste a little more normal. Its getting there!

I’m going to need some teeth adjustments after things heal. My orthodontist told me he’d need to tweak things, I think he was thinking that he’d be able to adjust things with my retainers but i think it might be more than that. My front teeth touch, but back by my molars, my teeth don’t touch. I knew that I’d be dealing with this, it’s just the way my teeth are set up. I trust my ortho though, everything will get straightened out!

I stopped taking my pain meds a couple days ago. I figured I’d try and see how it is without it and its going well. 🙂 I get spurts of minor discomfort, but it doesn’t last long.

My nose draining is getting frustrating, but its something that I’ll have to get used to. It seems to run every time I eat and at other random times.

The numbness continues to get better. My cheeks seem to be recovering the fastest. My chin seems to be the most numb now.
-Cheeks 20% numb
-Nose 40% numb
-Chin 50% numb
-Lips 3% numb

*Inside Mouth*
-Roof of mouth 75% numb
-Lower gums 95% numb
-Upper gums 100% numb (Something that I’ll have to check with my surgeon about)

My energy is improving. At times I still have to sit down if I start to get lightheaded. That’s one thing that I have to keep reminding myself… it was a quite invasive surgery, and it’ll take time to be 100%.

Side Profile- smiling
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Day 15 – 2nd Surgeon Appt

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I just have to say… anytime I look at pictures of me before the surgery, I feel like it was a completely different life. How did I not notice how extreme it was? It looks so different than what it is now. I’m slowly getting used to the new bite, that I’m actually having a hard time remembering what my old bite felt like. I guess if you never take a chance, you’ll never know how big of an impact something can be. Change can be good, and in this case… it’s good. 🙂

Today I saw my surgeon for the 2nd time since my surgery. She was her normal awesome self. 🙂 Her energy and smile are so contagious. It’s only been 5 days since I saw her last, but it feels longer than that because a lot has changed in those days.

Recap of my appt today:
(My appts only take about 15 minutes.)
First, the main surgeons assistant came in to check everything out. (Side note: I met him a couple times before surgery and a few times in the hospital after surgery. Not that anyone would care, but he is one gorgeous individual 😉 HAHA. I’m sure he has a beautiful wife at home, but just noticing.) Okay, back on track…. He was really happy with the progress. He looked at the stitches and healing inside my mouth and said that I’m keeping it really clean. That’s been one thing that I’ve been worrying about, so that was good to hear. I took my retainers out so he was able to see my bite better and he complimented that I could take them out like a pro. Lol. He checked the numbness on my face and made sure that my teeth, nose, and eyes made a straight vertical line (there’s a proper term for it). That was good though.
Then, my surgeon came in! She asked how everything was, I told her I was doing great. My energy has improved a lot since last Thursday, and she was happy with the new changes that my orthodontist did yesterday. She told me to smile, and looked my bite. She checked the same “vertical” line. She’s impressed with the recovery so far, and complimented that I “make things look so easy.” It made me feel like I’m doing better than the average patient that she’s had. (Not to sound conceited.) I think I’m just recovering at a fast rate, so that made me happy. My diet will remain the same for 2 more weeks. When I’m one month post-op I’ll be able to start to gradually chew. I told her that 3 stitches fell out and theres probably more that I’ve swallowed, and she goes “ah that’s alright! It’s extra fiber!” LOL

Questions that I asked my surgeon this time:
After my stitches are gone and the incisions heal, will my upper lip get thinner?
Answer: Yes it will, there’s still swelling in there too.

How long will my nose continue to drain?
Answer: it’ll take awhile! It could take a month or two. Not only do you have drainage from your nasal cavity, but its also your sinus’ healing and draining.

My throat has been pretty sore.
Answer: It could be from the breathing tube.
Me: still? 2 weeks after??
Her: Yeah, it’s common for it to be sore.

With me still being numb in my face, is there a good chance that it’ll come back completely eventually?
Answer: (surgeon and the assistant said in sync) Yes, for sure.

