'We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Successful Surgery'

This is going to be one positive post I'll tell everyone that now!

I had a hospital appointment last week, and my orthodontist is so pleased with how everything is looking. It's always amusing going to the orthodontist and being able to listen to their conversations with the nurse/assistant, but not being able to actually contribute to said conversation while they're doing their work. (I've just realised how incredibly nosey that makes me sound). But anyway, they were talking about art for some reason, and it got me thinking that orthodontics is essentially art. A very scientific, complex one at that, which has much to do with physics. But still an art. I could even tell at the end of the appointment that she was 'admiring' her work from a distance, like you'd imagine a painter or sculptor would do the same.

I honestly never thought I'd ever perceive someone to be 'admiring' braces, most people probably do quite to opposite, haha.

They were also speaking about how the patients that were scheduled to see them that afternoon were all orthognathic. Which in turn led them to discuss which stage I was at in comparison to the other patients, and they think that I'm the second current patient of theirs that will be ready for surgery! It seems so weird thinking about it like that, all that waiting and it still feels like I shouldn't be this ready, almost like I've gotten used to the 11 years I've been visiting this clinic.

And this, finally leads me to a prediction! I haven't been keeping track of how many months I've had braces, I've just been looking onwards to the next appointment instead of tallying it all up. And it totals up to 8 months! That just seems crazy, it only feels like I've had them for 2-3 months or something. This means that by Christmas time, I will have had my braces for 1 year and 2 months, and a  possibility of surgery in the holidays! I think as a norm orthodontists tell their patients 18 months in braces before surgery, but from what I've seen people seem to be getting surgery earlier than that. And given the speed that my teeth are moving and my bite worsening, it could be a fair prediction. I didn't want to ask my ortho when I would be ready quite yet as I didn't want to seem impatient, nor did I want to have my ortho's professional prediction as to when I would be ready, adding even more time to this waiting game.

Just to balance this out with a small bit of negativity (haha) I have noticed how impractical my bite is becoming in terms of function, and it is certainly affecting me. Before it started to get worse I was only expecting it from an aesthetic point of view, never a practical one. I mentioned speech and pronunciation in my last post, but this time it's eating that's starting to get to me. On my way home for my appointment, I grabbed a burger from Kings Cross station inbetween trains, probably the most embarrassing burger I've ever had the misfortune to buy. I just can't bite into things like I used to, and attempting to do this in public was a pretty bad idea. Some old woman was staring at me the whole time I was eating, like I was someone with learning difficulties who couldn't feed themselves. It was pretty messy to be fair. But it's something I'm willing to put up with to get a functioning bite.

Moving swiftly on (I will stop soon I promise) the broken brace was fixed pronto without a telling off, and it hasn't done any damage or slowed down my progress. I loyally promised my orthodontist, no more icecubes for me.

Just one more point of positivity, and an unrelated one at that! University.

For those who don't know, I'm a music student and a principle study violinist. I got my recital marks back today and I got a 2:1! This year I've achieved 1st's and 2:1's, and even though I'm expecting one small piece of work back, it means that I've averaged a good 2:1 for my second year, which I am so happy with. Also the examiners who marked my recital said 'your potential is such that, if you were to make left hand technique a priority over the coming year, you are capable of a 1st class mark'. This makes me ridiculously happy.

Chuffed! If there are any music geeks out there, I'm listening to Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1, and am seriously considering performing the whole work for my third year recital.

Me and my housemate Lucy made orange/lemon drizzle cake to celebrate our recital results and decorated them appropriately.

We named the left cake 'C Major' (even though neither of us had the easiest key signature in our recitals, we just wanted to be alliterative with cake) and the right cake was named 'Caspar'
Oh god I've just realised how insensitive I've been, there are a good number of people recovering from their surgeries at this point of time. I grant any of you permission to taunt me with cake as you see fit when I am at that same stage, or Christmas dinner if my prediction is right.

I honestly don't understand how I write so much, someone needs to limit me and suggest a word count to stick to, haha. Sending lots and lots of healing vibes out to all the post-ops, and a speedy progress for all.

B x

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Ice cubes are my enemy, as is pronunciation.

Just a quick post to put into context how much everything is changing considering both a worsening bite and how quickly my teeth still seem to be moving! It's hard to believe that I used to put up with that really wierd plastic brace just because my bite collided, all to blame because my teeth thought they were ahead of the game and tried to fix things themselves by making my bite appear better than it actually was. My true bite seems to have really taken form now, like it's appeared all of a sudden. I'd noticed it getting worse with my progression from my first fixed brace, to the second and more conventional 'train track' brace, but now there's such a noticeable gap between both jaws. I've also started noticing that my housemates and people at uni are quite often mishearing me when I speak to them. It seems to take alot more time to form sounds such as p's and f's, as if my lower jaw is literally getting in the way, and it feels as if my brain is too far ahead in comparison to the act of physically forming the shapes and sounds of words. Has anyone else noticed this as their orthodontic work has taken effect?

