Thursday, July 31, 2008

Almost 1 month down...

I went to see Dr. Q again today. Everything is looking great. He told me that I could start putting my bands on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours. That means I can put them on late at night and then take them off once I get to work. It sure will help with people asking me "so when do you get to take off all those bands?" with their scrunched face look. He also told me that I could keep eating more and more solid food. I figure if it hurts, then I just spit it out because obviously I'm not ready. This is probably another reason why I'm not a huge fan of eating in public. I tend to have bits of random food fly out of my mouth because of the bands too. Let me tell you, its pretty hot. I have regained feeling in my cheeks finally. Its probably all that aggressive facial massaging. I love using my apricot facial scrub when I massage my cheeks but it sure does make it look like I scrubbed off a couple of layers of skin by the time I'm done. However, my skin is super smooth from it! So, I don't see him for another three weeks and by then I'm hoping that we can take my "after" x rays so I can compare the two. I told my mom just the other day that its going to be pretty sad when this is all over with. I really like my surgeon, my ortho, and all the their office staff. Geez, I've been seeing them for over a year now pretty frequently. I sure will miss getting to chat with all of them.
Speaking of being done with my doctors, I asked Dr. Q in his opinion how much longer he thought I would have braces. I promised I wouldn't take it as something in stone but he said he didn't think I would need them for that much longer. I'm not sure what that would constitute as but Dr. Kunik, I know you read my blog so you can be sure that the question is coming at my appt in two weeks. I'll wear double wires if I have to get these babies off! So, that's all for now. I'm going on a road trip to Arkansas this weekend for Clay's grandpa's 90th birthday. I'll have lots of new pics when I get back.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lady of the Lake

I was back on the lake yesterday! Its a big deal for those of you that know me. Clay and I are quite the lake rats during the summer, so not being able to go has been the pits. We braved the heat yesterday with some friends and hit Lake Travis. The water was a little choppy at first, but I just made sure my teeth didn't knock together over big wakes and Clay didn't go too fast. We found a nice quiet cove to hang out and swim. It felt great. It was so nice to be back! We stopped at our favorite lake spot Cafe Bleu which was perfect since they have nice and mushy crabcakes that were awesome. Their killer mojitos aren't a bad addition either!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 23 post op

Sorry I missed the official three week mark on Wednesday. I can't believe I'll be post op one month in no time! Even though I had graduated to "meatloaf consistency" on Tuesday, that hasn't been an easy feat. By blending all my food before, I had it pre-chewed. So, by integrating some solids and still not being able to chew all that well has led to a lot of indigestion. I've been emailing back and forth with my mom and Michelle on ideas of what to eat. I've resorted to going back to blending for now. I don't liquefy it, just chop it up a little. I did have some homemade raisin bread and scrambled egg whites for breakfast this morning which was a nice change from the oatmeal (even though I love it). I think I pushed it at lunch when I ordered a chicken wrap from the cafe down the street. Some of the chicken was okay and moist, but the dry pieces mostly got pushed to the side. The tortilla was soggy enough that it made it down okay. Dinner was blended chicken and rice casserole which is always good. My energy level is back to the way it was before surgery or better. I sleep so much harder now that I can breathe through my nose. I actually get to go into a really deep sleep at nice. That probably explains the really weird dreams. This is first time I have to use an alarm clock! I feel refreshed in the morning and no longer drink all. Don't need it. This experience has really changed my life. I can smile as big as I can and still have little to no gum showing. I added a new profile picture as well as from the front to my album. Man, if you compare the profile from before and after surgery, my chin looks like it got totally lopped off!! And that's a good thing! I still have numbness in my gums, upper lip, and around my nose. I have really been doing my lip stretches and facial massages aggressively. I'm starting to feel shoots of tingles through those areas which means things are healing. I love to feel them, then I know its getting better.
Our sister site is still in the works, but we have made some changes. If you haven't checked it out yet, make sure you stop by!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here Comes Jaw Dropping Blends!

