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.
It really is comfortable to wear and the cold packs are reusable. Fellow future jaw surgery recoveree's, get one.

2. This water bottle.
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:

3. A neck pillow.
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.
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.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

6.5 weeks post op

Well hey there. I never thought this would turn into a once a week posting thing, but it seems it has. Last week I went to the orthodontist and got a retainer for my palate. I thought I would hate this but it's really not bad. I thought my upper jaw might fall off when they took the impressions for it, but it stayed with me. I consider this a good thing. talk about uncomfortable having someone pulling so hard to get that tray out, sheesh.
But anyways, i keep it in all of the time. Apparently if my palate relapses they will have a hard time closing my bite. With minor palate expansions they don't worry too much about a relapse. Mine was major, hence the retainer. My orthodontist did also mention that closing the bite would take some time. Translation: don't expect to get your braces off anytime soon!
They didn't change my current rubber band configuration or start moving any teeth, which kind of bummed me out a little bit. Let's get this rolling......Oh right, I am still healing. I sometimes forget the length of the recovery process that I personally signed myself up for. :)
Aside from that, everything is going well. Top of my mouth is totally numb, along with the gutter areas. Most if the feeling has returned to my lips. I would say its about 25% numb still. The area of the surgery is still quite heavy feeling. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm getting used to it though.
Hoping my nose straightens itself out soon, too. It's crooked now and the tip sort of veers to the left. My nostrils are definitely not even. I've noticed before in photos but I really studied it tonight and I will mention it to my surgeon when I see them at the end of the month.
Have a good week everyone

Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 39 - 5 weeks-ish post op

Hey everyone, what a slacker blogger I've been! Even after the exciting week I've had. My splint was taken out on Monday, hallelujah praise the lord! It literally took a couple of snips of wire and it was out. To have my teeth touch was the absolute strangest feeling in the world. It was so weird to talk without the splint. Every part of this journey has taken some getting used to and this was no exception.
The surgeons were super happy with how everything looks. My back molars do not touch at all and this concerns me, but they just told me to keep wearing my rubber bands. I see my orthodontist on Thursday, so I can't wait to get his opinion on this. It's like my open bite in reverse, which translates into my worst nightmare!
Not going to worry about it quite yet.
I am still on a soft food diet for at least another month. My mouth is still quite uncomfortable, so this is totally fine with me.
The one thing I will continue to complain about is the color of my teeth :(. Good god kick me when I'm down. I feel like surgery plus the splint really did the job on my upper grill. I can only dream of when the braces come off and I am able to bleach the crap out of them and try and forget this ever happened! Wishful thinking.
So the splint is out, but I guess on Thursday I am going to get some new contraption that will hold my expanded palate in place. Am I looking forward to this? Absolutely not. My perspective on this is the following: survive the first week of jaw surgery, survive anything. It's all downhill from here!
By the way, isn't it quite funny that everyone is fussing over this expanded palate, but that i don't even notice that I have an expanded palate? What's up with that? I keep staring at it wondering when I will be able to see the difference. For right now, hmm.
Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 29 - 4 weeks post op

The last two weeks I have fully rejoined the real world again. Not saying I was ready, but I joined nonetheless! By the time I get home from work and get all of my mom duties done, I am too exhausted to speak. Its ok though, my job requires me to speak and so I get to mumble plenty throughout the day.
I went for a short bike ride last night and it felt pretty good. It occurred to me that falling off the bike might impose some problems on my healing face, but it felt too good to exercise! This is the longest time frame of not working out i have ever had. I definitely need to start moving my tush. I am gonna start some yoga this weekend to wake up my muscles.
I am still hungry all the time! I think about food and all of the delicious things I can make when I'm able to chew. My teeth feel like they want to rip into something! I've read this before on other blogs and i remember thinking that it sounded a little crazy, but it's true! Anyways, I have lost about 14 pounds now. I'm 5'9 so it doesn't feel like a ton of weight and I'm sure it will come back on pretty easily. But I guess I've realized that I don't require as much food as I thought.
The swelling seems to have a mind of its own lately. One day it's on the right, the next day the left. Today I'm particularly puffy. Still waiting patiently for more feeling and movement on the right side.
And where has the other half of my upper lip gone? Left side normal, right side simply hanging there! What remains is misshapen and beyond pencil thin. I would like my old, even lips back, please! As soon as possible would be great, thank you! They are still numb, so I guess there's hope yet.
I don't think I've mentioned how sore my sinuses have been. With upper jaw surgery I think that having them cleaned out is pretty common. My surgeon said I had chronic, cystic sinus problems, hence the soreness. I've never breathed so clearly thru my nose, however the sides of my nose are super tender.
In other news, anyone interested in seeing what a hospital in suburban Chicago charges for a 1 night stay with complete total and crappy care, please see the attached photo. I hope it does not give you chest pains or cause shortness of breath, as it took my breath away. But there you have it. This does not include surgeon fees or anesthesiologist fees. it does include the one and only Ensure I was allowed while staying there.
Splint comes out Monday! I can't wait!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 23

