Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Doctors Visit and Pictures (Day 8)

Today was a very busy day for me.  I went to the mall with my mom to pick up some supplies from GNC, then I visited with both my orthodontist and oral surgeon.  The mall trip was nice and quick in the sense that we were in and out after going to two stores, but slow because it took forever for me to walk, I was a pretty slow walker.  When I visited my orthodontist they took an x-ray and Dr. V had a quick look at how things went.  He said everything looked great and that by the looks of things, there shouldn't be too much left for orthodontic work once I'm healed from surgery :)  Good news!
Finally, I visited Dr. S and took the x-ray with me.  We took the elastics off and I got to brush my teeth!  It felt so nice!!!  Except that I wasn't able to get the toothbrush in to brush the back of my teeth, but that will come, eventually, and at this point beggars can't be choosers, I'll take what I can get.  I'm allowed to take my elastics off for eating, and since there's only two elastics and they're pretty much right in the front, it shouldn't be too hard of a task, but, I haven't tried it on my own yet, so that's yet to be known.  He was pleased with how everything looked, but a little surprised with the swelling I still have.  Nothing to be concerned about, it will go away when it wants to.  He said to help with the swelling and bruising I should be applying warm moist cloths on my face frequently, and when I do this, move my jaw a bit to help get some movement back.  That was all he said with regards to exercises for my jaw.  I am able to move my jaw a fair bit already, and open it enough to get my tongue out, so he was happy so far with that.  I'm also ok'd to move onto soft foods, like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, pasta, anything I am comfortable with eating.  I was going to try the mashed potatoes tonight, but, after the long day I had, I've decided to wait til tomorrow before I jump into my new foods! After all that I was quite exhausted when we got home!

Now for the last couple of days of pictures :)

Day 5 pictures

 Day 6 pictures, I was finally able to start to kind of smile on this day :)

 Day 7, I'm not sure what the yellow on my neck is.... That's not a bruise, I didn't bruise like that.  Weird.

 Day 8 (today), I actually got dressed in real cloths today, and put on a little bit of makeup, but we forgot to take pictures until after I was already undressed. From the front the swelling doesn't look that bad, but my checks are still huge!

 This is a goofy smile....

 X-ray, well a picture of my x-ray, so the quality is alittle off.  You can he see he clear sliced my chin off and moved it!  There's only a little bolt holding it in place.  That was a little freaky to see at first, haha.  Lots of little nuts and bolts in my head now.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Day 5 & 6

I had another post written up, but it didn't save:( so I'm going to give the gist of it now.

Day 5
It was a rough day, I tried to wean of the narcotics, but I ended up causing myself a fair bit of pain. So I'm still on the drugs! It took a little while to get the drugs back in my system and start feeling better, but I'm glad I did.

Day 6
Today was much better! I woke up feeling good and had a surprising amount of visitors. I had three sets of visitors today and I was completely wiped by the end of the day, well. I was completely wiped before the end of the day, lol. But it was still a better day then yesterday.

Tomorrow is officially one week since surgery!! I'm so happy this first week is almost behind me. I see my orthodontist on Tuesday and my surgeon on Wednesday and I can't wait to get the elastics off a bit to be able to brush my teeth! My teeth are starting to get sensitive so a good brushing will definitely help. I have pictures for day 5 & 6 but I'll have to post them later.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Pictures from Day 2, 3 and 4

 The only picture from Day 2 (on wednesday).  I felt and looked the most swollen on this day.  Please ignore my hygiene in all of these pictures!  I've been bathing, but washing myhair hasn't happened yet, I think I will tackle that tomorrow.  Also, my nose might look funny because I have the breathe right strip in place.  I haven't been able to take it off for very long periods of time.
 These next three pictures are all from day 3 (thursday), my mom said yesterday it looked like a considerable amount of swelling had come down.  But, the chin, the jaw, the nose!  I'm happy with the results I'm seeing :)

 These three are of from today, I actually had enough energy to make it out to the living room for a couple of hours.  A large improvement on my laying in bed and doing nothing but sleep for the past few days.

