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.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Drum Roll Please!!!! My New "Naked" Smile

First pic of my new smile!

Ok so the debracing is finish! My teeth are officially free! It wasn't too bad. I mean it was a bit uncomfortable, but nothing terrible, and it was quick so I hardly noticed. Well that is except for the band on my upper left molar. The one that has been uncomfortable the whole time I had my braces. Well of course it would not play nice and just come of easily...Nope! it required cutting, and then some yanking, and then some more cutting, and bending, and more yanking, the whole time I'm sitting there wincing in pain. It was over relatively quickly though so I guess it was ok. Once we were finished with that the doctor had to grind all the glue off my teeth. I was worried about this part but it really wasn't bad at all. I mean short of listening to the sound of the drill, it went quick, and honestly I did not feel much of anything at all. Then we took impressions on the top and bottom and my lower bonded retainer was bent and fit for positioning. Right when the ortho was going to do this he discovered a cavity on my lower canine. So...I got ended up getting an upper and lower Essix for 1 month until I can get the cavity fixed, then on my next visit they will put my bonded retainer on and get rid of the lower essix. As for my top tooth flaring I was right, but the doctor made some modifications and it is being moved in with the retainer. My teeth are screaming all over again as the retainer is rather tight, and is pulling in the back to close up my molar band spaces, and move my front tooth into proper alignment..I took several pics of the whole thing and they are in this web album

Up Close Views
I then headed to the dentist for a cleaning (I do not recommend doing this on debracing day, unless you are like me and into getting all your pain at once) My teeth were very sore and sensitive and cleaning was not very fun. When I arrived at the dentist I had to remove my retainers. I did not practice this at the ortho's office because it was sortof tough, and a bit uncomfortable getting them to snap onto my teeth. I figured getting them off would not be pleasant so I didn't do it. At the dentists office I had a really hard time getting them off. I thought I was going to have to ask for help, when they finally popped off. The hygenist didn't have to do much scraping thank goodness, and said that my teeth were amazingly clean for someone just being debraced. Said she could tell that I have been doing a really good job at keeping them clean (that made me feel good.) My dentist came in and took a look around the new mouth and said that I had a Hollywood smile now. We chatted for awhile about my surgeries and scheduled an appointment to fill my small cavity in a couple of weeks. When I was finished I went out to the car and put my retainers back on. It had not been more then 45 minutes without them. Suffice it to say that putting them back on was not enjoyable at all. My teeth were really achey and had already done a bit of migrating. I have also come to the conclusion that for the next few days, eating is going to be a challenge.
I have to take my retainers off everytime I eat, or to brush my teeth, other then that I"m supposed to wear them 24/7for the next month. I'm also not supposed to drink anything but water with them in, otherwise I risk discoloring of them, or could cause decay by trapping fluid against my teeth that could have sugar in it etc. Since it hurts to pop them back on, I don't even want to take them off to eat. I cheated and went to Fruitland and got a large Chai Tea with protein in it, then rinsed my mouth really good with water. I need to take some Advil when I get home. That may help, but at the moment, I'm just starving, but would rather be hungry then take these suckers out and and eat! HOW BAD IS THAT!

Another view of my new smile
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Me holding the bag of candy the ortho gave me
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Old and New Profile pic

Old Profile Pic

New profile
(big change huh?)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Last Day in Braces!

So I'm really trying to savor this day, thinking that perhaps, one day I may actually miss having my braces (although I certainly can't imagine that happening.) It has been a long journey and it seems so unreal that my teeth are going to be "naked" by this time tomorrow (almost exactly 6 months post op) As I was using my dental pik to get the rest of my lunch out of my braces today I kept thinking....tomorrow my teeth will be free! No more picking, no more pokey archwires, no more chewed up cheeks, or a sore tongue. No more brackets hooking into my food, No more sore teeth, or having to use a floss threader, or brushing a zillon times a day, or having to water pik like a crazy women! OMG it is so going to be heavenly! I truly can't wait to be able to really see the results of all my surgeries, and orthodontic work. Tomorrow could quite possibly be the most exciting day of my life! (what can I say....the thrills are pretty limited when you are raising kids, its always about them, and never about MOM!)

