Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Braces Off!!!

Sorry for not posting in quite awhile.  I just bought my first home and have been very busy with everything that goes along with that.  I just moved in this past Saturday and lucky for me I got my braces off the very next Tuesday!  I will just say briefly that when they removed them, it was not pleasant at all.  It was pretty uncomfortable and it did hurt a little.  If you get the ceramic or clear braces like I did, they apparently are made of glass and tend to break into pieces when they remove them with this tool.  Mine did break up into a few pieces and one little piece got stuck and it took some strength for him to get it off.  That part wasn't nearly as bothersome as when they shave off the rest of the glue.  It was just really uncomfortable and I didn't like the feeling it sent shocking up into the roots.  But I got through it and they feel fine now.  I was given a retainer after molding right there at the appointment.  It fits super nice and snug.  She said I'm supposed to wear this thing for 9 months, only removing it to eat.  I'm also getting another retainer I guess just for at night in about 4 weeks.  She said after the 9 months I can switch to just wearing the retainer at night and then eventually just a couple nights a week.  She said it's different for each person.  My teeth really weren't that bad to begin with though, it was mainly just my bite so I'm not sure I'll really have to wear these things to the extent they are saying.  It is probably better if I do though.

 I have to be honest, I am still partially numb from the surgery.  I really think it's still coming back slowly but I don't know maybe I'm just being hopeful.  I think I've already accepted the fact that it isn't coming back and it really isnt that bad.  Part of my chin is semi-numb but I can still feel the nerves like a spiderweb in my chin.  If i touch one part i can feel the web of nerves all throughout right to the root of my teeth.  It has no affect on my facial features at all though.  Well I think that is all I have.  I'll still receiving notifications if people find this blog and ask questions and I'll always respond.  I mostly did this for myself to put some thoughts down and read about other people's experiences as well, but if there were people reading along thank you for checking in.  Good luck to you all!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Almost There!


I went and saw my orthodontist two days ago.  Again he was really pleased with where I'm at.  I had to be honest about how well I wore my elastics this time around and I gave myself a 6.5 out of 10 and even that was probably generous.  I know it's for my own good but this pattern of 2 in the back on the 2nd to last molars and then 2 triangles on the canines is just a pain to put on every night and they aren't exactly comfortable.  Anyhow I'm not sure if I talked about this in my last post but I my second to last molar on my right side seemed to be sticking inward more so than the left so I told him about that and he said I was glad I said something otherwise he would've overlooked it.  So he put a bend in the bracket to pull that tooth out.  And then he put another bend to pull the first tooth to the right of my front right tooth to pull that out a bit. He said he thought the arc was a little off on my entire bottom left and I guess he is rotating that around or something.  That's basically it though he and the assistant both said at this point it's my call, I can take them off whenever.  I'm just going to ride it out though.  My next appointment is 9/4th and then I already have a following appointment set up for 9/10th to have them removed.  It's pretty exciting just to have a date at this point and know that it is so close.  I just bought my first house too and I settle on that on 8/20th.  I have a lot of painting and flooring to put down so I should be moving in right around the time I get them off.  Talk about a life change.  No pics this time.  In fact next pictures will probably be when I get the braces off.  You can't really see any difference from the last ones anyway.  I love how all the blogs I was following seem to be concluding right around now with everyone getting their braces off so I'm a little behind but still very excited to be done with all this for good.

12/1/11 was the first day of braces and my last day will be 9/10/13.  My surgery was on 3/11th.  So braces removal was almost 6 months to the day after surgery and the total time was about 21.5 months. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Orthodontist Appointment (New Pics)

Hey everyone,

I had my ortho appointment a few days ago.  He was thoroughly impressed with the job the surgeon had done.  He kept raving about it, it was kinda funny.  He kept saying he (my surgeon) made him look good.  He said that typically it takes 6-9 months of orthodontics after surgery to complete the job but he said in my case he is predicting that by the end of the summer I should have my braces removed.  WOOHOO!

My teeth are a little sore from the adjustment.  They put a power strip or whatever you call those things on the bottom teeth to pull them together and close any gaps.  He is turning one of my top teeth on my right side, the one next to my front tooth around just a bit.  He said he needs to close some of the gaps in the back but that mostly the rubber bands would take care of that.  So I'm having to wear 2 rubber bands on each side on the 2nd teeth from the back.  The other is a triangle pattern on each side around my canines.  Its kind of a pain so far even just to get them in and I can barely open my mouth at all at night when I wear them.  I only  have to wear them at night.

