Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

2 1/2 months post op

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eight Weeks!!!!

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Top row is before braces/surgery- middle row is 2 1/2 weeks post op - bottom row is 8 weeks post op



You can see how much the swelling has gone down
What, WHAT, WHAT!?!?!?!  Had an ortho visit yesterday and he said things look great!  I am progressing VERY well and am potentially only two months away from debanding!  WHAT!!! I was so exciting I couldn't stand it!  YEAH!  Will know for sure my next appointment which is Jan 3rd.  He is trying to get things moving along because he knows what a pain it is to be over three hours away.  I did almost seven hours of driving yesterday.  But who cares because I am on the home stretch! 

Stopped by the surgeon's office and he said I am looking great, healing well and won't have to see him again until my braces are off. 

Seriously if you live in Detroit.....my ortho and surgeon are top notch.  Could not give them a higher recommendation!

AND...my insurance has paid all of my bills!!!!  Now remember I still had a $3,000 deductible and I paid for and the braces ($7200). My insurance even covered some of my geniopolasty.  I couldn't believe it!  I actually got a check back from the surgeon yesterday because I overpaid.  By A LOT!  HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!  I called Anthem to thank them!  :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

7 1/2 weeks Post Op

7 1/2 weeks post op- still me but without gummy mcgummerson!  :)




Continuing to improve and couldn't be happier.  Feeling is coming back more and more I  would say I now have 20% feeling in lower lip and chin but roof of my mouth is still totally numb.  

I ate a slice (well three slices) of peanut butter toast today!!  I COULD BITE INTO IT!!! This is a first!  So excited.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Six weeks Post Op!!!!



I know you have seen this before picture a ton of times but it doesn't get old to me how much better my profile is!  :)

SIX WEEKS POST OP!
YEAH!
I am so happy I cant stand it!  Feeling SO much better!  Energy is almost totally back.  I am even thinking of starting Bikram "hot" Yoga in two weeks. It is 90 minutes of yoga is 110 degree room so that may be pushing it a bit but we will see.  Just so happy to start to feel "normal" again.

Numbness is still there.  It is really annoying at times and sometimes it doesn't bother me at all.  Just depends.  The good news is that I can start to feel light touch on my lower lip and chin which is a good sign that the feeling will totally come back eventually.  So that is great news. The most annoying part of this is that when I rub my finger over my chin it gives me a crazy strange feeling in my teeth, almost like I am biting into tin foil.  That is just the nerves regrouping.  My teeth are quite sensitive.  Another strange thing is that when I bite down on my back left teeth I get a strange tingling in my chin.  Who the heck knows what that is all about.  The roof of my mouth is still totally numb but my surgeon says that will come back.

I am still stiff in my upper lip which is causing a distorted smile but this too is getting better.  Surgeon man says it takes time.  Everything takes time with this surgery!!  It doesn't help that I should have done it when I was 18 and now that I am 35 it takes longer to recover.  My surgeon says I am recovering very well with my "age".  Ha, I feel geriatric when it comes to this surgery!

I have been cleared to eat!  Horray!  I am taking it slow but was able to eat some really thin tortilla chips with queso.  It felt really good to be able to bite into something!  Still strange to chew but I need to get some practice in with Thanksgiving this week!  :)  It is also so strange to have a normal bite.  I am so used to only being able to chew with my back teeth.  So fun!

Breathing- I had no idea how much better I would be able to breathe after this surgery.  It is amazing and wonderful!  That in itself would have made the surgery worthwhile!

Even with my stiff mouth and numbness....I can already say that I am so glad I had this done!!!  It was a real pain in the ass and the first week I was way more miserable than I could have ever imagined.  But, I had such a strong support system that I got through it.  Best decision, I ever made (other than deciding to give my husband my phone number when we met at a bar, and deciding to have a third child :)


Monday, November 15, 2010

Five Weeks Post Op


Dora & I just wanted to give a quick shout out at five weeks post op.  Doing well.  Energy level is much better- I would say 85%.  I know I am feeling much better because I am starting to crave a night out on the town!  Ye-haw!  My numbness is getting better but still very numb on chin, lower lip, roof of mouth and space between my upper lip and nose.  I am getting more sharp random shooting pains, especially in my chin which I am hoping is the nerves firing up getting ready to give me my feeling back. 