I plan to bring the camera and take a bunch of pics. I mean come on, I'm sure they are going to think I'm totally out my mind, but tomorrow is the last day I will be having anything really major done to my teeth for awhile! I need to show all my blog buddies who has been taking care of my teeth all these months, and of course the results of all his labor. Plus I need proof that I actually got through this whole journey. It all seems so surreal right now. I feel like I should be conducting some kind of mourning ritual, to lay my braces to rest. Trouble is, that I don't feel much like mourning! Just celebrating! Hmm.....what should I eat tomorrow? A big gooey carmel apple sounds wonderful! and popcorn, and milk duds! The possibilities are endless! I HOPE IT DOESN'T HURT TOO MUCH GETTING THEM OFF!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

6 Months Post Op

Today is officially 6 months post op for me. Not much has changed but I felt I should post something if for no other reason then nostalgia. I mean I can actually say that I have lived through the worst part of this surgery, survived, and that I'm very happy with my results. I'm sleeping well and I'm getting my braces of in 4 days! The feeling in my lower lip, my teeth, and my chin area continues to improve daily. Short of this blasted sinus infection that just doesn't seem to want to go away, I have a lot to be thankful for! I have faith that we will get it all figured out soon. So, I'm going to focus on the positive, be grateful for what I have, and keep on smiling.

EXCITED!!!! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I think its working!

Ok, I'm sorta scared to say this as I'm worried I might jinx things, but I think that my sinus infection is finally starting to improve. I can breathe out of both sides of my sinuses now and I'm starting to feel less run down. I think that in 10 days it might totally be gone! We shall see!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Sinus Issues??

So Anne asked how things were going with my sinus infection. Suffice it to say that we are still fighting it. As of today I just completed 10 days of Augmentin 875mg, and was perscribed 10 more days of it, since things are only very marginally improved. My cough is better, and seems to be almost gone but I still have yellow junk coming out of my sinuses (thats when I can get it to come out) I was told to take Sudafed every 12 hours, which I did for 5 days, until the side effects started making it impossible. I couldn't sleep at all at night, I was waking every hour on the hour, and having terrible night sweating (waking up just drenched, it was so gross) on the fifth day I broke out in hives. Since I have never had an issue with antibiotics I knew it had to be the Sudafed. So I stopped taking it. Did you know that it can take up to 16 hours for Sudafed to leave your system once you stop taking it? Anyway...after a day of waiting I finally got some sleep, with no sweating, and no hives.

The plan now is to see my ENT in two weeks once my braces come off. Something is not right with my sinuses, most especially my right side. I'm feeling a little bummed out today as it seems like I'm going to have to pursue more medical issues with my sinuses now, when I was so hoping I was done with all of this stuff awhile. I will keep you all posted though should anything change. :(

Maybe the 10 more days of Augmentin will kick things...keep you fingers crossed!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Couple Before and After pics

I found a couple of comparison pics that I think show the pre and post changes pretty well. You can really see how my nose has widen a bit, and the area below my nose has been expanded. You will you notice my face is not so round now. It is longer and you can really see the difference in the chin area. It was pretty trippy, looking at my smile lines. They are still identical!

It will be fun to see the comparison of these once the braces come off in the next couple of weeks.

As for my healing progress, I'm starting to get a lot more feeling back in my bottom lip these days. I can now find it with a cup rather then having to use my top lip for guidance. The most exciting news has been the return of feeling in my tongue now. It is only very slightly numb near the front tip. It is no longer burny or painful though, and the taste buds seem to be regenerating too. I can now manuever stuff around in my mouth much more effectively and actually feel what I'm doing instead of things being so akward and uncomfortable. I'm so happy about this as I was afraid it would never get better!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Up close and Personal With No "Goofy Smile"

Ok, someone (why are nasty comments always by someone annonymous?) complained in my comments that they wanted some real pictures instead of the same ones each week with my "goofy smile" That I'm apparently not showing pics that allow people to see the changes that have taken place adequately enough. Normally I would just delete a comment like this, however, today I decided to appease whoever wrote this comment. I took a bunch of pics of just my face with my hair pulled back, and no makeup on. I put then in a separate web album since there were just too many to post. There is just about every possible angle I could think of so hopefully this will satisfy "Annonymous" or anyone else interested in looking at the old and new changes up close and personal.
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Almost 6 months/ New Profile pics

I'm a little worried about my debracing on the 29th. It appears that the powerchain has made my right front incisor flare out a bit. You can see it in the pic below if you look closely. I hope it doesn't mess things up and make me have to wait longer! I'm hoping its something that can be fixed with the retainer. Fingers crossed!

