Saturday, December 10, 2011


I have a date!  March 22nd is my surgery date.

  ( / )  ( \ )  ( / )    that's my butt doin a happy dance!

That is 9 months past my original surgery date, but hey, better late than never.

I would be ready January, but my OS is head of the University of Pittsburgh oral surgery and they close down for that month.  February is out because my brother will be home from Germany that month.  He and his family are staying with me and I wouldn't be a very good hostess if I'm all gimped up with a broken face.  So, March it is. 

It's going to be a juggling act for sure.  I start a new job on December 19th (accepted the position one week before I got a call with my surgery date).  Jason and his family will be here Feb 9th to March 7th.  Moving out of my house the following week. Then double jaw surgery on the 22nd.  I won't have any vacation time and no one to really help me pack and move.  So, it ought to be quite interesting but I'm determined to make it all work somehow.  So ready to move on with my life and put this surgery behind me.

More later. But for now, happy shopping, baking, and decorating to everyone.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happiness is a choice.

I've been on a jaw-blogging sabbatical.  Since my last post, nothing has changed.  Still no news and no clue as to when things are moving forward.  Just flossing and waiting.  Over the last couple of months, things have been bumpy. I've had a laundry list of not so positive things going on.  But, in honor of Thanksgiving Day, I'll postpone my airing of grievances and reflect on the positive. 

I am so very blessed.  For every negative there are 10 positives in my life.  And on the days when I feel I can hardly see through the fog, I remember to smile and be grateful.  Because with each new day, the sun will rise and lift the haze.  We just need to be patient and conscious of our choices.  I choose to see past the fog, and rejoice in the warmth of a new day.  Of this, I hope to never loose sight.

Happy Thanksgiving! I wish everyone a beautiful day.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's goin on?

The answer to that questions is NOTHING.  The OS office called me back Tuesday to inform me that the surgeon needs to do another mock up of my molds. I guess things aren't lining up as planned.  I'm starting to freak a bit.  Shouldn't he have a better game plan?  Why all this last minute change of plans stuff?  I really don't want the man in charge of putting my head back together to  be unsure of himself.  AAAHHHH THE STRESS!!!!

So, my July surgery has been repeatedly postponed.  I'm now looking at after January 1st. But they wouldn't even give me a guess as to when.  Would be nice if I could actually see my surgeon to get some questions answered.  He has seen me once, for 30 minutes, 16 months ago.  I was supposed to be almost out of braces at this point.  So much for my 12-18 month treatment course.  Oh well, griping isn't going to help.  It is what it is.

I've promised myself, that tomorrow when I wake up, I will find a new focus and let this one go for now.  It's too draining to stay in this place any longer. 

To better days my friends!

Friday, October 7, 2011


I don't know what to do right now.  I really want to call the OS office again.  It's been a week and a half since he met with my OD and discussed my case.  On Monday, the PA ( I think she is a PA)  said she would call me back by 2pm.  It's now Friday.  I soooo want to call again, but this woman isn't necessarily friendly, and I feel like she has all the power in this situation.  I don't want to tick off the woman with all the power, ya know?  I am so lost right now.  I just feel defeated, like they could care less about my situation.  I just want to scream...

" Look, I am a human being, not a number.  I have a life...a job, a child and many things to consider and plan for.  And on top of that, I am a very kind person...patient and forgiving, caring and understanding, and I do not deserve to be treated this way!" 

Nahhh,  don't think that would go over very well.  Guess I just shut up and wait some more. (shrugging shoulders)

UPDATE!!!!  10-10-11 @ 10:45

I called the OS office and left a voicemail.  Then I called my OD to let him know what was going on, because I was supposed to call him back with the update and come in for some adjustments.  Turns out, My OD is out of the office till next week, but his very nice partner (who also happens to be his son and my friend's husband) called the office for me to ask them to get back to me.  He called me right back and said he spoke with the girl I was waiting on a call from (she's the OS patient coordinator, I thought she was a PA).  She said that the OS has been out of the office and isn't back until tomorrow, and she isn't putting me on the schedule until she speaks with him. least that's a reason why she hasn't called me.  But, don't tell me you'll call me back by 2pm, then have no intention to call me back, and leave me hanging for over a week.  That's just rude!
Thank goodness for my OD's very kind and sweet partner, who took time out of his day for patient he doesn't even see.  I would have been in tears by tomorrow if he hadn't dug up that bit of info for me.  So, tomorrow, I should know what the heck is going on ("what's goin on      what's goin on" (singing in my head because I AM a goober)).  And tomorrow I work a 16 hours shift, so I probably won't be able to take the call.  Grrrrrrr

Monday, October 3, 2011

Still waiting

Okay, okay, I give!  I'm about to loose my ability to be patient and polite. 

