Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Almost over

I just came from the OD.  He said it's possible I'll get my braces removed in 2 months!  I'm so excited about this.  I could have gravel free teeth in 8 short weeks :)

Once they are removed, I'll go for my retainers.  Then I plan on having my teeth bleached but not sure what my options are.  I'll have to look into it, but I'll probably go with what ever works the fastest.  I'm tired of waiting, and waiting for results.  So, I'm looking for some instant gratification here.  Anyone have some advice?  Then, I'll have to have some cosmetic work done on a few teeth to fill the gaps.  Then new retainers again.

So, in 3 months (fingers crossed) I may have a perfect smile.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recent pics

Keir and I went to a wedding on Sunday.  We managed to snap a few photos.  I am so much less paranoid about my face now.  These pics were taken quickly, no posing or posturing of my jaw like I've done for years.  It's nice to finally not HATE the random pictures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Almost 6 months!

I can't believe I'm almost 6 months post-op now.  At times it feels like just yesterday I was a big ball  of misery on my Mom's easy chair.  I'm feeling pretty good these days and don't have any major complaints.  My pain is minimal and at this point I'm in much less pain than before surgery.  That said, I'd have to consider this journey all worth the hassle.  Though, I'll admit, there were times when I wasn't so sure.

I'm so greatful to be at this point.  My jaw and face are mostly healed and I didn't have any major complications.  I'm back to a normal life and I'm starting to forget about my broken face.  Most days I'm not freaked out when I look in the mirror, so I guess the new look is growing on me.  There is a small vain voice in my head once in a while that wishes I could have had a better asthetic outcome.  You know, more symmetry, less jowls, a better nose.  I mean, they took my face apart, so why couldn't they put me back together to look like Cindy Crawford?  I know, they are surgeons not miracle workers.  So, I'm just thankful to have a slightly improved look and greatly improved function.

I saw the OS yesterday.  He is very pleased with everything and doesn't want to see me for 3 months.  That is such a relief because the every 4 week appointments were getting bothersome.  I see the OD on October 2nd and we will talk about how much longer I'll need these wretched braces.  It's taking a while because the OS and OD wanted to have veneers placed on my bottom teeth to close the gaps on my very tiny lower 6 teeth for bite retention.  I really didn't want to go that route, so the OD is trying to pull my lower 6 together with a power chain, then I'll have some bonding done behind them to close those 2 gaps.  Seems to be working.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blog settings

Does anyone know how I can make my blog slightly less public without setting it to private?
For instance, when  one googles "droopy dog jaw"  my blog pics come up in the internet search.  I'm not too sure how I feel about this level of public access to my messed up mug.  I do want my blog to be accessible for public searches but I'd rather my pics not pop up everywhere.  Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

5 months or 155 days

It's been 155 days since they sawed my face apart.  Although I expected to be much more recovered at this point, the last few weeks have shown drastic improvement.  A quick run-down of key jaw surgery talking points for you:

SOOOO much better the past 2 weeks.  I thought it may never let up.  I'm able to be more
active without paying for it the next day.  I even managed yard work in the heat last weekend without my face getting sore.  I actually climbed up on a ladder and trimmed trees!  Go me.  It's still a bit sore and tender to touch on either side of the bridge of my nose, sort of on the front of my cheeks.  Also, the spot on my left mandible (where I was afraid a pin was loose) is still sore to press on or lay on.  My TMJ pain is significantly better the past 2-3 weeks.  All in all, I'm fairly pain free.

My cheeks are still puffyish, but it is slowly melting away.  I've always had kind of chubby cheeks though, so I don't know if it will get much better at this point.  I think the puffiness is just slightly relocated from where it used to be.  I know my joint swelling is still decreasing though because things are lining up with my bite and the pressure feels a lot less in the joint. I'm still taking Ibuprofen twice daily (doctor's orders) and if I miss a dose, I start to feel it.
                         "Seriously? With the cheeks? Still?!"                                  

I still have two spots of tingly numbness on either side of the bottom of my chin.  It feels really strange to touch it there.  My lips are maybe 20% numb now, but I don't notice it much.  My top 4 teeth and the roof of my mouth directly behind the teeth is all still fairly numb but it doesn't bother me a bit.  If my numbness didn't improve beyond this point, I could live with it and not be very bothered.  At the end of the day, I still have a bit of that mask-like feeling of my cheeks and lips where it all feels tight and weird.  But it's not a big deal.

