Thursday, 17 October 2013

Healing and getting on with things......

Firstly, a big shout out - HOORAY - to Natasha, who is now officially on the other side after having her jaw surgery yesterday/today (never sure which it is with the time difference).  Well done lovely!

Apologies for my absence, and general slackness at posting updates since my last.....

I've just passed 5 weeks post op & time is flying! 

So, at 16 days post-op I visited my surgeon Dr D, who was still very happy with my progress, but not so happy with my bruising (making him feel like a bit of a Monster).  Don't get me wrong, it was definately much less than the last time I had seen him, but I was still bruised.  The funny thing was that although I was purple and every other colour of the rainbow on the outside, I did not bruise at all on the inside.  How weird it that?  My wounds were all healing nicely, my stitches were starting to fall out, and he was happy with how far I could open my mouth.  I was given the all clear to do some exercising to a) loosen up the scar tissue so my face is not too stiff; and b) start increasing the amount I can open my mouth.  Yay!

I noticed that I could feel a 'depression' on both sides of my jaw & when comparing this to the x-ray, what I am feeling is the gap where my jaw was moved.  Weird, but cool at the same time.

16 Days post-op (and the day after I turned 37) still a little bruising on and around my bottom lip, neck chin and chest

More than one finger, not quite two....

I also saw my fill-in orthodontist (Dr H) as my regular Dr (Dr O) was away lecturing at a Uni down south somewhere.  Dr H wasn't as gentle as Dr O normally is, and he leaned (or held onto) the left side of my chin/jaw quite a lot.  He also gave me bands to wear basically 24/7 in a slanted square formation on either side.  This created force in lots of different directions: pulling my lower back teeth upwards, my upper back teeth downwards (to help them meet quicker); pulling my lower teeth to the right, and my upper teeth to the left (to tweak my midlines).  Ouch ouch ouch.  It took me about four or five days to get used to them. 

I'm not sure if it was the bands, or Dr H's leaning, or just jaw surgery in general, but since then I have had pain on my left side between my chin and where my 'depression' is.  It's not pain all of the time, and it's not so painful that I need pain killers, but it is a new pain that wasn't there before that day.  And I am sure that a new bruise came out in that exact spot a couple of days later.   

It hurt when I stretched my jaws open, and as I wasn't sure if something was wrong, I tried not to do it too often. 

The following weekend I had my 20 year High School Reunion which involved an awful lot of talking, some of which was over very loud music which meant I felt like I had to really enunciate my words to make myself understood - and I think that it was the best thing for me!  My jaw did get tired at times, but nothing too serious, and nothing that involved pain killers - but I really noticed that the stiffness in my face reduced enourmously! 

Here are some pics of me ready to hit our local races as part of our School Reunion - being brave with some nice red lippy!

Monday this week (just shy of 5 weeks post-op) I went back to see my regular Orthodontist (Dr O).  He was lovely as usual, and I did mention to him my concern about Dr H's leaning heavily on that side, and the pain since.  He didn't seem concerned and said it was unlikely to have done any damage. 

Other than that, he is very happy with the position of my bite, saying that getting that right is the hardest part and kept singing Dr D's praises - what a great job he had done.  While some surgery cases are 'straightforward' with regard to movements - mine was very complex with movements across all different planes. 

I GOT MY SURGICAL HOOKS OFF!!! Yaaaaay - they were really starting to bug me.  I don't have to wear the square formation bands anymore, but I still have one on each side on a diagonal - going from bottom No. 5 to top No. 3. 

So Dr O says that we are mainly now just doing some tweaking.  One of my front teeth was hanging down noticeably longer that the other, so he put a little kink in my wire to ask it nicely to move back up (this never ceases to amaze me) and it had moved a little before I even left his office.  If it is still a little long, then a small amount may be filed off, but we'll look at that later on.  We also need to work on a couple of pesky little black triangles, but that is no biggy either.  He said he hopes to have me out of braces within six months - I hope so too!!

My next appointment is 8 weeks away & I'll see both Dr O and Dr D that day.

I went and saw Dr D after that, and he was still very happy with my progress.  I mentioned the pain to him also, and he wasn't really concerned either - saying that considering what they did to my face and bones I'm highly likely to get niggly little pains here and there for a while.  He took some 'after' photos and again mentioned that not quite all my bruising has gone.  It really is the most minor tinge of green from about the edges of my mouth down to my chin - I wasn't sure whether I was imagining  it, but obviously not if he can see it.

I have not been able to open any further since my last appointment, but I haven't been pushing it either.  Dr D says that I can do some exercises, and could use tongue depressors (like your GP uses when you say 'Agh') to gradually stretch by stacking them between my teeth on both sides for a minute or so morning and night, and adding an extra one (in the middle) each day.  So, I've ordered myself a pack of them :)  

I took these pics today, and it wasn't until I looked at them, that I noticed I still look a little puffy on my right (your left) side.  I'm sure it will sort itself out soon.   

My new pink bands and eleastics


And, the profile (and the green tinge!)
Until next time bloggy friends, much love, stay safe, keep well & I look forward to reading your updates soon.

Ellie xxx