Thursday, 19 September 2013

9 Days Post Surgery - :))))

Can't believe I'm at nine days post surgery already!! 

I noticed that I had a real change in the way I was feeling from day five.  This was two days after I returned home and resumed using my Isagenix products.  I really think that having this wonderful nutrition prior to, and following my surgery had a lot to do with my quick recovery.  

I was allowed to remove my chin strap this morning & that felt SO GOOD!  It was getting unbelievably annoying & itchy.  

I'm feeling pretty good overall; but my nice purple and green bruising makes it look a hell of a lot worse than what it actually is. 

It's funny - Corrine and I had very similar procedures done, yet she didn't bruise at all.  I on the other hand look like my surgeon used to be a butcher; and nothing could be further from the truth.  

I had my first post surgery check up with Dr D today, & he really is the best - my favourite Doctor in fact.  He apologized for all the bruising (although it has more to do with my genes than his technique), and I apologized for scaring all the patients in his waiting room - lol.  

He is super happy with my progress, my wounds are healing nicely, my bite is excellent (no bands for me - woohoo), and I can progress onto soft foods straight away.  I can open about a finger width which is also good.  

I have a small patch of numbness that extends from the left side of my bottom lip (to about halfway across) and right down that side of my chin.  Good news is though that for the last few days I've been getting some rather weird feelings in that area which are similar to tummy butterflies.  Dr D says that is my nerves waking up - yay. 

Im not able to feel most of my top teeth or the front part of my pallet, but I remember that from my S.A.M.E and full feeling eventually came back, so I'm not worried.

I had so much fun baking the other day that I made some yummy Queen Cakes and Afghan Biscuits (my favourite) for Dr D and his surgical team, and another lot for all the nurses who took care of me.  AND since I'm allowed to eat softish things, I'm going to try one myself when I get home this arv. 

I mentioned in my last post that Dr D had taken some before and after pictures of me on the operating table.  Today he gave me copies.  :D THEY ARE AMAZING!!! I haven't stopped looking at them ALL DAY.  


Such a huge, huge difference from those teeny tiny millimeters!  

He also showed me the X-rays of all my new hardware.  

I've now taken out the pillows from under my mattress, and I'll try sleeping flat from tonight.  

From Wednesday night (one week) I have not needed to take pain killers through the night; and since yesterday I only had light painkillers (Panadol) when I got up; and when I went to bed.  Today I've only had one dose.  

Especially for Natasha - the things I found most useful with regard to the liquid diet was having a good quality blending device (I had a Thermomix) ours was used constantly for a week; and using a squirty sauce bottle to feed myself (although you need to make sure your food is very well blended or you'll have to keep unblocking the spout).  Try and keep your food tasting interesting as the texture gets boring quickly - some of my faves were: few tbsp of plain yoghurt with a dash of strawberry jam; whole fruits blended with ice into a slushy; and various vegetable soups. 

I have another week off work (yay) and it just happens to be school holidays, so I plan to enjoy this time off with my FiancĂ© and kids.  

I've got another appointment with Dr D next week; and I'll also see one of my Orthodontists then too.  

Next week also happens to include my very first birthday with my new face - EXCITING!!

Until next time my blogging friends. 

Ellie xxx

Monday, 16 September 2013

Days 1 to 6

I was up pretty early on day 1, and as I hadn't yet eaten anything and my blood pressure was a bit low, the nurses helped me have a shower..  It was nice to rinse my mouth out with the portable shower head.
I was given some more morphine and anti-nausea drugs, and then it dawned on me that it was the morphine making me nauseous so I requessted no more of that.  Still didn't feel like eating much during the  day, I tried to have some yoghur at breaky, but it just sat on my bottom lip  as I couldn't open my mouth well with the bands in.
Bernie came and visited twice today. 
Dr D came and saw me and showed me profile pictures he had taken of me before he operated; and one directly after - there was a big difference, but it's hard to remember, and I don't have a copy.......yet. 
My bottom lip started to go a little numb (I think from beinng so fat).   I snoozed on and off most of the day, my eyes hurt  a bit, so I didn't feel like watching TV or amusing myself on my tablet.
Dr D came and saw me again, and wondered whether my swelling had peaked  (I hoped so) as I wasn't really any puffier than that morning.  He decided to remove my bands to try and make it easier for me to et and take my pain meds.  I wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not, but he did it anyway.  He also said that I probably wouldn't go home until Saturday (today was Thursday).
Had some soup for dinner, from a little sippy cup - it was SO GOOD.  Brushed my teeth & slept pretty well  that night. 