I go to the surgeon for another post op on Thursday so I am hoping to get clearance for chewing! But I certainly haven't lost anymore weight because of my obsession with chocolate.  Can let that melt in my mouth just fine dammit...I really should have much more weight loss to show for five weeks of no chewing!  :)

Hope everyone is well!!
xoxo Mandy 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Update and before & afters

Good news!  After my complaining post about insurance...they have paid one of the two bills!  YEAH!  It was the one to the surgeon, the one to the hospital is still pending.  But we have progress!!  Happy! Also, I can't believe what the surgeon bills and what the insurance pays!  He billed around $13,000 and the insurance negotiated rate is $3500.  That sucks!  I feel like he deserves much more.  I did pay for the genio, and my insurance covered the $1000 for the splint and they pay for every pre & post op visits...but still.  He did such a great job..............love me some Dr. Hitchcock!

Surgeon's projected imagine...after right before left.....I look like I am saying "duhhhh" in the before

25 day post op...keep in mind this is the best smile I can muster right now

Super huge smile before.....look at the difference in my chin  in the after....wowzas

My dysfunctional bite before - can't give you the after yet but it is almost perfect

Upper lip still swollen but getting better

Makes me cringe every time I see the before profile....yuck

25 Days Post Op

Smile is getting better but the top right lip doesn't want to smile as much as the top left just yet


My littles....aren't they cute!?!?!?! 

Not much different to report.  Getting better slowly but surely.  Numbness is still the same for the most part although my cheeks are getting a little more feeling back.  The area between my upper lip and nose is still VERY numb causing smiling issues.  My range of movement is good.  The only time it hurts is when I move my jaw from side to side too far.

Report more at four weeks post op!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pending all the time......

Dear Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield,

OK insurance, I got my pre-approval for my surgery back in May.  I held up my end of the bargain, $6,000 co-pay for deductible, $2750 for genioplasty and my braces entirely are paid out of pocket.  So why is it every time I check my online Anthem account...my hospital visit and surgeon fees are still PENDING.  You did pay for the pre-op and post-op surgeon visits and anaesthesia bills so what gives.  I certainly would appreciate it if you just went ahead and sent those big checks on their merry little way and gave me one less thing to worry about.

Sincerely,
Mandy

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reece's Cups

Realized yesterday that I can break them up and they melt in my mouth.  I ate FIVE today.  YIKES!  And, the day isn't over. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

3 weeks Post Op!!

Wow...can't believe it is November 1st....seems like most of my October I was out of it!!!  But so glad I am back for my favorite holiday season coming up!!

Things I am eating now:
Yogurt
avocado- yep....I eat an entire one for lunch usually!  Mash with fork, add salt, voila!
soup, soup and more soup blended up
baked potato
ice cream
spaghetti with marinara sauce chopped up so I don't have to chew
scrambled eggs with cheese

I lost six pounds the first week when I was eating nothing and have held steady.  obviously I am eating enough of above items to not lose anymore weight but geesh...I don't feel like it!

Can  drink out of a 9oz plastic cup...hard to drink out of a can or bottle of water due to numb lips.  Did drink through a straw yesterday but it wasn't easy and I sucked a lot of air!  LOL

Numbness: hasn't got much better since the first week.  Still numb under my eyes, apples of my cheeks, around & under nose, roof of mouth, 50% numb on nose, bottom lip and chin totally numb.  This is tough stuff and annoying but only annoying in fleeting week moments that I have,

Pain is very much under control.  Take Advil occasionally. Every now and then take 1/2 pain pill before bed.  Going to stop with the pain pills and take 1/2 xanax so I can sleep....still need help with that.

