Thursday, April 26, 2007

Post-op oral surgeon visit #3

Another two minute appointment with Dr. C. Same as last time, basically. First thing he always asks is "How's the diet going?" I said good. He then proceeded to "check my wounds". All good. He looked in my mouth and said "Lovely." Then he told me there's nothing more for him to do, that Dr. J will now take over and "work his magic." I don't have to see Dr. C again until I get my retainer. Yay! No more half-hour drives for a two-minute appointment.

I asked about the residual swelling/stiffness under and around my nose, and Dr. C said he'd done some muscle recontruction there because if he hadn't, my upper lip would have flattened out and been pretty much invisible. Yikes. So he shortened those muscles so my upper lip would look balanced with my lower lip. Which it does. He did a wonderful job there, I must say. I love the new placement and appearance of my lips almost as much as I love my new chin. My lower lip used to look so huge compared to my upper one, and it stuck out and looked even bigger because of my lack of a chin. Now my lips are the right size for my face, and balanced to each other. The lip transformation was the one thing that really surprised me. Pleasantly.

To reduce the stiffness, he told me to do kissing exercises several times a day. Hehe. Like fish lips. Then he demonstrated, which was quite amusing. I almost told him my husband would love this kissing exercise idea, but I was too tired to joke around this morning. So tonight you'll see me sitting in front of the TV watching Grey's and making fish faces like an idiot.

Did I mention that one of the assistants in Dr. C's office looks exactly like Mrs. McCluskey from Desperate Housewives? I almost asked her if she was hiding her husband in her deep freeze. I guess you'd have to watch the show to get that.

I asked about food, of course. Dr. C said I can eat whatever I want as long as it's comfortable for me. Which I've been doing for about a month now. So Saturday? Grilled steak. Awwww yeah.

And that was that.

Can you believe my gum is STILL bleeding from the Floss Incident? It's been weeks and it is not healing. Last night I thought it had healed and when I brushed my teeth, blood came gushing out. Yes, gushing. I was spitting out mouthfuls of it. I have no idea what's going on there. I must have sliced it pretty good. Of course I can't feel it, but it must hurt. I've been swishing with Peridex to try to heal it but it's stubborn. I didn't really mention it to Dr. C but I will let Dr. J know.

An old friend of mine and my hubby's came over the other day and he was freaked out by my new face. We haven't seen him since December. He's known me since high school and he could not get over how different I looked, my face, my smile, and especially my profile. He didn't tell me I looked good, just different, and "not in a bad way." I guess that was a compliment? But everyone, absolutely everyone, tells me "I didn't see anything wrong with the way you looked before." I think that's bat-$hit crazy talk. To me, it's glaringly obvious what was wrong before.

I'm always surprised when people say I look different because I'm so used to how I look now, I don't even remember the old me. I actually forget sometimes that I look different. The transition into this new face has been so seamless for me, so natural, that it shocks me when someone notices a change. So weird.

On April 30, it will be my one year braces anniversary. CRAZY!

I go to Dr. J on May 2, which is also my "2 months post-op" day. I will update with pics next time. Ciao.

Friday, April 13, 2007

6 weeks post-op update

No pics this time because, well, nothing has really changed with me looks-wise in the past two weeks.

I'm 6 weeks post-op today. Hard to believe! Everything is continuing to go really well. I'm still wearing my bands 14 hours a day. Thanks to my powerchains, my top teeth are now perfectly straight and gap-free. Now we have to get those bottom teeth to follow suit. I'm HOPING that I'll be brace-free by the summer. That would be nice.

Numbness: As far as my face goes, there is still the slightest numb patch on my chin. Nothing bothersome at all. As for my gums, still completely numb. I severed myself with the floss the other day. I wasn't paying attention and I thought it wasn't between my teeth yet so I kept yanking, and it turns out it was against my gums. This was last week and I'm still bleeding from there daily. Oops.

Feeling: I'm ever so gradually getting some feeling back in my upper teeth. No, not my gums, my teeth. They've been shifting like crazy, and every once in a while I'll get what I call a Jump & Tickle. It's not as fun as it sounds. My nerve jumps and then I feel a tickle run from my tooth to the roof of my mouth. Speaking of the roof of my mouth, I almost have total feeling back there. It happened suddenly, two days ago, when I was eating cold applesauce and I realized it felt extremely cold on the roof of my mouth. It feels strange up there though. I guess that's normal considering my upper jaw is in a different place now. There's this bony bump there that's driving me crazy. I'm going to ask Dr. C to have a look when I see him on the 26th.

