Hola amigos. Do you know what today is?
I'm assuming that you've counted every single day with me--rather than just reading the title--and are aware that it's been ONE WHOLE YEAR since my double jaw surgery.
A WHOLE YEAR!!!
It soo doesn't seem like it's been that long since I had the surgery, but at the same time it kinda feels like I've always looked the way I do now.
I mean, I can't even remember a lot of the things that used to bother me with my underbite. The other night my brother mentioned me saying that only two of my teeth touched before the surgery and I was like, "Whoa. I totally forgot about all that kind of stuff."
Everything that other people took for granted while I was suffering, I now take for granted too.
It feels wrong. Buuuutttt, I'd rather be where I am now than where I was pre-surgery, so I'll get over it.
I realize that I haven't written a blog post since January, but I promise I tried! Sort of.
In February I attempted to venture into the huge, daunting world of vlogging for you guys.
That was a failure.
So then I tried to edit it down to where it was just me doing stupid stuff by the time March rolled around, but deadlines and I are mortal enemies, so that was a failure as well. But, school is out and I have nothing to do so I finally got around to editing that video.
I attempted to talk about surgery related things and about changes and whatnot--my usual blog stuff--but I couldn't even look at the camera right. So here's a bunch of stuff you can make fun of instead!
I'm fabulous, I know.
So, we've got five months to catch up on now!
Since I last wrote, I went to the orthodontist once and the oral surgeon once.
The orthodontist wasn't anything exciting, just a retainer check. But so you know, I am still famous among the patients there. Kinda. Okay, I'm honestly just a person the orthos point to and go, "See, she was hot terrible mess before and look at her now!" I'm there to reassure children, really.
Speaking of retainers though, this smartypants over here thought she'd be okay to just not wear hers for a week or two and now her teeth are falling out. Like, literally.
Forcing my teeth to fit back into my retainer every night after they shifted a considerable amount has made my front six teeth unnervingly loose and they hurt. Really, really, hurt.
But oh well, that's only multiple surgeries, endless pain, and thousands of dollars gone to waste.
No big deal.
They taste terrible too!
Who knows, it might not have even been the retainer.
Recently I delved into the risky business of self whitening my teeth, which, while extremely successful, has left me with super sensitive teeth and visible imperfections. Thanks again, Crest!
But wait--I can't really blame Crest all that much.
The package does say the strips are not for people under 18 years old.
I don't care. At least my teeth will be white until they fall out.
Anyway, I went to see my oral surgeon for the last time a couple of months ago.
He didn't really have much to say, but he was probably just speechless. I mean, really. I have got to be some of his best work. I'm sure he was awestruck.
On a completely unrelated note (I've said before how hideous I am at transitions), senior pictures are coming up soon. I absolutely despise having professional pictures taken, but at least it won't be as bad as it would have been had I not had my surgery at this point. I really only bring this up because at some point between last January and now, I noticed that all the pictures my mom has of me around the house are terrifying and would probably cause mental scarring to any small child subjected to them. Really, Mom, I know you're reading this so... seriously could we do something about this?
One of them is my band picture from seventh grade, which is just... I don't know, sad, really.
My underbite (which my band teacher repeatedly brought up as a reason why I would never be able to play flute--like really, band teacher. I wasn't insecure enough. Let's bring it up one more time. Please.) in addition to my general seventh grade awkwardness--out of control hair; ill fitting uniform; uhm, tuba--is just too, too much. It needs to go.
Second, there's the church pictures that they put in the directory for everyone to look at. Sadly enough, we picked out the best looking one and I'm still looking a mess. Maybe it's not as bad as the band picture, but this time I've got braces, my hair's still bad, my underbite and beak nose are worse, and now we've added an awkward pose with my brother. So. Cute.
Lastly (because the house can only handle three terrible pictures of me), there's my school yearbook picture from this year. It's the best of the three, but in a way it still manages to be the scariest. It's definitely what I would have chosen to be immortalized in the yearbook as. I am post-op at this point, but it's before I got my braces off, so I'm in the weird better-but-still-swollen-not-anywhere-close-to-normal-yet interim. My hair is still blond in the front which adds a lovely contrast to my forty pounds underweight, beyond emaciated looking frame and sallow skin. I'm. A. Beaut. My swollen lips next to my hollow cheeks and highly visible collar bone are an added bonus.
I really do wish I could go around to everyone that bought a year book and tape a recent picture of me over the one that's in there.
But I can't, so those lucky viewers will get to remember this
as opposed to something like
or my personal favorite
Yay for glamour shots!
But that's their loss. Oh well.
I guess I should say something somewhat pertinent to the actual surgery since this is the big one year post and all, but there's nothing you haven't read before.
I still can't feel the roof of my mouth, but you saw that in the video earlier.
Really, and I mean it, nothing has changed since January. That's partly why I haven't written anything.
My hair's longer. Seriously, I can't think of anything else to say.
Just look at my face.
BTDubbs, you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.
What the heck--go ahead and have a whole slideshow of me making stupid faces; they still look better than any of the pre-surgery pictures anyway.
And goodness knows I can't resist making a fool of myself, so I'll probably keep on adding stupid pictures as I find them, if you want to check back in a few days.
To close, I'll mention that my birthday is exactly a week from today...
I'm just saying that if any loving, caring friends of mine would like to bestow me with gifts then I wouldn't object. I mean, last year nobody cared because I was getting a new face for my birthday. "That was enough" apparently.
I'm just playing! Reading my last post was enough for me, I suppose. This year.
I love you guys! Thanks for putting up with me for a whole year talking about my surgery, my blog, my old face, my new face, your faces, faces in general, calves, beards; for dealing with me constantly spamming Twitter and Facebook with links to my blog; for still being my friend after I asked if you read my blog and you said no and I asked why and you said you never saw the links and I was like I ONLY POSTED A BAJILLION THOUSAND; for also being my friend if you said you did read my blog and I jumped on you, hugged you, and cried, and continued to routinely bring it up in conversation from then on out; for complying when I demanded, "TAKE A PICTURE OF ME," every five minutes for six months after I got my braces off; and, most importantly, for being there for me after my surgery and helping me adjust to my new self (and also for taking me down a notch when my ego gets too big). You guys are the best! I guess. Or something.
Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys.
Words cannot even describe how ecstatic I am to finally be 100% braces free.
