Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate today. I hope you had a lovely day :)

I managed to eat entire Christmas dinner from prawn cocktail for starters (although lettuce was a bit tricky), to full Christmas turkey with all the trimmings (albeit a slow trek through the plate) and 3 puddings (1 piece of cheesecake and 2 bowls of trifle (trifle is my favourite pudding ever!)).

Of course, there had to be the bag of nuts that I can't eat, but my hubby will enjoy eating them for me.

Definitely still need a napkin when eating, it's a funny thing, it's almost like my nerves have went inside out, I eat something and instead of feeling it inside my mouth, I feel it on the outside. So I feel like I have food running down/stuck to my chin but don't. That's on the right hand side where the numbest area is.

Putting on lipstick this morning was kinda weird.

I'll be 16 weeks post surgery tomorrow so here's a photo update since I've not done one for a while.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

15 Weeks...I think

There was a time when I said to my husband, 'I wonder when I'll stop counting the time since my surgery'.

Well that time has come. I'm fairly sure I'm something like 15 weeks and 2 days post surgery now, but I have to stop and think about it, work it out.

I was supposed to have an appointment with my orthodontist on Thursday but the appointment got rescheduled because my orthodontist was off sick. Have never, in the past 6 years seen her off sick so she must've been really sick.
I did say to the receptionist that I was to be seen soon because my teeth are moving quickly post surgery but I haven't got my next appointment now until 8th January. Well, I'm just the patient so I can't make receptionists give me faster appointments. Although I could bet if the dental nurse was there, they'd find something sooner.
Just got to hope that my teeth behave themselves over the next few weeks.

That will also mean that my braces will NOT be off 4 months after surgery. Why am I not surprised??

Nothing to report really.
I am getting fed up of food getting stuck in my braces (one of the perks of the jaw surgery diet, nothing stuck!) and I am finding that food sticks between my teeth and my gums at the sides on the bottom and I can't feel it.

The area where the bone was sticking out is reduced to a small lump; it is slowly healing itself.

Food wise I have found most things ok although I am taking longer to eat now. I feel like I have eaten absolutely HEAPS in the past 3 weeks but the bathroom scales are telling me that i am maintaining my weight at 10st 6lbs (146lbs) so I can't be doing too badly. Plus my clothes are still too big for me. If I can mantain over Christmas then I think I'll need to go and buy some new trousers/jeans at least because I'm running on 2 pairs of jeans to wear.

I ate pizza for the first time the other night; had naad bread pizza as I figured that would be easier to eat than proper pizza dough base. That went ok except I couldn't eat the crust bits.

Have tried beef and been ok although was sore after the first time.
Have tried pork and that just is a no go, my jaws just refuse to work on pork.
Almost back to normal diet.
Still not attempted anything crunchy or hard like crackers or crisps. But then most of the food that falls into the hard or crunchy category are foods that I shouldn't be eating anyway :)

I can now eat a banana properly! Satsumas are good too.

I have had a couple of nights where I think I've either been clenching or grinding my teeth and have woken up with achey jaws.

I was also sat watching TV the other night and ran my hand over my jaw (still tend to do that as well as touch the numb area) and got a bit of a shock, it felt like something was missing! I think what it was was that some swelling has gone down again on the right hand side.

Coming up to Christmas now. I most certainly will be able to eat Christmas dinner!! Will likely have to skip the nuts and the crisps and so on but that's ok.

I have had 2 lots of laryngitis and 2 ear infections since my surgery so I'm pretty run down. I have also had major mood crashes. I have read online that a drop in mood can occur after jaw surgery, well mine certainly did. Just trying to work my way back to 'normal' again.

And a funny, it's only taken 3 weeks, but now I am fed up eating toast for breakfast!! :D :D

Saturday, 29 November 2014

12 Weeks Post Op - RELIEF!

I had my latest ortho visit on Thursday.

The max fax surgeon was actually in to see me at my appointment today. Was SO nice to walk in and see him when I was worried out my mind about this bone sticking out my gum. By this time I had prepared for going back into hospital, left my husband a set of instructions and phone numbers for work and other appointments, instructed him what stuff to pack in a hospital bag if need be, etc etc.

The max fax surgeon who saw me, is not the one who actually did my surgery but is the one who came to see me post-op in hospital the whole weekend and last saw me when I was at Day 2 Post op. He is just such a nice man...I wish I could take him home with me :)

Anyway, in his lovely calm way, he looked in my mouth and confirmed that it was indeed bone sticking out of my gum.

With a few twiddles of some tweezers he took that bone out! Apparently it was a fragment of bone that had decided it wasn't going to be a part of my new face and was working it's way out. It was quite a big fragment for being a fragment.

I must have looked a right muppet because I then proceeded to burst into tears with relief!

I also explained to him about my squint mouth, but I wonder if it's something that is only going to be noticeable either to me or to others when I am tired or ill because he said he didn't see it.
He checked my numbness levels and I could feel him touch my lip and chin on the right hand side so feeling is coming back, even if it is painful.

Next it was my ortho's turn. I showed her the gap I wasn't happy with but I don't think she's going to do much about it; she said that it is likely to only be noticeable to me. But really, all this hard work, don't we want as near damn perfect teeth as possible??

So I got elink for that gap and elink for the gap on the other side she is working to close. The molar that she put powerchain on, is quite mobile and she didn't want to do anything to it so that the wound from where the bone was removed, could heal.

No powerchain today and red and green ligs for Christmas.

She has given me a new configuration of elastics...the most fierce looking yet.
Moved to blue elastics on the right and remain with orange elastics on the left. Now over 2 hooks at the top and 2 hooks at the bottom on each side...kind of like a square/rhombus style shape.

I also had to get an xray done, I presume to check that everything was ok after having this bone fragment removed.

Then I was given the green light to eat a normal diet again! Instructed not to eat anything that could break my braces, no chewy meat or crusty bread.

Came home and had (oven cook) battered fish, oven chips and peas. Not really my ideal choice of a first 'proper' meal but that was what we had. Took a wee while to eat it, especially the chips and I must say I suffered for it in the evening; I was sore! But I guess it's just a workout for my jaw now.

As well as being sore I had a lot of nerve stuff going on. Best way I can describe it is cobwebs, a heap of cobwebs on your face, tingly, itchy, feeling weird and just not pleasant.
Took some paracetamol and codeine and with being hugely tired (relief after the stress I think) I was in bed and asleep by 9.30pm.

Friday I had TOAST! I had TOAST! I had toast for breakfast..OMG so good!

Went out for lunch with my best friend to celebrate the fact I wasn't in hospital having bone removed and that I can eat normally again. Took a long time to chose a meal because I didn't know what I would be able to eat and what i wouldn't and didn't want to pay money for food and find I couldn't eat it.
I chose risotto with chicken, prawns and chorizo. Managed the chicken and prawns but not the chorizo. Took a while to eat it too but that's ok.

Supper was curry and rice but this time I could have the chicken and the naan breads :)

Today I had a bacon sandwich for breakfast, yum yum! I was never a big lover of bacon before but it has tasted really nice now.
Lunch was a fried cheese sandwich...O.M.G. probably THE BEST thing I have eaten in the past 3 months!!
Supper was spaghetti meatballs, but I think I would've managed that last week anyway.

But it is SO NICE to be eating normally again! I made it through 12 weeks of liquid and soft-chew diet!
And this week I can go back to planning meals for the coming week and cooking nice things and enjoying meals the same as the rest of the family.

Still going to have soup for lunch tomorrow LOL but that is because it is cold, dark, grey and wet outside now and soup seems appropriate.

I am going to allow myself to indulge in food this weekend and then from Monday get back to eating sensibly again so I don't pile on all the weight I have lost. I have went up from 10st 4 to 10st 8 and would quite like to stay at this weight now. Saying that, Christmas is just round the corner!

Next ortho visit is in 3 weeks time.

Selfie pic time!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Look Away If Your Squeamish Warning

If you are squeamish, don't look at this blog entry.

