Thursday, March 10, 2016

Update!

Hello! Just wanted to share a quick update.  July 2016 will mark my four year anniversary with upper jaw surgery.  I'm glad my blog can be a resource for those of you looking for help, answers and support.  I am doing well!  My jaw hasn't shifted, my teeth are still properly aligned and I can bite into an apple like a champ.  This surgery was and forever will be one of the best decisions I could have made.  It is a scary process, it can be a difficult healing process, but I am fully convinced that your attitude and support system will get you through this.  Having a proper bite is one of those things that you take for granted when you don't have problems with it.  People don't realize that jaws are misaligned.  I remember how awkward I felt having to saw up a piece of pizza or a sandwich or whatever.  I remember being frightened by what I saw in the mirror quite honestly.  I knew that I had to fix it.  So I found the best team of doctors I could, I got my head right, and as my husband said to me on the way to surgery "you're at the deep end, all you have to do now is jump".  So I jumped and I survived and you will too.  And it will be worth it.  Wishing you all peace on your jaw journeys!
Erin

Friday, May 17, 2013

Braces off + more surgery

hey bloggers! Too much has happened since my last post so let me give a quick recap. I got my braces off April 10th. It totally hurt like I thought it would, my mouth was a bloody mess and my teeth became uber sensitive from all of the glue removal.  After a couple of weeks of sensodyne things started feeling somewhat better. I wear my retainer up top all of the time and the bottom just at night.
On April 23 I had a septoplasty and sinus surgery.  I have been battling sinus infections since my jaw surgery and this just needed to happen. Not nearly even on the same level as jaw surgery but  still surgery nonetheless.  i had splints in my septum for a week and this was the worst part. I literally couldn't breathe out of my nose at all/very well for a week.  I'm healing ok from all of this although I'm still worried because I'm having the same mucous issues and weird sensations on the left sinus area or right where one of the plates and screws are. The drs are telling me that the nose is still healing and things will get better but I am uncertain at this point.
So last week as I was flossing my teeth I took a closer look and saw that one of my bottom teeth had shifted forward. Really, it moved.  Back to the ortho I went where they confirmed the tooth had moved and cut some holes in my bottom retainer to force the tooth back the other way. Unbelievable.  In two weeks I go back to get another retainer.
I can't believe it has been 10 months since my surgery. Would you believe that I still miss my old face? Crazy right? Chewing with all of my teeth is still such a weird sensation for me. The way the surgery made my cheeks fill out is something I'm still getting used to. I've been told so many times that I don't look any different but I see so many differences. The jaw surgery has done so many good things and I'm still thinking of the old me...it's so lame, I know.
I will post some pics of my teeth soon. I hope all of you are well
Erin

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

March 12!

Finally a date! March 12th my braces will be coming off!  I am so excited that I already scheduled a cleaning and whitening for the very next day :)
Still tweeking my rubber band configuration so my back molars touch a little better.  The arch wires were cut so that these teeth stand alone now. The goal of the rubber bands is to pull the teeth up a bit. I agree that this should make my bite even better.  So excited to have the date scheduled!  I also don't have to wear that palate retainer anymore, which is good and bad.  The feeling is still working itself back to the roof of my mouth and when food touches that  area it's just plain weird. The retainer helped to avoid that weirdness, but I am ready to try life without it.
Tomorrow I see the ENT doctor again to go over the results of the CAT scan of my sinuses.  He could tell me that I may need surgery again, I don't care, my braces are coming off soon!  I will deal with all of that tomorrow.
This month will be 7 months from my surgery. I still can't believe it's been that long. In terms of numbness I have not made much advancement as of late. Entire upper jaw palate area pretty much numb and the left side of my lip. Life goes on, numb or not, right?  I can eat a sandwich now and find that to be pretty amazing. It weighs itself out I guess.  Hope you're all well.
Erin

