Showing posts from March, 2017

Day 24 : Nintento Switch and Zelda Splurge

I did it. I bought a console for the first time in over a decade. The nintendo switch has been out of stock for the last few weeks, with insanely marked up prices online. Today I noticed on google shopping that a best buy nearby had some in stock. Strangely the best buy website said it was out of stock. So obviously I trusted google, called the best buy and yes she said they had a couple in stock!

They had just had a shipment come in in the morning. I had called at 11am, and she said a couple were still left. I arrived at the store at 11:45am, and I bought the second-last one. Holy crap these things are selling like hot cakes.

I bought the console for one reason and one reason only. Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild. Yes that's right, I bought a console for just one game. I'm splurging. Jaw surgery splurge if you will.

I'll see you in a couple weeks.

(Update 9:30pm) Zelda is amazing. Un-related, doing jaw exercises has been helping greatly. Whereas just two days ago I c…

Day 22 - 23 : Orthodontist visit #2

Day 22 I'm seeing my orthodontist tomorrow, the last time I saw them was on Day 10. Hopefully he'll set up elastics such that my teeth will start to meet properly. Right now my teeth still only meet at one point, and there's a slight offset in the midline between my lower jaw and upper jaw (about 1mm, less than half a tooth offset). The teeth are also twisted slightly.

It'll be exciting to see the teeth move to the correct location over the next few weeks! I'm just going to pretend it'll be a pain-free experience.

Day 23 The orthodontist said my teeth were coming together better. This is a surprise, as they felt about as bad as always. He added one more elastic to the right side, to help bring the molars back together is my guess.

Also, he ground down the two teeth that were contacting! The explanation was as follows; Those two teeth have never come together the right way before in my life, so the tooth never wore down from normal usage to fit together nicely.…

3 Week Check-In (Day 21)

Today marks 3 weeks past since my surgery! I went for another walk to commemorate the moment. Walking was much easier today than a week ago, no issues with nose bleeds or lightheadedness.

It has been interesting to track my resting heart rate and how it's changed due to surgery. My fitbit automatically tracks my resting heart rate. Before surgery It tended to be around 60 bpm. As I started packing on 10 lbs of fat in preparation for surgery, it increased to 66bpm.

Then in the days after surgery it went up to 74 bpm, maxing at nine days after surgery. After that it has slowly dropped back down. It still hasn't gotten to 60bpm, so we'll see.

I've noticed over the last 2 days some sensation returning to my palate (the upper inside of my mouth). The sensation has been returning from my right side and now it's starting to grow in the main palate region. This is good as now I have a better sense of where food is in my mouth when trying to eat something. I still have no s…

Day 20 : Sleeping lying horizontal

Getting closer and closer to sleeping lying down fully. The surgeon gave me the okay to sleep lying down/sideways/whatever back on Day 9, but whenever I try I feel a lot of blood rush to my head which makes sleeping difficult. Yesterday was the first time I was able to get closer to horizontal without too much of a blood rush.
Not much else on the swelling front, here's another photo.

In other news, I could open my mouth a whole finger width today!

On to Day 21 (3 Weeks!).

Day 19 : Hard lumps in swelling

Today I was feeling around my lower right jaw and there seems to be a hard lump of swelling. I think I can only notice this now because the swelling has continued to reduce on both jaws. My double chin is only slightly worse than before surgery now!

My theory for that hard lump is that it's soft callous formation in the bone healing process.

This may explain why many jaw surgery patients have several months of minor swelling to wait on. It's not just swelling of the soft tissue, but also the hard bone callous formation that needs to slowly be remodeled into the original bone shape.

I'm starting to feel some twinges of pain at night deep in my upper jaw also, maybe those nerves are starting to fire again!

On to Day 20.

Day 18 : X-ray comparison before orthodontics & after jaw surgery

I'd found some old X-ray photos from back before I started orthodontics. Here is a side-by-side comparison of my side-profile X-rays from March 2015 (before orthodontics/surgery) to March 2017 (after jaw surgery).

Looking through some old photos, found X-Rays from before orthodontics.

You can see the wisdom teeth hiding in the top left and right, impacted. This was from March 2015 back when I started orthodontics. It's been 2 years since then! Here's hoping I'm done before year 3.

Once I get the rest of the X-rays from post-surgery I'll update this post with more comparison photos.

On to Day 19.

Day 15 - 17 : Groceries and errands

I'm going to switch to one post a week, updating the post daily.
Day 15 Grocery shopping, carrying 20lb or more is allowed now. I got a little light-headed, especially with the stairs again. Nose didn't bleed, great success. Oh yes. We made lasagna.
Day 16 We made lasagna yesterday, I have enough left-overs for two days. Eating a normal meal takes me around an hour to eat since every bite has to be slow.
What's kind of exciting is that I'm starting to experiment with using my front teeth to... cut things. I've not been able to cut things with my teeth for 2 years now, it's a strange and wonderful experience.

