Saturday, April 13, 2013

1 year post-op!

Hi everyone,
Exactly one year and a day ago I was in the operating room having my face broken apart and put back together again.  Everything jaw-wise is great.  Right after my braces were taken off my jaw was clicking like crazy and I was wearing my retainers 24 hrs a day.  After a few months, I switched to wearing them only at night which I still do now.  It took a little while for my teeth to "settle" for the small gaps to close in the back.  Some of my contacts are still a little loose but I'm not too upset about it. My front tooth is temporized right now and I'm working on getting the final crown I attached a picture of what it looks like underneath, snagletooth!!

-In terms of numbness I have about 60% feeling on my right chin and lip and probably 90% on the left side. The day after my surgery I was completely numb on my right chin and left cheek, so I have come a long way! I'm not expecting that I will have any additional feeling return but I am pretty used to how things are now.

-I cannot breathe as well as I used to on the right side of my nose. When completely clear, air goes through it but it feels like something is blocking half the air.
Here are some recent pictures:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

3rd week post-op visit

Hi everyone,
Just a quick post.   This past Wednesday I had my 3 wk post-op visit.  Doctors were happy with everything.  They tested my numbness which is about the same.  I still have swelling even though it's kind of uneven ("no one swells evenly" lol).  They did not put me in any guiding elastics.  My surgeon told me I can start chewing my food, yay!  Anything that is really soft and can be cut with the side of a fork I'm allowed to eat.  I left before they could take any more of my stitches out but ended up stopping back there on Friday to get them out.  The inside of my mouth is so much happier without those things in there!  Some were getting really long and stringy-yuck.

The other big thing they did was give me stretching exercises.  The exercises consist of stacking enough tongue depressors and putting them between my posterior teeth unilaterally so that I open all the way comfortably.  Then I take two more tongue depressors and wedge them into the stack one at a time until I'm open a little more (this is uncomfortable, ouchy).  Then I stay like that for 5 minutes.  I do this 4 times a day and it is really helping!  Being the dorky dental student that I am, I've been measuring how much I can open each morning and I've been noticing an increase of about 1mm a day (I'm up to 22mm!).  I've only added 1 tongue depressor to the stack so far but I can tell it's going in a little easier now so I can probably add another one tomorrow.

Other then during the exercises I have no pain, just numbness and tingling.


ps- wish me luck; I'm taking part II of my national board exam next week!  The exam is two days long and very scary! I've been studying for over a month so I hope I pass!
I'm happy Starbucks happy hour is only 2 hours away, caffeine!
unhappy I have to take this test, boo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I sneezed

first time since before surgery.  my face didn't blow up.

on another note, I'm full time back at school and doing just fine with it.  It takes a little extra effort to eat a good breakfast and bring snacks/food for lunch but there is actually a good amount of food I can buy to eat (yogurt, soup, pasta, etc.)  
Its kinda funny to be back because I have to go to or through the oral surgery clinic a lot and I see my surgeons all the time haha.  3 week post op appointment is tomorrow.
still puffy, its going to take awhile for all of this residual swelling to go down.  


Look! I can purse my lips now!  couldn't do that very well a week ago.
p.s.- good luck lindsay on your surgery tomorrow! I'll be thinking of you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

yummy no chew food

I just ate by far the most delicious meal that I've had since getting my bands off:  Cheesy refried beans with guacamole on top! YUM!

I'd love suggestions on other yummy stuff!  I havent tried anything crazy like blending up a hamburger yet, but who knows how long I'll survive before doing that.  Anyone have favorite foods from before they could chew??

I've been striving for some variety in the food since eating blended soups gets so boring after awhile.  The refried beans were so easy.  I mashed up an avocado with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, minced up cilantro, salt and pepper then let that sit and get happy in the fridge while I heated a can of traditional refried beans on the stove with salsa to soften them up a bit.  Once the beans were hot, plop the guac on top and there you go!  deliciousness on your plate.

Some other foods I've been eating:
breakfast foods

  • scrambled eggs 
  • oatmeal blended with milk to make it smaller
  • juice 
  • COFFEE MILKSHAKE!  This is so delicious- cooled down coffee, coffee ice cubes, vanilla ice cream and whole milk.  omg so good!


  • soups
  • overcooked mac 'n' cheese in fun shapes-  I ate this last night and struggled with it a bit but still managed to eat half the box (kind of a small serving for an adult).  I thought the shapes were good because they weren't very hard to mash on the top of my mouth with my tongue.

  • fruit smoothies made with greek yogurt (lots of protein)
  • applesauce (I got the kids' size gogo squeez packets)  for a quick snack
  • ensure :(  even though its not that good for you it is just such an easy go-to food that I drink them when I need something quick
  • fruit/vegetable juice from my juicer.  (Trying to sneak in some more nutrients)
  • started taking multivitamin
on another random note:  I haven't sneezed or blown my nose since surgery.  Every time I feel like I need to sneeze I quick grab my saline nose spray and that makes it go away

here are some new pictures:
swelling is down, but definitely still have chubby cheeks
side profile, see all the swelling in my cheeks/ under my mandible?
top teeth are over the bottom!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

second post-op appt, no more splint, no more bands!

Hi there!
Here is a video update about today:

I've slowly been returning to school doing random little things that couldn't wait.  I saw a patient yesterday while I was still banded shut and it went pretty well. I just said if you can't understand me I'll repeat myself or I'll write it down but we didn't really have any problems communicating.  My energy level is definitely returning.

At today's appointment they took the bands off and removed the splint.  I was nervous to open my mouth at first! It was so nice to finally brush my teeth.  Then they took out some of the stiches inside my mouth, I was really thankful that some of those areas were numb bc those stiches hurt coming out in the other areas that had feeling!  ouch.

Friday, April 20, 2012

day 8 updates- tequila sunrise and blenders

 Hi everyone,  Just thought I'd do a quick update with pictures, food info, and updates about pain.

Things that I've been eating recently that are good:
Greek yogurt thinned down with juice
soups blended with the immersion blender and strained
delicious homemade potato soup my mom made with milk and butter added! (strained)
boathouse farms drink (see picture below) + odwalla juice

About pain, I'm in very little pain, usually only when I wake up. I've been sleeping for 8 hrs a night which is wonderful, but the pain meds wear off by then.  I've only really been taking liquid ibuprofen for pain 400mg every 4-6hrs (two tabs worth) and that seems to nip it in the bud. A few times i've combined 400mg ibuprofen with 1/2 dose of percocet and some water to get it into the syringe and I call it my own tequila sunrise! lol

I have alot of numbness still and partial numbness in a lot of areas.  I get a lot of tingling sensations in my face, especially my chin, that feel like when your arm falls asleep and it regains feeling and it's almost like a squeezing sensation.

day 6

day 6

Day 7
Day 7

Day 8, mirror image from my webcam

Day 8
so many ways to blend/stain stuff
this is the best blender, wayy cheaper than a vitamix!

this drink tastes like a starbucks frappucino but has tons of added protein, and the  bottle with 4 servings costs less than a small frappucino!