Thursday, June 26, 2008

Six Weeks Post Op

I know it's been awhile since I posted but believe me I have been sooooo busy. Anyway, pain wise I'm doing o.k. could be better, my joints still bother me terribly. I saw my surgeon last Wednesday and he ended up giving me a steroid injection directly into the tm joint inside my mouth. Yes it did hurt for the rest of the day, but the next day and two days after the joint pain was at a minimum. It was the best it has felt in 9 years. Then on June 25th I saw my orthodontist and he put elastics on to help pull my bite together and now my joints are back to aching again and my teeth feel like they're being pulled out of my gums. I take 2 tylenol and 3 advil every 4 hours and it doesn't help much. So, yesterday the surgeon prescribed diazepam to take before bed he said it would relax the muscles in my jaw (I am unable to sleep through the pain and wake up a lot) and I was so happy that I was able to sleep for six hours last night. I still have nerve pain and some numb spots but nothing really significant anymore. The itching still comes back every once in awhile but nowhere near what it was. I have lost 20 pounds so far and have been on a soft chew diet for 2 weeks now. It does hurt to eat still so I really don't eat much. As far as swelling goes I still wake up in the morning with swelling and it goes down a little during the day, but overall the swelling is a lot better than it was. The bones in my face are still a little achy but I think it's normal post surgery pain. Most of the swelling is around my joints now which is mostly where the pain is. But, hopefully when I get used to the elastics it won't hurt so much. I have been going to physical therapy now for 2 weeks and do my exercises everyday. I have an appointment tomorrow. They do ultrasound, massage and heat. I love the heat it feels sooo good; come to think of it so does the massage. But, through it all I keep as busy as possible so I try not to dwell on the pain too much. I only do that here, lol. I have days when I regret having the surgery very much, but for the most part I'm glad I did it. My surgeon did say the pain could last for 3-4 months in my joints. No pain no gain right? Just to let the people know who sing; I started singing again about 1 week ago. I think it is good exercise for my jaw if I don't overdo it. Of course I can't do it for as long as I used to and I can't sing certain songs but I'll get there. I don't know how much I am opening but 2 weeks ago I measured at 15mm. I am able to use an adult toothbrush and can floss now so I think it must be more than that now. The inside of my mouth is still really swollen and sore; I'm not sure if that's normal or not it must be though. That's pretty much it for now. I will post a picture soon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I have a couple of recipes if anyone is interested. They are really easy and I thought they tasted pretty good. Just a little something I made up so enjoy.
Beef Stew-
1 15oz can of Roast Beef Hash
1 15oz can of beef broth
1 4oz jar of baby food carrots
Put in blender and blend. Pour in bowl or cup and microwave til warm. Freeze what you don't eat.
This next recipe my sister gave me for a cake but I liked the filling and made it a pudding.
Pumpkin Pudding-
1 15oz (or 15 1/2oz) can of pumpkin
1 package of instant vanilla pudding
1/4-1/2 cup of brown sugar-depending on how sweet you like it
pumpkin pie spice-I use about 1/2 of a teaspoon but you can use however much you like
milk to thin it
mix everything together with whisk or mixer and enjoy; freeze what you don't eat.
Hope you enjoy them as much I have. The beef stew doesn't look as good as it tastes but most of the blended food doesn't look that appetizing anyway, lol.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hello again. I just wanted to say Katharine that I am frustrated. I never expected the pain to last this long. Sometimes it hurts so much I just want to cry. I'm not one to really bare my feelings to people so you just have to bear with me on this. I have been really stressed with some personal things going on in my life and am having a hard time dealing with them. My 16 year old has been skipping a lot of school and has missed over 30 days of school and now he probably won't be getting any of his credits for this year. He probably won't graduate with his class if he graduates at all. I keep telling him he will regret this some day but he just won't listen to me. He's a bright kid and has a lot to offer but doesn't want to bother with school. He could go to summer school but he still won't have enough credits to graduate. On top of this we are planning renovations to the house and I have a garden to finish planting (I grow and preserve a lot of foods so it's a lot of work). Lately I've had on average 3 doctor appointments a week and I don't drive so my husband has to take time off work to take me to there. I like keeping busy cause it keeps my mind off the pain but when I overdo it the pain just gets worse, thus my frustration. Now, my doctor wants me to do physical therapy a few days a week and I know it's for my benefit but I'm so tired that I just need a break. I think overwhelmed is a better word for how I'm feeling right now. I know things are going to get better. I just wish it would hurry the heck up. My husband and I hooked up the boat and went fishing today so that was a nice reprieve but it was so cold that my face didn't like it and I ended up with my face covered up most of the day. We did catch a lot of fish mostly catfish and perch (we catch and release by the way). My 17 year old son went to his prom last night all decked out and looking pretty spiffy with his date. I was so proud of him. But at the same time realized that my baby isn't a baby anymore. He's going to be 18 on Wednesday. Any of you who have young children you really need to enjoy them while you can because the time flies and before you know it they're all grown up. So, anyway thanks for listening to me prattle on but I'm going to call it a night. Til' next time...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Well guys looks like it's physical therapy for me. 2-3 times a week for about 4 weeks. I asked the doc if it was okay for me to just take a break for a couple of weeks and he said yeah and gave me some jaw exercises to do. I mean it does seem kind of early to start PT doesn't it? Other than that he said everything looks good. I can open to 12mm and he said that was normal. He said the reason he wants me in physical therapy is to loosen up the muscles so I don't clench which makes sense I guess. Clenching equals pain. The muscles in my face do feel really tight but I think that's normal too isn't it? So anyway that's it for today, thanks for the comments and continued support. I really do appreciate it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 15
Sorry I haven't posted in so long but look at these pictures I almost look normal. If you didn't know me I would look normal. Well, the pain hasn't let up much. That itchy feeling has finally gotten better and now where the itching was is burning and sharp pain like little needles poking me. My jaw joints are still very tender. Inside my mouth is still pretty swollen and it hurts to eat cold things. The stitches are slowly falling out and they are kinda gross. The skin on my face is really dry so I'm constantly putting lotion on. I know Leah said her skin was oily so I guess it's different for everyone. I'm still not sleeping well at night and still wake up several times, I'm sooo tired. I lost about 13 pounds and gained 5 pounds back. I asked how I was able to gain weight when I'm only taking in about 1000 calories a day and he told me that my body has gone into starvation mode so I will gain weight. So, I wonder if my body will get used to it and realize I'm not starving. I saw my orthodontist on Tuesday and he gave me some elastics to wear only if they don't make my jaw hurt. I think I was able to wear them for a couple of hours before I had to take them out because my face started to hurt pretty badly. But, I will try again in a couple of days and see if I can tolerate them then. My od said I should be out of braces in about six months maybe less depending how things go. Tomorrow I will see my tmj doc and he will determine if I need physical therapy for my jaw. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't need it. I'm tired of appointments and doctors and running here and there. I would like a couple of quiet weeks now to recuperate without a freaking appointment to worry about. But, anyway, I am going to go now and will let you know how tomorrow's appointment went. Thanks for listening to me vent...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 10

