Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Surgery was before mid-summer, and now winter is on the way. On the plus side, for me, December is the month of holiday warmth and cheer. I look forward to it every year, and I'm determined for this December to be cheerful and warm, despite living away at school.
Today was as uneventful as yesterday, though uneventful is certainly not synonymous with bad. Going to class, taking notes, being a good student and getting things done, while not fun, feels good. It's great to feel as though I'm accomplishing something.
Today my jaw felt fine. Without the rubber bands, my lips are shifting back "in" for lack of a better word, and the lower left screw is bothering the inside of my lips. Dental wax fixes that up easily enough, though. I'm just so happy with the fact that I don't have any pain. Clicking is still a "problem," but not in the way it used to be. Before surgery I would have to deliberately pop my jaw, now it only clicks when I relax my jaw while laying on my side. The popping is in a different place and completely painless. But hey, as long as there's no pain, I'll take the occasional pop or click.
Because the next few days will be work heavy for me at school, my posts will probably be rather uneventful, so I apologize in advance. I'll do my best to keep them interesting.
Be well, all. :) Wave goodbye to November, and make room for Mr. Winter!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Break truly over and so it's back to the gym for me. I really have begun to enjoy my workouts. There's something about a good workout that just makes me feel really accomplished. My gym buddy, D, is definitely a huge help. Having someone else makes the workout easier, and motivates me to do my best.
My jaw feels great today. I was able to crunch down on some super crunchy cereal today, too. It's so good to be able to eat something without worrying about popping a plate!
And speaking of plates, I have a hardware-related question from a follower. Max asked me about the screws in my mouth; if they can be seen and how they'd be removed. To answer the first part - yes, they can be seen. The permanent screws and plates are of course visible only on x-ray but the four IMF screws are visible. I will try to post a pic for everyone. As for removal, as terrifying as it sounds, they are simply unscrewed just like any other screw. No numbing agents are needed and the surgeon uses a philips screw driver to remove them. It sounds freaky, but doesn't hurt one bit. I hope this answered your question. :)
On the downside I feel a cold coming on. I'm determined to not get horribly sick as finals are coming up, so I will be drinking tons of orange juice and taking my vitamin. Have to keep healthy!
I hope you are all well!
Monday, November 28, 2011
My jaw felt good today, and I'm pleased to see that there is no worsening of my deviation now that the bands are over. Hopefully it means that next time I see Dr A I can get the screws taken out! They don't hurt or anything but it would be nice to have my mouth back to normal and hardware free. Compared to the wires though this is cake, and I really shouldn't complain.
Sorry for the super lame post, but not every day can be exciting, lol. I hope you all are doing really well. :)
Sunday, November 27, 2011
We went on our yearly Christmas tree hunt at a tree farm near my home. It was a full day of family shenanigans and I loved every minute of it. Our dog even came along for the trip. We hunted for, found and cut down our tree and then picnicked on some Thanksgiving leftovers and hot chocolate. I really love my family's traditions. :)
My jaw was entirely a-ok, a fact for which I'm super thankful. Every day without pain seems like such a blessing.
I hope you all are well!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Swelling is down noticeably from last week, and my jawline is more pronounced. There's still definite bits of swelling all over my face, but knowing that this can last up to a year, and considering how good it looks now I'm totally fine with that. For people who don't know there is swelling, they'd never be able to pick up on it.
Today also marks about 4 days since I've been "sans bands." I haven't noticed any problems whatsoever. Deviation is neither better nor worse. The only thing I did notice is that I can relax more at night, and my muscles aren't as stiff from clenching now that I have the bands off. Relaxing while lying on my left does lead to some clicking, but it is painless and just a result of the joint relaxing. I'll only start to worry if it hurts.
I spent a good portion of the day being handy and helping out my dad with our latest home improvement project. We're putting up pine boards on the first floor for that cabin-y feel, so Dad and I decided to have a father daughter day with it. I helped him measure, cut, and install boards. Things definitely progressed much faster with two people working. Usually my poor father manages on his own. It was loads of fun and the work was rewarding. Ten years from now those walls will still be there, and I'll remember that I helped put them up.
