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, January 31, 2008

Just Cruising Along....

I feel like I have been being a bit neglectful of my blog. Like I'm not udating it as often as I should be, however, like the rest of you, sometimes life just happens and you just can't find a spare minute to catch up!
I haven't got much to really report anyway, but felt I should stay on top of things and report. So....I called yesterday about my implant crown. It is on order and should be here soon, at which point they will call me to set up an appointment. Sinuses are doing well, clear without any stuffiness! I will see the ENT on the 12th again for the final post surgical follow up. Allergies shots are going well and seem to be helping tremendously not only with my allergies to Alder, grass, dog, cat, dust, and dust mites, but with the cross reactivity to certain foods too! I can now eat bananas with no issues, and melon, and mango too! I love those fruits too so that is a nice bonus. My son who has been allergic to apples and all pitted fruits since he was about 2 can now eat them too without any allergy reactions, so that is pretty exciting for him too!
My mouth continues to heal and is still improving. My lower left quadrant is pretty tingly and sensitive. I still can't use my teeth together to bite stuff off like pizza. The lowers are still just to numbish and sensitive. When I bite I get like a tingly sensation all into my lower gums. Now mind you, this is good it means the feeling is returning, it is just slow going. My bottom lip is still improving weekly. Overall I'm very pleased with my progress.

Was wondering if anyone else who has had surgery has noticed that people treat them differently? I have noticed a change, and honestly haven't really been looking for it. I find that I have a lot more people looking at me lately, in a good way, but I feel like I just get noticed more. Perhaps that is because the surgery has made me look a bit younger, but I have definitely noticed that people are making eye contact with me much more now, and even saying hi, or hello to me (when I don't know them) Now that the swelling has gone away I find I really like the new shape of my face. It is longer, but just looks so much more proportional to me. Anyway....has anyone else noticed a difference in how people react to them?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Health back to Normal - Knock on Wood

Well I decided to post this pic as finally I don't look like a ghost anymore! No more pale white skin, no more dark circles or allergy shiners under my eyes, and even a bit of color in my cheeks! I'm almost afraid to say this (don't want to jinx it) but I seem to be back to normal! I'm talking about my health of course, no more issue with my sinuses so that is a huge deal!

I think the surgery has been a great help, but also I think the allergy shots have been helping me immensly too. It was tough at first, I think because my immune system was a bit compromised already with the surgery and then the shots were wearing me out too, BUT NOW things are truly better. I noticed it the most the other day when I was cleaning house. Normally dust and dust mites really bother me. I get really stuffed up and feel crappy. Well yesterday I was cleaning and nothing happened. I mean I dusted, organized, cleaned out my drawers and closet too, and nothing. No sneezing, no stuffy nose, no sinus headache.....I mean I felt totally normal. It was AWESOME!

I still have a couple more months of shots to go, but so far things have been going really well and the best part is that my sinus infection is finally gone! Hopefully for a really long time or even forever! Oh....and sleep is amazing too! Now I sleep, and can breathe really well too. Life is truly great! At least for today!
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sinus Surgery Follow Up #2 was the second follow up since my sinus surgery. You will recall (provided you read my last post) that it was less than pleasant, and in fact down right gross! Well today wasn't much better. I arrived at the Drs. office, he called me in and I took a seat. This time he didn't ask, tell, or even infer that he was going to do anything. He just turned the compressor machine on, handed me a gauze pad, and proceeded to spray that freaking discusting, afrin and lidocaine up my nose again. I have decided that that stuff is just vile, as I type this message out,the nasty poison taste continues to run down my already numb throat. Sooo gross!

Anyway...pretty much the same drill as last time, minus the giant snot globs. He started out with the small sucker, it got plugged up so he switched to the larger sucker thing. I flinched as he continued, as this time it was a tad bit uncomfortable. Did he say..oh sorry, or yea, its a bit uncomfortable..NO! He just pretended like it never happened and continued to suck the life out of my sinuses. Then told me that my head should feel a lot lighter now (his feeble attempt at humor I think.) He said everything looks good and that I shouldn't have any issues with adhesions or anthing like that. I told him I was using Veramyst for my allergies again and that it seems to help a lot with keeping my sinuses clear. He really wasn't that impress and other then leaving me with a horrible taste in my mouth, he said that he would see me again in 3 weeks. It apparently takes about 6 weeks for the sinuses to completely heal and thus for me to be able to truly judge the results.

