Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 165 - Home

Hello everyone. Thank you all so so much for your good luck wishes and kind words.

I'm home now which is great. Surgery lasted 6 hours. Before anyone worries about this if they need scar revision I'll let you know that that portion of the surgery took only about an hour.

The reason it took so long is that I also got a rhinoplasty. Yep, the secret is out. It was nothing extreme, but anyone who has had jaw surgery knows that it changes your nose, too. For me my nose had significantly widened, and it widened even more whenever I smiled. The movement also exposed a bump on my nose. So my surgeon put in an extra couple of alar cinches and shaved down the bump on my nose. The tip was also refined to bring it back to a delicate point. I know that this will be worth it in the end, but I'll be honest when I say that I'm quite uncomfortable right now. My nose is packed and I have a "cast" over the bridge. Totally not comfy.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone remembers, but back when I had a fifth screw in my mouth with a rubberband it had cut the gum above my left tooth. It did heal one I got rid of that band, but it healed in a weird right angle shape higher than the gum on my right side. Therefore another aspect of todays procedure included a recontouring of that potion of my gums.

The scar on my right has been successfully freed from the muscle beneath it. One bit of good news was the fact that the scar tissue in my mouth seems to have sorted itself out because once Dr A got in there he didn't feel the need to remove anything. The last bit of surgery involved the burning off of a couple birthmarks with a cool radio wave machine.

So there you have it! That was today's surfgery. I'll add more to the update tomorrow, but for now I need to get some sleep. Thanks again everyone, your kindness means so much to me. Be well!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 164 - Surgery Part II

Hello everyone. Tonight's is a very quick update.

I'm doing well and my jaw feels great. The muscle on my right is rather stiff again, but my exercises should help out with that.

In 7 hours I will be going in for more surgery. This time it will be to removed the bands of scar tissue from inside my mouth and revise the scar that has adhered to my muscle. I'm neither nervous nor excited. It's something that needs to be done and so I accept it for what it is.

Surgery won't last too long, I think only three hours. Even better is the fact that I won't be staying over night in the hospital. Thank goodness! My best friend went in for surgery herself today, though of a totally different kind, so we'll be hospital buddies. Best friends for years and now this - life is funny sometimes, but I'm glad for it in this case. Friends work wonders for healing :)

I hope you are all well and I promise to update you all as soon as I feel up to it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 160 - Christmas Cheer

decorating the tree


Sweet new earmuffs

The "kids" table. When did we become the "young adult" table?

More gifts!
Hello bloggers. And for those of you who celebrate it - Merry Christmas!
This was my first Christmas with the "new face" and the first in in more than 7 years without pain, cracks and clicks. A Christmas miracle if ever there was. It was a lovely day with friends and family. For the very first time we included people other than the immediate family in our Christmas eve and morning traditions. Two of Zoe's friends joined us, and for one it was his very first Christmas. We woke up to gifts and then my aunt, uncle and two cousins joined us for family time and Christmas dinner. Toasts and laughter were abundant and fun was had by all. :)
My jaw was great today and I was thrilled to be able to enjoy the day sans pain and distraction. Equally thrilling was the ability to chow down just like I used to without worrying about whether or not I could handle the texture of the food. It's such a blessing to be back to normal again.
I do of course have pictures that I will post a.s.a.p. for all of you. To those of you who celebrated the holiday I hope it was blessed and filled with good times. For those who do not, I hope today was lovely just the same!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 158 - Making Christmas

Hi bloggers! Day 158 has been busy busy busy. Christmas is almost upon us and that means getting ready. I've spent the entire day unpacking the last of my college stuff and cleaning up my room. After that I've been a right little kitchen mouse. So far I've made two varieties of cookies, linzer bars and cupcakes. That list will certainly grow by Sunday, but for now I'm all baked out.

Today my jaw cause no problems at all. I confess that these days I hardly notice it at all. The only times that I'm reminded of the fact that I'm still healing are when I remember the things I can't do yet (like snowboarding), when I make sure I don't knock myself or get knocked in the face, or when I remember I don't feel quite safe sleeping on my stomach yet. Other than those things and a slight bit of swelling life is totally back to normal. My gums are still rather numb, but the surface has regained most of its feeling back. The deep tissue is what is still it's difficult to believe that just five months ago I was swollen like an easter island head and still in the hospital. A lot has changed, to say the least!

Be well everyone. And to those of you who just recently had surgery (Tara and the others) you guys are doing great! I promise it gets better :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 157 - Good Memories & Graduations

Hello there bloggers! It's day 157 and I am tuckered out to say the least. Today was a long day, but it was definitely a good one.

My big sister (my best friend) graduated from college today! It's hard to believe the girl that used to struggle through school graduated from a university ranked in the top 2% in the world. Not only that but she graduated with honors (cum laude) and a semester early to boot! Congratulations Zoe Gabrielle. I love you so very much and I'm more proud of you than I can say.

