Brandy's Braces, SARPE, Jaw Surgery Journal

This is my daily journal to my eventual perfect smile and Apnea free life. It logs my surgeries, and daily progress.

Monday, June 26, 2006

My Front Teeth Feel Like Wood!

I feel like I should still be posting daily updates as I definitely feel like I have not returned to my pre-surgery state. If I did that, however, you all would be bored out of your mind listening to me repeat the same thing over and over again.

Feeling is continuing to come back in my upper palate. It has been rather burny and achey right behind my left incisors and canine for about a week now. It gets rather throbby during the day and I find myself annoyed with the constant presence of this low grade pain. I'm ready for it to heal up and go away. With each day this continues on, I get more fearful of how long and difficult my actual jaw surgery is going to be. I know I will get through it, but I can definitely say that it gets a bit trying at times to wait it all through. I hear this time frame is pretty normal, I mean even my ortho said about 4-6 months for the bones to heal, so I know I'm pretty on track. I just wish it would hurry up!

With that being said things continue to improve daily so I'm doing my best to focus on the positive. My lower arch gaps have still not closed but it appears that my arch is a bit rounder now so perhaps there is some sort of method to my ortho's madness. It is so funny how I find myself always wanting to question what is happening, or not happening in my mouth, always to find that changes really are taking place and my ortho knows what he is doing. So why is it I do this second guessing or questioning thing after every adjustment? LOL... Sometimes I think it is good not to have too much knowledge. That whole ignorance is bliss thing is really true sometimes. I need to just quit obessing about my teeth or trying to figure out what my ortho is doing next, and just relax and let it happen. I'm going to work on that these next few weeks til my appointment.

We are going to be crazy busy moving into our new house the next couple of weeks so hopefully it will make it easier to focus on something else besides my teeth, and my next adjustment will be here before I know it. I will continue to post often until I have full feeling and mouth harmony and balance again. I want to be able to document for everyone exactly how long it took for that to happen.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I Really Thought I was All Healed up! Guess Not!

WEll I thought I would post today as I had previously posted at 3 months that I was fully healed. It appears that I was wrong and that I'm still healing. I still do not have all the feeling back in my upper teeth yet, especially in the front incisors and canines on the left. The tingly feeling behind them has almost disappeared and does seem to get better day by day, but it is still not 100%. I still have some burny sortof aching in that area most of the day, and it has been quite pronounced the last few days for whatever reason.

I'm thinking that by the time I go see my ortho again in July that things will be fully healed, but for now, I have to honestly say that I still do not feel like things are back to normal. Are they getting better...yes, without a doubt, are they completely back to the way they were before, nope, no way! Now this has me a little unnerved as I have felt like this almost 4 months has been a long time! If it has taken me 4 months and I'm still not completely back to normal, what is the healing time going to be like for my lower jaw, when they do twice as much damage to it as the SARPE? Will I be completely numb for 4 months or longer? That would totally suck! Really I'm trying not to think about this too hard, but it does have me a little more on edge about it all then I normally am. I was figuring that by 4 months things would be considerably improved, now.....I'm not so sure.

my lowers are doing nothing so that is really aggravating me. I have this stupid worthless powerchain on them for basically no reason, as it is certainly not moving them or closing these giant gaps between my incisors. I read from one of the doctor posts on the Metal Mouth forum that powerchains basically lose their effectiveness after about 2 weeks, so pretty much I'm wearing this one for 8 weeks for nothing as I have been taking lots of pics and they are just not moving. I think I'm going to talk with my ortho about it next time I go, see if I can come in more often than 8 weeks to get them changed out. I know his thinking, he figures that we have another year til surgery so he can take his time and that it is all good. However, that is not my thoughts. I want it fixed, as quickly and efficiently as possible, even if surgery is looming in the distant future. I don't want to rush things, but certainly it is not necessary to wait 8 weeks between adjustments or replacements just because he thinks we have the time and it is no big deal. It may not be a big deal to him, but it sure is heck is to me, so I plan to discuss it with him. Anyway...that is my rant for the day. I will keep you posted on what becomes of it once I have a chat with my ortho.