I think it would be best to simply quote that civil rights guy:
"Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, [I am] free at last."
Ohh, wait a minute! I was about to make a joke about how I actually know that that's a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., but then I remembered that today is MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY!
I mean, what are the odds that exactly seven months post op would be the birthday of the man who said the quote that I've been planning to use for exactly this moment for months now?
Seriously, someone calculate that.
Anywhoodleedoodle, last Thursday I got my braces off during school.
When we went into the office I was extremely nervous that they would decide I wasn't ready (those rubber bands? Yeah, I wore those for, like, a day) and wouldn't take them off. I kept finding bad news in all that orthodontic jargon that I've--sadly--come to understand after all these years in that chair.
One ortho kept saying to the other stuff like, "Let's do a holley." I don't know what a holley is! I don't know, but it sounded bad! But soon enough those horrible, terrible pliers came into my line of vision and my fears were calmed.
That is, until my ortho very blatantly told me, "This is going to hurt."
And hurt it did. Apparently the clear braces are much more difficult to pry from your teeth than the regular ones are. There was a horrible crunch and some jerking with every single tooth (let me tell you a story in a minute!) but then I was free. It made me kinda nervous because I still feel like some of my teeth (specifically my upper right 2; you know the one) are really... weak, I guess, but it wasn't terrible.
When we got to my bottom teeth that only had regular braces, I didn't even realize my brackets were coming off until he was half way through!
The whole office was happy for me.
I'm not even exaggerating. The WHOLE office knows that I've been the problem child for the past decade.The receptionists came back. The assistants hugged me. Even someone in the waiting room knew about me. I'm practically famous in the world of orthodontia.
When *Brandi took me to get my pictures and X-Rays done she showed me all of my old pictures. They're depressing. And precious, in a way.
The pictures from when I was little are pretty cute I guess, but you can still tell there's something wrong with me. Once we got to the ones where I'm older though... It honestly looks painful. I don't know how I lived like that. It made me feel so much better when we got to my post op pictures. My eyes look better, I have cheek bones, my nose is mostly straight, and you can see the nine screws in my face!
I so wish I could feel those.
She then got me all fitted for my retainer and we left.
*Before leaving I told Brandi that I was glad she was there to see me get my braces off since she's the assistant that's worked with me the most over the past two and half years. She told me once, about six months into my braces (after my surgery for my upper right 2, when we were in the process of moving it half way across my face and turning it around) that they really loved to see just how much the "people like me" end up changing. Basically she nicely told me that they really like seeing how much prettier they make the ugly ones. I'm not gonna lie, they pimped me out. So I told her I was glad she was there and she told me, "Oh, yeah. You know we all rotate between patients, but when I saw you on the list a few days ago I got you. The other girls know to stay away; you're mine."
I love her.
When we got in the car I was like, "I need music for this."
I'm not convinced that it can be entirely a coincidence that the first song I heard on the radio after being released from bondage was "I'm Sexy and I Know It." It can't be.
We went to Milo's to celebrate (!!!) and then I was back to school to show off my **not-so-pearly whites.
It was fabulous. My teeth are fabulous. I'm fabulous. Life's fabulous.
**We're working on those teeth though. I'll let you know next month how I think my whitening toothpaste is working!
Last Thursday we went back and I got my retainer.
It's obscenely purple.
I love it.
I also have a retainer on the backs of my bottom teeth, but there's no way I can get a picture of that for you. But last week when I was cleaning my room I found my old p̶a̶l̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶a̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ torture device I told you about in my first post. Look!
I've really got to get rid of that thing. The stench from it... It permeates everything.
This last weekend I went with my youth group from church to the Scott Dawson Strength to Stand conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was amazing (We saw LECRAE and KJ-52 and NEWSBOYS!) and we all got the opportunity to grow in Christ together. Less importantly, we also got the chance to take lots of pictures. Lots and lots of braces free pictures!
Remember when I said I had friends now that I'm pretty?
<----- First post-braces friend over there!
I mean, look at this guy.
Very few people take kindly to me touching their hair at a concert without their knowledge. At first we were "mad" at my friend when her flash went off in his face. She *swears* she turned it off, but it turned out to be a blessing that it went off anyway. If it hadn't, we never would have known how cool he is.
And now... my favorite time... FEEDING TIME!
And don't think I forgot about your story! Did you know that in the first century C.E. (It's no longer acceptable to use B.C. and A.D. Now it's correct to use C.E. for common era and B.C.E. for before common era) there was a woman named Appolonia who was tortured by Pagans for her faith? When she refused to renounce her faith in Christ, the Pagans crushed her teeth with pliers one by one until they were all gone. And I think I had it hard! After they did that, they built a fire before her and threatened to throw her in it if she didn't renounce her faith. Instead of betraying the Lord she JUMPED INTO THE FIRE. Whoa.
Supposedly she's the Patron Saint of Dentistry, but since I'm not Catholic I won't claim to know anything about that.
Love you all and have a wonderful braces free month.
Unless you still have braces. Then... um...
Yep, those are braces.
And they're still on my teeth.
Oh, and those? Rubber bands.
Kill me now. Please, please do.
Just last month I was all, "Tra-lee-la-lee-la! Life's wonderful! I'm wonderful! I'll never have to wear rubber bands!" And then, BAM! Reality check. "Almost everyone has to do this toward the end," I'm told, but I don't really believe it.
So yeah, here I am. Six months. Braces. No feeling in my mouth.
That's cool, I guess.
As usual, I'm going to tell you that nothing has changed and then prattle on about all the stuff that actually has changed. Except I mean it this time! Literally nothing has changed since last month.
It's six months and I still don't have feeling in the roof of my mouth. Just--ugh. No. I'm supposed to have feeling there by now. I'm irreparably damaged. I just know it.
I noticed a little while ago that the roof of my mouth is this purple-ish color, which isn't helping anything. Please somebody go look in the mirror and see what color your's is. If you tell me that your's is that color too then I'll know mine's not, like, dead or something. And if nobody says anything, I'll just take it to mean that you all simply hate me. Which I honestly would prefer to never feeling the inside of my mouth again.
I still can't whistle. I wanted to be able to whistle after the surgery. But I'm not giving up hope yet! If I can't whistle after I get my braces off then I'll give it up, but I'm holding on to that thought for now.