Since it's Zoe's graduation the day was dedicated to her. We woke up early and headed off to the school for the ceremony and then off to a super fancy dinner with one of her friends (also a graduate - congratulations Steve!) and his family and then headed back home. This long wonderful day has come to a close and I'm one tired girl!

My jaw feels great. To emphasize the point I chowed down on 16oz of fillet mignon and enjoyed every steak-y bite! Healing is such a cool thing  :)

I hope you are all well and enjoying the holiday season!

Tara - I saw you got through surgery safe and sound. Congratulations on making it to the other side. I'm sorry I didn't get to comment sooner, but I have been keeping track of your blog. You're already almost through the first week. Keep it up girl, you're such a strong person!  :)

I do have pictures from today but I will post them later as I desperately need to get to sleep.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 153 - Home for the Holidays

Hi there bloggers! Day 153 is drawing to a close. At long last I'm home for the winter break. It really hasn't set in that I have no class for more than a month and that Christmas is just a week away. I need to find something to get me in the holiday spirit.

My jaw treated me just fine today. Not a pain, crunch, creak or crack to speak of. Yippee!

Sorry for the short post but moving has worn me out. Be well everyone!  :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 152 - Goodbye Fall Semester, Hello Winter Break!

Hi everyone! It's day 152 and it is my last night at college until next semester. It's so strange to me that it feels like just yesterday I came back to school with a puffy face and a mouth that I could hardly open wide enough for a pancake. However it happened, time has flown and semester has come to a close. When I look back the the beginning of September I see such a huge difference in my healing progress.

My jaw felt great today as I enjoyed a super relaxed and lazy last day. My muscles are a bit stiff today and I'm curious to see how bad they do or do not get over break. I really don't want all of that physical therapy to go to waste so I will definitely keep up with my exercises.

Tomorrow I go home, and I only hope that break is just as interesting and note-worthy as the past couple months have been. I also look forward to what it will bring in terms of healing and final revisions. I can't wait until I have a break from school where I don't have to think about surgery, but for now I'll take what I can get!

I hope you are all well, wherever you may be.

Tara - I wish you the very best during your surgery. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and sending positive vibes to you and your surgical team. Pretty soon you'll be posting your "on the other side" update and I can't wait to read it. Good luck!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 151 - Finally Done!

Hello everyone! It's day 151, which for me has been awesome. Why was it awesome, you ask? Because I finished up with my last final exam! I was a bit nervous as it was the final for my weakest class, but I studied hard and was prepared. When I sat the exam I knew exactly what to do, and finished the test in about 25 minutes. After that freedom officially set in. I won't be getting picked up until sunday, though, so I have a some time to myself. Tomorrow I'll be packing and cleaning then attending a Christmas party. Sunday morning will be move day.

My jaw was just fine today. I remember mentioning that when I sleep sometime my jaw will click as the muscle relaxes. That's still been happening though not as frequently, so I'm hoping that eventually it will stop entirely. Swelling is up a bit from clenching my teeth while studying, but it's not too bad. For the most part things are going just fine.

I hope that you're all well and that you all have nice relaxing weekends ahead of you. Until next post!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 149 - A Free Day

Hey there bloggers! I hope today finds you all in a good mood. It's day 149 of recovery and I feel great. Today I got to relax and spend time with friends before diving into studying for my last exam. Freedom is so close!

All of the insurance things have gone through for the second surgery, so it's all systems go. The plan is for my family to pick me up on sunday and then I will get my pre-op blood work and physical done. After that it's time for the holidays and then December 30th is surgery day. The idea of more surgery is a little strange, but I just keep reminding myself that once this is done, all will be as it should be. It is an interesting way to ring in the new year, though.

My jaw was just fine today, and there were no problems to speak of. Yippee!

I hope you all are well! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 148 - One Down, One to Go

Hi there bloggers! It's day 148 now. I've enjoyed a nice break today  since I finished my next to last exam. There are a few days left until the exam so I can relax a bit until then. At last it feels like break really is on the way and I'll be home for the holidays. :)

My jaw feels really wonderful these days. It still doesn't feel "normal," but it certainly doesn't feel bad. There's no pain and no constant urge to crack my jaw anymore. There's really no way to put what I feel into words when I think about that. Amazing doesn't adequately explain it.

Be well, everyone and keep smiling!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 147 - Friends and Finals

Hello all, day 147 has come and gone. In true end of term fashion I've been hitting the books hard. Thankfully I have some wonderful friends as study buddies. It really is amazing how just studying with another person is enough to keep the stress away. Friends really are wonderful.