I asked her where she cut the bone, and where the plates and screws are exactly. I marked this picture to show you all. The blue represents the plates. The red line is where the initial bone was cut and then 6mm was shaved above that, to raise my upper jaw further up.
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That about sums up my appt! My next appt with my surgeon is 3 weeks from now.

I’ve been starting to brush my teeth with toothpaste now! It’s insane how potent a small amount of toothpaste feels on my teeth though. They’re so sensitive, but yet so numb. Not sure how that works. Brushing with numb teeth/gums/jaws feels incredibly weird. Imagine if you brushed someone else’s teeth…. you can see what you’re doing, but you can’t feel it (because its not your mouth). That’s what it feels like right now. I’m doing the actions, but can’t feel the brush effect. Until I’m able to do a better job at brushing, the prescription mouthwash that I got, does a great job. It’s SO strong… almost too strong, but my mouth feels clean afterwards!

My surgeon mentioned it, but I’ve noticed it too… I do feel like I’m recovering really fast, and I know for a fact that its because all the positive thoughts and prayers from all of you guys!! I thank you so very much for your continued support and love!

My smile continues to change everyday!

Side profile right now:
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This is my biggest smile that’s physically possible currently!:
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Day 10 – 1st Post-Op Surgeon Appt + X-RAY

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Today I had my first post-op appt with my surgeon, and everything went great. I was so excited to see her and be able to get answers to my questions!

When I got called from the waiting room, the assistant directed me to the room and said “you can go in here!” As I was about to go in the room, my surgeon was going to meet me at the door, but instead we almost ran into each other. My first instinct was to hug her and she wasn’t expecting it lol. She was like “Oh my gosh! what a nice surprise!! Thank you! We’re starting out the appointment on a great note!” I’m so grateful for the work she’s done, she changed my life. 🙂 As you can tell, she’s a very sweet and nice person.

Anyways, she looked at my bite and was really happy with it. There was one problem, and it was because I could not stop smiling 😀 … but she loved it. Everything was healing great. She looked at my side profile and got really excited about it, and asked if I saw it already. I look at it everyday! I’m just anxious for the swelling to go down. She looked in my mouth and said everything looked great.

Questions that I asked my surgeon—-

The band holder missing from on my molar, did it fall off in surgery?
Answer: Yes!
(I’m guessing my ortho will put a new one on. No big deal.)

How can I clean my mouth better, besides salt water rinses?
Answer: Prescribed Chlorhexidine.
(It’s a medicated mouthwash that I can use twice a day.)

There’s something in my left nostril, and it bleeds every time I try to get it out.
Answer: It could be part of your skin. I had to cut in your nose and sinus, and had to put stitches in to hold it together. The nasal spray will help to break it up.

Are the stitches in my upper lip normal? (Because I haven’t ever read about it before)
Answer: Yep!

I go to sleep on my back, but sometimes I wake up on my side, does it affect my jaw to lay on it?
Answer: No, it won’t hurt it. You might notice more swelling on that side when you wake up, but it won’t move anything.

How much did you move my jaws?
Answer: Upper jaw was moved up 6mm, and lower jaw was moved forward 9mm.

I was shocked that she didn’t move my upper jaw back. That’s news to me! It’s insane how far she had to move everything though. In case someone is reading my blog for the first time, a normal bite is 2mm. Your top teeth are supposed to overlap your lower teeth by 2 mm. My overbite before surgery was 10mm.

If you’re doing the math and you’re thinking, “if your bite was 10mm, why wouldn’t they bring the lower jaw forward 8mm instead?” Well, If you think about it, if my upper jaw is being raised 6mm, my lower jaw would be able to “swing” up further. I’m assuming at the new position the bite was 3mm, so they added the extra mm.

She talked about taking my splint out next week after I see my orthodontist!! So, I have another appt to see my surgeon on Tuesday for that!

Other updates:
Bruising- it’s going away!
Numbness- I’m gaining feeling back everyday. Still numb everywhere though.
Swelling- I still have some in my cheeks and the sides of my nose, but that’s going down too!
Pain- I still get pain. I can tell every time when the meds are wearing off.
Energy- there’s a small improvement, but I still get wiped out and tired easily.
Appetite- I’ve been able to eat a little more. I’m not losing anymore weight, I’m steady now.