Day 10
So what do you think? I think the swelling has gone down a lot. The pain is very slowly getting better, though not fast enough for me. I over did things today and am feeling lousy at the moment. My own fault but I learned my lesson; the pain isn't worth it. I spent the day at the camp ground with my family. Most of them haven't seen me since before the surgery and can't believe how different I look with all of the swelling. So, I showed them pictures from a week ago and they all agreed that I look much much better today lol. I have this itching/burning/tingling/pain on the right side of my nose and cheek and it is driving me crazy. It itches but it hurts at the same time. I scratch there and it doesn't itch on the skin, it feels like it itches inside under my skin. I am gonna call my doctor and find out what the heck that is. My joints are also very achy. Anyway, you get the picture, I feel yucky. So, I am going to say good night to everyone. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More pictures

Day 7 Post op
These pictures were taken yesterday after my post-op appointment with Dr. Danielson. The steri-strips are gone and you can barely see the puncture mark on each side of my face. The swelling is slowly getting better and so is the pain. I'm so jealous that Leah doesn't have much pain but I guess every one's different. Anyway, my post-op went well, he took more x-rays and I was ecstatic with the result. My jaws are straight!!! I actually have a copy of the x-rays taken but I don't know how to download it yet, but will continue to try. Hopefully you'll get to see what it looks like. My doctor said everything looks great and he is pleased with the outcome. He said the pain will slowly get better and any numb spots that I have will start coming back slowly as well. He gave me an irrigation syringe to clean inside my mouth where the toothbrush can't reach or where it's just too sensitive to brush just yet. I find that it's a very helpful tool, kind of like the water-pik, but not as hard or as much water. I did ask if I could use the water-pik but he said it would be too much force at this point. I'm just glad to be able to brush and "irrigate" and keep my mouth clean. I have to go back to see him in two weeks. In other news, I saw my orthodontist today for my post-op with him. They said that I will need to wear elastics for awhile to finish pulling my bite together. He couldn't do anything today because there is just too much swelling so he just kinda peeked in there and said everything looks good. I go back next week for the elastics and get the surgical hooks off. I was wondering if wearing the elastics is going to cause more pain or if it's just more of an annoyance than anything? So, that was it for that appointment today. Now it's late so I'm going to say goodbye for now. Will talk to you again soon.