I was awake super early again (sun-up), and there was a lovely nurse who was at the end of my bed with fresh ice pack (everyone else had waited until I asked for ice).  My face was pretty puffy and achy. 
I took myself for a shower and tried to brush my teeth  - I managed to get all of the outside, but none of the inside.  I was really looking forward to breakfast and a cup of tea.  They serve so much sweet stuff (yoghurt; custard & jelly; pureed fruit;  ice-cream; sweetened fruit juice - yuk) all I wanted was savoury. 
I was feeling pretty good, and hoped that Dr D would change his mind and let me go home today - but no.  Bernie came to visit again & he noticed  that I looked better, and was a lot more mobile. 
Dr D finally came to visit & stayed for a while, he wondered how I was psychologically  (I thought pretty good - I had only questioned my sanity a couple of times since Wednesday!!)  He told me that I was looking better, as i had my colour back.  He also said he had to move the bottom plate on my RHS 3 times - first due to dodgy tap on tthe screw; then new position for a fresh hole; and finally because he couldn't move my chin forward with the plate where it was.  He was really pleased with the level of feeling on my right side for this reason, as the nerve had to be manouvred several times.  He sent me down for an x-ray to check everything out; and  before he left, he requested a copy of my picture of me with my smiley face.  

Hanging out for dinner again, and too much sweet stuff, and not enough soup!!
Bernie & I watched a few  episodes of Hamish and Andy - Gap Year Asia - they are a mad pair.  Didn't  sleep very well.

I woke up super early (like 4am) even puffier this morning, and my eyes felt kind of stuck together, but I couldn't go back to sleep.
Had a nice long shower and brushed my teeth gently  - inside my mouth is just as puffy as out.  Had my bag packed and ready to go by about 6am  - waiting; waiting; waiting! 
Emailed a friend, and watched some more Hamish and Andy to kill a bit of time til breakfast.  Had porridge this morning on a baby spoon- so yummy!!  Was hungry again not long after, but only sickly sweet custard - ugh.
Bernie came and visited  and we waited for the Doc.  His wife (also a Dr) came to discharge me which I didn't mind in the slightest. 
Was hungry again as we left hospital, so we grabbed some KFC for the trip home (I had potato & gravy) and commenced our 2.5 hr trip home.  I fell asleep eventually on the way home, but was pretty sore by the time we got here.
Mum came to visit, and brought our dog Harry home; Bernie cooked us up some soup in our Thermomix (love that machine); then we took the dogs for a short walk on the beach (which was nice) before  heading home for an early  dinner/shower/bed.  

This was probably my worst day so far - again I was up at the crack of dawn, and a bit sore, but today I  could hardly open my eyes!   I had tried to sleep in an elevated kind of position, but for someone who is a half side, half tummy sleeper I was SO completely sick of laying on my back, and my tailbone wasn't too happy about  it either - that I'd managed to lay pretty well flat through the night.  With my genio  work came a nice firm plaster over and under my chin and pulled tight right up to my cheek bones; and when you combine that with laying flat - you get swelling that defies gravity with bags under your eyes pushing them up, and tape almost next to your eyes pulling them down & he presto I almost could not see. 
My face felt so  puffy and fat and tight it felt like it might explode & I hoped that surely I could not get bigger than this!  I was constantly putting lip balm on to prevent my bottom lip from cracking - it literaly felt like someone had grabbed it and turned it inside out.  

I did manage to do a few things around home, a couple of loads of washing & put the dishes away - and they happened slowly, but it gave me something to do!
It was also pretty hard to talk, and after I ate my mush from a spoon at lunch, my jaw was pretty tired, sore and achy.  I took some pain killers and applied ice, but the ice seemed to make it worse  - almost as if it were freezing the metal plates inside my head to effectively give me ice-cream head ache around my jaw. 
I rested, but wasn't tired; and I  was  bored, but with a sore head there wasn't much to do;  I ended up having about four showers today - the hot water running over my face felt good. 
Later that arv, Bernie and I took Harry  for a walk on the  beach (and got further than the day before).  It was nice to be out in the fresh air. 
After the sleeping disaster from the night before, I decided to try and sleep on our fold-out couch  in a bid to stay more upright & it did work, but I had a crap night's sleep & woke about every three hours  for more pain killers. 

