Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's been over three years!

I was thinking today that it's been years since I have been dealing with this stuff! It was so life changing and I felt like I needed to give an update!

So, yes, three years ago I was blackened and barely able to move my newly modeled face.

A lot has happened since!

Well, I went on a Europe trip with fellow classmates in March 2008 and I graduated high school in June of 2008 - then spent that summer working and enjoying myself! I also did an international exchange in Belgium!

My braces were taken off on July 17, 2008! Almost exactly six months after the surgery!

This was that day:

I was more than excited! Of course, there was a little fear and I would miss Dr. Jackman... but so much work had gone into the process. 44 months of braces. Jaw surgery. Thousands and thousands of dollars. And, many advil! Plus, I wanted to see the results!

I went to the dentist for a cleaning that day and they let me see my teeth before all of this started. I had to take a picture. The transformation was unbelievable. This was me seven years ago. This is the reason I didn't smile.

I had to wear my retainer 24/7 for the first six months. This was okay. At first I slurred at every word and drooled a lot. But, I eventually got used to it! I still visit Dr. Jackman about once every six months so he gives me new directions about my retainer. I wear it at nighttime once every few weeks now... I guess that I am essentially weened off of it. Here's a picture of my retainer bliss. The bottom retainer is glued in behind my teeth so you can't see it. Luckily, I use Photo Book on my computer a lot so my face is tracked quite well. I think that by the time that I got my braces off... it was pretty well settled in anyway.

This was me exactly one year after my surgery, January 2009. I was just starting the second semester of my first year of university. Scary new world with a wonderful new face!

And me again in January 2010... two years post-op!

And three years post op! January 2011

And, here I am right now! Added a little profile shot if you wanted to sift through to the older entries...
On the right was me 1111 days ago! (January 24, 2008)
The left is the before operation shot.

And tonight... 1111 days later! (1119 days post op!)

And... my teeth!

So, it's been over a thousand days and a lot has changed. I am nearly done my third year of a Bachelor of Science degree at Dalhousie University! I spent the last few summers back in Goose Bay and had the opportunity to work at the best summer job ever! I met so many great people and even managed to make some new best friends (shout out to my roomie!) ... as well as saying goodbye to others. I have my very first apartment and I have navigated my way from small-town Goose Bay to living life in Halifax.

When I last saw my orthodonist, he said that I probably wouldn't have done many of the successful things in my life if it weren't for my orthodontic work. At first... I thought he was crazy. After some thought - he was right. I mean, I am sure that I would have found success in other ways... but a smile goes soooo far!

Hopefully another post before another 1119 days pass...

Take care.

Monday, February 11, 2008

TMJs are killer

I am back into the loop of things, and I have been for about a week now. Everything is going just great. Sadly, there aren't any interesting rumours about a face lift or anything.

I went to Corner Brook on the 31st of January. Dad and I hung out and anticipated my appointment at Dr. Jackman's office the next day, February 1st.

I went there and they began taking the elastics off. There was just one left when they mentioned that it may make me faint.

I didn't, but it was certainly something worth fainting over. I tried to open my mouth as far as I could, and I thought that I had accomplished a satisfactory OMG face, but the mirror was telling me that there was a mere centimetre of openness. It was the weirdest sensation ever. Then, I had to attempt brushing my teeth. I had little coordination and found myself actually biting the toothbrush instead of opening my mouth.

They also said that I did well. ???

Then, we went to Jungle Jim's for my FIRST MEAL! I was feeling ambitious, so I ordered the french onion soup to start and the cheese and chicken alfredo as my main course.
It was a thoroughly enlightening experience. I probably ate about a fourth of it because the chewing motion was killing me. I think that I wasted most of my energy posing for pictures.

My dad was pretty excited about the food thing too.

Surprisingly, I didn't spend any money while in Corner Brook. Once I came back, I revealed my new face to as many people as I could. Good feedback, obviously.

So, my week and a half of eating has certainly gained some strength in my face. I am still attempting to keep my jaws intact with help from some nifty elastics that I connect to the teeth on each side of my mouth. I am a devout eater of Mr. Noodles and rice. Anything outside of this area is fair game. I can actually do the chewing motion, but it is really awkward because I still can't feel my upper palate, gums, etc. I don't have a lot of strength either... so I stick to the softer things. Liquids are still fun too.

