Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bad Blogger (Day 25)

Sorry I have been so bad about blogging. Since I last wrote, I went in to see my surgeon for my two week follow-up. I don't know if I mentioned in my previous post (it actually may have happened right after I wrote), but I slipped on the stairs (probably b/c I was wearing my super comfy fuzzy socks) and kinda-sorta fell. I didn't fall all the way and hit my face (thank God!), but the strangest thing happened.. Keep in mind, this was when my mouth was completely banded shut and I could not open it, even the slightest. But somehow when I fell, my lower jaw opened up and snapped back shut (I still have no clue how that happened when they were sooo tightly shut). It was so bad that a rubberband completely snapped. It hurt pretty bad too. So I got all upset of course (I have been pretty emotional at times during this whole process) and was convinced at first that I messed something up. Well, I finally calmed down and realized I was seeing the doctor soon, so he could take a look.

So one of the first things the doctor did at this visit was to take an x-ray to make sure everything was still ok. Everything turned out to be fine and he was still very pleased with how everything was progressing. He reassured me again that the swelling is still going to go down. And I had it wrong in my last post... He had said that after two weeks approx 80% of the swelling is gone and that the remaining 20% can take as long as 3-4 months to completely go away. I have to say that did make me feel quite a bit better. And then, the best part of all, he took off those horrible bands that were holding my mouth completely shut. He said he still wanted to keep the splint in since, at that point, I was finally fitting into it correctly. And he put on much looser bands and said I could take these off to brush and eat. Man, it was sooo nice being able to open my mouth after all that time!! Funny thing was, I was so used to not opening it at all, it took me awhile to get used to opening it again. For a while, I would still just keep talking with my mouth closed. It was strange.

Since the day started out nicely, I decided to visit my "mother-in-law" (that's what me, my mom, and my "mother-in-law" call her since I have been with her son for 8 years now) :) It was really nice to see her and she told me I looked a lot skinnier and that she thought I was doing a really great job with talking and everything. Basically she made me feel really good. So then me and my mom went home and decided we were going to end out the day by going to the movies. We were dying to see the Blind Side b/c Michael Oher is a Raven (my team!!) and it just looked like a really good movie. So, I really had been doing pretty good with food up until that point (as far as not craving real food like crazy), but MAN, the smell of that popcorn and everything else was almost too much to bear. But, overall, it was a good day.

So, the following Thursday (3 days later) we decided I should try to get up and move around again so my mom and I went to the movies (again, I know) and this time we saw New Moon (I love the Twilight books, but agree with Stephanie, the movies aren't quite as great). So, the movie went well. Then we decided to go get our nails done at the place I always go. So, as soon as I walk in, the owner (who knows me by name) looks at me strangely and I knew immediately that she could tell something is wrong with my face. And even if I couldn't, she then says (with a very concerned/upset look on her face) "What is wrong?!". So, I told her all about the surgery and everything and she asked me how long ago it was. I told her just over two weeks. And she was like "Wow, it's still that bad after two weeks?". Man, did that make me feel not-so-good. I mean, I know her english isn't all that great and I am sure she didn't realize how major of a surgery this was, but it still sucked. I guess I thought that even though I thought it looked kinda bad still that maybe other people wouldn't really notice. Guess I was wrong.

So, anyway, since then (it's now a little over a week later), the only thing that has really changed is how I feel from day to day about my face. I swear I can't tell anymore if it is even changing. Some days, I feel pretty darn good about it, but then by the end of the day or the next morning, I think it looks terrible again. I still am not convinced that it's ever going to go away. And I still wonder if this is just my "new" face. But my mom and those close to me insist it is still swelling. My face looks puffy, not just like the bones have moved. And I guess I should have a little more faith in what the doctors say, huh? It's just very hard sometimes. I mean, I love that it seems that my teeth come together now (sorta still hard to tell how everything will truly feel with this darn splint in) and I love that my chin does not stick out nearly as far as it used to (good job on the genioplasty from what I can tell so far!!). But, my lower jaw area just still looks so darn big, although I think overall it does seem a little better than a week ago. Oh well, I guess all I can do is be patient at this point.

So finally, I have another appointment coming up on Monday. My doctor had said that he would take out my splint at this 4 week appointment. Only problem is, he had a family emergency and had to go back to England for a little while.. so I am hoping like crazy the main resident (who I have seen just as much if not more than my main doctor) will still take it out. I don't want to go back to work with this thing in. :( I guess we'll see. I will update this more after that appointment and I swear at some point I will get all those pictures added in. They are still on my Mom's camera. Oh, and I am up to 18 pounds lost in total!! YAY!

Oh, and here is the picture of my "new jaw". The plate and screws are pretty cool, I think. :)


Meredith said...

That fall must have been pretty scary! I'm so paranoid about falling right now. I had an appointment while it was snowing and I was so scared walking through the parking lot!
That's a tough experience at the nail place. I think that when people think oral surgery, they think it's all along the lines of wisdom teeth- all better in about a week. I know that the few people I've seen are shocked at how I still look. Not good when you're trying to convince yourself it's getting better!

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Eric, and next month i'll get the same surgury as you. They gonna move my upper and lower jaw. I can't wait. good job with all the work btw. I hope it will go well for me.
Did you still feel ur lips and stuff. The doctor keep telling me i might lose some sensation

Meredith said...

Hey Kelly!
I just saw your comment on how difficult it was to get used to eating again. Are you on soft food now? And how long did it take you to get used to it? I'm just wondering because I was supposed to get together with friends on Saturday for dinner. I'm planning on bringing some nice soft pasta, and I'm hoping I'll be able to eat that! I get the splint out on Tuesday (I can't waaaaait!) so that'll give me about 4 days to practice beforehand. Were you able to get anything down with a semblance of grace by then?

Kelly said...

Hey Meredith!! Yeah, I am finally on soft foods now. Even though I could have had soft foods before the splint was out, I tried that and it did not work at all. But, it was sooo weird after he took the splint out trying to eat again. But each day seems to be getting better. I think it's hard mostly b/c I can't feel anything so my mouth is probably doing all sorts of crazy stuff in order to chew the food. I think I have made a huge improvement in less than a week's time with being able to eat. Now, I am not going to sugarcoat it though, I am sure I still look pretty strange trying to eat, but I usually just try to hold a napkin over my face while chewing if I am out in public. And if your dinner is with close friends, I am sure they will be very understanding. I was worried about going back to work, but honestly everyone there made me feel even better about myself. (They are too nice!) :) Oh, and I have found I can eat most anything that isn't hard. Like pasta, breaded chicken (that was a Healthy Choice meal which was amazing I must say), cereal, waffles.. It takes time, but I must say it is pretty freaking exciting eating real food!! (before that, I was like you, and literally only ate soup and Ensure for 4 weeks) Good luck!! Oh, and did you enjoy the blizzard?? :)