Thursday, 7 June 2012

Day 57: I Want to Break Free!

Smiling and saying cheese: 90% ( No more elastics and a lighter, less noticable brace!)

A cheesy smile

Pain: 10% (Pain up slightly as my teeth are sensitive especially when trying to chew food)

Weight: 12 stone 10lb or 178lb
Weight loss at the minute: 3lb (I need to start eating more to get me back to normal)

Hard food I would love to chew today: A steak with creamy pepper sauce sounds good. Sorry vegetarians but I don't have a vegetarian option.

After four BBQ's on four consecutive days, sunshine, baseball caps and the smells of summer, Belfast has returned to what it's used to, which is rain. It has rained all day here. It was raining when I got up this morning and is still raining now at tea time. Anyway, I bring you good news from I last blogged. Eight weeks yesterday from my op by the way.

Side view
Firstly, I no longer need to see my surgeon. She debanded me down to just one elastic which I have wore for the last week on my front teeth. It was great having only one instead of seven to put on and off. She told me she would see me in a year from now with my Orthodontist for a check up. I only wore my elastic when I wasn't eating and even when I had it on, I could still open and close my mouth slightly.

Yesterday I seen my orthodontist. After checking how my bite was looking, he proceeded to take out my arch wires (which held all those elastic hooks which crowded my mouth up with metal) and replace them with skinnier wires with no hooks. That means NO MORE ELASTICS!!! I have broke free. He is going to move my two front teeth up towards my gum a little so they sit more in line with my other teeth. He adjusted my brace to do this, which will hopefully start moving within the next few weeks. Once they are sitting nicely, that's it. Braces will hopefully be coming off. I have another appointment in three weeks.

My nearly naked teeth

I can now see my teeth a lot more which is nice. I am now chewing whatever I can. Something are too hard to break. I had a cookie the other day but as I went to bite into it, I couldn't. My jaw isn't strong enough to bite through it so i ended up sucking it until it was soft enough. Yes I know that's disgusting.  Most other foods I can eat fine. I'm still get used to my new bite and am cautious chewing. It's silly but I still feel if I bite too hard my jaw will relapse or go into a funny position meaning I would need another operation. I know this is highly unlikely but these are the wonderful thoughts that I have.

Life is now back to normal with the very small exception of not being able to chew certain foods but in those cases I can just swallow. I also dribble sometimes without knowing due to the fact that my chin and lower lip is still numb. I was hoping that by this stage the numbness would be minimal but I'm afraid not. I wonder will there always be a certain amount of numbness for the rest of my life. Don't fear, I will keep you updated. Well, I'm heading to Finland next week which I'm really looking forward to. I just hope my jaw won't explode out of my face with the cabin pressure. Now that would be an interesting blog post to read. You live in hope. I don't.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Day 43: Here Comes The Sun

Smiling and saying cheese: 86%( Elastics still on so I'm staying put!)

Ready for the Sunshine

Pain: 6% (No issue really))

Weight: 12 stone 9lb or 177lb
Weight loss at the minute: 4lb (Hanging in there)

Hard food I would love to chew today: Something different for lunch maybe! See below.

Hi again! Over 6 weeks from my surgery and I'm doing better than I ever imagined. I'm back to full time work and feeling as fit at work as I ever did. When I get out of breathe at work, I do make a funny 'sucking in air through closed teeth' noise but that's about it. Also lunches are a problem. For the last eight working days I have had chicken, chips, peas, onions and gravy from whatever fish and chip shop has been nearest me at that time.

As I can only take my elastics off once while I am at work, I have decided that this meal fills me up the most and keeps me working longer. Obviously I don't want this to be a long term habit so from next week I may have to plan my lunches a little better. Any ideas of what I can take to eat that doesn't have to be chewed and that will taste nice and fill me up.

Anyway, I know it has been an extremely long time from I updated you on my progress. I know you have all been waiting so eagerly for this moment. By the way it is over 22 degrees in Belfast this week. It is fantastic. I work outdoors 8 hours a day and am loving this sunshine. Unfortunately as we are not used to sunshine in Belfast it does bring out the worst in people. Here are some examples.

Young men who think they have a upper torso in the same category as Vin Diesel feel the need to strip off their t shirts to expose a rather slim, skinny, pale white build that resembles a pint of milk. Some ladies are not any better by showing off their pale white legs accompanied with stringy vest tops which can be pulled off by some 'California Girls' but in most instances, unfortunately not in Belfast. Harsh, I know.

Back to my teeth. First I am leading a completely normal life, very little pain and the only issues are that my teeth are still wired closed and have a numb chin and lower lip. I did have an appointment with my orthodontist yesterday which marked six weeks from surgery. He had a quick look and said everything looks great and that he won't have to do much adjustment to my braces as my teeth are sitting in a great position. Rock on Surgeon! Good job by her. Next he said that although it was six weeks, he told me to keep my elastics on until I see my surgeon next Thursday which I hope will be the day that I'm told I can keep them off for longer.

Elastics are fine, and just like braces you soon forget your wearing them. I even sat down to eat dinner one night and realised as I went to take a forkful of my food that I still had my elastics on. Crazy, I now. Well that's it folks.... now where did I leave my sandals, shorts and white socks......Oh there they are! A very true reality in the Emerald Isle!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Day 30: Complan in Abundance

Smiling and saying cheese: 86%( I'm feeling good but elastics are here to stay for a while so I can't go much higher

Yes, I am that excited!!!

Pain: 10% Still minimal pain)

Weight: 12 stone 9lb or 177lb
Weight loss at the minute: 4lb (Getting there slowly, I think)

Hard food I would love to chew today: I bought 'bite size' weetabix and tried them for breakfast as I thought it would be easier to swallow. Mistake! Unlike regular sized weetabix these bite sized bad boys seem to be coated in a varnish type coating which makes them extremely hard to break down using the roof of my mouth and my tongue. It took them ages to turn into that weetabix mush which I know so many of you enjoy

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I am getting very bad at updating my blog but I have a fun filled, action packed edge of your seat post for you today. Actually I don't but here goes. Why have I not updated? Well as I said last week, I don't really have much to update you on. I feel pretty much the same as I did last week. I still have a numb chin, lower lip and gums. I have little swelling and my jaw occasionally aches which is accompanied by a sore head. I am living a completely normal life again just like before surgery.

Just in case you didn't see the first photo!
 The only difference is is that my mouth is completely closed with elastics all day and night except for three times a day when I take them off to eat. When I have them on throughout the day I forget about them. I suppose if I didn't have elastics on, my mouth would be closed anyway so this doesn't bother me at all. I am back to work full time and feel fine working. I don't feel weak or overly tired but I do miss having a mid morning break of something to eat.

As I'm only taking my elastics off three times a day I take them off for breakfast, lunch and dinner which doesn't leave room for a break time snack. I'm still using a baby toothbrush. I tried my normal sized toothbrush but it felt like I was brushing with a salon style hairbrush so I reverted back to my little friend.  My long overdue 'Complan' arrived from the pharmacy this week. I think they gave me too much as there is enough to feed (or quench the thirst of) a small army. Don't believe me.... check out my photo please. In each box there are 4 sachets. One box costs over £4.oo. Thank you NHS and free prescriptions. I'm selling them to you for £3 per box or two boxes for £5. Go on. Hello to my new reader from Argentina. I love your flag colours of baby blue and white.

