Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 39: Last Post-Op Visit (until the braces come off!)

I thought I'd spice things up a bit in the photo area and show you a REAL photo of me post-op! This photo was taken 2 weekends ago at a wedding! I'm with my bf and his wonderful aunt who made me so many delicious foods during my recovery :)

So I had my last post-op appointment today with my oral surgeon!!! He said that I don't have to see him again until AFTER my braces are off! He said I look amazing for 6 weeks post op and couldn't be happier with the results! AND that he can't forsee my braces being on for that much longer (FINGERS CROSSED!!!).

I asked him some questions, which I'll list for you with the answers:

1) When can I chew again?
Answer - NOW!!!!! He said I can start chewing as of today, but that I should take caution and chew soft foods for now - nothing too crunchy! This was seriously the BEST news I could have gotten! I have been so tired of eating mush and this will be an excellent way to get my appetite back up!

2) My lips are still a bit seperated when I'm at rest - will this get better as I recover and once I get my braces off?
Answer - This will get a bit better once the swelling is totally gone and the braces come off. He said that my lips may still be seperated a bit at rest but if I continue to build up my lip muscles it may help it out (how does one build up lip muscles?!).

3) I heard Vitamin B12 is good for nerve regeneration - is this true? Is there something else I can use?
Answer - He said that he hasnt really heard about B12 being that good. He said these things do take time and that all of the numbness should go away by the 6 month mark. (not 2 years like I thought!)

4) I have a weird numb spot on my chin that puffs out when I close my mouth - will this go away with time?
Answer - It should go away but I should make not of the progress of it and come see him if it's still there when I get my braces off.

So tommorow morning is my first orthodontist appointment since my operation! Hopefully he gives me good news :)

Sleep well everyone!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 37: Exciting Week Ahead!


Well 5-weeks post-op has come and gone and here are my photos from Day 37!

This week coming up is exciting in my jaw surgery/braces adventure! On Tuesday I have my 6-week post op appointment with my oral surgeon (#3 post-op appointment) and then on Wednesday I have my 1st orthodontist appointment post-op!!!!! That means I get my surgical wires off - HURAY!!!!!

I feel that the swelling is at about 4% (maybe 1% down from last post - hehe). I can really see the shape of my new face now. My cheekbones are definitely back and better then ever - which is very very exciting to someone who looked like a chipmunk/porcupine for the past month. The swelling is still in the same places as before - it just feels like there's slightly less pressure now.

All the numbness is still there from before (left upper lip, middle bottom lip and chin)... nothing has really changed with that. Although I've had a fair amount of itching and tingling in my left upper life and chin... so that can only mean good things! However, the most annoying thing is when it's SOOO itchy and you can't feel yourself scratching. ARGHH! I've heard A LOT about vitamin B12 supposedly being excellent in nerve regeneration... so I'm thinking of starting to take that this week. I'm going to talk to my oral surgeon on Tuesday and see what his thoughts are on it.

I have to admit that week 5 has been my roughest week yet. I felt a bit down this week and my appetite REALLY disappeared. I think a lot of it had to do with all the hype of the jaw surgery transformation being over and starting to get back into my normal life. For many months before the operation I was doing tons of research, planning, talking, etc. about the surgery and then post-op, the daily transformations were my main focus for about a month. Then all of sudden everything goes back to normal and I guess I missed having something to look forward too/motivating. I'm a BIG goal-oriented person. With that lack of motivation came my loss of appetite. It's hard to get excited about eating when all your doing is putting liquids/mush in your mouth. I lost about 2 lbs this week from not eating properly... so my main focus THIS week is to put that weight back on because it is very important to make sure I'm getting enough nutrition. Has anyone else come across this issue during their post-op recovery?

I did attempt to go to the gym this week! I did 20 minutes of cardio on the elliptical and then walked home from there, which is another 20 minutes. Getting my heart rate up on the elliptical was very interesting feeling - it felt like I was starting to work out for the first time EVER!! haha. As much as I'd love to go to the gym more often right now (helps to feel better), I know that I need to focus on maintaining calories instead of burning them for the next little while. When I feel healthy enough I will be back there 3-4 times a week!

