Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary Face! (1 year Post)

Dear Face,

Happy Anniversary. It's been one year of absolute nothing but bliss. Remember when we went to the malt shop and drooled a milkshake together? How about when you made me puree in bed? You're the best. 


Oh. Hi, reader. I didn't see you there. 

Please pardon my little PDA with the face. I've put my one-year post picture at the top for you. I actually made it my new Facebook profile picture. To which a friend commented, "Wow. Scary."

[cue Miss Warwick]: "'Cuz that's what friends are for..."

Actually, in high school I was voted "Most Off Putting" so maybe its not so bad.

So how am I really doing? I still have braces, but everything is lining up really well. They gaps are closing.

I still have two "Fred Flintstone-y" puffy bands from my nose out along my cheek. It may be swelling or it might just be old age. (Guess who just turned 42.)

I still have reduced feeling in my lower lip and top of my chin. I'd really like to get full sensation back. My surgeon said I really will recover for a year and a half. Fingers crossed.

So how do I feel one-year post? That's a tough question. I breathe and sleep better. I can't open my jaw as far as I used to and the reduced sensation bothers me sometimes. I can get food on my chin and not know it. I also still dribble coffee. Re-read this paragraph and imagine being on a first date with me. Sorry reader, I didn't mean to turn you on. (That's my other blog.) In pictures I sometimes think my face looks pulled forward. I'm self-conscious about it.

Congratulations (or How Could You Do This to Me?)

As you may know, my beloved hygienist, Jess, is leaving. The reason is to go to Alaska with her bear-hunting, helicopter pilot boyfriend, Kiean. Or as I like to call it – selfishness. Keyann and I have a lot in common. He has a chiseled jaw and I had someone use a chisel on my jaw. The similarities end there. Ok. Ok, Reader. I know. Yes, I am happy for her. I want her to find bliss with Quion.  

It is actually funny. Letting someone else floss your teeth is kind of... intimate. No. I'm not talking about floss fetishes. (Again, if you're into that, check out my other blog.) I just mean that someone else looks between your gums to see what's all up in there. Omg, Reader. What if the replacement hates TV or only watches QVC? Ok. Let's not panic. I'll keep you updated on the new person. Or as I like to call her, "Not Jess." She won't mind me calling her that, right?

Btw, the pictures off to the right are all taken today. Sorry I do not shave unless I am going to work, attending a wedding, or getting paid by Japanese business men. (Again, see my other blog.)

Ok, Reader. I have to admit. I pulled some before pictures and I do look better post. I guess I just never saw my profile much. I only ever saw my face head on. I guess my career as model for "Rat Boy" is over now. Great. One more unforeseen side effect.

Feel free to post honest opinions below. I can take it reader. Give it to me. (No, Reader. Not like that. How many times do I have to refer you to the other site???)

Some Before Pictures

One year ago today. The way we
weeeeere... The way. We. Were.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Clean as a whit-whoo!! (232 days or 7 months, 17 days post)

Jess is a Horrible Person

I went in for my regular cleaning. Everyone reading this will agree that Jess is a horrible person. Ok, reader. You caught me. You see right through me. Jess is wonderful. She's hilarious, smart, pretty, and kind. And her fiancé is a helicopter pilot. Yeah. His name is Keon or Kyan or whichever way is the perfect way to spell key-on. Their children will be so attractive that you won't be able to look directly at them or your eyes will melt like in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You get it now. She's awful. She's the worst kind of person. You wish you didn't like her, but you can't help it. She's lovable.

Ok. so Dr. Murthy put these weird loops on my wires. They are antennae that convert broadcast television so I can use an old-style T.V. Wait, or they move my teeth. One or the other. Actually, they have not yet been "activated." So right now all they do is trap food. So I've got that going for me. 