On Wednesday I had an appointment with my Orthodontist. It was straight forward and went as followed:

After a quick look at my teeth with the elastics still on, my orthodontist showed a junior dentist around my mouth explaining to him that my bite was now great as there was a good overlap and that my teeth lined up quite well. This was good to hear. He noticed that my 'bands' were loose. No, not my elastic bands as you are currently presuming. These 'bands' are metal bands which go around my back teeth. They are like little rings which slot over the back molars, I think those teeth are called that. Anyway they were loose which required them being 'recemented' on which isn't a big deal. As a veteran of all things teeth, I have had this done

That was it, it felt like a regular check up and I have another one in a few weeks.  He said six weeks is the magic number. I don't think it's magic but I think he meant that if I get to six weeks then chances of relapse are slimmer and bone healing is well under way. Less than two weeks to go then. I still have nearly three weeks until I see my surgeon again which is frustrating as it means that my elastics are on until at least then but I will manage.

Finally before I leave, it's funny how my priorities have changed. Week one and two post op, a lot of my time was taken up with all things jaw surgery which included blogs, forums, you tube and generally managing to cope and adjust to the challenges of jaw surgery. Now at week four, I'm back to work and busy life and don't think as much about it. I guess it is a good thing as I am recovering well and getting on with life without letting my elasticated teeth annoy me too much. That's all folks! Well for today at least.

    Tuesday, 8 May 2012

    Day 27: I Have Returned!

    Smiling and saying cheese: 85% (Once I get these elastics off for good, braces off and can chew food I will be 100%, but until then I have to contain my excitement with a 85%)
    Ha ha, spiky hair just to annoy Ashleigh!

    Pain: 10% (Last 10%, no tablets today, still sore head sometimes and my jaw aches occasionally)

    Weight: 12 stone 10lb or 178lb
    Weight loss at the minute: 3lb (I have to say I have had two big meals today before I got on the scales so take this reading with a pinch of salt. I'm up and down like a yo yo, but I am quite sure I will not die of weight loss)

    Hard food I would love to chew today: I am eating (or swallowing without chewing) anything I want and nothing really comes to mind. I suppose I would love a bar of chocolate which I could bite into!

    Long time, no post. I know I'm very sorry. I realise that you rely on these posts to get you through the day but doesn't absence make the heart grow fonder. I can't believe its been 5 days from my last post and guess what it's four weeks post op tomorrow and I'm super happy how well I am recovering. I did have an excuse for my lack of posts which is... that I was away for the weekend in the beautiful West Coast of Ireland. Check it out my American readers. Come and discover your Irish roots. Did you know there are more Irish in the USA than in Ireland?

    After a 400 mile round trip, I can safely say that I'm back driving. We had a great time, I was able to eat three times a day when I took my elastics off. I ate out for the first time since surgery. We had our Sunday lunch in a hotel and this is how I accomplished it. I took my elastics off in the car before entering the hotel. I thought this was a good idea because I didn't want to order my lunch with a mouthful of elastics. Can you imagine what the waiter would be thinking?.....No you can't imagine. Well he would be wondering how I was going to eat that roast beef with my mouth tied shut.

    Anyway after receiving my meal, armed with many tissues and a little discreet 'make up mirror' which I placed on the table angled so I could see my mouth I proceeded to swallow a full dinner. Result! I can open my mouth a little wider now which means I don't look like a baby eating with lips and cheeks covered in mashed up food. I am starting to eat like a big boy again. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to going surfing this weekend while away which I always do. I didn't think surfing with my jaw hanging together by a few metal plates and some elastics was a great idea but fear not, I will be back in the water this summer, surfing while the sun sets beyond the horizon. There wasn't any waves this weekend which was good as I didn't feel I was missing out.

    Back to my symptoms. Little pain, chin and lip still numb though the area of numbness may be getting smaller. I still have one cheek (face) bigger than the other. I hope this is due to swelling. Either that or my surgeon has given me a wonky jaw. I hope it is the swelling. I have also retired most of my friends. Blender is in the cupboard, sippy cup also though I can't find the lid. Baby spoons are no longer needed as I can use a knife and fork. Vaseline still required as I can't lick my lips and tissues are also not required as often. Mirror is still needed for eating as I try to fit too much food in at once in which case the mirror becomes handy.

    Good job Ashleigh!
    These little happy macarons were tested by me last night. Ashleigh's first attepts at macarons and they tasted good. Raspberry and white chocolate which melted in my mouth which is a good thing, due to the whole lack of chewing.

    I am feeling a lot more normal these days. I have an appointment with my Orthodontist tomorrow. I'm not sure what will be done tomorrow but I will let you all know. I know, I can't wait either. Back to work today again which was great. Well it's good to post again and will do so soon.

    Thursday, 3 May 2012

    Day 22: Slug Lips

    Smiling and saying cheese: 75% (After another successful rendezvous with my surgeon, I can't help but smile)
    Loving the sepia, right?  And my huge lips, wrong?

    Pain: 15% (No pain, no gain, thankfully there is minimal pain)

    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lb
    Weight loss at the minute: 7lb (Back down today but now that I can take my elastics off to eat there is no stopping me (evil laugh)
    Hard food I would love  to chew today: I can now officially eat any soft food I want, that includes pancakes, mmmm pancakes. As long as they are cut up so I can swallow without chewing, the world is my oyster, well maybe not oysters as I don't like them. So I have changed this to hard food I would love to chew. Today's is a 'Cadbury's Easter Egg' OK you don't have to chew it but you do have to bite into it!

    I see's glorious! Blue skies here in Belfast were it does not rain every day as is thought through out the world. Come and visit, my Russian readers. It is a soaring 17 degrees C here today. As you may have guessed I am in a good mood today and not just because it is a lovely sunshine day, but because I have just returned from a successful appointment with my surgeon.

    It lasted a full four minutes and here's what happened:

    • She asked how I was doing while she pinged off my elastics.
    • She got me to open and close a few times while she watched my bite. This was not a strange feeling as before, because I have been opening my mouth daily. She was very happy with everything.
    • She put her finger in behind my lower teeth and pushed down on my jaw. I think she was checking to see if my jaw would fall off. It didn't though, so she seemed content.
    • She didn't put any elastics back on. I'll repeat that...SHE DIDN'T PUT any elastics back on. She said I could wait until I got home and then I would need to put them on again. She wants them on most of the time because of me having to get the op twice. She wants the bone to heal well. She said not to open my mouth further than it wants to and that it will be a gradual build up over time

    So my new orders are....that I may take my elastics off when I'm eating but once I've finished I must put them back on for most of the day. I will be taking them off three times a day. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and I will fill my face, as the saying goes. That's exactly what I did when I got home. I had a milkshake, lasagna, coleslaw and cheese and a small pot of trifle. I then took my mugshot that you see above outside in our beautiful sunshine and then cleaned my teeth and re banded. I see my surgeon in four weeks. She said three weeks but thanks to our NHS waiting times, three weeks means four weeks.

    I have kept a blog for over 22 days and will continue to do so. In the hope of not boring my loyal readers....tumbleweed.... I think I will not do a post every day. As I am now over the first three weeks, my recovery has slowed down in the sense that there is not much more new information to tell you each day. So, I will probably do a post every few days when something amazing in my life happens like retiring my blender which I believe I can now do. Thank you my faithful servant.