I made a new appointment for Feb 7th, but will have to reschedule it. I forgot I will be in Orlando that week for a conference. Otherwise things are good and are coming along well. I have been having a big spurt in my healing this past week. My numbness is really making great strides, which is totally great! My husband said that I'm actually kissing like the old me and that he is very happy to not be kissing a manniquin anymore! LOL.....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hard to believe that I will be 8 months post op in about 1 week. Things have been changing a lot the last month. I'm still regaining feeling in my chin and lower lip area. I can now feel my bottom lip with my tongue pretty well, and the swelling has come down quite a bit too. It is starting to feel like my old lip again. Below the surface it is still kindof tingly and numb feeling, but certainly no where near like it used to be. It actually feels like it will eventually be normal again. My chin is feeling much better too. The inside of my left cheek is now less swollen and I'm no longer chomping down on it. I do have some serious sensitivity in my lower gums and teeth on the left side, but other than that things are going well in terms of post jaw surgery recovery.

My sinuses are doing very well also now. I can breath clearly, and they are not all stuffed up anymore. I no longer have a sinus infection which is a big plus, and honestly I'm feeling pretty much back to normal.

I'm still working through my allergy shots and have not had any adverse reactions, thank goodness! I'm also going to the gym regularly. Aside from developing Plantar Faciitus in my left foot due to too many step aerobics classes I'm finally feeling like my old self again. Wooo Hooo!

I'm sleeping, I'm breathing, and I only have to wear my retainer at nights now. What more could a girl ask for?
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Monday, January 07, 2008


So today I was looking in the mirror and noticed that my swelling is gone! I mean all of it! I decided to take some new profile pics so I could see both sides of my face with no swelling. Now mind you I still have a bit of numbness in the left side of my mouth and in my lower lip, but it is slowly resolving itself and going away.

I don't even have anymore puffiness after the sinus surgery, which amazes me, but hey I will take it!

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Overall things are going well. My sinuses are feeling much better now. No more stuffiness which is great! They are still draining a bit but things are fine as long as I blow my nose every now and again. I'm pretty sure that the doctor will not have to do much when I see him on the 17th.

Right side

The Dentist contacted me and said the are ordering the parts for my implant. When they arrive I will be scheduling my appointment in February for placement. I have also decided to have a bit more dental work done. The crown on my front left incisor is an old porcelian crown bonded to metal. Now that my teeth are whiter it is darker then the rest of my teeth. It is also small, and does not meet at the gum line. So I'm going to have some cosmetic dentistry done on it and have either a new porcelin crown placed, or have it shaved down and a lumineer put on top. Then I will be done! I SWEAR!!!

Left side

I like this pic because you can really see the outline of my jaw from the cheekbone down.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Holy Snot Batman!

Man...what a busy day I have had. Just when I think the fun can't end, I get to experience more of it! Happy Happy Joy Joy!

So my day started with getting up early and driving to the orthodontists office. Today was the day for my lower bonded retainer to be put on (since I had that little cavity filled yesterday.) It was really not a big deal, except for the fact that I got a serious tickle in my throat while the ortho was working on bonding it in. Do you know how hard it is to fight off a cough when your throat decides it is going to cough? Anyway...the process involved some nasty tasting prep base. It was very sour/bitter like the stuff the used with my brackets. They then rinsed that off and my ortho tied my lowers all together with dental floss. I'm assuming that was to help keep everything in place and help hold the retainer wire while he cements it. Next he used a little syringe to squeeze some yellow looking goo onto the back of one tooth. He moved it around a bit with one of his little tools and then used the ultra-violet light to harden the glue. He did this tooth by tooth for all 6 of my lower incisors and canines. When he finished he rinsed everything out and cut the dental floss off of my teeth. The assistant then came and showed me how to floss with my new permanent retainer (gone are the days of 2 second flossing, that I had this last month.) Basically you floss with it by going underneath the wire with threader floss and floss that small area below it. Here is the result of all of his efforts, and may I just add that I love this thing! For the first time my lower teeth do not feel wiggly. They feel secure and comfortable instead of sore and achey!
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I no sooner finished this appointment and I had to head to see the ENT for my post sinus surgery follow up! Oooh my goodness! What a weird experience this was. Now mind you I have been rather lax and bad with this surgery. I was so stuffed up I was gently blowing as soon as they took the packing out. On Tuesday I sneezed (accidently) through my nose which is a big no no! That afternoon a nasty clot came out but then things seemed ok. Yesterday a piece of the gel stent came out, and things were not feeling very good. Today..I woke up really congested and have had blood running down my throat all day so I thought for sure I must have messed something up.

