6 Month Recovery Milestone x x x

Saturday (10th January 2015) was my 6 month post op milestone. I have read that at the 6 month point, what you have is probably 85-90% what your results will be. So here is me, at around 90% of my result…. I compiled a video showing my journey, from the positioning of my teeth (pre op) in the correct orthodontic position for surgery, through to the 6 month recovery point. What an adventure my jaws and I have been through…. I’m still so amazed at the body’s ability to heal. It’s true to say it’s been a testing time, with its highs and it’s lows, I’ve gone through something I never thought I would be brave enough to do, dealt with pain I could never have imagined I could take, and I’ve been happier with my bite then I could have ever hoped for. Now, 5 weeks and 4 days left of my (almost) 3 year journey, and the braces finally come off…

I hope this helps anyone out there considering this type of surgery…. as always please get in touch if I can help in any way x

Extra Orthodontic Appointment – 31st Dec 2014

I had my extra orthodontic appointment on the morning of 31st Dec 2014, before I went in I felt that one of the lower teeth was still out of line ( I could feel it with my tongue and I could see it if i looked closely in the mirror). I arrived at 8.45am so didn’t have time to film before but did do a quick video update afterwards ( I prefer to do the videos as soon after things happen so the thoughts and emotions are fresh). It turned out that my concerns were valid and I did the right things to double check – My orthodontist ended up replacing all bands on the bottom. the lower teeth are all now back in line. I’m a firm believer of “everything happens for a reason” and had I not had the issues in order to go back on 31st Dec the lower teeth wouldn’t have been finished at the de brace appt in February. My advice to anyone is check, check and double check if you have any concerns, even though I had the band put back on at my private dentist it still didn’t rectify the movement. I’m so glad I managed to get back to see the orthodontist, and that he made time to see me at such an awkward time of year. So, fingers crossed no more hiccups. its now 2015 – I get my braces off this year!!!! 7 weeks to go….Oh…My…Goodness!!!! this is so exciting!!!

Video after the final orthodontic appointment below :

6th Jan – My teeth have settled down now and i’m pleased to say the lower front teeth are back in line (phew). After they settled I carried on wearing my night time bands to help eliminate any relapse

Final orthodontic appointment…and dramas :-(

2 months to go until the braces come off, final ortho adjustment yesterday….

My orthodontist said he was making final tweaks to the lower teeth and that we were all on schedule for de bracing in February…

… last night I realised one of the bands around one of the lower brackets is missing…..and the tooth it’s missing on is moving out of line……Nooooooooooooooo!!!   Its 5 days before Christmas and I cant get an appointment or even talk to an orthodontist at the hospital until Monday. I am worried, if this tooth goes on a wander it may push the de-brace date back…. Its now Sunday and I cant do a thing until tomorrow, I don’t think my orthodontist is back until January…

I’ve marked the final appointment milestone with a video, although most of it is worry about the lower tooth. However it is all part of my journey and I committed to writing about the highs and the lows, I’ll keep you updated as to how I get on calling the hospital again on Monday…

Monday 22nd Dec update – I called the hospital and Mr Power will be in on Wednesday, however my lovely work have allowed me to come in late tomorrow as my private dentist, who also does orthodontics and referred me initially have said they will replace the 1 band for me at 9.45am tomorrow. I took a picture of the movement already and I can clearly see one tooth on the lower is out of line at the front – its amazing how quickly they move…photo 1 (14)

Below are some pictures of where things are right now;                                                                                                                 photo (26)photo 3 (10)

Wednesday 24th Dec – It’s Christmas Eve!!!!  Today I received and email from my Orthodontist, he could see me today but I was working so couldn’t make it. I explained I’d had the band put back on, but if he wouldn’t mind could I pop in and have him check he was happy with what the other orthodontist had done. I see him next Wednesday at 8.45am – I am so lucky to have such a quick and caring response from my Orthodontist. I am so so grateful for his understanding and help x

What a year….. :)

It’s the early hours of Monday 8th December (as I’ve mentioned before, I can never seem to sleep on a Sunday night…) As my last orthodontic adjustment approaches I thought I would take a moment to reflect on what a year it’s been for my jaws and I….