So I know I said each day was 2 percent better in my last post but I think ive changed my mind. I've decided it's 1 percent, maybe less. The days sometimes feel like an endless cycle of the exact same thing in terms of recovery. It's frustrating and boring and I'm tired of recovering! There, I feel much better now.

Let's talk teeth. The splint prevents me from really cleaning my top teeth, obviously. I can run my toothbrush over what is exposed a thousand times, but with all the wiring plus the splint they are very, very dirty. This makes me a little sick but I try not to think about it. Which works for a while until I see them in a mirror. My poor teeth! They have yellowed to a degree I hesitate to admit. Even after the splint comes off I know I will struggle with how they look. My next cleaning isn't until October. Ick, that's all I'm gonna say on the matter.
Grin and bear it, right?
So people have been asking me, I bet you're really glad it's over? Or, you know, the worst part is behind you now. Uh, yes and no. The surgery and first week if recovery was the hardest thing ive ever done, but I think getting used to a new face is pretty hard, too. Certainly you feel like yourself more and more as the days pass, until you really see yourself in the mirror. It's weird and scary and kinda cool at the same time. If you look too close (like I do) you start to pick apart all if the little things. Now I see why at one point they thought they should have done the chin implant. Will my nose/nostrils straighten out? I haven't posted my new profile because I don't like it at all.
Is the right side ever going to unfreeze? I guess I'm getting a little impatient. And what's the number one rule we've all learned from pre and post surgery? Yep, be patient. I guess I'll take a dose of my own advice tonight. Sorry for the rant :(. Erin

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 18

Hey everyone, what a busy week! I worked three days this week to try and test the waters and it went ok, but my energy is nowhere near where I want it to be.
I don't have much news in terms of my recovery. Was hoping for some more feeling and movement on the right side of my face but it's still pretty frozen. Each day things get maybe 2 percent better. This makes for a very long recovery process. As the soft tissue comes back to life I can now certainly feel just how tender it is. Sometimes I laugh too hard or smile too big and it's really uncomfortable.
This week I also decided to try and venture out on my own. Usually I like to have someone with me as an interpreter of sorts. My mumbling and frozen face seems to frighten and even confuse people! But oh well I went to Starbucks for a smoothie and said to heck with it, I'll just stand there and repeat myself until they understand me! So from now on this is my take on it, just freakin roll with it.
Today I ate too many bad calories and not enough nutritious ones. Not that I'm keeping track, but my stomach feels surprisingly full after my moms super rich cream of brocoli soup and then hot fudge sundae. Soup and ice cream have become somewhat of a theme the last few weeks!
Also I wanted to mention that my bite has not shifted and my midlines have stayed dead on. I'm pretty happy that the splint and rubber bands are doing their job. The teeth that hold the rubber bands are pretty sore, thus the round the clock ibuprofen still.
Waiting very patiently for two weeks from Monday when the splint comes out. Being hungry all the time really can make a person crabby! It's not been an easy journey, and a lot of the time I feel it's getting the best of me. Then I remember that there are worse things that could be happening and I try to do something to take mind off of it. I've been doing lots of reading lately!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 14 - two weeks post op

Two week mark, yay!
I met with my surgeon yesterday and he told me that i am stuck with the splint for another three weeks. Yes I was really bummed, but in the back of my head I knew that was the most probable outcome. They are worried about a relapse of my palate expansion. I will do anything they tell me to not have to go through any of this again, so ok doc whatever you say! Trust me though, I am counting down the days till they take this out..
Since I'm gaining more feeling inside my mouth, the wires that are holding the splint in place are very pokey. I am definitely getting some good cuts in there. We tried to push them down yesterday but the keep coming right back up. Just another perk:)
He said everything else looked great and that was about it. I can resume exercising and sleep on my side.

