Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Breaking the Sound Barrier

It's almost unbelievable how much time has passed since last posting. I say 'almost' as in retrospect, looking over all that has happened since surgery, there is no way to deny that those days have definitely been accounted for.
The slingshot effect. Time slows down as each incident occurs at a snails pace. Waiting. Then, that moment of complete pause, those days immediately following breakage when I swear the clock literally stops. Suckage. Then? Holy snap, you're hurtling head over heals through the air with the force of a rocket launcher; arms and legs flailing wildly trying to ensure when you land it's on both feet. Reality.
Honestly, Ifelt like I'd been carrying on living my life in the buildup to Operation Jigsaw. Yes, it was on my mind. A lot. In hindsight I had NO idea how very all consuming it had become. Normal? I think so. It's a BIG deal! As soon as I got the all clear from dear Surgeon at 4 weeks post-op, I was catapulted from that slingshot back into regular life at such a dizzying pace that, don't hate me, It's not often I even think about surgery at all. Someone I haven't seen in ages will ask how I'm feeling and, apologies, I look at them like they have two heads. What are they talking about? Oh. Thaaaaaat. Normal? I think so. I hope so.
Life is good, my friends. It's crazy, unpredictable, ever-evolving and hectic, but good. Because it's NOT governed by apprehension, discomfort, nerves and WAITING. It's past.
I still loathe getting pics taken. I've come to the conclusion it's not my jaw that makes me a dork in photos, I'm just a dork, haha. This was snapped on holiday last week, one of the few, but at least it shows my profile.
Perhaps I'm weird, but I've not had any strange "who am I" feelings when looking in the mirror. Things puffed and receded and though I'm sure I look a bit different (looking at my new passport pic in comparison to the old threw me momentarily) I was just SOOO thrilled to have jaws that fit together I was preoccupied with joy at this new trick. Click clicking my teeth together at every opportunity to show off my mad skillz. How fast this becomes normal, too, and I click less and less. Just every once in a while like remembering an old pleasantry. Ah, remember when?
I just feel like me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just an Update (& a lame cartoon...)

I travelled to the Royal Kingdom paying homage to My Liege yesterday. I'm still grinning! The word 'wonderful' got used a lot. Normally, he'd want to see me again at 6 & 8 weeks post op, but said these visits would be waste of time as I'm already at the 8 week stage now; that my recovery has been WAY beyond average! I told him about the "I 'heart' my Surgeon" t-shirt I'm having printed. Wow, I knew I was feeling really well, but how wonderful to have such encouragement from the One Who Should Know.

I'm allowed to do anything I want, physically, and eat whatever I choose; that my head would inform me of poor decisions quickly enough. COOL!!!! (I've basically been doing this anyways, mind you, with the odd caveat.....) With a grin, he asked when I was resuming orthodontics and getting the Surg hooks off already? Ohhhh he's a funny one. He knew I was just waiting for his omnipotent nod.

So of course I called dear OD the moment I got home and snagged a cancellation appointment for today. NO MORE SURGICAL HOOKS! I've got new active wires and fun non-latex elastic configurations to wear 24-7 for the next four weeks. Bite settling time~ I will wow them with my compliance.

Having my mouth reefed around for and hour was not fun and pulling & snipping the old wires out beyond creepy feeling; putting that much pressure on something that's just been relocated made me feel a bit queasy, actually, but no real pain. I cringed the odd time, but from instinct more than necessity. Everyone was as gentle with me as possible. I think they want t-shirts, too...

It's rather exciting to have that initial orthodontics discomfort again. Progress!

Sentimental Nostalgia: If you've read the early days of this blog you might recall this is the same OD office I went to as a kid. With the exception of a couple new additions, the majority of techs and reception are all the same. It is *SO* cool to walk in there and be swarmed by these ladies who "knew me when" and the encouragement and excitement of this post-op visit was pretty special. Awwwwwww....

