Sunday, 26 May 2013

Recovery Week Eleven..

Although this week has not been a bad jaw week like last week, today is definitely a bad jaw day. Last night took me back to week one, when walking A LOT after turning onto my right side. I'm pleased that I didn't need to resort to pain relief as I have firmly put those days behind me.  However today has continued to be a painful one. I can't open my mouth too far without pain and my right ear has sharp regular pain. Still the pain has not gone beyond the point of being worth it.

Two people have asked me this week if my energy levels are at a reasonable rate and although I hadn't thought about it in a while I now realize I have as much, if not more energy than I did before surgery. Those of you on your journey prepare to be very very tired and be sure to allow yourself the rest needed to recover from the tiredness. Embrace the rest! I have managed a 9km walk this week in the beautiful weather we have been having here for a change and this weekend I managed two full days, without any cat naps of being out about, walking on the side of a mountain, exploring at the beach and shouting on my cousins football team. About 4/5 weeks ago I would never imagined I'd ever reach this point again. So since surgery I've learned to appreciate the people around me, food and the ability to get up in the morning and live life.

On a final note, and an exciting one for me. I was told for the first time this week by somebody that they can see a difference in my jaw. They were referring to this photo, therefore now it has become my favorite photo!

Here are some photographs week eleven, I'm aware nothing has really changed physically and I'm pretty sure nothing more will change, I've no swelling left whatsoever. I am also aware I look a bit out of it but that is due to a sleepless, painful night. I'm so glad and grateful that those nights no longer mean spending the day stuck in bed, drugged up.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Recovery Week Ten...

I am just two weeks away from another significant milestone of three months post surgery, that will then leave me just half way from the point of full recovery, six months. This week has not been a good jaw week, however I am reminding myself that it's a bad jaw week not a bad jaw life. Even when I do have a bad jaw day or jaw week I never ever regret having surgery. 

This week I noticed that tiniest of chips on my upper, left three (or as I like to call it the vampire tooth), I thought it was from a mishap whilst brushing my teeth last Monday morning however I found out that it's actually after getting worn from rubbing off my lower brace and isn't a major issue although I fretted for five days solid. I'm pretty sure nobody else would notice it but I notice every little change, problem and mark on my teeth. I had some swelling on and off on the left side of my face in the mornings but it seems to go down as the day goes on. 

I also had a jaw issue on Friday night whilst carrying boxes. Forgetting as you do sometimes that you have a broken jaw I carried one box full of books on top of another and the top one slid backwards and hit my jaw, I'm pretty sure my life flashed before me. There was a moment where I stood still, everything went into slow motion and I waited for the pain to hit and it did. It made me realize that I've become somewhat complacent about my jaw and although it's good to not fret so much I do still need to take care with it. The pain is still there and I'm back to not being able to sleep on my right side again but I'm pretty sure nothing has moved out of place. The pain reminds my of a few sleepless nights I had post surgery and I had to take off the right elastic during the night as it became to much. So needless to say I'll be back to protecting my jaw from even the slightest of winds for the next three months. 

There were many times after surgery I said I would never take food for granted again and I really really don't. I've noticed that I've appreciated every bite of food I've had since being able to eat again. I take a few moments before I begin to eat to remind myself what life without food was like and it makes every little mouthful all the more sweeter. 

Here is me appreciating some of that food: 

Also here are some pictures week 10:

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Recovery Week Nine..

Here I am, nine weeks post surgery, sitting in my room, all studied out, ready to attack exams like surgery never happened. Well, I do get certain reminders of surgery every now and then such as when I yawn, first comes the yawn, then the pain swiftly followed by a facial expression that looks like I've just drank the juice of a lemon. I can't help but feel that this will always be the case but it's something I can live with I guess.

I also realized this week that I can now open my mouth fully. A whole two fingers wide. Those of you who have not had this surgery will not be able to appreciate the significance of this. It's a major milestone. It does hurt a little bit but none the less I am almost at a point where I can use a dessert/soup spoon as opposed to eating EVERYTHING off a tea spoon. Sometimes I find myself opening my mouth, simply because I can! 

I've haven't been very good with my night time elastics, in fact I've slept without them for two nights now. I've no idea if my lax attitude will cause me any setbacks at this point. It will be pretty silly of me if it does after being so rigid with every other part of treatment. I'm not sure if any other surgery goers have felt this way but this last stretch is most definitely the longest. A week feels like a month. However, when I feel this way I force a walk to my calender, and look at this until any negative feelings pass: 

I've also spent a lot of time this week thinking back to a post pre surgery when I was beyond worried about getting back to normal and on top of many things including college work. Now that I'm four exams away from completing the semester,100% caught up and 100% confident on passing I wonder how much of our lives are wasted with unnecessary worry. After much evaluation and analysis I believe that I worried at least 50% more than necessary with regard to surgery and more specifically the ability to recover. So if you're on your journey, take my advise, worry at least 1% less every day. 

On that note, here are some pictures week nine: 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Recovery Week Eight..

I decided to do this weeks post a little late as I had an orthodontist appointment today. I have been talking nicely to my teeth for the past few weeks in the hope of encouraging them to hurry on and move. The back of the left side moved together however there is still a little bit of a gap in the front of the left. I was ecstatic however when the orthodontist told me that this was not an issue and will continue to move after brace removal. I was also relieved to hear that I only have to wear elastics at night now. Speaking of brace removal... This brace face will be brace free on the 10th of July. RESULT!

I've had a lot of pain in my jaw this week. It began when laughing at the latest Argos alien advert  on television. I thought adverts didn't get any better than the m&m ones but Argos proved me wrong. I started to laugh hysterically and then proceeded to cry as pain began to surface in a major way. Then on Sunday I was watching Peter Kay stand up and had to stop watching as the pain from laughter became too much. I've also tried smiling less to ease the pain but when you get news such as brace removal you can't help but smile. I am planning a holiday this summer, possibly to Croatia and the thought of having my braces off a week before is just so exciting. However, for now it's been back to pain relief for me this week.

I've been reading a fellow blogger, Emmas posts and was inspired by her 'thank you' blog post. It got me thinking about those who were there for me during surgery and recovery. As I've never particularly needed to depend on others before I never truly understood what people meant when they said you know who your real friends are when you need them the most. Now, having experienced surgery, reaching all time lows I understand. I now realize what an incredible family and wonderful friends I have. I also realize what it's like to feel left down by the one person you thought you could rely on. To that person, you've made me stronger.

To my friends for all your texts, calls and messages thank you. I received messages from people near, people far and even people I don't particularly know these reminded me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. To those who helped me get my hands on items I needed you made my recovery that bit easier and I am so grateful.

To my family you showed me what it means to have a support network who have your back no matter what.To my three rocks, my Mum, my Aunt and my Nan who wiped away many tears, plenty of blood & vomit, picked me up when I was feeling down, drove from chemist to chemist collecting drugs, sat in the hospital with me even when I was sleeping, kept taking my food back until it was liquid enough for me to eat without getting annoyed, made me be strong when I needed to be and getting me to the point I am at today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Finally to my fellow bloggers, without you guys sharing your experiences of surgery I would never have been able to make a confident decision. To those who experienced surgery around the same time as me, it was comforting to know we were all sharing experiences, pain and milestones. Stay Strong.