I do whistle, however, whenever I use any fricatives.
fric·a·tive [frik-uh-tiv] adjective1.(of a speech sound) characterized by audible friction produced by forcing the breath through a constricted orpartially obstructed passage in the vocal tract; spirantal; spirant.
So, you know, like -ph or -sh or -th.
In other words, pretty much every other word I say whistles when I talk.
I sound like an old man.
On a completely unrelated topic, I said something in my last post before I had my surgery about taking "anti-swelling medication" because I needed to go to the school the next week. I don't really know where I got the idea that I actually had any of that or that it even exists (does it?) but I definitely never took anything like that. I don't know, that just made me feel dumb so I felt like I needed to clarify.
Anyway, I've been to two orthodontist appointments since my last post. Two! Lucky you, getting to read about two different visits.
The first one I went to around the end of November. I finally told the ortho how I felt about my front teeth so he tried to fix that. He also polished a few of my teeth so that they're all smooth on the bottom, but they don't exactly feel straight, so I'm not sure he understood what I meant. But I'm done. I'm just done. They look fine so I really don't even care anymore. I'm just ready to get them off!
My regular orthodontist was actually there this time, and he knows that I wanted them off by Christmas, so he told me to come back in four to five weeks. He went ahead and told me that the braces weren't coming off before Christmas so I didn't really care so much how far away the appointment was, but for some reason his secretary set it for three weeks. Later we realized that my appointment interfered with an exam I was having that day, so when my mom called the office the secretary moved it up a week. So it really ended up being only two weeks, but that's fine by me!
I went again. And I got rubberbands. And now I'm unhappy.
They hurt and--aughh! One literally just popped!--they're inconvenient and annoying and they take up my time and I'm just fed up with them. I can't move my mouth and they make me spit all over the place and they're just ugly. But I'm going to be a good little patient and wear them anyway because I WANT MY BRACES OFF.
On the bright side, though, they're making me sleep with my mouth closed. Kind of. I can't keep my lips closed (fingers crossed that that'll change after my braces are off!) but my mouth doesn't hang open unattractively. It's a work in progress, but I--Crap! Another rubber band popped!--have faith that this'll fix me!
Sooooooo, that's it really.
Once again, on an entirely different subject, I love my hair.
In the spirit of keeping things Susan-like, though, I'll follow that positive note with something negative.
Glass bottle soft drinks irritate me. I really would like to just put the lid back on it when I'm done.
That's why there's a lid!
Aeroiuqyknsdbnxz! I'm bothered just thinking about it.
Have a happy Christmas or something.
Hidy ho, readers. I fear tonight might be a short post due to my ineptitude and horrible memory; I forgot to write earlier and now I'm sleepy.
There's really not much to tell this time anyway, but...
I have noticed that in the last couple of weeks more feeling has come back in the roof of my mouth, which I am super happy about. I really like to brush the roof of my mouth when I brush my teeth (does anyone else do that?) but I haven't since the surgery because I'm afraid I'm going to hurt myself. My brushing just doesn't feel complete if I can't rake the bristles across my palate. Soon, though, I think I'll get to feeling everything again.
The only other numbness still bothering me is my philtrum and my nose.
My upper lip continues to fluctuate with how numb it is. Normally I don't notice anything wrong with it, but whenever I do anything strenuous--don't worry, this is very, very seldom--it gets all tingly and uncomfortable. Like, all I want to is scratch it, but that doesn't do anything.
And I don't even know what's up with nose. I have feeling all over it and everything is normal from mid nose and into my glabella, but I don't like the tip is doing right. I can feel pressure if I touch it, but say I push my fingernail into it, then I can't feel that. Is it because that's cartilage, or am I still messed up?
By the way...
Red fingernail is your glabella, gold fingernail is your philtrum, neither of which is recognized as a real word by spell check.
I can't remember if I've been to the orthodontist or not since my last post, but I'll rehash anyway.
I went, my regular otho wasn't there, they really didn't do anything, told me to come back in two months, were promptly told that that would not happen (thanks mom!), readjusted to six weeks, then we left. I go back at the end of the month and then hopefully the time after that will be when I get my braces off. My front teeth are still not straight so I'm going to point this out to them next time. My upper right 2 doesn't look exactly right to me either, but I seriously don't want to just go in there telling them how to do their job.
But, yo, I've gone through nearly two and a half years of braces and double jaw surgery without ever having to wear rubber bands. I rock. Or my ortho does, but I like to think that after all the trouble I've had with my mouth (consult my first post if you need to) they decided to cooperate just this once.
Back to my lips though, I realized yesterday in theatre that I have no control over the upper one anymore. We were playing chubby bunny, but with grapes...
...when it became apparent that I could never win, because I can't stretch my top lip over a grape. I still have lots of scar tissue up there and half the time I can't even reach parts of my upper mouth with my tongue. It stinks when this starts affecting important things like chubby bunny, but it's super annoying when it comes to eating. Oh my goodess. Ground beef (i.e. the only meat I really like very much) is just a nightmare to get out of scar tissue. You can swish water, you can try to use your finger, but it very rarely works. And also (sorry for the stream of consciousness going on here, but I need to go to bed!) the inside of my nose is also an area that is isn't very easily reached anymore. Sorry if you don't want to know anything about my snot, but I'm telling you anyway. If you recall, I wasn't allowed to blow my nose for the first few weeks after my surgery because I might bleed to death or something, but I still can't blow it five months later. It's uncomfortable. And believe me, even if I wanted to take my fingers digging for gold, I couldn't because that hurts too. There's some kind of freaky bone feeling thing protruding from my right nostril, so I'm just trying to leave my nose alone. But this, in turn, makes is harder for me to breathe and that is why I'm still sleeping with my mouth open which is something I wanted to end after the surgery. I've still got my surgery bandages, so I'm thinking I'll to ignore the reddish stains on them--maybe it's just medicine?--and wrap them around my face so tightly that my mouth can't open after I fall asleep. It works in theory, but I probably won't be able to sleep with them on.
Okay, guys, I'm seriously pushing it now and I can think of nothing more that is pertinent to my surgery. Plus, this post is reaching dangerous levels of erraticism that haven't been seen since I was doped up on pain medication. So I'll just close by saying that even though my hair has been a hot mess lately, I still love myself. Like, for real, I'm great. Have you seen my nose?! Oh goodness, I just can't stop talking about it. But now I need to so here's copious amounts of pictures for you.