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Hungry Frog

Four weeks and feeling pretty good~ I wouldn't say I'm back to my pre-chop self, but it's such a drastic improvement from a couple weeks prior I'm feeling like a million bucks. Odd annoyances are there; stitches poke & pull, braces are annoying as always, wooden numb teeth, cleaning takes hours, when fatigue hits it hits HARD, etc. For the most part I can distract myself to ignore these inconveniences that could otherwise drive one a bit batty. I figure if this is the worst I have to complain about then life is good :)

The only thing that's REALLY gotten to me is the darned allergy thing, which is not only uncomfortable, but makes me rather nervous given I've developed adult allergies to shellfish & NSAIDS which started with hives and now anaphylaxis. Very unnerving.

Anyhow it looks like the culprit is latex! I'm allowed to have the elastics out during the day now, and when I put them back in at night, within 45 minutes I exploded into a rash of itchies all over again. I've now got non-latex band and things are improving wonderfully. (You can still see the rash remnants on my face, but apparently it can take a up to a couple of weeks for the histamine to clear your system)

It's so freeing to have those bands out during the day! At first I was nervous about it, but opening has improved bigtime (2 fingers, now)without even thinking about it and now I can actually and truly BRUSH MY TEETH!!! ALL of them! I'm still quite attached to the glories of my water pick, but the combination leaves me feeling like my mouth is actually CLEAN with nary a fuzzy spot ANYWHERE by the time I'm done. NICE! *Angels singing* The swelling is still slowly sinking. If you didn't know me you wouldn't be able to tell it's there, but I can still feel it deep midface and have a lovely little double chin of puffy if you catch me at the right angle. It' s coming.

I had a horse, 'Snortin' Nort' growing up and he was a strange creature.
He walked around with his neck stretched out, shaking his head at you and clicking his teeth together, the most eery sound; whether in greeting or warning (or both) I could never quite figure out. He scared me a little.
I think I might understand him a bit better now, as I stretch out my neck to hide the double chin, shake the head to check out new angles, and am constantly clicking my teeth together with the joy of teeth that FIT together! So if you see or hear me coming, don't be frightened! That clickety-clicking teeth gnashing is pure bliss!

I've been practicing sticking my tongue out and am proud to say I can now lick my lips! It is slow, often tedious and cautious lip licking but it can be done! (And as requested, I've got the picture to prove it!) Let's just say : Ice Cream mustache is no longer a given but if my sustenance depended on catching flies I would starve.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Finger Lickin' Good

Guess what?... It's been three whole weeks since 'Operation Jigsaw'! Snap, that's hard to believe. There are times a single moment seems an eternity, then you blink and *splat* you've been dumped somewhere in the future and are picking yourself off the ground with a head shake, pondering how the heck you got there. Crazyland.
It's evening now, which is why I can give you a big smile which I have to say I'm pretty impressed with for 3 weeks, mobility-wise. This would be impossible in the morning; the swelling paralyzes the right side of my face. I'll add one in tomorrow for giggles.
Ha, I meant to share a question Mom posed to me before going home: She asked if there was anything I really wanted before she left. For whatever reason, when I replied, "Lick my lips!" She was unable/unwilling to see to my plight. Hmph! Guess that wasn't quite what she had in mind... All the kid chauffeuring, meal-cooking, cookie baking (*whimper*), garden-tending, housekeeping, rant-listening was MORE than enough, thanks Mom ;)
~Daily Jaw~
Junk: Being the "Spontaneously Erupting Human Hive" is ticking me off.
Assess: Thank goodness for Benadryl.
Wow: Awesome day hanging out in the sunshine with El (Sis) at the kids' Bball tourney today!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Poser? Poseur?

Do not for a second think this face is easy, 'cause it takes a LOT of work to look like this, baby:

No pain no gain. It's the weird stitch pulling sensation, both top and bottom; that almost indescribable tingly burn feeling tugging at both nose and chin from the inside-out that gives me the creebles *shudder*.