    So if I do not post everyday, do not worry I have not died, I am just gathering new material for this blog. I will keep it updated as I have another orthodontic appointment next week. Of course if there is a mass protest from you readers that you cannot live without a daily post, I will reconsider. This is not Good Bye, it's see you later, or maybe see you tomorrow, if I have time.

    My surgeon said that my swelling was looking good, though I have noticed that my lips look huge. Now if I were a woman, I would be delighted and probably there are many women out there who would pay top dollar for lips like these, but I'm not so sure how great they look on me. Hopefully they will reduce in size as I don't want to be accused of using 'plump up lip gloss' which makes your lips look bigger. You can buy this product in 'Sephora' in the USA. It's a make up shop and it doesn't matter how I know that.

    Lastly, when I lick the inside of my lower lip with my tongue (which I haven't did in so long as my teeth have been closed) it is the strangest feeling. It feels like I'm licking a slug. I haven't licked a slug before but that's what I imagine it would feel like. It feels really slimy. Maybe it's because my lip is numb but just thought you would all like to know that information. I aim to please!

    Wednesday, 2 May 2012

    Day 21: Three Weeks Post Op

    Smiling and saying cheese: 69% (Back to work is good)
    Lips require Vaseline!

    Pain: 17% (1 more down)

    Weight: 12 stone 8lb or 176 lb
    Weight loss at the minute: 5lb (2 more on. Maybe it was just my dinner but a good sign anyway)

    Food I would love today: I was very content with my chicken and broccoli bake. It tasted great!

    Three weeks from that face changing, diet changing and numb changing day when I got my operation.  Thankfully that day is well over me and I'm exceeding the speed limit on my road to recovery. I am really happy how far I have came since then. I've a long way to go but every day I'm doing better. Things I did today to prove my point:

    1.    I started back to work. I got on my work clothes and got out to work. I worked at half the speed that I normally do, but I took my time and got some work done. I was up ladders as usual and on my feet the whole time. I didn't feel weak or very tired but I did feel hungry. As my mouth is still completely closed, I can't eat as usual which in turn affects my energy levels.

     I was able to 'talk' to my customers who were all very understanding and it just felt great to be doing something constructive again. I think the first day is the hardest, trying to get back into a routine but thankfully I have. I have my appointment tomorrow with my surgeon so I won't work tomorrow but maybe on Friday.

    2.    I opened my mouth until it wouldn't open any further. I don't know why it wouldn't open wider but it just physically could not. Maybe there is a lack of muscle to do so. I also ate my dinner without the usual mess. Yes I did drop some over the table and I did have to wipe my lips a lot but it wasn't as messy plus I'm getting quicker at eating.

    If your reading this because your going to be going through the same process, be encouraged. In my opinion, it is a hard few weeks but that's all it is. A few weeks, then I'm guessing a few months of inconvenience out of a lifetime but already I'm happy with how I'm looking. When I take my elastics off once a day, I like how my teeth are sitting nice and straight with the proper bite. I'm already looking forward to get my braces off one day.

    It feels now that I have my operation over me that I'm looking towards the end of this process. Like I'm past half way there. I found my first consultation letter the other day and it was in September 2007. That's four and a half years ago that this whole process started. A long time but I'm glad that when I was asked, I decided to go ahead with the surgery. I think I would have regretted this opportunity if I had not have taken it.

    I'm getting used to my 'new face' which has took a while. It is still changing as the swelling goes down. I will be glad to get these elastics off and then when I smile I will actually be able to see my teeth instead of a mouthful of elastics. Shaving is much easier too. I'm guessing that I struggled so much with this because my face was so sensitive with all the swelling. That's what I think anyway. Surgeon's appointment tomorrow.... so until then my loyal readers...including my recent spike in popularity in Belgium......................mmmmmmm Belgian Chocolate!

    Tuesday, 1 May 2012

    Day 20: Blended Lasagna...I think not

    Smiling and saying cheese: 65% (Not as constructive as yesterday)
    A very cheesy smile and my not so used as much blender

    Pain: 18% (Sore head today so up 2%)

    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lb
    Weight loss at the minute: 7lb (Up and down...up and down)

    Food I would love today: Hey......I had 'cut up' lasagna for dinner. What more can I ask for!

    As I sit here sipping my raspberry milkshake, I'm wondering how I'm going to fill today's post. I have exhausted explaining my sleeping pattern, numbness (which is still numb), pain levels (which are minimal) and my swelling which like a wrongly made cupcake just out of the oven, is sinking and disappearing all the time.

    Not to disappoint my hoards of followers, I will produce a post for today so when my followers from Singapore wake up tomorrow morning they will be able to read my post over breakfast. I was home alone today and after my busy day yesterday I slept until 12 noon today. I'm not sure if it was because I did so much yesterday but I felt really tired this morning.

     I skipped lunch today and had two 'frubes' instead which are yogurt in a tube. I had a tin of soup set out ready to open but I just couldn't bring myself to have any more soup. Why I hear you ask! Because I now know that I can eat soft foods once a day when I take my elastics off, so I don't see the point in eating soup any more when I know I will be eating something delicious which today consisted of lasagna. Wow it tasted so good.

    My dinner equipment and food before it was mashed up
    I bought it ready made from the local fruit and veg shop, got it home, heated it in the microwave while I pinged off my elastics, took the photo you see, mashed it up and then I savoured every swallow (instead of bite). I then had pudding and custard and my apple juice. One thing I noticed was that when I gently closed my teeth on my straw, it hurts so bad. My teeth are so sensitive. Also every time I open my mouth to fit in more food there is a dull achy pain at both sides of my jaw. Normal I expect.

    Three weeks tomorrow from my operation but the recovery is going to be a long one. Not in the sense that I am lying in bed all day ill, but that my mouth is closed 99% of the time and that I can't open it very wide, can't chew and can't bite down on even a straw without it hurting. How long until I can eat normally? I'm guessing a few more months. O look at that! I just filled another days post. See you tomorrow!

    Monday, 30 April 2012

    Day 19: Tuna Sneezes

    Smiling and saying cheese: 67% (I had a good constructive day)
    Yes first photo without elastics on...well just for ten minutes

    Pain: 16% (Nothing crazy today so down 4%)

    Weight: 12 stone 7lb or 175 lb
    Weight loss so far: 6lb (Wow 2 lb on today though I weighed myself after dinner)

    Food I would love today: Though I can now technically eat anything I want once a day when my elastics are removed, the food needs to be cut up tiny and swallowed with no chewing. If I could eat anything normally today it would be.......a big fresh cream bun...or two... from my local bakery.

    After leaving Ashleigh back to work today after a week off , I was home alone again. I wasn't going to sit and watch TV all day so as soon as I got home I got stuck into filing my tax return. After getting that completed and posted, I went to the bank and then home to get a few things organised for work which I would love to start back into at some stage this week. I had soup and a milkshake for lunch and then cleaned the house, made dinner for Ashleigh and dinner for myself.

    I don't know why, but for today's dinner I decided to have egg and onion and then tuna and onion. I probably wouldn't have this again as on their own these mixtures aren't great. Maybe bread would have helped. I think I was hoping all the protein would be good for me and I'm getting weird cravings. So after releasing my teeth from their tight little elastic chains, I proceeded to eat a bowl of each followed by a pot of apple flavoured Muller Rice. My mouth definitely opened wider today which is a good sign. I then cleaned my teeth, scraped a little more fur off my tongue and rinsed well with my mouthwash.