My dad is sitting within view of the webcam and I don't want his feet in my pictures so these are all just somethings taken away from computer. Jeez, I don't live at this desk you know. Get over it.
I'm actually pointing at a mustache painting on my cheek, but we can pretend it's actually just my beautiful jaw.
And here I am without an arm.
Here's my hair curled.
Pre-surgery Susan couldn't have pulled that off.
Oh my goodness, I just remembered how I used to laugh at before and after surgery pictures because everybody's hair had changed so much that it was hard to get a real idea of how much everybody changed. But now I've done the same thing by changing the color and growing it out!
See, I have friends now that I'm pretty! Though I don't know how I always end up on the same side of the picture.
Anyway, goodnight and jeg elsker dig!
I've officially made it through one-third of a year being completely and irrevocably in love with my face.
Anyway, all month, every month things come up that I think I should write about in my blog and then I sit down on the sixteenth and completely blank.
So I'm going to go get some pudding and brainstorm.
Yeah, I'm eating with a baby spoon. Get over it.
Okay, so that didn't really help anything, but I remembered what I meant when I mysteriously typed "fish" into a note on my iPod*.
*Steve Jobs died! Be sad!
That baby over there just so happens to be a Blood Red Parrot Cichlid. The last time I was at PetSmart I ran into a tank of these (literally) and I immediately thought that they looked just like little jaw surgery patients.
Need I remind you of her?
Moving on, if you happen to be anything like my friends and family you're probably wondering when I'm going to quit going on and on about jaw surgery. Probably never, but I plan on doing monthly updates until the six month mark or until I get my braces off, whichever comes second. Six months is when I should definitely have all my feeling back (or know for sure that it's not coming back) and around the time I will hopefully be getting my braces off, so I thought that would be a good stopping point. And maybe if you're lucky--or unlucky if you happen to wish I would quit spamming Facebook with links to my blog--I'll do a one year update too. But I promise I'll quit after that.
Speaking of braces, I'm going to the orthodontist in two days in hopes of a more definitive answer to the big question than, "I don't know, Christmas time? Maybe?"
One of my fellow jaw surgery patients got her braces off a week or two ago and has been posting pictures of herself sans hardware on Facebook, unknowingly making me more and more anxious to get mine off.
One time I heard one of my ortho's partners say that they were "terminating treatment due to patient noncooperation" which, to me, sounds preferable to "arresting patient due to assaulting entire staff because she's gone postal due to the fact that she's had her braces on FOREVER," which you might soon see in the paper.
I'm going crazy over here.
Look! This new color means that I'm changing the subject since I can't seem to use transitional words properly. Plus, you know, I love purple.
Alright, so I stabbed myself brushing my teeth this morning and even though it hurt like Vin Diesel, it was masochistically nice because I kinda also felt it in the roof of my mouth. I repeat, the roof of my mouth. I haven't had feeling there in four whole months! For the first time I have hope that I'm not irreparably damaged. It's wonderful.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand... that's all I can come up with.
Super short post is super duper lame, I know. Go cry about it.
Just kidding, I love you!
Can you believe it‽ It's been three whole months already!
I remember when I was religiously studying the blogs of other jaw surgery patients before my surgery, I wondered just what they were doing with their lives at this point now that the surgery was out of the way. I'm a very linear thinker and I tend to center my life around the next big thing coming for me. Now, I've been looking forward to having this surgery for the past 5-8 years. This was HUGE for me! I would read these people's blogs and think, "What are you doing with your life‽ Is your life just bland now? What do you have to look forward to?"
Well, I'll tell you. Time absolutely flies once you begin healing and before you know it you'll be sitting in AP English 11 not really listening to the lecture on methods of argumentation and think to yourself, "Goodness me! How ever did it get to be a month thrice already?"
In all honesty, I don't think like that nor am I certain that I used thrice correctly in that last sentence, but you'll deal.
Seriously, though, three months kinda sneaked up on me without much really changing since last month. Healing is a slow, constant process so new things are coming up every day and, ask anybody that spends any time around me, I still talk about my surgery and face constantly. I'm not kidding, I never shut up about it.
So, maybe a blog post will get some of it out of me and you all can stop hearing about it for a while.
But probably not.
I've been going back and reading some of my first posts and making little notes about things I never followed up on or wasn't exactly clear about that I thought you might want to know, so... here.
1- Um, I'm pretty lazy and all I wrote down on this one was "fish." I have no idea what I meant by that so I'll come back to it if I remember.
2- Last night I remembered my time spent in the hospital and having to go to the bathroom with my morphine drip and whatnot. Thinking back on it, it's pretty funny, because my thought process was so messed up because of all the medications I was on. I remember thinking "BATHROOM. I SEE BATHROOM!" and then I yelled something along the lines of "BAHHHRGOOHN!!!!!!"
Why don't they understand? I need to go to the bathroom. Now!
"BOONPRAWN! BARFGOON! AGHHHHHH!"
I think there was some kicking and whining before I emphatically jerked my whole body in the direction of the bathroom, pulling on my IV painfully.
Finally, either my mom or the nurse understood and took, like, and hour to unhook my oxygen mask and IV. The nurse told me to "hold on" but we all know I didn't. The last time a nurse told me to hold on, I decided to half-consciously roll my wheelchair down the hallway. This time I stood up, took a few confident steps, and pretty much fell into a wall or something. Like I said, my mental process was all messed up and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I felt exactly the same way I did every other time I've had surgery.
Needless to say, I was more careful the next 5000 times I had to go to the bathroom that night.
3- Speaking of my IV, that thing hurt. I'm not really complaining or anything because I was fortunate enough to have morphine, but why should it hurt that much to get something to make me feel better. The tube was in my hand (my thin, frail hand) and I could literally feel the medicine entering my bloodstream through the stretched, open wound. I lived.
4- I hate being snapped at. I bring this up because the first thing I remember upon waking is a lady snapping at me saying, "Susan, stay with us. We need you to--." At this point I understood that they needed my cooperation getting me into a new gown and bed, but the snapping killed that for me so I immediately succumbed to sleep. They managed, I didn't have to be snapped at.