I had my last day of physical therapy until next year. My next appointment is scheduled for February 3, 2012. My therapist took some measurements to send Dr A a report of my progress and then gave me exercise and stretching techniques to do at home over break so that I don't lose any of the progress that I've made. Some of the things I've learned really are useful and worth maintaining. My posture has improved significantly which allows me to hold my jaw correctly. This prevents the muscles from getting too tense and helps combat TMJ issues. Physical therapy has been incredibly beneficial, and I'm thankful for what I've learned.

Things on the jaw front were just fine today. All in all things are great. No pain = the greatest thing in the world :)

There is one thing, though, which I think is worth mentioning to Dr A before surgery. On the right side of my jaw there is a bump on the bone. It's been there for a while, and it doesn't hurt, but as the swelling goes down it seems to be more pronounced. I don't see it being a problem, but I want to make sure that it really is a bone thing and not scar tissue or anything like that.

Be well, everyone and keep warm. The temperature's a-droppin'!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 146 - Small Victories..and Little Tumbles

Hello everyone, day 146 is over and I'm basking in the small victory that is my completion of my final essay for my Victorian Britain class. One weekend of hard work has paid off, and I can relax a bit until my next exam. Tomorrow is the last day of classes for the semester. I cannot wait until I'm done with finals! I'll be able to relax without worrying whether or not I'm forgetting something important.

Today there were no problems whatsoever from my jaw. I even ate a nice crunchy pizza crust without worrying that I'd snap something. Another small victory :)

I did have a scary moment today, though. For the first time ever I fell off of my longboard. One minute I was staring at the bump that I knew would be my literal downfall, and the next my nose was an inch from the pavement. Thank goodness for reflexes and strong arms or else I would've landed flat on my face. (Don't worry mom, I'm safe!) It rattled me a bit, but all is well. There's not a scratch on me.

Other than that all is well, and I'm feeling good. Finals week isn't nearly as bad as the last one and I'm just coasting through at this point.

I hope you all are well (and stay away from bumps on boards!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 145 - Weekend Warrior

Hey everyone. Sorry for the super late post, but I've been a real study bug today and I've been working on final essays.

My jaw felt really good today, and I didn't notice any problems at all. Every day there is less and less to note.

Today was quite uneventful (after all there's nothing fun about studying) so I don't have anything interesting to share. I'm pooped, though so I'm calling it a night. Tomorrow is another long day and then I can relax again for a bit. I'm really glad I spaced out my work the way I did - it's way easier and far less stressful Always a good thing!

Be well everyone :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 143 - Cold Weather's Coming

Hello all! Its day 143 and I have exactly one week left before I'm done with semester. Goodness, it really feels like I just started semester yesterday. Though it is the weekend there will be no rest for me. I've got ten pages worth of final essay to write before monday at 5 o' clock, so I will be spending the weekend writing that up. Monday I'll study some more, take a Tuesday exam and then have a small break until Friday. My goal is to do the best I possibly can on these finals, so starting tomorrow things move into heavy study mode.

Studying isn't the only thing headed my way - the cold is at last setting in. I can't tell if the seasons are growing milder or if I'm less sensitive to the cold than I was as a child, but December seems different than I remember. Some days a light jacket is sufficient. Late or not, the cold weather is here and I think the mild days are coming to an end. Bring on the snow!

Today I had no problems to speak of with my jaw, but also nothing new, either good or bad. Not that I really expect much change this far out. Not being in pain is enough for me. :)

I hope this post finds you all well!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 142 - The Study Marathon Continues

Hi there everyone! It's day 142 now and I've been busy preparing for finals. Like yesterday, there wasn't much worth mentioning.

My jaw feels fine, and swelling is going down even more. I also feel like I can open a bit wider than I could a couple days ago. Yay! I love progress, no matter how small :)

Tomorrow begins the really intense bit of studying, but compared to midterms, finals are much easier this time around. Thank goodness. My last class is monday, my last final is friday, and then I can be home with my family. I am beyond excited.

Be well, all! Those of you that got snow I hope you're nice and warm, perhaps by a lovely warm fire.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 141 - A Rather Uneventful Day

Hello all. Day 141 has been really uneventful. The work towards finals continues, so that's what I've been concentrating on. I'm feeling food though. :)

My jaw feels fine today, though I did notice the cold bothered my face more than usual today. I hope it's not going to become a constant thing to deal with during cold weather. Winter will set in soon enough and let me know.

Sorry for the short post, but an uneventful day means nothing to write about. Be well, everyone!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 140 - Being Studious

Good evening to all of you on day 140. It was a rainy day marked with the continuation of finals week work. Despite having some form of work to do every day, it is far better than delaying all of it for the last minute and stressing out. I think there's only one week left for my semester. Wow, how did that happen?