My left (your right in the pictures) has a much more swelling than compared to the other side.  I'm starting to feel a little lopsided because the uneven swelling continues in my lips.  Oh well, this I can live with!

Today got much better after my last post.  So much so that I think I might start to wean myself off the narcotics.  So far everytime I have taken the narcotic, it didn't affect me, I didn't feel funny, it just helped significantly with the pain.  Today though, I've started to feel that disoriented drugged feeling and I don't like it.  My next round of medicine is at 6, so I'm going to see what happens if I just take the Tylenol, and if I'm ok then no more hard stuff for me!  Now this next part is kind of gross, but I'm curious if anyone else has found this happening to them.  I've been switching between a generic petroleum jelly and regular vaseline on my lips, but when I was using the vaseline I would find that big globs of almost like dried skin would peel off.  But way more than could have come from my lips if they had really been that dry.  It worried me at first because all this stuff was peeling off my lips and I wasn't sure if I should remove it or not.  I'm using just the generic petroleum jelly now and haven't had that problem for a while.  I haven't even begun to see what it's like inside my mouth, my lips are just so swollen you can't see anything inside there yet, which makes me happy that my appointment with Dr. S isn't until wednesday next week.I should be ready to be poked and prodded by him by that time! That's all for now.  I think three posts for one day is sufficient:)


Frustration is hitting me today, not because of the pain, not because of the swelling, not because of the pressure, but because of my nose. The fact that I soundalike I'm drowning every time I breath on threw my nose is starting to get to me. If the pain hits me at least I know there will be relief soon in e form of medicine, the swelling and pressure are expected outcomes, but my nose just doesn't get better:( I hate getting frustrated because that makes me upset and I tend to cry, which then just leads to more pain. I'm trying my best to stay calm and not freak out about my nose, but sometimes you just can't help it. I think overall I've done a good job at staying positive so far, I just can't let these minor lapses get to me.

Day three

The last two days, up until my last post, have been rough ones. There's been a couple of times where unfortunatetly the pain got a head of me and those were some low lows for me. I find the pain is more manageable at night, or at least the medication lasts longer during the night then during the day, mostly because I think I'm not doing anything else besides resting during the night. There's no one to talk to, there's no where to go, all I can do is rest. I'm still on the narcotic pain medication, along with Tylenol, but hopefully I'll be able to wean myself off of the narcotics over the next couple of days and only need to rely on the Tylenol for pain relief.

I remembered a couple of the points I had wanted to mention in my last post. The first was about my elastic configuration. When I woke up in recovery in the hospital, the first thing I noticed about my bite was that my teeth weren't touching. I was able to stick my tongue clear through the front teeth. This was for no other reason than my jaws weren't secured tightly. Initially I had even wondered if i had eladtics in place, that maybe my doctor had not put them in for some specific reason. When I saw him Tuesday morning he removed some gauze from the lower gums and assured me that there were elastics in place, but I only needed two loosely configured elastics because everything had already come together nicely. There have been times since then that I wondered if this is what has been contributing to my pain, since im forced to keep my bite in mind all the time and do what I can to make sure my teeth come together. It does take a fair amount of force to place my teeth together, since at rest right now they don't fall nicely in place. I've also been afraid that I would unknowingly bite into my check if/when I tried to bring my bite together. Since everything is so swollen I honestly don't know if there is feeling in my checks or not, they're just fat and take up a lot of space:( I hope this gets better over the next couple of days though.