My bite is finally starting to feel comfortable.  I don't have to think about lining up my jaw when closing my teeth together.  Most of the time, it just goes where it should.  My four back molars still don't touch but the OD took the brackets off those teeth with hopes they will come down and eventually make contact.  My midlines are lining up better and I haven't needed to wear my guiding elastic in over 2 weeks.  Yay!  The gaps to either side of my top 4 teeth (where they segmented my jaw) are almost completely closed now.  So it's looking slightly less wonky.  The gaps in my lower teeth (that I have always had) are closing up nicely also, thanks to the closed link power-chain from hell.  Ouchie.

I am at one with the lettuce!  I can now manage to eat a salad without incident, talk while eating without spitting, and have a proper social lunch with friends.  I've conquered steak and potato chips lately also, without pain.  I've come to conclusion that black beans and rice are the anti-braces meal for a proper social lunch with friends.  Regardless of how easy they are to eat, and regardless of how yummy they may be, trust me my friends, you do NOT want to attempt this meal in public.  Unless, of course, you would like to make a true spectacle of yourself while flashing a grill FULL of black and white lumps.  That, and cooked spinach.  For goodness sakes, avoid the spinach!

No real problems with my speech now.  I've learned to say my S's and T's without biting my tongue.  Very happy about this accomplishment.  My lisp (pre-surgery) is mostly gone now that I have top teeth over bottom teeth.  I do whistle accidentally through my teeth once in a while (like granny's ill-fitting denture whistle) but I cannot manage to whistle on purpose.  Go figure!

Hope you all are doing well either in your recovery or in your pre-op preparations.  And if any of my posts worry you, just remember that I was a more complicated case than many, and most people will recover more quickly than I have.  Despite this long road, I'm fairly certain I will have no regrets in the long run.  Smiles!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Almost 5 months post op

Time is really buzzing by these days.  Over the last two weeks I've seen the OS and the OD.  The surgeon is really happy with how everything looks.  I was worried about a pain I've been having on my left mandible.  Around where the hardware is, when I rub it too hard, like when washing my face or applying sunscreen, I get this sharp pinch in my skin like something is cutting me.  I was concerned a pin may be coming loose.  But they took an xray and said it looks fine.  He said the area of pain is where the ligament connects to bone and it's probably just sore still.  I'm also worried about my abilities; the heat is hard on me.  When I get overheated more than one day in a row, I get lots of swelling and pain.  I'm also still not able to bend over for long without a lot of pressure and aching in my face.  I told the OS, "I still can't scrub my floors."   His response was, "well, you shouldn't be doing that yet, tell your husband to do it."   HAHAHAHAHAHA, yeah, sure doc.  He's a good guy and all, but not exactly a scrubbing the floors kinda guy.  He said, "you tell him I said it's doctors orders."  I love my surgeon :)   He told me not to worry and just take it easy.  And that total recovery for this surgery is 6 to 12 months.  I know he said this prior to surgery, I just didn't believe him I guess.

The OD has fit me in a couple extra times to make adjustments to my wires.  I've had problems lately with a couple teeth on the front left hitting first and throwing off my bite.  It then flairs up my ongoing right joint pain and is truely a bother.  He's getting it sorted out though and things are feeling a bit better.  Eating is getting easier, but I have to back off because I've put on a few pounds lately (sigh).  But I'm working on that now.  Last night I had my first salad.  I've missed my salads, it's the one thing I really can't eat well.  But, after 50 min, I consumed and entire Insalata Mista with grilled chicken from Bravos and it was delicious! 

I go back to the OS and the OD in about 4 weeks.  I'll update then with pics.  Hope you all are feeling well and enjoying this beautiful summer!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blocked from blogs?

Some of the blogs I've been following won't allow me to read now.  I'm not sure if maybe I've annoyed some people or they have changed their privacy settings.  When I go to certain blogs, I get a message that I haven't been invited to read.
So, if this was done intentionally, I'm terribly sorry to have offended or annoyed you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Days

Just a quick update.  I think my jaw is finally lining up.  I've only worn my guiding elasitic for about 2 hours over the last three days and my bite is staying in place!  This makes me more happy than you could imagine because this issue has been my biggest worry since the surgery.  The pain in my joint is much less lately, even though I've been chewing more things along with being significantly more active.  And my bite feels much more stable.  This is the light I was looking for at the end of this long tunnel!  I guess the joint swelling is finally going down.  Thank goodness!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