I thought I'd put up an okish photo to hopefully balance to more awful ones to follow. A fairly significant gap can still be seen even from a headshot.
Horrible photo! But does justice to the worsening bite. Note the gap as evidence for some speedy orthodontic work!
Profile shot ):
A funny part of waiting for the braces to do their stuff is all the gaps that appear as the teeth are straigtening, only to be replaced by a tooth as it has more room, creating another gap. It reminds me of those sliding puzzles that you get online or something, before you can create the final picture you have to slide all those pieces in a logical order. Also that hefty gap that can be seen in the middle photo appeared after a mere two days after my appointment! That seemed pretty crazy to me. I also keep on forgetting that I'm now minus 8 teeth, which probably plays a huge part in how fast the orthodontics are working.

While all of this progress is good news (even the worsening bite), I've also had my first ever brace accident, concerning an icecube. I feel so incredibly stupid about the whole thing, said icecube was pretty melted down at the end of this drink, then swig and crunch. I can't get seen in Canterbury as I'm a patient at my hopsital at home, and I don't know any NHS people who would be able to fix it for me. Also my ortho is a locum and is only in my hospital one day of the week, so she's pretty booked up. I don't think the damage is too serious though, the wire right at the end has popped out the bracket, I guess the easiest way to describe it is excess wire that the ortho must have screwed into the bracket somehow. The rest of the wire is very intact so I'm hoping it's not slowing down anything, and if it is, it's my theory that most of the orthodontic work takes effect in the first couple of weeks after an appointment, and the six week period is a pretty good way to give patients a relief from the pain you get after having braces tightened. Saying that, I could be completely wrong.

It would be ridiculous to try and take a photo of this, so have an example. Result of an icecube :P

I'll stop there, I feel like I've gone on a bit. Whenever I post this always seems to happen, not entirely sure what to write then boom! Apologies for the ramblings, especially if it's boring. So to summarise, worsening bite, teeth moving and broken brace has happened since my last post. Hoping that Laura and Lindsay are recovering well and best of luck to Max, Ellie and Britany with their upcoming surgeries as well as everybody elses treatments! B x

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An interesting Reddit post.

Haven't posted on here since my last visit to the hospital, however there is an appointment coming up in just over a week. I also think things are happening in a less "quick" way, my teeth have moved so much in these few months. However the less dramatic and more slight changes my teeth have to undergo I feel are happening more slowly than those more noticeable changes before. Still, it'll be interesting to see the progress at the next appointment!
But yes, reason for posting is that I found this interesting thread on Reddit that my friend from uni shared with me (: It's the results of someones surgery 6 months on, they used to have a really pronounced underbite and from what I can see the surgery worked really well. However the interesting part is in the huge amount of comments this thread received, asking all sorts of questions, plus details of other people's experiences. The most interesting concept I found is the medical vs psychological/cosmetic benefits.
 I feel the benefits are a good mix of the two, to have a functioning bite, get rid of TMJD pain etc, and improve aesthetic, which seems to be the view of many who've contributed to the thread. When I've told people about the whole process most automatically assume it's entirely cosmetic which almost makes me feel ashamed, it makes me think of those who go under the knife for breast enlargements or tummy tucks. But there's no denying a part of me does want this surgery for those benefits, especially after enduring school! What do others think about the whole medical/cosmetic "debate" concerning surgery? It's something I've been struggling to come to terms with for years, people have told me I don't need it because they think it's purely cosmetic, when clearly the hospital and myself feel differently. After all it does come under the NHS!
I'll stop waffling anyways, and post the link >  http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/ryg1h/iama_19_yo_male_who_had_surgery_on_both_jaws_6/

Hope everyone is getting on  well with their treatments.
B x

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Pancakes, pain and the beginnings of a fully fledged bracer (:


I am now back from my long journey to and from home, and I have to say I'm pretty knackered. As if the train journey by itself wasn't enough, the hospital was running late which meant I had to peg it to catch the right train, using my violin as a very useful battering ram on anyone that got in my way. I barely made it! But I got to quartet ok, so that made people happy I guess.
Travelling through Kent, "The Garden of England".  It just looks like fields to me, but whatever floats your boat (:

To get home for my hospital appointments I always have to travel through London, which can be pretty interesting. St. Pancras International with their swish Olympics sign.

