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.
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 fries...you 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!
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
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: