Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I am going to take this blog a little off subject for this post! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for this year that I wanted to make a special post just for all the people that have blessed me so much over the past year.....

I am of course most thankful for my loving and supportive family! They are my everything and I wouldn't be who I am without them pushing me to be my best. My two kids have taught me so much over the years. Mckayla is wise beyond her years and is so incredibly smart. I can't wait to see what great things she does in the future. Connor has taught me patience and I just love watching his little mind work. He is going to be a ladies man and give me gray hair and wrinkles at an early age. Love to see how much they love each other and how close they are.

I am thankful to be married to the most amazing man that I've ever met for just under 10 years now. He is such a playful loving dad to our kids. He has seen me at my worst, has loved me through so many trials and has always been there when I needed him the most. After surgery, he was never more than an arms length away and making sure everything was taken care of while I recovered. Words don't describe how much I love him.

I am thankful for my job and all the emotionally strong, smart, and beautiful nurses that I get to work along side with every day. You are some of the most compassionate and caring women I know. I take my job for granted and getting to assist with bringing new life into the world on a daily basis. I have to take a step back and realize how life changing it is for others even though it's so routine for us. As hard as some days may be physically, emotionally, and mentally I can't imagine doing anything else.

I am thankful for my surgeon along with his nurses and my orthodontist. My life has been forever changed and there aren't words to even begin to say how thankful I am to them. I have my life back because of this small group of people. To think of all the time and hard work they have put in to improve my quality of life, just makes me so happy. I feel like I'm doing well post op but nothing feels better than getting a hug from my surgeon and hearing it from him. No matter what post operative issue I'm dealing with, he can always put me at ease within a matter of minutes. I knew that I was in the best of hands from the first day I met him and his nurses but they have gone above and beyond any expectation I had. I'm so blessed to have these special people in my life.

I am thankful for all of my friends. I have made so many new friends this year that have made me feel like I wasn't alone in this long painful journey. This blog, along with Facebook groups have been a blessing in disguise and I have learned so much from each one of you and I am happy to be in some way a part of your journey as well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life As I Know It

It's been awhile since my last post and have had lots of my sweet friends near and far message and ask how I'm doing since I haven't posted in so long. It really does get harder and harder to keep my blog updated since I had surgery. I'll catch everyone up since my last post, 8 weeks ago.......

I had my 12 week follow up appointment with the surgeon a few weeks ago. I feel like I always have so many questions for him about little things that are bothering me. He and his nurses are always so nice to let me ramble on about all the small concerns. He said that I am doing great and I can't even tell you how good it feels to hear it straight from him. 

He did say that I could start using my Therabite now and I was sadly super excited about starting this. I know several of you that follow my blog started it right after surgery and everyone else by 6 weeks post op so I was feeling a little behind. My opening prior to using the Therabite was 25mm and he thought the best I would get to is a 35mm opening BUT I am already at 35mm just two weeks out from starting it. I've been using it about 3-4 times a day with 10 reps and holding for 20 seconds. I am so happy with my progress since starting it and I would be completely fine if this is as much motion as I get but so many of you have got to 45 or even up to 50mm that i'm going to make my goal 40mm now and then we'll see from  there.

My New Friend-Therabite
As wide as I could open my mouth at these stages. I started Therabite at 12 Weeks

I'm not much of a complainer but here is a few things post-op that I've been struggling with and none of which have anything to do with the actual surgery but more so with post op side affects. I have no jaw or joint pain at all and have almost complete feeling back in my face again. My lips finally touch together again,Woohoo! They still don't naturally stay together but are getting there. So, when I look at the little list of things below that are driving me crazy it makes me realize how lucky I am after this surgery and know that these issues will resolve and will soon be a distant memory.

Side profile before and after with lips closed. Can't even tell you how much I hated that before picture

 ---My biggest concern, being the pain I am still having when I take the first bite or two of food that I discussed briefly in my last post. He again reassured me that this will pass and get better as the nerves heal. As little of a problem this may sound to be, it is debilitating for me and I completely dread when it's time to eat. I do hope it gets better soon. I, of course, have googled this and everything come up as "first bite syndrome" whether or not this is a real diagnosis or someone made it up, it fits every one of my symptoms. It has also made me nervous that I may actually have this and that it won't get better because of permanent damage. This isn't a type of surgery that there is lots of information out there and I can easily find lots of information on so I will just continue to wait patiently for the pain of eating to go away.

---My hair has been falling out in clumps and handfuls. I wake up and my pillow is covered in it. I run my hands thru it and it falls out. Lets not even discuss what happens when I try to brush it. Since then I also noticed that I had my hair cut and highlighted in August and it hasn't grown out at all since then. My hair still looks like I just had it done, I have been taking prenatal vitamins, biotin and making sure that I am eating plenty of protein. I got worried enough that I asked my surgeon about it and I think I really stumped him on this and referred me to the dermatologist. The dermatologist said that this can be a normal side effect of surgery and that basically my hair is in a sort of sleeping stage and my hair will eventually stop falling out but she warned me that it could take up to two more months before regrowth starts again. What makes this even worse is that I don't have much hair to begin with and now I can barely get a ponytail to stay in. I'm a little scared to see what 6-8 more weeks of hair loss will look like at this rate. 

---Lastly, clenching. I just know I'm going to break a tooth as hard as I clench at night. I wake up and my teeth will still be clenched together and have to slowly pull them apart. My teeth are sore and sensitive because of it. The surgeon gave me some medicine to take at night to see if it would help relax my muscles but I've gotten no relief from it. I don't know that anything else can be done about it right now. 

I just wanted to say I feel so blessed to have my life back again and to have met so many new friends along my journey. Friends that have had surgery, getting ready to have surgery, and others that have been told that surgery is inevitable and found my blog while researching. This blog takes a lot of work to keep up but hearing from all of you that my experiences are helping with your own personal journey makes it all so worth it.

Just a few pictures to get up to date on here.

Bite 2 weeks before surgery and now

10 Weeks Post Op

14 Weeks Post Op