Thursday, September 29, 2011

2 Weeks are OVERRR!

WHOO HOOO!  The worst is officially behind me in terms of pain/swelling and such so I am totally looking forward to making as much progress as I did these past two weeks into the next two weeks.  I went to my surgeon's office yesterday and he again took x-rays which I am totally cool with because I get to see how amazing my new bite is!  I've included the photo above (ignore my caps and nose ring, lol) but feel free to stare at the beautiful alignment going on up there! :D  ALL of my teeth touch where they're supposed to and this is the first week I'm actually aware of them so it's kinda cool to know they're actually on top of one another. I can't wait to actually use them, (hint, hint Dr. Schoeman).

But alas, all good news must be followed by crappy news at the doc's office unfortunately.   Although I'm healing on schedule, I was told that as long as I could handle it, I should really maintain the liquid diet for another 6 weeks.  He said back in the day he would wire patients shut for 6 weeks but lately they've had some empathy (yes, I know, I too was surprised at this word escaping a doc's lips) and they've allowed patients to try to open their mouths at 2/3 weeks to get some soft food in but you really do risk nerve damage/weird bite alignment if you try too hard. So back to soups :(

My next appointment with him is next Wednesday when he'll cut my elastics and try to open my jaw with me to see what my capabilities are at this point since I mentioned to him I was terrified of trying myself... haha.  Other than that, I was told to keep my 4 elastics on at all times and to cancel my dentist appointment that was supposed to be in 2 weeks as they really won't be able to do anything for me.
Right before my appt... you can ALMOST see the old Lara in this one :D

Today I went to see my orthodontist, the amazing Dr. Mayer, just so he could check out my bite and elastics configuration.  It was a super quick appointment; he just let me know that my bite looks awesome, my hair was too wild for his taste and that he expects it to be red next time I see him, and to come see him again in 2 weeks (very efficient this guy ;) to see if I could open my mouth up any.  Oh, also told me that I'm probably going to have to do some physical therapy to help with relaxing my jaw muscles and such.  I'm SO looking forward to those awkward appointments [insert eye roll here].

         BEFORE PROFILE SHOT:                                                         AFTER PROFILE SHOT:

So far what I love the most is NO MORE FAT CHEEKS, my nose looks smaller and I actually have a chin!  Can't wait for the swelling to take a hike so I can see my new face for real.
Before I say good night, I just wanted to add that French Onion soup (complete with all that gooey cheese) in the blender set to 'Liquify' is the MOST. AMAZING. THING. I'VE. EATEN. THUS. FAR.  Do yourself a favor and get some of this stuff from a good restaurant if you're in recovery.  Thanks for all the kind  words/emails/comments this week! <3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Almost 2 weeks out! Days 10-12 :D

Hola friends!

I hope everyone got a chance to go back and look at before at after pics because I know I lagged it at the beginning and didn't post any.  The past few days have been, oh, like a million times better than the past two weeks.

UPDATE: stitches are officially falling out.  I can't keep track of how many as I get an instant vomit reflex when I feel one on my tongue and I have to guide it through the gap in my teeth and use a dental pick to pry it out.  I'm assumming this is the first sign of healing?   We'll ask at the next post op... And don't even ask me how they get on the INSIDE of my mouth behind my teeth.  A mystery that shall remain unsolved.

Second item on the agenda: if I hear the word SOUP! (yelled with that affliction), BOOST! (as in the shakes) or HEAT PACK! (which are suppossed to be on my face) out of the hubs' mouth again WHILE he eats an E-N-T-I-R-E California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza to his face, we may have a problem on our hands.  Yesterday night he was kind enough to shove the pizza into my lips and get sauce all over my face so I "could at least smell it!"  I think I'd prefer to be waterboarded.  He then sent the dogs to lick it off my face since my tongue is currently being held hostage by my teeth.

I really hate soup.  I hate it.  I don't want any more of it.  People, please post some new recipies.  Oh! I almost forgot... here is my new favorite!

3 Chocolate Chip Cookies (stolen from hub's batch of 2 dozen cookies he baked on Sunday after which he stated, "Babe, I can't suffer just cause you're suffering)
2 cups milk

Blend, enjoy, send thank you emails to

Today my lovely mama forced me to get my roots done and get outta the house to watch "The Help" with her.  Made my day <3

Thanks for following!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Starting to feel human again!

