27 July 2009

P.s. my gap is closing up! Well a little

First pic is from last Monday and the 2nd pic is from today... keep it coming!

Feeling better

So last week was a hard week. But I'm doing alot better now. I have committed to working out 5 times this week so I know that will make me feel so much better. I always do when I'm exercising, and the fact that I've committed to it and said to myseld 'ok I'm back into it as of Monday' I know that I will do it. Also, my bf exercises with me so it makes a big difference when you have someone else pushing you.
So onto my teeth now - my front 2 teeth feel kinda weird at the moment. Like they are loose or something and they are also a bit tender as well. My ortho and OS told me that this was normal so I'm not panicking - I just dont like the feeling that my teeth are gonna fall out!
I think my gap has closed up about half a mm in the last week which is encouraging. I'm hoping it closes up a little more each week :) I'm an optimist. Other than the front teeth situation, I'm feeling good and I was chewing alot better on the weekend which was nice. I'm pretty sure I'm grinding my teeth in my sleep too which is not a nice feeling to be woken up to! Lots of pops and scraping noises - gross. I am however breathing through my nose when I sleep for some of the night which is a whole new experience for me. Even though I cant quite hold my lips together comfortably yet I'm still managing to breathe through my nose. Amazing!

23 July 2009

Sick of looking like this

I hate the gap this week. I feel so ugly and weird looking and I hate not being able to talk properly. I had a killer toothache yesterday which really bothered me and its still hanging around today. Its the tooth that the expander it cemented onto... It doesnt feel like a cavity - I think its just had enough of being moved around and chewed on funny. I just want to feel normal again :( I havent felt motivated to exercise lately either because I cant bring myself to go to the gym and face everyone there. I know I shouldnt care but its hard not to feel self concious when you have a gap big enough to fit another tooth in! And also when I have exercised the spit seems to gather up and I cant swallow it properly (gross, sorry) so I end up choking on it! Its bad enough looking strange but now I feel guilty about not exercising. Sorry for whinging... I know I'll feel better soon enough. I think another reason I'm feeling down is because tomorrow its been 5 years since my dad passed away and I always get a little nuts around this time. Things can build up then you are overcome with all these emotions and I think thats what I'm feeling. I know my dad would think the gap looked 'cute' and was endearing and wouldnt want me to feel self concious about it... so I will try my hardest not to.

21 July 2009

Owww my cheek!

I cut my cheek about a week ago on the expander (the bit that pokes out on the side for the braces to be attached to) and its still bothering me. I cant eat without aggravating it and I cant eat with wax on it because I end up eating that too :) so eating is pretty much more painful now that it was before... lovely.
I think its amazing though how fast our body adapts to new things - like chewing with only 4 teeth, and swallowing with a big metal thing in the roof of your mouth, and smiling without revealing too much of your humungous gap to strangers. When I first got the RPE put in I couldnt swallow at all and was worried I would be drooling for the next 6 months, but it only took a matter of hours before I worked around it. Something that I find really strange is not being able to bite food with my front teeth. I tried to bite off a prawn last night but couldnt and had to shove it in whole! You really need to cut up everything in bite sized peices otherwise you end up putting too much in your mouth or just giving up and not eating it. Sometimes I look at my bf when he's eating and say 'you know how lucky you are you can chew that!' I dont think you can appreciate chewing and eating all foods until you cant chew and eat all foods. I cannot wait until I can eat a steak again, or nuts, or crusty bread, or bite into a pizza... how I miss you :(

20 July 2009

Finished at last

Hooray! I finally finished turning the expander on Saturday. So another step in the journey is now over and I am onto the next one which is waiting for my braces to go on. The last 5 weeks have gone really fast - and I cant believe July is almost over now! Christmas will be here before we know it - and you know what that means?! That's right...EXPANDER OFF! I am seriously over it and want it out now. I hate not being able to talk properly and eating is such a pain in the butt. My BF and I went out for lunch yesterday and I had poached eggs on toast with wilted spinach (eggs florentine) and holy moly, I couldnt believe how much spinach I had caught in my RPE! It was bad.

I saw my OS on Friday and she was really pleased with my progress. She was amazed at how quickly I'm healing and also said that my expansion is very symmetrical which was great to hear. I'm glad everything has gone smoothly so far and I'm hoping it stays that way! Here are comparison pics of my mouth before and after expansion. Wow, it looks massive now. Sorry about the spit and poor quality :)

16 July 2009

Spoke too soon

So I went to the ortho on Tuesday and she was really happy with everything and was poking around in my mouth for a long time - then she said 'Ok so 5 more turns then you're done' :

I let out a great big uggghhhh and she laughed... I didnt. That means I have made 34 turns totalling 8.5mm + 1mm in surgery so 9.5mm all up! After surgery my surgeon said very clearly that my ortho wanted 21 turns and that would be plenty. Pfft not even close! I was just really hoping to have this gap closed up a bit before my cousins wedding on Sept 26th. I just hope once I stop turning it closes up a little on its own (I've read this can happen).

So anyway, I at least got to make the appointment to get my braces on which will be the 28th August, which is exactly 6 weeks from the day I stop turning! I wasnt going to waste anymore time to get those suckers on! I will be getting clear on the top and normal ones on the bottom which seems to be the norm. I already feel like my mouth is full of metal so I have no idea how I'm going to go with braces on plus the expander? Lucky I get the braces on a Friday so I have the weekend to practice not drooling and speaking without looking like a complete weirdo.
On a positive note - my swelling has come down a bit more in the last 2 days so I feel more like myself now. Here is a comparison from before surgery to now. My nose looks wider and my cheeks are still a tad swollen but all in all I think my smile is going to be nice a big! Please excuse the tongue in the right picture, I have no idea where to put it when I smile.
And yes I do style my hair differntly, this is just a coincidence :)

13 July 2009

One turn left!

