Thursday, July 30, 2015

7 Weeks Post-op Double Jaw Surgery & Sliding Genioplasty

Hey there!

I am making this post because I didn't get a chance to do a 6 week update last Thursday. In my defence, I was out of the house all day Tuesday and Wednesday and then on Thursday, my grandmother passed away and go figure, I didn't really feel like posting or taking selfies. But just for the record, if I did take a selfie, it would have looked like this:

                                       source: Hyperbole and a Half

My grandma passed away in her sleep; she was 92. She wasn't sick, just old, and her body decided she had lived long enough. I personally think it's pretty much the best death you can ask for and in that way, it's hard to be sad. I think I am more sad that I was a lousy granddaughter. I never visited her, and I only rarely called or sent cards. It was always something I would get to later. There was always something else, some other way to spend a weekend that wasn't driving out to Toronto to see her. I figured my procrastination would bite me in the ass like this and there is nothing I can do about it now. That's where my thoughts have been the past week; not so much on my jaw.



But anyway. Last Tuesday morning I saw my surgeon for my 6 week appointment. He said I didn't need to keep wearing the elastics holding my midline straight. He said everything else looked great and since I appear to be progressing normally, my next appointment is currently scheduled for May 2016!

On my drive home from London, I noticed my midline already seemed to have relapsed but I more or less forgot about it as I was spending the day with friends. By the time I had my appointment with my orthodontist in the afternoon, I forgot about the midline issues and begged my ortho to take my surgical hooks off, which he did. He gave me a heavy gauge elastic to pull my left molars together and it has already made a difference. The next day my midline was still off but because of me being out of town and the ortho's office being closed for a week, I didn't get in again until yesterday. I was dreading the thought of getting any surgical hooks put back on because they're awful. Fortunately, he slapped an elastic on me which you will see below, and I am happy enough with that. It's already doing its job. It did seem crazy to me that after only 6 weeks, 29 years of muscle memory would just be magically fixed. I go back to see my ortho in 3 weeks and I kind of doubt that by then it'll be fixed.


Energy: Normal.

Sleep: 30 days after surgery, I removed the wedge and started sleeping normally again. It was uncomfortable at first but I've adjusted now. I'm back to work now so I get varying amounts of sleep!

Pain: None really, except that I ate some chewy brownies two days ago (and then one day ago and then today...) and my right side has been aching ever since. I've been taking 400mg of Ibuprofen twice daily to fight inflammation. Also, sometimes where one of the plates is on my lower jaw hurts like @^*# but goes away quickly enough.

Swelling: Going down slowly still.

Numbness: About half of my chin came back! The numb area was about as wide as four of my fingers. A finger-width of feeling came back on either side, leaving a spot about two finger-widths that is still numb. Nostrils are now 100% back. Palate and upper gums still totally gone. Lower left lip is improving, but still isn't back to normal. I haven't really had much tingling at all.

Muscle movement: I sound normal when I talk now, which is nice. Using a straw, smiling, and opening my mouth are still difficult.

Eating/drinking: I'm officially allowed to eat soft foods. I've had mac and cheese, brownies, White Castle (!!!), scrambled eggs, home guys, solid food is amazing. I mainly eat canned beans, homemade potato soup, and Spaghetti-Os. Still drinking an Ensure every morning for the nutrients since I've been otherwise living off sweet, sweet carbs. 

Weight loss: I've gained 5lbs back, so I am now at 7lbs lost total, which is what I had put on in anticipation of the surgery. Meaning I am back to usual weight, and now trying to be careful since I've been eating like crap!

Other: Skin is improving, and it's become much easier to wash my face.


Resting face this week (7 weeks) vs 4 weeks post-op...swelling has noticeably gone down!


Pre-surgery profile

Toothy grin this week (7 weeks) vs 4 weeks post-op

Toothy grin pre-surgery (note how far down my upper teeth were compared to now, as well as compare the relationship between my front teeth and my nose...much straighter now)

Closed lip smile this week (7 weeks) vs 4 weeks post-op

Closed lip smile pre-surgery

Frown this week (7 weeks) vs 4 weeks post-op

Not-so-subtle elastic.

From the archives: embarrassing photos of my teeth long before I started treatment...

August 2013: the day before I started my weight loss efforts (I've maintained a 25lb weight loss!)

Obviously alcohol played a factor in this awful photo. But you can see the extent of my class 2 malocclusion here.

Video from last week:

Friday, July 10, 2015

One Month (4 Weeks) Post-op Double Jaw Surgery & Sliding Genioplasty

Hello party people!

Yesterday I hit 4 weeks post-op and tomorrow marks one month since the surgery. I say this everywhere to anyone who will listen but holy crap has the time ever flown by! Not being at work is like living in a time warp. That said, it has felt like it's perpetually Saturday or Sunday and I've had a hard time keeping track of what day it actually is.

But anyway!