9 days of this crazy adventure behind me and I'm finally starting to feel good again :) Yesterday was basically a blur of "A Baby Story" on TLC and 20 minute bursts of napping (don't even ask why I watched 5 hours of that show-and cried; I have no valid excuse). I ended up finally going to bed around 3 am after a mixture of feeling super weak and super hungry but ironically having no appetite. When I woke up this morning, I felt like a whole new person. I was able to shower and wash my hair on my own without feeling like I was going to pass out in a puddle of shampoo and sadness. I also somehow managed to drink half an Ensure, a little bit of orange juice and a whole cupful of asparagus soup (sounds like a delightful breakfast, I know, please keep the jealousy comments to a minimum). After managing to garden for 15 minutes and a crack at fixing my running toilet, I felt good enough to attempt some mashed potatoes. Mom whipped us this amazing mixture of sweet potatoes, chives and the hubs mixed in some garlic paste and I was oh so ready to down this mixture. I even took my bands off, got a drink, got super excited only to find out.... yeah.... I can't exactly get that past my teeth yet :( I was super frustrated/sad/defeated and was in a state of self pity for a good 20 minutes. When I re-emerged downstairs, my mother in law and sister in law were here to visit (with gifts)! I got a super cool pair of Victoria Secret sweatpants and two shirts to match :D As if that wasn't cool enough, Mom called and decided that I needed to finally leave the house and was determined to come pick me up to do some Halloween decoration shopping for my house. After finally being convinced to go back to eating out of the syringe, I managed to eat a whole cup of chicken soup that I threw in the blender which had mushrooms, corn and shredded chicken and I watered down with chicken broth... OMG, probably the best thing I'd had all week. So I set out for my big, outta the house trip. The first thing I saw on the shelf was this delicious looking candle which I promptly ended up smashing into my chin since I have no concept of where my facial features are anymore. It hurt like hell but I was still able to find some super cool Halloween decorations and quickly rushed home as I was super tired. Tomorrow I'm going to venture to make some Creamy Chicken Wild Rice soup that my bestie, Alexis and her husband, Matthew brought for me yesterday. Let's just hope that rice blenderizes as well as I hope it does! Time to cuddle up to Finding Nemo... not my idea of a typical Saturday night but I better get used to it until I gain my strength. Night!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I survived the first week :D

Starting to look like my old self!

Numbers I haven't seen in a long time, lol.  Losing 1 lb/day
AHHHH, just created this whole Day 7 post only to have my iPad refresh and LOSE IT ALL. So I'll probably keep this brief since I just typed it out... Hola family and friends, Day 7 is almost at an end and I'm so glad the worst part is (hopefully) behind me. I kept waiting for days 4 and 5 to be the worst and done with but the past two days have offered challenges of their own as I'm faced with new and annoying pain each day. Lately I've had a lot of pain in my right ear, left cheek and jaw line in general. But thanks to all the loving people in my life that bring their dogs to play with my puppies (Hi Randy and Leina!), cook for my hubs (thanks, mom!) and to all of those who call and stop by with food and endless hours of their lives to waste with me watching Hoarders, Cops, Castle, etc. Yesterday was my first post-op appointment so I figured I'd share what went down there. I was super excited about the appointment going in as I knew I was going to have the dozens of bands in my mouth cut out but I guess I shouldn't have skipped breakfast first... I was led into the X-ray room to get shots of my new and amazingly perfect bite! That was quick and painless except the doc had me place my chin on something to keep it stable and it kinda took me a minute to find it since half my face is still super numb. After that I was led back to the office where my 50 bands were so gratefully CUT OFF! Whooo hoo! These, by the way, ended up EVERYwhere from up my gums and nose to down my shirt and I was still finding them hours later at home. I was then given a regular size toothbrush and told to brush my teeth gently. Um, yeah, there was no way that whole toothbrush was fitting in my little mouth but I somehow got like 7 of my teeth clean and the last thing I remember was saying, "I don't feel so goooooo" Next thing I know, the nurse is shoving an ammonia soaked towel in my face and putting wet towels on my forehead and neck and the doctor is yelling, "Stay calm, Lara! I'm going to get you my super expensive orange juice!!! It's like $3.99 a bottle but you can have it!!!" I guess the whole trip was too much for my low blood sugared self and I almost passed out. On a side note, that damn Odwalla orange IS super good and it made me feel 100% better. I was then given a bag of rubber bands and the surgeon put one on and left the room with instructions that he'd return in a few minutes and he expected at least 2 more on. Yeah, that SO did not happen. Haha... those were SUPER tough. Two utensils and 15 minutes later though, I was walking out with one more elastic on and the instructions to wear around 4 at all times and an appointment to come back next week. The good thing is that the swelling is all symmetrical and going down and the bruising isn't any worse. it's just so. much. more. yellow. Kinda gross but I'm looking slightly more normal every day. With the comment that I "don't look even a little bit like Jay Leno," the surgeon was pleased with the results and upgraded me to a slightly thicker diet. Although I haven't been able to eat anything thicker than soups as even with the bands off I can't get my jaw a tiny bit open. I've spent the past two days sleeping on and off in 20 min bursts and last night I actually SLEPT IN MY OWN BED! whoo hooo!! My right arm/hand has been very weak lately and the surgeon thinks it's from me sleeping weirdly on the recliner so I got the okay to sleep in bed with a couple pillows propped up behind my back. Needless to say, my puppy couldn't handle this drastic change from downstairs to upstairs and I woke up to her gagging over my face then proceeding to vomit all over our stairs (thanks for waking up and catching that, Steve!) I'm going to take another nap cause writing this twice has totally wiped me out, lol. Then hopefully do some homework as I'm already a week behind :( Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-... That's all, folks