When I went in for my cleaning. (Which I honestly look forward to.) I was worried that Jess would find an old newspaper or a pickle lodged in my grill. (She did not.) I have not been flossing because my mouth is super sensitive. As a result of my recovering nerves, I seem to have a baby mouth. (Not the baby mouth I keep in a jar buried in the yard.) I mean when I brush my teeth, it burns. Like tears-in-the-eyes burns. Like hop around waving-my-hand-in-front-of-face burns. The other weird thing is that when Jess moved a tool along the gum line of one tooth, I had the sensation that she was actually jabbing the back of my mouth with a sharp object. She, however, denies doing this. I probably shouldn't have told her, because I'm pretty sure she then jabbed me a bunch of other times and said, "Weird, it must be those nerves again." Typical.

Topics of discussion were my latest dates, her fiancé bear hunting in Alaska (I know.), mustaches, and crazy T.V. shows. I promised to watch Homeland and Game of Thrones. I can't believe how much we talk and laugh despite her fingers, a water spray, and a suction tube being in my mouth. I guess it takes a lot to shut me up. 

Like Thanksgiving in Your Mouth 

In the bathroom of the waiting room was a large brown glass jug that I haven't seen before. It was "Herbal Tooth & Gum Tonic." It can best be described as a thin, minty gravy. Perhaps laced with habaneros (or perhaps that was my baby mouth again.) I asked if it was supplied for free. And it turns out Dr. Dority got it for some hard-to-believe, amazing deal. Well, I am actually not amazed at all that it was gotten for a very low price. Nope. Not amazed at all. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

News Flash!!

I got a (very carefully-worded and sensitive) call from the Massachusetts Eye and Eye Infirmary. My plastic surgeon is leaving to start a private practice. She will not be performing my surgery. I was planning on canceling anyway, but this helped me make my decision. It's $4,100 I do not care to spend and the mock-up pictures don't look dramatically different.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dental Cleaning

Is there such a thing as a dental nerd? Wait, yes. What am I saying?! They work on me all the time. Ok. Let me start again. I really LOVE getting my teeth cleaned. I can't believe people don't do it constantly. My teeth look so bright-white afterwards and someone else flosses your teeth. Yes, reader, I'm eluding again to my genius idea to create a new service called FlossValet inspired by Jess, my hygienest (shown above).

In addition to the squeaky-cleanliness of my teeth, Jess and I laugh the whole time. Cleanings take somewhere between four and twelve hours because I won't stop laughing/talking. News break: Jess is engaged. I'll be sure to blog the link to her registry. You'll want to get them something, reader. I'm sure.

I go to Park Side Dental Care in Boston (Near Boston Common. Get it? Get it?) It's very close to my school so I can walk there and it's a bit posh. Newbury street. I buy all my designer outfits nearby. The ones I'm saving for special occasions, reader. You don't see them on the blog because I want to keep them nice. Just drop it, reader. Anyway, we talked about my post-braces-removal-cleaning (which I will do early and immediately when they come off) and about the possibility of veneers. Honestly, they may be too rich for my blood, but we'll have to see how my teeth look. My goal is a smile somewhere between Bachelor-contestant and Gameshow host. So we'll see.

The lovely (and hilarious) staff.
I know. I'm hot, right?

Monday, February 4, 2013

More Surgery, Please!!!

"Before" Status

It's obvious I have a lot in common with the women above. We're all hilarious, talented, and overachieve in the cartilage department – cartilaginously. Yes, dear reader. After a major surgery, having my jaws and chin sawed off and screwed back into my skull, after two years of braces, after nerve damage and a puree diet, guess what. I'm still a "before". Well, I'm on my way. I guess. But I've got a long way to go – facially. My breathing has improved. I'm told I snore maybe some, maybe infrequently – not bad. (I still need another sleep study.) And my face has improved. When I look at my "before-before" pictures I am not just a "before", I'm a buh-foooooore. I'm a "Who did this to you? Do you need an ambulance?" So, despite the fact that I still have mild post traumatic reactions to surgery on TV, I went to see my plastic surgeon, Dr. DeRosa, to talk about my rhinoplasty and septoplasty.

