Monday, 25 March 2013

Two Weeks Post Surgery..

I'll start by apologizing for my recent lack of daily updates. This was due to extreme exhaustion. I literally at one point couldn't even sit up I was so tired. I guess this is a mix of all the medication and limited diet. I have an appointment with the doctor in half an hour so hopefully I can start a vitamin or some magic pill to help with this. I can't handle being so tired all the time.

It's been two weeks today since surgery and surgery aside my life has changed dramatically in those two weeks. A lot has happened in my personal life that was very unexpected. Dealing with all of it on top of recovery has been pretty tough. However, through determination and desire for a better profile I fought through and I'm incredibly happy with the results. I never expected to be so recovered in just two weeks. I do get pain during the night when I roll onto my right side but this is very manageable.

Eating is really annoying. I still can't chew so I can only eat what I can mush between my tongue and the top of my mouth and it gets tiring. I just give up during most meals cause it's hard work.

So here are today's photographs:

I had to take today's photos myself as I am home alone. So that's why they look a little close up. Also I have found that I'm very nervous about my jaw. I'm very careful not to let anything or anybody hit off it just in case. I wonder if I will always feel this way or if it will fade. Other than that it feels great to look in the mirror and not hate my bite.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Recovery Day 10...

I've made it to day 10 and I'm beyond excited about that. Today I had to get up at 7.30am to go to the orthodontist which I was excited about as it means moving forward again with my treatment. I still have a gap between my back teeth which was expected before surgery. This is going to be fixed with elastics which I got started on today. They hurt, just like when you get a brace adjustment however pain doesn't really mean anything any more. This is the last trek in treatment and it's simply exciting.

I also got weighed today and I was 9 stone 3 when I entered the hospital and today I am 8 stone 10. I've lost half a stone in 10 days. This isn't too bad I guess.

Today I didn't take any photos as I'm EXHAUSTED. I had been concerned about the early morning as I'm so groggy in the mornings but I got up and went no problem but when I got home I crashed and sleeping and resting all day has not done the trick.

I have decided instead to make a list of all the things that I have used post surgery for anybody doing surgery shopping. Hope it helps.
  • Vaseline (ESSENTIAL)
  • Tissues
  • Water
  • Straws
  • Baby Spoons
  • Baby Toothbrush
  • Ice Packs
In terms of eating.
  • Ice Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Soup
  • Angel Delight
  • Hot Chocolate
This is pretty much all I ate in the first week as it was all I could get into my mouth. I imagine if I had got some calorie shakes I wouldn't have lost as much weight. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Recovery Day 9..

Last night I didn't sleep to great but I was just awake, I wasn't in any pain at all. I guess the pain relief helped a lot with sleeping. I haven't taken any pain relief in 30 hours and hope it continues that way.

Today is not much different to yesterday so I've decided I'm only going to do the daily pictures and updates until Monday which will be two weeks post surgery. Today I had soup with bread in it, I was shaking with excitement. I really won't take food for granted ever again.. Here is the soup.

I got dressed again today and went for a very small drive and in the sun again. SUN two days in a row in Ireland. This is probably our summer so I have to make the most of it!! Tomorrow I'm going back to the orthodontist, I'm so excited to see her. 

Here is today's pictures. The swelling on the right is barely visible and the left is still there, haven't felt it go down in a while. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Recovery Day 8...

I have been very lucky and only had one sleepless night to date. Last night I slept a full eight hours again but I am still waking up feeling groggy in the mornings. This can be the case for six weeks or so but it's not a big issue really as I don't have to go to college.

Today I got dressed, did my hair and make-up and drove to the local shop which is only 5km away. The sun was shining and there was a nice crisp in the air, getting out was medicine in itself. Following this I went to the hospital but did get a ride there as it's 40 minutes away. I was seen by another doctor before my surgeon came in. It was hell... This doctor pulled at my cheeks, forced my jaw open and nipped my lip with the scissors to get the elastic open. Even the nurse looked very concerned. I breath a HUGE sigh of relief when my own surgeon came back in. He was awesome. He is very pleased with the results, he says he's very happy with the little swelling and thinks my new look is great. I don't have to go back to him for twelve months.