I managed to take a good photo of this lump and what looks like bone sticking out.
To give an idea of where in my mouth it is, it is where the incision site is on the left hand side. So what looks like bone, is sticking out between my gum and my cheek. And on further looking today, I can see another bit that looks like bone too :(

Now I am worried that I'm going to have to go back into theatre to have this fixed. Can't seem to find anything online about it other than malunion of bone fragments is a complication of this surgery.

Two photos, one shows the 'bone' sticking out better and the other shows this new area of what looks like bone appearing at the back.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

11 Weeks and 2 Days

I think my orthodontist may have her work cut out for her on Thursday. Another hour in the chair of torture for me perhaps?

That red lump on the inside of my cheek, between my cheek and my gum, where the wound would have been...on further poking about at it, there appears to be a fragment of bone sticking out. Well it looks like bone. I'm hoping it's something silly like some rice, but it's definitely hard and won't move if I pull on it (gently) with tweezers.

That pain in my jaw on the right hand side where it feels like someone is punching me in the face....the penny dropped today and that could well be neuralgia.


The rest of my list includes:

my squint mouth (the top lip goes one way and the bottom goes another)
my lopsided mouth, it is still dropping on the right hand side
my midlines; they didn't meet after surgery but that was ok because that's how they wanted it. Now my midlines have came together and are making themselves go the other way unmatched.
a couple of gaps still to close
one gap that has appeared that I'm really not happy with
my lower furthest molar on the left which the ortho attached powerchain to to bring it forward a bit so it was more useful to me, hasn't come forward but has twisted round instead.

Today, I ate chicken for the first time since before my surgery. It was nice, juicy, soft roast chicken and it went down just fine :)
Good to know, that unless the above list means a trip into hospital for things to be fixed, I'm on track for eating a full Christmas dinner!

Photo time! Couldn't decide whether to use pic 1 or pic 2 for the serious face photo so used both. Pic 1 is a nice pic but pic 2 shows how my mouth is drooping.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Day 75 - Pain No Happiness

For the past 3 days I've been in pain.
It comes and goes.
For example, today I have been awake since 7am and up since 7.30am. I've been fine. Eaten a pancake and had a cup of tea for breakfast.
Now, at 9.50am, it feels like someone has come and punched me in the jaw on the right hand side. It is a deep pain. Definitely bone pain rather than nerve pain. Almost like the kind of pain you get with toothache.

Have taken painkillers which should help put it away.

Yesterday the same thing happened, pain arrived late morning, took painkillers and then it came back later afternoon and then nothing until this morning.
If it's not my jaw, then the only other thing I can think it could be is another ear infection. But I don't want to go to the doctors and have them tell me that my ear is fine, it's referred pain from my jaw (had this happen already).

So painkillers and we stick it out until my appointment with the orthodontist next week.

I also have developed a lump on the left side, between the cheek and my gum. It's quite red and getting bigger. I tried to get a photo of it this morning but this is a case where I really need a medical photographer to take a picture because I can't get a photo that shows what I see with my own eyes.

I have a worry that food may have become trapped and skin growing round it.

But it will have to be looked at.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Day 73 - Pain & Happiness

When I got up this morning I was really sore on my right hand side. Took painkillers which helped until late afternoon when the pain hit again. Weird.

Also, where my wounds are healing, on the left where the cheek meets the gums, a wee lumpy bit has formed. I'm guessing it is just the wound area healing but it is annoying because it feels like I have food stuck between my gum and my cheek.

Went to the cinema yesterday to see The Imitation Game...SUPERB film!
First time at the cinema since surgery and for a girl who can't not have popcorn when she goes to the cinema, it was kinda hard to make do with a hot chocolate.

Today went out for lunch to celebrate my daughter getting her braces off. Her teeth look beautiful. Whether she will wear her retainers though is another matter.
I ordered an egg sandwich, white bread, no salad.
My food arrived, I piled all the crisps on to my daughter's ate cause I can't eat them.
Then I went to cut the crusts off the bread and realised this was not an egg sandwich, it was brie and rocket.
So went back with sandwich, reiterated egg sandwich, white bread, no salad.
Back came an egg sandwich, white bread and a bigger pile of crisps lol!
Attempted the coleslaw, tried the move it about your mouth and swallow whole technique until I choked on the 3rd forkful. Then I stopped :-)

This week is the first week since my surgery that I really miss chocolate, actual chocolate not just the taste.

But happiness has come a wee bit.
How to eat milk chocolate digestives on a soft chew diet?
Dunk your milk chocolate digestive in a hot cup of tea!
Fit fine :-)

Friday, 14 November 2014

10 Weeks Post Op Today!

Today I have reached the 10 weeks mark!

*Still* on the soft chew diet. My ortho did say that it would be around the 10 - 12 week mark that the bone would be healed but I'll wait until the 12 week mark I think before I start on something harder than soft chew.
I attempted a wee bit of soft crust on a sandwich last week and oh dear, my jaw did not like that at all. In fact, since, it's felt like something's not right, when I bite down, the jaw feels soft and squidgy and whilst I still had my numb area, I didn't particularly notice it before, but now I do.

But I don't know if this feeling that something isn't right is related to my actual jaw bone healing and having been squished with a crust or if it's to do with numbness and feeling coming back. I shall ask the ortho when I see her on the 27th November.

This week I went out for a meal for the first time since my surgery. Me and my husband went out to celebrate our wedding anniversary (14 years, the man deserves a medal!). Ended up going to an Italian and I chose basically sausage pasta bake. But struggled with it because the sausage was really quite firm. I was going to choose what my husband had (cannelloni made with minced chicken) but it said on the menu it was wrapped in breadcrumbs so I thought I wouldn't manage it. Turns out there were a few breadcrumbs sprinkled on top and the rest would've been much easier to eat than my meal. Oh well.
Cheesecake went down all right though :)

Here's a pic of me at 9 weeks and  5 days after having been to the hairdressers for the first time since my surgery.

Oh! Note of advice, if your hairdresser is on the rough side and yanks your hair to dry it, don't go to the hairdressers until your jaw can cope with it. My hairdresser was off sick when I went for my appointment and I got another hairdresser instead. Oh my goodness, she had long nails (felt them when she washed my hair!) and a sharp red comb (I'm surprised I did not have red scratches across my scalp and down my neck) and she pulled my hair with all her might, yanking my head backwards, when trying to straighten it. I felt like a bobblehead! No way on this earth would my jaw have coped with that even just a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Day 61 - I've Got A Feeling...Wooohoooo!

Sing it like the Blackeyed Peas yeah!

I ate a couple of grapes yesterday and realised that grapes don't come under the category of soft chew. One grape and the numbness feeling was setting in, 2 grapes and it was like eh no, not happening, this is not comfortable.

But this morning, I've woken up and I've got lots of tinging and cobwebby feelings in my chin and on touching my chin and lower lip, it just feels ewwwww, not pleasant. I initially wondered if I was feeling particularly numb today but then wondered, is it a case that I'm feeling less numb and feeling is coming back?

Then I kissed my husband goodbye as he left for work and oh! I can feel more of a kiss, I could feel it!
So had a wee poke about whilst looking in the mirror and I could say that my area of numbness has shrunk to this:

And funny enough, the bit where my mouth looks as if it is drooping down, is the numbest part. I wonder if once all feeling returns, if my mouth won't look quite so lopsided.

Diet wise I'm still on the soft chew diet but I feel like I'm almost back to normal eating just minus the meat, crusty bread and hard crunchy stuff like crisps (not that I really need to be eating crisps anyway). Or maybe it just feels normal because I've been eating no-chew or soft chew for almost 9 weeks now.

Pain wise, I'm only taking paracetamol as and when I need it, usually if the weather is really cold. This is a big improvement because there was a time when I felt like I was never going to have to stop taking pain meds!
Oh and hoovering is a challenge. I've hoovered like 1 or 2 rooms at a time but at the weekend I attempted to hoover the whole house and had to stop and rest half way through because my jaw felt so heavy that it was going to drop off.
I now have an ear infection (to be expected after my chest infection and laryngitis) so need to take pain meds for that instead.

