Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 33: One more sleep!

'one more sleep' is something one of my friends says when she's one night away from something, whether its a trip, a big celebration etc. It means of course that she only has to sleep one more time before the big event.

What am I one more sleep away from?
Getting my splint removed that's what!!!!!!!

Guys I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about this! I told my aunt yesterday that after this month I don't ever want to see a Boost or a milkshake ever ever again lol
Looking back its hard to believe that I survived 5 weeks of being wired shut...I still don't really believe I made it. I am shocked that I never removed my wire cutters from their little plastic case. I already have my first meal planned out....actually I already have the next two weeks of meals planned out lol.

Today I'm making a shepherd's pie (Trini style) and will probably also make some baked beans to go with it as those are nice n soft. mmmm.....can't wait! Then on Thursday I'll be teaching one of my friends to make corn soup (also trini style) and I am going to go bananas on broccoli and cheese soup from Potbelly. O how I've missed you! Now of course all this is dependent on whether I can actually eat after my back to back surgeon/ortho appointments, but I saved up the last of my codeine just for tomorrow so I should be good lol.

That's all for today. I do have some not yet uploaded blog posts from the last week so will work on getting those up soon. I do apologize for going m-i-a but it was just too hectic what with moving, prepping for my trip, shipping stuff, my jobs etc etc

Update on my face:
My swelling has gone down quite a bit, I look a tad more normal now. People (friends, acquaintances,classmates) no longer gasp and ask 'what happened to your face?!' when they see me.

Feeling is back in my upper lip and half of my bottom lip and they have finally stopped tingling as much.

My's still numb, but not as severe as it was before. Its hard to explain but its like I can feel my finger if I touch my chin, but I'm still numb.

Energy levels.Well considering I packed the rest of stuff in my room up on Saturday all by myself and lived to tell the tale I think I am well on my way to feeling like myself again. Hopefully this means I can start working out soon

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 23: Same old Same old

Nothing much has changed over the last few days, no major changes in energy, food intake, sleep etc etc. I do have a joke though.

I went over to the building next door to collect some mail, and this conversation ensued. Note the front desk lady hasn't seen me since before surgery.

Her: *glances up, then looks up at me again squinting her eyes* "You're the girl from trini?"
Me: "Yes" waits for it......
Her: "What happened to your face chile?!!"
Me: *points to my handy dandy post it that says 'I just had jaw surgery etc etc"

I really think that this to date was the most amusing reaction to my chipmunk face, if I wasn't banded shut so tightly I probably would've busted out laughing. 

And finally, some pics! As I mentioned my right side is more swollen than the left, and its pretty evident as you can see from the pics below. 

Right Side

Left Side (or as I call it right now, my good side)

I really hope my right side goes down some more, especially since I'll be starting school in about month!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 21: 3 Weeks post

Wow. I can't believe that I'm already 3 weeks post op. It feels like just yesterday the nurses were teasing me about my  high heart rate prior to surgery lol. Let's just say I was VERY nervous.

I came back to work full time today and so far so good. I thought it would be awkward not being able to speak or answer phones but I'm finding it quite easy to just ignore the phone when it rings hehehe.

Swelling wise, I am happy with the left side of my face, but the right side is still indecently puffy, at least in my eyes. Its more swollen than the left side, so much so that I convinced myself yesterday that I had a infection (I didnt). The swelling also makes my smile look all twisted as it prevents me from having a big smile on that side, so I will be smiling with my mouth closed until the swelling goes down :( I get my splint taken off in 2 weeks and I am sooooo looking forward to it. I am such a talkative person that this month of undecipherable muffled mumbling has been a real test of my patience.

Other updates: I have officially lost 9 lbs, most of which came off my tummy so I'm very pleased about that. Now all i need to do is start some light weight training to tone things up and I'll have my high school body back again. See this surgery was good for something other than my bite! :D

Also I apologize for the lack of pics on this blog....I am still trying to convince myself to put up my awful pics from days 1-5, as well as I haven't gotten my official pics from the surgeon/orthodontist yet. I have this opinion that blogs without pics r worthless, esp for cases like this so I  will eventually get around to updating my posts with pics....eventually....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 14: The New Normal

I spent most of today running around getting stuff sorted out for school, as well as I had a return to do at Macy's. Funny story, I wrote out everything I needed for my transaction at Macy's on paper, saying that I couldn't talk because I had surgery, that I needed to do a return/exchange etc etc. Tell me why after showing the first salesperson my note she starts speaking all loud and slow as if I had just told her I had a hearing problem lol. It was hilarious!