I went in to work today and I am now really tired. Still feeling really tired a lot of the time.

The right side of my face is still way more numb than the left. I look like the joker when I smile because the right side doesn't even really move. Trying not to focus on these little things too much, it's just weird to see that in the mirror.

Eating is still really challenging and some days are just liquid diet days because I get tired of trying to fish things out of the splint. The last couple of days I just have not felt as hungry.. .

That's all for now, take care everyone!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 10, 11

Yes I have been a slacker at blogging. Apologies. Friday started with a trip to my orthodontist and he was very happy with my results thus far. He put in a new wire up top since it was cut prior to surgery. It was a little uncomfortable, mostly because my lips are so swollen and numb. I was happy he did this because it increases my chances of getting the splint out tomorrow when I see my surgeon. I am trying not to get my hopes up too much about this, but just the thought of its removal delights me to no end.
After the appt I popped into work for a while. It felt good to be back in the real world for the short time I was. By the time we got home Friday I was totally wiped out though. Part of it is because I'm recovering I'm sure, but part of it is because I'm still not sleeping well at all. Tomorrow I can't wait to find out how much longer I need to sleep sitting up.
The swelling seems to be a little better but the right side of my face is worse today. The nerves have been tingling since day 1 so I know that's a good sign.
This surgery is so tough because the results take so long to see. I was a little bummed this weekend, mostly because no one understands what I'm saying and it gets frustrating. But also because I want to see results. I'm trying hard to stay positive and remind myself that this was the right thing to do.
I am going to try and go to work on Tuesday for a while. I'm not a sit around the house type of person and I've done a lot of it. We'll see how it goes.
Will update tmrw after my appt.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 9

Hello everyone! The days are definitely cruising by with my daughter home and I'm glad for that. I can't wait for Monday to see if the splint will be removed but I don't want to get my hopes up. I posted a pix of the intrusive, awful thing. Once it's out I'm hoping to feel a lot better about this whole procedure and of course, eat!
I am still taking it easy. My body does not feel close to being back to normal. I know I'm exhausted because its hard to sleep propped up each night and wake up to take my antibiotics.
The swelling peaked but has not gone down much. I feel like a chipmunk and continue to ice even though my doctor says it won't do much good at this point.
My husband ground up some watermelon for me and it didn't taste like I thought it would, so I just decided to try and eat a piece of it. It went very well and tasted beyond good. I gorged on that and a fresh tomato and slurped some noodles. My belly seems content for now, the poor thing!
My hair is falling out like crazy! I kind of figured this was going to happen, so about two months before the procedure I was taking the supplement Biotin. It's good for strengthening hair and nails.
Tomorrow I will see my orthodontist. Have a great night everyone!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 7 return of the peanut

Sorry for the late post from yesterday, but my little girl got back from her vacation with my family. She was SO happy to see us! This time when she saw me i wasn't miserable in bed so that definitely helped.
What had consumed most of my days was thinking about food and how I could eat said food. My daughter has now taken my mind off that a little bit!
So let it be known, I am really hungry. Down about 12 pounds so far. I had 12 pounds to give, so I'm not too worried about the weight, it's just that I really like to eat and I miss food. Been starting off each morning with the high protein (25 grams) Ensure shake. I had stocked up on ensure because that's what I thought I should do, but man that stuff gets old.
Made a huge pot of chicken, vegetable and rice soup to grind up last night and it was pretty good. The problem with eating is that if it's not finely ground it gets stuck in my splint. And trying to fish food out of that is like heading into the abyss. I cringe to think what they're going to find in there when it comes out! I'm obsessed with cleaning my mouth, but with the splint there is only do much you can do.
The ibuprofen has been helping the aches to some degree, but if I'm not on it every six hours my jaw lets me know. It's a dull ache and it rests below my eyes in a horizontal line across my face.
Overall, I'm staying positive because that's the only option.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 6

