Day 9: Getting my craft on.

Nothing much to report today - except I feel I have done my first every productive thing post op! It felt great, because the majority of my recovery has just been sitting around (I didn't feel like doing much because I thought it would be exhausting!)

I mentioned in a previous post that one of my close friends is moving to Japan - so I made her a good luck card. It felt nice to sit down and complete a task, and get something from it! This has made me want to plan/set targets for each day so it has felt like I've achieved something.

It was pretty simple to make, apart from the Japanese characters! They took an age to cut out. It's supposed to say 'good luck!' so fingers crossed that is what it actually says. And fingers crossed she likes it! I'm seeing her and some other friends tomorrow as it will be her last day in the UK ):

Aside from being crafty, I had my gran come to visit which was nice. The story about the missing card greatly amused her, hopefully it won't happen again!

Recovery wise, today has been a good day. I haven't had to take any pain medication at all! There is occasionally a dull ache, but that's OK to deal with. And I don't seem to be noticing my swelling as much, unless I'm getting used to it?

That's all for now. As each day goes past I seem to have less to update with! I'll probably start to update less when I get to day 14, otherwise this could start to get boring very quickly :P

B x

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Day 8: Orthodontic adventures and the mysterious missing post.

Day 8 is upon us and with it came a bit of a mystery!

I received a phone call from my doctors surgery, and I was half expecting it to be about my recent jaw surgery. But no, it was about some undelivered post! It turns out my gran sent me a get well card, but to the wrong number (47 instead of 48). 47 had no idea who I was, but managed to get me to contact her through the surgery which was some pretty clever thinking on her part. So we arranged for the card to be left under her doormat, as she would be out. She also said she had opened the card as she was expecting an anniversary card through the post. Anyway, I went and got the card, opened it and found £10 inside! My gran had sent £10 my way, and I was so thankful for this kind stranger to get in contact with me about it. It goes to show there are honest and trustworthy people about! I was so touched I had to put a thank you card through her door. My gran is supposed to be visiting me tomorrow, so fingers crossed she doesn't turn up there. I have to admit that was a fairly interesting start to the day!

Mystery solved!
Now onto jaw related stuff. I had my first post op orthodontist appointment which was pretty exciting. I don't have to wear elastics in that annoying upside down 'V' shape anymore. Instead I have two elastic either side, which means I can eat with them in! Before I was taking my elastics off to eat, which I got a bit of a telling off for (but it was really hard to eat with them in now I'm eating with a spoon). My broken bracket can't be fixed because I'm too swollen, but it's not doing any damage so that's cool (: 

Behold my elastics and day 8 photos!

And now onto food, I had pretty much the same stuff as yesterday expect for dinner which was a yummy cheesy mashed potato with baked beans. All eaten with elastics on! 

Went a bit downhill with pain today and had to get the ice back on. But I suspect that was because there was a lot of poking around at the orthodontists today.

That's all for day 8 - thinking of Isabel who should be in the very first stages of recovery right now!

B x

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Day 7: One week milestone!


Time goes so fast, I honestly cannot believe that this time last week I had just been in theatre! Recovery is still going smoothly, thank goodness! To celebrate this one week milestone, I have compiled a list of all the things I couldn't do last week that I can do now.

This time last week I couldn't -

  • Move without throwing up
  • Eat without throwing up
  • Eat with a spoon
  • Eat full stop 
  • Go to the toilet without help
  • Wash without help
  • Move without help
  • Manage my own pain relief
  • Get things for myself (food, drink, ice etc) 
  • Talk clearly
  • Clean my teeth 
  • Walk without getting weak in the legs
It seems like I've come so far in just one week! It really does amaze me how quickly the body can get over trauma. 

Today has been pretty good, as one of my friends visited me! It was great to see her as she's going off to live in Japan from this Saturday, so there was a lot of chatting. I have also started to document my food, which others might find helpful. Breakfast was mushed up wheetabix with LOTS of milk, lunch was oxtail soup, and dinner was more whizzed up spaghetti bolognese. I'm definitely eating less often (it used to be every couple of hours, like a baby!) 