I woke up early again (not happy Jan - this is my chance for sleep-ins) & started my day with a nice hot shower.  I wasn't quite as puffy as the day before, but today my bruising really started to show.  My bottom lip went dark purple on either side, and out on to my cheeks, and I'm a greenish/yellow all the way down my neck past my collar bone.  

Bernie had some things to do in town, so I decided to go with him to get out of the house.  I stayed in the car at the hardware store, and stockfeed place, but I went into the supermarket with him.  I knew people would stare, and wonder what on earth had happened to me, so I wrapped a scarf around my head like a burka (not sure if I spelled that right)  & yes I got some stares, but just because they wondered why i had a scarf on my head.  The check  out chicks didn't even  seem to misunderstand what I was saying - winning!
Today was the day that my girls came home, and I was a little worried about how they would react to my swollen bruised face.  I had considered asking my Mum to collect them from school, but decided to bite the bullet and treat it as a normal day; and after my positive experience with my scarf, I adopted that approach with them too.
Of course they noticed and wondered why I had a scarf on, and then why I was talking funny, but it gave me a chance to explain it to them a little better without freaking them out too much, or at school.  When we got  home, I revealed, and my youngest was a bit ''creeped out" (her words) - but she soon realised that i was the same Mummy, and that i was ok & would be much better soon.  My eldest had lots and lots and lots of  question, and was more curious than anything.  By that evening though, my jaw was aching from so much talking!!  
Lunch in a sauce bottle - too bloody easy!

I took some stronger pain killers and ditched the couch in favour of our bed with some cushions under the mattress to elevate the head end.  SO MUCH BETTER!!!!  Had an awesome awesome sleep & i absolutely recommend this method of elevation over every other method I've tried. 

Awesome, awesome day!  I really am starting to feel like me again (just with a slightly bruised fat head).  Huge differences today.  I got the girls ready for school and dropped them off; went back to the supermarket and bakery (with my scarf) by myself; went to visit my Mum for a while; baked my family a Bacon & Egg Pie (yummo - but not blendable me thinks).  Bernie went and put the crab pots in (cross your fingers for fresh mud crab tomorrow). And I also attended my Daughter's netball presentation (with scarf) no problems! 
I can smile today!!!! I mean literally smile - I really can, not a big one, but definately a smile!

Cappuccino in a sauce bottle!!

My swelling has gone down a lot today (my plaster has started to crinkle); I can close my lips; and this afternoon I even managed some kisses which I couldn't do this morning!!  I can feel more with the inside of my lips, and my girls told me this afternoon that I am speaking so much better than this morning too. Happy Day :)
My bruising has gotten worse though, it kinda looks like I have had a big feed of vegemite toast & not washed my face - gotta see the funny side of that - if only I could have vegemite toast!!

My pain was almost non-existant today.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Surgery Day

OK, so I've been a little absent these last four days (it seems like MUCH longer), buy it's time i updated and documented this second surgery experience.  

The day of surgery I was awake at 4:30am, not because I needed to be, I just was-  ugh!  I had a protein shake and a couple of eggs for breaky and the set about getting my kids ready for school - all the while with this HUGE knot in my tummy. 

My fiance (still love typing that) drove me the 2.5hr trip to the hospital and cracked jokes all the way which helped lighten the mood a little.  We checked in at 12pm and that's when I started to get really nervous. 

I met my anaesthetist who managed to creep me out slightly and really question what the hell I was doing to myself.   I'm not sure he meant to, perhaps he was just ignorant.  Right after that a nurse had me change into my lovely surgical gear (& she managed to help me freak out just a little bit more) so much so, that it was then time to go and wait to be called and I was a blubbering mess.  But with my man holding my hand and cracking more jokes, I managed to not run away.  He took this photo (I had  just been sobbing) and then they called me in.......

Someone helped me up onto the bed and I was still blubbering (but trying really hard not to), most of the surgical team came out to say hi, and I made myself ask their names and what they'd be doing to try and distract myself.  My anaesthetist showed up then & jokingly asked who made me cry (duh - you did)!!  He gave me something to calm me a bit.  Dr D came out and had a chat with me which was comforting & then they wheeled me in & I had to wriggle onto another bed still chatting to my new surgical friends.

I remember one of the ladies putting these cool massaging things on my lower legs to keep the blood moving during my op; then seeing my anaesthetist put something into my tubes, and feeling like I was drifting & I waved bye-bye.   And then I woke up. 