I really want to send a huge THANK YOU to all my friends, my family and my boyfriend, who have been so amazing and supportive of me during the surgery, during the post-op and especially this past week. I would not have been able to recover so well without all of you and know that I appreciate everything that you guys do. <3

I'm thinking of making another video this week - so look out for that and the updates from my oral surgeon/orthodontist in the next few days!!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 30: Almost 1 month!!


It's been a week since I last posted - here are my pictures from Day 30:

It's been a week of back-to-normalcy! I had a full work week and it really does not feel like I was in recovery for 3 weeks. I feel great considering it was only a month ago that I had the surgery. I'd say I have about 5% of swelling left. Once month (on average) to go until all the swelling is supposed to be gone! It's mostly focused around my upper lip area below my nose and to the left and right of that area.

All of the stitches have fallen out (I think)! It at least feels like they've all fallen out. I find it kind of cool to see the scars in my mouth from where the stitches were. they are just little whitish lines, nothing severe. For now they are ok... but I`m hoping they go away in the long run.

The numbness is prevailing. My chin and upper left lip are still numb... but I'm getting some little electric pulses (or what feels like that) in those areas. Before it felt like the skin above the left lip was also numb, but either I was mistaken or the feeling has come back!

I saw a lot of people this week that I have not seen in a very long time, and who don`t know about my surgery (I think). I got a lot of odd stares from them trying to figure out what has changed about me... which also led to a lot of compliments. It's nice to know that people who don't know about my surgery can't tell that I'm still swollen - only those who've seen me post-surgery and who have been reading my blog can tell.

In the mornings my face still feels more swollen and goes down within the first few hours of my day. The pattern is also the same for the stiffness (goes along with the swelling) that I feel in my mouth.

I've been trying to get off Ativan... I only have a few pills left so I need to stop taking them to go to sleep ASAP! In the last week I've been trying to take 1/2 the dosage and it's been working ok. Some nights I had to take the full dose. I'm also still taking Tylenol - this helps with the swelling throughout the day.

I've gone to a few social outings since last week and apparently I'm not photogenic at the moment. It seems like I can only take an ok picture when I'm doing the self shots (for the blog)... but when it comes to posing, I haven't gotten my smile just right yet. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the numbness (AND THE DARN SURGICAL WIRES THAT MAKE MY TEETH LOOK GREY!!! I seriously cannot wait until next week when I get them off.)

That's all for now!! Any questions for 1 month post-op!?!?!

Thank you to everyone who is still reading my blog - I really appreciate your support :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 24:...and Day 23 & Day 22


I have been M.I.A - I know! Life is just getting back to normal (which is good!)and my days seem more tiring at the end of it all... so it's been hard to be motivated to write (also since there isn't a lot of new improvements all the time!).
Here are photos from today (Day 24):
Photos from Day 23 (Sunday):
Photos from Day 24 (Saturday):
I will post a longer post tomorrow - I promise!

Sweet dreams all :)


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Post-Op Jaw Surgery Video #2 - Montage of 3 week Progression

Day 20: The Pressure is On

Shana Tova to everyone celebrating the Jewish New Year!

Here are Day 20's photos:

Yesterday I had a bit of a down day. The weather in Toronto was sh*ty to say the least (and has continued today). I woke up with a severe case of pressure in my sinus area (where the screws are) and it lasted through out the day. I had to cancel my laser therapy session because I just was not feeling good.

Today's been awesome - attitude wise. I slept until 10 am and it made me feel so much better. A good rest always does that! I'm also back on Tylenol for the swelling. I think I'll keep taking a couple pills a day until the swelling really goes away. I don't want the pressure/swelling to come back like it did yesterday in full force.

I went to work for 1/2 a day yesterday and got some constructive things done! I'm excited to get back into the "full-time" swing of things next week and to get my life back to normal. I already have a bunch of coffee dates and events to go to in the next few weeks, so I'm looking forward to being social again (besides having my lovely visitors while I was recovering in my apartment - love you guys!!).

More food updates! Yesterday I had some sushi takeout that consisted of seaweed salad, udon tofu vegetable soup with buckwheat noodles (I think that's what it is called) and salmon sashimi. All chopped up into little bits of course. Today I ate butternut ravioli in a cream sauce (cut up). I loved both of those meals and am very happy that I can at least eat some sort of normal food.

