Friday, September 20, 2013

Back To Reality

I'm 8 weeks post op today, Yay! Time sure does fly by when you're having fun......I saw my surgeon this week and got cleared to go back to work and most importantly EAT a normal diet! It was the best thing I've ever heard. It was like words coming straight from an angel's mouth. I had been looking forward to this day for the past 7 weeks. So, life returns to normal again and I am so excited to get back to the every day routine, like nothing happened.

So happy my husband puts up with my picture taking lately!

Yep, I can open my mouth and he wanted to show off too!

The surgeon took some more x-rays to make sure everything still looked good and was healing well. He said everything looks perfect and was pretty happy to see that I was feeling so good. I don't go back for another 6 weeks to see him, so I hope that I can improve significantly more by then. My biggest challenge is working on my opening. A couple weeks after surgery it was 18mm and now I can open my mouth to 25 mm. I know that doesn't sound like a lot of difference over the past 6 weeks, but I have really worked hard on it and I can tell a huge difference when I go to take a bite of food. Before surgery I could open to 42mm, so that is my goal! He said that the more I can have my elastic bands off the better for me with getting normal function back. I will have to see what the orthodontist says because he is using them to align my bite right now and wants them on. My scars from surgery have healed perfectly and have pretty much disappeared. I even have trouble when I try to find them now! I am able to move both of my eyebrows again and have sensation back everywhere on my face except where my new jaw joints are and it is still very numb.

Above: Xrays taken in November 2011 Below: Xrays taken September 2013

I went and had my teeth cleaned this week even though I had it done a few days before surgery. I just haven't been able to get my teeth very clean with a baby toothbrush. The dentist recommended that I have it done every several months  after I had surgery to make sure I don't get any cavities. I was really worried about being able to keep my mouth open for so long and it hurting, but I had no problem at all with staying open the entire time without a bite block or anything to help me. I was also surprised at how numb my gums and teeth are on the top. I couldn't even tell when she was cleaning anything on the top. I was pretty happy because I always have a very back tooth that has a large filling in it that bothers me when it's messed with and I couldn't feel a thing. I don't know when feeling will come back on top, but I'm ok if it doesn't for awhile.

You might wonder what a girl wants to eat for the first time in 7 weeks since being banded shut and on a no chew diet! I had been craving sushi from Kobe in Fayetteville since we got home from the hospital. I promise I thought about it everyday, not kidding......So my husband took me immediately there after our appointment with the surgeon on Monday. My husband explains it like I was a kid on their first birthday getting to eat cake for the first time. I do have to agree that I was pretty excited and smiled the entire time. We ordered a feast and I attempted to eat everything. Chewing was a little weird at first to get used too, but I got the hang of it. My jaw joints didn't bother me one bit.The most bothersome thing was the pressure it put above my teeth, where all the plates and screws are. It feels almost as if they are going to pop because of the pressure. I am getting used to it though and I don't pay much attention to it anymore. I have been eating great since Monday and have eaten anything I feel like. I don't even feel guilty about it! I ended up losing 25 lbs throughout this process and haven't gained a single pound back even after my eating whatever I want all week. I am pretty positive this will catch up to me.

Best Day Ever-My first meal that I got to chew!

I only have a couple of concerns still, which the surgeon says are normal and will just take time. My main concern is that my lips still don't touch together but, I will say that they are getting closer. I can put them together but they don't stay together when I'm relaxed. My muscles just feel so tight that my lips just won't stay shut. The other bothersome concern is that since I was about 3 weeks post op and was able to start my no chew diet. When I put food in my mouth and swallow it I get a horrible pain which feels like its in my salivary glands, at the very back sides of my throat, that send a cramping electric shock throughout my mouth and jaws. The best way to describe it, is when you eat a lemon and it's so sour it hurts. The pain only last for the first bite or maybe 5 seconds and then I can eat perfectly normal with no pain. That first bite though is so bad it makes me not want to eat. It doesn't matter if it's cold, hot, bland, sweet, or sour. It all feels the same with the first bite. The surgeon says it is because of the nerve and muscle damage and that it will get better. so for now, I will just make a horrible face and shake my head when I take my first bite of food, haha!

If my main complaints have nothing to do with the actual surgery and just side effect of what had to be done, then I give myself a pat on the back. My jaws feel great and my jaw joints are doing amazing even with chewing. I do plan on taking it slow and trying to eat more soft type food than crunchy just to save my jaw joints from so much impact. I want them to last me many many years and not have to have them replaced. I'm hoping for at least 20 years with them. The surgeon thinks they will be able to last me that long or longer, so I'm happy with that.

6 weeks post op

7 weeks post op