Didn't get either of the 2 jobs I interviewed for last week, so still job hunting. Hopefully something will come up.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Video of BSSO - Not For The Squeamish or Faint Hearted.

I was supposed to be working today but it got cancelled so pottering about online I decided to look for a YouTube video of a BSSO surgery, just to get an idea of what I had done.

I would not have been able to watch this prior to surgery, I'm not squeamish or faint hearted but it would've been too close to home and freaked me out. On the other hand, if I had watched this video maybe in the first few days after surgery, I might have went a little bit easier on myself in terms of recovery. I would've been kinda to myself.

This video shows mandibular advancement so different to my mandibular setback but I don't imagine it was too different aside from the mandible being put in the opposite direction. I must admit, I did have a Oh No! moment when I watched them moving the 'free' jaw.

Here is the link:

Today is now day 55 post op.

My jaw ached yesterday A LOT! I wonder if it was because of how much I talked on day 54...I had a job interview and then an appointment and it all involved a lot of talking.
I also ate my first sweetie since before my op...I chose a single size Milkyway. And boy it wasn't as easy as it looked or as easy to eat as it was before surgery. End result, I managed to eat it but the effort it required just took away the enjoyment of it.
Maybe that's not such a bad thing :)

Breakfast: pancake with butter and jam
Lunch: cheese and onion chutney sandwich and a yoghurt
Super: fish, mashed potato and peas followed by semolina and jam

I hold my hands up now and say I do not clean my teeth after every meal. Twice a day is suffice for me and if anyone has a problem with that, tough. My hygienist is always amazed at how clean my teeth are and I only have 2 fillings (one of which is due to a tooth being broke by a brandy snap).

So last night, thing got amorous with my hubby, as they do. Second time post-surgery and it still feels weird, although granted not as weird as the first time. He is scared of hurting me and kissing for me is just lopsided due to numbness on the right. I took out my elastics because they were twanging when I was kissing ROFL!
And then before I went to sleep, I went to put new elastics in and found a pea in my mouth, just on the bottom near the back molars! Hadn't felt it and it must've been stuck there since supper time. Ooops!

Moral of the story, check your numb mouth for foreign objects before commencing in any lip action.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Day 52 - 6 Years 5 Months of Braces!

I'm bored today. Husband has went back to work and kids have went back to school after being off on holiday for the past 2 weeks.
I've cleaned the bathroom, dusted, hoovered and mopped the kitchen floor (that was taking it a bit too far really, head was sore after that idea) and now twiddling my thumbs so thought I'd take some pictures because I haven't put any pictures up on here for a wee while.

Excuse the startled surprised look on my face in photo 1...and the hair...I need a haircut!

You can definitely see how my mouth is asymmetrical now. But I think this is just how I'm going to look now rather than it being anything to do with an infection or whatnot. Unless there is still swelling going on that i don't know about.

In my bite picture you can see that my midlines now match!!! (plus you can see my super cool orange and black ligs...of all the colours I've had over the past 6 years and 5 months, orange and black have been my favourite)

And just for fun, I thought I'd look back at my pre-braces photo and compare it with today's:

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Day 51

Wow! Day 51, that just seems unreal doesn't it. Or let's say 7 weeks and 2 days post op.
Have recovered from being ill and have got my voice back. This past week just wasn't a good week.

Not much to report on my post op situ really.

After the initial yeah I can move to soft chew, the next day I realised that it didn't really mean that much more variety to my diet. A week on though and it is better, I feel more like I'm eating real food now and not just slops. Although I would say that after 6 weeks of no chew it's kinda hard to get out of the habit of eating without chewing so half gets chewed, half goes straight down.

To give examples of foods I've had :

Lasagne (managed the pasta this time)
Fish (don't have to mash/flake it up)
Baked potato without having to mash it and I had hummus with it.
Sandwiches (egg mayo, tuna mayo and grated cheese with hp sauce)
Pasta bake (no meat)
Sausages, mashed potato and baked beans
Pancakes with butter and jam
Scones (ok but more difficult to eat than pancakes)
Softie (aka soft bread roll, morning roll, bap) and this has probably been the most difficult thing to eat and I was definitely achey after eating it. Maybe that was a bit too adventurous.

I did also attempt to eat a banana but my mouth doesn't open wide enough :D :D Oh well!

It has been so nice to have something other than porridge or readybrek for breakfast!
Actually, today I made myself a cooked breakfast for the first time and I thought of it yesterday and was so looking forward to it this morning,
I had: 2 sausages, 1 slice of black pudding, 1 fried egg, baked beans and mushrooms.

Managed everything except for the mushrooms...chewing them was too difficult, I could swallow them without chewing but they weren't very nice that way so I left them. Only things missing from that breakfast were bacon, hash browns and TOAST!

LOL still not allowed toast for another 3-4 weeks yet. I think I'll move on to the toast diet as soon as I can...toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner LOL!

Pain wise, on my left, I wouldn't think I had had surgery, everything feels back to normal.
My right hand side is a different story. I still definitely have pain, I can't tell if it's my jaw, my gums, my lower right canine, inside my lip or what. It corresponds to where (I said in a previous post) the numbest area is. But it is nipping my head! I wouldn't need to take pain meds if it wasn't for this 'bit'.

My bottom lip and chin are still numb on the right hand side. I got my hubby to test my feeling out, he chose to use a skewer out of the kitchen cupboard LOL and we discovered that I can feel pressure but not sharpness on the right hand side.

Haven't had the burning sensation this week but definitely have itching and a feeling of cobwebs on my chin.

Definitely noticing with this colder weather that I need a scarf or else my jaw starts to ache on my right hand side. I had thought the cold was going for my healing bones but then realised the cold was also becoming friends with all this new metalwork in my mouth! I had forgotten about the plates and accompanying screws!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day #no idea. I'm Sick

Just when I was starting to get back on my feet after my surgery, now I am I'll.
I picked up a cold from one of my kids and now I have a chest infection and have lost my voice.
I feel utterly rank!
I was at my GP today anyway to see if I could get some help with my anxiety. Didn' t really get much help for that but since I have no voice, she checked me over. My pulse, and bp are ok, but my chest didn't sound good. She said she wouldn't normally give out antibiotics on day one of a crackly sounding chest and a lost voice but since I just recently had surgery, I was getting them.
She also said that I am dehydrated (how? considering I'm practically on a liquid diet) and she was concerned by how my mouth was visibly squint.
I have noticed just the past few days that my mouth is squint and it wasn't like that before. She said it could be a sign of infection in my jaw so to keep an eye on it, especially with my lost voice, and if I get any swelling to go straight back.
If my voice doesn't return in a day or so, I've to go back for different antibiotics because sometimes after surgery, you get different bugs hanging about.

Today I had readybrek for breakfast, a cheese omelette for lunch and for supper, sausages, mashed potato, beans and my first fried egg in more than 7 weeks!

Now I'm back to lying on the sofa, with a fluffy pillow, hot water bottle and a muffin!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Day 42 - First Day of Soft Chew Diet

Went to bed early last night with fluffy pillow, hot water bottle and pain meds, including codeine. My goodness my teeth HURT!
Slept til 7am when I woke up with HURTING teeth again.
Got up and took more pain meds and went back to bed for an hour or so.

Then it was time to eat breakfast! PANCAKES!

I put a pancake in the toaster to heat it up and then spread lots of butter on it. Made myself a cup of tea.

And then sat looking nervously at my pancake!

I would say I half chewed, half ate like I have the past 6 weeks, ie no chew.
It wasn't easy, I was nervous and my husband had to tell me to relax lol because I ended up sitting hunched, tense.
It felt weird feeling my teeth bite together when eating, back to the feeling of banging china plates together again.
But I finished it and decided I would have a second pancake.
I think my jaw muscles thought a second pancake was a bit ambitious though, heavy, numb lip feeling soon kicked in.
But I ate 2 pancakes for breakfast!!!!