Office of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

When you go to offices at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear (and, secretly, Nose) Infirmary, the offices are clean and nice and medical office-y. And I've been to MANY of them. But when you go into the Office of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (or, OFPARS, as no one calls it), it is fancy. Even faaaaancyyyy. I met with Dr. DeRosa. There wasn't a harpist or passed hors d'oeuvres in the waiting room, but if there had been, I can't say I'd have been surprised. Canapé, reader?

Dr. DeRosa must keep meticulous notes in her chart because she picked up with our conversation from YEARS AGO. "You were just finishing graduate school and looking for a job." Whoa. That was a long time ago. Who am I kidding? She totally remembers me. We're going to be besties. BFFs. Go shopping, then brunch. (It could happen.) She's friendly, funny, and pretty. I like that she sort of tells you how it is. She said my nose is not "that bad" but she can improve my breathing and make it look better. She had them take a bunch of super close 9-megatrillion-pixel, high resolution, up-my-nose pictures. (Don't worry, reader, you'll see them. I know you're excited.) I'm glad I had the foresight to not shave, look disheveled, and get a skin rash from the cold, windy weather. You'll see my new "before" pictures look horrible. Then like an info-mercial I'll smile and wear make-up in the "afters". She said that she'd do some digital mock-ups of my potential future nose to give me an idea. Her goal is to "shave my bump" (not break any bones), fix my septum, decrease my flaring nostrils and make them symmetrical. Of course, I couldn't wait to take these befores and fix on my own nose with Photoshop. That's below too. If any of you want to Photoshop my nose and send it. I will have a contest. (Oh, no. I'm serious. That's just too tempting.)

Before... Still

You love my nostrils, don't you reader? They remind you of John Travolta, hip jutting to the side, in a white suit, with his pointed-finger angled over his head. I make "diagonal" cool. True, reader. Wow, you are perceptive. And thank you.

Below (left) is my current dorsal-humped handsomeness. Then (right), you can see the fake nose I put on myself. I have to admit. I like it. Here are the breakdown of costs. After the part insurance covers, I pay:

Surgeon's Fee: $2,500
Anesthesiologist fee: $630
Hospital fees: $1,000
TOTAL: $4130

I'll have a tiny scar, 7 days with a cast on my nose (and presumably tiny crutch), swelling for a few months. What do you think, reader?

I'm not sure, but I think I can have a woman "shave my bump" for closer to $50 if I know where to look. I'll keep you informed.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 164

First of all, dear reader. You're welcome. I was going to be lazy and not calculate the "days since" my surgery. But then I found this little online gem that did the work for me. Phew!

Ok, so, what the what?! I abandoned you. Didn't I, reader? You're feeling lost and all alone. You've developed trust issues. You changed your name to "Shardonnée" and tell people you're a "dancer." What have I done to you?! My apologies.

Life has been a little, um, unstable since September. So this blog went on the back burner. No. Not even there. It was off the stove – in a tupperware – in the back of the fridge – with mold on it.

So what's the update? Dr. Murthy told me that I may get my braces off by March. (Woo hoo!!)

I've actually just started dating again. (Refer to earlier statement about September.) And as a orthodontic-American this is uncharted territory. So far, so good. I won't go into too many details, but I did go on a date with another "brace face". FYI, we did not get locked together as urban folklore would suggest. (At some point, however, I may just have to divulge more. The stories are just too good.)

Over the past few months, feeling has sort of returned to my lower lip and chin. It doesn't feel normal, but it isn't numb. It tingles when I touch it. When I walked around it felt like I had a chin strap on. I  figured I'd probably get used to it eventually, but I didn't like it. In the past couple days, however, I've noticed more improvement. So I remain hopeful. I'm considering acupuncture. I'll keep you informed.

Future plans

I still have to decide if I'm going to do my rhinoplasty and septoplasty. I'd like to have a completely functional nose and a matching set of nostrils. But, I'm leery. Surgery was semi-traumatic. I realize this one would be less so, but still. Also, in light of my recent move (again refer back to my comments about September), I'm not sure I can afford it. But it's my face, so, well... maybe.

