Friday, July 31, 2009
I keep forgetting to mention it, but I'm finally sleeping through the night regularly. It's been probably 5-6 nights in a row now - wahoo! A lot of this has to do with my lessened dependency on pain killers - I'm down to taking tylenol/ ibuprofen once or twice a day now, instead of every 4-6 hours.
I have much more energy during the days now, I can eat more, I'm in pain much less, and I can concentrate better. I'm still more scatterbrained than normal, but it's starting to come to an end. Thank goodness!
Also, I am so grateful that, as a teacher, I didn't have to rush back into the classroom just 3-4 weeks after surgery. While all of the things (more energy, less pain, more eating) are very true, it still takes me 45 minutes or more to get through a normal (read: non-liquid) meal. I still wear out easily. I can not talk for very long before my jaw starts to get tired and spasm like crazy. I think that in a month from now I'll be much healthier and ready to teach, but I sure wouldn't be right now.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I am so grateful to be a month out of surgery today - a GIANT heat wave has hit Western Washington, and I can't imagine trying to recover in the oppressing heat - we're talking triple digits! Luckily, since I'm feeling SO much better I'm really enjoying our little tropical heat wave!
I'm still suffering from overdoing it yesterday, so I need to keep that in mind when I go back to Starbucks next week. I'm a talker - and this whole process has been quite frustrating not being able to talk or be understood well. As the swelling has gone down my speech has REALLY improved, but it's still muffled and slurred, especially when I'm tired or sore.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I was able to take the tape off of my hip yesterday and it has definitely improved movement and walking. It feels a little more tender to the touch, but not as bound together. Hopefully it'll make improvements fast and I'll be back into JEANS!
Numbness is a pretty big issue for me. I am getting tingling in the roof of my mouth but have no feeling. My chin has no feeling at all. The right corner of my mouth and up into a third of my right upper lip has no feeling. My bottom lip has limited numbness - I can feel when something's touching it but not 100%. My gums are completely numb on the upper jaw, also, but starting to come back (irritated) on the bottom. I can feel my bottom teeth, but not my top teeth. Odd - but improving.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
We went to one of my favorite restaurants, World Wrapps, and I was able to eat my favorite burrito (in bowl form, of course)... it had rice with a wasabi vinaigrette, salmon, and avocado! It has other stuff, but that's all I could get down. YUMMY! And I ate in public, and it wasn't terribly embarrassing - just a little. I'm still using the baby spoon as no other utensil fits in my mouth, I have to mush down bites with my fingers, half the time the bite is too big anyway and ends up back on the plate or on my chin (which I can't feel)... I feel like a toddler :)
The hip is still preventing me from wearing "normal" pants comfortably, and I am tired of going out in public in the same two identical pairs of pants, so my mom took me shopping for a few pairs of black pants that look SLIGHTLY less like sweatpants. They're not great, and I miss my jeans :(
I then went to a pool party with a bunch of my favorite starbucks employees (didn't swim, but hung out and talked)... I didn't make it all the way through because it'd been a long, long day and I was exhausted. In fact, I got home around 4:15... ate, brushed, and slept until past 10. Now, once again, I am awake and there goes the sleep schedule I had tried to put myself on... but eh, it was worth it to get OUT.
As my incisions are beginning to heal, I am losing range of motion and height in my jaw. Argh! The stitches in the back of my mouth where the lower jaw connects to the upper jaw are really sore and they pull when I open my mouth as far as it can go. Just last week I could fit my baby toothbrush in to brush the bite surfaces of the teeth - today I can't quite get it in there comfortably. Ah, well. Dr. Lee said at the next appointment we'd start working on ROM and stretching (she didn't say anything about chewing but LORDY am I hoping!!).
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Some nerves must be regenerating in my face and in the roof of my mouth - I have crazy itching in my chin - and I go to scratch it and I can't feel anything and the feeling is gone. Kooky. And the roof of my mouth kind of feels like it's on fire. It doesn't hurt much, but it's really, really odd.
One thing that has me slightly worried (not TOO much) is my overbite is starting to come back a little bit, which I think is why my jaw has been hurting so much. I used to bite down straight on my lower braces (ouch, as well), but now I don't quite get there. I'm not terribly worried about a relapse at this point, and I'm sure it can be fixed with different rubber bands... but I was hoping to lose the front rubber bands at my next appointment - as they are the most noticeable and the ones that make my speech unclear.
On a closing note... I really, REALLY need to stop watching the food network. I'm dying. :)
Oh! And new pictures today (to celebrate week 3 being over). I'm really starting to look like a human again (phew!).