The other problem I've been having is with breathing. Since the surgery I have had a hell of a time trying to breathe through my nose, it's completely plugged. I found out after surgery that Dr. S had to remove a bunch of polyps from the right nostril because he said it was just a mess in there. I'm not sure if the left nasal cavity didn't have any polyps or he wasn't able to get to it, but he was definitely concerned about what he saw and said he would be prescribing a nasal spray shortly ins couple of days. I haven't gotten that prescription yet, but hopefully soon! I had to pick up breathe right strips on the way home from the hospital because my nose has just been so bad. And the strips don't do much, I still can't breathe properly, but it's still a huge improvement compared to if I don't wear them. Initially I had only picked up a vaporizer thinking that that would help and be sufficient for recovery, but I was wrong and had to get an actual humidifier and that has been running non stop since I mgot home in my face. Aside from the pain that hits if I fall behind on the meds, this breathing problem would be my number one complaint about surgery. And it's be because it's a constant thing, it has not improved at all:(

Anyways though, I said yesterday was a rough day, but I think it's partly my fault. I woke up feeling good, was able to take a bath in the morning, got all my meds in me and then at 10 my dad and step mom came to take care of me for a couple of hours. This allowed them to spend some time with me and for my mom to get some errands done. They were here from 10 until 1 and I didn't rest much at all during that time. Granted, I didn't do much either, but I was fairly interactive with them, either through trying to talk, or with my white board. And up until then I don't think there has been a stretch of a 3 hour time period that I've stayed awake for. I'm in and out of naps all day/night. But as soon as they left it hit me and I wasn't able to talk much for the rest of the day. I don't blame them at all for that, it's my fault for over doing it, I just have to watch what I'm doing because that was a lot of pain to have to go through in the afternoon for a couple hours of visitor time.

I'll update with some pictures in the morning, this is about all I have the energy for right now. I do want to also say thank god for my mom! I would not be surviving at all without her. I know she's been exhausted the last couple of days because we're on a tight schedule through the night to stay on top of the meds, but she's there, anytime I call her and wake her up for something. And she hasn't complained at all about it and she tries what she can to make me feel better when things get uncomfortable and she knows I'm I'm pain. So thank you, thank you thank you, mom!!!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Surgery Time

I'm going to start my recap from Sunday, the night before surgery, and see how far I can get through it this morning (my energy level isn't the greatest right now).  We'll start with the pre-surgery pictures. 

The lovely no chin, downward pulled nose side profile shots!

Sunday was a pre-surgery day.  I spent the morning with last minute prep then went for my last supper around 4:30 with family. I ate as much as I could!  We went to an Italian restaurant and I made sure to get something for each course and it was all delicious :)  My mom and I went home and did facials (plural!) and by the time we were done had skin soft as a babies.  Then I showered and was in bed by 10.  I didn't feel nervous the night before, but I must have been subconsciously, because I was up for most of the night past midnight.  Luckily, I wasn't too tired when I had to get up, which was at 5am, and we left for the hospital at 5:30.  My dad, step mom and one of brothers met my mom and I at the hospital, which was nice to have all the support.  Admission took about half an hour when we got there, since I was 8th in line.  Then we went to another waiting room at which point I had to change into a lovely hospital gown.  The only thing I got to keep were my socks :S  We all stayed there, with a number of other surgery patients, until they came and collected us and separated us from our families.  Everyone got into the elevator together, but when we got to the right floor the surgery patients went out when side of the doors and the families went out the other.  We all went to basically a hallway where we got placed into our assigned beds and wrapped in the warm hospital blankets.  At about 10 to 8 my nurse came and got me and I was the first patient wheeled away for surgery.  When we got to the surgery room I had to get up from the bed and walk into the room myself.  That scared me initially, but once we got into the room it wasn't so bad.  I didn't get a good look at any of the tools, thankfully, and it was only a few minutes after I was on the bed that I was being put under (prior to which the doctor commented on my crappy veins, his technical term for them)!