My orthodontist is going to be looking after my bite from here on in. She will use elastics to pull my back teeth together. I am two days elastic free as I'm not there until Thursday. To celebrate this I had potato and gravy for dinner, woohoo.

I feel that I have lost a bit of weight but haven't had the opportunity to weigh myself yet. My clothes feel slightly looser and I can't help but feel good about this. Here is a photo..

And here are today's photo.. My eyes look a little dark and tired in the photo but they don't really look like that in reality.

Monday, 18 March 2013

One Week Post Surgery..

I've made it to the one week mark and I feel great today. One because I've hit this point and two because I haven't needed any pain relief today. I'm still very tired but that's not a huge issue. The swelling has gone down another tiny bit since yesterday which is also a great feeling.

I had another shower today and although I did have some hair loss it wasn't anywhere near as bad as last time so I'm pleased about that, hopefully this is a good sign. I've nothing else to really report today. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my surgeon so I'll post after this. I'm excited about getting out of the house even if it is to go to the hospital.

Here's today's Photographs:

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Recovery Day 6..

Happy St. Patricks Day Bloggers, hope it's been a green one for everybody. I normally spend my Paddys day in our local parade in town but this year I watched the Dublin one on television. Little did I think that I'd be in this position last year when I was set to walk in the parade, looking like this.. and planning this years parade. It doesn't show my overbite very well but I am so sensitive to it I can see it right away. I find now that when I meet people I always look at their teeth and their bite, decide what kind of a bite the have considering I'm so professional now haha.. I'm pretty sure most people who go through this surgery do the same though. Craig even does it sometimes, he says 'does that person have an overbite'.. I think it's really funny. Three years ago I didn't even know what an overbite was.

I'm so pleased to announce that I slept a full, uninterrupted eight hours sleep last night. It was amazing. I woke up without any pain which was also amazing. I have changed pain relief so maybe this has contributed to this. The only issue I've had today is tiredness beyond anything I've felt before. I remember reading in a blog before that the tiredness can last for a while so to start doing exercise etc.. very slowly.

Other than that noting has really changed. My mood has increased dramatically since yesterday. I ate a lot today so not feeling as food deprived anymore. I can feel the stitches in my mouth and my Mother reckons this is a good thing as it means they are healing.

Here are today's pictures. I look pretty much the same except I'm a little dark around the eyes but I'm sure that's just the tiredness.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Recovery Day 5..

Last night was simply awful, I had the worst pain from my right ear. I didn't really sleep at all, it felt like I just sat on my bed all night waiting for the next time I could take some pain relief. I tried putting an ice pack to it but any touch just made the pain worse. Today the pain has subsided significantly and that is a very welcome relief. I looked this ear pain up on Google (which has an answer for everything and is getting me through college!) and apparently it can be common for a long time after this surgery. It's due to the joint learning to settle into it's new position. Also talking can aggravate this and I did a bit of talking last night as Craig called over to sit with me for a while.

I've also started to really struggle with the lack of normal foods. I'm desperate for a proper meal. I'm not even 100% certain when that will even be possible again but right now my moral is pretty low but I'm trying hard to remain positive. I am hoping Tuesday will come soon so I can get some more information from my surgeon.

The swelling is still there but causing me no real issues. I don't seem to even notice it now.

Here is today's pictures:

I also took a photo of my front teeth, which actually meet now. It's SOOO exciting and pain or no pain I would do it all over again.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Recovery Day 4..

I can't believe I'm on day four already. Time is going fast which is great as I hate being stuck in bed not doing much. Yesterday was fine until I became upset about something non jaw related. I knew I had to hold it together but after about three hours I had to let it out and well crying and jaw surgery do not work well together. It hurt pretty bad, I became congested and struggled to breath. So this has toughed me up if nothing else and encouraged me to forget everything else right now and focus on recovery.