11 weeks, before and after pics

Sorry I haven't posted.  We've been so busy!
I had my check up about 2 weeks ago.  It went well.  Doc was very pleased with how well I was doing and how everything looked.  Said the bones were all healed and I was free to do what ever I felt like I was capable of.  But no chewy or crunchy foods, it would aggravate my joint swelling.  He said I still have a good deal of swelling, in the joints and in my cheeks, and that it will take me several more months to get rid of that.  He said considering my case, it's common to have the lingering swelling.  They removed the stubborn stitch that was under my top lip and discussed use of the guiding elastic.  I still have to wear the guiding elastic, but it's on an "as needed" basis now.  I'm able to leave it out for a few hours, then I feel my bite shifting, so I put it back in.  It doesn't bother me anymore, but I worry about my bite shifting once I don't have braces.  He also said that my 30 mm opening was pretty good for this stage of the game, that's all you really need to be functional.  And it will continue to increase over time.
The OD did some fun (insert sarcasm) stuff the following week.  But I'm excited to wrap this up, so wrench away doc!  Here are my pics before and at 11 weeks:

                                                  The biggest cheezy smile ever...look, top
                                                   teeth over bottom teeth, woohoo!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful Moms out there. 

We are all blessed to have the best job in the world.  I never thought so much responsiblity would be so rewarding.  I am greatful every single day for my precious little girl.  I was chosen to be her Mommy, and I couldn't be more honored. 

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week 5 pics

I got a call from my boss yesterday.  They got my leave approved and I return on the 1st.  My checkbook is so relieved!  I'm still super dependent on my my Ibuprofen and Tylenol for pain relief.  Sometimes I still need a Vicodin at night.  But it's all pain in my right TMJ.  If it weren't for this darn joint problem, I'd be mostly pain free.  But, it's getting better, so I'm not trying to whine about it. 

Not too excited about my looks yet, I'm hoping there's A LOT of healing ahead.  I feel like my face is cartoonish, resembling Droopy dog.  The flipped up nose and long space between my nose and upper lip are the things which concern me most, but maybe it won't look so bad in 6 months.  Not liking the jowls either, but I had a bit of that pre-op too.  That can go away easily with liposuction if I still hate it in a year.  I'll try not to focus on my looks for a while, because the OS said it will be 6-12 months to see the final result.  Some pics from today...

Where oh where has my upper lip gone?  Where oh where can it beee??!  (singing)

Droopy dog reincarnated...

This is as wide as I can open right now.  The right TMJ is the painful one, but the left has limited range of motion. 

Looks really wonky to me, hoping it will all straighten out

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weeks 4 & 5- phantom cobwebs and bee stings

Right around the 4 week mark, the cloud lifted.  I woke up one day and didn't feel like I'd been hit by a truck.  Everyday after, the pain became noticeably less.  And within a few days I was down to half a Vicodin ES plus 500 mg Tylenol twice daily.  Please keep in mind, if you are reading my blog preop, most people don't experience the pain I have.  Most people are totally numb through most of it.  I had very little nerve damage, partially due to luck but mostly due to a fantastic, experienced surgical team.  But, that means I have more pain early on.  I'm okay with that, it will serve me better in the long run.  I also had quite a bit of joint damage, particularly in my right TMJ, prior to surgery.  That is because I delayed my surgery for so many years.  Most of my post-operative pain has revolved around that right TMJ, which is expected to heal.  My suggestion is to do the surgery before you end up with so much joint damage in the first place (hind sight is 20/20).

Right around the same time, I hit a wall with food.  I thought I might vomit at the mere sight of one more bowl of soup or mush.  My daily regimen of gruel was dragging me down.  I just NEEDED some real food.  One day I had made Mara a lazy dinner of chicken nuggets, tater tots, and canned green beans (homemade meals have been scarce lately).  I looked at my can of soup and decided to not blend it and see what happened.  So I mashed the chicken and carrots with my fork and swallowed bits of them mixed with broth and whole grains of rice.  I just didn't care anymore.  Then I thought, if could swallow rice whole, then I can swallow other things whole if I cut them up to the size of a grain of rice.  So, I commenced to dicing up a chicken nugget into 1mm cubes.  I then dipped each tiny piece into ketchup and swallowed it whole, one by one.  Forty-five minutes later, I had eaten 2 entire chicken nuggets, 5 green beans and 2 tater tots!  I felt vindicated, despite the pain it put me in.  The next few days I continued to swallow tiny bits of real food and my energy really started to kick up.