I began the year still thinking I would need another few adjustments to see if I was ready for the jaw surgery, I remember being quite deflated at this point as I’d had moulds taken in the September only to be told things were still not where they needed to be…

Then to my complete surprise a letter arrived with an appointment for a joint clinic on 27th Feb to meet with the surgeon – I didn’t know what that meant – as far as I was aware I still had a few adjustments left to get to this stage, perhaps it was to meet the new surgeon as my original one left?. The wait for this appointment drove me mad….. It tested my patience to the extreme and the “not knowing” was extremely difficult for me, it’s so hard when you want to be ready for something so much but have the wait until you find out. I learned a lot about myself at this point and explored ways to manage my impatience with this. I have to say, writing this blog helped me massively, It was good to have somewhere to write down how I was feeling, trying to imagine the day that I would look back on it all as a post op patient…

The joint clinic… The week leading up seemed like a year, I remember being so nervous arriving at the hospital, I knew what I was about to hear was going to be one way or the complete opposite. When I was told the study moulds showed things were where they needed to be for surgery I could have kissed the orthodontist and surgeon!!! I was so so happy and so so ready to start the next chapter of the journey I had committed to in the January of 2012… I was told July was a likely time I would have the surgery. 5 months to go….

I told work in the May, they were unimpressed that I would need 4 weeks out. My contract was not extended that year and I was told that my employment would cease in the Decemeber… I often wonder and do think this was a deciding factor in their decision, however nothing was going to stand in the way of my jaw journey, it meant far too much for me.

The month leading up to surgery saw lots of measurements, moulds and a pre op assessment. It became very real and I was very scared at the 4-6 week mark…

The week before surgery was like an out of body experience, I couldn’t get my head around what I had signed up for. Even though I had researched extensively how the procedure was carried out I still couldn’t get my head around how they did it, I was so excited for the results and to be on the other side of surgery. I couldn’t express enough how grateful I was for being helped by the surgeon and the orthodontist. I feel as an NHS patient I was so lucky to be under the care of such specialists. I was most scared about the upper jaw surgery as I felt it was the most invasive. I was also very concerned about waking up from the operation with a splint in and how I would be able to breathe. It was my understanding that it was very likely that both nostrils would be blocked with congealed blood from the upper jaw surgery, so breathing was a concern for me…

The morning of surgery I was a so excited that I would be post op, yet terrified to go into surgery. It was a lot to mentally digest and I don’t think that even by the time I was being anaesthetised I had quite digested things in my head. I remember being terrified on the bed. The lovely staff gave me what I can only describe as “magic gas” – this calmed me down instantly. I felt safe and warm and it was lovely 🙂 before I was given this I remember crying and the tears running down into my ears as I was laying down, I remember apologising for being such a wimp, but the staff were brilliant. I remember the ECG monitors being put on and I remember the anaesthetic being put in, the next thing I remember was waking up in a recovery room…

I recall looking at the clock and it being 5pm, the next time I looked it was 7pm. I remember thinking that I had all feeling still present and wondering if the procedure had been done as I was expecting to be numb, however the feeling of pressure and stiffness in my face let me know that yes, I had been operated on. I do remember thinking at the time that the pain wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be…I must have had a lot of pain relief at this point…. I was also over the moon to not have a splint in or be banded shut. Luckily only one of my nostrils blocked so all of my worries about being able to breathe were unfounded.

The first night was awful. The pain was high and the feeling of weakness and general illness/nausea was overwhelming. I vomited blood 3 times and honestly did feel a bit better after this, however I recall just feeling so so ill. Even at this point though, I had no regrets, I knew it would be worth it, just knowing my wonky jaws were gone forever helped me through the first days xxx

The first month was tough, week 1, by far the hardest. Week 2 lots of changes and swelling still. By week 4 I had more energy and felt somewhat normal however it didn’t take a lot for me to feel exhausted. I met with my orthodontist each week for the first 4 weeks and saw the surgeon at 2 or 3 of these appointments. The level of care provided by my Orthodontist and surgeon was phenomenal – I don’t think they will ever understand how grateful I am to them xxx

By September I was feeling a lot better pain wise and my new face shape was showing a lot more now, I was really pleased. I resumed my orthodontic treatment and the final stages were in motion…  Having the surgery gave me a new perspective on my life and gave me a lot more drive to pursue things I had wanted to do but fear had held me back from… For me it gave me so much more then just aligned jaws…. In September I enrolled on a college course and am very proud to say that I am training to be a counsellor.

In October I was given a de-brace date of Feb 20th, I am so excited to be brace free and see my teeth in full again 🙂 Part of me is sad to be leaving the care of my orthodontist and surgeon, my appointments have become a part of my life for since Jan 2012 and I will miss seeing the people who have helped me so much.

I had my 31st birthday a few days ago, on Friday Dec 5th. I remember thinking when it all started that this would all be done by my 30th birthday. The braces have become a part of my face now and to be honest I don’t really notice them anymore. So as I finish this post, I am 11 days away from my last orthodontic adjustment ever. The times I tried to imagine being here….it felt like it would never arrive. The wait for surgery was definitely the hardest part time wise. My orthodontist said once my braces are removed I may feel my teeth look massive as I have been used to only seeing a partial amount of them, I’m sure it will feel strange but in a good way.