WONDERFUL NEWS! A stitch fell out today! My first one!!!! It was from the upper left side of my mouth. I hope this means the rest will fall out soon. They don't irritate my skin, I just want them out, its been almost 3 weeks now!

I've made a video that consists of a montage of 3 weeks of post-op photos! I'll post it tonight. It's pretty fun/cool/nerdy to watch the transformation. I can't wait to see what I'll look like in another 3 weeks when all the swelling is supposedly gone and I get my surgical wires off!

Happy almost TGIF :)


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 18: Hi-Ho Hi-Ho It's Off to Work I Go

Happy Tuesday!

Here are Day 18 photos:

Today was my 1st day back at work (well 1/2 day)! It was really good :) I got to catch up on a lot of emails and see what was going on at the office. The National event that I work on, Shinerama, at the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is in full swing across Canada! University and College students across the nation are fundraising during Orientation Week to raise $1 million this year! Last year we hit $988K, so we're really working hard to hit that $1 million mark. If you feel like doing a good deed today and enjoy reading my blog, then please consider donating on my Fundraising page by clicking HERE! Every little bit counts even if it's $5!!

So working for 1/2 a day was not bad at all! I felt a little tired by 5 pm (I worked 1 pm - 5 pm) I guess because I wasn't used to staring at a computer screen for 4 hours. Everyone at work was happy to see my back and full of energy. It's really great to be part of a team that supports me and my Tin Grin adventure (Thank you Tracey & Trevor and the rest of the CCFF crew!). I'll be back there tomorrow for another 1/2 day and then working from home on Thursday & Friday.

I ditched my "bed rest" pillow last night. I am so sick of sleeping on that thing! I slept on my regular pillows on a slight angle and I didn't wake up anY puffier than I did with the bed rest pillow. So from now on it's regular sleeping for me! I'm hoping this will help with my dizziness that I've been experiencing from sleeping upright for almost 3 weeks.

Besides the pillow thing, not much has changed since yesterday. I guess I'm getting to those blog posts where I talk about random things instead of my recovery because you guys have probably read everything that goes on through my mind all day long!

I did want to point out that I made a mistake when I said I only had 4 screws in my upper jaw, I meant 4 appliances, that have 4 screws in each of them... therefore 16 screws in my upper jaw. Thanks Kevin for pointing that out!

I hope you all have a great Tuesday eve!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 17: Labour-Free Weekend

Hello hello!!!

I hope everyone had a marvelous long weekend! I know I did... it was very relaxing and just what I needed before heading back to work (part time) this week.

Here are the photos from the past few days:

Day 17 (Today)

Day 16 (Yesterday)

I forgot to take pictures on Saturday (Day 15). Arggghh! But from the way I'm healing now it would not have been much difference from Day 14.

This weekend was filled with the game called "What can Alexis eat that isn't liquid!?" It turned out to be a great game and here is a list of items I ate that were not liquid/mush:
  • Piece of whole grain toast with butter, natural peanut butter and jam (also microwaved to make softer). I had to chop it up into tiny little pieces and swallow but it hit the spot!!! I Couldn't eat the crusts though, they were too hard.
  • HUGE freshly made waffle with chocolate sauce, bananas, maple syrup and vanilla frozen yogurt. I poured all of the toppings on top of the made waffle (I really should have taken a photo for you guys) and cut it up. It literally melted in my mouth it was sooooo fricken good. That waffle was probably all of the calories in one meal that I would eat in a whole day. Ha!
  • Whole grain penne pasta with a garlic, oil & Parmesan sauce. I boiled the penne as much as possible to make it very soft and then I cut it up. It was pretty tasty but took some effort to mash the pasta against the roof of my mouth once it was getting a little cold/hard.
  • Scrambled eggs (with one egg yolk and 3 egg whites). My boyfriend made them every morning this weekend and he added feta one day and Parmesan another. He makes the best scrambled eggs I've ever tasted. YUMYUMYUM. Those were super easy to eat because you can chop them into tiny pieces and swallow without having to mash them up
  • Seaweed salad from a sushi takeout place. Cut it up! It made me realise how much I've been missing my fresh greens! I'm really thinking of getting a large take out container tomorrow and eating it every day to get some of those nutrients in me!
Next subject...NUMBNESS - Here is a photo where I've circled all of the areas that are still numb:It still seems to be really focused on the left side (as before). Everyday seems a little less. For instance I can now feel some of the sides of my chin and it's mainly in the middle from the middle of my bottom lip to just before my chin curves under. This is basically where the screws are, so it makes sense. The numbness in my upper left lip causes my lips to look kind of weird when I'm talking or smiling. I have no control over it, so it just moves along with the other half of lip. People have told me it looks like it's numb too, so I'm really hoping this is one of the things that goes away quicker! The chin doesn't bother me as much... it really has no purpose other than making my profile look good.