5- I was looking back at some of the comments on my old posts and, boy, was I doped up. Everyone was telling me that I was brave and an inspiration, you know, usual surgery things. But what's different is my response.
No joke, here is an actual quote:
"Thanks guys! But really, it's everyone who's keeping me in their thoughts and prayers that are the inspiration. You, my wonderful friends and family, are what's keeping me going right now.
I love you all!"
I am a snarky, cynical, narcissistic jerk. Normal me would have simply said, "Duh."
But no, I just had to go put myself out there like that.
It's a shame, really.
6- After I got home from the hospital, I was too sore and weak to bathe for a while (judge me, please do) so when I finally found one of those little sticky things they put all over you at the hospital, it had been on me for maybe two weeks. Baths make me feel better when I'm sickly, so I had laid in the water a lot before I ripped it from my skin, which makes me wonder what exactly they use to stick those on you. I swear, it was like taking a breathe-rite strip off your nose.
7- I don't know if you remember me talking about the terrible time I was having drinking from a straw, but I would like to tell you it's gotten much better. It hasn't, but I would like to anyway. I don't really like drinking out of straws much, so I hadn't noticed I wasn't improving with this until I went to Zaxby's with my friend the other day.
"Here, have a sip!" she said innocently.
"OKAY!" I replied oblivious. So I picked up her drink and stuck the straw in my mouth and attempted to make suction. Then I remembered that the only way for me to drink out of a straw now is for me to stick it in the very corner of my mouth, bite down on the straw, and use all of my strength to create a vacuum. This is just a slobbery mess so I put the drink down.
You could say it sucks, but, you know, it doesn't.
See what I did there? Yeah.
7- Lastly, I never finished my story about peach picking. I said I would tell you about it, but I never did.
Me and my grandparents got up even earlier than old people usually do and drove to a peach orchard that was obscenely far away from where they live. On the way we stopped at Jack's and I learned that my grandmother picks the middle (a.k.a. the good part) out of her biscuit and puts mustard on it, which is as completely unappetizing as it sounds. Anyway, we got there and the owners had this adorable dog named Elvis that would come charging through the knee high grass while you were picking and scare you. Although, if you were able to see him coming it would just look like there was an extremely large, extremely fast snake coming for you. It was something straight out of a horror movie. A horror movie named Elvis.
Regardless, I was not good at peach picking. I didn't really know what to look for and after sinking my fingers into my fifth worm infested peach I told my grandmother to just let me hold the basket. Of which, they picked nearly 20. It was exhausting and my shoes were soaked, but it was really peaceful and the weather was abnormally pleasant for late July in Alabama. All I really got out of the experience, besides time with my grandparents was the knowledge that stepping on a rotten peach is remarkably similar to stepping in dog poop.
Well, I still have absolutely no idea what "fish" was supposed to mean so I'll move on to what's not exactly new or old.
I mentioned last month that I still couldn't feel my upper lip, through my philtrum and that I had no feeling inside of my mouth either. The first part is still true, but I am now able to feel behind my front teeth a little. Feeling is feeling, which is good, but it's extremely sensitive right now. Eating chips and brushing my teeth is torture, but both are necessary things in life so I'll get over it. I think the six month mark is when you're supposed to be able to say, "This is the feeling I have, this is how it's going to be for the rest of my life" so if I don't start getting some feeling soon I'll probably have permanent nerve damage.
Since I've gone back to school I've learned of three other kids that had jaw surgery over the summer too, but they were only single jaw surgery patients. I'm an overachiever and just HAD to have double!
I'm not really friends with any of those three, so I don't know if it would be different if I was, but I can't tell a difference in any of them. I think, and I'm working purely off of rumor here, that one had an overbite, one had an open bite, and the other had a less severe underbite. Knowing that even a jaw surgery patient wasn't able to spot the differences in them makes me wonder if I even look that different. I sure think I do, in fact I think I look fabulous, but a few of my friends have said that they didn't even notice I had surgery. And one of my teachers from last year told me, "I like your hair!" Because it's not like I changed my whole face or anything. I haven't even done anything different with my hair.
People! I was gross, and now I'm not! Why can't you see that‽ It does lift my spirits, though, to hear some of the things people say about me, because I know some people have noticed.
Some of my favorites are-
"That girl looks like this other girl that goes here named Susan."
"Is that Susan's cousin or something?"
"Excuse me, but you look a lot like this other girl. What's your name?"
One of my friends said the other day that when I left the room a girl said, "Did anybody read her blog over the summer? It was hilarious!" So thank you to you too!
And just today my friend Jason told me out of the blue, "Your jaw looks nice!"
I really don't think there are any words out there to describe how much I love hearing that.
Since the surgery I've enjoyed new activities such as rubbing my newly defined jaw line and poking my cheekbones that came out of nowhere. Not to mention, my extremely pleasing dimples that I have again. I love them!
All in all, I just feel good about myself. At the beginning of the year I even demanded that this guy in my history class be friends with me. Old Susan wouldn't have done that. Old Susan didn't talk to people. Mostly because Old Susan didn't like people, but I'm trying to be more personable. Trying.
I've been working at this thing for nearly two hours now, so I'll close by telling you of my cold.
I don't get sick, it just doesn't happen. But I've had a yucky cold this week, my first since the surgery, and it's like this terrible relapse into Beak Nose. When my nose was weird and hooked I didn't breathe out of it because I was not physically able, but now I freely breathe without my mouth. Except now I'm all stuffy and it's making me feel claustrophobic. I've told you about the funky nerves in my face not exactly acting right, and now every time I sniff my runny nose a nerve above my front left tooth spasms and it's totally disorienting. But whatever, the very first sentence in my first post surgery blog was that I wouldn't constantly complain on this blog so that is that and I'm done talking about it.
My friend found me this nifty tattoo in English the other day. I thought you would enjoy it since all I ever talk about on here is pain killers.
Ignore the hooded man in the back.
My webcam does terrible profile shots, so here's something my friend took at church the other night.
Ain't she a beaut?
I mean, look how defined that is! And compare it to what is quite possibly the worst picture ever taken of me.
Ugh, I don't even know how I've come so far as to be able to show this to the whole world.
Okay, now please just glance at it, maybe think a few nice things about how much more AMAZING I look now, then scroll down and forget about it forever. Whatever you do, just please forget about it.