Surgery started right on time I believe at 8am and the doctor was out talking to my parents at 12:15, so things went pretty well according to plan as he had said it would be a 4 to 5 hour surgery.  I'm not sure what time I woke up in recovery, I just remember a couple of nurses standing over me and calling my name.  As soon as I was awake they walked away, but didn't tell me I could fall back asleep.  So I laid there for a long while trying to fight to keep myself awake, when after what felt like forever of this, a nurse walked by and must have thought I looked pretty uncomfortable because she said "you know honey, you'd be a lot more comfortable if you tried to get some rest".....  Thanks for telling me that now!  Haha.  The rest of the time in recovery I spent trying to sleep, but recovery is one giant room full of people just come out of surgery (I think that's all who's in there, but I could be wrong), but there are alot of people!  For the most part everyone was pretty quite and trying to rest, but of course, there was one guy in my area who wasn't having any of that!  I never got a look at him, but he sounded older and he kept crying to the nurses that he couldn't breathe and he wanted something removed from his face.  I'm not sure what it was he wanted removed, but the nurse kept telling him there was nothing there and that since he was able to talk then he was able to breathe.  That never satisfied him though.  He also wanted to get up and out of the bed, and he kept pleading with them that he would behave himself if they would just him do that.  They never let him though so this whole thing went on like this for sometime!  Eventually it did stop, I don't know if it was because they got him to go to sleep or if they took him somewhere else.  I was finally taken to my room though at 4pm.  And the ride from recovery to my room was simply awful:(  I became very nauseous and ended up needing a couple of rounds of gravol through the afternoon to get me through, but luckily I didn't throw up!  That was one of my fears for recovery.  I also noticed at that point that I wasn't so messy.  I used the suction thingy when I got there and only a small amount of blood was removed from my mouth and my nose didn't bleed at all.  Yay to no mess!  That was also about the time that I discovered that I had pretty good feeling in my face, except for my chin and the roof of my mouth.  Another thing I wasn't expecting was for this to be a "no shame" surgery, ie, I didn't know that all the nurses would be seeing me in all my glory.  Of course when you're all doped up and trying to get the nauseous feelings to go away, you could really care less, it was just unexpected for me.  It was shortly after this that my family got to come and see me, and when I found out that I ended up getting a chin implant!  That wasn't something we had talked about prior to surgery as even being a possibility, so I was a little surprised by it, but it explained why there is no feeling in my chin.  I trust my doctors judgement though, so if he felt that this is something I needed than I must have needed it!
Around 6 o'clock I found out that I had a catheter in..... No one had mentioned this before, and I hadn't put together that it had been a long time since I went to the washroom!  It kind of freaked me out a little bit, I won't lie.  But it ended up not being that bad. Even when they took it out the next morning, not that bad.  Just another little surprise from surgery I suppose. 
My IV staying in til 5 in the morning,supplying me with my nutrients and medications.  I noticed each time, about every 2 hours, that they administered the drugs, I would get a burning sensation when the drugs reached my veins. By the time 5 in the morning rolled around I couldn't take it anymore and asked to be put on the liquid drugs.  Happily my nurse obliged and quickly removed the needle from arm.  It hurt getting that thing taken out!  I don't think that's normal, so anyone reading this don't get freaked out!  I don't know why that happened to me, I don't think it was an allergic reaction or anything, but I was mighty happy when I didn't have to deal with it anymore!  I was on morphine until  the iv came out of my arm and then they switched me to liquid codeine.  I think I had two rounds of codeine before I asked for something stronger, the codeine hardly did anything for me.  They switched me to a dilaudid suspension which is great!  It works pretty quickly and when taking the right amount lasts as long as its supposed to.  My doctor said I could take 2 to 4mg every 3 to 6 hours so my nurse started me at 2.5mg and unfortunately that dosage lasted only about an hour and a half.  And because of what it is, they weren't allowed to give me my next dosage until the three hour mark. That was a pretty unpleasant time for me.  Biggest piece of advice for future jaw surgery patients, make sure to stay ahead of the pain!  Don't let it catch you!  This might be worse for me because I still have a large amount of feeling in my face, but either way, as long as you stay ahead of the pain, the whole experience will be tolerable!  Oh, I forgot to mention, I'm able to drink from a cup! I take super tiny sips, and, especially at first, it took forever to get a small glass of anything down, but I've gotten the hang of it at this point and I feel pretty functional :)  I think I'm most happy about that, haha. 
Overall outcome? From what I can see, the results are going to be great, once the swelling goes away!  There's been a fairly drastic change in my nose, I no longer have a hook at the end of it, I now have a smallish nose and am happy with it.  I have a chin and jaw line :)  So nice to have that back!  I don't know if I'll have a super defined jaw line once the swelling goes away, but it will definitely be more than I had before.