Today!
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The arrows are the plates and screws in my jaws. You can click on the picture to get a better view.
The top jaw has 2 “L” shaped plates, as well as 2 straight ones. The lower jaw has 2 larger plates.
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Day 8- Stitches and Ice Cream

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Today I was brave and was looking all over in my mouth. I can see almost all the stitches now. The top jaw towards the back is still pretty tender, so I have yet to see how that looks. Everything else looks pretty good.

As I was rinsing my mouth after eating today, one of my stitches came out. I thought that it’d be one of them in my upper lip. I paused for a second, and the pain indicated exactly where it came from. It ended up being a stitch that was further in my upper lip… one of them along the major incision line. It’s just red and a little sore now.

I tested my energy today by walking in a store. I wanted more protein drinks, a variety of ice creams (YUMMMM), and my pain med refilled. A couple times I felt lightheaded and had to squat down to take a few breaths. The short trip wiped me out! Unbelievable.

I also just noticed that one of my “hooks” that was on one of molars is gone!! Either the surgeon bumped it off in surgery or else I swallowed it. Woops.

I’ve been making a list of questions to ask my surgeon.
As I said in my last post, I have an appt on Thursday to see her. I’ll be getting X-rays done that day, as well! I’m excited about those!
Next Monday, I have an appt to see my orthodontist.

Now that I can smile, you can’t accurately tell how swollen I still am, so this shows the swelling.
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ONE WEEK! So grateful. :)

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I can’t believe its been one week already!

I didn’t post an update yesterday because there wasn’t much to say. I will post updates for each day in this post.

Yesterday’s happenings: (Sunday- DAY 6)
1. I sat in a chair outside for 7 hours. Got some much needed fresh air!
2. I cleaned out my right nostril REALLY good. Sorry if that’s TMI, but dealing with congestion problems have been frustrating. It felt good to breathe 100% through it. My left nostril, well, it wasn’t as successful… it still bleeds. I’ve had a humidifier on the entire time in our living room to help keep the air from getting so dry.
3. I had my first mashed potatoes!
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ONE WEEK- Day 7 (Monday)

I’ve been starting to get pain in my mouth. Anytime that I rinse with the salt water, even the pressure of the water moving around in my mouth hurts. I found a diagram to show you where the pain is. This is the exact surgery that I got on my lower jaw. The arrows indicate where I’m having problems. It’s on both sides, in that area. It feels as if I got my wisdom teeth out.
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I am still having the healing/tightness pain in my cheek bones (jaw joint). It still gives me ear aches. I forgot to mention it, but the past few days, my lower jaw randomly spazzes/twitches/jerks too. It comes out of nowhere and it doesn’t feel too good. The worse thing is, my pain med is running out and there’s no refills. I’ll be getting ahold of my surgeon!

I currently have lost 10lbs. I think my stomach is confused. I wouldn’t say that I have stomach pains… it’s a mix between feeling nauseous and feeling hungry. It’s always present, before I eat, after I eat, its all the time. It doesn’t matter what I eat or how much. I don’t know what it is. Speaking of eating, my cravings are full fledge now. I want to eat so much. Also, my taste buds are completely off, nothing tastes as it really does.

My throat has gradually been getting sore and raw. I think it has a combination between the swelling in my throat, mixed with breathing a lot through my mouth. Things like orange juice and my liquid pain reliever burn in my throat.

Numbness- I am still numb all over my face, from my eyes down to my chin. My nose (and the sides of it) are probably 85% numb. My lower lip surprisingly, is only 20% numb. Everything else is 60-70% numb. The roof of my mouth is probably 60% numb, too.

Bruising- I’m surprised that more hasn’t shown up, but it looks like just the yellowing on the sides of my mouth for now.
On the inside of my mouth, I noticed some bruising by my lower teeth, too.
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I’ve been trying to figure out what the white/yellow thing is that you can see. I’ll be asking my surgeon about it on Thursday at my appt.