Here, have a nice picture to make it all better!
Lastly, we can just forget about that thing I do at the end of every post because
A) Now that school's started, I'm reading a million books
B) My weight is pretty much staying at around 110 pounds now
C) I'm not really actively doing anything regarding my recovery, so that's not relevant.
So, if you've stuck with me to this point, I want to say thank you and that soon (I really mean it!) I'm going to be adding a few more pages that you can look out for.
[Insert generalized apology for not writing here]
Yeah, yeah. I'm sorry, but not much has happened that you would have cared about anyway.
Plus, school started so I've been really bogged down with homework. You don't want me to fail do you?
Because of school I've been kinda stressed out (and we're only five days in!) but lists always make me feel better so here's one for you guys; get ready for some rambling:
I still don't know what I'm going to do with my hair.
It mostly just bugs me right now, so I've been wearing it in a ponytail. I found this
website where you try on celebrity hairstyles.
These are my obvious favorites. You can try to guess who they are and then click on the picture to find out. Or if you're really lazy--just like me!--then just ignore them.
I'm thinking I'm going to get rid of the blond in my bangs, but after that I don't know what I'm going to do.
I want to grow it out some and put a few different colored streaks in the underside, but I'm not sure my parents or semi-fascist high school will go for that.
Speaking of school, it started Thursday so I went and got registered the Monday before. I'm telling you, it's like lines mean nothing some people. Why is it okay for you to just walk up to the front while everybody else is waiting?! Needless to say, I was pretty pleased when a teacher (who's usually mean anyway) chewed this lady out.
Yes, line cutters. I don't like them; therefore, there have been many altercations involving me in the cafeteria before. I'm seriously not okay with that and I don't mind making sure people know it, but it's an unnecessary stress that I'm not really wanting to deal with again this year. It seems like our new principal, who's been in the lunchroom, is trying to get the SRO's to watch the line, so maybe it won't be a problem. I know this has nothing to do with jaw surgery, but I just have to vent a little sometimes.
So I'll get back on track with yawning. For the most part, all my pain is gone, but yawning is about to kill me. I mean, I'm stretching my mouth as far as possible over and over again, so it's going to hurt. But I assume it'll get better soon just like my laughing did.
I think my swelling is pretty much gone! If you look closely, my left side is still a little puffier than my right, but I suppose it could have always been that way. I had been thinking that I was still swollen under my eyes too, but I realized that those are cheekbones. I've never had any before!
Braces, braces, braces. I went to the orthodontist on the seventh and had my braces tightened and my surgical hooks removed. He said that the only real thing left to fix is my bottom right teeth. I was afraid that it would hurt more than usual since my mouth is still a little sensitive, but the lady was really gentle and it went okay. The only thing that hurt later was the teeth on the bottom right, so they must have been serious about everything else being straight. Before my surgery the ortho cut my wire between my front two teeth, presumably to allow the surgeon to expand my palate or shift my midline; as a result, my upper right 1 overlapped my upper left 1 in the following weeks. At my appointment, I got a new (whole) wire and my teeth shifted back to a normal position... then my upper left 1 started to overlap my upper right 1. Oh well, I'll mention it when I go back next month. When I go they're going to move some brackets and hopefully I'll have my braces off before Christmas!
Eating is going well. I can eat almost anything now without much trouble and chewing gum hasn't proved to be a problem. Food still gets stuck in my braces much more than before surgery, but without my surgical hooks this has improved some. Drinking isn't going as well as eating, though. I'm efficient... but that's it. I still am unable to wrap my lips around a straw so I just make some suction with my tongue and the roof of my mouth. It works fine, but it's pretty hard to keep the liquid in my mouth after that. I'm better with simply drinking out of a cup or can, but that's not perfect either. And don't even get me started on taking medicine!
People stare at me a lot because I've taken to brushing my teeth at school, but I look back at these starers with eyes that condemn their lesser hygiene. "Look at you with out a toothbrush, without minty fresh breath. You're just jealous." Honestly, though, I can't laugh at anybody else when I'm still drooling like my friend's six month old daughter.
I'm working on it.
I am pleased to report that I seem to be in 70% of people who regain full feeling. I'm still completely numb inside my mouth, though. I can't feel a thing in my mouth, even when it's bleeding. One funny thing though, is that when I eat something hot the outer part of my left cheek feels warm and wet, and the opposite things happens on my right cheek when I drink something cold.
I have some feeling under my nose, but not completely. I have feeling there, but it's kinda... muted. I don't know how to explain it very well. I guess, if you're willing to be imaginative, you could say it's like my lip is distracted: I have most of it's attention, but part of it's always drifted off to a place without John Mayer and line cutters.
There's a reason I type instead of talk. Before the surgery I had hopes that my problem with certain words would clear up but, alas, it's gotten worse. I'm fine with most words and short sentences, but I talk like I have peanut butter in my mouth when I get long winded.
And my f's whistle. I sound like an old man!
It's irritating, but I think it's getting better. I'm auditioning for a play at school on Thursday, so I'm a little worried, but my monologue is short, I'm adopting an airy accent, and my confidence is way up from where it was last year (not to mention that I've always gotten flustered when lines got wordy), so maybe it'll go all right.
I went to the DMV before school started and got my license. I think I'm in the .00000001% of people who actually like their picture, but right now I think I would like any picture of myself. If it helps those of you who don't like yours, my hair's bad and I look extremely over eager.
I was pretty nervous because we went to the one in our area with the worst reputation for rude employees, but my lady was really, really nice. The computer was being slow so we talked about jaw surgery (her sister had it too) and gastric bypass surgery for half an hour.
Yeah, she was really sweet. And she said she liked my necklace.
Since I last wrote, all of my stitches came out. I tried extremely hard to pocket one and take a picture of it for you--they were really long. And smelly--but I kept losing or swallowing them. Sadface.
But if you want me to describe them, I will. Really? You care that much? Okay, then!
Um... they were white.
There isn't really much else to say about them. They each seemed to be about two or three inches long and some had cute little knots in them that were more like miniature hair bows than your traditional knot. And they didn't hurt all that much coming out, even when I pulled them out against their will.
PAIN! My favorite song by Pain is probably Milk. My mom once commented on how appropriate their name is because she didn't appreciate their talent, but they're from Alabama, so I'm inclined to like them.