So I was looking at the pics of Steph's new facial profile the last few days, and thinking how amazing she looks. I'm a little envious at how perfect her profile looks. I decided that I should post some new pics of my profile since it has been awhile. I still don't think my profile is as pretty as hers, but it is good enough, I'm happy with it.

Here is the left profile

Here is the right profile

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Back Tracking a bit, and new meds

So, in my book today would be the 6 month mark for me. However, technically I'm only 5 months 2 weeks, and 2 days post op. So I guess I will go by the official monthly calendar rather then my crude estimate of counting 4 weeks at a time.

I went to a First Care Clinic tonight and got a new antibiotic prescription. I always find it funny how many doctors have a way of sort of tuning you out. Now I consider myself to be a very assertive women, I'm not afraid to speak up, nor am I afraid to plead my case if I feel it is necessary. Mind you, I'm not rude, but I also will not let anyone walk all over me, even if they have a freaking medical degree. Now I like to think that doctors care about their patients and respect the fact that it is my body we are talking about, so perhaps I might know a little bit about what is going on with it. I mean that would seem to be a sort of given, don't you think? Most especially since I have been plagued with sinus infections for years! I mean, I know what they feel like when I have one. I know the second I start having one come on. Now Is it my fault that I don't present with the typical symptoms, and that even though I have had numerous CT scans they can't figure out why I keep getting these stupid infections?

What I don't understand is why some/many doctors always have to have the last word? I sometimes feel like things turn into a pissing match, like God forbid that I might actually know what is wrong with me? I don't go to the doctor to challenge their expertise, or discount their experience or knowledge, but sometimes I just know what is wrong with me, because I have had these issues for what feels like an eternity. I would be the first to admit that I didn't have a clue if I really didn't.

So...anyway, I get to the doctor. He tells me that I have sort of labored breathing in my chest and I sound pretty hoarse ( think? I mean I only have bronchitis thanks to all the sinus drainage and coughing I have been dealing with for the last 5 weeks) I told him I took Biaxin for 10 days and that it did not help, and I could tell that my sinus infection was not gone. He agrees that this could probably be true and gives me the run down about how certain antibiotics are not as effective as others...blah blah blah, I've heard this info a million times, I used to work as a pharmacy tech, I know all about antibiotics. After discussing my symptoms and history with him and seeing that convincing him I know what I'm talking about is not going to work. I acquiesced and allowed him to fluff his feathers, have the last word, and be right. He proceeded to tell me that I don't have a sinus infection that I have the flu and that I need to take Sudafed everyday for 20 days, and that he is going to give me a prescription for Augmentin to also be taken once a day. That if I take both of these it should knock out these flu symptoms in about 10 days.
I played his stupid little game so that I could walk out of there with new meds, but my question is....why must I play these stupid games? Why do so many doctors think they are so much smarter and know so much more about my body then I do? It annoys me that they possess the power to make people feel better or worse, and that as an educated women I must suck up to them, or kiss their ass so that I can get my medical concerns addressed. It is just so stupid, they so need to just get over themselves!

Now I should add that not all doctors are like this. I love my OS he rocks and always listens genuinely to what I have to say. My ortho is a good guy too, although I do think he could become testy as well if I really pushed things (which I have a tendency to do) lol... Anyway, I will get off my soapbox. Hopefully the meds will work and I can make an appointment with my regular ENT next time. What I can tell you though, is I DO NOT HAVE THE FLU! I have a Sinus infection! and some doctor saying it isn't so, is not going to change the facts.

I have been getting a lot of feeling back in my lower lip lately. Things are really starting to feel much more normal. My lower teeth are still very sensitive, especially in the lower left quadrant. I have a lot of referred response. When I touch my lower lip, I feel it in my lower gums and teeth. It's weird, but definitely getting better. Today I finally figured out what the deal is with chewing. In addition to having more space in my mouth, my teeth are no longer in the location they used to be. They have all moved forward. So the area that I used to send the food to (in the back of my mouth) does not really exist anymore because my jaws are now in a more forward position. I now realize that I must chew my food more towards the front rather then way in the back. I have been doing this a lot lately and it has been working sooo much better. It takes conscious effort though, it is not natural by any means yet. I'm hoping it will be one day though.

Ok...this post has become huge, so I will take a break for now. Here's a shout out to my recent surgery buddies Annie, and Graham! who are both doing amazingly well! Keep your spirits up and know that you will get through this! Soon you will be 5 months post op and this will all be a distant memory!