And, here I am today, twenty-six days postop! Still swollen and numb around my nose and particularly my left cheek. I'm not yellow anymore though!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Did you know?


It's crazy how time flies when you're having fun! It was just a little over two weeks ago that I was kind of freaking out about whether or not I would be prepared to do this. I didn't know what to expect and it was just crazy to know that I would have a different face. It was a big deal to me... and frustrating.

I remember that I was scared because I knew that I wasn't scared. As weird as it is, people would ask me if I were nervous... and I would tell them that I wasn't. I'd explain what I was getting done... and they'd cringe and tell me to be prepared for the pain.


I am glad to say that I haven't been scared... and I think that I've been tough. I feel like I have tackled this and I am glad to say that it didn't hurt. I'd recommend it to anyone who needs to get it done. It's not nearly as bad as what it is made out to be.

But I did get to miss exams. I don't know how I feel. If anyone knows me... they'd know that it's not like me to do something like this. I guess it's not normal to get your jaws broken... but I would have almost preferred to have written my exams. It's just something that I am used to and it's part of what is expected out of high school. Actually, it is probably the only thing that is scheduled and promised in high school. High school has exams... and you can count on that. Everything else about it is like... pulled out of a hat.

That's me yesterday, sporting a very hazy bruise on the left cheek. I am numb around my nose still... and it's pretty weird. My upper lip is still numb too... and there is a nice and neat stitch left in my upper lip that does not want to come out. Cool eh? I think that it's grunge, another piercing.

Here I am today. Besides the numbness and swelling around my nose... I think that this is it. Here is my new face, almost. Ahhh, I don't see a lot of difference. It's like I kinda planned this... because my new glasses are waiting for me at the eye doctor.
I am getting myself unwired! Will keep in touch!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't. You. Worry. There's. Still. Time.


By no means am I sick and tired of revealing the deflating of my face! Dad's internet connection absolutely sucks... so here comes some compensation.

I do have the pictures though.

Okay. This is me on Friday. Despite the special effects that a flash can offer... I am still quite yellow at this point! I went to my dad's for the weekend, for a change of view. I was kinda in my mom's house for a week. (Love you Mom... just wanted a reminder as to why I am always over your house, right?)

This was what Saturday was telling me. My brother had just insisted on starting to watch the first season of One Tree Hill. I started it that night...

And this is me on Sunday! Even though I stayed awake all night watching OTH, I was allowed to sleep all day! I mean, what else could I possibly have to do? The worst part about Dad's is that he insists on cooking all of these great meals and laughs at my temptation once, "Chelsea, supper is ready!" is said. I swear that he'd serve up my plate if he knew that it wouldn't end up in his face.

Here I am today. Twelve days post-op. It kinda looks like I am wearing the same shirt... but they're different! My color palate is just a little off. My bruises are still there... but they are certainly fading away. I feel like ripping my braces off and indulging in (INSERT ANY FOOD ITEM HERE).

That's how serious I am.

At the same time... I am really enjoying this. I really like progress and I really like the progress that I am getting. It's so cool to me. I like medicine. And orthodontics. I kinda like this.

I don't even mind being wired shut that much. It's embarrassing sometimes when I can't get my point across with my spit-soaked words... but that's who I am. I've always had some sort of lisp or something. This just makes it funnier. I now have somthing to blame it on. It's also kind of comforting to not feel obligated to talk. I find myself not saying things during crucial times because "I can't talk!" It helps me... because I have a lot to say. Then, there are times that I have nothing to say... and I am actually thinking, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY RIGHT NOW! This is where my jaw thing does me well. I don't need to say anything if I can't talk. (I can talk, I really can).

I can't open my mouth. AHH! It makes me mad too. I want to be able to just scream. And lick my lips. And play with my braces. And breathe dumbly with my mouth open. And look like I am catching flies. And have a liberating sneeze. And yawn without getting toned cheek muscles from straining it. And eat. HALLELUJAH!

I think I just made a religion reference.

Yeahhhh... this jaw thing has GOT to be undone.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

What a cute little nose

That's what I'm saying. This is me right before my surgery, then... today. It's pretty cool to look at. My bottom lip used to be, "pouty"... we will say. Now, it's the opposite. My chin is a little shorter... and I guess I look more proportioned. It's amazing what a little jaw breaking could do! Wow!