Sleep with my wedge and then my pillow on top.  Do sleep on my side now so that helps.  When I wake up in the middle of the night is when I feel the most pain...must be the way I am holding my mouth when I sleep???

Energy level is about 60%.  Do fine with the kiddos but am trying to take a short nap each stay so I can keep up.  Three little kiddos and jaw surgery are not a great combo!

All of this being said- I still every day am amazed at my transformation.  Especially the profile!  It is hard to believe that it is me but I am starting to get used to the new girl in the mirror.  I like her! :)

It is funny but when I am in public I feel like people are staring at me because I feel like I look so strange because I am numb.  But with the bruising mostly gone and the swelling down about 80% I am pretty sure that I don't look like a freak to anyone but myself!  :)

It is still hard to believe that this surgery is behind me.  It was only 8 short months ago when I got this wild hair up my ass to go ahead with this surgery.  I have know that I should get it since high school but my super cool self refusing to get braces put me behind by 18 years. Because of this decision my hard working husband has financed this "project".  Fourteen thousand dollars later here we are.  It is a hard pill to swallow knowing that I spend so much of my little families money.  This should have been money put towards college for my three kids!  I am in the process of forgiving myself for this....I know we will get our kids to college and luckily it is far away!  Hey, you never know, we can always hope for scholarships! 

This is quite a journey but one with such a great outcome!  Whatever part of this journey you are on I wish you WELL! 

Thanks for all of the support from everyone.  Especially my husband, mom & bob!  The first week I needed 24 hour care and I got it.  Somehow they managed to take care of the kids on top of me!  And my besties for their moral support, Lo, Angie B, Natalie, Stacey & Angie D and my bestie blogger Elisha.  And many others who are too numerous to name!  I had many meals brought to my house, many calls, facebook messages, emails, emergency visits from my dad & step-mom, messages and flowers from my in-laws!   I am truly blessed and I know it!

I know it seems like this is my last post...it is not!  Just having an emotional thankful day.  Roller-coaster remember?!?!?!?! 


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 19 Post Op


Not much to report today.  Today the numbness is really annoying me.  I know that it is part of the process but uggggggg.

Anyway hope everyone is having a great Halloween weekend!!  :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 18 Post Op



  
Sorry to do this to you but WHAT A DIFFERENCE 2 1/2 weeks make!!!  Holy Shiznit! This
pic was taken the day after my surgery!  I am LOVING this hair style!  :) Josh kept calling me Hitch from that movie when he had an allergic reaction and his lips swelled up.  He so funny!


Hitch


Sorry for that picture but WOW....amazing how fast the body can heal!  Thank god!!!!  Slept in my bed for the entire night now that I don't have to sleep elevated.  Did sleep on two pillow though.  Yeah!

We had trick or treat last night and of course it was about 40 degrees and windy as all get out.  I made it approx 10 minutes with the kids and then Josh took them the rest of the way.  Cold and wind and a numb face DO NOT MIX!  My face hurt...that topped with the pain I already had from the surgeon and the ortho poking around in there.  Not good.

My fab step-dad made turkey chili that we blended and it was fab!!!  Got to spend some time with my Aunt & Uncle who came over too.  Great night!

My mom & step-dad just left so today I regain the control of the house.  Am I ready?  Yes and no.  I will probably take a nap while my little guy is and the girls are at school or at the very least spend some time on the couch.  But how to keep up with the house?  We will see.  At least it is Friday and hubs will be home this weekend.  By Monday I am three weeks post op and should be good to go.  Still get tired easily but the pain is easily managed with Advil and an occasional half of pain pill at night.

Brent, forgot to ask the surgeon if I got a blood transfusion.  Am doubting it but I will mark it down to ask at my next appointment.  Sorry!!!!

Day 17 Post Op

Terrible before pictures...but still.......obviously top is before and bottom row is after


Sorry can't get this to turn for some reason but notice on my bottom jaw the space
between the screws where he advanced the lower jaw.  OMG!
 So my visit with the surgeon went great.  Incisions are healing well and my bite looks great.  I have great range of movement for being only 17 days post op.  He removed the bands and I am band free!!!  Well until my visit with the ortho but that is another story.

