I forgot to say in my post yesterday about my lack of weight gain. Before surgery I was about 7 stone 10 lbs. Three weeks ago I was 7 stone 3 lbs. I weighed myself yesterday for the first time since then, and was hoping I would have gained at least a few pounds, and guess what I was... 7 stone 1 lb!!! It's so annoying, I really want to put some weight on because my torso is starting to look very skeletal. I'll definitely be stuffing my face over Christmas!
Hi bloggers, sorry I've been away for so long, I've only just got the internet at my flat, but I have been keeping up with everyone else's blogs... been having a sneaky look while I've been at work!
So...I'm just over 11 weeks post-op! Can't believe it was that long ago. It's starting to feel like a distant memory now rather than something I live with everyday. I've been taking photos every week, and was going to upload them today but I'm at my mum's house for Christmas and have just realised that I forgot to bring my camera lead with me! But I will put them all up asap.
I haven't seen my family for a few weeks because I've moved quite far away for my new job, and when they saw me they all said that my face has gone down and it looks smaller, which is good. Overall I'm still really happy with my face! I just can't wait to get the braces off now. The only thing I'm a bit concerned about is that I still can only open my mouth about one finger. It is gradually opening more, but it's very gradual, and I'm worried I should be able to do more by now. I also get these sharp pains in my TMJ area, they're quite occassional but also quite painful. I've only started getting those since I started chewing.
That's all I really have to tell... life is becoming more and more normal. I'm just sick of having to take my bands on and off every time I want to eat, and I'm just running out of patience with all the usual brace annoyances like having food stuck in it all the time.
Hope everybody else is doing well, I'll put my photos up soon! Merry Christmas everyone! May 2013 bring happy and healthy jaws!
Just thought I'd let you all know that I'm not going to have the internet for a while because I'm moving house so it will take a while to get sorted. I'll still be taking photos though and will catch up on my blog (and reading everyone else's!) when I'm back online.
I went to the hairdressers on this day, and when the hairdresser was talking about what kind of cut would suit my face she said that I've got quite a petite face! I've never had a petite face in my life so I loved her saying that lol!
I also went out for dinner with my mum and sister to Pizza Express. I had dough balls to start which I managed to eat quite slowly, and then my pizza had goat's cheese and spinach and onion. The spinach was a bit annoying because it kept getting stuck in my braces and was difficult to swallow, and I couldn't eat the crusts, but apart from that it was fairly successful!
I went to the ortho on Wednesday and once again he said how good it all looked! He was showing me to a woman who I assume was training, and he said that for 7 weeks my swelling is pretty good. However, he did say that I should 'lubricate' my face a lot and massage it to help the swelling go down more... he even recommended I go for a facial, which I'd love to do but I'm afraid I just can't afford it right now!
He changed my bands... I was hoping (but knew it wouldn't actually happen) that I'd get my bands off so that I'm a little more normal when I start my new job on Monday, but alas, he just changed them. But they are better now, I don't have any at the front so it's much less noticeable. I haven't got another appointment now until 16th January. It was meant to be in 4 weeks, but with it being Christmas and now that I'm moving away and have to travel back a long way to go to appointments it's ended up being 6 weeks. So my hopes and dreams of getting my braces off in early January have faded, but hopefully it shouldn't be too long after. He said that if before my next appointment my bottom teeth start to come level with or even go past my top teeth (i.e. I start getting an underbite) then I just need to stop wearing the elastics.
Yesterday I saw my surgeon for my 6 week post-op check-up. He had a quick look in my mouth and said it all looked good. He asked if the orthodontic department had said when I could have my braces off, and I told him that they keep saying 3 months post-op, so he said to make another appointment to see him again when I get my braces off and have my retainers fitted.
He also brought up the subject of genio, and said that they usually let the jaw surgery completely settle before they do it and it usually isn't done until your braces are off. But I told him that at the moment I don't want it done, because I'm 100% happy with my results from the jaw surgery, and he said that that's often the case! I just don't see the point in getting genio done now. I like my new face...ok maybe a slightly bigger chin would look better, but having a slightly small chin does not bother me now that I have my jaws in the right place. If they'd done it in with the jaw surgery, then my decision may have been different, but there's no way I'm putting myself through all the worry and risk and stress of another operation. I know you could argue that the whole jaw surgery is just vanity, but to me getting a chin job now would be vanity - it's not correcting any functional or medical problems, and the appearance of my chin does not upset me in the slightest. I never went into this process searching for the perfect face with the perfect measurements of all my facial features - I just wanted my jaws in the right place and I got it. Also I'm surprised that the NHS would give me genio. It really would be purely cosmetic, so I can't believe that they would be willing to pay for a whole new operation just so I could have a nicer chin?! Crazy!