This pic is actually quite lovely in what it symbolizes (ahhhh, deep moment), which is the slow but steady demise of Stone Face Syndrome. The mobility being displayed has been rewarded with pudding.

The numbness is now limited directly where bone cuts were made. That's kind of creebley too, as before it was just an over-all throbby, tingly, stone numbness. Now, it's quite specific. For example: On the surface my nose feels touch and I can scrunch & wiggle it. But underneath it all, the foundation my nose sits on? Dead. Very strange to describe. Everything else feels like just before the Novocaine wears off at the dentist.

It's bizarre how time of day makes a HUGE difference to what shape my face takes. Morning and evenings seem to be puffier for the obvious lying down+ more swelling blah-blah reasons, and it's still more dramatic on my right, but there's a sweet spot in the afternoon where time stands still, the birds stop singing and things melt away a little bit more. Today I even have a nose/mouth crease back! Wahoo for wrinkles! The nighttime "botox fairy" will be erasing it again shortly till tomorrow afternoon's teaser.

~Daily Jaw~

Junk: Nocturnal muscle spasms (the knife-in-the-ear kind) do not a good sleep make. Spontaneously teary at times.
Assess: Bit by bit, little by little.....
Wow: Starting to feel more human(e)

Monday, June 1, 2009


Okay, so this stage of healing really is harder than waiting for surgery. The first couple of weeks things change rapidly, improvements happen quickly. And now? The big stall where everything D-r-a-g-s on. Note the capital D.

I haven't written as not much really changes; nothing is tickling my funny bone & I hate to disappoint. A whole lot of boredom blah with random moments of cheer. I'm not unhappy, just...blah. My skin is still nasty. Residual swelling makes me look duckish and knowing it's here to stay for a bit is, um, something I have to get used to. I can do quite a bit more but get tired easily, yet sitting around is getting old. I'm antsy to get out and DO something, but part of me wants to hide out a bit longer.

The cold from my kids is great fun: Sneezing is even more fun than coughing. Do you know the PSI of your average sneeze? Through your MOUTH my friends, not your nose. Bite teeth gently to stabilize your jaw and let it out your mouth. Hold paper in front of face and marvel at the spray patterns. Pretty! Sneezy, coughy, stuffy. Blech.

My goal was to not lose any weight, and I'm proud of this accomplishment, but GAINING weight? Yeah, leave it to the over-achiever.

Aimee, I feel your pain. I'm developing allergies. I'm pretty sure the full body rash flares the worst with peanut butter (this and a banana in the chocolate shake SJP recommended is a flavour sensation! MMMmmm~TRY THIS!) but I'm not ruling out the banana and noticed the strawberry shake last night also sent me in search of Benadryl. I don't think the drugged out Benadryl hangover is helping my mindset.

I'm going for a good long walk outside in the morning to clear my head :)

~Daily Jaw~

Junk: Blech, Yuck, Blah
Assess: Time to regroup & refocus
Wow: I need to lighten up!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Otherwise known as Surgically Acquired -Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I can not stay focused on anything for any period of time. Sitting still is next to impossible without the sparkle and allure of bright shiny objects being dangled in front of my face:

The last couple of days have been SO much better. This is where I get to experience that roller coaster thingy....Weeeeeee! You know, that stage where you're feeling better so you just keep going? I started eating ice cream Saturday night and the world became a happy place again. I finally had a laugh strong enough to rip the last surgical hook from being embedded in my cheek so a joke doesn't hurt anymore. Talking got easier so I yakkety-yakkety-yakkety......."wow, is that a bird over there?! Ooooh pretty flowers? What, who's on the phone? Let's go shopping! Anymore ice cream? Tell me a story! Pardon did you say something? Ooooh lalalalalalala!...... "No wonder my jaw feels tired...

Really, my brain is everywhere. I sit down to write and it's hard to focus. I forget how to spell. Reading more than the instant gravy instructions has been out of the question. And no, I'm not on anything other than the occasional Tylenol.

