Thursday, January 30, 2014

6 Months Post Op

Hard to believe how fast these last 6 months of recovery has flown by. I feel so grateful to be feeling so well and pain/headache free! I know it only has to get better from here.

Braces Off   January 2014

 I'll start by saying that I am beyond happy to have my braces off. I only had them on 6 months before surgery and then 6 months after, so I shouldn't complain because that is nothing compared to how long others have had theirs on. My teeth have been very sensitive since surgery, needless to say the debanding was pretty painful. They were as gentle and careful as they could have been and got it done quickly but OUCH! I am extremely happy with my new smile though so it was worth it. My orthodontist did an amazing job!!!! I am still going to be wearing a retainer 24hrs a day for the next 6 months and then I will only have to wear it at night after that. They bonded a permanent retainer behind my bottom teeth so I only have my top that I have to worry about.

scraping all of the glue off of my teeth
wires and brackets after the popped them all off

I have seen my surgeon twice since my last post. I saw him about a month ago because I was having a terrible earache in my left ear for over a week and was worried it was my jaw joint because they are so close to the ear. I had been stretching my mouth and pushing myself too hard trying to get my opening over 40mm and ended up only injuring myself. He reminded me again that my jaw joints have restrictions and can only be pushed so hard before I could potentially put myself in a chronic pain state. He gave me a steroid dose pack to calm down the inflammation around that joint and I felt so much better after the third day of taking it. I have completely stopped using my therabite since the day I saw him. I'd rather have a limited opening than to live in constant pain from pushing my joints to the max. It's just not worth it! I had gotten up to 40mm but since I have stopped it my opening is still 35-36mm which I am happy with!

I again saw the surgeon a few days ago for my 6 month follow up. unfortunately, I am still struggling daily with my first bite pain and along with that now my cheeks flush and get bright red while i'm eating. It is as bad or worse than it was in the beginning. So, I'm  going on 6 months with this and we have tried every form of treatment possible to help calm my salivary/parotid glands down. He is sure now that my nerves have Cris-crossed and have healed in the wrong position. He said this is a fairly rare side effect and doesn't see it very often. Of course, it would happen to me.  Right now he is having me put a scolpamine patch behind my ear. This patch is usually used for motion sickness or for patients going into surgery to help prevent nausea but we are trying it to see if it helps subside my pain. We are doing a 2 week trial, rotating a patch every 72 hours. If this isn't effective when I see him in 2 weeks then we are going to schedule me to have botox injected into my salivary glands and blocking the nerves that are causing my pain. I will get to be sedated for this and thank god because as much as some might not think I'm a wimp. I am a huge wimp and especially so when it comes to needles being stuck in me. He said if we have to go this route that I will need multiple treatments, several months in between each treatment. I'm really at a point with this now that I will do anything to make it go away even if that means having several botox treatments.

On a much brighter note, my hair has completely stopped falling out and is growing back very quickly. I have a ton of baby hairs sticking straight up on the top of my head. I would normally be doing anything the get them to go away or stay down but right now I am so excited to see new hair growth. My hair is very thick on the top of my head now but when I put it down it still doesn't cover the back of my head, it so so so thin. It's all good though, I'm just so very happy to see it filling in again on the top.

I will post again with what the surgeon's next plan of treatment is after my appointment with him in two weeks. I added some side by side pictures that I got from my orthodontist of my teeth and bite. Sorry, some are very close up!!!

close up of my bite before and after

December 2012                                                                        January 2014