My swelling has still not gone down again - no pictures until then.
Post-op guys (or anyone else)... do you have recommendations for skin care products? My poor, poor skin is panicking like no other - and it seems my light foaming cleanser and scrub are not up to par for this level of hell.
Have an appointment with the oral surgeon on Thursday - can't wait :)
Monday, July 20, 2009
Some notes for y'all...
- If you don't drink water, you will swell up like CRAZY again - I've seriously regressed with days worth of swelling - it kind of hurts in my cheeks (now you know why I'm not posting a picture today... argh swelling).
- Despite blended up pizza toppings being delicious, they are very high in fat and therefore may upset your stomach in terrible, terrible ways. Oh, man. 6 hours later, I'm still sick.
- While getting feeling back in your cheeks is awesome, suddenly I can feel all of the darned brackets and hooks poking me. Darn it!
- Almost anything can be swallowed whole if you cut it into small enough pieces... for example, today I had a pancake, half a sausage link, and an egg at a diner! I ate in public. It wasn't terrible.
That is all for day 19... last night was yet another night of being up until daylight and then sleeping and then waking and then sleeping... I managed to not take a nap today (sheer will and chair avoidance) so I'm hoping I'll get some sleep tonight.
My brother in law and his family are in town from Oklahoma, and we're driving to Shelton to see them tomorrow - it'll be my first trip post-surgery! Hurray!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I'm 2 and a half weeks post surgery and things are coming along well. I've had a painful couple of days due to muscle spasms - my joints are REALLY fighting my new rubber bands from my orthodontist. The worst part about the muscle spasms is I keep biting my tongue! Poor tongue.
The feeling is coming back into my face and chin, and my chin swelling is really starting to go down (thank GOD, as I was starting to look like Sarah Palin, and that's not exactly what I signed up for here). My cheeks are still puffy, but almost getting to the point now that no one but close friends/ family would notice.
It's a little freaky for me to look in the mirror these days. It's not that I don't like what I see - I think it's amazing that my profile isn't concave anymore - I think it's great that I have a chin and that my jawline actually looks strong... I don't mind the changes in my nose, and I LOVE that my smile isn't gummy anymore. It's neat that my face isn't so long. However, when I look in the mirror it just feels so... weird. It's not really me, except for it IS me. All of the changes are good, it's just going to take some getting used to.
One of the things that bothers me is the lack of sleep. Okay, not really lack of sleep as I'm probably sleeping 12 hours a day, but more the lack of a sleep schedule. I don't sleep for more than a few hours at a time. So... last night I fell asleep at 5am (bad pain), was awake from around 8-9am, fell back asleep until after noon. Fell asleep around 7pm and slept until midnight, and now I'm awake and it's past 2am. I try not to nap, but it really just makes me hurt worse and become cranky and emotional.
Speaking of emotional, the random crying is SO annoying! My poor husband. Just yesterday I was starving (like usual) and looking for something to eat but NOTHING sounded good and I was so frustrated that I just started to cry. I miss food! I've been tired of soup for a year now and am still forced to eat it. Pretty much, I'm desperate for new tastes and have resorted to swallowing things whole that I really shouldn't - for instance, today's tuna melt. I convinced Nick to make me the fillings of a tuna melt and that I could eat it - when really, after it cooled just slightly it was NOT meant to be swallowed whole - scraped up my throat, I kept choking... but it didn't stop me. :) I could have blended it, but that would have defeated the purpose - I wanted real food!! Today I also got some Haggen Daaz mint chip ice cream, but the chips are pretty big and I really wore my jaw out trying to maneuver them on my tongue to melt before I swallowed them.
I took my longest walk today yet! Probably a mile all told - we walked down to the 7-11 to mail our netflix back (no outgoing mail at our apartment complex) and got ice cream. I was exhausted afterwards, but it was really nice to get moving outside - and to GO somewhere instead of winding around our trashy apartment complex. My hip is sore, but feels better and better every day. I'm working on not limping at all when I walk, because I find that I limp almost automatically now - and the muscles aren't being stretched out and used at all. The weather is BEAUTIFUL here in western Washington right now, and I have to soak it up while I can!
I sneezed for the first time yesterday, and once more today. It was terrifying... after the first sneeze I felt around my jaw to make sure nothing had detached, but I survived okay! Again, very weird feeling.