This morning I took my son to his appointment and since my ortho was there, I got her to have a quick check of my teeth because since I woke up this morning, my bite felt off.
So now I have changed to green elastics both sides.

Yesterday I had forgot to ask her how long I should be on the soft chew diet for, today she told me I have to stay on soft chew for the next 4 weeks.
That opens up a little bit of variety but not lots but that's ok, I don't want to rush it so we'll just take it slow.

For lunch I had an egg mayo sandwich. Oh bread!! I made sure to add extra mayo to the mashed egg so it was a bit runnier than normal and I cut off the crusts from the bread.
And then found I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to fit the sandwich in ROFL!

A little squashing of the sandwich and making sure I took small bites meant I got my sandwich eaten! My husband managed to eat his sandwich and a bowl of soup in the time it took me to eat my sandwich. But slow and steady won the race.

Spent the afternoon just chilling and it was good.

For supper I tried normal sized pasta (shells) with chicken and tomato sauce. Unfortunately, I just couldn't chew, just found myself automatically eating no chew style. I cut off as tiny wee bit of chicken and tried to eat it, but no, my mouth just wasn't ready for that yet, I couldn't chew it, so pasta and sauce it was.
But that's ok, I'll try meat again next week.

Face pics next. Please excuse my jaundice's harder to get good light for photos now the darker mornings are coming in.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Day 41 - An Hour In The Chair of Torture

Today I applied for a job first thing this morning.
Then I went to work for 3 hours.
Then I came home and had lunch (mexican omelette again).
Then I was straight out the door to an appointment with my orthodontist.

Usually my ortho ALWAYS runs late but today the dental nurse came out to the waiting room to call for me and had to call me twice because I wasn't paying attention...she knew that I wasn't expecting to be called before my appointment time. It must've been an unusually slow day today in the land of orthodontics.

And then I spent an hour in the chair, a full hour being, what felt like, tortured...although not as bad as the scary 80s horror movie session I did have last year.

First up, checking my bite, open, close, bite together, suck the saliva and swallow, open, close, bite together.

Then she decides on her plan of action.

The top wire comes off, no problems there.

Then the bottom wire comes off for the first time since my surgery. I was nervous, I was tense and quite protective of my lower jaw. The bottom wire did NOT want to come out and the new lighter wire (17.5 steel) did NOT, in any uncertain terms want to go in. It hurt! And I could feel myself pushing myself further and further back into the chair.

Eventually, she got it in only to have to take it out again to put it back in.

Then she dropped the top wire on the floor! By this time I'm thinking 'oh no, we have to start again' and said 'I'll take the bugs from the floor' :D Just don't let us go through all that palaver again.
Thankfully they could just sterilise the wire.

Once out of the chair after the hour, I felt a bit light headed so had to sit back down again.

Today's orthodontic plan:

New lower wire, a lighter one apparently, with some kind of bend in it with wide powerchain too.

Apparently I have a tooth on the top which has rotated 180 degrees but it's going to stay like that because trying to rotate it would be too big a job.

Top wire kept from last time but I now have e-link (sp?) on both sides; one side to keep the teeth in place and the other side to close the gap that has formed between my lateral incisor and canine. Actually, I think this e-link is going to be hauling more than just my canine round a bit, I think it's going to move the canine, and at least a premolar if not a molar as well.
And I have a new configuration of elastics; still orange on the left, running, top canine to bottom molar and still green on the right, running top furthest back molar to bottom canine.

So with new wires, bends in wires, quick ties, spring coil, powerchain AND this new e-link (never had it before), I HURT!!!!!
I can't even bear to bite my teeth together because it is too sore.

I think I'm going to have to take some codeine tonight before bed.
My ortho always tells me that my teeth might feel achy after treatment, but let me tell you, achy just does not do justice to the pain of teeth being forced to move. Achy my foot!

There is some good news though:

After 41 days...tomorrow I CAN PROGRESS TO SOFT CHEW DIET!

I have been told I am allowed to eat things such as well cooked pasta, potatoes (not mashed) and bread (although not toast or crusts).
I forgot to ask how long I have to be on soft-chew for but I'll be seeing my ortho again tomorrow when my son has his appointment so I shall ask her then.

So I have bought some pancakes for my breakfast tomorrow morning.
I have a funny feeling that I won't be able to actually eat them because my teeth are so sore, but I'm most certainly going to be trying (and hopefully not crying).

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Days 30 - 40

Wow! It's been a wee while since I last updated.

My only excuse is that this has been the time where I've actually felt like I'm almost back to 'normal'.

I have had MAJOR stress about my job but I won't get into that here, suffice to say because I was signed off sick because of my surgery when I was, I am now job hunting again. I do still have my job, but I have very limited hours.

I continue on the no-chew diet, that's been 40 days now, not that I'm counting or anything :)
It will be 6 weeks since my surgery in 2 days time (not that I'm counting that either!) and I'm hoping they can say I can start a soft-chew diet.
Oh to have some bread! I don't imagine I'll be able to start eating toast yet though, but a pancake for breakfast, an egg sandwich for lunch and some normal sized pasta with tomato sauce for supper would be lovely!

In the past 10 days these things have happened:

On the Sunday, I my brother inlaw, his girflfriend and my niece came to visit in the morning, my parents inlaw came to visit in the afternoon and then I sat at the swimming pool for 3 hours watching whilst my daughter took part in a swimming competition. I even managed to cheer her on a couple of times (even if my jaw muscles weren't too happy about it).

I went back to volunteer at the place where I volunteer. I managed an hour and a bit before having to go home because I was getting sore with talking. But it was nice to get out and be social again even if no one did notice that I look different (either the fact I've had my jaw moved or that I've lost 14lbs in weight!). I guess it just goes to show you, that people really don't take notice of what other people look like!

I have went back to work, one assignment working from home and the other attending a lecture for 2 hours. I was very tired afterwards but I would say it was ok to return to work on reduced hours at the 5 week mark.

Last Saturday, I started studying a diploma in reflexology and that was a whole day thing, 10am - 6pm and I was worried if I would manage it or not. I made sure I took plenty of pain medication with me and took a packed lunch of soup in my flask and I made it through the day. Shame I couldn't have any of the cakes and biscuits that was provided, but I'm sure I'll manage that next month :) That is the longest time I've been out of the house since my surgery.

I can now walk quicker, no longer must I walk at a leisurely pace :) Still can't run for a bus or for the green man though (hahaha when out shopping at the weekend, we got to a crossing where we had just missed the green man and my husband asked me 'isn't that not really annoying you?'...hmmm yes!)

I hope to return to my yoga class next week; I would have gone this week but since I'm working on a Thursday morning and I have an appointment with my orthodontist Thursday afternoon, I think it would be too much to go to yoga on Thursday evening too.

I think I must mention this whole pain malarky. I had hoped that I would be able to stop taking pain medication by now, by no. I'm still needing to take ibuprofen before I go to bed at night or else I wake up during the night with a heavy jaw feeling like a ventriloquist dummy!

I am also having to take pain medication because I am having a lot of nerve pain. It ranges from the burning sensation I have described before, to feeling like someone is stabbing my lip and chin with a sharp pin over and over again, to feeling like someone is brushing a light material across my chin (not pleasant), to itching.

I also noticed yesterday, that I have been sore up the right hand side of my jaw (the side where I also had my wisdom tooth removed) for the past few days and yesterday wondered if it was maybe because the weather is a lot colder this week. I don't know. But I'm thinking I should try a heavier scarf and wrap up warmer round my jaw/chin/neck and see if that helps.

Another post-op checkup with the orthodontist tomorrow and my son has a cleft clinic appointment on Friday so I should see my max fax surgeon there too. Lets all keep our fingers crossed for the green light to go ahead with soft chew diet!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Day 29 - Update Summary

Since I've reached the half way stage in the recovery process, I thought I'd do an update summary at what things are like at this stage. Also helps those of you reading who don't want to trawl through the every day posts.

All visible swelling is gone. There is still swelling going on, I can feel it, but it's not noticeable to anyone else.