Of course all that work had me totally pooped, so I spent my evening watching more movies. We got through two Indiana Jones movies and A Christmas Carol, which by the way I love. All in all, today was great. Tomorrow the family is going Christmas tree hunting. It's usually an all day affair where we bring lunch, hot chocolate and the family dog. Every year it's fun, so I'm definitely looking forward to it.
I hope you all are well and didn't have too much to do this Saturday! Until next post :)
Friday, November 25, 2011
Hello all. Today, day 129, may have bwen black Friday but no way would you have found me anywhere near retail land. Instead I spent a relaxing day at home with my mother.
My jaw was just fine of course, and more to the point my swelling is down even more. My jaw line is really starting to become more noticeable. I have to admit that I like what I'm seeing. Every day I feel more confident and was afraid of hurting myself or messing stuff up. It could be my imagination it it also seems as I'd that front tooth is beginning to migrate back to where it's supposed to be. I certainly hope it is.
My mother and I really were quite lazy today. We spent our evening watching movies on the couch and just having an all around good time. Plus we had the luxury of not needing to cook with all of the leftovers in the house. Sometimes lazy days are just perfect.
Tomorrow I get to help my father put pine panels up on our walls to make the inside of our house look like an Adirondack cabin. I love these kinds of projects so I'm looking forward to the day ahead of me.
I hope you all are doing well and haven't gotten too sick of turkey yet!
Today is the first day since my surgery that I haven't taken a picture. It feels weird and makes me a little sad, but it had to happen eventually. Thankfully it happened far enough out where I won't have missed documenting any noticeable changes. I'll try and snap a shot for tomorrow.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Today I hardly thought of my jaw beyond the thought that I was happy to eat my dinner with a fork. That, and I ate a carrot! I had to nibble at it rather than chomp down, but a carrot is a carrot, and I'll take it.
My family came over and we shared a wonderful day together. It was really nice to have the house filled with relatives. Dinner was amazing, and the company was even better. This Thanksgiving was definitely a success. :)
I hope you have all had a great Thanksgiving. May we never lose sight of those things for which we are thankful.
|Our small family <3|
|The four cousins|
|The little sisters :)|
|lovable slobberpus - Kahlua|
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The appointment went really well. Dr A seemed excited about the progress I've made in opening my mouth and my healing overall. Things have really turned out great. The screws did not come out today, but they don't bother me so I'm alright with that. However, I have been instructed to stop wearing the bands until next time I see my surgeon. He said that this will hopefully allow that front tooth to move back to where it was. The problem with my jaw deviating the left is getting much better with therapy, so he isn't worried about not having bands on to guide me. That, plus the fact that most people are out of bands around 8 - 12 weeks. Yay, no more bands (I hope)!
Best of all we have a plan for revision surgery and a tentative date! Surgery is set for December 30th. I think that's really appropriate. This whole process really kicked of with the removal of my wisdom teeth at the end of this past January, so it seems fitting that the year will close with my last surgical procedure and (for the most part) close this chapter in my life. 2011 has been one crazy year for me to say the least. The surgical plan is that Dr A will free up the scar on my right cheek from the underlying muscle and then he will remove the scar tissue from inside my mouth. It shouldn't be a tough recovery at all, and I will have the entire month to re-heal a bit before returning to University for spring semester. I'm excited :)
Even beyond the super positive and exciting appointment today was pleasant. As I said, I am home for a break, which is awesome. Tomorrow I'll be helping my mother prepare Thanksgiving dinner. I have a yummy recipe that I'm going to try out. Then my aunt, uncle, and cousins will be joining us for the feast. It will be a fun day of family and thanks...and amazing food. Yippee!
I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving! Be well :)
I also decided to do something different for today's pictures. Rather than the usual profile shots I'm posting the first really "glamorous" pictures of me since surgery to show you something fun and new.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Today was just fine for me and my jaw. As expected, the swelling from PT has dissipated. I'm still a bit stiff, but after the therapy yesterday it's not nearly as bad. I took a muscle relaxer last night for the first time in a while, and that seems to have helped un-knot things a bit, too.
I finally have an appointment with Dr A. Tomorrow morning at 9, which means I need to be up and off campus by 8. Boo for early mornings. It will be worth it though, because I have a ton of questions (what else is new, right?). Hopefully I'll find out more about that revision stuff. It was supposed to happen about two weeks after I discussed it with Dr A, but things have been pretty hectic so I have no idea what's going on with that right now. I can wait though. For me the most important part is over. I'm pain free, confident and thrilled with the results. Revision can wait if it needs to.