I got better pictures of my rubber bands and the splint.
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Without rubber bands.
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And this… I have no idea why I have stitches in my upper lip. I just found them yesterday. I don’t know if its normal but I’ve never saw or heard any other jaw surgery patient with it. There’s 2 stitches that I can see. I wonder if its just the way my surgeon does it, or if it was a mistake. Can you see why it hurts to smile and laugh? It pulls there every time.
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I’m able to smile a little more everyday! This is today!
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Here you can see the progress throughout the first week! You can see the swelling evolve and slowly disappearing.
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I had no idea that my blog would reach as far as it did. Thank you guys so much!!!
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Thank you so much to each and every one of you who have contributed a “view” to my page!! Thank you for following my journey! ❤

I'll continue to post more updates for you all! If you would like, keep checking back 🙂

Day 5 – A smile in the making…

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A couple times today I was in a really bad place… a really bad place of watching funny stuff on TV lol. It’s honestly never hurt so much to laugh, but I think it got me in a good place. I’m now able to slightly smile! It should only become more easy from here.

I ate purée chicken noodle soup today. It was extra work and took forever, but I managed to get 1/2 a can down. I’m starting to get cravings, but most things that I want aren’t possible anyways. Tacos… Steak… Chicken… Pickles…

Less swelling again today 🙂

I’m still having the jaw/ear pain. Thats the only thing thats actually getting worse. I read online about it and it said, “It is possible to experience some pain or pressure in or around your jaw joint after jaw surgery. This may feel somewhat like an earache. This pain or pressure will usually disappear within 2 to 3 weeks. The new position of your jaw is the cause of pressure in the jaw joint area.” I hope mine doesn’t last 2-3 weeks. It hurts.

In the past 5 days, I’ve spent 97% of it on our couch. Such a lazy. I still have no energy. Lack of proper nutrition probably has something to do with it too.

Time to sleep…
Night ❤

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Day 4 :)

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Update for day 4-
* I took the tape off from under my nose!!

* I got to wash my hair. It was a challenge, but Hallelujah!

* I washed my face, it felt weird with a 3/4 numb face. My face seems to be getting really oily. I’m guessing its from the swelling under my skin, so it’s just seeping to to the outside.

* Speaking of swelling, it’s GOINGGG DOWNN 🙂 Thank you baby Jesus. I can’t imagine how bad it would have gotten I I didn’t take the steroids to reduce it.

* Bruising has started to appear. I’ll post pics. It’s the yellowing on my chin, on the side of my mouth. I expect it to get worse. Much worse. But, who cares?

* My energy is still pathetic. Anytime I get up and walk a short distance, it feels like my heart is going a million mph and I get lightheaded.

* I still have no appetite. Not even for my favorite foods. This morning I weighed 114. (Started at 122) and I just checked again and I went up to 115. Woo!!!!! hahah. If I can avoid getting sick or dehydrated, that’s my goal.

* My face continues to tingle more and more. It started on the sides on my nose (and sorta in my nose), and now I can feel it tingling in my cheeks and chin. YAY.

* I have been having more pain in my cheek bones. I blame it on the healing. Right by my ears is the area that seems to be most bothersome. Imagine getting smacked in the face with a metal bat, thats how i’d explain it. Last night was more uncomfortable to sleep (the other nights its didn’t seem to bother me) Anytime my ear was touching the pillow, it’d trigger ear/cheek/head/ neck pain. I’m usually most comfortable sleeping on my side, so thats been a current annoyance :/ I can’t sleep on my stomach for obvious reasons. Sleeping on my back I still have to worry about the thick saliva choking me. Hopefully this stage will pass quickly.

*When I think about the meds, it makes me happy knowing that Sunday (2 days away) ill be done with swallowing the steroid pills. Thursday I’ll be done with the antibiotic. The only thing ill have left is my pain meds. I’m currently still taking 15ml (instead of 30ml) 2 times a day for pain. If pain is unbearable and really bad, I have Oxycodon. I have yet to take one of those. I’m trying to take as little as possible!