Bruising was gone by the end of week 2

Wound Healing
Noticed today that all my stitches are now gone.

I have 3 types of pain:
  • Jaw pain which is heavy and achy, 
  • Nerve pain which is sharp and ouchie 
  • Teeth pain with the orthodontic treatment.

Pain medication
I now take ibuprofen first thing in the morning and before I go to bed at night. Usually need to take paracetamol in the afternoon. In some ways the pain is worse now than it was in the early days but it's not constant if that makes any sense.

As jaw pain gets worse, the awareness of the numbness gets higher.

I don't think I have regained any feeling. I'm still numb from my lower lip down to the bottom of my chin, more so on the right hand side than the left.
I've done a wee job on Paint to show the outline of the area of numbness. It's certainly no work of art LOL but I hope you get the idea. The blue dot shows the numbest point

I can feel a cup along the length of my lower lip when drinking but I still can't feel a kiss.

I have this week been getting increased burning sensation on my lower lip right here (shown by the red dot). It feels really sore, like I've splashed a too hot drink on my lip.

I remain on a no-chew diet. Usually breakfast is porridge/readybrek, lunch is soup and supper is blended whatever the rest of the family is having.
I'm still not really missing any particular food except bread although breakfast is particularly difficult because I would normally have toast, or museli or pancakes or bagels or scones or a soft boiled egg and I can't eat any of those things.
Lunch is usually soup, sometimes I'll have a cheese omelette for a change.
Supper involves a lot of mashed potatoes, rice, sauce, tiny pasta and cheese sauce. I have eaten some things I would never ever have thought I would and there are some things that once I'm back on normal diet, I never want to have to eat again (apricot yoghurt springs to mind)!
Pre-surgery I didn't think I would go down the route of blending normal family meals but I have done and it's certainly helped.
I can now eat with either a tablespoon or a fork. I have to watch to make sure that i don't put too much in my mouth or else I get the urge to chew. Still another 2 weeks to go before we can do soft-chewing.

Pre-surgery my normal weight was 11st 4lbs give or take a lb or two.
After 4 weeks my weight is 10st 8lbs. This is a loss of 10lbs in total.

I am still getting really tired and this is frustrating.
Thursday this week with my trip to the orthodontist was probably my busiest day yet and I was super tired yesterday. I went to bed at 8.30pm but really I wanted to go to bed at 7pm!

Before surgery I had a few folk ask me if I'd be able to talk after surgery and I thought 'yeah, course I'm going to be able to talk'. Well, lets just say that yes I could talk because I still had a voice, but my jaw muscles dictate(d) how much I could/can talk.
This week, I can talk in conversation for 30 minutes before I find myself chewing the inside of my cheek and lower lip on the right hand side.
I can talk in conversation for up to 60 minutes and then my hand finds it way up to my chin to hold my jaw and the aching kicks in and I really need to stop.

I don't think I have ever yawned as much before in my life as I have done since surgery. My ortho's advice on Thursday was to take my elastics off when I need to yawn, hold my jaw so I don't over extend it and to take afternoon naps to try and stop the evening yawning spells.

If I had work to go to, I'd be going back to work on Monday with a phased return and altered hours.

Still can't walk too fast, although I am getting faster. I have to walk at a more leisurely pace because (and this will sound daft I'm sure), I can feel the vibrations of walking going through my jaw, and too much makes me feel queasy.
I still can not run for a bus.
I have not yet returned to yoga. I think I need a couple of more weeks.

Slowly increasing. I can now hoover, put away laundry, dust, clean the bathroom, I can shower and wash my hair and get dressed all in one go rather than having to split it up over the morning or do shower one day and wash my hair the next.
I haven't driven since my surgery but I could probably manage ok now for short journeys.
I'm by no means back to normal yet and finding it difficult to get the balance of doing stuff and resting enough.

Today breakfast was readybrek. That was hard because since it's Saturday, it's bacon sandwiches for breakfast for everyone else and this week the smell of the bacon really made me not want to eat readybrek.
Lunch will be soup
Supper will be chicken korma (blended) and rice.

I've been awake since 6.30am, probably because I went to bed so early last night. But I could be done with more sleep, I'm yawning still!
On inspection last night, it is not my central incisor that is hitting a bracket but the lateral incisor that has just been moved to close a gap.

I'm going to attempt to go into town shopping with my daughter this afternoon. Let's see how much I can manage.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Day 28 - 4 Week Anniversary

Today marks the half way stage of recovery! It's been 4 weeks since my surgery, wow! It feels like so long ago.
Last night, lying in bed I was remembering that 4 weeks ago was the night before my surgery, I was in hospital whilst my husband had our bed all to himself!

Took me absolutely forever to get to sleep last night, think I might have got to sleep about 3am. I wonder if I was overtired.
I googled why do people yawn and there seems to be a variety of reasons from lowering the temperature of your brain, to responding to cortisol to needing to stretch your jaw muscles. Interesting.
I don't think I've yawned as much before as I have done since my surgery.

Last night I also had lots of burning in my lower lip and a feeling like very light material was being rubbed across my chin...not pleasant, I can still only hope it is my nerves coming back to life. I wonder if amount of nerve pain is also related to how tired I am.

Hmmm...more tired equals more yawning and more nerve and jaw pain maybe?

Today I got up at 7am to get the kids ready for school.
Breakfast was readybrek (lol! My kindle just autocorrected readybrek to heartbreak!)

My bathroom scales say I weigh 10st 8lbs so that is a total of 10lbs weight loss so far.
I could be done with some new clothes but I don't want to buy any until I'm back to normal diet and I know what weight I will settle at.

This Morning was spent sending some emails and filling out a job application.

Lunch was soup followed by a cheesecake pot.

I spent the afternoon watching tv, really tired this afternoon and feeling sore. I did switch the tv off to try and have a nap but sleep didn't come :-(

Phoned DWP as I got a text to say that my cancelled claim for employment support allowance was successful??? I didn't think I would be entitled to anything (why I cancelled it) but if they're going to give it to me, I'll take it.

Still no reply from work.

Supper was pasta and cheese sauce.

My bite feels a bit funny today and I see that my top central incisive is biting down on the bracket on the bottom tooth underneath...I'll need to keep an eye on that

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Days 24 - 27

I've been neglectful of my blog this week because I've been so stressed about work. This is bad, especially since I am still officially signed off.

Breakfast: readybrek
I went into town to go to the bank and then met my friend Jenny for coffee at Costas...well I had a hot chocolate. Was strange going out for a cuppa and not being able to eat anything with it. After 30 mins I could feel myself chewing the inside of my right cheek. After an hour I could feel jaw pain and numbness kicking in so I was good as said I would need to go home.

Lunch was soup

Spent the afternoon watching TV. Phoned my mum.

Supper was korma sauce and rice

Did the weekly food shopping and managed to help pack at the till too.

Today I am noticing that there are gaps forming between my teeth, it's not looking good :(
I am also getting a burning sensation on my lower lip. It feels like I have burnt my lip with a hot drink, very ouchie but I presume this is just the nerves doing something

I found out on Tuesday that I am not entitled to sick pay and the agency through which I am employed seems to have changed they way they allocate work and now it looks doubtful as to whether I have work to go back to. I spent 40 minutes on the phone to the job centre applying for ESA but considering the hoops I'll have to jump through to get it, I phoned later in the day and cancelled my claim.
I only work September - May so with no sick pay, I've not been paid any money for the past 4 months.

I should be focusing on my recovery from major surgery not work :(

Breakfast: ready brek
Lunch: soup
Supper: fish, mashed potatoes, sweetcorn and lots of cheese sauce.

I'm getting to the stage now where eating just isn't enjoyable any more and thinking 'what's the point?'

Today I had an appointment with my GP as my sick note finishes on Friday. Explained that I don't think I am ready to go back to work just yet, I could really be done with another week off (Generally, I'm still taking painkillers, I'm tired because of the no chew diet and I can't walk as fast as normal because I feel the vibrations through my jaw when I walk and it makes me feel queasy) but also explained how things are with work so she signed me fit for work with a phased return and altered hours.
She also prescribed me more paracetamol and ibuprofen (even asked if I could manage tablets or did I want it in liquid form!).
Came home and emailed work my sick note and my availability for work.
Spent the rest of the day still waiting for work to email me back (they didn't), watched some TV.