I hope you are all doing very well tonight! My next post will come from home sweet home. :)
Monday, November 21, 2011
I say for the most part because I had physical therapy today. This past week I've been bad with my exercises, and boy did it bite me in the butt! I was super stiff, so it took a while to work out the knots again, particularly that one on the right side of my face. All the massaging and tension-loosening makes for a puffy Nora. Oh well, hot packs and upright sleeping it is! So much for progress :/
Other than that I'm just ducky. Despite the stiffness I'm not at all sore (unless you count the ouch factor of working out knotted jaw muscles). Now my only real concern is my shifting teeth and when I'll be allowed to stop wearing these stupid rubber bands. I should know more come wednesday. I really need an appointment. I haven't seen Dr A in almost two months! Frustrating, to say the least.
I know this post sounds mostly negative, but I swear that I feel just fine and dandy. Sometimes the truth just isn't pretty and cheerful. Tomorrow I have to give a ten minute French presentation - the first since surgery. It feels like speaking French is a bit harder than it used to be, almost like I have to re-learn to make certain sounds with my new mouth. Keeping my fingers crossed that I dont look like too much of a blithering idiot when I get up to present tomorrow!!!
I hope you all are well!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I really don't have much to say about anything, though I really am starting to suspect that inconsistencies from one day to the next in terms of my profile really is due to my shifting teeth. Or maybe having the rubber bands constantly pulling my lower jaw to the right is the culprit? Either way my lower jaw isn't being allowed to meet the upper like it did after surgery, and the only explanation I can think of is the shifting bite. I really really really really hope that one day I can have all of this dental/jaw stuff finally work out and just be normal. It is quite frustrating encountering new problems this far along. Oh well. I see Dr A soon so hopefully I can get my questions answered. Keeping my fingers crossed!
I hope the rest of you are doing really well!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
My jaw feels great, swelling is going down noticeably again, and I feel as though I look better every day.
This good feeling has brought on a wave of inspiration for me. I spent so long trying to just go along with things before surgery, or even hiding, and after I've just felt like a "patient" for so long. Now that things really are so close to normal I feel myself wanting to go out and do things. I want to revamp my wardrobe and shine every day - to start taking care of my appearance more. Experiment and be girly, I'm young and quirky and I just need to enjoy it. I've lost sight of some of my favorite things in life, and I want to rediscover and expand my interests. All of these things have inspired my to make a list of my goals. Starting now, and certainly as my New Year's resolution, my goal is to remember what I want every day, and then make it happen. I'm ready to just embrace life more than ever. :)
This week I aim to:
- Read a new book
- Try one new hairstyle
- Commit to waking up earlier in the day
I hope you all are well!
Friday, November 18, 2011
My jaw was just ducky today, and I felt brave enough to try my sandwich on a tougher roll. I did it! Progress is definitely being made every day in the food department, and never have I appreciated my ability to eat more than now. I've also been good with my rubber bands the past couple of days, and thankfully my lazy moments haven't caused any apparent problems. Whew!
Please excuse the excessive makeup in these next photos, but a girl has to have fun every now and then, no?
Thursday, November 17, 2011
My face was just fine today, and the cold wasn't too much of a problem. Of course it wasn't even below 40 degrees today, so there is still plenty of time for the temperature to drop and make me crazy. Hopefully the cold won't be such an issue now that things aren't so freshly broken and sensitive. I also didn't have any issues with tooth sensitivity today. Maybe it's an on-again, off-again kinda thing?
Aside from the onset of chilly weather, today was pretty neutral. Therefore I leack cool things to tell all of you. Stay well and stay warm!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Today my jaw was totally fine, though I noticed a new pain, for lack of a better word. As my gums are regaining feeling I've noticed that my teeth are occasionally hypersensitive. It isn't a constant state, but more of the occasional moment that makes me go "oh!" and feel my tooth. Almost like when you sink your teeth into cold ice cream too long, or knock your teeth together too hard. Oh well, annoying as it may be it's a sign that the last little things are finally getting back to normal.