 Please continue to keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth!

My uneventful ortho appointment on the 21st, became a "wait until after the OS meets with the OD to discuss."  That meeting happened last Wednesday.  Today I call the OD office to check in because I was supposed to get a call last week and didn't.  He says some vague information about the possiblilites of what may come about and to call the OS about getting on the schedule possibly.  So, I call the OS office and she tells me she will call me back today before 2pm.  I carried my phone around with me all day at work today, expecting a call at any moment.  It is now 8pm and I never got a call.  I am soooooo over this crap right now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today is a nail biter!

So,  I'm off to the orthdo shortly for my consultation.  I've been praying for a week that it's good news.  I feel guilty praying so hard all week for this, because I'm asking for something for myself (which I never do) and it's quite frivalous in the grand scheme of the universe.  But I can't help myself this time. 

I'm ready to get this show on the road already!!

I'll update later.  Have a good Wednesday :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do I have something in my teeth?

Today was pink clay day, which I've been anxiously awaiting.  These are the molds I've been waiting to take, for what seems like for ever!  When I go back to my ortho in 3 weeks, he'll let me know if my teeth are where they need to be for surgery.  Anyone who's had molds taken with braces on understands how hard it is to get all those tiny pieces out.  And the sink station is smack dab in the middle of the office, where everyone can see you brushing, picking, spitting and gnarling it up in the mirror looking for more stragglers.  Not a pleasant situation at all!  But at least there is no pain involved. 

Speaking of pain, my teeth don't hurt anymore.  This should be a good thing, but I think if they don't hurt then they are not moving.  Then again, what do I know?  Also, I think I've started clenching my teeth in my sleep.  I have never done this before, but the past few weeks I often wake up with tight jaw muscles and sore molars.  My TM joints are popping and clicking  A LOT now, and they never used to.  So, I mentioned it to my ortho and he gave me a night guard to use.  I can't imagine sleeping with that thing in my mouth, but I'll give it a try.

I still feel like I'm in limbo but other things are looking up.  I've lost 31 pounds!  It's not much but I'm down two pant sizes, and people are starting no notice now, which makes all the hard work seem worth it.  I have 49 lbs to go still, but I'm almost half way to my goal, yay me!  Another positive lately, I'm starting to feel less stressed about juggling my roles.  I was a stay at home mom for two years, I've been back to work since February.  I've had a hard time learning to balance full time work (I do one 8 hour and two 16 hour shifts each week, or two 12's and a 16), and being the best Mommy/chef/maid that I can.  And what I've learned, is that I can't do it all with the degree of perfection I'd like, and that's OKAY.  As Cece says in her blog, "Screw Superwoman!"  I've pretty much waived the white flag regarding house work.  I'll get to it when I can, everything doesn't HAVE to be spotless all the time.  Right now, spending time with my daughter is more important.  She has so many things going on right now between the divorce and a new classroom in school every couple of months, I worry about her.  But, that's my job I guess, I'm supposed to worry :)

Sorry for the long-winded tangent.  I try to keep my banter to jaw related issues only here, but sometimes I wander.  I hope everyone recovering is doing well and those who have recently recovered are loving life with their brand new chompers!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Before Pictures

Since this blog is mainly about an upcoming physical transformation, I thought "before" pictures were in order.  As much as it pains me to do so, I got out the camera the other day and clicked away.  Today, as I'm sorting the pictures I took, two things occurred to me: perhaps I should have asked someone else to take pictures for me because these are awful, and why on earth did I take pictures after being outside for two hours on a hot day being a sweaty mess?!  Not a properly planned photo shoot indeed!  Regardless, I don't feel like doing that again anytime soon.  So, here you have it folks...the good, the bad, an the ugly.

 This is me "posturing" a smile.  My attempt to hide the big flaws ='s half a smile with no
 teeth, chin down,  head slightly tilted.  I've learned to do these things after many very
 scary photo results.

                        The puckery face is my attempt to not show my gnarly chompers in a
                         photo, while trying not to look mad at the world. Much too
                        MaryKate Olsen in retrospect.

                            Here is my "half a toothy grin" look.  It's much less scary, trust me!

