Friday, December 20, 2013's been awhile

So, it's been several months since I updated because I've been completely consumed with grad school. But now I'm on winter break and have a little time to update! I'm still in braces and still wearing rubber bands (one on each side) however, I think they're are trying to get me off of them. I have an appointment in January and hopefully then they'll have a better idea of when I can get my braces off.

I'm feeling pretty much back to normal. My lower lip and chin are still a little numb and sometimes I don't like biting into big sandwiches and stuff, but I can do it. I don't really have any problems chewing.

Sleep has been amazing! I have so much more energy, I don't think I could have made it through this grad program with sleep apnea.

Here's some random photos from the past few months. I can add more later that show my side view. My nose is still a little swollen, I don't think my nostrils are back to normal yet.

Hard at work..normally a candid photo would've made me really uncomfortable, but now that I'm more comfortable with my looks I don't care!

My friend's puppy! Isn't he so cute?!

Photo Booth 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Photo Update

Sort of back to Normal but nose and cheeks still feel swollen

No More Surgical Wires!

Worst Blogger Ever....

So I started my intensive one year graduate program in the beginning of September and I have not had time at all to update this blog. I want to post some advice that I have complied for future surgery goers and upload a couple of recent photos. I started writing this advice months ago and it's not nearly finished, but here's what I have so far: (This was written a while ago and I tried to edit it, but most of its from months ago).

What to Expect from Jaw Surgery

Two months have passed since my jaw surgery and I felt it was finally time to write down some tips and insights I have gained throughout this experience. Now that two months have passed, I can say with full confidence that I am feeling back to normal. Am I still swollen? Yes. Do I still feel numb? Yes. Do I still get tired? Yes. But putting things into perspective, I have come so far since week one.

1. Expect to look like a crazy person. I had well over a year to research everything there was to know about jaw surgery. I cannot tell you how many times I googled ‘jaw surgery blogs.’ Of course my favorite part of all the blogs were the pictures! Every blog was so helpful posting photos from those first few days after surgery. Those photos gave me a good idea of how my swelling was going to look right after surgery and thank god I had some idea because it is not pretty! However, because I was so aware, when I looked in the mirror for the first time I just laughed (or tried to laugh at least). Your face is going to be stretched as far as it can go or as my mom so wonderfully put, my face was 9 months pregnant. You just have to accept it and don’t waste time worrying about it. All the swelling is temporary. I think the quicker you come to terms with this, the better. Also, usually the third day is when you hit the peak of your swelling so don’t be too concerned if on day 3 you feel worse than day And it is important to remember that you’ll probably feel like your face is a lot larger than it is. I thought my face was absolutely huge but my family kept reassuring me that it wasn’t that bad.

2. Expect your sleep schedule to be all over the place. This was something my surgeon really emphasized. The first week was not great in terms of sleep. I was napping and resting fine during the day and then nighttime came. The first couple nights were so horrible that I was almost afraid of when it would be time for bed. Nothing is more frustrating then knowing you’re tired but you just cannot sleep for some reason. Prior to surgery, I had made up my bed to be like a really comfortable hospital bed. I put a body pillow under the mattress, another body pillow between the mattress and the headboard, and then piled a bunch of pillows on top. Yet, even with this heavenly bed, I was still resting better in a chair downstairs. So my parents had the idea of taking the back cushion off the chair and propping it up on my bed along with some pillows. From that night on, I slept like a baby! It was such a relief. So, be aware that sleeping can be tough and uncomfortable the first few days, but find what works for you and know your sleep schedule will eventually regulate.

3. Expect to be a little helpless the first couple days. If you’re a stubborn, independent person who can’t take help from anyone, expect to change your ways drastically. The first week it was like I Benjamin Buttoned and turned into a complete baby. My mom had to do everything for me. She had to feed me, speak for me, wipe my drool, walk me to the bathroom, make sure I didn’t fall in the shower, and make sure I was taking my antibiotics. I first fed myself Ensure through the syringe in the hospital, but mostly because I was curious to see if I could. For the first couple days or maybe even the first week, I was completely dependent on my mom to feed me. I may have been a little lazy/excessive with my mom taking care of me, but I think it is important to remember to not over exert yourself. This is a major surgery and there is no need to prove that you can start doing things on your own. Feel free to take your time.    

4. Expect to be lazy. I am an excellent lazy person so this was no sweat for me. The couch is my sanctuary, I regularly binge watch television shows. I couldn’t tell how excited I was to watch multiple tv series without feeling guilty that I finished an entire season in a day. I thought this was finally my time to watch all those shows I had never gotten around to, Breaking Bad, 24, The West Wing. But I found I was even too lazy for those shows. The problem with good television is that it is wordy and you have to pay attention, and the first week post surgery I just couldn’t make that commitment. So I resorted to guilty pleasure TV: lots of Say Yes to the Dress, The Hills, and my favorite horrible (yet addicting) “reality” shows from across the pond: Made in Chelsea and TOWIE. However, this glorious lazy time does not mean you can turn into a total sloth. Remember the keep things moving, whether it’s walking around your living room or talking a short walk outside.  

