Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day 32

The one month mark has come and gone :) And it feels so good! I can't really believe I've made it this far.

My lower lip feeling is starting to come back! I noticed just today when I was washing my face. BTW, still not a fan of washing a numb face. Even though I've been doing it for a month.

I have not experienced any of the "jaw spasms" I've heard about on other blogs. I'm not complaining, because from what I've heard, they aren't very fun to experience, but I just think it's a little weird.

I GET MY SPLINT OUT THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. I can't contain my excitement, so I try not to think about it. I'm also planning on racing my first XC race of the season that day, which should be interesting. My goals are to not faint, and to get a time under 30 minutes. That's all I ask of myself.

In the past month, I've gotten a few "celebrity look-alike" assessments from friends/family. So far I've been told I look like...
Amanda Seyfried...

Elle Fanning...

And Shailene Woodley
This has made me oddly happy, even though I don't really see myself in any of these girls. I've never ever been told I looked like a celebrity, and I feel like that's mainly because there are no celebrities with recessed chins.
And I wish I could go on a big huge rant about my feelings, but angry rants aren't really my thing. I'm not a very angry person, and I'm not so great at articulating things that I feel strongly about, so I'll just say this:
If you go on pinterest and look up "normal quotes", stuff will come up that say things like, "Normal is overrated." and "Normal is boring." and "Don't be normal.". Throughout my jaw journey, I've thought a lot about quotes like this. I know they're mainly referring to emotional/mental things like motivation, potential, and achievements, personality, acceptance etc. but is normal really so bad? For the past year or so, I've been wanting so badly for my jaw to be "normal". For the past month, I've been wanting to get back to "normalcy" which includes chewing, no swelling, no numbness, not lisping, and not drooling. So no. Normal is not always overrated, or boring, or bad. Normal can be good.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 29

This post should be titled "Day 29 a.k.a. ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE" Because I had a really good day.

School just went really well, but then I had my 4 week post-op check-up aaaaaaand I got some good news!
First, I can start chewing really soft stuff, like soft bread, noodles, soft ground beef etc. The first thing I bit into with my new jaw was a fish stick. And my dad got a Costco chocolate cake to celebrate!  Chewing is weird man. I can't remember how to do it. I keep biting my cheek! Nevertheless, I've been singing "I can chew, I can chew I can chew!" all day to the tune of this song. (Peter Pan has a special place in my heart.)
Second, I can blow my nose. And I tried this when I got home, but I was really scared to. And I couldn't really remember how to do this either, I felt like I couldn't blow hard enough! And my ear got plugged up when I did! But I'll relearn.
Third, I only have to wear 2 elastics now! I was wearing three, one in the shape of square on my four front teeth and two on either side of that, and I no longer have to wear the square!
Fourth, I GET MY SPLINT OUT IN 5 DAYS. This was the happiest news I've received all year! September 2. (This means it'll be out in time for auditions for my school musical. Which is way good.) Gah. I'm just so happy about this. Only 5 more days of talking stupid!

Funny story: tonight I was at work, being an usher, doin' my usherly duties by showing people to their seats, and this guy came up to me and said, "Can I see your elastics? I'm an orthodontist." And I was like, "Um... uh... yeah?" so I showed my elastics the best I could, and then I explained I'd just gotten jaw surgery, and we talked a little longer about my orthodontist, and what they did to my jaw and such until he went to his seat. It was just kinda weird? I've never seen someone so interested in my braces besides my orthodontist!

Also, my worst fear has come true (more than once) I have drooled in school. It hasn't been anything too bad, I usually catch it before it comes to the worst, but drooling just isn't ideal. 

Farewell blog, for now. Til next time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 28 a.k.a. 4 WEEKS

I'M SORRY BLOG AND BLOG READERS. I really haven't meant to stop posting, school is just being all school-y and keeping me busy, so blog posts are probs gonna be on the down low from now on.

Sooooo 4 weeks. 2/3 done with the healing process! Mostly I'm sick of this splint. It's inhibiting my motivation to talk to people. And my family has tried to imitate my splint talk. They laughed. I didn't.