The dreaded profile!  Yes, my face is that smooshed. And no, I was not hit in the face with a frying pan!

Relaxed profile..My "catching flies" look

Here's the front view of that same "relaxed" face. C'mon boys, you know that is H-O-T hot!

Yes, I know, it's hard to see this face and not feel like I'm staring a hole right through
you. But in fact, this meanie face is the by-product of not smiling while trying to keep
my mouth from gaping open like an idiot!

And just in case I haven't scared the begeezus out of you by now, here's one more
sexy pic for ya...bottom teeth made crooked by braces (WTH?) covered in coffee
stained "pearl" chains.  Okay boys, you have to admit it can't resist the
urge to kiss this mouth  ;P

So, there you have it, me and my mug in ways I've never planned to parade.  We won't see the "after" if we can't see the "before" though, right?.  Now that I've spewed all the self-deprecating humor you can handle, I must add that I'm down 19 lbs and one pant size on my "Alpo" diet!  Yay me! 

Sending thoughts of encouragement for all my fellow jaw bloggers who may be recovering right now.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Blogging frustrations!

Admittedly, I am not computer savvy.  But this is just ridiculous!  I have been trying to comment on other blogs for days, and I'm either a COMPLETE idiot, or something is wrong.  I type in my comment, hit "post comment" and select to post using google account since that's what I use for blogger, and it takes me to my log in page.  I log in to my google account, then it takes me right back to "post comment" where I have to type in the verification code.  I type it in, hit post comment and I'm right back to my log in screen.  This cycle could go on indefinitely.  What in the world am I doing wrong?  Am I really this stupid?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Inspirational fat pants

     So, I'm trying on clothes last night, trying to find out what will be wearable for the next few weeks.  This is the first step of organizing my master bedroom now that I have all this space to myself.  And even though I'm down 12 lbs, I still can't get out of these fat pants!  They are much looser mind you, but I'm not quite down to the next size yet.  That's the thing about being 5'10", you can carry a few more lbs before someone notices, but you have to loose a lot more to make a difference.  I started getting really bummed.  I'd hoped for more progress.  "Why am I starving myself for no results?", I thought to myself.  "This sucks, I'm never going to be thin again!", crossed my mind.  And just before I went into full blown pathetic pity party mode, it dawned on me that I was being completely ridiculous. 
     "Seriously? You're gonna let A PAIR OF PANTS get you down?  If you can't handle this trivial point with dignity, how do you plan on handling yourself when you get your face broken into itty bitty pieces?"  It was all in perspective then.  I'd better rally up and find my kahunas soon if I planned on coming out on the other side of this surgery with my sanity intact.  Some may argue that I never had my sanity in the first place, but that's neither here nor there.  The point is, my inner strength is soon to be challenged, and I'd better start working on it now.  In the words of a former co-worker of mine, " Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things!"
     So, I put my fat pants back on, a bit less defeated, knowing that I am a work in progress and I WILL reach my goals in life.  It reminds me of a quote that I love.  In 2000, my coworkers gave me a very sweet send off, presents included, when I left for a new job.  One of the gifts was a fridge magnet with an inspirational poem.  This magnet has been on my fridge, move after move, ever since.  And for some reason, reading it gives me hope.  It says,

                                  Believe in yourself-
                                  in the power you have
                                  to control your own life day by day,
                                  Believe in the strength
                                  that you have deep inside,
                                  and your faith will help show you the way.
                                  Believe in tomorrow
                                  and what it will bring-
                                  let a hopeful heart carry you through,
                                  For things will work out
                                  if you trust and believe
                                  there's no limit
                                  to what you can do.

                              ~Emily Mathews~

To anyone struggling today, be it from jaw surgery or anything else, know that you will get through this.  You are worth the effort, and you are worth the wait.  Nothing worthwhile comes easy in life!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Finding the bright side

It occurred to me the other day to be more positive and less cynical about my surgical date set back.  After all, "happiness is a choice" is my motto.  Later that same day I realized one more plus to this delay.  I now have more time to find myself one last kiss.  I know, that probably makes no sense to most people.  Allow me to explain.  All of my research leads me to believe I will most likely have some permanent nerve damage to my mouth or chin.  Considering what will happen if I don't have the surgery, its a chance I'm willing to take.  The one thing that bothers me, is that I may never have another honest to goodness kiss without the distraction of numbness or tingling.  This may sound lame (or gross depending on who's reading) to you, but kissing has been a favorite past time of mine for years :)  So, I told myself a while back that I would accomplish a number of things before my date with a bone saw.  On my to-do list are: update Mara's baby book, organize the house, create a will, lose weight, and land myself  one last kiss.  So, here's to positivity and finding the bright side of life.  Wish me luck!  Smiles

Oh, and my apologies to anyone who found this topic TMI.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

And so it begins!

