Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Nerves driving me mental...

Not much to report in terms of progress. I've got an appointment with my ortho next week.

I still have residual swelling in the lower part of my face, but that's about it. It's painful in my joints if I do something particularly forceful like yawn, but that's about it for pain. My tongue has been a bit cut and sore lately because obviously I'm mushing things up with my tongue and it's catching the odd sharpe or rouch bit of my braces and generally getting exacerbated....


My horrible nerves sensation is still there too, but not as bad as it has been. If I lightly tap the left side of my chin, it sends a shockwave of tingles through the rest of my chin and lip. I can also feel the nerve if I touch the left side of my mouth with my tongue. It's not painful, just very annoying. Brushing the left side if just horrible because the nerve is also sent down one tooth.

I did some research (ie, google and wiki ) and think it might be the mental nerve, as it's on that tooth and that area (see bottom):
But whatever it is, it's making me mental!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Impenetrable, Baffling Fortress...

....that is the straw.

I was with my friend today and got a drink from MacDonalds since she wanted something (ugh, I don't eat their food though. Yuk) and could I hell work out how to use the straw! It's not even just because my lip is numb, but I felt like I'd physically never used a straw before, and couldn't work out how to get it in my mouth because my jaws were in the way. That sounds odd I know, but my upper teeth have never gone in front of my lowers, and it feels wrong! I kept trying the get the straw in and my upper jaw would come down like a draw-bridge and block off my way! 

After extracting less than a ml through the straw in about 10 attempts, I just took the lid off......
I think I need a straw-using rehabilitation programme or something

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Updates- Day 28

I'm currently eating a sandwich on a plate with a knife and fork lol. Nobody can deny the pleasures of a sandwich, and this is my first one since the surgery. The thing is that I'm back at uni now (though not for the full week- my plan is to go home on Thursdays because I don't have any lectures after then, so my mum can feed me better quality foods than I can feed myself here!) It's annoying because in between lectures, etc, I don't have time to go and sit down to 'eat', so I'm reduced to living off things like nutrigrain bars and smoothies during the day. You forget how much you need some convenience with food; for instance eating a sandwich on the go, which I obviously can't do.

However, I'm still pleased with how much I can actually eat. And to anyone with an upcoming surgery- if you don't need to be on a liquid diet, then don't (but if you do, sorry!). Do you know how depressing it is to only be able to have fluids? Try and eat what you can within reason (and obviously the first week you probably will just need liquids or very, very soft stuff); it makes such a difference psychologically, instead of drinking drinking drinking all day (you feel bloated, not satisfied). I'm not chewing anything, but that doesn't mean I can't eat anything.

In terms of pain- I only get it when I yawn. It's because my jaw is forced further than it wants to go, and it's hard to stifle a yawn without moving your jaws somewhat anyway. Also sometimes my jaw sort of spasms like it wants to tilt to the left again.

My areas of numbness are illustrated in this fantastic use of technological advancements:
So it's the majority of my chin, and say, half of my lip. The parts on the right side aren't 100%, but I can feel it! But I have paraethesia on the left side, which is a good sign. It's mainly pulsing and tingling, however sometimes if I catch my chin it will then start to itch, but sort of deep within. And of course I can't scratch it! Very strange feeling.

The swelling that's left and the odd, expressionless way that I smile is still there. I imagine they will remain for quite a long time, actually. But it's nothing too adverse really. I look on the verge of lookingswollen to perhaps just looking a bit weird, so I just tell people who I'm not close to but see regularly what's going on. It was the same telling people about my big gap between my front teeth after SARME lol.

I think I have a little ulcer near one of my stitches too. So I need to pick up my rinses so my stitches heal better, and so I don't get any more ulcers. And only one of my stitches has actually come out (other than the one my surgeon took out for me), so I don't know how long I'll be stuck with these! Again, it's nothing too bad, but I don't want them to get infected, and I can't really floss near them because they have loosened, but are still tender to touch.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

An exemplary case?

I had an appointment with my ortho today; and I’ve come away feeling very good, and also very proud of my surgeon (does he need a teenage girl to be proud of him for just doing his job? Perhaps not!).

I was taken straight away to have an X-Ray, and then went to see my ortho. When the assistant came out to call me in she said ‘you look great’! A trainee was there too, who was comparing my X-Rays as I went in. I had a look and the difference was just crazy. I have the screws along my mandible (which I can feel), and then I have the others around the nose and upper jaw. My teeth like totally fit together man, and it’s awesome!

My ortho said for only 3 weeks everything looks amazing, and usually at this stage she needs to do a lot more work to get the bite stable, but in my case I don’t really need much doing because the surgeon did such a good job (see, that’s why I’m proud, or should I say privileged?). As such, she thinks I may only need the braces on for 3 more months, rather than 6. However I’m not at the point where I’m sick of my braces and want them off; I’m at the point where I’m thrilled to be on the right side of the surgery, and I actually have a decent bite and profile now. Still, it’s good that she has less to do.

She is still on with the elastics, though (since I came out of the surgery sans splint or elastics, and she thought I should have had them on- she keeps mentioning it all the time!); she said the surgeon must have been so pleased with himself that he didn’t want anything extra doing. I see her point of view in that it’s her job to get the teeth side of things perfect (or as near to perfect as anything can be) so she wanted the elastics to stabalise the bite. However, since the surgeon actually did do such a good job, then what’s the problem? He said he didn’t want to use the splint if possible because it’s horrible to live with (if I’d had to live on liquids for more than the few days that I did, I definitely would have felt horrible, and I think recovered less well), and since the bite fit together as it did, elastics weren’t necessary. But anyway, I think my ortho likes her elastics, and I’m happy with them so long as they remain in simple shapes that I can deal with!

She asked if I was ok to have a wire change and I said yeah, go for it. I’m not in pain and I’m numb anyway, so ... She changed the top wire, put back on 2 hooks for the elastics (which actually did hurt! Pressure on the teeth can get you even if your gums are numb), and added 2 powerchains to try and close my 2 gaps (my elastics go over the chains on the upper jaw). The elastics are in a trapezium shape rather than box now, but are in the same place as before so I can handle that. Also she let me have the lighter ones for more range of movement. Although to be honest, I was fine with the thicker ones because they weren’t particularly strong anyway; well certainly I could eat with them in.

She was pleased with my ROM anyway (I can open 2 fingers vertically, perhaps slightly more), as well as my cleaning (I’ve been trying the best I can, but I need to pick up a bit more. It’s hard though because I keep catching the stitches by accident because the hang down a little. Yesterday I made one bleed because I caught it with my toothbrush)

So all in all she was really pleased, the trainee said I looked great (my ortho told him to pass along the message to my surgeon that I looked great when he sees him later), the assistant said I looked great, the other ortho who works there popped in for something else, but had a look anyway, and also said it looked great. So today I feel very pleased. Not with myself, but for the people who do their job very well. Because that means I have results to be thankful for, and ultimately I can feel good about myself for the first time in ages.

PS- is it silly to want to get my surgeon a thank you card, and my ortho a big bunch of flowers? :O

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Some updates and comparisons (I seriously need to ask my ortho if I can have her photos, because they're better than my measly camera-phone ones! lol). Let's start from the beginning, shall we?:



Not bad, eh? Just waiting for the balloon in my face to deflate now, and then I'll be able to see the true differences