Right after my Macy's trip I had my first post-op with my orthodontist. I get my ortho work done at my university's college of dentistry. My 'ortho' is actually a final year student in their program, and is overseen by a instructor. Now I have had braces for a little over 3 years now and in all that time today was the first time that I ever saw my instructor smile. I'm talking a big ol lil kid finding presents under the tree on Christmas morning grin, lol! I could tell he was pleased with the change in my profile etc. They couldn't do much because my splint is in so they just took a few pics and discussed what I intend to do in terms of finishing my treatment. I will be moving to Jamaica next month so I need to find a orthodontist there to take over my case. (more on that later)

I also went back to my part time job. Although it was only two hours (i was home by 6:15), I had been out and about since around midday so I was pooped by the time I got home. Hopefully my energy levels get upped some more over the weekend, as I plan to go back to work fulltime next week...fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Days 12 and 13: Pain, Unplanned Doctor Visits and Dental Hygiene

I didn't post as planned yesterday because I spent most of my evening/night writhing in pain on my bed. My painkiller finished yesterday and I thought I was fine as I didn't have much pain during the day. The more time passed however the more my 'trouble spot' throbbed. (My trouble spot is this one area near my lower front teeth that feels like all the powerchains in the world are anchored to it, painkillers don't stop it from hurting completely, they just kind of take the edge off). By the time it clicked in my head that I needed to ask for a refill it was too late for me to text my doctor. I had a awful night, and awful morning and was literally in tears for much of that time. I texted my doctor at 9am and she called in my prescription, and asked me to stop by so she could make sure there was nothing wrong.

This was my second post-op visit, and although it was only 5 days after the last one my surgeon, Dr. B was pleased at the progress I had made since the last post-op. I have improved lip continence, my hygiene is still great and more of my swelling has gone. She also said that my smile was better as well which is probably due to the increased feeling I'm getting in my lips. One of the junior doctors wanted to take my stitches out but Dr. B said I was keeping them so clean that it was safe to leave them in for another week :S see how good hygiene gets rewarded kids! lol They said that the pain was just due to the stretching etc that the nerve experiences during surgery and it was nothing to worry about.

I've been feeling a bit  down and out after the last 24 hours so I'll be keeping this short and sweet. Just wanted to share how I've been 'brushing' my teeth.

I do two major cleanings during the day after breakfast and before I go to bed. Whenever I drink something substantial during the day I do a quick cleaning with a salt water rinse or my waterpik (on the lowest setting).

My major cleanings I
1) Use sensodyne foaming gel toothpaste to brush my front teeth and my bands on the side
2) Use my waterpik.

The foaming toothpaste foams through any spaces around my teeth and splint and gets to the backs of my teeth and the rest of my splint. The waterpik helps to dislodge any particles, and if i hold it up to my front teeth it flushes the splint as well. Also, the jet of water albeit weak helps to spread the toothpaste in the direction of my splint and tongue.

3) I then rinse with my mouthwash, making sure to swish it around good so it also gets to the back of my mouth. While doing this I rub the backs of my teeth with my tongue and rub my tongue against the roof of my mouth to get rid of any fuzzies

4) I rinse with my salt water rinse

This gives me a pretty fresh feeling mouth, a clean bill of dental health from my surgeon and even better my mouth and breath smells all fresh and clean :D

Hope this helps any jaw surgery patients who have been having issues with keeping everything clean!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 11: Lean Mean Healing Machine

Remember I said yesterday that I had a 'U' of numbness that started under my eyes/right next to my nose, and that I was getting feeling back on the left side of my lips. Well guess what?! Feeling is now returning to my cheekbones/under my eyes andddddddd to the right side of my upper lip. *happy dance* I also have a teeny bit of feeling on the left half of my chin. to me, this is unbelievable. I fully expected to be numb way into my second month of recovery so I am thrilled that my nerves are getting their ish together this quickly.

However, I need to be honest with you guys. There is one aspect of recovery that I'm finding pretty hard. I have been extremely overly emotional of late, sometimes crying for absolutely no reason and I get irritated pretty quickly. I thought I was turning into a crazy person! I asked my doc about it and she said its because of the different drugs, including the steroids that they used while I was undergoing surgery. Such a relief to know that! I've been trying to stay positive, and just take the mood swings on as they happen but it is getting old pretty fast. I read somewhere that it takes up to a month for all the drugs to get out of your system but jeez louise I hope I don't have to deal with this for another 3 weeks! ugh!

In other news, the prune juice was no match for my...situation...and I turned to my tried and true Tisane de Bourbon. 24 hours later and I am one happy camper! So for anyone who is about to have this surgery, please keep in mind that it may take awhile for your body to get back to its 'regularly scheduled program' ;). For those of you who may not have Caribbean heritage or be from the Caribbean, Tisane is a common laxative/blood cleanser and it is made from the senna plant. Just like Buckley's, it tastes awful but it works!