The process of nerve regeneration is quite fascinating to me.  The areas where I have more numbness are my cheeks, nose and upper lip.  They feel tight, heavy, mask-like and falsely sticky.  Over the last two week though, I feel the numbness slowly melting away from my upper eyelids downward.  As the nerves come back to life, they fire intensely or incorrectly.  This gives me weird sensations of phantom runny noses,  cobwebs on the cheek, and bee stings on my lip.  Shocking as they are every time, I'm grateful for them because it reminds me I am healing a little more every day.

Monday, at around 4.5 weeks, I had my splint removed.  It was planned to be on for 6  weeks, but because my bite was so off and I couldn't close my teeth without moving my left inner cheek out of the way, the OS wanted to take the splint off to evaluate the situation better.  He said everything looked good even though only my left canines touched.  They took more x-rays and handed them to me with a note for the OD.  I snuck a peak on the way to OD, wow, just crazy!  I have a total of 6 plates, 32 screws and 2 pins!  Add all that to the plate and 6 screws in my wrist from a quad riding accident and I think I am officially  THE BIONIC CHIC!   I want a tee-shirt or something :)

The OD said everything looked good too.  He didn't seem the least bit concerned about the sideways jaw.  He said jaw surgery isn't an exact science and there are usually discrepancies which need corrected with orthodontics post-op.  I personally don't quite understand why it can't be put back together perfectly, but perhaps my expectations are too high.  So, the wicked band made an unwelcome come-back that day.  Looks like I'm stuck with it 24/7 for the next 4 weeks at minimum.  It's going to pull my jaw back to the right and square it up as the joint swelling decreases.  Well, that's the game plan anyhow.  Fingers crossed, 'cuz this bad boy HURTS.  It better be worth it.  They removed all my surgical hooks, wires and bands then let me brush and floss.  I asked if they had a wire pot brush and some bleach I could brush with.  My mouth felt that gross. Then I got new wires, bands, an two new hooks for the wicked band.  AAAHHHH, all clean.  After that, I made Keir take me to Bob Evans for some pancakes and eggs.  Wow, real food with a real fork.  Good riddance splint.

The last few days have been good.  I can now speak without spitting and drink without drooling.  Eating more foods, feeling less pain, and becoming more active happens slowly but surely.  Mara told me, "Mommy, you can talk like a big girl now.  Good Job!"  I just love her so much.  She has made me smile through the pain and get out of bed when I didn't think I could.  She makes me pretend cakes and soups to "help me feel better" and kisses my  "boo-boo face" with the sweetest little smile.  In the beginning she said, "see what happens when you don't brush your teef Mommy? You get cabities and the doctor has to cut your bones!"  So stinkin cute!  I'll post pics tomorrow, just don't feel like putting on any make up today.  I'm packing up boxes of clothes and shoes that Mara has outgrown to send off to a dear friend and her little girl.  And that just does not require mascara :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 23- grasping for optimism

Sorry I haven't posted all week.  I've been a bit down in the dumps.  I'll do my best to minimize this airing of grievances.  Tuesday morning I woke up to a gusher of a nose bleed.  I didn't know a nose could bleed so profusely without having met the business end of an upper extremity.  I could not get the bleeding to stop.  So, I call the surgeon and they say come right away to the office.  That was fun, getting dressed one-handed (other hand pinching my nose with a dish towel), and getting my 3 year old out the door for school.  Although, Keir did most of the work.  By the time we made it to the office my nose had stopped bleeding.  That was probably an hour and a half.  OS says it may have been the motrin I was taking regularly in between my Vicodin.  He had told me to take it, and I was.  I've taken large amounts of NSAID's for many years due to my back problems and never had any complications, but perhaps this was too soon after surgery to resume.  So, he said no work on Tuesday or Wednesday and I may return on Thursday. 

Thursday I go to work only to have another craptastic day.  Got screwed over by a co-worker, then subsequently told that I was being relocated to another office which would add an hour drive each way to my commute.  So,  I'm barely able to do my job now, which is local.  Now, I'm to drive an hour plus to work, learn a new job, talk way more that I would have to at this office, then commute an hour plus home each day.  Can I drive that far while still taking pain pills?  I'm thinking not!  SHIT!  I could barely process all this because of the pain, so, I went home and cried some more.