I will continue to post on my healing progress over the next few days.

Friday, June 16, 2006

3.5 Months Post SARPE, Palate Shape?

Not much going on in my mouth these day. Besides the normal healing stuff I mean. They are definitely still repairing. I can still feel behind my incisors that they are still a bit numb, and not 100% yet. It sorta comes and goes...the burning sensation that is. Today they were really annoying me, actually they have been really sort of irritating me a lot the last couple of days.
So...I'm looking at my teeth today, marveling at how much progress I have made. Then I get to thinking. I have been looking at a lot of peoples arches, my sons included. Mine is much wider than before, however, it still seems to me as if it could be more rounded in the where my canines are. I'm wondering if my ortho will be opening up my smile even more once the bones of my palate are fully healed.
Here is a pic of my sons arch, and mine. His is just so much more rounded than mine.

I realize that each mouth is different but most of the pictures I have seen show a more rounded arch, rather than oval shaped.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Life after SARPE.... I was bored tonight and decided to do some side by side comparisons of my appearance now that I feel I'm fully healed. The first two pics are my current smile, and first day of braces smile. The next two are the pre SARPE pics, the other four were taken today.

I tried to get similar angles in the middle ones so you could really see the difference in my facial features. I totally think the post SARPE look is more attractive. Not to sound like I'm being conceited or anything, I just like they way I look better now. I think my smile is wider, and my face looks more balanced. Can you see the changes? I think they are very noticeable when you look at them side by side like this. You can click on the pics for a closer look if you like.

Friday, June 09, 2006

3 Months and 1 week post SARPE

Well its been a week since I have posted. It has been sortof hard, like I have been having blogger withdrawl or something! LOL. Things have pretty much been just progressing along as before. I still have a very slightly numb area behind my front left incisors that is has been pulsing a lot lately. It is, however, getting better daily and is almost imperceptible so it is really not much to report about.
I thought I would post some pics today. Stephanie asked for some, and I'm bored so I figured why not. The first is a pic of my pre RPE palate (with spacers) then day one with the RPE. The second set is the last day of my RPE (after the SARPE and expansion), and how my palate looks as of today with the TPA.

You can really see how my palate has changed since the SARPE and RPE experience. Man I'm so glad that RPE is out of my mouth. I shutter to even think about that part of the whole process. It was so miserable! BUT! I'm so loving my new smile, and my ortho says that I haven't seen anything yet, that we really haven't even begun moving my uppers yet! I can't imagine what else he plans to do to them but hey....he's the doctor so I look forward to the results.

My lowers remain stationary with no noticible movement from this worthless powerchain I'm wearing. That part really stinks as I hate these big spaces between my lowers. I'm trying to be patient and look on the positive side though.

Sleeping problems have returned now. Not sure what exactly has changed but I just know I'm not sleeping as well. I tried to sorta rig my sleep appliance and wear it the other night, but it ended up being really uncomfortable and I pulled it out during the night. I might try hooking some rubberbands onto my brackets again tonight since my upper teeth are no longer sore and my lowers are now used to the pulling from the powerchain. Hopefully it will work, as I'm very tired, and having a really hard time remembering things lately.

Today...was the last day of school for me! Wooo Hooo! Look at me me me, I'm free free free, I'm as happy as can be be be! LOL...pretty obvious that I work at the elementary level huh?
It has been a crazy busy year for me with lots of changes. My principal got switched to another school, but then a position came open for a counselor there so I put in for a transfer. It is closer to our new house and I get to follow my principal over there. Plus it is the actual school I went to elementary school at. It was so weird walking the halls today, meeting the staff, and standing in the very rooms that I got my education in as a child (35 years ago). It is going to be a lot more work (22 Classrooms) and about 550 students compared to my lovely little school of 280 kids and 11 classes, but I'm up for the challenge and just feel drawn to the school for whatever reason.

I will post again in a couple of days with any new progress.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Three Months Post SARPE! I"M HEALED!