I was very tired last night as I didn't sleep much during the day and was asleep by about 9:30pm and slept right through until 7am and then fell in and out of sleep until 9am which was nice and I felt pretty awake after that. I was pleased that the swelling on the right side has gone down ever so slightly but it's progress none the less. I had two yogurts for breakfast, brushed my teeth and decided it was time to hit the shower. It felt AMAZING to get the blood, sweat and vomit out of my hair (I did say I wouldn't skip the gory details!). However I became concerned when hair started falling out in my hands, full strands of hair, clumps of it. I nearly cried. Luckily I have lots of hair and haven't gone bald yet but I am concerned. According to Google this can happen due to the shock of surgery to the body and can continue up to three months. I also text two hairdresser friends of mine who said the same thing and to just consult my doctor if it continues. Here's hoping it doesn't.

It was very tiring showering and then drying my hair but it was very worth it as I feel great now.  My Mother had my bed sheets changed when I got back from the shower (thanks Mam!) which was a nice surprise and it felt so good getting back into bed.

Here's today's photos, I'm glad to be at least clean in them!: 

I look pretty unhappy in the top photo but I'm actually in a really good mood today. Except that I desperately want a ham sandwich.. I didn't even eat those before surgery but right now I really want one. 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Recovery Day 3..

Last night, for the first time I felt some pain, actually a lot of pain. It feels like it's coming from my ears but I guess it's where the metal was inserted just behind my ears. I found finding a position in bed to be a nightmare, I had to move every 30 seconds. I did manage about 5 hours sleep though.

I woke up this morning feeling a tiny bit better. I brushed my teeth, washed my face and got fresh clothes and all of that has freshened me up a bit so I feel somewhat better. I've also woken up a little bit more swollen today but the surgeon said this might happen. I do recall reading somewhere at some point that day 3-5 is the hardest so if you can get through that you're getting there.

I never mentioned in my last post about numbness. I actually have feeling just about everywhere. The surgeon is confident that I will have no long term nerve damage. I also have really good movement of my lip which is also positive.

I've been using ice packs every 4-5 hours but not to sure they're doing much. I do feel a little better after them though so I'm going to keep going with that.

Here is day 3:

Here is an after & before because I can't seem to put them the other way around. I don't see too much difference yet but so far I'm very happy with the results. It seems it's all gone to plan. I still have a lot of work to make my bite sit together but the hardest part is over. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

So Surgery Happened..

I made it to the other side of surgery and I'm very excited to share my recovery so far as it's been a very positive one. I was woken at 6.20am on Monday, day of surgery and told to shower and be ready by 8am. It was 11:45 before I got called down. I had remained very calm up until then however when I got to the surgery waiting area I started to sweat a little and start to stress. The staff in theater were amazing, they kept talking to me and kept it very humorous and this kept me calm no end.  I remember feeling very relaxed and calm as I went to sleep.

I woke up to hear a nurses voice telling me to take deep breathes as they pulled out the tube. She said my pulse is high and I'm sweating but not to worry about it. She was very reassuring and nice though I was still pretty out of it and fell right back to sleep. The next thing I remember is being lifted form that bed back onto mine via a board and about six people and then hearing a lot of hustle and bustle around me but I heard a voice say 'ignore us just relax there'. I did exactly that as I was so tired and slept for I don't know how long.

I woke at some stage feeling very thirsty and asked for water. I was given a glass with a straw to SIP but I downed THREE GLASSES. This I did regret as I got very sick after it. I did vomit from it but it was mainly water so not too harsh on my jaw and got an injection that helped me with the nausea. I think my Mum and Nan and Aunt were there for that, I was aware they were there but was so tired I couldn't really keep my eyes open.