I took the liberty of demolishing pancakes before my appointment. I made this with one of Agnes' eggs (I have pet chickens)

But yes, onto the exciting stuff. I have the full set of works now, so no more weird elastic plastic yellow thing that made my teeth look horrible! It's all shiny shiny now. I was actually really surprised, I was holding onto a tiny bit of hope this might happen, and thinking in reality I would only get a couple more brackets to move the next lot of teeth along without breaking my brace. But now I know I wasn't imagining the changes in my face and jaw, my bite has worsened enough that I can wear the full set of more conventional fixed braces without destroying them! In a way it's kinda scaring me how fast everything's moving (literally!) But it's a good thing so I'm not complaining (:

Demonstrating how yellow the plastic part of my brace got.                        Fully braced and ready to go ^-^                                         
That's pretty much a wrap for now! I'm experiencing some pain, which Ibuprofen helps a little. Playing it safe by eating pasta and soft things for now. I think the thing that's probably gonna annoy me the most is ulcers... I have some already, and this wasn't a problem at all with the lower braces.

One more thing, when I was at home I found THIS photo!

This is me and my gran, I think I had just turned 8 at the time. It's not good quality as it's been scanned in, but hopefully you can see my gran also has an underbite (she never got it treated). Please ignore my retarded expression, evidently I was happy ha. I was around 8 or 9 when the dentist discovered my bite and I got referred to the local orthodontist. By the time I got referred to the hospital I was 9. 

I'm gonna go now as this has been another long post. It looks ridiculously warm outside (apparently it's 18 degrees!) so I should probably make the most of that.
Hope everything is going great for everyone else (:
B x

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Too much hospital plus some vaguely interesting photos...

Yo! The next hopsital appointment has creeped up pretty quickly, so I'm heading home on the usual 2 hour journey tomorrow (: This should be pretty interesting, cos there's a definite gap formed between both jaws as a result of the braces, which makes me wonder if I'm gonna have the rest of my brackets put on. I really hope this is the case so I can get rid of this ghastly rubbery thing on my top teeth! Over it's six week lifespan, it gets stained yellow by food and doesn't look too attractive. At least metal generally looks clean and shiny.

As the gap between my jaws is getting worse from my teeth becoming straighter, I've noticed even more changes in my face, and not only from looking at my profile. I had an concert with my University Symphony Orcherstra and my parents went a bit snappy happy. I shall demonstrate thus...

You can't see my profile a great deal in the top two but I can tell there's a difference there. And I also look really gormless/severe haha. Or Mahler and Wagner could be doing that to my face The bottom photo isn't very clear, but probably more of a profile shot going on there.
These changes are probably more noticeable to myself and fellow underbiters.
I've gotten into the annoying habit of studying other people's jaw lines, which probably means I'm gonna notice these things in myself and others. Self concious much?

Twas a pretty awesome weekend though, and my parents stayed in Canters at the Holiday Inn ^-^
If you're not bored of photos here's another one of me and my mum ^-^
 Countless people have said we look so alike. Which makes me wonder if after the surgery we'll look so alike it's scary? Interesting fact though - my gran (my mum's mum) also has an underbite. Apparently it can be genetic, this whole malloclusion malarkey.

I was starting to get fed up with hospitals but I'm quite looking forward to this visit. I'm inbetween hospitals haha. I'm being treated at Kent & Canterbury for something not at all jaw related, (an impressive TWENTY FIVE cysts, yikes!) so going in for scans and consultations there and shedding my precious student loan to get to the Lister is fairly annoying. Such is life, apparently more complex than it needs to be. However we shall see what this hospital appointment brings, apart from renewed obssessive pasta and soup consumption!

Hope everyone elses treatments are going well (:
B x

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Results already!? :D:D

Oh my days.

Ok so I've only just fully appreciated the amount of time day surgery took with eight extractions and all.

(Waiting lists, pre-assesment, recovering, healing yadayadayada)

I've had my top brace on for 12 weeks (tightened twice) and my bottom brace on for 6 weeks (tightened once)

12 weeks of orthodontics... and LOOK :D:D:D


 Septermber 2010 (Fresher)                                                                                  January 2012 ^^ new camera for Chirstmas!

I'm actually so happy. I've had nowhere near as much pain as I did when I first got the bottom braces on. I've also been listening to Frank Turner which always makes me smile like a loon XD

My orthodontist said things have been moving well and it's all looking good. Nothing has been said, but this could mean my orthognathic surgery could be sooner that I've always thought. It's always seemed eons into the future. Now it feels like it's actually gonna happen. 


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Blogging my journey through Orthognathic Surgery. Please come along for the adventure! :D :D


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