5. Expect to get creative with food. As I wrote before, I thought I was going to use this time to become the picture of health. I was going to drink protein smoothies with kale and spinach and pineapple to reduce swelling. But then drinking green stuff through a syringe grossed me out. The first couple days in the hospital I was only able to have maybe one bottle of Ensure, water, and apple juice. It was seriously a struggle to take in enough fluids; yet, getting enough fluids is one of the most important things you can do. It will make you feel so much better. When I got home from the hospital and started to feel a little better, I really craved comfort food like mashed potatoes and tomato soup. So my mom bought boxed mashed potatoes and cooked them stovetop and then put them in the magic bullet and milk to thin it out. It may not be the most nutritional meal, but it was delicious and got some calories into me. Another soup that was delicious was Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup blended in the magic bullet. For the past couple weeks my mom has been making me casseroles and then blending them up with some chicken broth. Recently, I’ve gotten really creative. I think it’s because I’m getting antsy for real food. The other day all I wanted was a grilled cheese and tomato soup, so that’s exactly what I had. I made a grilled cheese and then cut it into little pieces and then blended it in the NutriBullet with tomato soup. It was so good! Last night, my family ordered take-out from an Italian restaurant and after the success of the grilled cheese, I thought I would test the nutribullet’s ability even further with an eggplant parm sub. I cut up the sub and blended it with some marinara sauce and tomato soup and it blended really nicely. It was little filling, but overall good.      

6. Expect to not need everything you bought pre surgery. Umm... humidifier...not for me.

7. Expect to take a lot of many..more than I've ever taken in my life.

8. Expect weird tingling and feeling on your face. Still 2 months later, having this constantly. Mostly in my chin.

9. Expect things to be a little “off” for a while. It does take a while. Like my nose is still swollen and it's driving me crazy! I feel like my nostrils have never been so big!

10. Expect to feel better in no time! I'm in a new city without my family and taking a really intensive, full course load and I feel like it's totally manageable. There's still somethings I cannot chew and I'm still wearing bands on both sides of my mouth, but I do feel like a normal person.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More Pictures

So many selfies 

Me and my pup

Did some damage on my shopping spree

Me and my mom wanted to document every moment of me eating 

smiling profile

I can have wine! 

Actually Eating!! Huge Moment haha 

Week 5 - I can eat!!

I have been the worst blogger ever. I've been so busy because I'm moving tomorrow! I can't believe it!

Yesterday I went to the surgeon's office for my last appointment there in a while and I got the ok to start chewing! Very exciting! After the appointment, my mom and I went shopping and I ate a blueberry muffin! I had to pick it apart in tiny bits but it really wasn't that weird to eat it. Then, my family and I went out to dinner to celebrate me being able to eat again! We went to a tapas restaurant and I got scallops and then this delicious dish with avocado and crab and shrimp. I'm definitely going to eat a lot of avocados, they were so easy to eat.

This afternoon, I'm going to my orthodontist's office for the first time since my surgery. I don't really know what they are going to do besides take X-rays, but I really hope they take off my surgical hooks and give my a little indication of how much longer I'll need braces.

Here's some current photos! I'll post more in a little. I've been working on a list of jaw surgery tips and advice but I'm not finished with it yet so I'll post that later.

I can finally move my face 


Monday, August 19, 2013

4 weeks!

One more week until I can eat soft foods!! This week better go by quickly! I finally put my photos from the orthodontist on my computer. They are about a year and half old and not very flattering haha, but here they are with photos from today.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 27

I got back from the beach yesterday and I am exhausted. My face got a little sun burnt and unfortunately, that made my swelling worse. I only have 10 days until I move to go to grad school so I'm working hard on being super healthy to get swelling to come down. Now that I'm feeling better, I started drinking my green protein shakes again. I had planned on drinking these through my whole recovery, but when I got home from the hospital, I felt so tired and crappy that all I wanted was comfort food like mashed potatoes and soup. Now that I'm starting to feel like a normal human being again, it's time to get healthy. I also am trying to drink more water. I've never been a fan of water, but I'm doing my best to drink about 60 oz a day.

Progression of my swelling. The first photo is when I first got home from the hospital,  then week 1, week 2, week 3.

Day 27

At my beach house. I'm so happy I can wear my hair up and not stress about how my side profile looks!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 23 Before and After

Here's some photos from a couple of days ago with "before pictures." I have better before pictures from my surgeon and orthodontist that I'll post eventually, but these were the only ones I had on hand.