Well... I think my marathon post has gone on long enough. Overall, I can't believe how easy this process has been. I know I complain a lot and it hurts and it was horrifying in the first week... but sheesh! Just 18 days ago I was on a operating room table with my face peeled back (sorry) and my jaws being cut apart and put back together and my hip bone was cut into. I can speak with decent clarity, I can eat, I can walk... The human body is an incredible, incredible thing :)
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Everything looks good, but they added a set of rubber bands from my back molars to my upper posts - lame! I was getting used to talking with the front rubber bands, but now I'm shut closed again. I shouldn't complain too much, as just a few days ago I was begging for more rubber bands to stabilize my jaw AND these are making my rear teeth closed (they weren't touching at all), but I'm complaining anyway. They're really strong rubber bands, too.
Nick, being the wonderful husband that he is, brought home delicious Indian food with extra sauce - I blended the heck out of all of it and added some rice and it was delicious. Two nights in a row with a full stomach - I'm in heaven!! And the best part about blending it all? Indian food is so saucy and well-cooked that my blended up food still resembled the original food, unlike the tacos of last night that looked like cat food. Yum yum yum!
My skin is starting to do the post-surgery freak out. I'm breaking out all over the place - especially where my skin was so swollen. Also, Stephanie SJP said that she saw the surgeon spread iodine cleaner over the jaw surgery patient's face... which can't be helping my sensitive skin.
Numbness isn't really going anywhere. I'm trying to move my face as much as possible, hoping to wake up some of the nerves and muscles. It's odd. I have no feeling at all on the roof of my mouth, my upper gums or teeth, and the corners of my upper lip. My lower lip is pretty numb but very tingly and burning. No feeling at ALL in my chin. However, my cheeks have almost completely come back, and the middle of my upper lip is doing well - which really makes eating and drinking easier.
Swelling isn't really moving... bummer. My cheeks are still giant, as is my chin. My smile is looking less like a 3rd grader "CHEESE!!!!!" smile, though, which is nice. And my profile sure looks good - I have a chin!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Finally weighed myself today... almost 10 pounds down. I'm disappointed at myself - I thought I was doing so much better at getting calories in! It'll all come back once I can start eating again, and it's probably all that muscle I had built up to run my half marathon. Argh!
Feeling is coming back in my face except for my chin and mouth area. My bottom lip is really bothering me - it just sits there, and is sitting lower than it used to so it's being annoyed by my braces quite a lot.
The pain in my jaw has decreased a lot. I get terrible, terrible shooting pains when I try to close my teeth together (which I do in my sleep and that wakes me up - ow!), but for the most part my jaw doesn't feel so unstable anymore - which is a huge relief!
Eating has been going so well! I really recommend the Magic Bullet blender - not because it's an amazing blender that can blend anything in three pulses (HA!), but because it's so darned convenient. It is a good little blender and all of the cups have been really nice for me - I blend up whatever soup I want to drink, throw it in the microwave, and can drink it without getting another bowl dirty. It's easy to clean, too. Fantastic. Today I ate cheesecake filling (bought from the store) blended up with fresh strawberries - it was SO GOOD! Made my day (for real, that's all it takes).
Okay, pictures for today (no more bruise pictures because they're pretty much gone now):
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Anyway, I'm looking more and more like myself. The bruising is going down and the swelling is, as well - my smile looks SO FUNNY still, and my chin and cheeks are still pretty puffy. It's so weird looking at my face.
Day 11 pics:
Friday, July 10, 2009
PS. And the inappropriate crying? It's getting annoying. :)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I don't know if anyone else has felt this way, but I just want my bands back. My jaw feels all unstable and there's no really good place to bite down and my front teeth are hitting my bottom braces brackets (WEIRD!) and it's all very uncomfortable. As much as it was lame to be on a liquid diet, this is just not comfortable.
I ate mashed potatoes and gravy today for my first "meal" and it was good... my jaw was extremely tired afterwards and my stomach wasn't quite sure what to do with all that food. My mom took me to get a hot fudge sundae from DQ in the evening but I only took a few bites before wanting the bands back on... I'll eat it another day.
The swelling is going down more and more each day, though I still don't really look like myself - I went into the Starbucks I stop at in the mornings on the way to school to pick up my markout and they asked me "hey, where do you work?" even though they TOTALLY know me.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
My mom took me to the store yesterday and Nick and I went to a store in the mall today. With the impressive bruising and swelling, I got quite a few outright stares.
Well, not much to say today. Feeling good (finally). Thursday I have my first appointment back with my surgeon - hurray! I think Nick said that when she called she said I would get a lot of the bands off on Thursday and could start eating more solid food... hurray!