Monday, May 14, 2012

And another Anniversary!

Another year has gone by - it always amazes me how quickly time passes.

May 11th, 2012 was my two-year Anniversary.  We didn't whoop it up - it simply passed by without a sound.  Everything has become normal now - the tingling, the loss of feeling, the feel of talking and eating.  It's funny, though - I don't notice these things now unless they're brought to my attention.  Ashley laughs at me because I will occasionally have the spare bit of food on my lip that I don't feel and has to remind me to brush it off.  LOL

For those of you that don't know it, there is an app out there called "The Ugly Meter".  Dad brought this to my attention during a recent visit to Arizona after reading about it in the newspaper.  Of course, I had to download and try it. 

My surgeon is a GENIUS!  Take a look at that!  0.0 out of 10 on the ugly scale.  Doesn't get any better than this!

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Things...

I can whistle! Yay! that's the excitement the last few months. Pretty uneventful here, as things just continue to move forward. I've lost feeling in part of my left cheek again and have pain every so often. Nothing bad, but it lets me know it's there. Maybe it's the cadaver bone talking to me - telling me that I'm not living life as it would like. Who knows. I'm happy to say that the number of sinus infections I get is far less than what it used to be. It's the little things that matter.

Still a few dental procedures to go through - have to get a crown on a molar that's cracked and time to finally replace all my fillings. This has to be done because through the years, I clenched my teeth so hard to try to find a good resting spot for my jaw that I literally wore them down to nothing. I've had two root canals in the last few months, they went swimmingly with no complications. I've managed to break not one, but two of my retainers so Dr. Gerlein just shakes his head at me. Finally got a third, a different kind this time, so cross your fingers for me that it remains intact. When I picked it up yesterday, Dr. Gerlein said I don't have to go back for 7 months. Yeah, right. Like I won't break *something* in those 7 months. He has more faith in me than I do! Besides, I'd miss them if I couldn't see them every couple of months. It's a part of my journey that I enjoyed so much - visiting the orthodontist. It's such a fantastic place. Dr. G and the girls - I can't say enough about them. If you need a top notch ortho, don't hesitate - go there. If I do nothing else today, I know I've done one good deed by giving credit where credit is due. Love you guys!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's My Anniversary!

Except not the married kind. Today marks one year of the "new me". May 11, 2010 was the day I went singing into surgery for my jaw. It has been a very long road - a lot of pain, a lot of stress and the recovery continues. I still struggle with loss of feeling, having to form words differently and eating, something I LOVE to do! The nerves are continuing to regenerate so something as simple as brushing my teeth is still painful in its own way and just an odd feeling all the way around. I still can't feel my gums. My bottom lip is still tingly but much better than it used to be. I knew going into this that I would never fully regain feeling in my face so I'm okay with it. Nevertheless, it still bugs me sometimes.

The best part of this? I am pain free!!!!!! Do you have any idea how nice it is to chew a piece of steak into little itty bitty pieces and THEN swallow it? Something so many of us take for granted, I couldn't do for years! And smiling. Okay, well, I was never so vain that I didn't smile because of how I looked. But hey, if they're gonna fix you AND make you look better, who am I to argue? At the risk of SOUNDING vain, let me just say that I smile at myself in the mirror every single morning. And I do it proudly! I'm happy with how I look. :)

So...for your viewing pleasure, I give (musical) journey: (NOTE: The video is large so once you click on it, you may want to let it sit and buffer or it will continue to stop and start.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Getting To The Root Of The Problem...