Today was my first day I've tried to kick the Tylenol pain meds... and it's been a success! I haven't taken one all day and I have not felt any pain. This is very good news... I hate having to take any kind of medication for a long period of time.

As I mentioned in the last blog post, I now have to wear tight elastics at night time. They have been pretty easy to put on and take off. However they are pretty darn tight. I'm glad I'm still taking the Ativan at night or else I think I would have a hard time sleeping with them on. Ativan is the last pain med I need to kick to the curb from the surgery, but I'm not ready for that yet. Maybe I'll try next weekend. I just need to ensure I won't grind my teeth!

I haven't really received any questions from you guys! Does anybody want to know anything that I haven't already covered?

I hope you all have a great night and I'm excited to tell you all about my first day back at work tomorrow!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 14: 2 Weeks Post-Op!!!!

TWO WEEKS POST OP!!! Can you believe it? I certainly can't... it feels like yesterday I was having panic attacks about the surgery and now I'm sporting a brand new smile :)

So today I had my 2nd post-op appointment with my oral surgeon, Dr. R. It went amazingly! He said that I am recovering surprisingly fast and to continue doing whatever I'm doing because it's working wonders! It's great to hear confirmation from him that my mouth is looking as good as I thought it was. YEY ME! haha.

Before I go any further, I wanted to show you my new bite without the elastics!!

How amazing is that!? 2 weeks ago my front teeth couldn't touch, and now they bite together so well! To anyone who is thinking about getting the surgery - DO IT!!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!

Photos from Day 14:

To catch up on swelling and bruising... swelling feels down slightly and so is bruising. I can still see slight patches of yellowish bruising on my lower cheeks, but nothing really noticeable.
So now the update from Dr.R! He said that I don't have to wear elastics 24/7 any longer (which is convenient since my second elastic broke immediately before my appointment while I was having lunch with my Dad). This means that I can eat somewhat normally and can get a bigger spoon in my mouth! I will still be eating with the children's rubber spoons though because I don't want to hit my front teeth by accident with a metal one (seeing as I still cant feel my upper jaw/teeth). Now I only have to wear the elastics during the night time. They gave me elastics called "Chucks" (I'm sure my bf will like that because he has shoes named that) and a big tweezer looking contraption to help put them on (which I have to return once I'm done with the elastics). I have to put one on each side of my mouth in square designs. In my next post I'll show you a drawing they made me and what the elastics/tweezer thing look like. Dr. R put them on me at the office to show me how to do it and they were pretty tight (which is probably why I only have to wear them at night). This is to ensure my bite stays in the correct position and to help guide it if its not. Dr. R also said now that I can brush my teeth (sans elastics) I don't have to use the medical rinse any longer (THANK GOODNESS!). The taste of the rinse was kind of overpowering and it seemed to stain my teeth. I'm still going to rinse with the salt water mix several times a day because the stitches are still healing up - may as well!
Dr. R said there is no reason to see him any time soon and that my next appointment can be in 3-4 weeks. So we booked an appointment for the end of September! The day after my 3rd post-op with Dr. R is an appointment with my Orthodontist to take off the surgical wires. It will be a great week!
On my way home from the post-op I decided to treat myself and buy a take home 500 ml container of gelato from my favorite place. They let me get 4 flavours and the girl who works there remembered me and it was nice of her to ask how I was doing with the recovery! Flavours I got: coconut, espresso, caramel & cheesecake. OMFG. I need to make it last a long time though, don't need to start being Ms. Piggy just cuz it's in my freezer.