    Not much more to tell you except that I think my left cheek (face) is still more swollen and tight than my right but hopefully as the swelling continues to go down this will improve and look more like my right face cheek! I'm also looking forward to see my surgeon again on Thursday. I haven't seen her in two weeks so it will be good to get a check up from her. I hope she doesn't mind me taking my elastics off once a day to eat but I'm only going by what my orthodontist told me I could do. I will feel better hearing it from my surgeon though.

    Some sharp pains around my jaw at times today but I'm guessing that is only because my mouth has been open. Oh before I go just to let you know that I sneezed twice today for the first time in 18 days. It was either because of the dust I disturbed while cleaning or because in yesterday's post I had said that I hadn't sneezed since my operation. Anyway the sneeze contents blew out my nose which was quickly cleaned up with a tissue. All in all a quiet yet constructive day. Yawn, yawn.

    Sunday, 29 April 2012

    Day 18: Full up

    Smiling and saying cheese: 65% (Wow... well past half way now)
    Me and Chloe comparing side profiles

    Pain: 20% (A few aches probably from having my jaw open but my pain level isn't going up)

    Weight: 12 stone 5lb or 173 lb
    Weight loss so far: 8lb (Same again today but with these soft food dinners I'm hoping the weight will start to return)

    Food I would love today: A bar of Galaxy to accompany my hot chocolate which I am drinking with a straw.

    Firstly, I didn't take tablets last night before bed because I wasn't in pain. This was a mistake as I awoke several time during the night with pain in my jaw. Tonight I will enjoy drinking those little soluble friends. After a breakfast of milkshake and porridge (yes two courses and I was full up)  I got ready and we headed to church for the first time since surgery. It was great to go and see all the people who had been praying for me, sending cards and visiting me, though I was conscious that I do look different. No one made to big a deal about that and I'm sure they will soon forget what I looked like before.

    It was 'Childrens Day' today at church so it was nice seeing the kids singing (including my not so traumatised anymore niece, Miss Emily) After church there was a lunch provided for everyone, which I declined to stay at, for obvious reasons. I didn't fancy baby spoon feeding myself in front of a handheld mirror with the contents of my lunch caked around my face. Anyway I was pretty excited about my own culinary dining experience that was planned.  After helping Ashleigh make our lunch it was that time again were I could remove my elastics.

    After pinging them off with great efficiency, I started shovelling with my baby spoon. On offer was mince, carrot and onion and gravy with potato and broccoli. For dessert was sticky toffee pudding with custard that Ashleigh had mashed up and heated. The problem is that the spoon is designed to fit into a 1 year old mouth which is considerably smaller than mine. The result is that the spoon doesn't hold so much and I end up continually scooping small amounts of food into my mouth. This is maybe not so bad as I cannot chew anything so have to swallow everything.

    I find that it works like a conveyor belt. Once I push too much food in, the food at the back of my mouth automatically gets swallowed. Yummy. After cleaning my teeth as best I could it was time to get tied together again. I feel a sense of security when I put my bands back on but also look forward to the day when they are no longer required. I also noticed that I was full up very quickly after lunch. Maybe my stomach has shrank! All that was followed by a afternoon nap which I hope will become less frequent starting next week.

    Interesting fact for today.. I haven't sneezed in 18 days. Isn't that amazing. I'm not sure if I'm too scared to or if I physically can't but I know it wouldn't be a happy experience if I did! Maybe more on this tomorrow...or maybe not!

    Saturday, 28 April 2012

    Day 17: Open Wide

    Smiling and saying cheese: 60% (up a big 6% after having some half proper food)
    Me and my two new friends.. tommee and tippee

    Pain: 20% (Back to 20% after having my jaw open with no extra pain)

    Weight: 12 stone 5lb or 173 lb
    Weight loss so far: 8lb (Lost another one but not surprised as I haven't ate so much in the last few days)

    Food I would love today: Chicken Fajitas with lots of crunchy salad and mayo

    A big milestone today but I will come to that in a minute. After deciding to lie in a little longer than we had planned we headed to Asda again to get our shopping but because we had a lie in and didn't arrive until mid morning the crowds had gathered. The thing that annoys me is that 'Asda' now do the shopping for people who buy it on line and then deliver it to their homes. Instead of the staff collecting the shopping for their customers in the dead of night when the store isn't open and they have the aisles to themselves they decide in their infinite wisdom to collect the products when the store is full on a Saturday morning.

    So instead of having to deal with the usual shoppers, I now have to deal with the staff pushing around their over sized trolley carts with their self scanners in hand. After that ordeal lunchtime came and today was the big day. Ashleigh made me smash (mashed potato) with fried onion, butter and cut up pieces of bacon. I asked her not to blend it yet but to wait and see how I got on when I took my elastics off.

    Yes, these happy campers are to blame
    So standing in front of the small mirror in the kitchen, using my tweezers I began to ping of my elastics. I'm getting quicker every time. It didn't feel as strange today once they were off and I was pretty certain my jaw wasn't going to drop to the floor. I opened my mouth probably about 1.5inches and quickly reached for my baby plastic spoon and the bowl of food. I scooped a little of the mixture onto my spoon and pushed it into the gap in my mouth. It was so good. I just swallowed it though I could feel that my food had texture.

    I could feel the sharp edges of the bacon hit my throat. I could feel the lumpy potatoes. It felt amazing. I was actually eating food, it was soft food like baby food but at least I wasn't drinking a light brown concoction. I took another spoonful. And then another. Maybe too fast but I was hungry and I didn't want to have my elastics off for too long. This was the longest time I had them off. My feeding frenzy resulted in my lips and chin being covered in baby food along with the worktop. Now I know what babies goes through when they feed.

    I also had one of those trifles in a pot for dessert. It tastes so good I couldn't fit it in quick enough. One of my most memorable meals of my short 25 years on earth. After feeding, I decided to try and brush my teeth and more importantly the inside of my teeth which haven't been cleaned in 16 days. I tried my best without opening my mouth too wide and managed to reach a few places. I then stuck my tongue out as far as I could which was probably half way. Using my baby toothbrush I started to scrub at the greeny, brownish fur that has taken over. It didn't seem to clean off too well though the toothbrush bristles were caked in the brown goo.

    I gave up on this task quickly and have decided to fight another day. The only problem I had to this point was that I prematurely bit down while my spoon was still in my mouth which sent shock waves through my jaws. I was a little excited I guess. It was sore. After rinsing my mouth with my medicated mouthwash I closed my jaws together in preparation for re banding only to find that my teeth weren't lining up as before and my jaws weren't as tight as before.

    Had I had my mouth open too long? Had my jaw relapsed into a wrong position? After a little panicking and a sudden temperature change which resulted in sweating thinking my jaw was ruined, I consulted Ashleigh and previous photos I had taken of my teeth to see if they looked the same. Ashleigh adviced to re band and that would pull my teeth back together. I wasn't convinced but had no other option. In the end I did that and I think it has done the job.