Ever been excited for a root canal? I have! And yesterday was the day. Really, never in my lifetime did I think I would be so excited for dental work. But, my tooth (#18 if you're wondering) has been quite uncomfortable for the last couple of weeks. Since Brian and I are leaving soon for the Caribbean, the docs thought it would be better to expedite the process and "git 'er done!" First things first, let me introduce to you another new doctor in my life - Dr. Michael Weber, Endodontist - or "just Mike", as he calls himself. Boy, am I happy my dentist referred me to him! What a great guy - smart, charming, witty - with a crude sense of humor. My kind of guy!! He shot me up with some novocaine and let it do its thing. He came back in about 10 minutes later and said, "Are we numb?" Huh...the weird thing is that I wasn't! He shook his head and said "Yep, I wondered about that - that's why I asked you what surgery you had done." I wouldn't have thought of this...but because they moved my jaws, the "normal" spot they would give you a shot isn't there anymore! So, a few shots later and I was happily drooling and chewing on myself. Let the fun begin!! It all started out well but became less than fun when he told me that it was a good thing I'd come in - two of my three roots were infected. No wonder I had pain. *sigh* Leave it to me to have something MORE wrong than just a plain old toothache. Oh, and did I mention that the tooth is cracked? Uh huh...yep, you got it! We'll work on that later. For now, he worked on the issue at hand - cleaning and irrigating the infection, then closing me up. Because one of the roots was fine, he was able to do that one 100% and get it packed and closed. The other two are now temporarily closed and I have a temporary filling in my tooth, I'm on antibiotics (500mg Amoxicillin for 10 days) and have to do salt water washes, as well. I'll go back when we return from our vacation to make sure my body has rid itself of the infection and then he can go ahead and make everything permanent.

But wait, there's more! When I was done and getting ready to leave, I felt as though I had a piece of something stuck towards the back of my mouth. You know that spot...kind of between the back of your mouth, next to your tongue...and you jusssst can't work it out. So, into the bathroom I go to see if I can get this chunk of whatever out of my mouth. I open my mouth in front of the mirror and, "Ahhhh, there it is - just a little white piece of something!" OW! "That thing is connected!" LOL Yep...towards the back of my mouth, to the left of that fun little dangly thing in your mouth (yes, I know the technical term for it but "fun little dangly thing" sounds much more exciting), is a white bump and it hurt! Why is it white? Well, because whatever it is is pushing through the skin and stretching it! I get the doctor and interrupted his lunch, to find out what on earth he left in my mouth, cause I'm convinced that's what he did. Wrong. It's a bone spur - and not just one, but two! I had to ask why I'd never noticed them before and he said that more than likely, with the movement of my jaw, they became more prominent and also because the sensor that they put back and forth into my mouth during the root canal had irritated the spots. I'll check with Dr. Penski next time I'm there and see if it's something I have to have taken care of. Joy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Life Is Good!

Oh my, I just realized that I haven't updated since going in to have the splint removed from my nose! I'll spare you the gory details because it wasn't pretty when they took it out, but wow!! What a difference! It's been some time now since having it removed and all is well! I can breathe - and I can breathe normally!!!! Finally!

Let me update you on what else is happening. Each day is better and better but things still continue to change. Where I once had feeling under my left eye, is now a bit numb again. I still have numbness in my bottom lip and gums but it's all workable and unless I am reminded of it, I really don't think about it much anymore. I'm still having a hard time using the Sonicare toothbrush because the nerves just don't like it and it sends shooting pain into my face from time to time. But in the grand scheme of things, it's nothing.

I've still got several dental items that need to be taken care of and we're slowly chipping away at them. The tooth (molar) that began this entire process (as my dentist so reminds me) is giving me trouble again so I'll be going in for a root canal on Tuesday. Another one down! :) Never thought I'd be looking forward to fillings, caps and root canals but now that I have this million dollar smile, I don't want to leave any stone unturned.

Something I haven't mentioned and would like to do so now. Over New Year's, I had the privilege of meeting a fellow jaw surgery patient and someone I am proud to call my friend. I began following Graham's blog shortly after I was home from the hospital (check my links for his blog) and the help he provided was priceless. I felt so alone and had so many questions and he helped me through. Brian and I made a trip to NYC for the New Year and it just so happened that Graham would be traveling there, as well. Suffice to say, there was NO way I would pass up a chance to meet. We did so and what a treat that was! We spent a couple of hours walking through Times Square, talking about our lives and getting to know one another better. The only complaint I have is that the visit was too short! I can't wait till we meet again! I'd like to share with you what I think is one of my most favorite pictures! The smiles say it all!