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 6? Losing track of time...

Bruising is starting to show...
I'm pretty sure the days are all melding into one another and I woke up this morning not really know what day of the week it was, lol. I thought I was really ready to wash my hair and get up and see some amigos yesterday but alas, I was sorely mistaken :( I basically just rotted in the recliner all day sleeping in 20 minute bursts while my amazing mom cleaned and scrubbed every inch of my house (it looks AWESOME)! Mrs. Clean managed to force some carrot soup down my throat for breakfast and some milk blended up with strawberries and honey for lunch but I was not in the mood for anything else after that. I realized that it's so very important to 1. take your meds on time even if your pain level is not extreme. It's much easier to get yourself down to a 1/2 pain level when you only allow yourself to get up to 6/7. 2. Eating will make you feel infinitely better when you feel like crap, EVERY time. Most of the time when I felt like crap it was because my blood sugar was so low. And lastly, 3. KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLEAN. Nothing is more disgusting than waking up to that nasty surgery breath when you haven't properly brushed/rinsed. I can't even explain how effin gross this taste is. My little bro went to our ortho yesterday and asked about this disgusting taste that I have to which he confidently responded, 'Oh, that's because of the fungus in her mouth, it's normal." WHAAA??? SO SICK. I've been using my syringe to do salt water rinses religiously but I can't wait to get my bands changed tomorrow. I want to brush my tongue so so badly! Doc appt tomorrow at 11.30 so I'll update then! Thanks for following!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Days 3 & 4: They were right...

 Profile shot on day 3...

I am almost past the notorious days 3 and 4 post jaw surgery! Throughout this whole process, I kept hearing that these two days would be the worst both mentally, as many patients began to regret their decision around this time, and physically, as the anesthesia leaves your body these two days. Needless to say, they have been extremely challenging. I woke up with extreme nausea both days but was able to keep down liquid Emetrol to keep from vomiting. Also, I took a bath yesterday which felt AMAZING! I"m pretty sure I smell to high heaven lately as I've just been vegging on our recliner watching tv all day, lol. Breakdown of how I feel: there is still a LOT of pressure in my mouth as if someone is squishing my head and jaw through a panini press. I can't WAIT to just open my mouth! I am hyper aware of my teeth stacked up on top of each other and it's creating a lot of pressure in my ears. My right ear hurts more than my left but in terms of symmetry, everything else is the same. Pain, swelling and bruising is the same on both sides. The bruising and swelling traveled down to my neck and chest these past two days and I'm on strict instructions to stop using ice so I'm just waiting this part out. Thankfully, the swelling isn't getting any worse, it's just the nausea and pain that were heightened yesterday and today. I had a few visitors over the past couple of days which was nice but it really hurts to try to talk so I feel kinda lame hanging out with my friends, (sorry, guys!) I'm the loudest person I know so this has definitely been an adjustment. There have been some awesome glimmers of hope though! First, I am getting tingling sensations over my chin/lip which I assume are my nerves trying to connect back together, although I am still drooling when I eat/sleep and have no sensations under my nose. Also, I found an awesome combination of Chocolate Boost and banana that I can keep down and doesn't get stuck in my teeth! Ah, the simple things :) Although I did get some on the side of my lip which Steve so helpfully suggested I "just lick off" then quickly realized that my tongue is stuck between 100 rubber bands, haha. I've noticed that as soon as I go a few hours without food I feel extremely weak and tired so I'm learning the hard way not to deprive myself of food, even though I have to force it down. I was able to fold some laundry and put away some dishes today so I don't feel completely useless but even those two things wiped me out so back to watching Toy Story 3, hanging out with my puppies and being loved on by the hubs and Mom until I feel better. Thanks to everyone who stopped by with flowers, made me food, forced me to watch NFL ;) and sent me messages; you're totally keeping me going!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 2: Home Sweet Home