     The frustration and angst which go hand in hand with orthognathic surgery have finally set in for me.  I recieved a call from my surgeon's office on Thursday.  They informed me that my date has been postponed.
     SERIOUSLY?!  You're freagin kidding me right?  My ex planned his vacation around my surgery to take care of Mara, my mother already changed her vacation once to coincide with Sept 8th, my sister planned on comming the second week to help me out and my department at work was planning on me being out during that time.

     Now what?  Well, I'm told I won't have my new date until after another set of molds are done at the end of August.  She said the surgery would be sometime in the fall.  So much for the 3 month notice I was promised.   Do they expect all these people in my life who are planning on helping me to drop everything at a moments notice for my needs?  C'mon doc.  I was already inconveniencing everyone way more than I cared to, now this?  "huff" deep breaths, deep breaths...

     Okay, I suppose mindless ranting isn't going to improve my situation.  I'm just so dissapointed because I thought I had it all covered and now I don't.  More things to add to my "to do" list.  If my teeth aren't ready, I guess I just have to wait and try to find the bright side.  Thinking, Thinking.... nope, I've got nothing :(
Oooooh, I know, now I have even more time to loose the weight I promised myself I would loose before my surgery.  Bonus!  See, I don't have to be a debbie downer all the time  ;)

     Now, off to tell my family the wonderful news that I will inconvenience them on a whole new level.  Perhaps I should bake some cookies first to soften the blow.  Nah, then I would have to eat some.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nothing new

I really have nothing to report recently.  Just waiting for my next ortho appointment and started to get super nervous.  I'm extremely worried about work and finances.  I told my boss I would need two weeks off.  My gut tells me I'll need much more than that, but I hope I'm wrong.  I've only been at this job for 4 months so I'm not elegible for short term disability or FMLA.  With the separation being final, (Keir moved out on the 8th(woot woot)) money is a bit of an issue.  I have very little savings and very little PTO accrued.  So, I'm just praying it will all work out. 
UHG, it would have been soooo much less stressful if I did this as a teen.  No job to loose, no bills to worry about, no daughter to need help with.  And, I am a firm believer that ignorance is bliss because I know way more than I can calmly handle about this surgery and all its possible complications.  I'm starting to second guess if it's worth the risk.  There's a chance with any surgery that one could die, have a stroke, yadda yadda.  Mara needs a healthy, capable mother...what if I end up gorked out from a blood clot, or die?!  "SIGH"  okay,  I really think I'm ready for that Xanax now.
On a brighter note, I've lost 5 lbs on my Nutrisystem diet.  Only 60 more to go!!!!!  Think positive people

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So, my orthodontist appointments are kicked up to every three weeks until D day.  This ensures, without a doubt, that my teeth will be in constant pain from the manipulation.  GOOD TIMES!  Today during my ortho visit, he told me my surgery plan has changed.  So, not only are we doing top and bottom jaw, now I'm told the top jaw will need to be cut into 3 separate pieces in order to bring the top 4 teeth down even further.  YIKES and YOWZAS and where the hell is my Xanax, I'm gonna need some.

That is all I can say about that!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Last July

So, my braces have been on for almost a year now and I've already grown tired of them.  My mouth feels dirty and sore all the time.  Flossing is a chore and eating is rarely an enjoyable thing now.  You'd think I would have lost a ton of weight by now, but living off of soft foods like mac-n-cheese because my jaws and teeth hurt all the time isn't a great weight loss plan I suppose.

This picture was taken on my way to get my braces on.

and here are the results of that visit

that is my bite, my teeth are clenched in the back.  I don't think people with a normal bite understand the difficulty of having such a mug.  Try speaking clearly with your mouth half open. It takes great concentration, and its very exhausting on the face and jaw muscles.  My eating habits are wearing off on my daughter.  The poor kid plucks at and dissects her food with her fingers like I do instead of just taking a bite out of it.  My mother pointed that out to me a while back.  I guess its not a huge deal for her, just sad to me. 