As far as surgery recovery, I'm on pace.  I can almost open all the way.  As far as the numbness, I'm still about 30-40% numb on my chin and lower lip.  Everyone keeps telling me that it takes a long time.  I have a friend who had jaw surgery as well and she said it took her like 6 full months before she got all the feeling back so I feel like I'm definitely on pace. My next appointment is on July 9th so hopefully that is my 2nd to last appointment for any final adjustments and then I'll be done by the end of August!  One last thing is I am finally completely done with any dental payments. Thank goodness.  I'll post again after my next appointment in July.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

9 Weeks Post Op and Meeting With Surgeon


I just returned back from another appointment with my surgeon.  He again was pleased at how everything has come along.  He said the numbness should fully subside in due time which is great.  I think I'm about 50/50 in my chin and lip now or maybe even 40/60 (numb/feeling).  He asked me if I was eating and I said yes pretty much whatever fits at this point as long as it isn't too crunchy or hard to bite into.  It was a short meeting, but he asked me what my orthodontist had said and I told him I was waiting for you to give me to go ahead to go back.  He said I was good to go.  The office is literally almost in the same parking lot so I rode over and made an appointment for next Monday.  He said he thinks I only have a couple months left cause there isnt much more work to be done.  I asked for an educated guess and he said he would let them tell me but he thinks 2-3 months.  That's pretty exciting!  He also asked me if I was still wearing the rubber bands and I just told him I ran out even though I didn't haha.  He gave me more and said wear them at night to be safe but once you go to the orthodontist hes going to give me a whole new pattern.  I think I'll just wait for that.  He told me to continue to do the stretch exercises 10 times a day for 10 seconds.  I think the best part was he said don't come back until your braces are off for your final appointment!  I'm really anxious now to get to my appointment on Monday and just ask my ortho straight up when he predicts I'll be out of braces so I can start planning on it!  Lastly I know I've sucked at posting pictures, I'll eventually get some new ones up but as I keep saying, nothing is really any different from the last ones I posted.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 50 Post Op

Hey all,

So I'm about 7 weeks post op.  Each day gets a little better.  I'm not longer wearing my rubber bands during the day.  I'm supposed to wear them at night but I gotta be honest I ran out of them.  I have weaker ones from my ortho that still do the job but I feel like its kind of contradictory to what he's asking me to do.  Plus he didn't give me nearly enough rubber bands to last like a full month.  Currently im have to put my thumb and forefinger into my mouth and kind of pry open my mouth and hold it for like 10 seconds a few times each day.  I have been pretty good about that.  The numbness has subsided quite a bit but its still there but I'm almost positive its all coming back which I'm pretty pumped about.  I can tell because there are no like super numb spots in any one area or side, its all coming back together.  The jaw stretches actually help cause when I get done I can feel more each time for a few seconds.  I feel like its what he said that as I start opening my mouth and chewing and stuff it would come back and it has.

Speaking of chewing, I'm basically eating now anything that isnt like rock hard or super chewey as long as it can fit into my mouth.  Since I haven't seen him in so long I don't even know if this is allowed but whatever its awesome.  I had a chicken quesidilla the other day and while it was still really sloppy and a little difficult I managed to get it all down and it was awesome.  Other foods are nachos, snacks like doritos, cheez its, salmon, pasta, veggies, etc.

My speech has also improved but it still inst where I think it will be once I can feel my bottom lip fully again.  I've seen a bunch of my friends who I haven't seen yet after surgery and there were quite a few who noticed the difference compared to before so that was cool.  Otherwise life is pretty normal.  I'm anxious to get back to my surgeon and get cleared for a normal dentist appointment and also an ortho appointment so I can get my first adjustment and hear his thoughts on the results and possibly how much longer he thinks I'll be in braces.  Oh and even though they don't really bother me I want to get these hooks off it just feels weird having them there sometimes pressed against my gums.  Not really in the mood for pics but they are probably pretty similar to last time except now I can open more.

I'll post again after my next meeting with the surgeon 5/14th.  I have a feeling it won't be that interesting or that anything will really going forward haha.  Just really for the readers I guess I'd wanna see what the final result looks like (before and after) and I'd want to know how much time until the braces came off after the actual surgery.