The nurses kept asking if I was in any pain and I wasn't. Not one single bit of pain anywhere, it was such a relief. I was told I had tubes from my mouth which were inserted into my cheeks. I was a little disappointed about this but when I realized all the stuff that had drained out would have otherwise sat in my cheeks I was so grateful. They were a little annoying but considering how much they help I'm pleased to have had them. I also had three sessions of steroids through a drip which helps with swelling. So here I am about 5.5 hours after surgery.

I was pleased that I slept well as I've seen form other blogs that people have trouble sleeping the first night but I have been so lucky with that. So I didn't get out of bed until the following morning when I had to go to the toilet which I was nervous about due to the mirrors. I wasn't sure if I was ready to see myself. I decided I needed to brave it and wasn't sure how I felt about how I looked but deiced I was to raw to make any decisions.

I had some xrays done and my surgeon came to see me in the evening. He said he was very pleased with the results, he was pleased to see so little swelling and was surprised that I had taken no pain relief other then calpol. He sent me home with eating, cleaning instructions and an appointment to see him next Tuesday. So here are some pictures I got when I came home:

Day One:

I pretty much slept for the rest of the day which was nice. I slept right through the night and woke at 5:30am and been awake since then but feeling tired enough. Today I feel really good. The swelling is a little annoying but I consider myself very lucky considering how tough others have it after surgery. So finally here I am today. I think I look a little worse but I feel a little better.

Day Two:

So that's me so far. I'm feeling great and very very lucky. I really hope it continues this way. The surgeon said it's all downhill from here and I'll feel a little better every day from now on. I'm excited and feeling very positive. I would like to say I'll update daily but I won't promise anything for now.

Finally I'm sending these positive vibes to fellow bloggers who also had their surgery Monday. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Last Dinner & Admission Day..

Yesterday was my last real dinner before surgery. My week of eating ended on a Chinese. It was delicious I spared none of it. Even when I was full I kept eating. Here it is:

I didn't get to sleep until after 3am. I wasn't particularly nervous or anything I was just wide awake. I woke this morning feeling Okay but do have a little knot in my stomach. I'm just doing my best not to think too much about it for now. I just phoned the hospital as directed by the admissions letter and there is a bed available so I have to arrive by 3pm.

I didn't manage to make that video but will do my best after surgery. I won't be able to update until I am home from hospital which all going well is Tuesday evening so I will try update Wednesday. I have asked that someone take photos for me tomorrow after surgery and again on Tuesday to see process.

Goodbye Over Bite :)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Dinner countdown day Two..

Yesterday was another take out day. I went to a local chipper for chips and a chicken burger as there is nothing I like more than a chicken burger. The picture does not even do the food justice, it was so good. I also got a can of coke. I tend to not drink much fizzy drink but I thought the occasion deserved one. Here it is:

I've also got my bed ready, clean sheets, extra pillows placed on to be elevated. I also left my bear there that a neighbour and good friend gave me for Christmas, I love it.

 All I have left to do now is have my last dinner before the hospital and pack my bag. Crazy.. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Dinner Countdown Day Three...

Well yesterdays dinner didn't actually happen. I'm not sure if it's nerves, overeating all week or just some kind of bug (which it better not be), but I've lost my appetite. I could not face eating a dinner.  Today I'm still not feeling much hunger.

I went for my splint fitting at the orthodontist. I was surprised to find my surgeon there as I was not expecting him to be and wish I had known because when he asked if I had any questions for him I went blank. There was some remote panic when the splint did not fit initially but eventually it did and was actually very comfortable. I found out after though that he won't be leaving the splint in at all, it's just a guide for him when deciding placement of my jaw.

I did manage to ask him how long I'll be in hospital for. He said that he would come see me Tuesday evening and if everything looks normal and okay I will get to go home then so fingers crossed. I have to go back to see him the following Tuesday and if everything is still fine I don't need to see him again after that, everything else will be done in the orthodontists clinic which I will return to the Thursday after this appointment. So my appointment ended with my orthodontist sending me on my way and telling me to spare no food for the weekend.