Today I had my appt with my surgeons. They were very happy how everything looked. I have another appt next Monday and I may have the splint removed! Nothing guaranteed, of course, but I am optimistic. I also had X-rays taken and it's crazy to see the changes from a week ago.
I was on a kick to eat more today and I did ok, just ok. Had a protein shake from jamba juice, ninja'd some chicken noodle soup and later some mushroom soup, and then had made a protein shake from GNC. It's the most so far and I was happy with that. I just worry about getting pieces of food stuck in the splint. My surgeon told me to not brush my upper teeth for a while to let the tissue heal. Ick! That's all I can say. Rinsing with mouthwash helps but not that much. One more fun stage of recovery! Still can't believe it's almost been a week.
Can't wait to see my baby girl tomorrow and life will slowly start to return to normal. Thanks to my awesome friend jana for stopping over with food and cheering me up....even tho I'm a mumbling, drooling mess. It's been a huge comfort.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 5 - so tired

So I didn't do much today, I was so tired. As my mother in law said yesterday, this really knocked my body for a loop! Maybe I tried to do too much this morning. Mostly layed around reading and watching altogether too much tv. Was able to sit outside and get a lot of fresh air. Getting enough calories continues to be a problem. I've lost about 9 pounds so far and I'm not real thrilled about that. The swelling continues to spread. It moved down my face and has created some nice looking jowls. As far as feeling goes, I am feeling more than I expected. The splint prevents me from feeling my upper teeth at all and most of my upper mouth. I can feel the stitches now. I can feel my lips and most of my nose, nostrils are numb and gigantic. All around I just feel that my face is enormous and monstrous! I expect this feeling to last a while though.
Tomorrow is my first appt with the surgeon. Will keep u posted. Hugs to Rosa and good luck tmrw Tiff!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 4 - on the up?

I'll be honest, the last few days I have been toeing the line between rock bottom and beyond rock bottom.  Finally this afternoon I feel tiny bits of my old, healed self returning.....and it's awesome.  I was able to slurp some cream of chicken soup, that in itself felt incredible.  I did  not spend the entire day in bed feeling sorry for myself, either.  Been drinking lots and lots of water and clear Ensure, even on top of the nausea . I have quit my pain meds.  They weren't doing much for me at all and now I'm just using ibuprofen, which has helped intensely with my throat pain.  Day 4 has been a great day for me, trust me I needed a great day :) 
So about my surgery day...
I arrived at the hospital at 5:45 am and we were registered and then taken up to the surgery center.  I was weighed, given another pregnancy test, changed into my gown, had a cry in the bathroom and then was given an IV.  My doctors came out in their scrubs at that point and chatted with us about what they were going to do, made some jokes (i appreciated that), apologized about putting the surgery off for that week (he really was sick) and said they would see me soon.  I was taken into another room and put on a bed and covered with a warm blanket.  The anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself, asked about prior surgeries and my reaction to drugs.  I wished I would have told him to pump up the anti-nauseous medicine, but who knew it would have gotten as bad as it did.  Then they told me they were ready to take me to surgery and off we went.  Now this is where I had hoped I would have gone under, but instead i was wheeled to the cold, scary surgery room, transfered to the table and forced to watch everyone wandering around, getting utensils out, etc.  Not exactly something I would have signed up for.  I was told to use the Afrin nose spray to "get things moving in there", laid back down and he said I would be asleep within a minute, and I was.  Surgery took almost three hours, it went actually shorter than expected.  (I had the 2 piece Le Forte and they also expanded my palate via bone graft.) 
Anyways, before waking up or I guess while I was coming to, the world went from complete blackness to a dream of my husband and daughter playing on the swingset.  It was quite nice.
First thing I noticed as I woke up, I could totally breathe, in fact my nose had never been so clear.  Definite plus, right?  We all worry about not being able to breathe, so check that one off the list.  The nausea was next in line.  I want to be honest here and not scare anybody, but it was bad.  I didn't throw up then because I was scared to with the splint in my mouth.  They wheeled me to my room and i had to have them stop because i almost got sick again.  The next few hours were also not fun.  My husband of course wanted me to eat almost immediately and they brought in the soft food lunch, whatever that was.  I was so hungry i gave some yogurt a try and found out very immediately that food needed to be in liquid form. I choked on it and gave up.  We requested a protein shake like Ensure but it didn't arrive until 7PM because it's actually a restricted food unless you have a special order for it.  Really?  For a jaw surgery patient?  That was just the beginning of our problems with the hospital.  I was starving.  They brought 1 Ensure and that was all I would get for the 24 hours I was there. 
The nurses were ok, but I felt they had a hard time figuring out what to do for me.  This clearly is not a procedure that they see enough of.  so that's about it for now.  I am so swollen and disgusting today!  Definitely worse than yesterday.  Hoping the motrin will start to help that. 
Hope you're feeling better, Rosa!
have a good night all