I arrive at the ENT's office. The nurse takes me in, hands me three Kleenex and asks me "so are you ready for a little torture?" as she is messing around with some tools she turns on a machine that sounds like an air compressor! Mind you I want my sinuses fixed, but I was not prepared for lots of pain today...little lone torture! She then asks me if I'm allergic to "lidocaine or afrin?" I say no and she says oh good! She stands there with this thing hooked up to the air compressor that looks like a giant exploration tool, with a rubber tip on the end. She starts on the left side and tells me to take a big sniff! Instantly I get a sinus full of lidocaine and afrin. Anyone who has had surgery can tell you that Afrin tastes terrible in large doses, when you mix it with lidocaine it is even of course I'm gagging like crazy as it runs down the back of my throat. Guess what??? the fun isn't over, she still has to do the right side now! So...I lived through that part, and soon, actually like almost instantly I feel my throat start to get numb as well as the insides of my sinuses.

Next the doctor comes on. He shakes my hand, asks me how I'm doing etc. I tell him that I think the gel stent came out, and that I have been having big clotty drainage down my throat all day. So....guess what he does? He tells me that he is probably going to fix most of that for me today. He comes at me with a miniture version of a dental sucker thingy (sorry I don't have the exact name for those things but I'm sure you get my drift) a set of like long tweezers, and a flashlight. He enters my right sinus and I feel the syringe enter my maxiallary sinus area. He stops a couple of times because the bloodclots are clogging the sucker thing up and it won't suck anymore. So he takes it out and he gets a BIGGER ONE! Are you feeling the fun yet??? Then it's back into my sinuses, this time he pulls some discusting glob out of my totally discusting I'm thinking "why in the heck would anyone want to be an ENT???? while at the same time wondering how in the heck something that big could be up my nose! He continues to suck away, and then again reaches into my sinuses and comes out with another even bigger, giant glob of something. Is it packing? just a snot glob? At this point I'm thinking holy snot sinuses must be like the freaking grand canyon! Then he continues more suction until I swear I feel like he is sucking my teeth up through that sucker thing. Then he switches sides and does some more sucking on the left. None of this was particularly painful, other then when he pulled that giant whatever out. That part kindof hurt and my sinuses were pretty burny and raw feeling afterwards. It was just the most bizarre feeling ever to have someone sucking around inside my face though...and while I was awake! It just can't be described!

When he was done he said that things looked great and I just need to give things a bit of time to heal, but that he thinks this will help me a lot." (phew no damage from blowing) Also, he said " I sucked a ton of junk out of there....your whole right maxillary sinus was filled with gunk, I suspects now that most of it is out that you will probably be feeling much better by later this afternoon. Wow! Thanks! I think! Hopefully it won't just be temporary until the Afrin wears off, or just fill up again over the next two weeks.

Overall the whole experience was rather draining (no pun intended, well ok maybe a little one) and I'm just so thrilled to have lived through it! (one more thing I can add to my list) I go back on the 17th for another follow up and possibly some more suction action! I got the go ahead to workout again today, so I'm going to go back to the gym starting tonight. I think I will take a little nap first though....all this nasal irrigation seems to have sucked the life out of me (boy I'm just full of puns today) he he! I will keep you posted on the progress!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cavity Filled

Here is my updated post sinus surgery face. I have an appointment to see the ENT tomorrow. He is supposed to take out the gel stent, however, I have been blowing my nose gently as I seriously can't breathe and I think in the last day I have blown most of it out. I know...its bad, but I figure he is going to take it out tomorrow anyway so how bad can it really be? Hopefully not too bad!!

So today I saw my favorite dentist. NOT! Now mind you I don't dislike my dentist, no more then say the average person does. He does a good job, I'm just a bit sick of doctors being in my mouth.

Things went pretty quickly so that was a plus, and I tried to get a pic of my new filling, but it pretty much looks just like my other teeth so you really can't see anything. If you look really closely you can see where my gums are a bit aggravated but other then that, not much is visible. I posted the pic anyway though.

Tomorrow I see the ortho and he is going to put my bonded retainer in on the bottom. I can't wait as I'm so sick of this lower retainer! Plus I think I get to go to night time wear only, since tomorrow will be 5 weeks since debracing. I will keep you all posted!

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