One last thing I forgot was I did get my bills, 2 different ones totaling about 1.9k.  One was for the anesthesia costs and the other was for the actual surgery.  Not bad at all I think.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

1 Month Post-Op

I met with my surgeon today.  First I should say that I finally decided to weigh myself.  Before my car accident in November I was 152 lbs.  I had to go through 3 months of therapy and never really got back into a gym routine before it was time for my surgery in March.  On my surgery day I weighed in at 145lbs so I lost about 7 lbs of muscle.  I weighed myself yesterday and I was 137.5 lbs. YIKES! So I pretty much lost a total of 14.5 lbs since November and you can chalk up 7.5 of those to my liquid diet.  When I walked in to the office the first thing the secretary said was "Wow you look like you lost some weight."  Some of my friends have noticed too.  Oh and for most people this would actually be a good thing I should add but I'm skinny as it is and when I work out its much more of a challenge to gain muscle mass than it is to lose it.

To keep on topic with my diet, I have been cheating I guess.  I've been eating lots of pasta (spaghetti, mac n cheese, rice and ground beef mix  etc.).  I'll be honest though I did eat a pork chop and ham at two different meals already.  I just had to cut them into super thin pieces and once they were in my mouth I was able to chew just a little and mash the rest up with my tongue.  I kinda of feel guilty now talking about it because when I went in to see the surgeon I told him about the pasta and he was like well you dont want to be chewing at all still.  I guess I haven't really thought about it before but I had mac n cheese tonight and I focused on how I ate it.  I barely moved my jaw to chew it, I didnt really have to so I dont really feel bad about all the pasta.

Otherwise he said my bite looked terrific and my mouth looked nice and clean.  I tend to think quite the opposite since I haven't been to the dentist in forever it seems.  I had to reschedule yet another appointment that was set for next week because I cant open my mouth all the way and he said make it for at least a month from today.  He had me rearrange the rubber band on my left side into an identical triangle as on the right.  He said I needed to continue to wear them all the time except when eating and brushing.  He said after 2 weeks I can take them off and just wear them at night.  He also said at that time I can start doing this jaw exercise where you take your fingers and stretch your mouth open for 10 seconds at a time, 5 times, a few times a day.  He said I can start to attempt to chew at the 6 week point but to take it easy.  I'm not scheduled to see him again for a whole month.  I imagine at that time the healing process will be completely done and I'll be sent back to the orthodontist to finish up the last leg of the journey.

I can't remember what I posted before about the financial part and I completely forgot to ask if I owe anything today just as I'm saying this, buuut online my amount that I owe has been changing quite a bit.  Currently, the total cost of everything was about 20k. The fact it was in the network knocked it down to like 15k and then there was another discount applied I forget for what.  Anyway the amount I'm showing I currently owe is about 1.9k.  I don't think that's too bad all things considered.

Too tired to take any pics right now. I'll post some when I get the chance.  The infection is all clear by now and I think about 90-95% of all the swelling is gone.  Slowly but surely the feeling in my lip and chin is coming back so I'm really excited about that the most I think.  The past week and half I started really getting nervous thinking what if it never comes back.  I work with a girl who had the surgery done years ago by the same exact surgeon and she said she never regained feeling in her chin.  I hope my result is better!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Infection! Grossss

Hey guys,

So turns out all that leakage was an infection.  I noticed for the first time yesterday that the leakage had completely stopped even when I pressed on my face nothing would come out.  When I woke up today I was super swollen again on my left side.  Common sense would tell you thats because all the stuff that was leaking out, had no place to go anymore.  So when I got to the office for my appointment today, my surgeon knew right away something was wrong.  He told me to open my mouth as wide as I could and told me this might hurt a bit.  He stuck some scissors in my mouth and I guess cut one of the old stitches because nothing really hurt at all.  As soon as he snipped though all of this nasty ass pus came rushing into my mouth.  He was like yeah you smell that, thats an infection.  I couldnt talk because my mouth was full of it all but I wanted to be like smell it? dude that stuff is in my mouth.  So nasty.

So he put some guaze back there right away and I was able to spit everything out in another room where I waited for about half an hour until they came in and he put a drainage tube in the little hole.  He put me on an anti-biotic which I have to take 4 times a day for a week.  I'm going back in on Friday to have the tube removed.

On a good note, I feel absolutely no pain.  If anything I feel like all the tension that was on my left side is gone now even though im still a bit swollen from the infection.  I already feel like I can open my mouth a bit wider just from having all that stuff released out.  I'll update again on Friday after my appointment.