Today I made a bit of an unwelcome discovery regarding my elastics. One of the bottom brackets that my elastics hooks onto has become loose! Luckily I have my first post op ortho visit tomorrow, so that should be fixed pretty soon. 

Here are my day 7 photos - they're not that different to day 6 but I have reached my one week milestone (: 

That's it for day 7. Best of luck to Isabel for her surgery tomorrow! You've been waiting so long for a solid date, you totally deserve it plus all the luck in the world (: 

B x

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Day 6: My first post op adventure (to the hospital)

Day 6 has seen me take my first grand adventure out in public! This was only to the hospital, but it felt good to get out and about.

I had my first post op appointment with my surgeon today, and I am happy to report that everything is healing up very nicely, and that my surgeon seemed happy with my bite. I have also been given the go ahead to try and put my syringes down and attempt soft food! It seems really early, but I'm very thankful to eat filling food. On a food related note, something fairly shocking and unexpected happened at lunch today. I have discovered that I can successfully eat brie, as it is a soft cheese and just melts in my mouth when eaten in very small amounts. I was enjoying my brie so much I opened my mouth a little too wide, and... SNAP. There goes my elastics. Everything was fine, but I was so shocked when it happened! I managed to fix new elastics successfully. 

At dinner I was able to eat whizzed up spaghetti bolognese with a baby plastic spoon. This felt amazing, as I could actually eat fairly quickly and satisfy my hunger sooner. About soft food, I reckon I am only at this stage so soon because my surgeon doesn't wire patients up with lots elastics after surgery. I only have one elastic band in my mouth stretched between 3 teeth, which I am allowed to take out to eat (although I didn't know that in the brie incident!) 

More exciting progress has been made - I can now take little sips of water instead of using a syringe! I still use a syringe for more gloopy drinks like milkshake, but I feel this has been a big step forward. I was also clearly understood in a 20 minute phone call to my gran. She couldn't believe how well I was talking (again I think this is to do with the lack of elastic bands). 

Here are my day 6 photos including shot of my teeth with the elastic band. Unfortunately I couldn't get a photo of my X rays as they are at the hospital I had the surgery at. Hopefully I can get them on here, because you have to admit all those screws and plates look pretty cool on X ray. 

Behold my day 6 photos - 

I actually bothered to make my hair look nice today, haha. I had much more energy today compared to any other day since surgery. I didn't have to have a nap until about 7pm! 

That, folks, has been day 6. 

Adios amigos, 

B x

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Update: Days 0-5

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the lack of updates, I definitely underestimated how low my energy was going to be post op! At times it has felt a bit disabling, but energy levels are slowly on the up which is great (:

So this post will be a run through of my experiences of having orthognathic surgery and recovery days 0-5!

Day 0 

This was 22nd July, admission day! Admission was at 7am and I was feeling very nervous, but luckily I didn't have to wait long to go to theatre. I went down at 8:30 am and was allowed to take my mum with me which was really comforting. They even let her stay with me in the anaesthetic room until I went to sleep (even though I told her she didn't have to!) The surgery took 3 hours in total.

Next thing I knew I was coughing and gagging, but that's all I remember (I think they were taking the breathing tube out). Then I woke up properly, realised I was in recovery and for some reason couldn't stop moving! It was like I was doing a dance in bed, as well as constantly talking to the nurses. When my surgeon came to see me in recovery I learnt that they had given me COCAINE in theatre (hence the reaction). I was absolutely shocked, I had no idea it was used for medicinal purposes. I looked up the uses later on and it's supposed to help reduce bleeding by making your blood vessels smaller as well as numbing the area. But under the influence I apparently high fived my surgeon and conducted to my heart beat (which was heard on the monitor).

These pictures were taken in recovery (sorry for the slightly gory one!) I had NO elastics or wires on whatsoever! Some surgeons prefer not to use them, but the lack of elastics etc at this stage didn't bother me one bit. I was so pleased with my recovery profile shot, as swelling hadn't started yet so I could kind of see results already!

