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