Today's appointment made everything feel very real and very final. I'm feeling something but can't quiet put my finger on exactly what it is. I'm not nervous, though I may appear nervous because everybody keeps asking me. I do feel somewhat relaxed considering I'll have a broken face in THREE days.. .

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dinner Countdown Day Four..

Yesterdays meal was a guilty pleasure.. I'm sure you'll all know from the picture what I had. I was torn between that and a diner called MJs which is similar to Eddie Rockets, I flipped a coin and ended up in McDonald's. Here it is:

Today marks Four days until I have surgery. I woke up this morning thinking how crazy this is. I remember being told first day that I will be having surgery, that was almost three years ago. I spent so much time waiting for a date that I started to believe I'd never get one and I'll have braces for life. I also started to think about life post surgery and post recovery, that seems like a lifetime away at the moment. I'm looking forward to being able to look back at this experience when the whole process is over.

I was weighted at the hospital yesterday, I wasn't looking forward to this because I felt I had completely overindulged this semester, taking larger lunches for college etc. but I only put on 4 pounds, I'm very pleased about that. It also means that when I loose weight after surgery I should go back to my original weight or just a little under. People find it really irritating when I talk about my weight cause I'm that person who can eat all I want and not put on weight. I've just killed that theory with my 4 pounds!!

I was trying to prepare my little cousin Robyn who is 7 years for what I will look like after surgery. Myself and her Mam were explaining that my face will look a little fatter because of swelling etc.. and would she help by getting me drinks and stuff. She looked very scared and asked if I'd look like the man off the telly? She was referring to the man known as the 'elephant man' that she had seen in a documentary lately. It's amazing how kids remember stuff and make connections. We gave her some reassurance and she seem relieved. Craig has also ordered me to get a chair in my room for him to sit on, he refuses to sit on my bed when I'm recovering in case he hurts my jaw. I'm sure he thinks I'll be made of glass post surgery! It's nice that he cares though.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dinner Countdown Day Five...

Yesterday as I was back in the land of college one of my wonderful college friend Tara invited me to her house for dinner with herself and her two equally wonderful children. It was so good. She made chicken curry, rice, chips and naan bread. I really could get used to having people cook for me all the time. I didn't take a picture of it but I really wish I had so you could all get a good idea of just how good it was.

Today I got a call from the nurse at the Orthodontics Clinic to let me know that my splint has arrived and ask me to call in to try it on. I'm going there on Friday to do that. I'm actually really pleased because I will have an idea of what to expect in my mouth after surgery. 

Other than that it is FIVE days to surgery and today I'm feeling very excited about it. I'm far less stressed and have managed to really get a grip on my college work which is one less thing to worry about. I've got my extra pillows ready to go and I'm going to check out some squeeze foods I've heard about on another blog in the next few days. I also realized that I will be admitted to hospital on Mothers day which isn't ideal but that's how it goes, I'm sure I have many many more Mothers Days with my Mother yet! 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dinner Countdown Day Six...

Yesterdays dinner was awesome and made for me once again (Thanks Mam)! It was bacon, sausage, egg and bagels.. I'm currently obsessed with bagels and will possibly miss these the most. Here it is..

Following this I sat down to the Easter Egg Craig bought me in advance of Easter just in case I am unable to indulge on Easter Sunday..

I love kinder eggs and got an awesome game inside which may keep me entertained for some part of recovery.. 

I've been having some nightmares that are surgery related which haven't been fun. Last nights one went a little like this; I was in the hospital to try on my splint to ensure it fits correctly and they decided they needed to insert a feeding tube through my stomach so I was walking around everywhere holding the tube and worrying that I'd pull it out. I was getting very stressed about it. Woke up in a panic and started feeling around for the tube. This tells me I'm starting to get anxious about surgery.. And I'm thinking far too much about food!!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Seven day dinner count down...