Not the most flattering pictures,but this is all part of the process.  Swelling has doubled from what it was in these pictures, not sure if I'll be posting those, haha.  These were taken on Tuesday.  Bruising has gotten worse, but again, its what is expected.

I feel like I'm forgetting things that I wanted to say in here.  I spent the last couple of days trying to keep track of everything that happened, but this post has taken me literally all day to write!  So I'm bound to forget something.  So far this whole experience has been tolerable.  I've had good moments and I've had some bad ones too, but that's what you can expect with this type of surgery. I'll keep everyone updated as the healing process continues :)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I'm Alive!

Surgery was a success and I'm finally home. Pretty exhausted though and the pain mess are starting to wear off. Overall though, it hasn't been too bad, I'm super swollen though! I'll update the last couple of days tomorrow when I get some more energy:)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Two days pre surgey

Hi everyone:)

I'm two days presurgery, have pretty much everything I need and am ready. Of course, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. I woke up this morning with a sinus infection:( I've been to the clinic and got a z-pack antitobitoic, a five day treatment, but I'll only have two days in before the surgery. I've talked to the on call doctor from the emergency line at my oral surgeons office and he's said it's good I'm on the antitobitoic, but we won't know until Monday morning if it'll affect the surgery and if well have to reschedule. Did I mention the surgery is at 8am Monday morning? Ugh. Just my luck that I would get sick the weekend before the surgery. I really hope that either the sinus infection will be gone by then, or it won't be bad enough to have to reschedule. But now it's a waiting game until Monday morning. I'm not sure what this will mean for work, I've got six week scheduled off adm everything is planned for me being off during that time, but if it's gets reschduled, that throws everything off. I'm trying to remain positive and am planning surgery still for Monday, as is my mom, but this sinus infection could not have come at a worse time. I'll keep you all updated, but hopefully you won't be hearing from me again until Tuesday or so!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

One Month Before Surgery

I am officially one month from surgery!  That's a scary thought, haha. The last few months have flown by and I've noticed some big changes in my bite, my smile and my profile. I am really looking forward to seeing the changes after the surgery.

I visited my orthodontist yesterday, which will be the last time I see him until after the surgery. I was a little surprised by this, since everyone always says you go to your orthodontist to have the surgical hooks put on. But when I asked about this he said the oral surgeon would take care of it. Max, is that what happened to you? It just seems so weird, like he's just so laid back about the whole thing. My pre-surgery appointment with my oral surgeon is on sept 4, and I'm hoping my X-rays I took yesterday actually make it there, since up til now my oral surgeon has yet to see an actual X-ray of my face. That's weird, right? The lady at the orthodontist office said it would be there for my next appointment, but I think I'm going to call a few days ahead of time just to double check. 

We took my pre-surgery photos yesterday, after taking the mold of my teeth, lol. But, I was able to finally get a copy of it along with my pre-braces photos.

So the pre-surgery photos aren't the greatest, one looks like an awful drivers license or passport photo and in the other I look drunk, haha. But there's been some big changes over the last year! 

Now comes the time to stop preparing for the surgery, which I'm not at all prepared for yet. I mean mentally I think I'm ok, I know everything's going to be fine and all the pain will be worth it in the end. But I'm very unprepared in the way of supplies and what I'm going to need to get me through the tough times. For those that have gone through the surgery, what did you find the most useful?? As of right now I have nothing. I know about the syringes, and I believe  having that extra tubing on the end helps, right? But where do you get supplies like that? And what supplies are worth the money?? I'm going to need help with stuff, please!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

It's Official!