* Every day when I wake up, I have a burning sensation in the corners of my eyes, to the point that I don’t want to open them. Don’t know what it’s from, but a warm washcloth makes it subside.

* My nose is becoming less congested. I can sorta breathe through my right nostril, until it becomes clogged again. Womp womb

* I hate not being able to brush my teeth. I don’t feel comfortable brushing anything besides my 2 front teeth.

*From what I’ve saw in my mouth… its a nightmare. I haven’t been brave enough to look for the damage of the upper jaw. The lower jaw though… it looks like a mad war of stitches and purple bruises on the sides of my mouth and on my gums.

* MY OVERBITE IS NO LONGER PRESENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :’) <<<<<< most important.

* Today I was drinking my protein drink and some was running down the side of the cup. My instinct was to catch it before it fell off the cup, when I noticed my tongue was trapped in my mouth. Fail.

* Laughing/smiling is really difficult. Anytime I try to, it feels like the stitches are gonna rip open. Jaw Surgery forces you to look like an unhappy person when you take pictures.

My niece has been amazing. She's been so understanding and patient with me. At random times she comes and sits on the couch and asks how I'm doing, if I need anything, takes naps by me, or just for a conversation. I don't know if I'd even be able to understand my talking, but somehow she is incredible at understanding me lol.
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I got another beautiful bouquet of flowers today!!! They match with my other colorful bouquets! Thank you Kayla and Katelyn for the visit 🙂 Have a great time this weekend!
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Me, today. I REALLY wish I could smile in these pictures! Hoping it’ll come soon!
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Day 3- Post Op

I have a lot to say this time —
I slept better than I thought again last night. I thought that my 1st night back at home was just by luck. I was hoping and praying I could sleep again.. and it was a success!

I woke up more congested than normal. More phlegm is getting stuck to the roof of my mouth, and its impossible to “scratch” it off. If anyone knows a solution, let me know! I do have less phlegm in my throat though, so that’s good.

Yesterday, I had the protein shake, 1/2 cup of frozen slushie, and a 14 oz. can of chicken broth. Each day I’ve been able to consume one more thing than the previous day. Yay!!

Taking my meds are becoming easier now. It’s a lot to remember! Pain meds, antibiotic, steroids. Trying to remember to put bacitracin on my lips to prevent them from bleeding. Rinsing with salt water every time I eat, and trying to brush my teeth. I still put ice on my face.

My appetite is completely gone. If I didn’t have to eat, I wouldn’t. My meds say that they need to be with food, so that’s the only reason I’m forcing food in my mouth. Today Ihad a chocolate flavored Carnation protein shake, so far. Eating is important for my recovery.

As the swelling is still present, its been giving me ear aches. Whether there’s swelling in my ears, or if its the skin expanding on my cheeks and pulling the skin in my ear. I have no idea??

I’ve been having neck/headaches which I relieve it by laying on a heating pad.

OHHHHHH!!! My face has also been tingling a bit too. Imagine the carbonation you feel when you drink a pop… it feels like there’s little carbonation bubbles popping under my skin. Such a good “healing” sign!! It feels soooo weird!!!!

My saliva is now clear. 😉 Before it was mixed with blood.

I’m not able to wear my retainers, instead I have what they call a “splint” connected/wired to my upper teeth. There’s little grooves on the bottom side of it, where my lower teeth are gonna learn to be in that position. I noticed that on Monday, the day of the surgery I still had a small overbite, but I didn’t have the rubber bands in either. My jaw muscles are a bit confused after 23 years of having the overbite. So the rubber bands are pulling my lower jaw forward to fit into the splint and re-train it.

I think I am moving at a faster recovery rate though. I do use the ketchup bottle for liquids, but I can drink out of a cup (with some spilling). I can also swallow small pills. I haven’t found a blog that people were able to do that, starting the day after surgery. I may be pushing myself too, I just want to get better!