As I’ve tried to reiterate through this blog of my journey, I am more than happy to speak to anyone considering this type of surgery or going through it x x x

– if I could offer one sentence of advice for anyone considering this, it would be – dont let the fear hold you back (it did for me when I was 17, and at 28 when I finally went for it I realised it all wasnt as scarey as i’d built it up to be – anticipation was far worse then the reality) xxx

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Band Patterns and Lower Wire Change…

I had my second last orthodontic adjustment last Thursday (13th November). As I walked in the door my orthodontist Mr Power said “so you’re a youtube star” – he said he and Mr Shorafa had found and watched some of my videos and read a little bit of my blog!!! He said that he asks/recommends that people blog their journeys and was pleased that I had done so. I was also asked if it was OK for me to speak with a pre op patient about my experience, I was honoured to be asked and would love to be able to help anyone going through the anguish of pre op. I will be speaking with this person next week 🙂

My lower wire was changed and although it was uncomfortable I didn’t have the same pain as last time. I appreciate things are still healing but I have noticed an improvement in this. My lower teeth were a little sore for a couple of days but have settled now. Mr Power mentioned that there was a slight relapse and that my right hand side didn’t close as well as the left, I have a new band pattern to wear at night and have already noticed a shift it the midline (these bands are like magic, honestly!) As the patterns were a little different to what I had been wearing Mr Power suggested I take a pictures to copy the front pattern. I will also be wearing the box shape bands on either side of my bite as well as the new band configuration at the front.

I double checked that we were still on track for February de bracing and it looks like we are, we spoke about retainers and it has been decided I will have an upper and lower fixed retainer as well as a set of essex retainers. In all honesty I was insistent on the top fixed retainer as the arch of the upper has been moved a lot from the start of my journey and I’m scared it will narrow again and the front teeth will begin to cross over again.

I have my next and final orthodontic adjustment (that feels sooo weird to write!) on 19th December at 2.15pm, then the final countdown will begin 🙂

Groovy new band pattern below:

photo 1 (13) photo 4 (6)

Almost 4 months post op…

So, its the 2nd November 2014, in another 8 days I will be 4 months post op. I had a letter through last weekend saying that due to unforeseen circumstances my appointment on 21st November had been cancelled – Oh no!!!!!!!!!!! – I called up on the Monday and was really lucky to be given another appointment on Thursday 13th November at 11am…so we are still on schedule for de bracing in Feb – Phew :).

I still notice electrical impulses on the numb section of my lower left lip, I would say I’m still around 35% numb there, I’m accepting that I probably wont get all sensation back here, but even now if that’s all I’m left with numb wise then I am happy with that. I’m not wearing my bands at night anymore and I’ve noticed that my lower jaw seems to have settled into a 1mm relapse. The lower teeth still sit under the top teeth so that is OK for me. I will ask my Orthodontist about this when I next see him about this and also the alignment of my top teeth as I want things as perfect as possible as I’m sure he does.

I still have an odd sensation if I try to run or jump – like the top jaw isn’t totally attached/fused at the top sides of the jaw, again this is just a time thing so I am hoping by the 6 month mark everything will be totally fused back together – my orthodontist explained it like a sponge last time i saw him, he said that all the little bits need to fill up with new bone tissue, it makes sense I guess…after all the whole jaw was cut off (eeeuwwww). once that’s all fused I will get back to my training, I cant wait!.

I’m pleased to say the weight I lost hasn’t gone back on, I seem to have settled at 9st 11lb and I’m really happy with that.

No regrets at all, I’ll let you know how my next Orthodontist appointment goes…. 11 days to go 🙂 xxx

 

12.5 weeks post op – reflecting on the journey so far, my orthodontic appointmnet last week and the news that these braces are finally coming off soon :) xxx

It’s fair to say I have spent most of the time since my de-bracing date has been booked, smiling 🙂

I am so excited to finally be brace free. I have 4 months and 14 days (not that I’m counting or anything?! lol). Even though I am so excited to see the finished result, the wait for de bracing is by no means as challenging as the wait for the surgery (for me anyway). I think perhaps as the surgery was the biggest turning point in the journey for me, the finale if you like, that was why I found it so hard to be patient. I have recorded a video to mark the occasion and to also note my thoughts and feelings at the 12.5 week mark.

As always, please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions – I am happy to try to help where I can 🙂 xxx