He didn't actually mention chewing, despite my anticipation of this appointment because of the possibility of being given the all clear to chew. So I asked at the end and he just said yes, but said that I should gradually increase the hardness of the foods I eat (which I was planning to anyway). So last night I had a fairly soft dinner but I chewed it instead of mushed it. I had a vegetarian sausage, mashed potato, peas and carrots with gravy. It actually didn't take me too long to eat it and the chewing went well. Now I can't wait to start chewing more and more food! I really need to put some weight on so I hope that now I can chew I'll start to pile on the pounds. I'm starting to look skinny to the point where my clothes are baggy and I look unattractive in anything I put on, so I really want to gain some weight.
Before my surgery I did a post of all the things I bought, so I thought I'd do a list of all of them and say how much I actually used them:
Beaker: This came with a lid with a little spout. I did use it with the lid for the first couple of days, but to be honest I found it pretty easy to drink from a cup normally from quite early on. I still use the beaker now though because it has measurements on and is very handy for making Ready Brek and Complan!
Coccyx cushion: I have not used this once. I didn't feel the need for it in the first few days and then after that I just kind of forgot about it. Bit of a waste of money but oh well.
Complan: Complan drinks have been a saviour. They're a good quick way to get calories in, and seeing as I'm still underweight I'm still drinking them. It saves the hassle of taking bands off. The chocolate ones are delicious.
Tissues: I got through a lot of tissues, and still use quite a lot now. I don't know whether it's just the weather here, or maybe I've got a bit of a cold, but I've found that my nose has been quite runny since surgery.
Cotton buds: I didn't really use these for anything surgery related.
Facewipes: Didn't use these any more than I normally do.
Lip balm: I have used this, and there's been a couple of times when I've had sore/dry/cut lips, but I haven't been really reliant on it like I know some people are after surgery.
Children's toothbrush: I'm still using this now as I can't fit my normal toothbrush in my mouth.
Baby spoons: Still using these now. I can use a knife and fork but when it comes to something that needs a spoon, a baby spoon is the easiest option. I can eat off of a teaspoon, but a baby spoon is easier because it doesn't dip in the middle.
Nasal decongestant spray: Haven't used this at all, just didn't feel the need, I never really had a clogged up nose.
'Healthy water': I got these in a health food shop, and while I'm sure they did good, they didn't taste very nice, and I found it hard to force myself to drink them.
Baby food: I couldn't bring myself to eat this, and seeing as I was eating fairly solid things within a couple of days, I didn't feel the need.
Spirulina protein powder: I tried to use this but it was just too disgusting. If you put it in your drink it just turned the whole thing into green sludge, and I couldn't bring myself to ruin my food with it.
Arnica gel: I put this on each night, and intend to do so until it runs out. You're meant to put it on up to 4 times a day, but because it kind of dries on your face like a face mask you have to clean it off each time, so I've just put it on at night and taken it off in the morning. I don't know whether it's really helped or not, the swelling may have gone down at the same rate without it, so I can't really say how effective it's been.
Neck cushion: I used this in the early post-surgery days but haven't used it much since then.
Cylindrical cushion: I used this to put under my pillows when I could start to lay down a bit more, but don't use it now.
Bed wedge: I'd say this is probably the best thing I bought for surgery. It was so useful during the first couple of weeks when I was sleeping sitting up, and after that I still used it just for sitting up in bed. I'll continue to use it now just because it's more comfortable than propping up on pillows, although I do feel like a bit of granny having my back support in bed!!
On a different note, I've been thinking about when I should start posting less often. I was thinking about stopping my daily posts at 6 weeks, and when I realised I forgot to take photos yesterday, that kind of made the decision for me. Also I'm moving out of my parents' house soon so I won't have my mum to take photos. So from now on I think I'll just take photos each week for a while, and then maybe each month once I feel I'm not having many changes. I'll still post to report on hospital appointments and any other exciting jaw events though!
Hi I'm Sarah, I'm 23 and I'm planning to undergo lower and upper jaw surgery to correct my overbite and gummy smile. I was offered but declined this surgery when I was a teenager, but have now decided to go ahead with the procedure. When making this decision I found it really helpful to read other blogs, and hope that documenting my surgery will help others!