Here’s a few things that I forgot to mention in previous days: (mainly for me to remember in the future)

The day of my surgery is still a blur. When I was in the pre-op room, and just before they started wheeling me to the Operating Room, something must have been in my system already. The lady asked if I felt like I had too many drinks, and I told her yes. Within seconds, my vision was slowing down and my body was already starting to relax. I remember being pulled in the Operating Room, and the only thing that I recall was seeing two pictures of me on the wall. A second after that, I was out.

Update: I thought my surgery was 2.5 hours, but I don’t know where I got that from. Mom said it was 3 hours and 10 minutes. She said that nurses came out and gave updates while I was in surgery. I’m thankful for that!

The next thing after the surgery I kinda remember being wheeled into the recovery room. We were passing a lot of random people, and I wasn’t worried about what they thought of me… which is not like me. If they wanted to judge me, I didn’t really care. The only thing that I wanted to do, is lay there with my eyes shut and not move. I remember feeling really hot. So I made a “fan” hand motion over my face. I was sweating profusely. My blood pressure was really high because of the pain I was experiencing.

When I was being wheeled up to my room, I had my eyes shut the entire time again. The weird thing about the bed that I was laying on for the surgery, it was an inflatable bed that basically felt like a little tub forming around me. They pulled me onto my regular hospital bed, deflated the “tub thing” and got it out from underneath me. Shortly after that my mom and my sister-in-law came in my room, and were such big helpers! I don’t know what I would’ve done without them!

In surgery as you probably would’ve guessed, I had a breathing tube down my nose.

I also was told that I’d have stitches on the outside of my face, so that they’d be able to drill a screw in my jaw at a good angle. I don’t have that.

I’m hoping I can gather enough strength today to at least wash my hair. A shower would feel so good, but I wouldn’t be able to stand for that long. Maybe a short bath? We’ll see how I’m feeling tonight. I have little energy. When I do get up to go to the bathroom, my heart feels like its racing by the time I get back to the couch.

I got the go-ahead from my surgeon that I can take the tape off from under my nose. I do, but I don’t.

My amazing orthodontist sent me a huge bouquet of flowers. So surprised by that!
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My aunt sent me some flowers too!! So so sweet!!!!
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Drinking out of my ketchup bottle. Looks fun, huh?! Gotta find things that work!20130801-113412.jpg

Me, today.
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Day 2 – PostOp – Another day.

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First of all, I’d like to apologize if some of this doesn’t make sense. I’m exhausted, but I want to keep you all in the loop.

I got a good night of sleep last night. It surprised me because almost every blog that I’ve looked at, said that it takes a week to two weeks to be able to sleep through the night. I slept about 6 hours, woke up, and dozed off again.

My face continues to get more swollen. Its actually swelling around my hooks and rubber bands that I have in my mouth. So every once in awhile, I take a Popsicle stick and trying to loosen what I can. So far, as I’ve been exploring my mouth, I’ve noticed stitches on my lower right side. I don’t think I want to see the upper jaw stitches.

I’ve been using one if those empty ketchup bottles to put water in. I’m not drinking nearly as much as I should. But I’m trying. Today I had a “boost” protein shake and 1/2 a fruit slush in a little cup.

My medications that I got prescribed:
*Antibiotic (to help against infections) I take it from a syringe type thing.
*a steroid (to help reduce swelling) that came in a pill form. First I tried it crushed up in some yogurt, SO disgusting. Even though its hard, I squirt some water in, drop the pills in and try to swallow them. It’s not as easy as you’d think. But if its gonna help, I gotta look past the nasty taste.
*pain meds (ibuprofen and another stronger pain med) I could take 30 ml of ibuprofen, but I’m trying to take as least as possible. This morning I just took 15ml. My pain is at a 1 or a 2. Tolerable.
*nasal spray- even though I said I didn’t want to use it, I have been using it and it is helping with the congestion. I can breathe a little from my nose, but I can take bigger deeper breathes through my mouth, so that’s just my choice. Today my nose hasn’t been draining as much as yesterday, that’s slowly stopping.