Some of you may have already read about our new blog on Kam's latest post. Kam, Michelle V, and I have joined up to create Jaw Dropping Blends. This site is in it's first stages right now. We are gathering up all our ideas and adding as we go. We have lists of things to stock up on, what to have on hand before surgery, and smoothie and soup recipes. So, check it out when you get a chance and come back to see our progress. When its complete, it will a plethora of jaw surgery related posts. We love comments, so make sure to leave us a "slurp!" If you have ideas to add, feel free to give us a shout. All of us have our email on there and will be more than happy to answer any questions. Keep in mind, we aren't experts but we have all been through it (Kam will be "on the other side" us with shortly). Her surgery is on Thursday, so please stop in to her blog and leave a positive note. They do help a lot. I think we have a great group of ortho bloggers that have created such a positive support group. We would like to make as much information readily available as possible. Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Semi-solid kind of life

I went to see Dr. Q again today. Nothing new really to report. My swelling is still going down. Since I still do not have feeling in my cheeks and upper lip, he told me that I really need to get exaggerated and aggressive with my facial massaging and exercises. When I exercise my lips, it needs to feel like I'm really stretching them. Great, like I don't get stared at enough in traffic! People catch me making weird faces all the time. I'll do my exercises anywhere! So, the big news is that I have graduated to semi-smooth food. I can have anything that is ground up like meatloaf, spaghetti, etc. I confessed that I had eaten chicken enchiladas yesterday and before he could give me a hard time, I explained that I thoroughly mushed it up with salsa and didn't chew AT ALL. I told Michelle that Clay thinks he catches me chewing all the time but I haven't. Tonight was the first time. I overcooked the meatloaf a little (due to checking up on my blogger friends) so it wasn't that easy to chew anyway. I'm still taking it slow and I bought a ton of veggie burgers today since they are rice based and really soft. I've found that all the tofu products are really easy to eat. I bought the ground "meat" and put it with okra, tomatoes, and rice in the blender for dinner the other night. I couldn't tell the difference at all and it wasn't greasy like beef tends to get. I thought that I should just add red pepper flakes and hot sauce to all my blends to give them a little kick and all I got was a weekend of heartburn! Oh well, it did make it better though. Another tip that others have mentioned is to buy a baby spoon. My mom brought me one about two weeks ago and that thing is getting a workout. Its much easier than trying to cram a regular spoon in your mouth and it fits between my bands at night. It is great. I highly recommend getting one. I'll post new pics tomorrow. I look plain worn out today. It was a heck of a Monday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Workin' 9 to 5

Well, my days of leisure are over. I went back to work full time yesterday. It could have been a lot worse than it was. The other girl in the office really helped keep up with paperwork so I didn't have to walk into a nightmare. I'm still bombarded, but I'm hoping to be caught up by the time I leave tomorrow. Overall, things went well. I did have a few dizzy spells, but I think thats just from me needing to eat more now that I'm out and about. I took Michelle's advice and packed some extra Ensure to stash in the breakroom fridge. I'm fortunate to have a desk job that is mostly data entry, otherwise I probably would have been pooped out by the end of the day. Everyone had to make a point to come by my office to see the "new face" they had heard about. I still don't think its that different, but apparently it is. I think Bruiser is a little peeved that I won't be home during the day to play all the time. He's been quite spoiled the last two weeks with walks around the neighborhood and naps with his mom.
So, now that I'm officially tired of blending soups with various additions, I tried to blend chicken and pasta last night. I even swirled some pasta sauce through it and sprinkled on some dried parsley to make it look fancy. It didn't cover up the fact that it was still pretty gross. I managed to choke down half of it with a baby spoon but I think if I kick up the spice level it will help things out. I need to get my brain going on some new dinner ideas. I still can't stomach the idea of blending anything with fish it in, but I'm willing to try anything to get more variety in my diet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Free at last...well, almost

I went for another follow up with Dr. Quaroni today. He said everything still was great and all the ladies in the office were shocked that it hasn't even been two weeks. I only have a tad bit of swelling left around my nose and I'm pretty sure all the bruising is gone. I now have two bands a bit further back than before but here is the good news (drumroll...) I can take them off for six hours each day!! This was the best news ever! I will have six glorious, band-free hours everyday. I can't wait until tomorrow morning when I pop these babies off. I also got the approval to go ahead and see my orthodontist. I think I mentioned before that my top wire was cut in four places during surgery so I'll be getting a brand new one. I called Dr. Kunik's office and was able to get an appointment first thing in the morning. It will feel so much better to get that wire replaced. The jagged edges have been killing the insides of my mouth and I'm almost out of wax. It was pretty funny that when I spoke to Gina at the ortho office, she mentioned that somehow she came across my blog and was checking up on the pics. They are all so sweet at that office (and even sent flowers to the hospital). Its such a small world in our little bloggersphere. So, today has been great. I feel revived. I was able to do almost an hour of TurboJam (the best cardio kickboxing DVD ever) this morning. I kept it low impact, but man it felt great to sweat. I also went by the office to pick up some paperwork so I can get a head start for when I go back full time on Wednesday. I also tried tofu in my blended dinner tonight. Its not bad at all. It doesn't thicken soup very much and it does give it a lighter hue of orange than normal, but I couldn't taste it a bit. I thought I'd give it a whirl since it is such a good source of protein. So, don't be scared of the tofu! Here I am, 12 days post op... Dr. Q told me to start massaging my face and working out my lips to help them relax.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wax on, wax off