Once I had calmed down and a bed was available, I was taken to the ward. It was pretty rough from there, I vomited blood a total of 12 times (I went through several gowns) and also had issues which led to having a catheter ): My mum also didn't take well to the throwing up blood thing and went out into the corridor and fainted! Luckily she was ok and the nurses took care of her. And this leads us to the next day!

Day 1 

The morning didn't start off well at all. Each morning the nurses made the patients get out of bed and sit on their chairs whilst the beds were being made. I had learnt in the night that movement led to me being sick, which of course had to happen as my surgeon and his team came to see me. I didn't feel very flattering with all these people looking interestingly at me whilst I was sat there dribbling bloody sick and wearing a catheter. It was declared that I would have to stay an extra night to let the sickness settle and that he would see me the following morning. Eating was a nightmare, the nurses didn't seem to understand that I needed a liquid diet with syringes. They tried to give me ice cream with a spoon. Luckily the leek and potato soup was a better success which could be syringed. The day passed with not a lot going on, mostly drifting in and out of sleep. I would have to wait an extra day to go on a tour of the hospital to visit X ray and orthodontics!

I slept well that night, apart from being suddenly woken by a porter accidentally bashing a trolley into my bed! (A patient had been transferred to my ward in the middle of the night)

Day 2 

I was feeling much better on this day, with the exception of frustration at the nurses regarding food. For breakfast there was the choice of toast or cornflakes. When I said I couldn't eat either, I waited 2 hours for ice cream that I couldn't eat anyway! Lunch was a weird pate thing with a SPOON which reminded me of cat food. But luckily I was being discharged that day, so I was looking forward to going home and actually eating for the first time in days! I went on my tour of the hospital for x rays and orthodontics. I had to be transported in a wheelchair because I was so weak from not eating anything. The X rays were amazing to see (I didn't get any pictures but will do soon!) and the orthodontist put some elastics on my braces.

The discharge from hospital was pretty eventful and confusing. This time it was my sister who had a fainting session in the corridor (it was very hot). I missed my pain relief because my drugs chart was in the pharmacy, so I couldn't have any medicine. Then they tried to discharge me without taking my cannula out. There was also no dietitian or advice on food. Once the cannula had been sorted, we were ready to go. Unfortunately it was my turn to have a moment and sit down outside the hospital on my way out. I felt very dizzy and weak, so some nurses had to come and help me to the car. But I was finally on my way home!

Days 3-5

This is where the rehabilitation and rebuilding begins! Having nutritious food that I could actually eat for the first time in days was amazing. So far I have had banana milkshake, chocolate milkshake, whizzed up scrambled eggs, soup with super mashed potato and smoothies. I've lost half a stone in 4 days. Weight loss was to be expected, but it probably didn't help that I had pretty much nothing to eat in hospital. Pain hasn't been bad at all when pain relief is taken regularly, and from day 4 swelling has starting to go down. I even ventured out to see my nan on day 4 (in the car of course). Energy levels have been up and down but lucozade has been my saviour. I still get odd moments where I suddenly feel faint and weak in the legs. I'm still sleeping well which I'm very grateful for. I also think I'm lucky on the swelling and bruising front! From other blogs I've been following, I've seen swelling much worse than mine. I am starting to get some bruising at day 5, but it's very faint and not that noticeable (like a slight curry stain!) 

Day 3

 Day 4

 Day 5

I have an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow which should be interesting! I'll be able to get some pictures of my X rays, plus I'll be looking a bit better than the last time my surgeon saw me. Sorry if this post has been a bit garbled or disorganised to read, I'm definitely not at my blogging best right now. Onward and upwards as they say (:

Thanks for you kind comments, they were a great source comfort when I was in hospital (:

Will update soon,

B x

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Made it!