    I think my teeth are sitting in pretty much the same position as before but I am looking forward to see my surgeon on Thursday who will hopefully be happy with them. You see I have taken my bands off today and yesterday because my orthodontist told me I can and although he is a professional, I will feel better when I hear my surgeon tell me that I can. I feel like cheating after having proper food today if you can count mashed potato as proper food. It will be soup tonight as I'm only allowed my bands of once a day. Maybe tomorrow I will eat like a king again. Sensitive teeth and chin as usual, pain minimal and guess what, I haven't sneezed in 17 days. More on that tomorrow. I know, I can't wait to talk about it either. Oh hello to my first reader from the Philippines!

    Friday, 27 April 2012

    Day 16: Soft food today... I think not

    Smiling and saying cheese: 54% (Another big 2% because I saw the orthodontist and he was pleased with everything)
    My new tweezers!

    Pain: 25% (Up 5% due to achy jaw probably because I opened my mouth)

    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lb
    Weight loss so far: 7lb (Same again)

    Food I would love today: Chips, gravy, onions and peas from the 'chippie'

    Take two...why take two? Because I had typed out today's post, saved it regularly and all of the sudden the page went blank and the automatic saving feature of 'blogger' saved my blank page. So, back to the start of today's post which started with me waking up and looking forward to my appointment with my orthodontist.

    After a breakfast smoothie and my best attempt at cleaning my teeth, Ashleigh and I headed across town to the school of dentistry at the Royal Hospital. For the first time ever I was running late for my orthodontic appointment so after some clever motoring manoeuvres by myself, quickly parking up and a light jog to the reception I arrived at exactly 9.45am. As I caught my breathe through my elasticated mouth, I sat in the waiting room only to discover that the shirt I was wearing had numerous stains from dinner that I had tried to drink unsuccessfully. Knowing that I was going under the dentist's spotlight I tried to hide the stains by turning over the shirt collars a little more.

    Random side photo
    Thankfully though as I sat down on the 'big chair' I was given my stylish protective glasses and a nice blue bib which covered the stains. And relax. My orthodontist was joined by two first year dental student armed with their pens and notepads. It was their first day 'watching on' and I was asked if I was happy for them to be there. Of course I don't mind, they are the surgeons of the future (yes, I said the future, so please don't come near me yet) There was also a higher qualified student who I like and has fixed my braces in the past so it was good seeing him with my new face which he thought turned out alright.

    So there were four people in total plus a few dental nurses hanging around. After asking me how I was, what I was eating, where was I numb and those sort of questions, he showed the students some before photos and x rays and told them what my surgery had entailed. It was good as I was able to listen and learn too. Next, my elastics were pinged off and I was told to hold my mouth shut while he checked out some notes. It was quite hard not to open my mouth, I don't know why, maybe it was just an instinct to open it since it has been closed for 16 days.

     Anyway I held them closed until he asked me to open them. I did, it felt fine though a little strange but I relaxed as much as possible even though I did start to sweat. Yes all because I had to open my mouth. I feel insecure opening my mouth, like my lower jaw is going to fall off and slide down my already stained shirt. Thankfully it stayed attached and he proceeded to have a look inside and show the eager students were the cuts had been made and were my stitches are. After a few minutes I was re elasticated only this time I watched how it was done with the help of a mirror which I was given to hold.

    I was told that I was now able to change my elastics once a day and while they are off I am able to try and eat some soft food. I really don't know how this will happen and sitting here at the minute I can't imagine ever eating food again. It just seems so difficult. I'm not allowed to chew so it will be a straight swallow. Before I left I was given a lot of elastics and a pair of large tweezers to aid me in the process of changing elastics as seen in my daily photo above. He was very happy with how everything was looking, which was encouraging and said my swelling was looking good too( I mean the lack of swelling) I left feeling like I had enriched those students lives and hope my face will remind them of their first day around a patient on a dentist chair. My little contribution to society.

    After my appointment we had a look around some shops, and then headed home. After a tin of chicken and country vegetable soup (with the chicken and country vegetables sieved out) I required my 'nap'. After my nap I decided I was going to remove my elastics and have my first soft food meal of pasta and sauce. Or maybe not! I took off my elastics only to discover that my mouth doesn't open more than approx 1.5 inches. I could just stick out my tongue a little bit but there was no way I was going to stick any food in there yet.

    I could just imagine choking on it and opening my jaw to wide and it getting stuck so I thought I won't risk it, I will blend it instead. My tongue looks like a moss green luxury carpet by the way. So I was a bit gutted that I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to eat, it is going to be a long process, especially eating. That bacon and cheeseburger I would love right now, it seems so far off into the future but I will have to take one tiny step at a time. For now I will continue with the liquid diet. If you are having a nice meal this weekend please savour every bite just for me. Eating is more than fuel for your body, it is an enjoyable experience that in the future I will appreciate all the more.

    Thursday, 26 April 2012

    Day 15: Mmmmm Cupcakes

    Oh I wish!
    Smiling and saying cheese: 52% (Up a big 2%)

    Pain: 20% (Same as yesterday, still have mild pain in my jaw and a sore head)

    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lb
    Weight loss so far: 7lb (Same again, could I be bumping along the bottom of my weight loss ocean)

    Food I would love today: Tuna and onion on crusty bread with mayo. Not something I would normally be overly fussed on but I am getting cravings (No I am not pregnant)

    I don't want to be repetitive but I did sleep well last night and was even able to sleep with my head turned sideways on the pillow instead of looking directly at the ceiling. Oh the progress! After feeling exhausted yesterday, I wasn't as bad today and got out with Ashleigh for a eye test at 9am. I wasn't back into the house until 12.30pm so it was nice being out and about for the morning.

    After a lunch of tinned soup I watched Ashleigh make her new cupcakes which are 'bonoffee'. I would normally eat most of these as she likes to know my critical opinion but on this occasion I will not be able to be as helpful. Fear not, I will be blending a cupcake mixed with fresh cream and custard into a drinking consistency and I will drink it accompanied by a cup of tea. After some friends has visited I headed to bed for my afternoon grandpa nap.

    Two hours later I felt even better, had a shower and then dinner which consisted of mashed potato, gravy, butter and onions. Unfortunately I didn't add any milk or cream and it was quite a thick mixture meaning I had to suck it from the cup which my jaw didn't appreciate. I left half of it as I couldn't be bothered transferring it from the jug into the blender and back into the jug and then into my kiddie cup.

    Not much more to update you on today except I watched 'Come Dine With Me'. Could you imagine if I was hosting it, I could serve up a three course blended dinner party served in 'kiddie cups'. Why not if I were a vegetarian everyone would be served vegetables, so since I'm a blenditarian at the moment they could have blended food. Yes I know I'm being silly, I'm just trying to entertain me and my very annoying tingling chin, numb lip and gums.

    To end on a brighter note, my appointment with my orthodontist is tomorrow at 9.45am which I am looking forward to. I'm not sure what he will do but I'll let you know tomorrow. I know...I can't wait either!

    Wednesday, 25 April 2012

    Day 14: Two weeks today!

    Smiling and saying cheese: 50% (Same as yesterday as I was tired today and not very motivated)
    Red, white and blue..... and yellow elastics!

    Pain: 20% (Minimal and bearable pain around my jaw and a sore head sometimes. Nothing that soluble paracetamol can't fix)

    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lb
    Weight loss so far: 7lb (Same as yesterday)

    Food I would love today: Anything that's not blended!