It feels like I just got my braces on for the first time. I'm getting all kinds of new spots on the inside where the hooks are rubbing. My doctor told me that he had to cut the wire in four places during surgery so its just kind of hanging there until I go to the orthodontist. I'm so glad I stocked up on wax the last time I went to the ortho because I'm blowing through it pretty quick. I can't find the silicone wax anywhere except for the ortho office so they always give me about four boxes of it and I have them everywhere (in my car console, in my office desk, my get the idea). I'm a bit concerned if I'll be able to open my mouth wide enough for an adjustment on my braces but I don't think I have to go for another couple of weeks.

So, here are pics from today (day 9 post op). What a difference 3 days does in regards to swelling. My lips still look weird when I smile since I can't feel them and they are pretty tight.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saying good bye to some old friends

Here is a group shot of some of dearest friends from the last week that I will no longer need. To my liquid Vicodin, you gave me comfort all through the day as well as that "fuzzy" feeling that can't be replaced. However, I no longer need you and you have now been replaced by children's Motrin (which tastes a heck of a lot better). To my baby nose sucker, you freed my mouth from all the drool that was just too much for me to swallow. Now that I'm able to chug water like its going out of style, I have no use for you. To my catheter/syringe apparatus, you've been with me since the beginning. You made it possible to squirt food, medicine, water, etc to that little nook all the way back in my mouth without making a complete mess on my face. Its sad to say, but I can now drink out of a glass and I only use the syringe for really thick "food." Oh, I can't forget my prescription mouthwash. You made my mouth feel as clean as possible when I wasn't able to brush more than my front teeth for almost a week. How I will miss you. You have all made my recovery much better but it is time to move on. Now if I could only get rid of that nasty pink antibiotic!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Silence of the bands

I went to see Dr. Quaroni today for my (almost) one week post-op appt. He said everything is looking great. The bruising is minimal. It looks more like I smeared mustard on my face and forgot to wipe it off. The nose has quite the hook on the end of it, but that should relax a bit once my upper lip goes down in swelling. Things were going great until he put new bands on. They are so much tighter than the ones I had before that I really can't open my teeth at all. At least before I could fit the catheter through for eating but that is no longer an option. As for talking, its quite a bit more difficult. I was just getting to the point where people could kind of understand me but I've since been silenced. It shot down my morale because I love to talk but I see him again next week and hopefully he will reconfigure them again. On a positive note, I have gone two days without a nosebleed so I'm thinking that fiasco is over and my energy level is starting to get much better.
I've also started getting creative with what I eat so I will definitely put together a list for those of you who have surgeries coming up. The more you are prepared ahead of time, the easier your recovery goes. Also, I really think that what you eat and how active you are before surgery really plays a huge part in your body's abilitiy to heal itself. I've always been a bit of health nut and I truly believe that it makes a big difference. That's all for now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

My new best friend

I bought this heating "sock" at Walgreens today and it is awesome. Its called the Bed Buddy Moist Heat/Cold pack. It is filled with stuff that kinda feels like a bean bag. After two minutes in the microwave...pure bliss on my cheeks. I think it actually helped with the swelling. I plan to use it a couple of times a day to get my cheeks to go down.
Other than that, things are much better. I've cut down on my Lortab a bit. I still can't sleep through the night due to congestion but that should fade away eventually. I go see Dr.Q tmmw afternoon for my first post-op visit. I'll be excited to see my new x-rays.
On another note, I just need to reinterate how great this whole blogging thing is. Since Michelle V and I had our surgeries not too far apart, we have been bouncing ideas off each other the whole time. Everyone is so supportive and great. Holly is looking great and always has words of encouragement. I appreciate all the comments and ideas that everyone leaves. Thanks again!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4 days post op

Things have pretty much stayed the same. The swelling hasn't gone down anymore. The bruising started to show this morning but so far it's just on my face and hasn't traveled down my neck. I think the most annoying things are nosebleeds and being congested (and the fact that it takes forever to make, blend, and strain a meal!). My meds were really hard to get down but I think I have perfected the art of watering them down so I can swallow. The throat feels pretty tight so swallowing has been a chore.

The saddest thing about this picture is that I actually thought it looked like a smile!