Also I was starting to run low on mouthwash, I just bought enough to last me for ~4-5 months ($30 gets free delivery, and since delivery costed more than the mouthwash, might as well).
I also got a response from my oral surgeon and orthodontist about my apparant lower jaw cant. The surgeon wasn't worried at all, and said talk to the orthodontist. The or…

2 Week Check-In (Day 14)

It's the two week mark! This is a good time to do a comparison over the last 14 days. Today was also a special day in that my weight has gone up. Rats.

My swelling seems to have reached a plateau. Here's all my front and side photos over the last two weeks.

The very first photo from surgery actually has the least swelling, as my body hadn't yet had time to swell up. Today I'm starting to look closer to that day, but I still have the 'baby fat' on my cheeks giving my face a more squarish look.

And here's the side profile.

Once again, the surgery photo shows the best profile, since I still have swelling above my upper lip, and around my cheeks. The chin is starting to look similar however.

Things have definitely reached an equilibrium at this point. I feel mostly self-sufficient. I still have to be careful about bending over for too long or else the blood rush to my head will get me light-headed and potentially bleeding again, but that feeling has reduced a l…

Day 13 : Boredom and errands

This video almost perfectly shows exactly what my surgery + orthodontics is trying to accomplish.

In terms of recovery, I think I'm entering a plateau at this point. The swelling will continue to go down incrementally, but unnoticeably. My energy will continue to increase slowly as well. My nose doesn't seem to have any more old blood coming out of it.

I can suck from a straw now, my left ear is still stuffy, but according to the surgeon that's normal, and I shouldn't try to pop it. That's pretty annoying, but manageable.

I've convinced myself that the teeth tilt is not a sign that my jaw is canted. So I can be anxious about that only most of the time now.

Tomorrow will mark the 2-week mark though, which is exciting! Most other blogs seemed to stop posting daily by this point, going to weekly or monthly. I may do the same.

On to Day 14.

Day 12 : Movies

I'm going to watch Kong today with a friend. Yesterday I saw Beauty and the Beast with Lizzy. We walk to the theatre since it's only about an 8-10min walk, but once again I keep forgetting I need to slow down or I start to feel light-headed. I carry little pocket napkins with me wherever I go because my right sinus randomly decides it feels like draining when I'm walking and my heart rate pops over 110bpm.

The last several days it feels like no progress has happened in terms of facial swelling. The swelling reduces a little bit each day. Since I take photos every day, if I compare my smile every 3 days, I can see the difference, so I know there's something going on.

(Update 5pm) Faith and I grabbed pho to-go from Turtle Tower restaurant. I got chicken porridge, and two broths. Eating/slurping an actual meal was great fun, even if it did take me about 1.5 hours to eat.

We also went to Bob's donuts. Yes, I finally have returned there. We both got chocolate old-fashio…

Day 11 : Fear the cant

I've noticed what seems like a cant (tilt) to my lower jaw (mandible).

And I've been internally  freaking out about it for the last day or so, even though both the surgeon and orthodontist seemed to see no issue with it. Instead of giving up and asking them why I shouldn't worry, I spent some time thinking about it, and I think I figured it out.

One of the aspects of my surgery was fixing an upper jaw (maxillary) cant of 1mm left and down. You can see this in my pre-surgery pictures.

So the insight (guess) is that my lower teeth were actually previously aligned with this cant to match the upper jaw. Once the upper jaw cant was removed, the cant of the lower teeth becomes more noticeable. That's just a working theory, the tilt of the teeth seem to be in the opposite direction of the cant, so it might be the teeth are just like that, before or after surgery.

Either way, if it's the teeth and not the jaw, that's not a surgery issue, and the orthodontics should be …

Day 10 : Orthodontist Visit #1, Elastics and Mashed Potatoes

I just want to re-iterate how glorious last nights crab cakes and mashed potatoes were, even if it did take like an hour and a half to eat it.

I just visited the orthodontist (Dr. Quinn) and he and the staff were excited to see how quickly I was healing! I continue to feel like a mutant with super-healing powers. I'm glad I got to see them today as I was feeling anxious about the way my upper jaw seemed canted and only met at one tooth. They decided on some new positions for the elastics.

They had me recline as usual on their chairs so they could peer into my jaw, and as this was happening I realized this is the first time since the surgery that I've been fully reclined. I could feel the blood pressure rise in my head, and I sat there wondering if my nose was going to spring a leak, but hey it didn't! Good job nose.

Dr. Quinn explained how the elastics are there to keep the jaws from regressing, as my muscles will be wanting to pull my lower jaw back out into an underbite,…

Day 9 : Wires are off!

Yesterday Lizzy and I made baked potato soup and even after straining it, it was so delicious. Today I'm going in for my first post-op appointment. I'm sitting in the hospital right now, I just got my pano X-rays. It's been fun mumbling to all the staff about what I'm here for.

I'm crossing my fingers that Dr. O'Ryan will be taking off the wires today, but I don't want to believe it yet. Even though it's only been 9 days since I've been wired shut, I'm 100% ready to get them off. I hate not being able to talk clearly. I am also completely over this whole liquid diet thing. I can keep doing it, I'm just going to complain the entire way.