Yes Steph! I DID get that bandage taken off yesterday and it is a wonderful feeling of freedom indeed! I admit there was a momentary tummy flip when I first stood up though; psychologically like that comfort blanket was being ripped off. Weird. Got over that :) Do you have any idea how much nail polish remover burns on skin that's been stretched and air deprived for 10 days? Ouch! but it got most of the glue off.

My swelling has gone down significantly, but there's still a way's to go~ It's common to be lopsided and it would seem the bulbousness favours my right. My nose is most certainly more turny-uppy but I am not upset about anything in this regard. Um, it's way too early for any of that :) . The swelling WILL eventually all go away, even if it takes months, and things WILL keep settling. Get a load of that skin, though, really. Sheesh, between the steroids during surgery and the stretching and the lounging...It is really ticked off.

Had a great check up with the SawMaster yesterday. I'm a 'Superstar' (his word, not mine) and he seemed quite impressed with how things are healing. And he found NO creamed corn hiding in my incisions whatsoever...... Actually it was amazing in that when I sheepishly mentioned 'eating' such foods all he said was, "I'm Italian, I understand the importance of eating!" SO if I can swallow it, I'm allowed to eat it! I've since had a can of alphagetti, mashed potatoes and gravy, and even more creamed corn, legally. My bite is bang on and have a 'Fred' guiding elastic on either side to support it.
After riding the high for a couple of days, I've kind of settled back down to a more 'normal' place. Kids returned home from the inlaws & My mom came on Sunday to stay for the week so it remains unknown who will be the biggest pain to look after. I hear the big money's on me.....

Anyhow I'm doing okay. Uncomfortable but hardly miserable. Sleep is fairly evasive and I'm tired, but I'm not a complete zombie. I still can't focus well and have a tendency to wander around and want to do more than I ought, but I suppose it's better to have 'duct-tape-you-to-a-chair' threats hurled at you than feel like it did a couple days ago. It's just weird not to be the one 'doing'. Moms are supposed to push past it, aren't they?

Finally, (for now anyways ~you've been warned!), Thank you SO much for all the positive reinforcement, encouragement, prayers etc. I will be replying to comments in the near future. Nearer than you think now that I've been Duct taped to this chair.....

Junk: Restless, impatient phase commencing

Assess: Impressed I've always remembered the second 's' in assess

Wow: All those other bloggers are right~Mashed Potatoes & Gravy REALLY tastes like REAL food!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

But Are Your Lips Blue?

The last couple days have been the hardest by far, and likewise the hardest to describe. My brain has been on overdrive playing the flip-sided devil's advocate against itself. How I FEEL; hitting the wall, rock-bottom, discouraged, downhearted, on the skids, sucking the hind tit (thanks for that one, Dad!).... versus the things that I KNOW; "This is normal, hang in there, it'll get better, one day at a time"... and it's all true, both sides, simultaneously.

Perhaps it's a combination of anaesthetic leaving, body reeling, not sleeping, full swelling, experience coughing, dry heaving, sick of sitting, fear of suffocating, gag-on souping-ing.... *breath*... but I'm only guessing. Hubby made a call to the surgeon one evening at the height of my 'discomfort' and guess what his only concern was? "But are her lips blue?" As in, as long as I'm not literally suffocating, suck it up princess and just keep breathing. You volunteered for this, remember? (hard to see in pic but I'm wearing my "frankie goes to Hollywood" t-shirt, haha!) Relax.