Another thing this surgery has done for me that I really haven't talked about is give me a confidence boost. I don't feel like everyone stares at me and thinks I look weird or "unfortunate" in my appearance. These days I really feel like dressing up, and putting myself out there. Look at me, world, I'm beautiful, and no one can take that from me. I just feel more confidence in how I look walking down the street or across campus, and I don't try to hide anymore. Next to being pain-free, this is one of the greatest blessings of all, and one that I will try not to forget even on my worst days. :)
I hope you all are well today, and if you're second guessing your decision to have this surgery I urge you to really talk it out and think hard. It has its definite ups and downs, but overall it has brought nothing but good.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I had no pain again today, an my mobility is just as good as it was yesterday. In the past the day following mobilization I would be stiff, and my mobility actually temporarily decreased. Today, on the other hand, I had no stiffness and mobilization remained the same as yesterday. Hooray for signs of healing!
Sorry for the short post, but today really wasn't note worthy at all.
I hope that my post today finds all of you well and in good spirits. Until next post!
Monday, November 14, 2011
I had more physical therapy today. My therapist is really impressed with the improvement I've made all around. I can use heavier weights now when she makes me do posture exercises, the flexibility is returning to my neck, the knots in my back are at last easing up, and I can open my mouth a little more. Last time we measured I was opening at 33mm, and I'm now opening at around 36mm. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it's progress nonetheless. Not to mention when it comes to opening one's mouth, a couple millimeters is significant. It's the difference between a hearty sandwich and a wimpy one, lol.
There are a couple concerns that I've had for a while now. I haven't voiced them because it makes them real, but I feel I need to all the same. You guys have been honest with me and supportive, and right now that's what I need. I feel as though the break on my left is loose or never healed or something. Some days my jaw looks more recessed on the left than on the right, and it has me worried. I have a horrible habit of playing with the break site on that side. I feel it with my thumb to assure me that's it's still the same size and in the same place, but now I'm worried that the playing could have done some damage. I've been doing this since about 6 or 7 weeks out of surgery, and even though I know the plates are strong, I'm not sure if they're up to being fooled around with with that kind of deep poking and pressure. I don't know if this has impeded healing, or else moved stuff around. Perhaps I ate something too hard without pacing myself? I'm just not sure. It could all be in my head, but I think it's worth mentioning to my surgeon. I feel like an idiot.
The other concern I can honestly say is not my fault one bit. That right tooth that's been shifted back from the rubber band is really interfering with my bite. It isn't allowing me to bite down the way I could after surgery, and it also seems as though the constant pulling is causing a can't. This could be an illusion from the fact that the gum over my left tooth has receded from when the other band cut through it. The constant pull to the right also seems to be causing my lower jaw to shift in that direction when I relax. My bite is all over the place, and once again, I don't know where my "true" bite is. Perhaps the inconsistent bite is what is causing the more recesses appearance on some days? :( I'm hoping that this tooth thing can be fixed, and that that will solve it all.
Voicing these things really scares me. If they're all in my head then I will be thrilled. But if not, then it means that I've screwed things up for myself and I have no idea of the implications. These are the secret things that have been nagging at me for weeks now, and I think it's time to fess up. I'm just not sure what it all means and next surgical visit I will spill it all to Dr A and see what he thinks.
I'm not in pain at all which is a plus, and eating is 99% back to the way it used to be save for the fact that I avoid really hard things like pretzels, carrots, bagels and chewy candy. Aside from these nagging worries things really seem to be alright. Life is back to normal for the most part, and if anything, it's better. I feel more confident in the way I look, I like my body again now that I've lost my freshman 15 and I have more stamina. I'm healthier now than I have been in a long time, and I'm pain free. I know that in the end this is what's important, but I can't stop beating myself up over the fact that I may have messed something up from my own stupidity and inability to just leave things alone.
I hope you all are doing really well, and please, take it from me, LEAVE THINGS ALONE! You'll be happier about it in the end.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
It was a day like any other, and I was able to just enjoy it for what it was. I'm still a bit tired from the wedding, though. I suppose it's bound to happen that an uneventful day follows one filled with running around and being busy. Such is life.