(Update 1:28pm) They took off my wires and splint! I can finally talk for real again! I can breath so easily through my mouth now! It's magical and freeing.
They also gave me a lateral X-ray photo, and it shows my jaws line up quite nicely! The X-ray was from before they took the wires and splint off. Then…

Day 8 : Jowls for days

My friend asked how the swelling was today. It feels about the same to me, I'm usually a little more swollen in the morning and at night. I still get super sweaty/hot at nights, which means showers are a necessity.

(Update 11:42am) Possibly the worst thing this entire surgery has happened to me today. I semi-sneezed and now my left ear needs to be popped. I can't yawn to pop it, or blow my nose to pop it. I don't know what to do.

(Update 1:43pm) The ear thing seems to have gone away while I was napping. Another thing to note is I haven't needed to take pain meds since midnight. According to other blogs, as my nerve sensations start to come back, I'll start to feel the real pain.

Today I felt tired all morning, I think it may be because I haven't been getting enough calories. My weight has finally started to drop below what I was before I had packed on for surgery. I'm trying to get twice as many calories in today, and I did a easy 20 minutes of pacing on th…

1 Week Check-In (Day 7) : Pain means Gain!?

Comparison photos are in their own post on Day 5.

In the early morning I felt some sharp stabs of pain in my (previously numb) chin. I think this means the mental nerve is regrowing! I either have an amazing surgeon and/or I am wolverine. I'm leaning towards both.

What's awesome is I don't think any skin on my face has 100% numbness anymore, my chin was the last holdout. Though it's still quite deadened (feels like a mass of flesh), I am starting to feel some surface twinges and pains. Inside my mouth, my lower jaw seems to be regaining sensation full speed ahead. The gums and teeth definitely have sensation now, and I am starting to feel where the sutures were. The upper gum and teeth are still 100% numb, which is to be expected since those nerves were completely severed, and should take months to recover. The medical terminology for these pins and needles sensations is paresthesia.

On a related note, I'm pretty certain my facial swelling has reduced today as well…

Day 6 : More of the same

The swelling is about the same, the last 3 days have been basically more of the same. Every day my cheeks are a little harder, I'm a little better, a little faster, a little stronger.

I realized I hadn't looked too closely at my jaw wired shut. It's pretty interesting to look it, and impressive how easily it holds my jaw closed with just a little metal wire. Based on other blogs not all surgeons wire the jaws shut. Some choose to use rubber bands to pull the teeth together. This allows people to slightly open their mouth for breathing/eating/etc, but I'm guessing makes it easier for misalignment issues to happen.

So far, this being Day 6 and all, being wired shut hasn't been too bad. I've been feeling odd pressures here and there, as well as some tugs in the internal cheeks where I've been able to find the dissolving suture wires. I am really looking forward to my first post-op in 3 days (Thursday). I sure hope the wires come off then.

(Update 1:05pm) I wen…

Day 5 Comparison photo

Now that my swelling has peaked, and is starting to slowly come down, I used paint to make a comparison side profile photo shot.

Besides the swelling, I can clearly see my upper jaw has moved forward, and my lower jaw has been moved back! My fear of having a double chin is still in effect, but looking less likely. An unexpected bonus, it looks like my nose has straightened out some!

Here's a front profile for completeness. Unfortunately the faces aren't taken from exactly the same orientation.

Day 5 : Full nights rest!

I finally got a full nights rest! I woke up only once or twice for pain meds, and re-situating the giant ball of flesh that is my face currently. I noticed my swelling has dropped enough that I can see a bit of my profile. I did a separate facial profile comparison post here.

In other news, my swelling looks about the same right now, but I feel way more energetic. My weight has still barely budged, meaning I've been eating enough, drinking enough. Now I just need to get some more walkies in. That or play video games.

(Update 8:00pm) Because I like to torture myself, I walked with Lizzy and Anastasia to Bob's Donuts. Yes, the place where I got the last solid food I ate before surgery. I am warming up to the idea of blending donuts.

On to Day 6.

Day 4 : Walking Outside

Yesterday afternoon marked 72 hours since surgery, so I stopped using ice packs as the instructions suggested. It was liberating not being a hotdog but man does it feel like the swelling got even worse.

On top of that sleeping last night was a struggle due to clogged nostrils. I tried hot showers, saline nasal sprays, cue tips and h202, and bargaining. None of those worked. I could have used the Afrin nasal spray, but I didn't want to take a chance with rebound congestion. Somewhere around midnight with straws up my mouth, I got a solid 5 hours of sleep finally. Woke up at 6am for another pain med dose, then slept till 8am.

Now it's 8:30am and I just had a nice hot shower, and I'm itching to go on an outdoor walk, perhaps back to my apartment to see how the stairs feel.

One thing I've noticed is when I stretch my lower jaw, I feel a sharp impingement and my chin goes numb with pins and needles again. I think I'm rubbing a nerve around there every time I swallow to…