I can eat almost everything now. I've done nachos (soggy), hamburgers (smooshed), popcorn (soft microwaved), hotdogs (smooshed), subs (smooshed) among other things. The only things I can't do are steak, pork of any kind, raw veggies, and thick things like big hamburgers and subs with lots of toppings. I have to take stuff like tomato slices off a hamburger or sub so it's thinner. I can leave lettuce on but it seems to drag out and land on my chin. My teeth can't "cut" it. I can open up much wider than before (3 fingers can fit in there now!) but it's hard to take big bites and then chew them. Hubby and I took the kids to Applebee's last weekend and I couldn't have maybe half of what was on the menu. No club sandwich because of bacon. No hamburger or chicken burger because they are huge there. No salad because like I said, I find it really hard to break down lettuce. No ribs for obvious reasons. I can't bite into things like fried chicken or ribs or wings. I have no idea when I will feel comfortable enough to do it. All in all, I'm eating like a pig and gaining back all my weight and then some.

Other stuff:
I'm so used to my new look now that I feel like I've always looked this way. I can still see my old self in the mirror, the only difference being the chin and altered smile. I love my new chin. No more pain or swelling there, by the way. The genioplasty has completely healed. I'm much more confident in my looks now. Last weekend we went to the pool and I wore my hair off my face in a ponytail. I NEVER would have done that pre-surgery. People who don't realize I had surgery, like some of my neighbors for example, haven't really noticed anything different about me, or maybe they have and just won't say. My smile still looks goofy and I wonder daily if it will ever look better. The parts of my face under my nose and beside my nose still feel really stiff and I'm trying to figure out if it's swelling that will go away or scar tissue that won't.

To sum up, recovery has been smooth sailing. I'm extremely happy with my results thus far, aside from the goofy smile and stubborn slight swelling. I haven't had any jaw pain or migraines since surgery, but my sinuses still hate me. No more pops and cracks in my joints when I open wide. So far it's been more successful than I'd ever hoped.

Monday, April 02, 2007

1 Month Post-Op

I did not put any makeup on for these pictures so please excuse the "au naturale" look. And the profile pic has my hair in my face but you get the idea.

Wow. One month ago today I was just out of surgery and recovering. What a month it has been. So bad, yet so good. So expectedly tough, yet so surprisingly easy.

My left nostril now has feeling. Top gums are still completely numb, and the feeling in my chin is slowly coming back. Still getting the pins-and-needles there. For those who've had a genio, do you get as paranoid as I do about bumping your chin? I've bumped mine accidentally a few times...against my kids' heads, against my husband...I even bump it with my own hand sometimes when I'm brushing my hair or whatever. I bumped it against my husband's shoulder the other day and ran to the bathroom to make sure it was still in place. Haha. I have dreams about my chin either going back to the way it was or getting shifted off to the side.

I still have swelling around my nose. My nose is still crooked. Buuuuut, I try to be patient.

Since I got powerchains on my top braces and the gaps have been closing up, I'm getting the strangest feeling there. Sort of like a tickly feeling. The best way I can describe it is it's like tiny bubbles dancing along my gums. It's only in one particular spot, near where a big gap used to be. It's closed up now, after only a couple of weeks. I know if I had feeling there, my top teeth would hurt from all that movement.

My bite is still way off, but I'm so much better at remembering where to place my jaws, and learning to chew again. Still wearing my bands 14 hours a day. There are tiny bands all over my bathroom. In the tub, toilet, sink, bathmat. Those little buggers can fly when they're accidentally flicked.

I have a sinus infection. It's funny because my sinuses have been so clear for about 3 weeks straight, which is unusual for me. I can usually clear up my sinus infections with Nasonex, Sudafed and if it's really bad, a salt-water sinus rinse. I was hoping this surgery would make my sinuses drain more effectively, but then again I am still swollen around there, which could be the culprit.

All in all, I'm doing really great. Life is gone on as normal. I don't really miss the foods I can't eat. I've grown very used to cutting food up, tearing food apart, and smooshing food down. No biggie.

Man, I can't believe how fast this month flew by!