My teeth seem to be getting a little sore everyday. I think it may be because I'm getting more feeling back in my jaws and I tend to bite down a little more on them. My teeth have not been used in 2 weeks, so now that they are they seem to be a little whiny. It may get worse because of the lack of usage... but I'll keep you up to date! The Tylenol helps though.
I'm still sleeping as up right as feels comfortable. I intend to do this until all of the swelling is gone (hopefully doesn't take more than the 2 months). I get a little dizzy sometimes when I get up too fast, so I have to be careful with that.
As you all know, it's Labour day weekend starting tomorrow... which means I will be away from my computer for a few days. My apologies to all of my daily readers, but I hope you're doing something more fun on the long weekend than reading blogs :). I will post again on Monday evening with photos from day 15, 16 & 17!
Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 13: Tin Grins are the new Black


Here are photos from Day 13:

I'm actually quite exhausted today - visited my office and saw my friend Mariya... and in turn tired myself out. So this post will be short and sweet :)

Tomorrow is my 2nd post-op so I'll have lots of new updates for you guys then!

Have a great Thursday eve,


Post-Op Jaw Surgery Video #1 - Upper Jaw (Lefort One Osteotomy) & Geniop...

Day 12: The Better To Bite You With My Dear...

I'm almost at 2 weeks! INSANE!!

Here are the photos of the day (I got my hair did - feels awesome!):

I decided to start putting the smiling photos first because I don't look like a goober anymore when I smile (well at least I don't think I do). I also made a video today! I'll post it as a separate post so it's easier to find later on.

So today was a great day in my little world! I got my hair done (cut and colour) and it made me feel sooooo much better. I am feeling like myself more and more each day.

I started using a tooth brush (a children's one of course) last night! It's been a great success so far. I am staying FAR away from the stitches though and really trying to focus around the brackets and my tongue. My mouth feels so fresh and clean! I'm still using the medical rinse too since I can't funny brush my teeth (can't really get inside of my mouth, so it's just the outer fronts and sides). The toothbrush I have is pretty cute, I got it from my dentist and it's got some Crayola game on it. Toothbrush makers should really use this idea for adult brushes - I'd MUCH rather buy a brush that has a fun game on it than some boring one.

I had another laser therapy session on the stitches - they are healing up quite well apparently! I won't have another one until Sunday or Monday, so it will be interesting to see whether my oral surgeon notices that it's healing faster than normal. Stitches are still there by the way... the have not fallen out yet. I also noticed that the inner part of my upper lip has stitches in it. I guess when they cut my upper jaw they must have cut the inside of my lip too (to provide more room?). This is for sure the cause of the puffiness still in the skin between my nose and my upper lip. I'm going to try to take some photos of the stitches for you guys (if my Blackberry allows it - I'll try to post it within the next few days).

I made a delicious soup/mush today! Ingredients include: beef broth, sauteed onions, mushrooms, extra lean sirloin beef, lima beans and an assortment of peas/lentils/grains. I sauteed/boiled everything and then let it all cool down. Then I blended it to a pulp! I tasted it and it's pretty delicious. It made about 8 containers (put most in the freezer) - so I hope I don't get bored of it before it runs out.

Swelling down a little bit. I'm still finding that the swelling is the worst in the morning and then goes down throughout the day.

I was reading some fashion/beauty magazine today and I came across an article on Beyonce's beauty routine and she said that she uses Aquaphor (medicated lip balm) for her lips to ensure they stay soft and smooth. I loved to read that because I've been using since Day 1 post-op and my lips seem to be in amazing condition! I'm thinking that I will continue to use it everyday for the rest of my life now. I probably have to anyways because the only size they had at the pharmacy was 400 g... which is pretty much 5 years worth of lip balm - ha!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow! I'm heading into my office to see everyone! If any of you are reading this from my office - I'll see you soon!!!

Also, I wanted to give a big shout out to SAGAL at my office! It's her birthday tommorow - HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAGAL!!!!!!

That's all for now... WATCH THE VIDEO :)