Wishing you all well!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fun Never Ending!

So yesterday was 4 weeks I have been battling this cold/sinus infection crap! My ENT called in some Biaxin 10 days ago. Things were starting to improve, but I could tell the infection was not yet gone when I took my last pill on Monday. Tuesday I saw my allergist. Of course he did not see any signs of infection because I had just finished the last antibiotic the day before. So he tells me that he thinks it is allergies and gives me some Singular, and Veramyst for my nose. Now mind you I hate taking meds of any kind and I knew before I saw him that I still had a sinus infection. I was hoping maybe I was wrong though. WELL...I WAS NOT! I have now used those stupid allergy meds for two day, and guess what? MY SINUS INFECTION IS BACK! I now have a headache to go with it, and my upper teeth on the right side hurt everytime I move my head, plus my nose is nice and stuffy again.
So I called the ENT who just happens to be on vacation this week and since he is such a busy guy cannot get me in to see him until November 27 (which is not going to work) So I then called my allergist again. Well he doesn't work on Friday's and is on vacation all of next week. looks like I will be going to "First Care" one of the minor emergency centers tomorrow. Perhaps then I can get some new antibiotics that will hopefully work and I can get over this sinus infection and get on with my life.

I thought about calling my Oral Surgeon, but he is in Kenai on Fridays so that wouldn't work either. I do want to get it taken care of though. I'm worried that a bad sinus infection could cause problems with my jaw healing, or create issues that aren't there. So....I need to get rid of it!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Super Chompers!

Just wanted to post that my eating issues are starting to resolve themselves. I can now chew most things including nuts, carrots, and apples. I do have to manuever stuff around a bit still as I find that I haven't quite figured out how to handle all this space in my mouth yet. I mean, after 41 years of having the same mouth and eating with it, the changes that have taken place in the last 18 months have not been completely embraced by my brain. I bite things the way that I used to, and have to remind myself that I need to start over and take smaller bites. I still do a lot of pulling things apart with my fingers and eating them, as it is easier to gauge the size of my bites if I'm visually seeing them before putting them in my mouth. I haven't quite mastered biting stuff off with my teeth and keeping the size down. I think it will take some time to get used to things again. To retrain my mouth and my brain.

I love that I can eat raw almonds now and not have it hurt my teeth though! That is a big milestone in my opinion! So...its time for these super choppers to do some super chomping!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

5 Months 3 weeks post Op/ 26 Days til debracing!

I was looking at the calendar today. I have been counting every 4 weeks as a month instead of going by the actual monthly calendar. So...technically I'm exactly 5 months 1 week and 2 days post op today! LOL..... This really doesn't make much difference but I suppose it could be encouraging to others in that I've been coming along so well in even less time then I thought it had been.

I'm still on Biaxin, have 3 more days to go. Now with that being said, my sinuses seemed to have cleared up but I can't shake this cough that I have. I think my sinuses are draining still and it is causing me to have all this crud in the back of my throat. I can't stand it so I'm clearing my throat like every few minutes. It sucks! I have tried everything to get rid of it I swear. Today I broke out my husbands canadian mist whiskey sample that he got from his uncle. I need to preface this with the fact that we don't drink. I mean very very every few years we will have a margarita or something but nothing on a regular basis. tiny little swig of canadian mist is enough to make me light headed. I was really coughing this morning so right out of the shower I took a couple sips. Short of being able to feel it all the way down to my toes I don't think it did much of anything to get rid of my cough. It did burn though, and give me heartburn, plus made me so tired for the rest of the day. :( Am I a lightweight or what??? I'm thinking I might have to get on an inhaler to clear things up. This happened to me once before a long long time ago and an inhaler was the only way we could make it go away. I really hate those things though as they make me all weak in the knees, shakey, dizzy, and light headed. I hate taking medicine!

On a happier note. I have 26 days left til my braces come off! wooo hooo..... I can't believe its getting so close!

As for healing, things are going well, lower lip and chin are still improving daily believe it or not! The left side that was super numb has been getting much better. Still have a ways to go but I can feel my lower lip now much more so then before, it feels now like it will get to 100% eventually.

Sleep continues to be so wonderful to be able to sleep. Even now when I have trouble falling asleep I still wake up feeling rested because I sleep solidly for the few hours I may get. I feel like this operation has given me my life back.

Well its getting late and I'm, I will post more tomorrow! Peace out People!
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