April 29, 2014

Day 78: 11 weeks and 1 day

I can't believe it's almost been three months! Time is flying by now. I am looking forward to the 13 week mark when I get normal braces back. Here are some update photos:

Not much is changing now, even I can't tell the difference.

I still have numbness in my chin, tongue, and upper gums, but my chin and tongue are getting a lot better. I think I have partial feeling in my whole chin area.

Mobility is slowly coming back, I am not limited much now as far as I can tell. I still get drooly sometimes, especially if I am talking with my head down. If I am talking quite a lot I end up with a lot of saliva everywhere and have to be careful not to spit on people! I am trying to move my tongue more now as well, trying to use it to get food out from my braces and lick my lips haha. It seems to be going well!

I haven't been told to do any facial stretches or anything but I am doing some every so often when I remember. I can open to three fingers wide now and that seems to suffice. I have been eating burgers and sandwiches and it hasn't limited me too much.

I can eat pretty much anything now! It's great! I go careful with hard nuts and chewy meat but I don't miss them too much, apart from steak. Yesterday I ate nachos for the first time since surgery. Delicious.

The weather is getting really cold really fast here at the moment, I am pretty excited. Winter is my favourite season!

Until next time,

Kelsie :)

April 16, 2014

Day 65: Whistling

We interrupt this program to bring you some breaking news: It has taken just over 9 weeks but I can finally whistle again!

This week I have eaten some crusty bread, pizza, sushi, a bagel, snax crackers, and chocolate. Nothing is stopping me now! Well, not much.

Life is good!

April 10, 2014

Day 59: Bring on the Carbs

I have been seriously carb-loading this week. I don't know why I am craving them so much, but damn I have eaten a lot and they have been delicious. Bread, potatoes, oats, pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I don't tolerate these kinds of foods very well, I get very tired and moody, but they are good for exercising your jaw muscles so that's my excuse. I have gained back about 2kg from my total weightloss from surgery of about 5kg (Damn you double-chin!).

You really can't afford to be a fussy eater when recovering from jaw surgery.

Anyway, here are some photos:

And a candid one:

My lips are crooked at the moment. I wonder if this is from him rotating my jaw or something (I'm still not entirely sure what he did with my jaws during surgery), I hope it goes away but no big deal of it doesn't. My face is naturally quite asymmetric anyway. My smile is crooked too, I wonder if this is because of the crooked lips or if they're both related to muscle movement... who knows. Whatever. I'm so happy with my profile!!!

The last photo I look a bit weird, I guess I'm still getting used to my new face.

Numbness and Swelling: Swelling is pretty much non-existent. I don't feel so bruised around my jawline anymore too, it's probably about 90%-95% gone. I'm almost comfortable resting on it, and sleeping is completely back to normal. Numbness hasn't changed much from last week, I am still completely numb on my chin and upper gums. I have partial feeling in my bottom lip, the outsides of my chin, and my bottom gums I think. My tongue is still partially numb too, but I'm getting used to it. My speech and eating is a whole load better.

I was researching the other day and I think it may take up to a year for my upper gums to regain feeling, if at all. This area underwent probably the most trauma, so it's not surprising really. It makes eating difficult though as I don't feel pressure biting into things, and you really don't realise how much you rely on this sensation until it's gone.

Motion: I am able to move my muscles more and more each day, to be honest to other people it probably doesn't look like I have limited movement even though I can feel it myself. It's only very minor, mainly in my bottom lip and chin, and it's getting better every day. I can open almost 3 finger widths now! I'm trying to stretch when I take off my bands.

Eating: This improves surprisingly fast. The motion almost feels natural now, though sometimes I do have to think about it. I can eat most things as long as it's not too hard or crunchy. I'm trying to start biting into soft things with my front teeth now, but like I mentioned before it's quite hard when you have no 'sensation' in your top teeth. No burgers for me yet!

Pain: I have had pretty much no pain for weeks now. Every so often I'll get a sharp pain in an area, or some kind of ache, generally in the chin or bottom jaw area, but it really doesn't bother me and it goes away in a few seconds. I don't get sore muscles so maybe I'm not talking enough!

I'm starting to get more definition in my face, you can kind of see my cheekbones now! And the hollow I used to have in my cheeks has appeared again:

I guess it depends on the light haha :-)

As things are slowing down I might not post again until the three month mark. Hopefully I have some significant changes by that point!