I'll post some current pictures soon but I'll probably wait until I get my ties changed.  Clear braces and ties are cool sometimes, but they stain a lot and I can't give up the coffee.  So, my teeth look terribly yellow, sometimes even brown when my ties are old.  I'm starting to think silver teeth wouldn't have been so bad after all.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The back story

     “We better save some money.  This girl is going to need  braces,” my mother said to my father when I was barely a year old.  The older I got, the more obvious it became that something was “off” with my face.  By the time I was six I had the jaw of a bulldog and a smile only a mother could love.  So, off to the orthodontist we went.
     “Years of reconstructive orthodontics followed by reconstructive jaw surgery,” Dr. Harkins told my parents.  That was the recommended course of treatment for a Class III Malocclusion, aka under bite.  I was only six , but I could sense the worry from my parents as we sat in a dark room on plush leather seats reviewing  x-rays of my face.  Worry for my health and worry over money I imagine.  They probably weren’t even sure how they could manage to pay for the consult we were sitting in, then alone thousands upon thousands for braces and surgery.  But, it was absolutely necessary the doctor said, and treatment had to be started soon. 
     I was a tall, chubby, awkward kid with very few friends and an embarrassing smile.  On top of that, I became the only first grader in my school to have braces.  I was certain my life was over, but I tried to play it cool because I secretly hoped the braces would fix my face so I could be pretty like all the other girls.  After braces came the palate expander, then the retainer, followed by the Hannibal Lecter-esque head gear I was forced to sleep in.  Years of painful manipulation widened my underdeveloped upper jaw and pulled it forward in my head, dramatically changing my appearance.  “Now we wait until she’s done growing,” the doctor said. “Then reconstructive surgery.”
     A few years later, I was actually starting to like the shape of my face.  People often told me I was pretty.   And even though I didn’t feel pretty, I was starting to feel less ugly.  For me, that was progress.  Then years 14, 15, and 16 passed and it started getting harder to eat.  I was developing an open bite now, and I was NOT happy about it.  It was time to reevaluate for surgery.   The details from here are not clear to me.  I’m not certain if it was based more on health benefits and finances or fear of having my head disassembled, but eventually, surgery was no longer an option.  At this point my bite was so bad that only my very back teeth made contact when I bit down.   A total of four teeth with only two tiny points of contact made eating, talking, and smiling more challenging day by day.   A local dentist decided to grind down all of my molars in attempt to relieve my jaw pain.  It worked a bit, for a while but things continued to shift. 
     At 19 or 20 I inquired again about the surgery.  I wanted to know what was involved.  The doctor told me in no uncertain terms, “ an incision would be made along the underside of the jaw from corner to corner, they would deglove (aka, peel off) the bottom of my face break my jaw in two places, remove a portion from each side then fuse it back together. “  I think I threw up in my mouth a bit while he described all this to me.  Capital “H_E_L_L     N_O,     uh uhah, no way” they were doing that to my face.  I’d lived this long with my problems, and considering I could DIE with such a surgery, I thought I’d skip all those shenannagans.  If I knew then what would happen in the following years, if only someone would have told me, perhaps  my refusal might have been slightly less vehement.  What they didn’t tell me then was that the surgery was inevitable and without it, I would lose function of my jaw joints.
     So, here I am, a 34 year old mother in constant pain, some days unbearably so.  It has only been this bad for the past few years and when it creeps up slowly, I guess you just get used to dealing with the pain.  Perhaps because of my chronic back pain I have a higher threshold, or perhaps I’m ridiculously stubborn for trying to tolerate my painful, dysfunctional  jaw for all these years.  But I’m here now, and even though this seems like the worst possible time in my life to go through such a drastic surgery, it’s something I’m told I HAVE to do.  If I don’t do this now, my jaw joints will continue to break down and will ultimately need replaced. I already have bone loss due to the discs being displaced, and it will only worsen without intervention.  They say the joint replacement never has optimal results, so I’m backed up against a wall with a bone saw in my face.  I’ve come to terms with the horrific nature of what this surgery will entail and I pray every day for the will to be strong.
     Braces have been on for almost a year now in preparation for surgery.  Advancement of the upper jaw and reduction with rotation of the lower jaw is on my agenda for September 8th.  It’s not going to be fun, and I’m probably going to do quite a bit of whining about it.  So, I’ll use this forum to vent, perhaps sparing those closest to me from my incessant whining.  I hope this answers all the questions everyone may have and I’ll keep posting updates for those who are interested.   Pictures and videos to follow.  For now, I’m focusing on weight loss and getting healthier before going under the knife.