Day 694: So long, and goodnight.

I haven't posted here in ages, life kind of took off (as it tends to). A lot of time has passed since I last wrote on here, and a lot has happened.

As well as recovering, I was getting ready to embark on my teacher training. 6 weeks post op I started my PGCE in secondary music, and became a qualified teacher in July 2015. And now, I am coming to the end of my very first year in teaching.

But moving on to the relevant stuff... I am now brace free! This is fairly old news for me, but this is a massive milestone for anyone going through the jaw surgery process. My braces came off in December 2014, and I now wear clear removable retainers. These were a royal pain at first, but you soon get used to them. It reminded me of breaking in a new pair of shoes, painful at first but the result was worth it (and the peace if mind!).

Here are my official clinical photographs. The photos on the left are pre op, and the photos on the right are post op (taken immediately after my braces were removed! 

I am so chuffed with the results, I find the difference between the two sets of photos simply amazing!  

Although these are clinical photos, taken with a medical purpose, I also find the difference between my two graduation photos really striking. OK, so I have a different hairstyle, but there is definitely a noticeable difference in my face.

And while I'm at it, I may as well post my X-Rays to show how much everything has changed (and my metal gear that I've gained!)

And today, I've just been discharged from the hospital after 14-15 years of being a patient there. It doesn't feel real that I won't go back to that clinic again, or see my orthodontist or surgeon. And I'm so thankful for what they have done for me, my bite is finally fixed.

I mentioned this in some very early blog entries, but I used to be badly bullied at school for the way I looked. This has made this journey even more important to me. I was also inspired to write a song about my experience of jaw surgery and bullying. I've called it 'Bionic Girl'. When I was first post op, I used to joke that the metal plates and screws meant that I was now 'bionic' (although of course this was an exaggeration). Anyway, I've posted a link where you can listen to it if you want to. I also gave a copy to my orthodontist, as I wanted to get across how much of a big deal this whole journey has been.

That pretty nuch brings my whole 'Orthognathic Venture' to a close. Anyone currently going through this process, I really do hope you have found this blog useful and interesting. Best of luck to you all.
So long, and goodnight.

B x 

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Day 15: Green grin.

I've moved on to new elastics!

These have both a pro and a con.

Pro - they're further back so they can't be seen so easily!
Con- they're green.

They're also SO awkward to put on. I'm still fairly swollen inside my mouth, and I have to hook one of the elastics to a bottom tooth. It was very frustrating to do, but I got there in the end. Also the orthodontist caught one of my stitches (or something), it was so painful it immediately bought tears to my eyes!

But a good thing to report - I can grin! It makes the swelling a bit more obvious, but I feel this is the first 'grin' that doesn't look like a grimace. Yay!


The elastics are on in a kind of parallelogram fashion. It was a bit awkward to take a photo of the elastics in their entirety, but hopefully you get the idea! 

I'm also going back to the ice tonight. My jaw really hurts after the orthodontists, plus it feels like the elastics are moving my teeth. I dunno if that's the point of them - I've been told that they're supposed to guide my jaw and stop it from feeling lost. 

That's all for now - I have a surgeon appointment on Monday so I'll update then! 

I'll leave you to enjoy this silly photo of me (I'm starting to be able to make stupid faces again). 

B x

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Day 14: Two week milestone!

It's been two weeks! 14 days. 336 hours.

Whatever time frame you want to use, it's gone so quickly. It's scaring me! With this two week milestone comes an exciting development - I can now use a straw! This makes me super happy. I discovered this when out with my mum and some family friends at a cafe. I had ordered a mocha frappe and was just resorting to using a spoon but I thought 'why not try the straw?' And it worked! This made frappe consumption much more enjoyable.

That's pretty much all that happened today. I'm still struggling to get my energy back, and I feel so sluggish in the mornings! This often results in me sleeping in until midday (oops). I'm not sure how much quality sleep I'm getting but I wake up at least once in the night. I haven't had a whole nights sleep undisturbed since pre surgery! But I feel my energy is every so slowly on the up.

I had an another elastic episode today. Just as I was starting to write this post, it snapped just like that! And my elastics were doing so well - my orthodontist put them on last week and I have another appointment tomorrow. So very nearly a whole week.

Here are my day 14 photos!

Now I've reached the two week mark, I'll probably start updating when interesting developments come about plus weekly milestones. I don't want my blog to become boring, and I get the feeling it will if I continue to update every single day! As I mentioned before, I have an orthodontist appointment tomorrow so I'll probably update then!

Thanks for tagging along so far,

B x

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Day 13: Driving by.

'Sup! Day 13 has seen me take my very first post op drive. It felt so good! It was very tiring, but well worth the sense of freedom that came with it. I took a trip with my mum to a local gardening center (which is obviously THE place to be) and it was really nice to just potter around looking at all the gifts and plants. I'm starting to sound like a little old lady that doesn't get out much! But the truth is, I am getting fed up of staying in the house all the time. I think getting out when you're able to is an essential part of recovery, wherever it may be!