Friday I wake up to more bleeding and so much pain I just want to chop my head off.  Why is my pain getting worse instead of better?  And why is my freagin mandible so far off the left?!  I've had it.  I feel like the OS isn't listening to me,  I can't take this pain anymore, and I obviously can't work when I'm spewing blood everywhere.  So, it's an understatement to say that I went back to work too early.  I'm a tough cookie. I've had chronic pain (and I mean PAIN) since I was 14.  I have never taken narcotics for it, I take my NSAID's, I get my injections, I shake it off, and I get on with life.  I limp down the halls at work, cry in the bathroom when it gets the best of me, shake it off and do my job.  I'm a, "go to work with a fever of 103 and a mask on my face to protect my patients" kind of person.  I rally and I get it done.  Always.  But I'm afraid I have finally met my match.  Double jaw surgery has beaten me,  and I'm finally saying, "I can't handle all of this".  I'm not trying to scare you all,  but take it from at two weeks post op is NOT A GOOD IDEA! 

I took off Friday, this is Saturday and  I'm taking off Monday to get a hold of my OS to see what they say about working.  I know I need more time and I'm going to have to take it, even though it almost guarantees I'll get fired.  I just don't know how much time, or what restrictions I could follow to make it easier on me. 

Some pics from tonight. Please forgive my shameful hair and not enough make up look. It was a very long day and I just felt obligated to post some recent pics.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 18- giggles and teardrops

Overall, I'd have to say today was CRAPTASTIC.  It was my first day back to work, which I was not ready for, but I had to go back.  Woke up at 630, took a pain pill, then went back to bed until 730, which was the plan.  Shower, dress, hair, makeup, and packing lunch all proved to be exhausting at 0730.  Got to work to find my boss was there (actually my boss's boss), so I had to put my game face on .  Talking had my face in knots by 0900.  At 1200 I slopped my soup into my sore mouth as gracefully as possible, then went for a walk with my boss.  That sounded like a great idea when he suggested it, but proved to be quite taxing from the cold-induced pain.  I don't know him well, we are both new.  But he seems like a genuinely nice guy and it was so nice to have a non-surgery related adult conversation.  I came back from our walk, tried to get back to work, then the pain hit me.  And then came the tears.  Luckily, nobody saw.  I quickly composed myself, took a Vicodin AND 3 Ibuprofen and got back to work.  The rest of the day was a cycle of laughing or smiling with/at someone and then immediately cringing in pain.  Wow does it hurt to laugh! 
When I got home I went straight for the cozy clothes and plopped my butt down on the couch.  I skipped dinner, no energy to even deal with it, took more pain meds, had a bowl of ice cream, now I'm off to bed. I'm pretty sure tomorrow will feel like groundhog day.  And I'm completely sure that I'm being a whiny asshole.  I'm okay with that.

This concludes tonight's self-pity party.  Tomorrow I will look for my dignity.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 15- One wicked band

I've been in quite a bit of pain since my check up.  They pulled my cheek way out from my teeth and I think they tore some skin around my sutures.  My whole mouth is nothing but sutures and they hurt.  But the left side HURTS and is really swollen since Tuesday.  Also, this wretched band in my mouth is causing more pain than imaginable.  My joints hurt so badly since he put this on.  The only good news is, if I put my finger in my mouth and move my cheek out of the way then attempt to bite down, I see that things are squaring up quite nicely.  My lower jaw is much less "off to the left".

This one wicked little band has me back up to 3-4 Vicodin per day.  I hate taking pain pills!  I'm also getting really nervous about my appearance.  I thought the jowls from hell were mostly swelling.  Then I went on some other blogs to look at their 2 week pics.  I see no other jowls from hell.  Please tell me this is not my new face!

Aren't I just a ray of sunshine?! (insert sarcasm)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 12

On Day 12 (which was yesterday), Keir came to Mom's house at 9 am to help me pack up what Mom and I didn't gather up the night before.  I was having a lot pain that day.  I mean a lot.  I don't know why my joints hurt so badly, but I took a pain pill and composed myself rather quickly.  On the way home we stopped at Starbucks (oh sweet friend, how I've missed you!).