    Wow! Two weeks today from I had surgery. Two weeks today from I opened my mouth. And seen my tongue. And cleaned my tongue! Yukkk! Two weeks today from I started drinking everything. Did I mention its two weeks today. Well time flies when your having so much fun. How do I feel two weeks on? I generally feel very good at this stage. I'm glad I went through with this process and I look forward to the end result in the future of getting these elastics of, then being able to eat and one day getting my braces off to reveal a confident perfect/ near perfect smile.

    I think if anyone is at any stage of this process that is what you have to keep remembering, that one day in the future there will be a end result that your looking forward to. My sleep is improving every night with another good sleep last night. Pain is minimal and as I have read on blogs and forums that the first two weeks are the hardest. I would say the first week in my experience. Overall I think everyone is different and everyone deals with surgery in different ways but if you can be disciplined and have a positive attitude it will help a lot.

    My thoughts have started to move towards returning to work. I'm a bit different to other people because I'm self employed so in theory I can take as much time off as I want. My boss knows what I've went through as he is recovering from surgery too. That boss is me! The problem is that my job is quite physical but I hope that maybe next week or the week after at the latest I can ease my way back into it. If I was even eating properly (I mean chewing proper food) I think I would have more energy to work but I will see how I am at the weekend. Two more days until I see my orthodontist which I'm looking forward to. I see it as another little step towards recovery. I had porridge again for breakfast and then slept through lunch because I had a nap so I didn't have a lunch but had bacon and lentil soup for dinner with a milkshake.

    I just felt exhausted again today which is a bit frustrating as I'm not doing much but hopefully this will improve with time. I have to remember I'm still only two weeks post op. I can't wait until it's two months!

    Tuesday, 24 April 2012

    Day 13: Hair Cut Time

    Smiling and saying cheese: 50% (Half way back to my best of 100% which will never happen while I can't open my mouth)
    50% cheesy grin with yellow elastics and hair cut

    Pain: 25% (Down 10% because I'm feeling good)

    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lbs
    Weight loss so far: 7lb (Another one back on according to my dodgy scales)

    Food I would love today: A Red Velvet Cupcake made by Ashleigh, of course

    After a good night sleep again I woke up thankfully without the aches and pains of last night. After a hour or so this morning I was feeling good. I decided to get my hair cut back to my normal length. I'm going to see how I like it since I have a different face (sort of) and if I then decide I want to grow it long I can do so. Also I was coming to the end of my hair gel and would have had to buy more!

    Ashleigh and I also went for  nice walk along the riverside at Shaw's Bridge in the sunshine though there was a cool breeze that made my chin go crazy. I was able to go to Tesco to get stocked up which included 'yop', apple juice, pineapple juice, 3 litres of milk, carton of double cream and 'frubes which are yogurt in tubes. Once I got home I had homemade vegetable soup and then it was time for my famous Grandpa nap. Up at 6pm I got another shower and had blended cheesy mash with butter and cream which I spilt over myself while trying to refill my 'kiddie cup.' After a full change of clothing I finished my meal.

    Very little pain today, I wasn't overly tired even though I had a busy day and thankfully I haven't picked up a bug as the aches and pains of yesterday have gone. I'm still taking tablets but not as regular as last week. Speech is quite good and I can be understood over the telephone. Tingling is still very annoying. Brushing teeth is good also. I'm also just getting on with drinking everything and it isn't bothering me as much as it was over the weekend. I haven't felt too hungry as I'm eating as much as I can stand when I'm having a meal.

    Monday, 23 April 2012

    Day 12: Sore Nostrils

    Smiling and saying cheese: 40% (After a promising morning the evening wasn't as good due to achy joints and jaw and a sore head) daily mugshot

    Pain: 35% (Up 10% due to aches and pains)

    Weight: 12 stone 5lb or 173 lbs
    Weight loss so far: 8lb (One back on according to my dodgy scales)

    Food I would love today: ' A Fish Supper' A cod fillet with a light, crispy batter with a side of chips and peas covered in Heinz Tomato Ketchup from the local 'chippie' (I woke up thinking about this today so it had to be today's choice)

    Best sleep last night so far. I took two co codamol at midnight and except for a bit of shuffling during the night I can only remember waking properly at 7.15am. Result! A new week and thankfully I have an appointment with my orthodontist on Friday morning. I'm glad I have an appointment as it gives me a goal to reach and something to look forward to. I'm not sure what will happen at the appointment but it will be good to get checked out by him. I had a smoothie for breakfast again consisting of:
    • 2 bananas
    • Frozen berries
    • Milk
    • Ice Cream
    • 'Crusha' milkshake mix
    • Complan sachet
    • Double cream
    I had my first cup of tea last night from my favourite cup but it just didn't feel normal without a biscuit. I dropped Ashleigh off to get her 'hair surgery' this morning. I think the operation takes the following course: hair cut, highlighted and wash and blow dry but probably not in that order. Tingling and sensitive teeth are continuing. Sometimes it isn't so bad and I forget about it then all of the sudden it goes crazy. It's a weird sensation and hard to explain but I think the best way is to say it's like having regular sensitive teeth x10.

    At the entrance to my left nostril, up my nose about 10mm there is a lump which is quite sore to touch (sorry I know it's not attractive reading but in the name of accurate documentation of this process it must be included) I'm unsure why there is a lump but it is there and is a lot sorer when pushing from my right nostril against my left nostril if that makes sense (probably not) Has anyone else had experience of this? I'm guessing it has something to do with tubes being stuck up there for a few days.

    For lunch I had a 'Marks & Spencers roast chicken dinner' that was tasty enough. Me and Ashleigh then went out to a sweet shop/ sweet factory were I was able to have a raspberry milkshake while Ashleigh got to sample some sweets and honeycomb. The owner ended up sampling my piece. Sigh. After our visit I went to visit Emily, my niece who I traumatised when she first seen me after my operation. After a cautios welcome Emily came around to the idea that I wasn't half uncle, half ballooned chipmunk and by the end of the visit we were friends again.

    After a afternoon nap which I needed today I had a shower and my dinner of blended 'Irish Stew'. Google it for the recipe. It was tasty but at this stage of the day, I have become really achy all over, sore head and joints including my jaw. I'm also exhausted. Why? I don't know. Maybe it's a bug but hopefully I will be back on track tomorrow. If anyone has anything they would like me to include in my blog that I can update my progress on daily let me know. Maybe speech for example.

    Sunday, 22 April 2012

    Day 11: It was all just a dream

    Smiling and saying cheese: 45% (Up 10% from yesterday as I can smile now though I get loads of laughter lines. My face must be too tight. I still can't eat, my mouth is still shut so it's still all a big inconvenience)
    Me with my helpful sleeping travel pillow.

    Pain: 25% (Same as yesterday as I was a little sore before I took tablets)

    Weight: 12 stone 4lb or 172 lbs
    Weight loss so far: 9lb (Another one bites the dust!)

    Food I would love today: My mum's Chicken and Broccoli Bake (chicken, broccoli, bacon, mushroom, creamy sauce topped with breadcrumbs and cheese) Sides of veg and mashed potatoes and gravy.

    Last night's sleep wasn't as great as the night before but it was bearable and I think tonight I may take my tablets before bed which I didn't do last night because I wasn't sore. I got up at 9am, got some porridge and orange juice( not blended together thankfully) and then went upstairs to have a shower.