Driving selfie! (Taken before setting off)

Pretty plants at the garden center

I've just realised I set off for my first drive on day 13 - but for any of you who are superstitious nothing bad happened (: 

On a food note, I keep on getting cravings for food I'm just not allowed to have! These cravings annoyed me so much I actually went and got a single cracker and proceeded to suck on tiny little cracker pieces. I managed to eat half, no chewing involved out of pure stubbornness. Whey! 

Here are my day 13 photos. I cannot believe I'm nearly at the two week milestone! Time is flying by (: 

See you on day 14! 

B x

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Day 12: The first drink.

So I'm going to start this blog post the way most English people seem to start a conversation - by talking about the weather. And we've had some freakishly good weather pretty much since surgery day! This made the hospital unbearably hot when I was staying there, but now I'm starting to get out and about and really appreciate the summer.

Today's outing consisted of visiting the very pretty village of Willian, and having my first 'drink' since surgery day! At day 12 I'm not sure if this is a bit naughty. But nothing horrible happened and I really enjoyed sipping my pimm's and lemonade in the sun, complete with an entire fruit bowl in my glass which unfortunately had to be left. After this I went on the tiniest of walks around the village with my parents. I'm trying to get a bit of walking done each day, so when I eventually return to work it's not going to be a horrible shock.

 That was the main event of my day. Pain has been not a problem at all, just the occasional ache. Nerves are still tingling! They actually really annoyed me last night as they kept me from getting to sleep. I also had a bit of a shock when trying to get some food off my elastic bands at dinner (lovely) and it pinged me right on the tongue! Ouch.

Here are my day 12 photos. The profile shot isn't in great lighting, but I thought my profile looked really striking here. I also appear to me smiling - not intentionally done but I thought my smiling profile looked pretty cool.

That has been day 12! I hope all your jaw journeys are going smoothly.

B x

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Day 11: Tingling times.

My nerves are coming back to life! And it feels so weird! But this is a very very positive sign.

I forgot to mention that during surgery my nerve wasn't uncovered at all, it was completely buried. Which of course, is very good news. But that fact that things are slowly coming back to life is extremely encouraging!

With the help of Microsoft paint I've tried my best to show the areas of my face that have feeling, no feeling or returning feeling.


Such greatness, such inspiration my artwork invokes! I laughed a lot when I made this. Who knows, this could end up in the Tate? 

Anyway, the key - 

Red = total feeling
Blue = no feeling
Yellow = returning feeling.

I suppose my next calling in life has to be makeup artist, or just plain artist extraordinaire.

With that done, the events of today consisted of lots of lazing around and sleeping this morning (I was KNACKERED after yesterday!) and an adventure into town in the afternoon! It's my theory that if I start to get out the house and walk a little bit, my body will start to get used to the required energy levels! I only live in a small market town, so there wasn't that much walking involved, but it felt so good to get out of the house to somewhere other than the hospital/doctors. I went with my mum to look round the shops and the market. Our trip ended with a yummy mocha :P

These are my day 11 photos (minus my crazy artwork).

My mum confessed that she can't stop staring at me, haha. I suppose she'll get used to my new face/profile in time (as will I).

B x

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Day 10: Fun with friends and working woes.

I. Am. Knackered.

To somebody else this day probably seems quite trivial, but it felt action packed to me! It was a day full of visitors, which of course was very fun but extremely tiring. I had friends over this morning, including my dear friend who is flying off to Japan tomorrow! I'm gonna miss her so much. She's been there for a year before, but this time it could be longer. Here's a photo of us plus me trying my best to smile and look normal (I think I look kinda shifty). My friend El who is leaving us all is the one on my right (:

Next up was a doctors appointment. My time off work runs out on Tuesday - which marks my 2 week anniversary of having my surgery! And that scared me a little bit, because I'm definitely not ready to go back to work. I asked for some more time off, and my doctor gave me 2 weeks starting from today which makes me feel much better. My job requires high energy levels (controlling 20+ kids by myself) and I felt knackered from the 5 minute walk to the doctors and back! So much so I had to have an emergency nap before my next visitor.

This was another friend (by herself), so it didn't require as much energy as the morning, but I was still tired nonetheless! Her reaction was quite funny when she saw me, I thought she was going to cry but apparently that's how she looks when she's surprised? I did get her seal of approval which is just fine (:

After my tirade of visitors I had to have a mammoth sleep before dinner. Dinner was awesome, as it was my very first one where it's not all mushed mixed up into one big slop. I had meat pie (although not the pastry, so I guess that would make it meat slop), mashed potato and mashed broccoli. It felt so good to pick and choose from my plate. Just eating the same thing in one sitting had started to get quite boring, because there was no variation in taste and texture.

Pain has been playing up today in the form of headaches and earaches. I'm not sure if that's from having such a tiring day, or if it's from changes in pressure/swelling/nerves etc. Or it could be a mixture. I've had some paracetamol which seems to have sorted it.

Here are my day 10 photos (double figures now woo!) I reckon my swelling has gone down significantly, although my face still feels huge to me! I felt comfortable being seen in public for the first time though (:

I've just realised it doesn't look like I'm wearing a lot, but those are actually pyjamas (haha). This has been a late night blog post.

Nighty nighty, pyjama pyjama! (I'm such a dork)

B x

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