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 2

Tomorrow if I'm feeling better I will do a long post about surgery. Tonight and today have been tough, physically and emotionally, so I just wanted to do a quick update....
First off, I am home thank god. Was released about 830 this morning. Haven't done much other than lay around and not sleep all day. I wasn't able to sleep at the hospital because of all the distractions so I hope to really pass out tonight. Getting comfortable has been a little tricky, so we will see.
I am feeling pretty bad that I haven't seen my daughter that much over the last few days. luckily my mom and sister have been keeping her occupied. I know that's a good thing and that I need to heal, but I just really miss
her. Anyways, hoping for a better day tmrw. I'm so thankful for my awesome family and husband for taking care of me. I honestly did not think I would be feeling this crappy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I think I'm alive

Hi friends
The surgery went well I was told. Not an easy day at all. I've been super nauseous all day and finally after somewhat choking down a bottle of ensure I feel a little better. The got-hit-by-a-bus feeling is generally how I feel tho.
My nose is draining so much and my throat is so sore from the tube that swallowing is challenging to put it mildly. And I ended up with a splint after all, not a palate expander, and I am not wired shut.....but I may as well be! Talking is also a challenge and I think I will zip it up over the next week or so:)
I will post more tmrw.
Rosa, I hope you're hanging in there babe cause as they say this ain't easy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

keeping my head up

it's been a good week so far!  my nerves are in a way better position than they were last week.  haven't succombed to the anxiety and am feeling pretty positive.  just got a call from the hospital and i am set up for a 7:30AM surgery.  will have to be at the hospital by 6AM, which means we will be leaving our house around, eh?!

promise to post lots of pictures and info if i'm feeling ok tomorrow.  thank you for all of the good wishes, you guys rock.

and good luck to Rosa who is also going in tomorrow!  will be thinking of you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

surgery update

After a totally crazy week, we are scheduled again for next Wednesday.  It's probably just as well that the surgery was moved because i came down with a little cold on Monday and Wednesday I was feeling pretty bad and ended up sleeping  most of the day.  Feeling better today but I can't ever seem to escape from a sinus infection after a cold and I feel it starting, so we'll see.

I did go to the orthodontist on Tuesday to get my surgical hooks put on.  The experience overall was not that unpleasant, but since the doctor thought the surgery was the next day, he cut off the wire between my front teeth and took off the coil which was giving me that awesome gap.   Well the gap is no more and i'm not sure that's a good thing for surgery.   I have been waiting to here from the orthodontist's office regarding this.  My front teeth don't know what to do without that wire holding them together and they are super sore. 

And if you thought food got stuck in your braces just in general, wait til you get you surgical hooks! They are a total pain.  I need a full brush after i eat anything because it gets snagged in the wires so bad.  My mouth feels a lot heavier since they've been on.  They are rather pokey, but nothing I can't deal with for a while. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Surgery postponed

Just wrapped up a conversation with a good friend, she sent good luck wishes and all that good stuff. I no sooner put my phone down and it rings again. It's the assistant surgeon and he informs me that the surgery is off for tomorrow because the head surgeon was admitted to the hospital. You've got to be kidding me people! My bag is packed I am ready to go! My husband took time off work, plans have been made for my daughter...we are not canceling.....but we are. I am somewhat speechless right now and all I can do is laugh. I will get to do this emotional thing again?! That sucks, this situation right now completely sucks. Some luck I have.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Just a quick photo of my family. Also wanted to share some embarrassing shots of my bite, at rest, smiling, etc.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday night blues

Generally I really like Sunday nights. I think about my week ahead and what I need to do...appointments, work, cleaning, you name it. Today was a weird Sunday. I don't know what to expect this week. I think I have everything I need for my recovery, but I feel overall that I am totally unprepared for what lies ahead on Wednesday. I am trying hard to not get too emotional but honestly I have been so all over the place. Feel bad for my family for having to put up with me! Also I am eating like its going out of style. Nothing unhealthy really, but I guess I'm trying to compensate for what's coming. Wednesday I face my biggest insecurity that I tried to cover up and live with for so long. I really can't stand the way my face doesn't fit together but I am also scared of what the new face will look like. Here's hoping that I have hit my emotional peak :) erin