    I think today was the 4th shave I have had and it ain't getting any easier. It is pretty sore and not just were the numbness is in my chin. It is around my cheeks which feels like each individual hair is being plucked out of my face. I have a new razor so that's no the problem. I'm not sure if it's because I still can't tighten my cheeks very well (I'm talking about my face cheeks here) If anyone has any ideas or experience of this I would love to know? (probably talking to men here)

    Any way by the time I had got washed and shaved it was 11am and I just felt exhausted. So I got into bed and slept for another 3.5 hours. During my blissful nap I had a dream that I opened my jaw very slightly while my elastics were on, I decided to put a few more elastics on and in the process my lower teeth all started to fall out. There were a lot more teeth than I actually have and I started swallowing some and spitting some out and in the process losing them. It was horrific and woke up I'm so thankful it was all a dream but it goes to show what my mind is thinking about after surgery. TEETH!

    After getting up I had a complan milkshake followed by my lunch/ dinner of potatoes, carrot, parsnip and chicken stock and gravy blended. Tasted like a blended dinner. I was also out in the car but apart from all that and watching a movie, I had a quiet, tingly chin kinda day.

    Saturday, 21 April 2012

    Day 10: Honeymoon Period Over

    Smiling and saying cheese: 35% (The same as yesterday because I have no pain and had nice visits but I didn't increase it as I am finding the lack of food a little tough)
    Ahhh, good old soup but which one?
    Pain: 25% (down again today after a decent sleep and no tablets so far. Tingling in teeth and chin are very annoying but I don't think it's pain)

    Weight: 12 stone 5lb or 173 lbs
    Weight loss so far: 8lb (Same as yesterday)

    Food I would love today: Still craving savoury foods and today I would love a 'Ulster Fry' For my foreign readers who are unaware what a 'fry' consists goes. Sausages, bacon(not bacon you get in the USA, our bacon has little fat on it and lots of meat. Fried egg, grilled tomato, soda bread and potato bread. Google image of 'ormo potato bread and soda and you will see what I mean) mushrooms and baked beans. Ulster fry ...also known as a heart attack on a plate!

    Best sleep again last night. I think I only woke up two or maybe three times but for no length of time at all. I had one soluble tablet during the night  and that was the last tablet I have had. Minimal pain today though the tingling in chin and mouth are quite annoying but I have to take this as a good sign that feeling maybe starting to come back though it still numb at the minute.

    As it's Saturday, Ashleigh is off work for the weekend and also next week which is great as I will hopefully feel like getting out and about next week a little more that the past week. We headed to Asda (Walmart's child) this morning and got some groceries. I found some aisles like the soup aisle which I would have been happy to pass and then I came to the chocolate and biscuit aisle which I would have liked to shop from but unfortunately not.
    My chocolate friends, one day we will meet again!
    From last night, I have found it a bit harder than I had been. Maybe because it is day 10 and the 'novelity' of having soup and liquids is wearing thin or maybe it is because I feel quite healthy now in the last few days, my pain is low and I want to get back to normal but obviously being unable to eat properly is holding me back. I don't want to come across complaining as I am very fortunate everything is going so well but it is just how I have been feeling.

    On a lighter and happier note, I can now officially drink from a normal glass as long as I take my time. One reason for trying this is because my 'kiddie cup' is starting to constantly smell like soup, which is fine until I want a milkshake or drink of water. Yeah soup flavoured water isn't something that will catch on. Breakfast today was porridge, lunch was Smash (instant mashed potatoes) made with cream, milk and butter. Dinner was potato and cheese soup made by my mum which was nice. After 'Baby Walmart' I was really tired and headed straight to bed for a lie down. I suppose I am still not fully fit and even going to the supermarket makes me tired.

    Today some of the youth group from church came to visit me which I enjoyed it a lot as I haven't seen them in two weeks and was nice to have some more company. Swelling is still more on my left side but I think it's gradually going down. Thanks for the comments from those who have posted too.

    Friday, 20 April 2012

    Day 9: Out and About

    Smiling and saying cheese: 35% (Beautiful day here, I'm alive and feeling good though being unable to open my mouth and eat is a big inconvenience)
    Thanks Ashleigh for the photo
    Pain: 35% (back down today after a better sleep. Tingling and pain in teeth is still a slight issue)

    Weight: 12 stone 5lb or 173 lbs
    Weight loss so far: 8lb (Oops, 1 more lb off)

    Food I would love today: Has to be Ashleigh's mighty fine American door wedge sized pancakes with syrup and lemon juice with a big cup of tea. I haven't drank tea in at least a week. It has lost its appeal. I used to drink 4-5 cups a day!
    I slept lying down a little more last night with the go ahead of my surgeon which helped my sleep and the extreme pressure that had been a nuisance was much better. I was still sore especially on my left cheek (that's my face cheek) but I had a drink of soluble tablets at approx midnight and then again at 4am which got me through to 7am. I have been dreaming quite a lot every night. I don't know if this is because of the whole experience or due to my medication but some haven't been so nice. I now don't dread going to bed at nights and can only see sleeping getting easier each day.

    After side profile driving in our Renault Megane in Belfast.
    Unfortunately, not a Dodge Charger
    Before side profile driving in our Dodge Charger in USA

    I dropped Ashleigh to work this morning in the car when she snapped my daily photo for today so thank you for that. I used to dislike my side photo taken in a car but I'm quite happy with this photo even though swelling isn't gone and it's still early days. As you can see I have short hair in my 'before' photo and longer hair in my 'after' photo. I don't know weather to get my hair cut short again or try a different hair style and grow my hair longer since I have a 'new look'. Ashleigh thinks I should get it cut but I'd love to hear your opinion by leaving me a comment.............tumbleweed rolling by..........waiting........ OK, your right, I know you don't really care and no, I probably wouldn't leave a comment either...
    I 'm just glad your reading.

    You may also notice that my nose has changed in the two photos above. My nose doesn't seem as protruding in the second photo though maybe turned up slightly at the end. Not in a  plastic surgery way but I think it's slightly different but I don't mind it thankfully. One of my worries about surgery was how I would look after and it's something that can't be predicted exactly so in a way you just gotta go with it. I looked at lots of other people's before and after pictures and everyone I saw looked better afterwards so hopefully my end result will.

    Breakfast today
    This next paragraph is information requested especially by a reader so here goes.... Breakfast consisted of a protein powder sachet called 'build up' mixed with frozen fruit, 2 bananas, milk, a squirt of honey, 1 scoop of ice cream and some milk shake flavouring. It was blended as shown above and then sieved into a jug and poured into my kiddie cup. I then had drinks of pineapple juice throughout the morning. I clean my teeth 4 times a day after I have something to eat( sorry I mean drink) I have a small plastic cup at the sink and I rinse with water first, then using my baby toothbrush and normal toothpaste I brush as much as I can reach. I then rinse with my medicated mouthwash and use tissue to clean up my face as it can be messy, especially at the start.

    At first this was my front elastics only but by this morning I can brush most of my teeth as the swelling isn't as bad. I found that when I was able to lift my lips away from my gum there was a build up of white stuff on my gums which the surgeon said is a build up of everything I was drinking. As I don't feel so comfortable brushing my gums due to the stitches being there, I used a cotton bud (ear bud) and was able to remove most of it so there's a handy hint.