And I have developed a hooked nose? I guess that makes complete sense. Considering that it is numb and it looks like there is a gumdrop on it, I am thinking that this hook is temporary. I didn't think that the tip of my nose had any ties with my jaws...

And... my jaundice-looking skin is "temporary" too... right?

Today was good. I took my naprosyn (anti-inflammatories) on my own accord, and watched this season's House on the internet. I attempted orange juice this morning... which has been a regular on my menu. All of a sudden, it starts to burn my mouth. I felt like I was drinking battery acid. I guess that means that my stitches are coming out... or something is happening.

It's been a week since this...

Haha... that was before the yellow. I know that it's a self-portrait... but I can promise you that I was too out-of-it to even remember it. The scarf of icepacks around my neck is telling me that I was still in ICU at this point. It's really crazy how fast time is going.

My skin got really different too. It's really shiny. It looks like I am sweating in pictures, but... I guess it's my new natural glow. This explains my soaken-zombie state in this...

Haha. I am happy that it's funny to look back at these things now. Last week I was too embarrassed to even post this... but now it's just crazy. My bruises were fresh here... nice and purple/brown. My radiance is obvious here... but it looks like I just finished eating some Mary Browns. I wish.

And, this is me today. Eight days post-op.

And, this is me getting more and more back to myself. Photoshoot.

Oh, bruises.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


You know that expression, "PUMPED!" Well... I am becoming, technically, LESS PUMPED! My face is going down... I think. Unless I am just getting really used to this. I am hoping that it is becoming less swollen though.

I must say that I didn't do much today. Well, aside from everything that I have been doing? I think that I am becoming a waste, but it's okay. I could be a drug addict or something, you know... a COMPLETE waste.

Actually, it's not that far from reach. Codeine is within my home.

I have also decided that my lips are impermeable to any sort of moisture. They are SO DRY. And I think that this has to do with the idea of synthetic moisture. I mean, that's why we have tongues, right? I can't lick my lips because MY TONGUE IS ENCAGED BEHIND MY TEETH. I guess that if I stayed concentrated, I could lick my way through my teeth to savour my lips...

This is one of the cons of having this surgery. I miss licking things.

Another one, which is probably the most obvious is...

I am officially craving things now... and it really hasn't been bad until they talked about hamburgers on Oprah today. The day will come...

We are going to have a party to EAT. It will be sort of like potluck. I will give you the name of an item to bring, and then we will meet at a nice place... where you guys can watch me eat what you brought. Oh, you have to bring something for the microwave for you to eat too. I couldn't possibly share.

AND there is no pain today. I am getting feeling back around my chin and the areas of my cheeks, nearest to my ears. It's pretty cool.

I have nothing else to complain about!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shrek VS Little Lulu

This is me... Little Lulu form, posing on the warm sandy North West River Beach.
I just thought that you'd appreciate my new body!

Reality is telling me that this is how I am looking today.

I think that my swelling went down a bit. Before, I could nestle a cheek in one hand, but now there is room for... perhaps a piece of paper AND my cheek. I am not sure about how much progress that is, but progress is progress. My eyes are less swollen too... which is didn't really benefit me today because I was really nostalgic. I slept the entire day and felt like crap. I felt weezy and kinda fluish. I just think it's the pressure though, because I don't feel any pain whatsoever.

The newest phenomenon is the spreading of my bruising down to my neck and on my chest. I am starting to get feeling back underneath my chin... which makes me believe that the numbness isn't permanent. The only thing is that it's reallllllly tender. I guess that the bruising shows that.
Other things that seem to be happening a lot within the last day include muscle spasms and tension. At the most random times, my jaws get these overwhelmingly horrible sharp pains that give me the shivers. It's so weird and it makes my face do all of these uncontrollable things. It's not that I can actually move my face on my own... but it does weird things. I'm glad that nobody is there to laugh at me... because I am sure it's something that a circus freak can do.
While attempting to talk for a long time, my subconcious mind is trying to tell my jaws to move, so it creates a lot of pressure. It's like someone is both pushing my jaw shut and prying it open at the same time, so I think that it's confused. I've stopped drooling a lot. Now, it's just minor.... haha.
Other than that, I am fine. I have progressed in my House watching and I think that I just might have enough time on my hands to actually find a graduation dress.