I went home and got dressed in real clothes!  It felt so good to be in jeans, especially because they were a bit looser than 2 weeks ago.  I've lost around 12 pounds, but I'm actually trying really hard not to loose too much.  Now, don't get me wrong, I know I can afford to loose A LOT of weight.  But I'm trying to stay healthy right now for better healing.  Bones won't heal quickly if my body is in starvation mode.  So, for now, I force myself to eat twice a day plus a protein shake every day for breakfast, even when I'm not hungry.  Now I focus on healing, later I'll focus on being thinner.

At my post-op appointment I had films taken and got to speak with Sam first.  Sam is the 6th year resident who assisted Dr. Ochs with my surgery.  He is great, always smiling and kind.  There is something sweet and reassuring about his face.  I can't explain it, but he really puts me at ease.  I hope he retains this quality throughout his career.  Dr. Ochs came in and said I looked great for day 12.  He said my swelling was less than expected for an adult (aka OLD) patient on day 12 and said he was happy with the way everything looked.  He was kind and patient and really took the time to talk with me about many different things.  I think these guys are wonderful and I'm happy I chose such a great team.

  My concerns:

1.  My bite is still off to the left.  It was not prior to surgery
                   ANSWER-  he carefully examined my jaw and movement in all directions.  Said I have
                                           a lot of swelling in the joint still.  Take 400 mg Ibuprofen 3 times daily until
                                           my next appointment to help with that.  He then put a band from my upper
                                           right first bicuspid to my lower right cuspid hooks.  He said sometimes the
                                           jaw needs a little guiding through the swelling and he was not concerned at
2.  I can't bite down because my left inner cheek is in the way. 
                  ANSWER-  I still have 50% swelling remaining.  I just have to be patient while that fades
                                         and try not to bite it too much.
3.  Did I actually have a bone graft?
                  ANSWER-   No bag bone or cadaver bone was used.  They were able to use a few slivers
                                        of my own jaw bones where needed.
4.  I have a sore throat and some swollen glands
                  ANSWER-  take some antibiotics just to be sure. gave me a script
5.  How much longer do I have to sleep sitting up?
                  ANSWER-  can sleep how ever I want now (yippeee!)
6.  How much longer am I on lifting restrictions?
                  ANSWER-  still take it easy for a while but I can lift my daughter (38 lbs) carefully if I
7. What should I do now for mouth care?
                  ANSWER-  continue salt water rinses 3-4 times per day (after meals).  brush twice daily
                                       after meals.  I can now use my water pic on lowest setting. (another yippee!)
8.  Should I keep using the nasal spray? 
                  ANSWER-  I can if I want, but I don't have to.  And I'm now allowed to blow my nose
                                       gently if I want.
9.  Can I return to work on the 5th?
                  ANSWER-  No, I need a few more days.  I may return on the 9th though. (insert
                                       waterworks, stress and anxiety)

So, all is going well, but I can't go back to work until the 9th.  This creates much drama for me and it's
possible I'll loose my job.  I'm trying to be positive and believe it will all work out.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 11

I'm excited for my first post-op check up tomorrow.  I wish it could have been seen sooner, but they made my 7-10 day checkup appointment for day 12, despite my disapproval.  I have a few questions, a couple concerns and I hope they give me the time to talk about it all. 

Today's culinary adventures included low sodium V8 and homemade lentil soup blended smooth with a dollop of flavored cream cheese.  Both were surprisingly delicious!

The Dr. Seuss factor is down today.  As cute as it is, I'll be glad when it's gone completely.

Day 10

I'm happy to report, that I feel well enough to be too active to post every day.  I'm very stoked about this.  I truly thought I would be dead in the bed for at least a week, dependent on others, pathetic and needy; this is what I was prepared for. 

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That's my second motto, right after "happiness is a choice".

That is IF I even made it home alive.  Yep, I said it...the thing no one ever wants to talk about.  But I was really afraid I might die.  It's a possibility with any surgery and I just had a bad feeling. gut was wrong (hooray for me) and I made it home.  Not only did I make it home, but I've been up and about, functional and active from the beginning.  If it weren't for the fact that I'm not allowed to bend over, I think I'd have been able to take care of all of my own needs easily from Day 3.  And if I would have got one of those handled grabby things to pick things up with,  I could have been completely independent I think, except for driving of course.  Anyone preparing for surgery, I'd put that on your list if money isn't tight.  That's the one and only thing I wish I had available that wasn't.  But,  I'm also painfully independent and it was/is awful for me to ask my Mom or whoever to pick up my snotty tissue that I dropped or sort my dirty laundry for me.  To others, maybe not such a big deal. 