As yesterday was seven days until I get admitted to hospital I've decided I will eat seven of my favorite dinners between now and then. I started yesterday with a delicious meal and better still it was cooked for me (thanks Craig).  It was spaghetti with a carbonara sauce, bacon bits, charlville cheese, and garlic bread washed down with low fat milk.  Here it is:

(I did share the garlic bread, kind of…)

I also went into town yesterday and came across a pack of 12 bottles of water in a discount store for €1.49, bargain century. I just feel like I’m going to be drinking lots and lots of water but I’m not sure why. My uncle came over Saturday morning to put my awesome new locker together, it’s amazing, I love it. 

I woke up this morning thinking that this time next week I will probably be in surgery and right now its 10:20am so I imagine I will be out of surgery by now. I’m not sure right now how I’m feeling about it all. I’m not feeling nervous or excited today, I’m just indifferent.  Maybe it’s because I've a lot to do between now and then. Tomorrow I have to make the two hour drive to where I go to college to visit the hospital there Wednesday morning for an appointment that is not jaw related. Then I plan to spend the day in the library completing essays before making the two hour drive back home. Maybe then I will have more feelings about surgery. I am thinking about making a video next weekend just before I go to the hospital if I can figure it out, technology and I are not great friends but I'll give it a shot. 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Metal Mouth..

Yesterday I had my last appointment with the orthodontist before surgery which is in 10 days. I had the dreaded hooks put on, five on top and three on the bottom. I had really been dreading these but they are actually a lot smaller than I had thought and there is less in there. I was very relieved. Here is what they look like.

Bit of a metal mouth but I don’t mind. I do mind that they look a little yellow. I will be getting them bleached when the braces are off which I am beyond excited bout!! 

The orthodontist and the nurse said that it’s essential I have LOTS of wax as these cut patients very badly. They gave me some and offered to post me more any time I need it which I thought was really nice of them.  However, it’s now been 29 hours since they've been placed in and I don’t even notice they are there. I have no pain and no cutting which is a nice relief as they had prepared me for the worst. If they were going to cut they would have done so by now.

I may have to go back this day next week to try on my splint to ensure it fits correctly but the orthodontist said the engineer is fantastic and they never have fitting issues but just to be on the safe side. Wouldn't do well to have a broken jaw and then realize the splint doesn't fit. They also gave me my first appointment post op which is the 21st of March, 10 days post-surgery.

I've officially finished college until after surgery. Well it just worked out that next week is Spring Break which now that it’s here I’m very grateful for as I’m starting to get a bit uneasy about everything. I have about five essays to do for college and although I have about five weeks to complete most of them I’m concerned that I’m not going to have the energy to do them after surgery. I’m going to try get as much done during spring break as I can but freaking out a little bit and my mind is so focused on surgery I can’t even contemplate the relevance of visual art in community settings. I’m also starting to worry about when I go back to college. I go to college 2 hours from where I live and when I go back I will be living alone. I’m starting to feel unprepared for surgery even thought I made a list and have everything on it. I’m worried about how people are going to react to me after surgery, if people will cope with the changes. Then I think to myself that this surgery is my decision and it’s my life, I’m the one who will have a broken jaw and I’ll have enough work in looking after myself and don’t need to be concerning myself about others but I can’t help being concerned about others coping. I imagine all these worries are natural and everybody going through this will have very similar ones. 

I've been taking my mind off these by going to the beach, three different beaches in one week in February. I may turn into a beach bum. Here are some pictures from yesterday’s visit.  

Today I've had a big clean out in my room to ensure it’s clean and airy for after surgery. I also want to organise all the stuff I may need to be next to my bed so I bought a new bedside locker for next to my bed with three drawers, I’m waiting excitedly for my uncle to come and put it together for me. I've also been trying to decide what I may need to bring to the hospital but as I’m not sure how long I’ll be there for this is difficult. 

Hopefully I'll be blogging this time next week to say I have lots of college work done, I have everything prepared for the surgery and hospital and I'm no longer stressing!...