April 4, 2014

Day 51: Half a Century

As you can probably tell, I am trying to do a new post about once a week. There isn't much point in doing them more frequently than that as there isn't much to talk about!

I have now passed the 7 week mark, yay! Almost at two months now... time is really flying.

Here are some update photos:

What a poser!

I can't really tell the difference between weeks now, the decrease is swelling has slowed down to almost nothing. I'm pretty sure I still have some under my nose and around my lower jawline but it's not really noticeable. I have a bit of a double chin but that was expected, my surgeon said that this is why he didn't want to move my bottom jaw back too much and I;m really glad he didn't! I think he moved it the perfect amount :-)

Numbness: This is slowly decreasing, I think my chin is coming back from the outside in but veeeeeery slowly. I got the right side of my bottom lip back this week! That was pretty cool. I'm at the point now where the numbness doesn't really bother me, apart from my tongue. It's STILL not right, and it's really bugging me! There's nothing I can do about it though so I try to ignore it most of the time. I no longer feel like I had a face transplant so that's nice!

Food: I am being very ambitious with food when I probably shouldn't... I've graduated to chicken and fries of a moderate hardness (i.e. not quite soft but not quite crunchy). Last night we had burgers (we live just down the road from the best burger place in town), and I managed to eat mine with a knife and fork! My right side is a bit stronger than my left so I am trying to eat mainly with my left side... even though it's slower and a bit painful.

Pain: Not really any pain left... just if I try to eat something too hard! I haven't needed to take any pain meds for a few weeks now. It's a bit uncomfortable when I put my bands on after eating but I figure this is normal. I am looking forward to getting rid of the bands!

Skin: I did a quick google search on skin going haywire after surgery, and this is totally normal. I have been getting breakouts of pimples along my lower jawline, and even though I'm cleansing my face they are not going away. Apparently this is normal with all of the drugs and things they inject with before and after surgery, it really messes your body up and it's trying to get rid of all the toxins! This is porbably combined with the rapid change in diet. So, you know, fair enough. Any kind of surgery is tough on your body. I remember reading something about endocrine systems but I don't know what that is..... biology was never my strong point haha.

Brushing: I thought I would mention this as I haven't talking about it for a while. I am still using a baby toothbrush, i could probably graduate to a normal one now but maybe not my electric one. I tried flossing and it felt really good! Though I've run out of the special braces superfloss and I can't afford to buy any more at the moment. I'm too scared to use my waterpik yet, I might wait until I see my orthodontist again and get normal braces put on. In the mean time I am just using the baby toothbrush and some minty mouthwash twice a day. I also use a pikster to get rid of the food trapped right down the back as I still can't brush all of my teeth. I can brush every surface apart from the outsides of my very back molars. I think this is because of the scar tissue that is there, though I think this will go down eventually and I'll be able to brush normally again :-)

I have seen a lot of people who have had jaw surgery (especially when they had their top jaws widened) that have used splints post-surgery to keep the top jaw from narrowing again. I have had no splint, no appliance, no nothing put in apart from rubber bands. I think the rubber bands combined with the bone graft I had put in has been enough to keep it in place! I am glad I didn't have a splint, they seem horrible.

On another note, I thought my drooling days were over.... they really aren't! I need to work on keeping my mouth shut because I've been drooling on myself a lot over the last week! I felt a wet patch on my chin yesterday on my way home from uni - I wiped at it and sure enough it was drool. It's a blessing and a curse because on one hand it's 'Oh I hope nobody saw that..' but it's also 'Yay! I'm getting feeling back in my chin!'

I have been struggling with my energy levels, though I am unsure if this is due to surgery. I have chronic fatigue and am generally always tired but the first couple of weeks back at uni have been so exhausting. I've missed quite a few classes which is not good! I felt a lot better yesterday all of a sudden, but then caught a cold and am feeling lousy again. Hopefully it's gone in a few days.

In the mean time life is carrying on like normal, only with a slightly different face. My next surgeons appointment is another 4 weeks away, and my next orthodontist appointment is 6 weeks away. I'll be getting all the surgical stuff taken off and going back to normal braces so I am counting down... only 42 days to go!!!