As far as numbness goes... My upper lip feeling is partially back. My nose feeling is partially back. I can feel my nostrils! And the feeling under my eyes is slowly coming back. The right half of my lower lip and right half of my chin are still pretty numb even though I feel tingles around that area all the time :\

My stitches are dissolving... yup.

In the past week, I went back to work, and all the patrons understood my splint-speech! My first day back I only worked an hour and a half, but my second day I worked 7ish hours probably? And it went ok. I brought a smoothie to "snack" on, and it got me through day.
I ran 4 miles! On day 23. It was great. I'm so much slower that the rest of my XC group though. It kinda stinks. And I'm still not pushing myself very much. 2 days ago, my team was doing a hill workout, and I decided to sit most of it out, because it was blazing hot, I was a little on the dehydrated side, and surgery and stuff. ALTHOUGH, today I did most of a track workout. I felt so accomplished (even if I was slow).
The other day in Drama class, our teacher chose a few people to read off short little monologues (about a paragraph long) and I was one of those people! I HATE MY SPLINT. That's all I have to say. The auditions for the fall musical are September 2, and I'm thinking my splint won't be out by then, so I've already explained to my drama teacher that it'll be out in 1-2 weeks, and that I CAN sing with it in, it's just difficult to pronounce things. Especially things with s's in them. We're doing Pirates of Penzance. I'm sups excited.


Here are pictures!

Day 22 front relaxed

Day 22 front smiling

Day 22 side

Day 22 other side
Day 25 front relaxed

Day 25 smiling
Day 25 side
Day 25 other side
Day 28 front relaxed
Day 28 front smiling (still so lopsided. Dear swelling, go away)
Day 28 side
Day 28 other side

I have an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow, for a 4 week post-op check-up. He said he's going to remove the rest of my stitches, and most likely give me the ok to chew soft things!  People keep asking me if I've planned my first meal I'm going to bite into, and to be honest, I haven't really thought about it. BUT now I've given it some thought, and my dad has agreed to buy a Costco chocolate cake as soon as he gets a call that confirms I have the go-ahead to chew! And I might get a Cafe Rio burrito for dinner. My mom thought I should get what I had for my last supper, but that was a Cafe Rio salad. And I can't imagine me chewing lettuce very well with my splint in, so burrito it is.
I WILL TRY to update tomorrow, since I have an appointment and that qualifies as blog-worthy news, but we'll see if that actually happens.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 21 a.k.a. 3 WEEKS

Yo yo yo blog world! It's officially been three weeks since I got surgery! Which means... I AM HALFWAY THROUGH THIS HEALING PROCESS. Hecka yeah.

Today in choir... we each had to sing a little solo. It was just like a sentence of a song, but everyone was freakin' out and I was just kinda like "AT LEAST YOU DON'T HAVE A SPLINT IN YOUR MOUTH." I'm over it. Only 2-3 more weeks of this thing. A few days ago, I had chunky peanut butter, and got a couple peanuts stuck up there. One came out today, but there's still one left and I hope it comes out before the surgeon takes it out... or that could get really awkward and gross.

My cross country team's first race was today! I was not feeling up to running my guts out, so I went and supported by cheering my guts out. Even with my splint.

Um. So none of my stitches have come out. I'm not that concerned though, I remember my stitches taking a long time to come out when I got my wisdom teeth out too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 20

HOLY COW. Day 20. We've stepped it up a level! AND TOMORROW IS 3 WEEKS. However, I feel like it's been months since surgery. Time is anything but flying.

I started school today. I got lots of comments like,
"Wow! You look so different!"
"Your hair is so cute!"
"How long does it take for the swelling to go down?"
"You barely look swollen at all!"
"How's your face?"
"How's your jaw?"
"Does it hurt?"

And most people were able to recognize me! Yaaaaaaaay.

I spent most of the day hating my splint. I feel like I talk like a 7 year old with a pillow in my mouth.

I DID NOT DROOL. I am seriously so scared this is going to happen. I have an emergency mini-pack of kleenexes stashed in my backpack just in case.