Updates of this blog will still come for a little while – but only when I have appointments, etc. Aw, reader. Don't be like that. I can't update every day anymore. I feel like the absentee divorced dad who doesn't show up on birthdays. I'll be around, little buddy. Your mother and I still love you.

In Unrelated News

Who is watching Catfish? Could it be any better?! Thank God for Heather at Dr. Murthy's office. She gives me a new show every time I go. I've gotten five friends addicted to Catfish already. They ask when I have an orthodontist appointment just so they can get an update on shows to watch. (I'm not kidding.) Thank you, Heather.

Here's what I need you to do, reader. Watch Catfish the show, first. Get addicted. Then, watch Catfish the movie. When Nev gets out of bed wearing red briefs, prepare to laugh your fool head off/ poop your pants. I'm serious. It's worth it. I swear!! Just be sure to follow the order of those steps. Thanks, reader. You're the best.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 89

I'm alive!

Reader, you probably thought the worst! Did his jaw fall off? Where have I been? Well, my life was been a little nutty. It has been turned upside down – literally!! Ok, not literally. But it does punctuate the sentence nicely. My life has been turned upside down – figuratively! Yeah, not the same.

I met with my surgical team on Thursday. Dr. Kaban told me I have a "stiff upper lip." Ok, that one is literally true. He also told me that I may experience improvement in sensation for up to a year and a half. I found reassurance in that.

Yesterday, I actually felt more numb. I also had  drooling and dribbling events. Are you kidding me?!?! I remain hopeful.


I asked the nurse for the x-rays taken right after surgery. I'm very excited to have them. I love the floating screws in my jaw. (Although my self-diagnosed OCD makes me wish they were neatly lined up.) I want to print this one and put use it as a Halloween decoration. Good idea, right?

In the second one, look at those gorgeous, luscious, ghostly lips. BUT GET THIS, READER. I told her my secret wish is that I had pictures during the surgery. 

"Oh, we have pictures from during the surgery." 

What the what?!?!?! Yes, reader. I have pictures of me during my surgery. They are unbelievable. I have a photo of my upper teeth lying unaffiliated in the middle of my mouth. 

I also have pictures of my mouth stretched to resemble a bowling ball bag. And I have a picture of my adorable chin... without any skin on it.

And, yes, I am dying to post all of them, but figure I probably shouldn't. I'll mull. Add a comment if you have an opinion one way or the other.

Sorry, I've missed so many posts. I might try to put together a collage and pre-date it. Thanks for the welcome back reader. You're a doll – literally.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 64

Are You Better Off Now Than You Were 4 Years Months Ago?

A recurring theme in these orthognathic blogs is, "Am I happy I did it? If I had it to do over, would I still do it?" Overwhelmingly, people say, "Yes." I've been on the fence. In particular, I've been stressed about regaining feeling in my lower lip. I was warned that due to my "advanced age" (rude) that I may not get back full feeling. The idea of never feeling my lower lip again is upsetting to me. The idea of never being able to kiss? It seems unfathomable. And it's not just that I can't feel my lip. I don't know where it is. (Yes, reader, I'll look where I last saw it.) I just mean, it's hard to even kiss someone on the cheek – with the right pressure, to not miss, to not leave a mess. It's a big price tag in my opinion and one I wasn't sure I'd pay given a second chance.

The Good News

Guess what I ate today, reader. Nilla Wafers! I used to grind them up for my puree desserts and now I can eat them normally. Pretty cool.

I still see improvements still in my face. The swelling is still there. Still asymmetrical. I still sound muffled when I talk (and it still feels effortful for talk.) But it's getting there. The other day I was on the bus (feeling a bit crabby) and I thought to myself, "My mouth is closed." It was a little blessing. I couldn't close my mouth for so many weeks. In that moment, I was grateful that my mouth was closed. 

And I'm happy to report that I definitely feel more of my lip now. It's creeping in slowly. Keep creeping little nerves. Keep creeping.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 62

A friend invited me out to Smith & Wollensky for dinner. I had salmon. Delicious. I was, however, still disgusting while I ate. I really am looking forward to no more braces.