Lunch was soup
Supper was blended thai chicken curry with rice followed by a cheesecake pot.

Woke up in the early hours worrying about work, this is ridiculous :(
Not too sore or too swollen today. At the beginning of the week I noticed a bit of a lump on my jaw on the right. I'm finding in the evenings I can open my jaw on the right hand side further than the left and it makes a clunking noise. I *think* this is the same as I was pre-surgery as regards to clunking and over extension of my jaw when opening but I'm not sure. The lump seems to have reduced today.
Burning sensation on my lower lip is still there, not all the time but definitely there.
I have an appointment with my orthodontist this afternoon so we'll see what she says.
And she will also need to do something about my teeth, my overjet isn't closing and these gaps between my teeth are getting bigger

Had my appointment with ortho, my biggest trip out today. Got two buses, 1 bus into town (and missed a bus because I couldn't run for it!) and 1 bus up to the hospital, then had a 10 minute walk to get to ortho.
Explained to ortho about lump on my jaw, the clunking and over extension on the left, the size of my overjet and the gaps between my teeth. Also spoke about work situ.
She said the lump would be bone remodelling.
She got me to open and close my mouth a few times whilst she felt my temperomandibular joints. And then she hmmmed a bit.
Then she checked my bite and said something about roots and my back teeth on the left being a problem and not biting together properly.
So then we spoke about how nearly every evening since my surgery I've been hitting about 8pm and having a yawning spell.
So I've been told basically not to yawn. If I feel like I'm going to yawn, I have to take my elastics off because it's not good for my jaw to open to wide AND have to battle with the elastics. If I do yawn, I have to put my hand under my jaw and hold it to stop my jaw opening wide.
And finally, I need to try and have a nap in the afternoons to stop getting the yawning sessions in the evening.
Hmmmm, does this mean that actually, I'm doing too much?
I am still getting really tired but I don't feel like I'm doing that much.
My week since last appointment has been:
Thurs: ortho in afternoon and took 2 buses home (which is a travel time of 1 hour) and visited in-laws in evening (2 hours)
Fri: watched tv, put away laundry, cleaned bathroom, made supper
Sat: went into town, went to 4 shops
Sun: visited brother inlaw (2 hours)
Mon: up with kids at 7am to get them ready for school, went into town, went to bank, met friend for coffee, made supper, did weekly food shop
Tues: on phone for 40mins, stressed about work
Weds: up with kids at 7am to get them ready for school, went to GP, stressed about work some more, did some job hunting
Today: swept kitchen floor, ortho this afternoon by 2 buses there and 2 buses back (travel time of 2 hours), made supper.
Is this really a lot??
Hmmmm, so how can I work AND have afternoon naps??
And if I'm doing too much just doing this, then how can I go to work?

She measured my overjet and says it is now just below 4mm and is normal. I'm still struggling to get used to this normal business.

She put on more wide powerchain and new ligs on the top. My appointment was at 1.45pm and by the time I got home at 3.30pm the gap between my central incisor and lateral incisive had closed!!!!
No more ortho appointments until 16th October because she is going on holiday.

Breakfast was a banana and peanut butter milkshake
Lunch was a Mexican cheese omelette followed by a chocolate orange yoghurt type thing
Supper was blended chilli con carne with rice.

Now it is nearly 8pm and the yawning is starting again!

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks post surgery...half way through recovery time!

Day 23 - Out Visiting and Pain

Today was Sunday and I woke up swollen and in a lot of pain. I had to take full complement of pain medication including codeine.

Went to visit my brother inlaw, his partner and my niece because I've not seen my niece for a long time.
They had brought me back a present from their recent holidays, a marshmallow sandwich. Now I totally appreciate that they had tried to think of something soft to get me but I can't eat marshmallow, yes it's soft but it still requires chewing.
Another gift the kids got to eat.
Managed to stay for about 2 hours and had soup for lunch but then really did have to go home because I just wasn't fit for visiting, I was just too sore.

Came home and crashed on the sofa for the rest of the day.

I can remember what the rest of my family had for supper but I can't remember what I had! If I think of it, I'll edit this post :)
Ah! I remember now and actually it was so awful it was worth forgetting!
Supper was couscous with chicken gravy and mashed up broccoli. I ate it, but it wasn't good.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Day 22 - Shopping and Sleep

Slept about 11am - 7am last night. I had hoped I could have a lie in but nope.
Woke up feeling ok. Took some ibuprofen first thing.

Breakfast: porridge

Went into town for the first time since before my surgery. Went round 4 shops and then came home.

Lunch: 1 egg omelette with Indian flavoured cheese followed by a lemon cheesecake

Was feeling ok and then all of a sudden I started getting sharp shooting pains up the right hand side of my face and was hit with a wave of tiredness.

Took painkillers and slept the afternoon away.

Supper: 3 meatballs (mashed) with gravy and mashed potato  followed by ice cream, jelly and fresh raspberries (mashed).

Friday, 26 September 2014

Day 21 - Lets Get Physical

No photos today because I don't want to detract from yesterday's photos :) I don't look any different today than I did yesterday, aside from yet more spots appearing on my face. I can only think that my skin will improve once I can get back to eating normally.

Slept 11pm - 6am straight. Not bad, not bad.
Woke up feeling a bit achy on the right hand side, probably this is the side I sleep on most.
Woke up feeling much better mentally again. I am pleased :)

Breakfast: readybrek

This morning, I caught up with facebook and emails and made a start on working on my CV to apply for a job.

Mid   morning snack: jelly pot

Lunch: tomato soup with half a slice of bread (broken up into wee bits and soaked in the soup) followed by a raspberry yoghurt.

This afternoon, finished my CV, wrote a covering letter and actually applied for the job. It may come to something, it may come to nothing, we'll just have to wait and see.

My friend Jenny was meant to be coming for another visit (yay!) but she couldn't manage because she wasn't well herself (boo!). Meanwhile another friend who was going to come and visit me in hospital and who has been patiently waiting for me to say yes I'm up for visitors, found her diary absolutely choc-a-bloc and it's going to be a case of I'll see her when I see her. Good job I'm not having a bad day or else I think I'd have to go and eat some worms :D

So instead I spent the afternoon on the sofa, watching The Originals and drinking an oreo cookie milkshake.
By late afternoon I started getting real pain in my teeth and up the side of my face on the right hand side. So took some codeine and I'm ok now.

Supper: sweet and sour sauce and rice

Biggest issue of the day: romantic liasons.
After jaw surgery, just how do you get jiggy with it without actually being able to jiggle?

Prior to surgery, the only thing I was told that I couldn't do was to chew food.
I've not been told anything about when I can resume exercise (not that I'm a big exerciser but I did recently start yoga and I'm keen to return), if I should avoid heavy lifting, when I can have romantic goings on with my husband, etc, etc. My ortho told me she reckoned I could go back to yoga after 4 weeks as long as I didn't do anything too strenuous or things like headstands but aside from that I've been told nothing. And yet these are important things I feel.

Now we knew that kissing was going to be an issue because of the numbness and not being able to open my mouth very much (initially). We have attempted and initially kissing ended up in me laughing because I was just too conscious of it all.
Now, I think I've got it that if he focuses his kisses on my top lip and I kiss his bottom lip (kind of) then I can feel the kiss. But my staying power isn't very long before my jaw muscles are getting tired.
But I still feel like I'm kissing like a fish :D :D Part of me wonders if I should do the teenage thing of practising snogging in the mirror :D :D :D
My husband assures me it feels ok for him.

But it still doesn't answer the question of doing anything more. I've read online about how you should avoid contact sports for a year after surgery, but I don't know if this is true or not. And I have no idea when I could return to non-contact sport level so what about sex level? Because there is no getting round it, my head and therefore my jaw is going to have to be jiggled.