And it felt SO GOOD!! Just the fact that that part was over, no more waiting, no more anticipation, no more knots in my tummy - I had done it and was now officially on the other side after being on the table for a bit over 4 hours. 

First thing I did was feel my chin & it was covered in plaster, so I knew I'd had a genio done. 

It felt like I was in recovery for ages, but it wasnt really, and they wheeled me back to my room where my handsome fiance was waiting for me with a new little friend to keep me company during my hospital stay. 

I could talk ok, and I was very excited with the amount of feeling in my face.  I could feel my cheeks, my nose, all around and on my top and bottom lips, and all bar a little tiny bit on the centre of my chin.

I did a quick update to my blog (ok so I cheated and drafted most of it before my surgery, so I ony had to write a little and post it); then we called my Mum (who was looking after my girls) and had a quick chat so she could let the girls know I was alright when they woke the next morning. 

Bernie told me that he could see bands on my teeth.  One of the nurses had to suction out my mouth a couple of times, but that was about it. 

I didn't get much sleep that night, my tummy wasn't very happy when they gave me morphine & then anti-nausea drugs; and with all the obs the nurses kept doing, but all in all it was a pretty successful (if not scary and emotionally draining) day. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Miss Titanium

Hi Family, Friends &  Blog Buddies!! 

I made it!  The waiting is finally over & I'm officially on the other side :).  I cannot express how happy that makes me feel.  Such a relief. 

How am I feeling?

Happy, little sore (when my muscles tense) & little puffy. But HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!!!

I'd like it if you would listen to Titanium by David Guetta - with all the new titanium plates in my head, its my new theme song!!

Now for some pictures

Ellie xx


I went to see Dr D for my pre-surgery appointment yesterday.  Let me just say - I love that man!!  I am absolutely fascinated how he does what he does, and totally in awe of that.  He's also just a bloke, someone you can have a chat with, and is pretty funny.  I am totally comfortable leaving myself in his hands for this surgery. 

Over a weekend, he spent about 8 hours (EIGHT - ON THE WEEKEND) working on my moulds and basically performing the surgery on those.  He let me know the measurements that we are looking at for the surgery (which is a little more involved than I thought). 

Here's what will go down tomorrow (eek tomorrow):

Upper jaw will happen first, and as I have a cant (my teeth protrude longer on one side than the other) he needs to take out 2.5mm on one side; 4mm on the other side; and 3mm at the front.  He'll also do a little twist 3mm to the left to correct my midline.  The process of lifting up my top jaw is likely to affect my nose - it could get wider at the nostrils, and the tip could lift up slightly (that's my understanding of it anyway).  So he'll use an alar stitch to keep it from moving too much.

Lower jaw is next, and I can't remember why (maybe something to do with my cant or my off midline) but the right side needs to come forward 8mm; and the left 6mm. 

Genioplasty is a possibility, and a choice that will be made by the surgical team - they're the experts.  Dr D estimates that if that is required that my chin will come forward 4mm; and again with a little twist to make it in line with the rest of my face. 

So I'm not allowed to blow my nose for two weeks following the surgery; I'm to use ice packs as often as I can for a week following surgery (and heat packs if my muscles are tensing up).  I only need to sleep elevated for the first night, and then I can please myself - whatever is comfortable.

Dr D describes the recovery as 'Awkward'.  I understand that, as it pretty accurately describes the feeling after my expansion surgery.  I'm anticipating something similar, but 'bigger' since this surgery involves both jaws (& maybe chin). 

I'm going to end up with an imperfect bite following surgery, as most of my molars won't touch.  This is unavoidable, as orthodontics can only do so much prior to surgery; it will be corrected with more orthodontics (bands), but Dr D says those gaps should close pretty quickly (YAY). 

He also said that I'm going to look very different, it's a big change to my face.  While I'll still look like me, I'll look different enough that others may think there is something different, while not being able to pinpoint exactly what it is.  That could be fun, although I know it is likely to be weird and perhaps unnerving to an extent looking at myself in the mirror, and seeing someone different looking back.  I'm not sure how that will affect my kids, but we'll work through it. 

I can't believe how fast, but how agonisingly slow these last few weeks have gone.  I'm guessing that the next week will be the same (I hope anyway). 

Until next time my friends, wish me luck!! 

Ellie xx