Made it! Everything is done and I am officially post op :) it's amazing how much things have changed alteady. I took a photo but I can't get it on here on my phone.Having a lot of problems with sickness (been sick 8 times!) But that's the only nad thing so far. Went into theatre at 8:30 am and came out 11:30am. Woke up in recovery at 12 and was on the ward by 3. That's it for now, gonna catch some sleep (I'm knackered!)

B x

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Tomorrow = Surgery Day!


It's been quite a nice run up to the day, as I met up with all my friends and hosted a 'Cheese Feast' (essentially a cheese and wine party) so I could stuff my face in good company. It was an evening filled with food, fun and friends and felt like a celebration that the day was very nearly here (after so long!)

One of the good luck cards I received! 
I've been quite nervous this morning but now I'm feeling relatively calm. I've got everything packed and ready to go, as I have to get up 5am to get to the hospital at 7am. 

Hospital bag! The orange tiger things are slippers...
I've packed quite a lot of things that you guys on here have suggested, thank you so much for all those suggestions! I feel much more prepared at this stage. I also had my 'last supper', which was a yummy homemade spaghetti bolognese (my absolute favourite). 

The Last Supper

I also have my 'official' pre-op photos! My photography skills aren't amazing, but hopefully it gives people an idea of my bite (: 

That's pretty much it for now. Thank you all for your helpful comments of advice and support. 

See you on the other side! 

B x

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2 weeks to go! Update following final surgeon appointment and pre-operative assessment.

I cannot believe it. 13 long years ago I was introduced to Clinic J and the possibility of needing jaw surgery, and now it is exactly TWO WEEKS until I go into theatre. I just cannot get my head around that!

And of course a (what I hope is) dramatic opening to this post has to be accompanied by a dramatic(?) photograph embracing the glory that is an underbite.  

Ahoy there! (South Wales)
Since my last post I got to see my boyfriend for the first time in six months (he was living in Australia) as he is now back home in Wales! Although the shot of this photo isn't very close, I think the angle really emphasises my bite and how much it has changed over the last couple of years. I'll be sure to post 'official' photos just before my surgery, which will be much clearer.

Yesterday saw the entire day spent at two different hospitals. The morning was dedicated to my appointment with my surgeon, where he tried the wafers that had been made to make sure they fitted well. And it was a perfect fit! It amazes me what different tools are needed for surgery, and how the lab technicians must make them. I also got to put my surgeon in the hot seat and ask him LOTS of questions. This was the last time I would see him before surgery day, so I put my thinking cap on and compiled this list -

  • Will my lips look different? (I currently have a huge bottom lip and hardly any top lip) 
  • How long will my jaws be wired? 
  • Will I be able to take tablets in hospital?
  • Are there any essentials/products you'd recommend to help aid recovery/comfort? 
  • *Silly question alert* Will the surgery have an impact on how my tongue fits in my mouth? 
  • How long will I be in hospital for? 
  • How long is the surgery? 
  • What will happen if I vomit and my jaws are wired? 
  • Do I need to put weight on before surgery? 
  • How will I clean my teeth?   
All of my questions were answered, albeit a sarcastic manner (my surgeon is pretty funny). Interestingly, he also mentioned passport photos. With the introduction of electronic passports, the machines might not be able to recognise me post op, so he advised I ring up the passport office after treatment is finished.  

After this appointment I was due to travel to the hospital where I'd be having the surgery. But I had some time to kill, so enjoy this photo of where I had my lunch (this is unusually very scenic for Stevenage)

Fairlands Valley Park 

The hospital I visited in the afternoon was very new to me, so I ended up getting lost finding the pre-operative unit! Nothing too exciting happened when I eventually found it. The appointment consisted of taking swabs for MRSA, taking my blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate, height and weight, a blood test and being asked a LOT of questions about my medical history. I also got to sign the consent form (moment of excitement for me!) I have to go back for another blood test close to my admission date (incase I need a blood transfusion, boo). 

Consider yourselves updated! Next up will be my final appointment with my ortho to change elastics so everything's nice and clean for surgery. 

If anyone has ANY advice on useful products for comfort following surgery - please let me know! 

Thanks for reading, 

B x


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