Todays energy level is at an all time high
So far for the day I've had 2 boosts and 2 sippy cups of ginger ale and its only 1:22pm so not bad at all.
My weight is strangely up one lb from yesterday so I'm 124 right now (told ya'll i would be the heifer to gain weight on a liquid diet smh)The inside of my lips are all healed thanks to my increased frequency of salt water rinses and my use of wax on my brackets for 12 hours a day (put them in before bed and take the wax out when I have lunch the foll day)

                                               Soooo much better than when i first got home from the hospital!

My hygiene is still A ok, honestly my waterpik rocks!
I still can't speak mom keeps saying 'try to talk!' then when I say something she's all 'I don't know what you just said write it down for me,' :S gotta love her lol

and last but not least I do my mouth exercises every day quite possible hundreds of times. My surgeon told me to keep pursing my lips, i.e. do a kissy face. This helps to break up scar tissue as well as to exercise your face muscles. I've been doing them while typing this post, I do them while watching tv, etc etc

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 10: Oh Baby Baby I Got The Feeling!!!

It's coming back!!!

I have been having tingling in my lip/chin area since day 1 post surgery, and this morning that tingling upgraded itself into a little feeling in the left side of my lower and upper lips! Granted that feeling is pain lol but still...its good news! At the moment I am only numb on the bottom half of my nose, the other halves of my lips and in this 'U' that starts under my eyes/next to my nose, goes down to to my chin and up to right under my other eye/the other side of my nose. I guess I should also note that my chin is only numb at the front part that is directly under my lip, the underside of my chin isnt numb at all. I am not too worried about only half of my lip having some feeling, as I've been getting more and more tingles in that area every day, as well as i have more swelling on the right side of my face so I'm assuming thats why the feeling is taking a little longer to come back on that side. I'm pretty sure that I will regain full feeling in my lips over the next week or so.

In other news...I feel pretty good. Still have a slight trickle of a nose bleed when I get up on mornings but I don't think that will last very long. And when I say slight as in this morning I felt a little trickle but I didn't see anything come out so that symptom shoud be gone soon enough. My energy levels are still pretty good, I plan to spend this afternoon out and about with my mom and her friend so hopefully that won't be too tiring. In an effort to reduce the swelling in my lip I placed wax all along the bottom and top surgical hooks as since surgery they have been irritating the insides of my mouth like crazy. Those first few days when I was really swollen the insides of my mouth were reminiscent of ground turkey -_-.
I think that's all I have to say for now...may be back to update this post later today if anything else comes to mind.

For your listening pleasure, the source of today's blog post title :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 9

I had my first post op meeting with my surgeon today and it went well. They were all pleased, well actually almost amazed at how little swelling I had. They checked to ensure my teeth were sitting properly in the splint, which they were, and checked my hygiene. I'm doing very well but need to pay more attention to the back of my mouth...which for me means quit being scared to pull my lips back and really get into cleaning back there. I have this fear that I'm gonna accidentally rip my stitches out... :S. They also removed my external stitches. I'm apparently supposed to be able to speak by now, however when I try I sound like some swamp monster. My speech is NOT decipherable. I have to keep practicing talking until I get it right, because at the moment not being able to talk is really the only thing that would keep me from going back out to work next week.

They took pics but I didn't get to see any comparisons...I need to put a reminder on my phone to ask either my orthodontist or my surgeon for some so I can include them in this blog.
I'm happy that my first post-op meeting went so well, and hopefully all the rest go as well as this one did.

O, I also got answers to all my questions, but my codeine is kicking in so I will have to post about those later/tomorrow!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 8

Prior to surgery I started taking time out every day to write down 5 things that I was thankful for. I found that I was getting to be a tad pessimistic and this was my solution. I decided to apply this to my experience with surgery and braces.

5 things to be thankful for

1. That I never had any issues with getting my teeth to move/obey my orthodontist
2. That I was able to have my surgery at a reduced cost thanks to being a teaching case
3. That I was able to pay for my braces myself, out of pocket, with no insurance
4. That I survived jaw surgery (No one talks about this but I know of at least one jaw blogger passing away while undergoing this procedure)
5. That I didn’t have a lot of symptoms or side effects, e.g. more swelling or numbness, no infections (knock on wood), I was able to sleep upright with no problem etc etc

BONUS! That my mom was able to come take care of me, and that she’s been so patient and such a great nurse

In other news I am doing pretty well. I got some prune juice today *side eye* I don't have to spell out why for you guys right? lol. Hopefully this works!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 7

Its officially one week!