I guess we'll just have to try.

Day 20 - Third Post-Op Checkup

Today is Thursday.
This morning I got up at 7am to get the kids ready for school, etc, saw them out the door and then at 7.30am I did something I have never done before.....I went back to bed!
Dozed on and off until 9.45am by which time I gave myself a good talking to and thought how do I make myself feel better, what can I do?

So I got up, took some 5-htp, some passiflora and lemon balm and a multivitamin tablet. I got dressed and washed my hair (back to curly again).
And made sure I didn't watch any TV!
I put on some music and sat myself down at the computer and caught up with facebook messages and emails with a cup of tea.

Breakfast: readybrek with half a mashed banana

Tried to see how long I could go without painkillers and lasted from 10pm last night until 10am before I needed to take some ibuprofen. Jaw pain today rather than nerve pain.

Lunch: soup and a rhubarb crumble custard style yoghurt. Tried some of the crumble bit but felt the urge to chew too much so just had to eat the rhubarb and yoghurt part.

Today I had my third post-op checkup and this time with my usual ortho.
My husband dropped me off and the challenge for me today was to go to the appointment myself and to get 2 buses home.
This was the first time my ortho has seen me since before my op. A quick chat about how I was struggling this week with not recovering quick enough, she wasn't particularly reassuring but then there's not much that can be said is there?
And then it was down to business....45 minutes of it!
I asked if I could get my false tooth back in and she agreed; she thought I was going to ask :)

I was apprehensive about her guddling about in my mouth but I really wanted the tooth back in. So out came the archwire. I could feel me boring my head into the chair lol, I didn't think I could get it further in but it didn't hurt, I was just protective of my mouth.
In went the archwire to measure the position of my false tooth on the wire
Out came the archwire because now there was a gap.
The gap where my false tooth sits, has widen since I've had surgery, most likely due to the muscles, teeth movement and that I've had no dead coil, spring coil, powerchain or false tooth in there. It's now about 4 mm too big!
So on went some spring coil onto the archwire and in went the archwire again.
My ortho usually doesn't stop for rests; when she starts a job, she keeps going until she is finished. But today she was very nice and did give me little breaks because my jaw muscles were protesting and I was getting uncomfortable/sore.

But after 45 minutes, she had a new archwire in (minus some hooks), my false tooth in, spring coil, dead coil and wide powerchain all on the top. And new elastics again. Now I have orange elastics on the left in a triangular configuration and green elastics on the right in the same configuration as last week.

This will bring my top left teeth out towards my cheek a wee bit, move my top midline to the left a wee bit, close the overjet a wee bit and close the gap at the front too.

She measured my overjet (gap between my top teeth and bottom teeth when I bite together and said it was 4mm. So I was a bit disappointed because going by what the other ortho said last week, that meant the gap hadn't moved at all. But apparently it measured 5 mm last week....he LIED!! But I suspect he knocked a mm off so I wouldn't freak out any more than I was.
Something tells me, my braces are not going to be off in 4 months!

She explained to me that now my jaw has been broken, albeit carefully and surgically, my bone metabolism will have been sped up and so my teeth will move quicker than they did before surgery so we need to keep a close eye on them.

I saw my max fax surgeon today too. Spoke to him about my frustration at my recovery speed. He said that some people recover quicker than I am, some people take longer than I have to recover. My surgery was straightforward, no complications and minimal blood loss so there's no reason why I shouldn't make a full recovery, I just need to give it time. I told him about how things were on Tuesday and he said to keep doing little bits every day, although not as big as what I did on Tuesday (but that was little! :D ) and he reckoned I should manage to get back to work on 6th October as planned. I just have to remember how I was this time last week and see how much better I am doing now, so I could very well be even more better this time next week.

Once out of the ortho room, I went to the toilet to look at my teeth in the! what another change! It actually looked really weird seeing my tooth in. A whole new look to get used to again.

I then took the 2 buses home and managed just fine. Felt ok :) Of course, I was probably feeling better mentally as well having got my tooth back and having a whinge to the right people.

Home, made supper and then as I was feeling ok, I went with my husband and kids to visit my inlaws. This was my first time out visiting since my op. Of course, by the time we were half way there I was thinking 'maybe I shouldve just stayed at home'. But couldn't exactly turn back so we went and stayed for an hour and a half but I reached a point where I really did need to go home, I was sore.

Oops forgot...Supper was haggis, mashed potato and mashed sweet potato (I don't like turnip).

Home, painkillers, watched 1 TV programme and went to bed around 10pm

Now for the photos. Are you ready?? Excited??

First up is a picture of this gap, not quite the Grand Canyon but still big enough that I don't like it.

Next is my elastic configurations

Next is my side profile and my serious mouth closed face

And finally, saving the best til last.....TADAH!!!
I think the smile says it all :)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 19 - Bad Day, Maybe Bad Week

Half way through week 3 and I think this is probably the toughest week post op yet.
My brain says 'hey Fay! let's go, we're fine, let's do stuff' and my body just says 'hahahahaha! you're having a laugh!'.
I guess surgery seems so long ago and I'm frustrated that I am not fully recovered and back on my feet yet.

I'd fed up of living a life of watching TV and lying on the sofa.

And I miss bread, any kind of bread, white, wholegrain, tiger, you name it, bread for bread and butter, bread for sandwiches, bread to have with some nice cold meat and cheese and TOAST!

And if I could just get some proper sleep I'm sure my logical brain would kick in a LOT faster.

Last night I went back to sleeping on a mountain of pillows, no extra swelling this morning.
Today I woke up sore with jaw pain on the left hand side. Took some ibuprofen for that.

Spent the day watching TV.
Cleaned the bathroom
Ate my lunch outside to catch some sun for my vitamin D
Phoned the doctors and got an appointment for next week to decide if I'll be fit for going back to work on 6th October (jury is still out on this one, won't be surprised if I need an extra week or so).

Breakfast: tried a new porridge pot..oats so simple bursting with fruit (was ok, prefer proper real fruit than this artifical stuff, don't think I'll waste my money on it again).

Mid morning: pot of lemon and lime jelly

Lunch: 1 egg omelette with fruity jerk cheese and a glass of fruit juice

Supper: chorizo pasta bake (blended up chorizo, garlic, onion, red peppers, tomatoes, herbs with my tiny wee pasta) and Eton mess for pudding!

Oh! and just to prove I am NOT a total misery guts, I made my own head cacoon:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Day 18 - Beast to Beauty to Cyborg

Today is Tuesday.
Last night I slept from about 10.30pm until I woke at some unknown time, probably during the Hours of Doom worrying about if I would manage out to my appointment today.
It sounds funny, but I haven't fainted yet; I just wish I would so I could get it over and done with instead of worrying that I'm going to faint when I'm out :D
Had attempted to sleep flat like I would've done prior to surgery, woke up more swollen and chipmunky. Back to head elevated with lots of pillows again tonight then.

Today I am dreaming of either having a huge comfy bed, which has an elevated head part, with big fluffy comfy pillows, or of having a head cacoon.

I'm realising that I'm not missing food as much as I thought I would and that's saying something because I love food! But I am missing things like going out for a meal, or out for a coffee and not having a fancy piece with it. However, today I do fancy pizza. Only another 25 days to go!

Today I had a hospital appointment, this time for ENT. I have been waiting my ENT doctor to refer me to another ENT doctor to find out about getting a bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA).
This was probably my biggest trip out by myself since my surgery yet. My husband dropped me off at the hospital.
When I got there, the ENT doctor I usually see, came to tell me that she had swapped me with a patient on the BAHA ENT doctor's list so I was seeing him instead.
After some discussion, it was decided that I would get an appointment with the BAHA audiologist to see if I'm suitable for a BAHA and to get a trial run of one to see what it will be like. I was a bit reluctant when the idea of getting a BAHA was put to me a few months ago, I wasn't sure about having a hearing aid attached to me permanently and having a metal screw in my head but the more I've thought about it, the more it seems the best option. A month after I have seen the audiologist, I go back to see the ENT doctor to discuss the surgery for that.
Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, so much surgery so close together!
But my goodness I'm going to have a LOT of metal in my head! There's the plates and screws in my jaws, then there will be the metal screw/abutment for my tooth implant and then another metal screw/abutment in my head for a hearing aid!