Luckily, I was able to go home for lunch. So I ate leftover ramen noodles (If you chop them up enough, they're pretty easy to eat!) and mashed potatoes, and cut up steamed broccoli.

I ran one mile today at cross country. Our first race is tomorrow, and I'm debating on whether I want to participate or not. Our races are 5Ks, which I easily ran last Friday, but at races you're kinda supposed to push yourself and I'm scared to push myself. I would really hate to faint in the middle of a race... but eh. We'll see.

You get crummy laptop pictures again, because the only person home is my brother, and I don't trust his photography skills (sorry Henry).

I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that I have a chin now

Monday, August 18, 2014

Day 19

School tomorrow. Not looking forward to people not recognizing me or the splint-tainted talking. Or facing the consequences of the summer homework I didn't do. I AM looking forward to seeing friends I haven't seen/really talked to in 3 months, and to feel productive again!
As a final summer treat, my family went out to eat at a mexican restaurant, and I ordered a smothered burrito, which was pretty easy to cut up in small pieces and swallow whole until I didn't cut a piece small enough and started choking. No heimlich maneuver, but it was pretty scary. And it made me kind of angry, usually when you choke on something you just tell yourself "Better chew better next time!" but this time it was "Better chew better next time... OH WAIT. I CUSSING CAN'T." Dumb jaw. Cut your food up folks.
Sorry, you get meh-quality laptop pictures from a weird angle, because I've stayed up too late doing last minute summer homework...

My smile is a little lopsided because of swelling and such. Thank goodness for school picture retake days.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 18

First things first-- I'd like to make a shout out to my 12-year-old brother, Henry. I just found out he reads this thing. This picture is dedicated to you and your crocs.

Now back to me and my jaw!

I can't remember if I mentioned this-- but yes, my surgeon told me no nose blowing, and to only sneeze with my mouth open til further notice. So yeah. I sneezed for the first time since surgery today. It was scary.  It all happened so fast, I kinda forgot to open my mouth when it happened. I mean, I think it was half way open, so hopefully nothing was thrown out of whack? Everything feels fine so I think it's all good.

I also went to church today, and saw a lot of people I haven't seen for a while (because of a friend's LDS mission farewell) and my new face was received very well :) AND EVERYONE recognized me! Such a good feeling! But I still feel really stiff. I don't know if that's because I'm still numb or what, but it would be nice if that feeling would stop. And talking is still a struggle, but I'm over it.

School starts in two days, so that should be interesting... I have no idea what I'll eat for lunch. Or how I'll deal with people mistaking me for my nonexistent sister left and right. Or how I'll survive the day at all, but I'll make it work.

I just really like my new hair!

Word to the wise- don't eat chunky peanut butter with your splint in. No bueno.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Days 16-17

I apologize. I missed another day. And a day I actually had stuff to say too!
Anyway, here it is:

Day 16
I did end up going to cross country practice again, and with much more success than the previous day! I ran 3 miles and didn't feel light-headed at all! I seriously feel so accomplished. I think the difference between this day and the day before was that the day before there was all sorts of drills and jumping and stopping and starting and it was just too much, and this day this day, I just ran (and did a few wimpy push-ups and sit-ups). The biggest struggle, was my runny nose + numb upper lip combo. I was  so worried I had a snot trail coming out my nose that I couldn't feel. I was also worried that I was drooling, so I was wiping my face constantly.
However, I do believe my nose and chin are regaining feeling! My lips and under my eyes not so much, but they'll get there eventually (hopefully).

*Photos taken at an outdoor theater, and the lighting is not so great...

Day 17 a.k.a. today
I've had the strong desire to chew today. My family went out to eat tonight, and I ordered fish and chips because I figured the fish was soft enough to mush with my tongue and I could break up the french fries small enough to swallow whole. Don't get me wrong, it was going great, but I was so tempted to just stick a whole french fry in my mouth and start chewing! I resisted the temptation though. Just 11 more days until I have permission to chew again (barring any complications).