    I had a small banana custard pot mixed with cream and milk as it was quite thick. Heated in the microwave and ate quickly after discovering I am 1lb lighter. For lunch it was potato and leek soup that my kind sister made and for dinner it was soup again. I had protein shakes in between but I do feel like I am starting to get hungry during the day. I went to a few shops near my home today which was good and people don't seem to notice unless I try talking and they don't really care or make a big deal which is good. I don't feel as bad going out since the swelling has gone down a little.

    It was a lovely day so sat out in the garden drinking my soup in the sun. Easily pleased. My friend came around and we played ps3 again, I made Ashleigh her dinner which consisted of burgers, salad and potato cubes dressed in herbs and spices with mushrooms, onion and bacon all marinaded and all homemade. It smelt so so good, I suppose I could of blend it all together but I don't think I could stomach drinking all that. Sigh... Another good day and didn't require my afternoon nap so will hopefully sleep well tonight.

    Thursday, 19 April 2012

    Day 8: First Post Op

    Smiling and saying cheese: 25% (Good to get appointment over with and know everything is OK at the minute)
    Me and my elastics!

    Pain: 40% (up by 5% from yesterday due to aching jaw after appointment)

    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lbs
    Weight loss so far: 7lb (the same as yesterday, 2 days in a row)

    Food I would love today: Barbecue chicken pizza with crunchy salad with mayo (Simple)
    Swollen side profile
    Last night I counter attacked my lack of sleep by not taking my tablets as early and held off until nearly midnight before I took them. I wasn't as sore last night but still woke up 3 or 4 times but at least it was a small improvement again. After a drink of creamed rice for breakfast I started my morning by watching 'the joy of painting' which nearly put me back to sleep but it was relaxing at least. If anyone has any ideas for breakfast I would love to hear them? Tingling in my chin and lower teeth are still going crazy and I hope that it may be early signs of feeling returning to my chin.

    Today I was writing thank you cards to the nurses who looked after me and without thinking went to lick the envelope to seal it..... I'm guessing your just catching on to the problem with that right! I ended up wetting my fingers under the tap to complete this task.After getting ready I went to see the nurses at my ward and showered them with my gifts of a tray of milk tray and thank you cards all presented in a nice velvety gift bag. They were very thankful just as I am of them for their care.

    I then went to see my surgeon for the first time since surgery This is what happened:
    • Firstly she cut all the elastics off that were holding my teeth together. She said there was almost a rubber tree in my mouth, there were that many bands (not literally a rubber tree)
    • She asked me to open my mouth and close it which I did. It wasn't sore but it felt strange to do so and I don't think I opened it too wide.
    • As I closed my mouth using her hands she pushed my teeth tighter together which resulted in a nice crack noise on my left side, at which point my eyes must have widened but she quickly reassured me that this was normal. I'll take her word on it.
    • She immediately put on my new elastics which hold my teeth firmly shut but there aren't as many and they it doesn't look like I have a full tomato in my mouth. You can actually see my teeth.
    • She explained that usually the bands would stay on but they could be taken off for cleaning and eating, but because my surgery was a little more complicated she said I can't take them off at all as she wants to make sure the bone solidifies well so it's a liquid diet for at least another two weeks until I see her again. 
    • I was given a pack of elastics in case I break any of my current ones I'll be able to replace them.
    • I then asked her a few questions which may help you if you go through the same process:
    1. Is this congestion that I've been suffering with normal? Yes, because I'm drinking a lot of dairy produce it creates a lot of mucus which sticks in my throat. I need to rinse with mouth wash as much as possible.
    2. Do I have to sleep sitting up? No my swelling isn't to bad so as long as I'm comfortable I can sleep anyway I want though probably not upside down. (She didn't say upside down)
    3. Can I blow my nose yet? No because she cut through my sinuses it's a bad idea to blow my nose. Picking will continue then.
    4. Chin is tingly and sensitive teeth? This is a good sign as it shows that I may be starting to regain my feeling in my chin and lower lip. It is annoying but.
    5. There seems to be more swelling on my left cheek? Don't worry about this as it's very early days.
    6. Does everything look OK?Yes everything looks good but keeping elastics on to make sure.
    New elastics and my new bite
    That was it. I just had to book my appointment for two weeks time on 3rd May with the receptionist. I stopped by the bathroom in the hospital to take a look at my teeth. They look good but I know they will require more work by my orthodontist. It's hard to explain but I think the top teeth look like they are too far forward compared with the bottom but I guess the orthodontist can sort that out in time with my braces. Any one else experience that?

    I went to Asda (Asda is owned by Walmart for the benefit of my American readers) and got some food mainly for Ashleigh. I got home and went to bed for my afternoon Grandpa nap as I was tired and my jaw was aching and wasn't yet due tablets. Another great day and a long post. Thanks for reading and hope you can leave a comment.


    Wednesday, 18 April 2012

    Day 7: Big Daddy Box Meal

    The new face of Complan!
    Smiling and saying cheese: 20% (Best day to date, and yes I'm trying hard to physically smile. Working those muscles)

    Pain: 35% (dropped by 10% from yesterday)
    Weight: 12 stone 6lb or 174 lbs
    Weight loss so far: 7lb (the same as yesterday, must have been the cauliflower cheese, 4 cups of the stuff, though it did make me feel a bit sick)

    Food I would love today: I would love to try my new bite out on a 'Big Daddy Box Meal' from KFC. I actually looked up their website for the 1st time and there is 1590kcal in one of those meals... I think I could afford the indulgence if only it didn't have to be forced through a 1mm gap in my teeth

    One week on and thankfully it isn't this time last week. Firstly, thank you for all the comments I received yesterday on my posts, they were the first in a while. Hopefully by the end of today I will have had 1000 page views too. I'm glad I'm keeping this blog as it gives me some focus each day and will hopefully help others who will go through the same process.

    Propped up by 5 full sized pillows and 1 under my 'getting skinnier everyday' bum plus one of those travel pillows for around my neck I can say that I had my best night so far. It wasn't perfect as I normally adopt the foetal position and having to sleep sitting up is still uncomfortable but the pain wasn't as bad. I woke up a few times for 10-15 minutes at a time and once to go and get tablets and a drink so all in all a better night. Also the pressure which annoys me around my cheeks at night wasn't just as bad.

     After a breakfast of creamed rice and golden syrup I sorted out my blog a little better so people can now like it through Facebook, follow me and I have added others pages with information along the top. My pastor from church and visited to day which was a good time and was some company. Rush hour 'congestion' in my throat started bang on lunchtime but I'm just trying to ignore it as much as possible.

    I had cheese and potato soup made by my mum for lunch which I enjoyed and it tasted good . My sensitive teeth and chin went crazy when I went outside to collect my bin from across the road and it took at least 30minutes to settle down again. I think it is because of the cold air hitting against it so I'm going to have to wear a scarf or cover my face next time I got out.

    I have my appointment with my surgeon tomorrow at 1.30pm so I'm a little nervous about that but also excited to see how she thinks everything is looking and also the possibility of changing my tomato soup stained elastics bands. Either that or instead of teeth whitening, I could avail of elastic whitening. I had my grandpa nap this afternoon which I was ready for and woke up feeling fine. I made a build up milk shake and for dinner I finished off the rest of the potato and cheese soup.

    I also was outside for over 30mins standing in the sunshine with my dogs breathing in some fresh air which is a real treat. I'm going to finishing my successful day by relaxing tonight and watching 'The Apprentice' which I like with Ashleigh.