(* This pic is from Friday morning and was chosen for T-shirt message irony, to highlight that lips and disgustipating bandage are still at large, blind you with the shiny-glossy skin, & if you look close I've actually got yellow bruising on my neck.*)

I believe it was Thursday evening after my "everything is dandy" post that Karma kicked my big-fat mouth and the throat tickling began. That niggling that builds at times when you know you're supposed to be silent. Your eye's are watering like crazy as you try to bite it back but you know it's futile and the cough eventually comes crashing out. But because you've made 'it' wait, 'it's' going to make you reel over and over again till that tickle is satisfied. Painful enough experiencing this during Church congregational prayer, (I missed the whole first half of my Sister's wedding address to this evil), but knowing it IS going to happen and your heads been recently rearranged and I thought I'd go mental in anticipation.

I should say "It's not as bad you you think" (read: my head did not literally implode ) but it sure made me aware of lots of little things. Like:

  • Wow, I'd forgotten about surgical hooks embedded in swollen flesh in there- Sudden sharp movements that rip them out of hiding feels awesome! Or

  • Cool, That's what a rubber band snapping in your mouth feels like! And

  • Who-da-thunk-it, but you can actually dry heave and cough at the same time and resemble a One-Man-Band guy who plays accordion and harmonica, bending over to thump and whack on a variety of drums while reaching up to give the monkey-on-shoulder a pat...probably sound the same too.

Ah Yes, I'd promised to show the iv debacle, the truth of which I'm sure I'll never know. Picture on the left is where I watched them insert and felt them run meds into me. It is from this same sight that I was still receiving everything post op as well. The mystery? Picture on the right is the flip side of the same hand, obviously beaten up nicely and the pain of a recovery nurse holding pressure on this sight is my first and overwhelming memory of 'Coming To'. I have no idea why.

~Daily JAW~

Junk: This really can be a crappy place to be

Assess: It really will get better

Wow: Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream

And My Lips Aren't Blue!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who Wantsh a Kish?

I .HATE. pressure. bandage. It is itchy, smelly, sticky, and harbouring Swine flu,... maybe.....well...chocolate pudding for sure which also makes it slightly hauteur couture, no?

Bottom Feeder (with pu bah rights) insists it remains on until Monday the 25th, on which date I can assure you it will have already moved on to greener pastures and taken half of my face with it. What has GOT to be growing under there? *shudder!*
How many of you guys suffered this nuisance? I wanted to compare the puffage from all angles, OoH is that a bruise there? And All I GET Is The 'Yo Mumma!' Face, the one that inspires that joke about the kid on the back of his dad's motorbike....Slow down daddy....

I've been having a time getting blogger the work and post the last couple of days, and that frustration in combination with drugs = not much posting. I'm done the narcotics and am just crushing up Tylenol. Honestly, I'm not noticing a lot of difference in the pain front. I have had very little acute pain. It really is the constant 'Discomfort' that begs distraction. I've had a couple teary moment where those jaws are just aching, like a targeted ear ache, but combined with Strep throat swallowing issues, cold/flue stuffy/aches, tired. It's at these times I remind myself:

  • This could hurt SO much more, enjoy the mediocrity
  • I can "drink'" from a cup and felt my lips from the get-go: COOL!
  • Nose stopped dripping by day 3-4. Sounds gross, but melting my way through the clot (with peroxide, without dis logging it) so I could always breath if I'd just freak less and sit still. The nurse who showed me this deserves pudding
  • I have This Man to make me fresh soup! And Chocolate Pudding (a day before technically"allowed") That's the only time I've used the zip n'Squeeze and did it pack away a family pudding like no tomorrow~ YUM !

So, I'm doing dandy! I'm SOBER :) Wait a minute, If I'm off the drugs now......

Just joking. I'm trying to smile at you in the pics, but the lip are in danger of popping. Seriously, I miss being able to talk much. Jonathan can understand me and I can make myself heard but this takes LOTS of works and ends up with achy jaw. Playing around with ice and heat now, not for any advantage over comfort and just praying for my throat to go back to normal.

Tomorrow, I'll show you the IV bruises from where no IV "technically"' existed. Always fun

Love you Guys :)

Junk: Still whining the throat
Assess: So Much more worth giving thanks for
Wow: Off to marvel more flowers :)