Monday, July 9, 2012

moulds and more moulds

And so the countdown is on!  One week from Wednesday.  I met with my surgeons again today for moulds and man that was the worst experience i have had with the impressions.  They had to take four on top to get two good ones and i was super grossed out by the paste and even gagged.  Then they put this torture-looking device on my head which went into my ears so that i couldn't hear anything.  I kept having to hold it in place while they did whatever they needed to do.  thank god that's over. over two hours spent in their office today.

i also learned that the genioplasty is no more.  they are just doing the upper jaw in two pieces, removing some bone and basically the jaw will be tipped up. we also talked about changes to my nose. yes, i should expect my nostrils to get a little bit bigger (crap!).  the stitches they put in will somewhat control that and he said proportion-wise, that it will actually fit my face better. mmmmkay.  they will be removing some bone in the nose and then cleaning out my sinuses, expect some bleeding from that. potention problems in include obviously swelling, bleeding, problems with teeth,etc.  fun stuff.

I never finished my post from last week but basically i had received a letter from my surgeon's office about fees (which i knew) and down payment (which I didn't know).  the last surgeon i had consultations with had required a down payment of  $1500 for the surgery.  stupid me, i just assumed most offices would be somewhere in that ballpark.  after reading their letter, which was sent to me only two weeks before surgery, i was informed that they required a down payment of 50% of the surgeons fees and 50% of the assistant surgeon's fees.  Say what?  You all know that this is not a cheap surgery and to require someone to put that kind of money down even though i have insurance is somewhat baffling to me. 

Which leads me to another point entirely.  I have good health insurance with a major provider.  I live north of Chicago, which has plenty of good oral surgeons, however there are zero oral surgeons that are in-network with my medical insurance.  Zero.  I spent hours upon hours calling surgeons.  They all would ask who my dental provider was and maybe they were in-network with my dental provider, but none were in network with my major medical provider.  So my surgeon is out of network and that means they will pay less of it but also there are no discounts, etc, etc. etc.  So I just feel like they have really stuck it to me and I was upset. 

Hopefully not everyone went through the insurance debacle, because it sure does suck.  Tomorrow i go for my pre-op physical.  I still can't believe this is really happening. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Decisions and drama

Well it's been another interesting week. My surgeons and orthodontist were meeting monday night to review everything. They both called me yesterday. My orthodontist assured me I was in very good hands and that we needed another appt for surgical hooks. My surgeon told me they decided on just the upper jaw surgery but that he also recommended chin genioplasty. I hadn't really researched this procedure since I was planning on double jaw surgery this whole time, but I guess it will make my chin smaller. He also said we have to move the location of the surgery to a different surgery center because of insurance reasons. Ok. I am scheduled to go in on Monday to review everything with him. They also faxed over all of the paperwork regarding fees, down payment, etc., and this is where it gets a little hairy. Will post more later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the date

Hey everyone, sorry for the long delay in updating my blog but time is just flying by lately!  My surgery has been scheduled for July 18.  I am still waiting to hear whether it's just upper or upper and lower. it's been over three weeks since my surgeon took new xrays and was going to make a decision on that, but they still haven't.  i've done a lot of waiting since this journey's hard not to get a little impatient at times.  at this point i've just accepted that it's happening on July 18 and whatever it is, it is.  i really am ready to have a face that fits together properly.

tomorrow is my last ortho appt before surgery and i'm hoping that they are not going to be moving anything else around.  i don't want anymore spacers or gaps! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Good news?

I had my appt today with my oral surgeon and he is thinking I just need upper jaw surgery. They took new X-rays and of course have to do all new tracings, but he was really leaning towards just upper. He will go over everything with the other surgeon and they will let me know. He said we could do surgery as soon as next week but we will probably plan for the second week of July. Also I will not have a splint, will stay one might in the hospital, and can start working out lightly after the second week. All in all, not too bad! Wish I had more of a concrete answer in terms of upper vs upper and lower, but I guess my case has been a little unique from the beginning. Dr said its a matter of about 2mm. Will keep u all posted.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

the gap is on

Not too much surgery news to report this week.  I have an appointment with my surgeon next Friday for another x-ray (i have had more x-rays in the last year than i care to comment on!)  and I hope to get info about when surgery will be.  My front teeth have been moving and a I do have an official gap, so i'm thinking that may get the ball rolling!  They can't expect me to have a huge gap for months, right?