So, Saturday was day 9 and we made homemade chili.  When I was looking for blended recipes I came across a site that said blended chili is a favorite among jaw surgery patients and it sounded good.  Mom and I made a ton of chili, went to the theater to see Hunger Games (which was slightly disappointing to me), then came home to have a scrumptious bowl of blended chili.  I can't even tell you how good it was, and that was the first time I felt full since surgery. 

Sunday was day 10.  I wanted to go for a walk, so Mom took me to Brady's Run Park and we walked 2 miles on the walking path.  I'm still taking it slow; It took us 45 min to walk 2 miles.  But I walked 2 miles on Day 10, I think that is fantastic.   We took a short drive to Nanna's house so I could help her with her cell phone plan then stopped at the store to pick up a few things.  We decided to run into Big Lots before Shop-n-Save to just browse around and I ended up buying almost everything I need for Mara's Easter Basket.  We were there for almost an hour, then picked up groceries and went home to pig out on chili.  It was good the second day too.  For lunch earlier, I steamed one part frozen spinach with one part frozen broccoli, drained, blended and melted in a bunch of Velveeta cheese (which I'm aware isn't really cheese, but it melts so smooth) in a bowl and it was super yummy.  Tasted kind of like a runny spinach souffle. 

So, on Day 10 I cooked lunch, walked 2 miles, sorted Nanna's cell phone problem, went shopping, bought Mara's Easter Basket stuff, picked up groceries and ate a big dinner.  I then plopped my butt down in a  chair and didn't get back up all night!   Sorry for the mundane play by play, but I want to give some hope to everyone preparing for jaw surgery...recovery may not be as bad as you think.  And remember, I had a 3 piece Le fort 1 (major upper jaw surgery) AND a BSSO (major lower jaw surgery) , I'm not a spry teenager(the older you are the slower you heal) ,and I have been fairly functional from the get go.  If I can do this, you can too!

Sorry for the homely pictures in my hoodie with bad hair, but I thought I should post some pics.  I noticed too, when my Mom takes my pictures and we are both standing,  you get a good view of the swelling in my jowls (blech)  because she is shorter than I am.  Oh well,  guess anyone under 5'10" sees me like this. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 8

Sorry for being a Debbie Downer yesterday.  I woke up this morning, sans self-pity, and made today a good day.  I even skipped some pain meds and managed to be okay.  The only down sides to today were a mild nose bleed for most of the day off and on, and my munchkin is sick.  I think I'm having problems with some mild bleeding because my sinuses were cleaned out during my surgery.  The OS told my Mom that my sinuses were packed full of polyps and cysts.  He said he'd never seen anything like that before and he didn't know how I was putting up with it.  No wonder I had so many headaches and facial pain.  I just figured it was all linked to my jaw pain and would pop a handful of Motrin (most days) and carry on. I was planning on going home this weekend.  But with my daughter sick with a head cold and fever, I'm really afraid to catch it.  Normally, I could care less if I get sick, especially when in comes to taking care of my family,  But with surgery last week, starting work this coming Thursday, and not being allowed to blow my nose yet, I'm not sure I can handle being sick.  So, I'll probably stay at Mom's a couple more days unless Keir can't handle Mara any longer.  She can be difficult when she's sick, as all kids are I'm sure.

So, I managed to dry my hair and put on some make up today.  I didn't really have any of my things with me like hair products or most of my make up.  I never thought I'd feel well enough to get ready, so I left most things at home.  But, with what I had , I made an attempt to look human.  MAN, it's hard to dry my hair without bending over or leaning sideways!!!  Keir and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to pick up a gift for my Mom as a thank you for putting up with my whiney butt all week.  We took a walk up around the strip mall since it was nice out today and I'm pretty sure I got some "aww you poor thing" looks from at least a few people.  Later when my Mom and I went to the grocery store, I seemed to get the most funny looks when I was speaking.  I guess I DO sound a bit goofy.  Oh well, C'est la vie!   I was glad to be out and about.

Today's culinary adventures included egg salad and blended beef barley vegetable soup.  Yum to both.