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hi all! I'm sorry I turned into such a schmuck blogger as of late. It really has been too long since I've updated. So to begin, I am still having sinus issues. I have pretty much been on an antibiotic since July for sinus related issues. This has left me pretty frustrated to say the least. I had plenty of sinus problems before surgery, so this was somewhat expected, but when I woke up from surgery and was so clear it really blew my mind. As of October I was back to my nasally, stuffy self.
At my last surgeon appt in December ( I've seen him almost every 3 weeks since surgery because of all of this) they finally said I should see an ENT to try and resolve some of this. But they told me to wait 5 months to continue to let the sinus membranes heal. Well I had already had an ENT appt scheduled for the next week and just went ahead with the appt. I know! I feel bad for going around what they said but really I'm glad I did. They put a scope in my nose and looked back in my sinus and saw that I have an active infection and they also said I have a deviated septum. He put me on an antibiotic for 28 days, gave me a nose spray and I was put on a steroid for 7 days. I am already two weeks in and I don't feel any better. Granted my whole family had the flu and we are still recovering, but I am as nasally as ever. So very frustrated! The ENT doc wants to take a CT scan on my sinuses at the end of the 28 days and then we can discuss my options from there. I have a feeling more surgery is involved. I just want it fixed, that's where I'm at.
Other than that, my chewing has greatly improved. My back molars are finally almost closed. My next ortho appt is January 31 and we may be discussing getting my braces off at that point. Im ready that's for sure! I still have a small gap between my front teeth which has been bugging me but we will address it then.
The top of my mouth still numb and left side of my lips still numb. I barely notice it but still hold out hope that its coming back to life! Honestly I am still getting used to my new face. It still doesn't feel like its my face, but I can chew and that feels amazing.
Hang in there everyone! This is the journey that never ends! Hope you all had a great holiday season! I will update soon
Erin





Thursday, October 11, 2012

10 weeks post op

Hi everyone! I'm sorry for the lack of blogging lately its been a crazy couple of weeks. So where did I leave off?
Two weeks ago I saw my surgeon again. They are super happy with everything. We talked about my ongoing sinus problems and he put me on an antibiotic for 14 days. Clearly I have some kind of infection. If its not sinus related he said the plate could be infected, which just plain sucks. They took an X-ray and the fluid levels looked good, which meant it didn't look infected, but the fact that the area that is sore happens to be right over one of the plates concerns him.
So it's been two weeks and the mucous seems to be less, but today I woke up with a sore jaw and the left sinus area is still sore to the touch. So I don't know. I had to change my follow up appt to next Friday. Trying to not worry about it too much.
The surgeon also moved my rubber bands to my back teeth which has been pretty intense. Intensely painful that is. The bands in front never hurt at all. As soon as my teeth got used to that configuration I saw my orthodontist and he changed it to a box configuration.....which hurts even worse! Oh well, it seems to be working so I'm just going with it. The orthodontist said he didn't think it would be too much longer, but stopped short of giving me an actual timeline. I go back in a month so I will press for more info then.
The new rubber band configuration is causing some discomfort in my jaw in the morning. This really is the first time through all of this that I have had an achy jaw at all. It hurts. But after a while it just goes away.
My teeth have been in a strange phase lately. Top portion on my mouth still numb, but when I brush the back of my teeth it nearly puts me through the roof! They are ├╝ber sensitive right now. Cold breezes or laughing sometimes has the same effect. I'm going for a cleaning next week so hopefully i will be able to handle it. Can't wait to get the nastiness of the splint cleaned off my teeth!
Hope everyone is doing well. Erin

Thursday, September 20, 2012

8 Weeks Post Op

Hi Everyone!

I know I have been a bit crabby and fussy over how things have been settling in, regarding my new face. I've finally accepted the changes and I'm happy with the outcome.  I can look in the mirror now and not instantly turn my head away because of how my face looks.  Some of you may understand that feeling and some may not.  But I swear to you, I used to do this.  Nothing fit together right.  It felt wrong. It looked wrong.