My questions:
- Can I sleep on my side - yes
- Do I need to sleep elevated- no
- Can I yawn, sneeze, blow my nose- yes
-Can I chew- Not really....soft chew or no chew for four more weeks.  At least I will be able to eat for Thanksgiving.  With the huge advancement of my jaw he wants to give it a little more time before chewing.
-Are my stitches dissolvable- yes (thank the lord!)
-Do I need to do mouth exercises- no (this one is strange as I see that most people's surgeon's have them doing them but he said a definite no.  My mouth will be my guide)
-How long do I need to use Peridex- Finish the bottle..almost done so yeah as I know Peridex stains your teeth.  I will move to Listerine after I am done with the Peridex
'
I wasn't scheduled to see my ortho for 10 more days but the surgical wires are driving me crazy.  I can't believe I didn't get a pic to show you but they were six inches along between my top six teeth and drove me batty!  So I called since I was in town and bless their hearts they got me in in 15 minutes and they were so busy.  All of the ortho techs, front staff and two orthos were making over me. They all just kept saying they couldn't believe how different I looked.  I felt like a celebrity that was being followed!  They certainly do  a lot for a girl's self esteem!  :)  They changed my wires and it turned out I had a broken bracket which they fixed.  It was not the best feeling having those wires changed as my mouth is obviously still sensitive but I would have done whatever it took to get those top surgical wires out.  Let me tell you when I had everything out and brushed my teeth I almost threw up.  I am OCD teeth brusher and I did NOT like what I saw!!  Take my word for it!  I was shocked too because I thought I was doing really well with my Dora Toothbrush and Waterpik but alas, no.  When you can't feel the inside of your mouth or your teeth what do you expect.  GROSS!  He also has me with rubber bands in the back that need to be changed 3x's a day.  I was so nervous but actually did it pretty easily with a pair of tweezers.  I was so proud of myself!  You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be staying on top of those bands...my ortho gets my full cooperation!

Anyway, don't have another surgeon appointment until Nov. 18th and then I go back and see the surgeon and the ortho on Dec 6th.  I am ready to get crackin on those ortho appointments but I must be patient (not my best quality).  I am hoping for six months max in braces which puts removal time in the Spring.  I will be happy with that!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 16 Post Op

Special guest apperance from my sweet daughter

Quick post...off to Detroit to see the surgeon tomorrow.  Report back then!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 15



Natalie, do you see your family pic in the background?!?!  :)

So my day alone yesterday went great until about six when I was whooped!  I took a half of pain pill and it didn't give too much relief so I took the other half.  I am a lightweight! It made me feel dizzy and sick.  Yuck.  Luckily my mom got here at 8 (my husband was at a work dinner) and I hit the hay.  Feeling much better today but I now know....no more than 1/2 pain pill!!!!

Dry mouth is getting better at night.  A little, but still a noticeable difference.

Looking forward to my surgeon visit Thursday.  I have a lot of questions for him!

See you tomorrow!  (I included the link to my all time favorite pre/post surgery item- the Waterpik!)

By the way...should I get blonde highlights again or should I stay all brunette for fall/winter??  Thoughts???

***By the way I have added the pics from the first week to the first week post....view at your own risk- they are scary...don't let small children see********

Monday, October 25, 2010

Two week post op!!

Still so funny to see myself trying to smile!


Swelling in upper lip has gone down a ton but there is still swelling in the area below my nose

Two week post op!  Yeah! 

I am feeling great.  It is amazing though how weak I am.  Last night I picked up my son for the first time since my surgery and I could barely pick him up.  Now mind you he is the biggest two year old you have ever seen but still.....  I can't open a jar, tried to open a new container of juice today...nope.  I am WEAK!  I know this is normal so I am not worried.  Still taking an iron supplement and will continue to do so until I am one month post op due to the amount of blood I lost.  Also taking a multivitamin, bromaline capsules (supposed to help with swelling) and probiotics. 