I have mastered the art of drinking through a straw! Dr. Jenkins gave me permission to start at my last appointment, but it's been a little rough since then, until today!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Days 13-15

Blog! It's been a while! I didn't mean to stop posting, it just kinda happened. I was busy and tired. So now we're backtracking.

Day 13
At 7:00 in the morning, I went to cross country practice, just to visit. Someone asked if I was Isabel's sister, so I had to say "No, I'm Isabel!" but with my splint it sounded more like "No, I'm Ishabel!" I also talked to my coach, and she was super understanding and stuff :)

I had my two weeks post-op appointment with my surgeon! He said everything looks good... There's still swelling to go down, and that my swelling is a little lopsided. But my teeth are fitting perfectly into my splint and I can stop my salt water and medicinal rinses he prescribed. My splint will come out at 6 weeks, but he said if it's really bugging me it can come out at 5 weeks. He also said I can start chewing in two weeks! Booyah. And he asked me if after I finish this whole process he could take my picture for his website! I'm gonna be famous! Woot woot. That was pretty much it.

I chopped off all my hair too! I don't know why I didn't do it a long time ago, I feel so free! And my mom likes it, because she doesn't find my long hair all over the place now!


This is the only photo of my face I got this day :\
No profile shots...

Aaaand then I kind of had my first night back at work. I work as an usher at a community theater, and every time we open a new show we have a meeting, and get to watch the show. That was one of those nights! It was a lot of fun catching up with everyone there, but afterwards I WAS EXHAUSTED. Part of it was that I couldn't fall asleep 'til 2:00 a.m. the night before, but it was also a long day, and I'm still getting my energy back. HOWEVER, I felt very productive considering for the past two weeks I've done nothing but sit at home and catch up on my TV shows.

Day 14
I started the day off thinking "Where's my hair?" and then I remembered it was gone.
I took my little brother to swimming lessons this day, and then met my cousins to go shopping afterwards! We ended up going to a thrift store, an army/navy store (don't ask...), and the mall. At the mall we decided we were all hungry, so we went to the food court, and I was able to find no-chew friendly options for me, and I ordered all by myself! No translator needed. And no drooling either!

This was another long day, after which I ended up pretty tired. And 'twas another day that I didn't get any pictures :(

Day 15 a.k.a. today.
Today was relatively calmer... ish.
I went to cross country practice today to actually practice, except we didn't go on a run today, we did plyometrics, which was probably a mistake. We ran a 1 mile warm-up which went fine. It just felt weird, because I felt like my cheeks were bouncing the whole time. Then we started doing plyos, and I started to get more and more lightheaded 'til I finally told the people around me that I couldn't do anymore, and sat down until I felt good enough to walk over to my coach and tell her what was up. Again, she was super understanding which was so nice! It was just frustrating, because I feel so energetic sitting at home all day, but I get so easily tired whenever I do the smallest bit of activity! Gaaaaaah. It's only getting better though. I just have to take it easy.
I got mistaken for my non-existent sister again today. One of the coaches asked me if I was new, and I had to say "No... I'm Isabel!" and she said "Ooooooh I didn't recognize you with your haircut!" and I just went "Haha yeah..." and continued to do my stuff. I have a feeling I should get used to encounters like this. BUT IT'S SO AWKWARD.

After cross country, I felt slightly discouraged. But when I got home my mom said my swelling looked a lot better! And I only did about 45 minutes of exercise, so this is something I'm going to keep doing. Even if I'm worse than I was at the beginning of the season, and slower than eeeeeeveryone else.

I had an orthodontist appointment today! Everyone there said I looked good. My orthodontist didn't really do much, because I don't think he can do much with my splint in my mouth. I just have another appointment in 3 weeks.

I also had to go take a test at a testing center for an online course I took this summer. The only reason I mention this is because I had a little trouble keeping my mouth quiet. It's hard to swallow your spit when you're still re-learning to use your mouth. I tried to keep my slurping as quiet as possible, but there were several weird noises coming from my mouth throughout the test, and I just hope the other people testing there weren't too bothered. eheh.

That's pretty much all for today!

I have no idea how often I'm going to keep posting, so we'll see. Things are slowing down!