Speaking of not many days left, the time is going by quickly until my revision surgery comes. It's less than a month away now. That's a bit surreal to me still, having more surgery. I'm just thankful that it is nothing major or requiring long recovery again.

My jaw was just fine today, though the school work meant that I neglected my jaw excercises. I'm usually very good with doing them every day, and I hope that I don't miss them too often during finals week. After all it's not long before I go without therapy for more than a month, and it would be good to get into the habit of doing my exercises regularly.

I hope you are all well, and those of you in the final exam boat with me, I wish you the best of luck! :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 139 - Work Week

Hello all, it's day 139. This week is the last full week of classes. Next week I have exams and then it's home for the holiday! I can't wait, but it seems like there's still so much to do. Christmas shopping and final projects and exams. The next 9 days are going to be absolutely bonkers!

My jaw felt lovely and pain free today. I had physical therapy again, and things are going well. So well, in fact, that next monday's might be my last appointment. During the break I won't see my therapist, and she said that we will only continue PT if my surgeon thinks it is necessary. It's hard to believe that not that long ago I couldn't open wide enough to eat a noodle, and now we're considering the end of therapy. I've said it before - the body and the healing process are insanely cool.

As it's such an uneventful day on all other fronts I've finally got a new picture for all of you.

Be well, you wonderful people! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 138 - Winding Down

Hi everyone. Day 138 has ended and the finals days of class are on the way. Pretty soon semester will be over and I'll be home for the holiday break. I can't wait, but before I can enjoy break I need to get through finals, which means the next week and a half will be busy busy busy.

Today everything was fine with my jaw. In truth I hardly thought about it at all, which is good. I find myself thinking less about surgery as time goes on. I'll take that as a sign that things are really back to normal in more ways than not.

Another plus is that the cold I've been fighting has disappeared. Thank goodness! I really didn't want to face finals week feeling under the weather.

I hope all of you are doing well!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 137 - Friends and Fun

Good evening bloggers. Day 137 is drawing to a close and it's been a good one to say the least.

A friend who I rarely see was finally free at the same time as me and we spent our day at the mall, baking cookies and playing old video games. It doesn't really take much to stay amused when the company is good.

Things with my jaw have been just fine. No pain, swelling or inconvenience to speak of, which I love.

I can't believe how soon my next surgery is. It seems like I've just finally gotten close to totally normal and now I have more surgery. Of course this one isn't nearly as intense and I won't be recovering for too long, but it's still strange. Oh well, if it means fixing everything and getting rid of scar tissue then that's what needs to be done.

Be well everyone! I think I'm going to post a picture tomorrow since that's a week from the last one. Until tomorrow!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 136 - Sniffles and Wheezing

Hello all, it's day 136. Unfortunately I have a nasty cold, but I'm not letting it get me down. I had an early day, went to physical therapy, boarded around campus and went to the gym. A perfect Friday despite the sniffles and wheezing.

Physical therapy went really well. My therapist is happy with the progress I'm making with improving the deviation and with improving my mobility. She has even informed me that she will stop mobilization until after surgery. Because scar tissue is in the way, she doesn't want to over mobilize me to the point where there are problems when the scar tissue is removed and no longer hinders mobility. We can always do more mobilization, but we're stopping now just to be safe. It makes sense to me, and I appreciate the foresight.

My jaw felt really good, and I had no soreness during or after my therapy appointment, which is a first. Usually massaging the muscles in my face has an ouch factor, but not today. Even when it seems like I'm too far out to notice change, something improves that I didn't realize needed improving to prove me wrong. This process is just full of surprises.

Tomorrow I get to start my Christmas shopping. I love hunting down the right gifts for the ones I love and I'm looking forward to the rare mall excursion.

I hope you all are well. Keep those weather change flus and colds away! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 135 - Hello December!

Hello bloggers. It's day 135 and December has arrived! I'm so excited :) December is one of my favorite months. I'm looking forward to the the holiday season; the winter break, the family and friends, the decorating and baking, the fires and hot chocolate, the snow and the lights. Everything about the coming month makes me happy.

My jaw felt just fine today. Better yet, despite the cold, I experienced no facial discomfort beyond what one normally feels on a cold day. I'm so relieved that cold isn't going to be a problem. My gums are finally starting to get back some feeling. They're still seriously numb, but I can actually feel some things now. I'd say that they're about 50%. All of the other numbness has dissipated. Once in a while I notice little numb spots, but they are small, usually in my chin and below my nose. I'm feeling really great.

I'm also beginning to think of starting another blog. This part of my life is over, but I feel like blogging has been really great for me, and I'd like to continue. Obviously this blog can't go on forever, and I have so much I'd like share and to write about, that I think it might be a good idea to create a blog for something other than surgery. After all there is a lot more to me and my life than jaw surgery. I'll think on it.

Be well, all!