Today was my first day home alone with the kiddos.  Did great but am tired.  Luckily, my mom and step-dad will be back tonight to help me the remainder of the week so I don't overdue it.  I certainly do not want to take any steps back.

I have my appointment with the surgeon on Thursday at noon in Detroit.  We are going up the night before so we don't have to spend six hours in the car in one day.  Works out perfect because I am getting my hair did Thursday morning before my appointment!!! 
 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 13 Post Op



Slooooooooowly getting better

Yes, aren't I daring today wearing a white shirt.  Considering the fact that everything I eat dribbles down my chin.  Today I had some scrambled eggs for breakfast....just chopped it into tiny pieces and swallowed them but I will take it.  I had a big piece of egg stuck on my upper lip and couldn't feel it at all.  My husband asked if I was saving it for a snack. 

Good news is the drooling is getting better.  I rarely drool now but am on constant alert to suck the extra saliva in....nasty...I know.  But hey, this is a jaw surgery blog....not miss manners.  Keepin' it real for ya!

Slept the majority of the night in my bed....bought one of those wedges from Amazon and it helps (I put the link on here for anyone who is interested).  They are wide enough so I don't roll off of it.  Also, slept a little on my side....hope that is OK!  My surgeon is very lax so I am sure he would have no problem.  He has his patients on a soft chew diet after week one.  My teeth are still pretty numb so it makes it hard for me to attempt this.  The feeling is coming back in the bottom teeth though so that is good.  Top....totally numb.  Upper lip starting to regain feeling....bottom lip is totally numb.  Strange how that works.

Still haven't drove yet...sometime this week.  I also took a shower this morning as opposed to all of the baths I have been taking.  First shower since the dreaded pass out.  Did pretty good but was extra careful not to bend my head too far back while rinsing my hair. 

Went 12 hours without any advil!  Huge milestone for me!  Keeps getting better day by day!  Going to watch Toy Story 3 with the littles today.  Love it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 12 Post Op

Another attempted smile.....getting better but still a long way to go...where are my teeth?


After

Ugg...the before
The swelling is going down...slowly but surely....will love it when it is all gone and I can totally see my cheekbones!  Still can't smile well because of that upper lip.  I see my surgeon on Thursday and I am sure he will remove that stitch behind the front of my upper lip and set that lip free.  Maybe I will have a smile with teeth by this weekend!

Energy still coming back.  Haven't had to take a nap since day 8 post op.  Today my girlfriend is coming over to watch the football game (go bucks!) then we are headed to the mall.  What a big day!  Such a relief to have some normalcy coming back!  Last night my daughter had her friend over for a sleepover and now we have every kid on the street playing in our basement.  Normal, normal, normal and I love it!!!

I can even drink my favorite Tim Horton's coffee out of the travel cup!  Just have to hold a paper towel underneath to be sure I don't dribble on myself.  Hey, I will take it!

My favorite....coffee

Yum!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 11 Post Op

My step-dad made me all of these soups!!!

Syringes- it was fun while it lasted

But you need to be crushed

Or at least thrown in the trash!!

Amazing how swollen the left side of my face still is!  Looks strange!


Still on the up n up!  Took a short trip to the mall yesterday....was SO good to get out!

As far as pain goes, I still have a "tight" feeling in my face, my upper lip was really butchered so that is still bothering me a bit.  I had my back molar pulled during surgery and I can feel some pain back there. Taking 3 advil every six hours for pain and the past two nights I have taken 1/2 of a pain pill before bed. 

Drooling is getting slightly better but only slightly.  Still have to be on constant alert.

My entire chin is still numb as are my upper and lower lips.  There are are a few spots on my lips that are starting to get a little sensation back.  Getting the feeling back in my nose, maybe 80% but my inner cheeks are still numb.

All in all, I feel happy at my progress so far and am simply amazed at the progress I have made since this time last week!