My jaw once again was conspicuous only in its lack of problems. I've noticed that the tiniest bit of feeling is at last returning to my gums, though for the most part they are still entirely numb. I'm back in bands today after not wearing them yesterday, and the quick break hasn't caused any problems. It's nothing like forgetting my bands for a day while in braces and then dealing with soreness while things shift back the next day. Hooray for that!
Once again I'm back at school, though I suspect a trip home will be in order next weekend, too. As I didn't have my appointment last Friday I'm going to assume I'll have it this Friday instead. I really have spent more weekends home than at school this semester. It has its perks and its drawbacks, but that's just the way things are right now. Next semester will be strange when I go back to being a weekend warrior.
I hope you are all well, and if you have questions feel free to ask. I know this post was less than exciting, lol.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Two friends who married three years ago finally got their big ceremony and reception. The bride was beautiful, and the ceremony and party were a blast. This was my first wedding and it was so much fun. Best of all I felt beautiful for the first time in years. I didn't worry about candid shots being bad, and I just felt really confident. Mom even let me have a bit of champagne. All in all the night was wonderful. Congrats Tina and TJ - you deserve this after waiting so long!
As I was at a wedding I didn't wear my bands. I know this is bad, but it's not a common occurrence, and I put them on as soon as I got back home. My jaw caused no problems whatsoever and I even managed to eat crusty bread! Yet another day in what I hope to be a long line of pain free ones.
Speaking of eating, I had more tonight than I've eaten since July. Cut me some slack, there was a chocolate fountain that I simply could not resist. One unexpected side-effect of this surgery is that I have learned portion control and better eating habits. I don't gorge myself anymore, and I don't take food for granted. One month of liquid diet works wonders for getting your eating habits back in order.
I have tons of pictures to go through, but I'm exhausted. Pinky swear that I will put them up tomorrow.
Good night all, and be well!
Friday, November 11, 2011
I'm a little tired and puffy right now, but not sore at all. I've just been very busy today, so I wore myself out. This has nothing to do with surgery, though, and everything to do with just being plain pooped! Thankfully I'm in zero pain, and by morning the puffiness will have dissipated again. I was bad with my rubber bands today, but every time I meant to put them on I got distracted and forgot again. Oopsies. I'll put them back on as soon as I post.
I came back home again as tomorrow is the wedding of a good friend of my sister's. My sister is in the bridal party, but the whole family was invited. So I of course had to go out and find a dress. The other option would be my red dress, but I wasn't comfortable wearing red at another person's wedding - it just seemed attention seeking and wrong to me. Green will suit me just fine. I also had to pick up some shoes and do my nails.
In addition to all the wedding to-do, I saw my friend B today for the first time since August. The last time she saw me I was still puffy and wired, and the change was really exciting to her. It was great to catch up with her, and as we've been friends since kindergarten, once we got together it was as if no time had passed at all.
I'm really excited about the wedding. This will be the first time I really get "dolled up" since surgery, so I promise I'll take tons of pictures. I've also never been to a wedding so this is a new experience, and what better way to enjoy it than to celebrate the marriage of good friends? I'm very happy for them, and I can't wait to see what they've planned. :)
I hope you all are well, and again I'm sorry for the delayed post and messy pics!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The source of interest wasn't my jaw, but the fact that I was as much the object of attention as it is possible to be. Our school put on a one-man show where a man pretended to be Molière and gave a sample of monologues. I sat in the front which led the actor to pick me to be his prop. His role was that of a 17th century doctor trying to diagnose why I, the patient, was mute. It was quite fun, and for the first time I wasn't worried about my appearance despite having the attention of an entire auditorium. Why? Because I wasn't worrying about my profile. To go from shy mouse to center stage is one heck of a leap, and it serves to show just how much confidence I have gained through this surgery. Wow!
And of course today marks another trouble free 24 hours with my new jaw. I have so much to be thankful for. :)
My appointment tomorrow is cancelled as we all forgot that the clinic will be closed for a holiday. This means more time before seeing Dr A, and more time before scar revision surgery. Oh well, at least I'm far out enough where I don't really have any pressing questions. I'm not sure how the scheduling is going to work out with Thanksgiving being next weekend, but I'll figure it out.
I do have pictures, but the internet in my dorm is down and I'm writing this post from my android, so I'll put them up when I get home tomorrow.