If some of you are wondering what the tape under my nose is for, it’s because when it’s swollen, my lip would be up my nose. It’s basically to keep my upper lip stretched and to help heal it in the right position. I was actually told that I could take it off tomorrow, but we’ll see.

TMI- I’ve been drooling a lot, it’s super attractive. Not. My mom got me one of those baby booger sucker things, so I can take it out. Sometimes it’s just easier to let it drain out in a bowl though lol. I feel a lot of gunk on the roof of my mouth and there’s still phlegm in the back of my throat.

Numbness- I’m definitely numb, but I can still feel everything. Its numb basically from my under my eyes and down to my chin. The good thing is I don’t have any completely permanent nerve damage. WOO! I’m able to control each part of my mouth, I can move my upper lip separately from my bottom lip. That’s another thing that most people can’t do this soon.

Weight- I’ve lost 6 lbs, I was 122, I’m at 116 right now. That’s to be expected.

I haven’t noticed any bruising yet. I’m sure that’ll be showing up very soon.

I look like a wreck.
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I tried to take a closer view of the rubber bands but its hard.
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My table of my necessities.20130731-122514.jpg

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Day 1 – Day after Surgery – Going Home!!

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Today started out well. I was able to eat fruit ice and an ice cream cup. As opposed to yesterday I just had a fruit ice. My strength was getting better. I was able to get up to go to the bathroom and change into my clothes for going home, by myself.

I got told that I’d be able to come home today.

They pulled the plug things out of my nose, and it one of the weirdest sensations. It was about 3 inches long, and the pressure was bothersome. It made my eyes water. I don’t even know how they got them up my nose! Ever since then my left nostril drains yellow fluid and my right nostril bleeds. I got medication for nasal spray but I’m afraid to use it.

They put 4 rubber bands on, connecting the top to the bottom jaws…. which limits my breathing ability even more. I can only open my mouth a millimeter now. I can’t breathe through my nose.

I’m able to start brushing my teeth, but I’m scared to do that too. I’m going to try and rinse with salt water though.

I’m starting to get more swollen.

This is a depressing post but I expected hard days, and this one of them.

The pain yesterday was I think the worst part so far, so compared to yesterday, today was a better day.
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^That’s me trying to smile when I got home^

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I still have a long way to go, but I’m well on my way…

Day 0: SURGERY DAY

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Sorry I didn’t post this yesterday, but I wasn’t feeling up to it.

I was a little nervous in the pre-op but just wanted to get it over with!
This was right before my surgery–

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AFTER SURGERY. 20130730-120204.jpg
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The surgery took 3 hours and 10 minutes. I was supposed be in the recovery room for an hour, but I was I was in there for almost 3 hours. I just remember I was really tired so I kept dozing off.
Just as I did when I got my wisdom teeth taken out, as soon as I woke up I started bawling. I don’t know why. Anesthesia makes me emotional, I guess lol.

In the recovery room I was in a lot of pain. On a scale to 10, my pain was at a 8-9. The nurse kept giving me more and more pain meds, it took awhile to get the edge off. A couple hours passed it the pain was at a 5. I was having more pain in my upper jaw. It was hard to breathe because they stuck plugs in my nose because they cut into my nasal cavity… Which that causes nose bleeds. With breathing through my mouth, it got really dry. I had thick phlegm/blood in the back of my throat, and it was hard to swallow. They had me breathing through a oxygen mask that had moisture coming out of it, in hopes to make mouth less dry.

Towards night my pain was around a 1 or a 2. The pain was going away, but the soreness started settling in. Sleeping was hard. Mainly because it was hard to breathe and I was scared that phlegm was gonna choke me. I probably got 2.5 hours of sleep total. Waking up and dozing off several times.

This will give you a better idea of what I got:

Wouldn’t you know it….

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ANOTHER DELAY. Delay #8478963

We had been on vacation for the past 6 days and had bad service. I was told that I’d get a call 2 days before the surgery… expecting to have a message on our answering machine when we got home. There was no message. Trying to get ahold of someone at 8pm the night before surgery is near impossible.