Friday, July 4, 2008


I don't have the energy for Picasa. Its wearing me out. Here are pics from the day before surgery

You can see my "gummy smile" in the one above. I'm excited to see what its going to look like with all the gone. The next two are about 6 hrs post op. The resolution isn't that good since they were taken on a camera phone.

The next two were just taken a couple of minutes ago. I just made a trip around the block to get some fresh air. It's actually cooled down outside a bit so it felt really good. Its doesn't take much to get worn out though. I also finally took a real shower and washed my hair. That can make anyone feel like new woman! This was my best effort to smile...

I'm home

I got to come home this morning. The first day was pretty rough. I got really nauseated from all the drainage and my throat was super sore from the breathing tube which made it almost impossible to get anything down. Yesterday was better. I took a washcloth bath, put on some pajamas, and walked a couple of laps around the hospital. Everyone there was so incredible. I have really lucked out on this whole deal. I don't have a splint and I only have two bands. I've hit a couple of rough spots emotionally but that is bound to happen with such trauma. My pain hasn't really been that bad and my swelling is actually going down quickly. I'll post some pics tonight once I set up my Picasa. Everyone at the hospital was amazed as to how great things were going. I can talk, but I sound like a man since my throat is still swollen. The biggest change is being able to breathe through my nose. It is absolutely wonderful. I don't have to strain to keep my lips closed anymore either. It's so weird. My nostrils are opened up a bit which helps immensely. My face is already starting to itch and tingle which means the feeling is coming back. Dr. Q was also really happy that I never lost feeling in my chin after the genioplasty. I have full feeling in my bottom lip and my chin. I'm still pretty weak. I hadn't weighed myself in forever and I had been working out quite a bit before surgery. Come to find out I had already dropped 10 lbs before surgery and I'm down another 5 since then. I really need to work on eating more but it is such an ordeal and messy. It's hard to keep stuff down and I have to spit ALL the time. Clay bought me a baby suction thing so I can suction the spit. Its pretty gross. Overall, the surgery was a huge success and everything went well. My doctor was laughing because he said that I talked non-stop when they did the anesthesia until the last minute before I was out (not shocking to those who know me). Apparently, we talked about my asperations to be a nurse quite extensively. He told me he learned more about me then than ever before and I don't remember any of it. Dr. Q is awesome and I can't thank him and his staff enough. This afternoon I was taking a nap and I think I moved my jaw side to side in my sleep which caused a big surge of pain and scared me. I thought I had messed something up, but I think it okay. I'm just trying to be as careful as I can. Bruiser doesn't quite know what to think of me. It took him a couple of hours when I got to home to stop staring at me. He's finally realized its me and laid down for a nap with me on the couch. It was pretty funny at first. My mom was here and he stuck by her for most of the time until he figured things out. I'm so glad she was with me whole time as well as Clay. I know it was boring to stay in the hospital and I know Clay had to watch more chick flicks than he cared too but he did it anyway. Well, that's all for now. I'm going to go see what I want for dinner. I'm getting pretty tired of sweet shakes and Ensure. I think I'll blend some Italian wedding soup and see how that goes. Thank you for are your wonderful comments. I hope everyone recovering is doing great. Hopefully, it won't be long before I can add a countdown clock for when my braces come off! Happy 4th of July to everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Hi everyone. This is Rachel's mom, Jayne, and I'm filling in for her until she is up to posting herself. It's one day post surgery, and Rachel is doing very well. The surgery went very well, about 2 1/2 hours, and Dr. Q was very pleased with the results. He was able to do everything he wanted, including the chin work, the septum manipulation, tooth implant, and jaw surgery. The most exciting thing for Rachel was waking up and being able to breathe through her nose! She had some nausea yesterday, but it seems to be better today. The swelling had been kept under control fairly well, and she only has two bands, so she is able to drink some from a cup and talk a bit. Anyone who knows Rachel knows that she goes ninety to nothing at all times, so having to take the time to let her body heal is testing her patience! Thank you all for your support, prayers, and postings. Having the ability to share this experience with others has been great for Rachel, as well as me - it has been wonderful to see the progress you other surgery 'before' and 'after's! We don't know yet whether she will be going home today or tomorrow, but will keep you updated as time permits, and hopefully Rachel will be back at the computer in a few days!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bruiser is already bummed

This is Bruiser. The look on his face says that he's already bummed that his mom is going to be out of commission for playtime for awhile. He is a good snuggler though... I think Bruiser needs to grace the pages of my blog more often. If I haven't mentioned before, I think he is the best dog EVER!

This is it for now, my mom will update you guys after surgery.
p.s. My last solid meal consisted of chips and salsa, chicken enchildas, and red wine. I have a bit of a love for Mexican food