Side note,  I still look like Dr. Seusse when I smile.  It's okay, you can laugh, you know I do!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 7

Today was a bit of a bust.  I tried last night to wean down my pain meds.  I really don't like taking them.  So, before bed, I just took 600 mg Ibuprofen.  I slept all night but woke up quite miserable and never really felt good all day, even though I took the pain meds when I woke up.  The sutures in my cheeks are pulling and pinching a lot today, maybe because I skipped some pain medicine or maybe  because I'm getting some feeling back.  I didn't really feel like eating today and as much as I tried, I only really got down half of what I have been.

So, not a bad day, just not a fantastic day but there's always tomorrow.  I plan on getting out of the house tomorrow even if its just to the grocery store. 

I'll take pics tomorrow after I put on my big girl panties and buck up. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 6

Today I feel human.  I managed to shave my legs with my shower, (not bending over is getting kind of old) and went for a walk with my husband in a cute little town down the road.  The weather was beautiful and the sunshine felt so good.  I'm told that I'm talking very well now and I'm getting better at drinking from a cup without dribbling. (always a bonus)  I did some dishes, much to my mother's dismay and enjoyed a lovely bowl of pureed chicken and rice soup.  I know that sounds gross, but I pureed a can of Campbell's chicken and rice soup and it was soooo yummy.  I know, I know....high in sodium.  Sue me.  I was hungry and it tasted good.  I know a lot of people swear by organic, low sodium, no dairy, blah blah blah.    It's not practical for me.  I love dairy and although I eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, yada yada, I'm also a typical American who sometimes eats processed crap because it tastes good and things from a can because it's easy.  Also, I think most people mistakenly blame the dairy for being binding, when in fact it is the narcotics we are taking for pain.  For this issue I have two words, COLACE and PRUNE JUICE (okay that was 3 words).  And start before surgery....nuff said.

My bite is still off but I'm trying to be patient that it will settle when the joint swelling  decreases.  I really can't close my teeth well, it hurts too badly.  The only true pain I have is in my joints, right is much worse.  Everything else is mostly weird, uncomfortable pressure.  I have a lot of numbness of course, but I have been able to feel my bottom lip and chin the whole time.  This made the OS very happy.  He said only 5% of people have feeling there post operatively and it means I shouldn't have much permanent nerve damage.  I'm fairly numb from my lower eye lids to and including my top lip and my cheeks to about the outside edge of my eyes.  That whole section of my midface is quite numb but tingles more every day.  I'm told that almost always comes back entirely.

So, today was a good day.  I'm still in pain, but functional.  And although the tingling and crawling all over my face is annoying, I know its a great sign that my nerves are healing.  And even though I look like Dr. Seusse when I smile, I'm greatful to be able to smile at all.  Tomorrow, I think my goal is to put on some make up and do my hair, then I'll really feel like me again.

Side note:  I just took a break from typing and we made homemade strawberry milkshakes.   OMG,,,so good!  I've never had a homemade milkshake before.  And I DO NOT feel guilty because it was another serving of fresh fruit for today  :)

Until tomorrow
Smile, it looks good on you.

Day 5

Day 5 I didn't do much.  I called my OS to ask a few questions and slept A LOT.  Sorry so boring, but, the most exciting part of my day was mashed sweet potatoes and pureed cauliflower. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 4

Pics from last night.  I was too tired to post them yesterday.  I was in a lot of pain.  I think I over did it.  The OS told me to try for a walk by Monday, so I got showered and dressed, attempted and failed at eating pastina, and drove with my Mom up the hill to Nanna's house to go for a walk.  I only managed 20 min because the cold wind was really hurting my face.  We visited with Nanna for a few min then I waited in the car while Mom picked up a few things at the grocery store.  I did a lot of talking to my Mom and her friend who came to visit and didn't really sleep but for a few minutes yesterday afternoon.  All in all, way to much for day 4 for sure!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 3

My husband brought my daughter over for a bit today.  It was nice to see her, but she looked so confused.  She couldn't really understand me, and she looked at me really funny, but, she didn't cry.  I'm glad I got to see her.

 I graduated to a spoon today.  It was hard and messy, but it felt so much better to eat my runny mashed potatoes with a spoon.  Meds still go down better with a syringe though.  Today I ate yogurt, broccoli soup, pureed fruit, 2 glasses of milk with protein powder, runny mashed potatoes and mashed carrots.  It all hurt like hell, but I'm trying to keep up with my food so I heal well.  My days are consumed with meds, meals, brushing and rinsing, napping then starting it all over.  I expect the next few days will be a lot of the same. 

Some pics from today

My daughter sent me her birthday hat from Chuck E Cheeze to make me feel better.