On previous discussion about a BAHA I did express reluctance at becoming Frankenstein but with all this metal in my head, my husband suggested that I'm going to turn into a cyborg instead. He reckons the title of his blog should be something along the lines of 'Life With My Cyborg Wife' :D

I must admit, I was a little miffed that my usual ENT doctor didn't seem to mention/notice my new look :(

I then walked from the hospital to catch the bus home. This walk usually takes about 5 minutes, today it took 13; I still can't walk too fast. The walk felt like it took forever!
Bus journey home wasn't pleasant; I felt every bump on the road vibrate through my jaw and one particular bump was bordering on painful. That was my first bus journey after my surgery too.

Came home and was very good and got myself comfy on the sofa with plenty of pillows, my blanket and switched on the TV. And there I remained for the rest of the day until supper time. For someone who hasn't watched daytime TV for a very long time, I'm getting quite good at it now :) I watched Undercover Boss USA and 5 episodes of Four In A Bed!
I did not feel good. I actually took some codeine and I haven't taken codeine during the day since the first week.
I really wanted to sleep but couldn't seem to drop off and my whole head just ached. Maybe I was having a headache like anyone would have any way, or maybe it was with being out, or a combination of both.
Really wasn't fit for doing anything else, not even to check emails on the computer.
Took some ibuprofen about 4pm and started to feel better.

I did check emails via my phone and found a work -related they haven't forgotten about me! What I was trying to tell myself about them waiting to give me a schedule once they knew when I'd be back looks to be right
I should've been back to work today for the start of the new academic year. When the email came in, I realised that I want to go to work, I enjoy my job and I miss it. But I can't; my trip out today definitely showed me that I'm not ready to return to work just yet. I'm going to take this as a cue to try and relax more over the next 2 weeks.

Breakfast: Readybrek with mashed banana
Mid morning: mango jelly pot
Lunch: soup and a Cadbury's layers of joy carmellionaire pot
Supper: korma sauce and rice

Today's photos:

Monday, 22 September 2014

Day 17 - Reflections

I didn't take codeine again before bed last night. Went to bed and read until about midnight and slept (on 2 pillows) pretty much until the alarm went off at 7am.
I did however have freaky dreams about work and an election. Gargh! I bet this is my anxiety coming out because I spoke about work on here yesterday. So much for keeping calm.

But I've woken up feeling jittery and anxious. I knew this day would come. The day when surgery seems so long ago and why am I not back to normal? I should be getting up and doing stuff, I feel fine.

I'm looking at my get well  soon cards on the window sill and wondering when I should take them down...the usual custom is a week for birthday cards, what is the etiquette for how long get well soon cards should stay up? Until you are better or until you feel better?

*THIS* is the reason why I knew it was a good idea to put off looking for a full time job since I graduated 3 years ago. I didn't want to bag a new job and then find I'd have to tell my employers that I'd need to take 2 months off work whilst I recovered from surgery. I also didn't want to find myself in the situation where I was pressuring myself to get back to work, quite possibly before I was ready. And look at that, here we are exactly at that stage!

There are 2 things you need for this whole braces and jaw surgery lark: 1. strength and 2. patience.

Now I have surprised myself on the count of strength, I really have. I didn't think I had it in me to get through all those hard bits, ok there were tears and lots of them, but I did it, I survived.
I managed to do the going to hospital when I didn't think I would,
I managed to do the staying in hospital by myself the night before surgery when I didn't think I would,
I survived the surgery when I didn't think I would,
I'm getting through the recovery much much easier than I thought I would
generally I have maintained a positive attitude throughout my recovery, with only a couple of down days, when I didn't think I would.

During my first few days home I had thoughts along these lines:

I felt that I came out of hospital realising that I was a much more compassionate and caring person than I believed myself to be. I thought about all the 'I've never done that before' things I had did over the summer holidays, from driving to a place I had never been to before (I hate driving) to going on a rollercoaster to doing the ice bucket challenge; all things I would have backed out of previously. Over the summer I think I had the mentality that if my life ended with this surgery I'd be as well doing something before. And really, some things were fun (ice bucket challenge) and some things were not (rollercoasters) but I did them.

I have also been far more positive with my recovery than I ever expected to be. I expected to be in lots of pain, I expected to have massive swelling and bruising. I expected there to be many days of (yet more) tears of frustration at not being able to eat, go out, talk. I expected to have days of depression. But, while I've had 2 bad days so far (which didn't really reach depression levels), I have taken each day, 1 day at a time.
When I clean my teeth at night, that's me done for the day and we just wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Maybe I should enjoy my life a bit more and worry less.

I did think of what I'm going to do this year coming, once I'm back on my feet:

1. Getting a new job is one of them (even though I still don't know what I want to do and this is scary, job hunting is soul destroying). My experience of my roommate in high dependency which led me to these feelings of compassion made me realise that enrolling in a reflexology course was the right thing to do and we'll just have to see where that takes me),

2. Book a summer holiday for the family (we've not had a proper holiday because I never knew when my surgery was going to be. I put off booking anything every year for 3 years because of it. We can't afford to go some place grand but hopefully we can manage a long weekend in London and visit the Harry Potter Studios),

3. Maybe signing up to take part in next year's Race For Life.

4. Grab the opportunities that come my way and not say no.

I need to be more spontaneous and less anxious. I survived the op, I'm still alive, so I should live.

Now fast forward to today and I'm struggling to hold on to those feelings from the early days. It's like the effect has worn off and I don't know how to get it back.
And why? Maybe because I have major issues with the concept of patience.

Patience is NOT my forte. They say that patience is a virtue, but for some reason, over the past 37 years, I *still* haven't managed to grasp this concept. If anyone is going to beat me with a stick, it's going to be me, with a huge tree trunk never mind a twig.
I'm full of 'I shoulds', I don't have patience with myself.

I keep having to remind myself this morning that when I told max fax that I was going to take 4 weeks off work, one doctor said 'that's a bit over ambitious' and the other told me 'don't rush back to work'.

I need to remind myself that I'm walking about with broken bones. If I had broken an arm or a leg, I'd have a plaster cast to prove it, to put it right in my face so I couldn't ignore it, visible proof.
It takes 6 - 8 weeks for the bone to heal, I'm just at 2 weeks, I have another 4 - 6 weeks to go.

I'm not sure what to do today to make me feel any better.

Breakfast was readybrek; I am now finding that I'm putting off having breakfast for as long as I can. But since I am a staunch breakfast eater, even that is hard.

So after all that, I decided I would Hoover for the first time since my surgery.
I didn't want to lift the Hoover upstairs so I just did the hall, kitchen and living room
Felt ok while doing it, just a bit slower than usual.
But I am paying for it now, jaw hurts and I'm mega tired :-(
Why can I not just be better by now?

My daughter had her ortho appointment this morning and she came home very happy to say she is being debraced in 6 weeks time! Her treatment will have lasted 15 months in total.
Very happy for her, even though she got her braces on after me and will get them off first :-p

Lunch was the second half of the can of soup from yesterday (think I'll get some more in the shopping tonight) and a vanilla cheesecake with some mashed fresh raspberries.

Resting this afternoon so that I can go food shopping tonight. Managed to get some sleep before making supper.

Supper was a fishcake and mashed potato followed by a yoghurt for pudding.

Managed to go for the weekly food shop tonight. Took an hour and was ok for the majority of it, only started to feel wobbly by the time we got to the till.
Found some new foods to try. Also, when I can eat properly again, I want a Penguin biscuit (my favourite!).

Also had a couple of moments where it felt like I was drooling but I wasn't. Nerves are doing something!

Today's photos, complete with glasses to detract you away from the spots outbreak on my chin *still*
I actually feel more swollen on my right hand side although on the photo it looks like my left is more swollen.