My surgery date has been set! I've known about it since the beginning of May after visiting with the oral surgeon. It was a pretty straight forward appointment and he said everything looked great so we were able to book the next available surgery date which was.... September 24th! Two months earlier then we had originally projected:) I had to wait until yesterday to confirm with Dr. V though before it was official. The last time I saw Dr. V he made a comment that we still had a lot of work to do, but when I told him of the date we booked he said it was fine and that I would be ready to go by then! So now comes the prep, since it's less then 4 months away!!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Two and a Half Months Later

It's been 2.5 months since the braces went on.  There's been a fair amount of movement in my top teeth which I'm very happy about, but, obviously, there's still more to go.  My first check up with my OD was Dec 20 and it was pretty uneventful.  They changed the wires and sent me on my way.  Luckily, there was very little pain after that appointment :)  They said that by the time I came back for my next checkup my bottom teeth would have moved enough that there would be space to apply the last bracket to my bottom tooth.  That checkup was scheduled for Jan 24.  I always update my calendar in my phone of the date and time of my next appointment because I have a horrible memory and will never remember things on my own.  I did just that for this next appointment, but for some reason I put the time as 4 pm.  Well, I showed up at 4pm on Jan 24 to my ODs office and wouldn't you know, I had the wrong time!  I was supposed to have been there at 10:30 that morning instead.  Because they are applying the last bracket this particular appointment is about 40 minutes long, so now I have to wait until Mar 1 before I can go back :(  They have me on a waiting list in case there are any cancelations and I can get in sooner, but I'm not holding my breath for that.  See if I ever make that mistake again!  From now on their appointment slips are also going on my fridge, so at least I'll have a visual reminder of the exact date and times of appointments! 

Aside from the braces I've made some other changes in my life recently that I thought I'd share.  The first is my hair colour.  I've been a blonde all my life (aside from going brown once when I was 17, it was with a box at home and looked horrible!  It lasted about 2 months), and decided that it was time for a change and have gone brown.  Well, more of a dark carmel brown.  I've gotten really great compliments from just about everyone who knows me, I'm told I've got more colour in my face with the brown (compared to the blonde which apparently washed me out, thanks for telling me that before!) so I'm planning on keeping it like this for a while.  I really like the change :)
The second is I've started taking yoga classes as well, I'm also working with a friend to complete the 6 weeks to: 100 push ups, 200 sit ups and 200 squats challenges.  This is the most exercise I think I've ever done in my entire life and so far I'm really liking it!  I started yoga with my mom and for the first month a half I've been going to the gentle yoga classes with her twice a week.  They're not too strenuous but you get a really good stretch out of it.  I've just recently (in the last week) decided that I'm going to the more intense classes because I know I can push myself harder.  I've been to one of these classes so far and I finally worked up a sweat! 
The challenges I'm doing are something a friend from work and I decided to start.  You do it three times a week based on your initial test of how many of each exercise you can do.  I started pretty much at the lowest level for each exercise (again, no physical activity before this, so my body's in pretty bad shape!) but apparently in 6 weeks time I'll be able to do 100, 200 and 200 of each!  I'm at week 2, I should be at week 3 but I'm redoing week 2.  Last week didn't go so well (I wasn't feeling well for the 2nd day workout and then the 3rd day workout didn't happen either), but I have been able to keep up with amounts they say I should be doing.  The push ups are by far the hardest of everything I'm doing right now.  I've never been able to even do a push up, and truth be told I'm doing the easier girl version, but I've definitely seen an improvement in my form and how many I can complete compared to when I first started!  Any improvement is good improvement for me :)  I'm really enjoying the increase in physical activity in myself, I feel better overall and I hope that by the time surgery comes around the positive changes that I've made to my health will help make recovery better. 

That's all for now, and hopefully I'll be in soon to see my OD again!