Having said all that, this still was the most difficult thing that I have ever gone through.....let's not take that away from surgery!  I still struggle with puffiness, a little ache every now and then, difficulty chewing/eating, and the top of my mouth and gums are still 100% numb. I never said it's been fun.  But I've moved into the acceptance phase and it feels pretty good. Really good actually.

I started exercising again pretty regularly.  Prior to surgery I would jog, work out with weights, do yoga, etc.  My first jog did not go so well.  I didn't get very far and I had to stop.  I wasn't expecting much, but jeez it was really not far at all that i could run. had to have a good laugh about it. I finished my run, stopping and starting up again quite a bit. And unfortunately, yoga is also not going bearing any better.  If I bend over to stretch, I still feel really intense pressure in my face.  This is a good sign to stop!  And so I do.  I guess my body will let me know when we are ready to go again.  I am really good at being patient anyways.

I did call my doc today about my left sinus. The little bugger is giving me problems and I want his take on it. Hurts to touch next to my nose and to sniffle sometimes and still the green mucous. Sorry it's disgusting, I know. Just another perk. Hope to hear from him tmrw. I go see them next week and then the orthodontist the following week.

I wanted to post my old bite again because my god does it make me feel like I did the right thing, I mean look at that!

On a side note, does anyone think it's fair my husband is complaining about having a root canal?! after this surgery, what a complete and total piece of cake!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My jaw surgery must-haves

I've been meaning to do this for weeks. Here are some of my favorite things that helped me recover.

1. The Jaw bra. http://www.craniorehab.com/Headwrap--Basic-Head-wrap-for-Gel-Packs_p_36.html
It really is comfortable to wear and the cold packs are reusable. Fellow future jaw surgery recoveree's, get one.

2. This water bottle. http://www.craniorehab.com/NutriSqueeze-Bottle--8oz-_p_64.html
It made fluids happen. Your lips are going to feel more inflated than Lindsay lohan's and this helps. Sometimes you are not going to feel like trying to eat, at least this allows you to drink. Bring it to the hospital.  The long syringe is another good option to try in the beginning: http://www.craniorehab.com/Basic-Feeding-Syringes--60ml-3-Pack_p_62.html

3. A neck pillow. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=13506582
Any brand, probably the firmer the better. Bring it to the hospital. It also helped in the car on the way home.

4. A prop-up pillow. http://www.target.com/p/bed-rest-pillow-tan/-/A-10486401#?lnk=sc_qi_detailbutton
Get ready to lounge. I thought I wouldn't use it but I did. I promise you that any little thing you can do to increase your comfort is the right thing.

5. A baby toothbrush and listerine. Get in there and brush, even if it seems impossible. Listerine or any mouthwash will make you feel like a million bucks.

6. A baby spoon. Remember, I just had upper jaw, so the baby spoon worked best for me....aside from just slurping it down, which is perfectly fine too.

7. Protein shakes or protein powder. Unless you are way on top of your game and can pre-freeze soups before the surgery, this is a great way to get some nourishment. Highly recommend having some on hand. I used Ensure and the powder from GNC.

8. I stocked up on cream of "whatever" soups and slurped them down when I could.

9. Blender. I got a Ninja and also had an immersion blender. Both worked great.

10. Jamba juice. If you can pick up some of these packages in the frozen section of the grocery store, you won't be sorry. Of course you can make your own smoothies, too, but until you get the hang of everything I thought these were great to have on hand.

11. Children's ibuprofen. Stock up on it.

12. Nasal spray. Most likely they will send it home with you, but pick up the salt water one from the drugstore to have on hand.

13. Chapstick. I think any brand works fine.

14. Ice packs from the hospital. Ask for some for the road before you leave. The only good thing about my hospital stay were the ice packs.

I think this is about it.  I will add to this if I remember anything else. 

The biggest remedy for surgery over all of these material things was just having friends and family there to be supportive.  The support of my fellow bloggers was and continues to be awesome.