I haven't posted for two weeks, so I thought I better write something while I actually remember!
Since the previous entry, where I had the splint removed, life has been better. I have been able to eat better food and be able to eat it easier- I had toast and it was AMAZING!! It was probably the food I had been craving the most since surgery, so to be able to finally eat it was fantastic. I still can't open my mouth wide enough sideways (if that makes sense) to be able to bite into it, so I have to cut it into soldiers. Never the less, I'm still loving toast. I've also been able to have hot chips and lollies. Any weight I lost in the first few weeks will soon be all put back on I'm sure, especially as I'm not allowed to do any strenuous exercise yet. However I do go for walks, not that I walk very fast and they're only for 40minutes max, but by that stage I am stuffed!
I was supposed to go back to work the day after getting the splint off, but I took the extra week so that my wires could also be removed, and I was so glad for it! Because my bottom teeth had no guidance from the splint as to where to go and be held in position, my jaw muscles had to work so much harder, and I was pretty sore for a couple of days. I still had the wires in and wore the bands, only taking them off to eat. It was great being able to brush my teeth. There was a lot of blood and it felt very strange as my gums were completely numb! The sensation is slowly coming back to them.
So last Wednesday night I had the wires removed. Once again I got the happy gas (the nurse pumped it a bit higher than normal because the procedure is quite brutal and unpleasant), then my surgeon gave me about a dozen local anaesthetic injections in my gums. Once they'd taken effect, he sniped where the wires were twisted into hooks, then yanked the wires out. My mum said she couldn't believe how long some of these wires were- a good few inches apparently. I had my eyes shut because I thought seeing them come out of my mouth covered in blood, and seeing the blood in the suction tube would freak me out. It felt uncomfortable, and I some of the wires required some pretty strong yanks to get out, but it wasn't painful. I then went and rinsed as much of the blood off my face as I could and headed home. I go back to see the surgeon in 6 weeks.
My top lip which was very swollen because of the wire rubbing against it, went down quite dramatically within the first couple of days. It's still a bit swollen, especially in the mornings, but I know eventually it will return to normal size and I will no longer look so much like a duck. The rest of my face is also coming down well since the wires have come out. I can now see I have a jawline and my cheeks aren't quite so puffy.
I went back to work the day after having the wires out, but I haven't been working full days- 6 hours is the longest shift I'm doing. I just get so tired! And working in aged care I have found it difficult raising my voice so they can hear me clearly, and the swelling has meant I've been speaking with a bit of a slurry lisp. But it's getting better.
I've had a lot of mixed reactions from people at work. I suppose because they haven't seen how swollen I initially was, they just kept saying how swollen I look and how I look tired and sore- not that I'm looking good. I had one of the staff come up to me and ask, "Crap! What happened to your face?!" which I can kinda understand because it is obviously different to how it was, but it was more the way she said it. I came away from work feeling really uneasy about it all.
I went to the orthodontist, and he changed the top wire because it got cut during surgery. I have to wear elastics in square shapes at night. I told him I was a bit concerned that my top teeth aren't straight across and are on a slant(?) and they're off centre to the left a little. He said these things should be able to be fixed with different elastic arrangements and we'll talk about it more at my next appointment in a couple of weeks.
My feelings about my "new" face change frequently. Sometimes I feel really good about the changes, sometimes I don't feel quite so positive about them. I suppose it will take some getting used to, and the final result can't be seen yet due to all the swelling. My boyfriend has to remind me about this a lot and reassure me that I'm doing well. He has been great through this whole process.
I have had a bit of excitement in the last 24 hours... I'm starting to get feeling back in my bottom lip and chin! Not much, but at least it's reassurance that that whole area won't be numb forever. But I have to continue to be patient.
Photos to come soon.