I mention this in my video below but this past week, the main thing bothering me are the brackets and surgical hooks digging into the inside of my lip. It ends up giving me a feeling like the inside my lip is raw, which as you can imagine is pretty unpleasant.

Let's just do the benchmarks so I don't end up repeating myself:

Energy: Consistently good as long as I get a good night's sleep.

Sleep: 8-9 hours, sleeping well. Still on my wedge, not sure when I'll transition back to horizontal. I lied down normally for 2.5 hours a week ago and when I woke up, I was noticeably more swollen and I had a new numb spot on my cheek that was previously fine (and it took a few days to go away).

Pain: Not much pain anymore, except when my jaw randomly spasms and the joint aches afterwards. Also, every now and then, the left side of my chin is like, "Whoa nelly, I'm broken here! I don't know if you noticed Jaime, but holy crap, I am not attached to the rest of your skull!" My chin was reattached via 2 screws at the bottom/centre of my chin, and so I guess the rest of the bone is trying to heal.

Also, instead of the usual tingling that most people get when nerves are regenerating, I've been blessed with stinging...a lot of stinging. Non-stop stinging.

Swelling: It's been up and down all week. I think I look more swollen today compared to last week, actually.

Numbness: My lower eyelids are back but everything else is the same.

Muscle movement: It improves a little bit each week. My mouth moves when I talk now so it's less embarrassing to go out into public.

Eating/drinking: Same as last week. I tried some soft pastas this past week (despite doctor's orders). Canned ravioli was easy to eat, Spaghetti-Os were okay, and mac and cheese was difficult but doable. I also tried mozzarella sticks but it was too difficult. I'm technically not supposed to try chewing until week 6 so I doubt I will keep trying pasta.

Weight loss: still 11lbs.

Other: My skin has been super oily and I've been breaking out around my nose and on my chin like crazy. Using witch hazel and washing my face wasn't working so I've gone back to rubbing alcohol a few times a day. The pimples are finally going away, phew.


Swelling this week vs. last week (I think I looked better last week)

Right and left sides of my face this week

Smile this week vs last week...coming along but still awful looking.

Closed lip smile this week vs last week...pretty much the same.

Trying as hard as I can to frown

The bruise is pretty much gone.

From the archives:

A good photo of my smile pre-treatment (2011).

My smile in 2013, before any treatment! (The metal you can see is my RPE.)

Just for fun, me one month post-op from SARPE.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

3 Weeks Post-Op Double Jaw Surgery + Sliding Genioplasty

Time sure does fly when you're not at work!

The past week went by very fast. I'm still keeping up with trying to get out of the house once a day.

On Monday I went back to London to see my surgeon. He said everything looks good, and gave me permission to start using straws and blowing my nose again. Yay! I have been very lucky with sinus stuff after both this surgery and SARPE. Both surgeries cause your sinuses to be filled with blood, causing nosebleeds and sinus pain. After both surgeries, it is normal/expected to get nosebleeds for a week or two. I never had a nosebleed with either surgery, and my congestion went away after about 9 days this time (I didn't have as good of decongestant meds last time).

The only crappy part about the appointment was that he loaded me up with elastics. Now my mouth is clamped shut, which hurts my teeth and causes headaches.

So far, it seems like I've been pretty fortunate with a lot of parts about this surgery. Not a lot of pain, not a lot of swelling, very little bruising, no nosebleeds, congestion is long gone.

Anyhoo, the benchmarks!

Energy: Consistent, pretty much back to normal.

Sleep: Consistently 9 hours a night, mostly sleeping well. Can't remember the last time I napped. Still sleeping upright on my wedge pillow. So glad I bought that thing! MVP of this surgery, without a doubt.

Pain: My teeth have been bugging me now that I have the elastics, along with some palate soreness and headaches. I'm still taking a few Ibuprofen a day but more for the anti-inflammatory benefits rather than pain management.

Swelling: It's gone down quite a bit this past week, yay. My cheeks still feel puffy but I look pretty much normal to the untrained eye.

Numbness: No change from last week.

Muscle movement: It's getting a little easier to smile (see below). I can also hold my lips closed now, which makes a big difference in eating, drinking, showering, talking, etc. If you watch my video, you can see that one side of my mouth moves more than the other side. Prior to surgery, that side was also stronger, so I'm not surprised it's still stronger.

Eating/drinking: Haven't used my syringe in a while. I'm able to eat things with a spoon. Drinking out of cups and cans is no problem. Using a straw is a little tricky. Eating 3-4 times a day.

Weight loss: 11lbs.

Side note: The recipes in Dinner Through a Straw are great. If you don't receive it from your surgeon or orthodontist, it's worth picking up if you're not much of a cook and therefore have no ideas about what foods to blend.


Resting face this week vs last week.

Trying my hardest to bueno.

Closed lip smile...yikes.

All that remains of the bruise.

This week vs last week

Swelling is noticeably down this week

Pre-surgery vs post-surgery. Wow, who is that on the left?!

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