Swelling is going down, albeit slowly and my energy is waaaay up. Had to go on campus today to take care of some stuff for school which translated into me walking quite a bit of distance for about 30 mins (or more). Not bad…not bad at all :)

I have my first post op meeting tomorrow and I have a lot of questions!

My more immediate concerns are that my teeth hurt in the front, and my gums are pretty pale so I don’t know whats going on with that. Also the arm that had my iv and pain stuff hooked up to it is still hurting a bit and I cant straighten that arm out all the way which I don't think is normal...Is it?

So far I've lost about 7 lbs….hoping to lose 5 more! Although now that my appetite is back that weight loss may not happen. 

Now for a lil discussion on dental hygiene. So I’ve been diligent with my teeth cleaning, or at least I thought I was and made sure to brush twice a day (my front teeth at least), swish and spit with peridex twice a day, and swish and spit with salt water after every ‘meal’. My mouth felt fresh and smelt fresh so I was thought I was all good. Then tonight I whipped out the waterpik during my bedtime rinse session and discovered that there was spinach from my calaloo lurking in my splint. I could not believe it! After I swished and spit literally like 10 times! From now on I will definitely be using my waterpik every night. I do not play with my dental hygiene! Today I had 2 vanilla boosts, about 3 sippy cups of pple juice, 2 sippy cups of ginger ale and 2 bowls of calaloo. Plus lots of water! Trying to make sure I only have good things to report when I see my surgeon tomorrow, trying to keep that ‘exemplary’ patient status!
I didn’t sleep well at all last night, but I am hoping its just a one time thing...don't want to have to add sleeping pills on top of everything else I'm taking.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 6

Today was a greeeeaaat day. I had the most energy ever in all of my post surgery days, and surprisingly only took one nap and that was earlier today after my 8am medicine call. I stayed pretty active today, and walked back and forth with my mom while she did the laundry. Tomorrow if I still feel this energized I may take a short walk outside and get some sunshine. My airways feel even clearer, probably due to the humongous cluster of dried blood that I dislodged today. TMI I know lol. My pain is still manageable, I take 15ml of liquid codeine every 6 hours and its been keeping my pain under control. I struck oatmeal off the list of things I'll be eating as after trying my oatmeal milkshake I had to pull out my waterpik to get my mouth clean again. It doubled my dental hygiene time. So delicious, but so not worth it. Not much difference between yesterdays and todays swelling, but hopefully all that walking around I did today will help to get some of this fluid gone. I also ate way more today. Had a couple boosts, some curried potatoes and chicken soup. Good stuff! Can't believe that last week this time I was prepping for surgery the next day….crazy that one of the scariest and most highly anticipated days in my life is already in the past!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 5

Last night wasn’t bad, except I thought it was okay to not get up at 6am to take my pain meds and antibiotics. I definitely paid for that when I finally woke up at 6. It felt like every headache I ever had crawled up into the front of my head and had a party. It was awwwwwwwful! We here at Rana Inc. have now made the executive decision to keep taking my pain meds til they run out. No more playing Superwoman! 
There isn’t a marked difference between yesterday’s face and today’s face. Except that my lip is almost back to normal size :D. that one I’m happy about. My lower face feels a little less frozen and I think I have more tingles on my nose. It feels so weird….kinda cool, but weird. Can’t believe I’m almost at the  one week mark! I have not drooled on myself whether in my sleep or otherwise since that second night in the hospital so that's something good. 

I think i'm still doing pretty well with my nutrition, I have at least two Boosts per day, as well as a soup and lots of apple juice and ginger ale. I am taking fewer and fewer naps during the day and no longer feel all loopy and light headed like I did when I first left the hospital.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 4

More to add to the list of things no one warned me about. Namely having to use the restroom every hour it feels like. I almost miss my catheter....almost! Guess its from the fact that I’m drinking all my meals now. I think between last night and today I moved from feeling like I was hit by a truck to maybe just a luxury sedan lol. This whole drinking my food thing is pretty annoying but o well…4 days down and 30 to go. I think I’m keeping my nutrition up, haven’t lost any weight yet….i’m actually at 130 now when I went into surgery at 129. Just hoping that I’m not the heifer who has their jaw wired shut an gains weight :S. this is supposed to be my springboard into my Jamaican summa body! I already had a boost for breakfast, plus a sippy cup of apple juice which is not bad at all considering its only 11am. I must say kudos to those of you who had this surgery and ate through a syringe, I graduated to a cup with the quickness, that itsy bitsy syringe could not keep up with my munchkin appetite. Also kudos to anyone whose drug of choice is morphine…that ish burns going in and made my hand numb in a really weird way….AND I’ve felt higher off my acetaminophen from my wisdom teeth extractions so as drugs go morphine feels a bit tame…I’m just saying….