Why am talking about a band and not pain related to jaw surgery?
Because I don't have any, that's why!
And that brings our little chat to a close. I need to go to bed.
I'm not making anymore promises about when I'll post, because you see how long it took me this time.
The next time I feel like it (and by that, I mean sometime within the next few years), I'm going to add a couple of new pages about stuff relevant the recovery process. Or maybe not. Who knows? I'm just keeping you on your toes!
I started writing this a couple of weeks ago, but I decided to save it for the two month mark and update it now, so my pictures are a little old, but since my webcam has once again quit, they'll have to suffice.
Currently Reading: The only thing I'm reading for pleasure right now is Cirque Du Freak. I said at the beginning of summer that I was going to try to read 20 books this summer. My AP work was so ridiculous that I only got 16 read. And I still need to finish the required books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The Great Gatsby.
Current Weight: 115.3 --that's good, but I had Pizza Hut buffet for dinner, so I'm probably up a little bit from normal.
Current Task: Tarea. Mucha tarea.
Oh my goodness! I'm so terrible. Three days ago was my one month mark and I didn't do a blog post!
Please, please find it in your hearts to forgive me.
Normally I would compensate for such a horrid thing by writing an extra long post, but it's gotten kinda late and I have to get up early tomorrow so it might not be that lengthy.
Now, lets get down to business.
Last week my parents and I went down to Florida on a little vacation of sorts. My dad had classes to be at most of the day so my mom and I ventured out on our own. One day we went shopping and bike riding, neither of which I had done since my surgery. Honestly, I shopped a lot
before my surgery but as I've mentioned before, I live an extremely sedentary life (it disgusts even me) so I definitely wasn't prepared for bicycling. First, you know that thing they say about balance and how once you learn to ride a bike it never leaves you? It's a lie. Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit, but I wasn't entirely sure I was going to stay upright for most of the first ten minutes. On top of that, I was breaking the law by not wearing a helmet, a decision I wasn't sure was so smart once I rode off into the sunset. Yeah right. There was no sunset on the beach or cool ocean breezes. It was sweltering, mid-day, and irritatingly not
down-hill. In fact, I was glad I didn't wear a helmet, because that thing would have been too, too hot. And we were at a resort, a.k.a. they had a bike trail, so it's not like I was at risk of getting hit by a car or anything.
All right, so I've digressed a bit, but the whole point of that story was just to comment on the muscle mass I've lost lying around the house wearing out the whole "recovery" business.
I've only been to the beach once before so we obviously aren't beach people, but one night around nine o'clock my parents and I went out to the beach and waded in the water. The sand was unbelievably soft and the water was so warm and *hint, hint Mom and Dad*
I REALLY LOVED IT.
Since then, nothing of importance has happened.
Yesterday my mom and I went to the mall. I've decided shopping is a good workout with all that walking and trying on clothes, so I guess as part of my "recovery" everyone should help out and take me to the mall. Yeah, I think that would be good for me.
Sometime between waking up yesterday morning and trying on jeans in dELiA's, some of the stitches in my mouth came out. I imagine it happened while I was eating lunch, and I sure am glad of that. The whole idea of stitches coming loose in my mouth has freaked me out since I had some in there the last time I had surgery. This would be a good opportunity to say thank you to my surgeon for using white stitches because they're pretty visible now that they're hanging loose around my teeth. Anyhow, after my last surgery I had to have my gums stitched up and when they came loose I took the liberty of pulling them out myself. I thought this would be fine because everyone talks about how it doesn't really hurt when the doctor pulls out stitches. Either everyone single one of these people was a liar or mouth stitches are simply different, because when I pulled it out through the roof of my mouth--yes, the roof! It was sticking through that flat spot you can feel behind your front teeth--it hurt.
Not like a lasting hurt, but it burned. It reminded me of the time I got a couple of strands of hair through the piercing in my ear and had to pull it out. It burned while I was pulling on it, but it didn't last in either situation.
Speaking of piercings, I'm back to making jewelry again (I just made some nifty earrings!--ultima moda
) so I'd say things are going pretty swell.
Today I went to see my oral surgeon and, honestly, the whole appointment was so short I could sum it up in one sentence, but I don't want to do that so I've rambled on about such in order to add another sentence so this one won't be a run on. Hmm, I think it might be a run on anyway. Regardless, we walked into the building and got on an elevator with two other people and it made me think of our trip to Japan last summer. When we were getting ready to leave we went to the train station with all our luggage and the four of us had to cram into this little elevator. And no, it wasn't like our extravagantly spacious American elevators. It was really tiny and I worried about the weight capacity. In fact, I'm not even sure that we could all fit on it; I'm feeling like we had to take two trips, but I don't really remember. Back to America, eleven months later, we went into the waiting room and, for the first time in this particular office, I felt extremely confident. The first two times I was there I was still malocclusion Susan, and every time since then I've been pretty swollen. But not anymore. This time Susan was sporting a huge smile, dimples (yes, I have them again!!!), and a pug nose. I felt great! So,
since it's taken me this long to get to the actual consultation with Dr. MC (I like to believe he's a DJ on the weekends not only because his initials are MC and his first and last name rhyme, but also because he's pretty soft spoken and old enough to be my grandfather--not your typical DJ) you can imagine it was short and not very interesting. He came in, told me to smile, seemed genuinely upset that my lips still don't meet when relaxed, accidentally stabbed my (sensitive) stitches with a tongue depressor, and told me to come see him when my braces come off. Hopefully that's only six months away! If he calls me superstar now, I can't imagine what I'll be when my braces are gone. And since he didn't mention being careful when I eat, I'm taking this as my cue to chomp on some steak. I'm only kidding, I would never eat steak (blech!). But, I think I'm going to try to tackle gum soon. I can't take it anymore. I need minty fresh breath!
And now I'm at home writing to you. Just before this I was looking at some pictures my friend put up on Facebook that were taken before my surgery. Pre beautiful jaw line, I probably wouldn't have thought the pictures were necessarily flattering or anything, but now I can't help but think about how down right terrible they are compared to me now. I'm not getting a big head or anything, but I look AMAZING. And quite seriously, I'm not even talking about my underbite. Yes, I look rather like that ugly fish
from Finding Nemo,
but it's my nose. I was always painfully aware of how disgustingly perfect
my parents', brother's, and sister's noses are and how lumpy mine was, but I just assumed I got some of the cruddy genetics because all the children can't be beautiful. To be honest, I probably would have considered rhinoplasty at some point in the future because I really didn't like it, but I watched a video of how they do it, so I just resigned to be forever awful. Until this surgery, that is. Apparently I had this beautiful little nose just waiting to be revealed! Dr. MC referred to my pre-surgery nose as "hooked" but "atrocious beak" is more like it.