No one told me how big of a gap to expect, only that if it got too big i should call my ortho and they can shorten the coil. Hmmm that's pretty vague. 

My anxieties have been less this week, but it always goes up and down. I guess I am most concerned with not being able to communicate with my daughter and how this will shake up her world for a bit.  I know it will all go by so quickly and i have a great support system around me, but still, I worry. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

orthos agreed.

My orthodontist called me last night to tell me that both he and the other orthodontist have agreed that i'm ready for surgery.  Was i relieved?  Not really.  Still feeling unsettled from Tuesday's appointment as the gap widens between my front teeth.  I know it'll be okay and I did this for a reason, however the surgery looming on the horizon is creating some serious anxiety for me.  Where did this come from?  And I would like it to go away! 
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I got coiled.

And I'm not very happy about it! Remember me complaining about not getting a date for surgery, well, I take it back. The coiling procedure that will force my front teeth to separate has scared the crap out of me and I wonder how mentally ready I really am for all of this.
I went to the ortho for my appt today and was very surprised to have gotten the coil placed between my front teeth...a little warning would have been nice! Just when I thought I wouldn't get any worse looking I am given the gift of the gap.
The doc also told me that he feels I am ready for surgery. This conflicts with what the other ortho at the practice has told me, and if you've been following this blog we seem to be going back and forth quite regularly. Anyways I called my oral surgeon and told them about the lovely coil and they also seemed surprised that I had it. They want to see me in 2 weeks for an X-ray.
Tonight i am feeling very apprehensive about what I've gotten myself into. Posting a pic of the coil and a shot of me pre-gap.
Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

teeth on the move

They are much straighter since I got my fancy SureSmile wire, but my bite was gotten sooooo much worse. How is that even possible?  My ortho warned me it would happen but I can't say I thought anything of it.  When you have lived with a bite like mine for as long as I have, it feels like it's as bad as it's going to get.  However, that theory is wrong!  I cringe everytime I look at my bite in the's now open, lopsided, crooked and a total mess really!  It seems almost unimaginable that it will ever come together the way it should. 

I go back next to the ortho next Tuesday so we'll see if i can squeeze out any info about surgery.  Fingers crossed!

I will have my pre-braces photos from the ortho uploaded hopefully sometime this week.  Have a good week all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

xrays and ortho

Well I got my my Sure Smile wire today and it feels like I just got my braces on again.  Substantial discomfort for sure.  I'm a little bummed because my ortho told me my surgery may not be in June as i had been told previously (by the other ortho at the practice).  He told me we would see how my teeth moved with the new wire.  I just want a date, I guess.  Maybe I'm getting a little impatient.  With a family and work and just life in general, I was really hoping for date.  Anyways, I didn't get one yet and life goes on just the same. 
They did tell me they had a phone consult with the oral surgeons and had sent more records to the surgeons office, so that is progess I guess.  They also emailed me my initial xray, so I can share that! 
I found a jaw surgery blog that I have been enjoying very much:  d

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How big of an open bite?

13mm. I have 13mm of open space. Only the back molars touch. Biting an apple? Out of the question, along with pizza, sandwiches, and much more. I saw everything up with a fork and a knife. Chewing is difficult, my jaw does get tired. And i am always pulling my bottom lip up to keep my lips closed, which makes my face look all weird. Like something that doesn't fit together properly. You can see in the picture how forced it is just to keep the lips together.

On April 24th I get my Sure Smile wire for my braces. They have told me this will move my teeth quickly into position they need to be in for my jaw surgery. Hoping surgery will be middle of June.i really am ready to have a jaw that functions. Hope to hear from some of you jaw surgery survivors and people just waiting patiently like me!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Oh how I hate them! But oh what awesome changes they have made. I am so glad I got them and that I am getting closer to having a normal bite. Can't even imagine what that will be like, but it's exciting!
Hello!  I'm Erin, 34 year-old married mom to a beautiful 2-1/2 year old girl.  I have currently been wearing braces since November 2011.  This is my 3rd time in braces.  I am about three months away from upper and lower jaw surgery for a nasty open bite.  I have been reading some blogs on jaw surgery lately and have found it both comforting and terrifying!  Thought it was time I started my own.  This is my very first blog, so bear with me!