Today is officially three months since I had my SARPE done. While I know I was a survivor just getting through the whole SARPE surgery, I didn't really feel like one as things were not back to normal yet. It's sorta weird with it being exactly 3 months to the date, but I now have full feeling back in my palate and upper teeth! It has been coming back all week but it just wasn't quite back all the way until today.

I still have one very small area behind my second incisor that is pulsing/throbbing/healing still. It is very small though, and I know it will be completely gone in the next day or two. My ortho, and OS both said that healing would take about 3 months. Guess they weren't kidding huh? Also, I have noticed that since getting my TPA in I have not had any new movement. Previously I had posted that I was seeing changes in my mouth everday. Since getting the TPA in, I have taken many pictures and compared them lately. I cannot see any new changes in my palate at all. If there have been any they are pretty much imperceptible. This is another indicator that my palate has stablilized and the new bone growth has filled in as predicted. I was a bit worried that I might experience some shifting of my teeth once the RPE was gone, however, so far that hasn't happened, and it appears that the info regarding SARPE being more stable is really true. At any rate, I'm glad that this part of my dental journey appears to be over! Wooo Hooo! I NOW FEEL like a SARPE SURVIVOR!

The no movement thing is also true for my lower teeth as well. There has been no movement at all. The powerchain has done nothing thus far, which in and of itself is rather depressing, as I can't help but feel like we are just wasting time. I knew as soon as I left the ortho's office that day that it wasn't going to do anything because I felt nothing. My teeth are very sensitive, I feel everything, especially after an adjustment. For me the "no pain, no gain" thing is true. It only usually lasts for a couple of days, but I always feel it.

I'm going to start posting every few days instead of daily now. Since there is really nothing to report now that my palate appears to be back to normal, I don't want to waste space, or bore you all to tears with uneventful daily updates. I will continue to follow my braces journey, as it is my wish to document the entire process for those that must go through these same procedures. If anything new or exciting happens, my powerchain decides to work, or I notice new changes I will for sure post. I have my next adjustment on July 22nd, and I think my TPA might be taken out then, but I'm not completely sure. I plan to ask my ortho next time, what exactly we have to have in place before the surgery. I mean how will they know when I'm ready for surgery? What constitutes my readiness? These are questions I really want to know. With my appts only every 8 weeks that means he will only see me 3 maybe 4 times before I'm to be ready for my lower jaw advancement. That is not much time in my opinion, especially if we waste 8 weeks with powerchains that aren't doing the trick! Anyway....I shall keep you all posted!

Thanks for following this part of my journey, and I hope this portion has been helpful to those of you getting this procedure done. Having made it to the other side, I highly recommend it. It was not near as bad as I had thought it would be, and already I'm totally loving the results! I know it will just continue to get better from here, as the worst part of the SARPE is now in the past. Whats that Nike commercial "JUST DO IT" That's my advice to those of you who need it! You won't regret it!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Day 93/ Still Healing

Today was pretty uneventful. Healing is continuing behind my front teeth. When I lay in bed at night I can feel it pulsing pretty strongly there. One thing that is interesting is that the surface area of the pulsing has significantly decreased. It is now just a small area, behind my left second incisor. Tomorrow will be three month exactly since I had my SARPE. If today is any indication of the way things have been going, I suspect that I will have full feeling back by tomorrow.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Day 92/ Continued Burning

My front incisors continued to be burny today. I can still feel numbness underneath them, and when I apply sucking pressure on them, I still feel it in the left side of my sinuses. It is pretty weird.

My DS had an ortho appointment this morning and they took out his Nance appliance (a Nance is basically a reverse TPA.) I had told him they might do that as we were driving over there and sure enough they did. They kept his top archwire the same, and gave him a gold power chain on a couple of his lower teeth. He called me this afternoon to say it was really hurting, and that now he understands why I call powerchains "the devil" LOL... FINALLY SOME SYMPATHY! Our ortho said as he was taking out his appliance that "Now your mom can be jealous all over again" My son had the Nance when I had the RPE, then I get the TPA, and he gets his Nance out. Seems he is always one step ahead of me on the "less torture scale" and from the look of things he will be out of braces way sooner than I! Its so unfair! LOL....