Really, I'm not trying to be down on myself and I didn't even think I was ugly before (despite the mockery I've dealt with my entire adolescence) but now that I've seen myself with my cute nose and even jawline, I'm feeling like I may never look at a picture and think "oh...." again! Plastic surgery for everyone, I insist!
I'M KIDDING! Despite my obvious affection for myself, I'm still not an advocate for plastic surgery. At times I even feel guilty for not appreciating what God gave me, but in the end this was a medical thing too. Sometimes I like to think that now that I've got a good jawline He's taken away my perfect skin, because I'm breaking out all around my nose. I've always had great skin--never had a zit, even--but my skin is irritated something fierce. Mom likes to take the less paranoid approach and suggested that maybe some of the stuff they wrapped around me after surgery and blah-dee-blah-blah irritated it, so I looked it up online and it seems that breakout around a month after surgeries like rhinoplasty are pretty common. In other words, I'm not too worried about it since it seems like it'll go away soon and the cheap hotel soap I was using last week probably only made things worse.
Tomorrow I leave once again, this time to go see my grandparents (more shopping!) so there won't be any more posts the rest of this week. Since my tiny Japanese grandmother, who's actually not that tiny when it comes to Oriental people, needs help from someone tall, I'm told that peach picking is in my future. Not something I'm familiar with, so I'll be sure to tell you how it goes and maybe take a few pictures.
Well, look at that. I did
make it pretty long... and it's almost 1 a.m. So I will bid you adieu
In case you haven't noticed, I'm completely in love with foreign languages, so I'll be a little bit of nerd and revise that last sentence. Adieu
is more of a permanent goodbye--a farewell, if you will--and even though it often seems that I'm never going to write another blog post, I promise this (God willing) isn't my last, so I'll say au revoir
Currently Reading: Their Eyes Were Watching God, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Happyface.
Current Weight: 113.7
Current Task: AP History summerwork including, but not limited to, chapter outlines, vocabulary, reviewing three historical movies, and outlining the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Fun.
Hola, readers. How are you? I'm fantastic!
Last Thursday I went to see my surgeon again. This time there wasn't much of a wait and once he saw me all he did was poke around in my mouth for a minute and call me "Superstar." I'd say he's proud of his work.
That night my friend and I went to the movies. Not only did nobody look at me weird, but I ate popcorn!
It was great!
Today I had an appointment with my orthodontist. Everyone wanted to know how things went and they all said I looked great. I think so too! They didn't want to upset my mouth just yet so they didn't actually do anything. To be honest, I think he just wanted to see how it looked. Dr. T says I've got 3mm of overjet now, which is an overbite. He says it's not ideal, but it's better than where I was before the surgery. My surgeon thinks I'll probably grow some more and my mandible will grow with it, so hopefully that means it grows a little, but less than 3mm, lest I have to undergo another jaw surgery. I'm pretty sure the only person in the office who didn't care, or didn't know, was the stud-muffin intern who hasn't been there that long. He's hilarious; he comes out to call people to the back and, like, props himself up in the door way with his arms all above his head, and he's always telling the assistants stuff like how he drove through the drive-thru and forgot to order. Anyway, I'm supposed to go back next month before school starts so I'll let you know how that goes.
Other than that, the only thing I need to say is that I'm going out of town this week and then again next week so there won't be any posts unless I do one Saturday. The thursday after next I have another appointment with my surgeon and believe you me I will try to do a post then too.
Currently Reading: Their Eyes Were Watching God, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, The Lovely Bones
Current Weight: 114.3 lbs --es las galletas.
Current Task: Packing! (Clothes, not guns.)
There are lots of people you can trust in life.
Obviously, I am not one of them. So, don't count on any more of my promises I make about doing a blog post on a regular basis because, quite frankly, I'm a slacker.
The past three days have yielded nothing new.
I went to church Sunday and for some reason my lip stayed swollen the whole day. We went out to eat after church to the same place we went last Sunday. Burritos are about the only thing I can manage to eat besides soup, so I'm getting my fill of those.
Yesterday, was my parents' anniversary so they went out to eat and to a movie. Those crazy people, staying married 31 years or whatever.
Since we weren't invited and couldn't care less about fireworks, my brother and I also went out to see a movie. We went to see Super 8, and while I enjoyed it, I wouldn't say it was up to J.J. Abrams' usual standards. After the movie we went to Taco Bell (more burritos!), Books-A-Million, and Target.
Somehow I managed to spend another $40 on books. None of them were even hardback; paperbacks are getting too expensive. On the plus side, one of my friends gave me a $20 gift card to BAM so it wasn't that hard wasting my money. One thing about this, though, is that I've got at least 10 books on my shelf waiting to be read. As a result, I've started book hopping. It's this thing I do where I start reading, like, seven books at once. I can keep up with all the story lines, but I feel like I lose something when I don't focus on just one book. Oh, well. Too many books, too little time.
Today my best friend came over and we watched TV together. During this time I ate a pop tart--my first since the surgery! I'm happy to be back to eating unhealthy foods again. The closest thing I've gotten to sweets in the past two and half weeks are the pudding cups I eat daily. Those things are my life now. For dinner I had lasagna and garlic bread (no crusts yet, though) and now I'm here writing for you. And contemplating more pudding. You guys are important and all, but I'm mostly trying to wrap this up now so I can eat my pudding.
In order to end on a positive note, I'll say that the infinite amount of time on my hands has led to my picking up the piano again (not in the literal sense). I'd say I'm better than ever right now!
Currently Reading: I Am Number Four, Their Eyes Were Watching God, What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, The Lovely Bones, The Girl Who Was on Fire.
--I'm so into these Hunger Games books that I went out and bought a book of other author's commentaries on them. It's given me a new perspective on the books. If you've read them then I'd recommend The Girl Who Was on Fire.
112.5 lbsCurrent Task:
Reading, reading, reading!