 Bloody nose, swollen face, this was pretty...
Hola friends and family! Today has been immensely better than yesterday already. Thanks to everyone who came and visited me in the hospital and putting up with my sleeping in the middle of talking to them! I can't thank my Mom enough for absolutely everything thus far and my husband, Steve, for staying the night. Even though he probably got a horrible night's rest, it was so comforting seeing someone familiar every half hour when one nurse or the other woke me up to check my oxygen, give me more meds, hook up some new ice packs, check my blood pressure, etc... haha, they were killer! Surgery details follow just in case you get grossed out!!! I figured I'd share some more details about the surgery cause those were the best things to read about when I was getting ready for this adventure in my life. After prepping me in check in (weight, blood pressure, IV hooked up, gown on, etc) the surgical nurse came for me and I basically hopped into my own surgical bed and was wheeled off to the surgical ward. I was then parked on the side while I waited for another patient to have an emergency appendectomy who was sharing my anesthesiologist so I kinda just reached over and read the 'Infectious Diseases' pamphlet that I could reach on the wall. When the anesthesiologist finally showed up, he sprayed 5 pumps of nasal spray up each nostril to help constrict my nasal passages to get my breathing tube in easier. I was then rolled into the surgical suite FULLY AWAKE where I saw all the lights, surgeons, tools... I totally freaked out. The doc and I started talking and turns out his daughter and I knew each other in high school so that instantly put me at ease. The last thing I remember is the anesthesia really hurting going in but then the awesome male nurse saw me do the sign of the cross before I fell asleep so he just held my hand and prayed with me and next thing I remember was waking up in my room! SUCCESS ;) I was given a wet oxygen mask to help me breathe along with a jaw bra to keep ice on my face and a suction tool to make sure I didn't have to swallow all my saliva since my throat was so so sore from the breathing tube. After switching my pain/nausea meds 3x, I finally got a couple hours of sleep and was so so ready to go home in the morning. I've been using sippee cups instead of the syringe which is way more normal for eating and I even got to brush my teeth with my cool baby brush today! Time for more relaxing and enjoying the lovely flowers/books/etch a sketch from awesome people in my life.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The hard part begins...

Day before surgery in the doc's office

And so the journey began....

I'm out!!! The toughest parts are definitely ahead of me but I'm so, so glad that surgery is over. My mouth is completely wired shut for now which gives the most anxious feeling ever. I already miss the feeling of licking my lips, talking, and, oh, BREATHING, lol. I just really want to open my mouth already :( I'm doped up on a million kinds of pain meds so I hopefully go back to sleep soon but short recap of surgery-everything went perfectly and it lasted about 3 1/2 hours, spent an hour in recovery then got moved over here to my room. I am wearing the fanciest gown ever and i'm pretty sure everyone, including the guy who refills the vending machine has seen my ass. Plus they insist on you wearing these fancy yellow socks while you're here. One side has rubber padding on them so I turn them over thinking that's naturally the bottom, yeahhh no, BOTH sides have rubber on them. WTF? Anyway pain is about 6 right now. The nausea is way worse than the pain and my face doesn't quite look like a pumpkin yet, perhaps a small cantaloupe. Hanging out with Mom and trying to obsess about opening my mouth. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

6 hours and counting...

BEFORE: My gross overbite-I will not miss you!

BEFORE: Profile shot! receding chin
BEFORE: teeth completely overlap and do not touch in the back

BEFORE: my big ol' before smile

BEFORE: I forced my lower jaw up for this shot to see all the hooks, 10 in alll
Hi. My name is Lara and I'm about 6 hours away from being admitted for in patient jaw surgery and it's finally starting to feel real. My stomach is currently in knots so I'll be short in my background leading up to this crazy journey but promise to update more along the way. Other people's blogs throughout their jaw surgeries have been immensely helpful to me so I figured what better way to have a forum to say all the things I will physically not be able to say but still want to share with my friends? Thus, this blog was created. I first sought an orthodontist consult in early 2010 for major spacing and an overbite and ended up getting a full metal mouth in early June 2010. A year an a half later, I've been diagnosed with Congential Mandibular Hypoplasia and a Maxillofacial Occulsion (which is a fancy way of say I have a recessive jaw and chin). Thankfully, I found an amazing surgeon who can fix this and in a few short hours, I'll be having my lower jaw broken and moved forward 7 mm and my chin broken and moved forward 4 mm. Hospital stay is about 2 days so I'll keep you posted... WISH ME LUCK!
*Thanks to all the amazing friends, family and co workers who have been extremely supportive in the process leading up to this. I wouldn't be able to do this without you.