Now, today, the day of my surgery, we finally got ahold of someone.

Somehow, at some point, the surgery magically got switched to next Monday, the 29th. I was not informed of the change. No call, no email, no letter, nothing. Everything was arranged for today. My mom took off work and it was perfect. Now starting from square 1 for arrangements again.

I should’ve known something else had to happen, one last time.

Stress stress stress.

Things just got more real.

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One step closer! 😃

I got the band holders on my teeth today!!
I wasn’t sure what to expect or what they even looked like, I couldn’t find any pictures of them without braces.

I got to my appointment and was told that my surgeon sent a letter to my ortho stating that she didn’t think my teeth were straight enough for surgery. (This got me a little upset for a couple reasons, but I’d rather not rant about it.) … but after my ortho talked with her, he convinced her that my teeth are literally as straight as they can be. She approved, that’s all that matters. 🙂

I feel like getting the band holders on, was a big step. I recognized an hour before my appointment that my smile would never be identical to how it was at that moment. In a short time, I’d have some kind of metal on my teeth (alteration of my smile) which would lead to the actual surgery (huge impact of my smile).

So, in memory of my old smile…. my very last picture.
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Out with the old, in with the new… until surgery.
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They look similar to braces! They put them on most of my teeth. Here’s a closer picture.
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The purpose of these band holders are: when I get the surgery, they’re going to wrap rubber bands around them, connecting my upper teeth to my lower teeth. That explains why they’re so close to my gums. It’s the most solid point of the tooth, and it’ll put less strain on them to shift/move. The rubber bands will keep everything tight for awhile to give the jaw time to heal properly. Pretty logical.

They took my retainer and carved around each of the little brackets, so I’m still able to wear that.

I’ve been getting things to eat afterwards. So far, I’ve bought (or thought of) Boost/Special-K protein drinks, broth, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, jello, mashed potatoes/eggs/beans. If you have other ideas, let me know, I’ll probably get bored of eating soft food lol. I’m trying to eat as many of my favorite foods that I can in the last 2 weeks. 🙂

I can’t believe it… one week from today. So crrrrrazy!

IT’S APPROVED!!!!!!

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PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MY INSURANCE APPROVED THE SURGERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want something bad enough, work for it and pray about it.

I’ll be getting what is called a Lefort 1 osteotomy (upper jaw procedure) and a bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (lower jaw procedure).

I have been through heck to get this jaw surgery. I am SO happy that my patience, determination, and hard work finally paid off. It’s the one thing that I really wanted this year. I can’t function, and honestly, i don’t know what to do with myself. I was to the point that I was wondering if it just wasn’t meant to be, or if it was a true test that God was putting me though, to see how much I wanted it. If you know my past issues with this, you know how much I’ve been fighting for it.

I know that it isn’t something that sounds very pleasant. A typical person would not think that getting your skull fractured is awesome, but the end result is my focus and I know that it’ll be 100% worth it. I’m doing it for myself, because its something that I’ve struggled with.

Quick recap:
– I had no health insurance
– Got insurance (June 2012) (which took several months to research different insurances)
– Had to find a surgeon that would accept my odd-ball insurance. Called between 20-25 different oral surgeons.
**Surgeons had to agree that it was medically necessary.**
– 1st surgeon consult (Aug 2012)- He didn’t think it was necessary. Deny.
– 2nd surgeon consult (Sept 2012)- he thought it was needed. A couple days later, they change their mind and won’t accept my insurance. Deny.
– 3rd consult (Nov 2012) – she thought it was medically necessary, AND she accepted my insurance.
– Insurance denied, surgeon wasn’t in their “network”. Sent in papers, got her approved.
– Insurance denied, they didn’t think it was necessary.
– Surgeon switched offices. Delay.
– Surgeon filed an appeal, and the denial was overturned A.K.A. The procedure is approved!

I’ll be posting info on here as it comes, I’ll be updating with blogs, pictures, and videos. If you want to stay updated, find the “Follow Blog via Email” option, enter your email, and you’ll get notified anytime I post something new.

I love you God.