That's right - I only have one turn left out of 29! That's a total of 7.25mm not including the 1mm done in surgery. I see my ortho tomorrow and I'm hoping that she says its enough. I measured my gap just before and its at 6mm. I have no idea if thats huge or average for this surgery? I think its plenty big enough though!
I put a heat pack on my cheeks and upper lip last night to try and get the last of this swelling down. I dont know if it worked - if it did then its only a tiny bit. It felt nice though and at least it promoted some blood flow in the areas.
My bite is completely stuffed at the moment too. I think only my back two molars are touching on both sides and thats it. I also have a lovely overbite going on. I did have a very small one before but now its full on. Apparently this is all part of the process so I guess I just have to trust my ortho. I was told in the beginning that there might be a very small chance I will need a 2nd surgery to correct my overbite, but after more review my ortho said it wouldnt be worth it for 2 or 3mm. I couldnt agree more! I am not keen on a 2nd surgery AT ALL!
Chewing is a real chore at the moment because everything either falls to the front of my mouth and I cant pull it back in without using my finger or its just too hard. I struggled with a chicken caesar salad on the weekend because the lettuce wouldnt stay in the back and would hang out of my mouth... nice huh? I have to laugh about it because I know in a few months it will be a distant memory.
Onto the positives now... I am really liking my new smile. I feel like my mouth is a little wider too because my teeth are alot closer to my cheeks. Before my smile was empty but now there are teeth from ear to ear! I have to focus on what is really going on rather than the gap and eating. Although its hard because I love food and eating... now I'm hungry.

08 July 2009

Swelling has flared up??!

For the last 2 days I have noticed that my swelling around my upper lip area has gotten a little worse... and I'm not really sure why. I started exercising again last week and had no swelling come back so I dont think it can be that? Unless what I did this week flared it up. I have no idea - I just wish it would go away because I'm really keen to see what I look like without swelling! I hate the chipmunk look I have going on :( no one can really tell except me but its still annoying.
6 more turns of the expander then hopefully thats it. But in saying that my arch is so much wider its incredible so I dont really mind doing the extra expansion if it means gaining a great smile. Someone said to me today that going through all of this is 'character building'. I think thats just something people say to make you feel better about looking ugly :) I just have to keep reminding myself that this isnt permanent!

06 July 2009

More turns!

Ughhh. Saw the ortho this morning and she wants me to do another 8 turns (2mm) so I'm kind of bummed. I was hoping I was done with it so I could start the stabilisation period - in other words get this gap closed up! Oh well, I guess I just have to accept it. If its going to get me the best results then bring it on. The gap is big enough now that another 2mm wont make much difference. The good news is that she said I looked great (better than before surgery) and pointed out my new cheekbones! My face seems more rounded and shapely now whereas before it was longer and had little shape. I'm just looking forward to seeing my new smile without a big black hole in the middle of it. Here's a pic as of today.

I am starting to get some funny looks when I'm out and about now. My BF and I went out for dinner on Saturday night and the waitress took my order and did a double take of my mouth. It was really obvious she was staring at me and her attitude even changed, like she stopped being polite towards me or something? Weird. I didnt care really, I was more concerned about cutting up my lamb into micro sized peices so I could eat it! I still cant chew meat properly among other delicious things. But I managed this time. The huge slice of toblerone cheesecake I had for dessert was alot easier to eat though :) yum.

Here's a pic of me pre-op. If you can look closely my upper jaw is really narrow. My front 6 teeth are straight and normal then my teeth just sort of vanish and I have an empty smile. Sorry this is the only pic I can find at the moment that shows it up. I never take a front on photo because it looks so much worse. But I wont have to worry about that now!

03 July 2009

3 more turns left

Well its hard to believe I only have 3 turns left out of 21! I see my ortho on Monday so she will let me know whether I have enough expansion or I need more (NOOO!) The gap is just big (well small) enough so people think its just a gap rather than a missing tooth. Anymore though and people will be thinking 'what the h*ll happened to her?'. But I am prepared for more expansion if necessary because I dont want to do this half arsed. I didnt go through surgery for nothing.
I get braces on 6 weeks after I stop expanding so its not that long to wait. Once they are on the gap will start to close and also they will take notice away from the gap as well. I never though I'd look forward to braces :) but I am.
As for the freakin' expander, I hate it...with a passion. Just sitting watching TV or working is fine, but when I have to talk or eat its a real pain. I sound sort of drunk and anything with an 'eee' sound is pretty much impossible to say. My tongue doesnt play with it alot so I dont have a sore spot or anything which is one good thing. I am counting down the days until it comes off. It should be about a week before xmas - if the only present I get is the expander taken out then I will be very happy!
Swelling continues to go down a little more each day. I notice it the most on my upper lip area under my nose. I still have numb areas on my cheeks, gums, nose, and under my eyes as well but sensation is coming back slowly. All the stitches have fallen out so it feels alot more comfortable up there. It is still quite tender but thats to be expected. I'm so glad the surgery is over because that was the biggest part of all this for me. Now its just about healing and creating my new smile which is really exciting.