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.