Thursday, August 30, 2012
Chewing Ain't All ThatBought Honey Nut Cheerios today thinking they'd be easy to get down once they'd soaked in milk. Nope. I couldn't fit them into the piggy bank slot called my mouth. My upper teeth just push them off the spoon like a janitor's broom. (If a janitor's broom also spilled milk down your chin.) My doctors haven't given me exercises to widen my mouth yet, so I'm not going to try. (I'm very compliant.)
Your Lips Can be Used as a Flotation DeviceWhile brushing my teeth today, I noticed that the inside of my lower lip was... weird. It looked flabby. I realized that the swelling has probably gone down – making it look like a deflated tire. I wonder when I write on the board at school if my lips will flap like the underside of some teacher's arms.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
|This picture of me and my doppelganger is for my friend, Wendy. Unfortunately, |
the polka dot bow I was wearing that day got cut off in the picture. Bummer.
These pictures are from the antique shops I went to with my family. It was a lot of fun. I'm well-equipped for Halloween this year. (Besides my built-in mask.) Notice how asymmetrical my swelling is? My right side (your left) is really puffy. Could be all the sugar and/or the fact that I've started sleeping lying down.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
This Doesn't Suck. It Bites!It's here! It's here! No, reader. Not the Shake Weight® you ordered from Amazon. The day when I can chew again! It's here. My mom made pancakes and my sister cooked up some crispy bacon.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared to use my jaw. But being scared hasn't helped me at all so far. Sometimes you just have to go for it if you want to move forward. So I did. And just for you, my dear reader, I recorded it. Here are my first bites...
I'd read on other blogs that people experienced numbness in their teeth. I didn't think I had that. I tapped them a few times with my fingernail and thought, "Seems ok to me." Nope. My teeth are definitely numb. It was like chewing with dentures. It felt weird. Also, instead of food smearing all over my two front teeth, it got all jammed up in the gutter along my cheeks under my molars (in the buccal sulcus just in case my graduate school professors read this and worry that I've forgotten everything.)
The bacon was a no-go. Way too crunchy.
Lunch Day on Chewsday, Day 1
While we were out, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. I was very nervous, because I had not eaten out in a month and a half. Eating in public?! Luckily, the place was empty. Phew. But I didn't have anything with me – no baby spoon, no tweezers, no mirror, no toothbrush, no syringe. I got the elastics off with my fingers, but had to throw them away because I knew there was no getting them back on without tweezers. The restaurant also only had giant soup spoons which did not fit in my mouth. I had clam chowder (but that didn't work) and mashed potatoes (which I was able to lick from the spoon). We also had cake and peanut butter pie. Ok, reader. Up until now, I've been dutifully reading labels and rejecting yogurt that had 12 grams or more of sugar. But I buried my face in those desserts and did not come up until they were gone. Yum. Holy crud. I then ordered a warm water, heavily salted it, and flushed my mouth for 10 minutes in the men's room. A to-go box worth of food clung to the sink. In the end I was over-reacting. (Shocker). It all went fine.
For dinner, my sister made Chicken Ollie. Not sure if I got that name right. But it's a chicken breast cooked with orange juice and grapes and other stuff over rice. It was really good. I ate it the old fashioned way. Everyone was done about 30 minutes before me, but I got through it. Delicious. Who knew mastication could be so much work?! Oh, reader, I'm disappointed. Look it up.
Monday, August 27, 2012
As a side for dinner, I had Brussels sprouts blended with olive oil and plain yogurt. Yum. Highly recommend it.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Dinner TimeMy sister, Angela, and her husband, Glenn, came up from Virginia. We went grocery shopping. They got shrimp for dinner. I had not-shrimp for dinner. There have been very few times that I coveted other people's meals during this puree period. This was one of them. It looked good and they reported that the shrimp was "cooked perfectly." Whatever I had was "blended beautifully" I'm sure.
I was also freaked-out/ embarrassed the first time I ate with everyone. It took me a while to figure out why. I mean, this was my family after all. Then I realized that we were eating at the table. Facing each other. Talking to each other. I'd been used to eating while sitting side-by-side and watching TV. It makes a difference. Do I apologize each time I drool? I wasn't sure how to act. What is the etiquette for slobbering again?
Playing CardsMy family loves to play games together. We play a lot of cards – Hand and Foot, Skip-Bo, Phase 10, etc. That's always fun. Unfortunately, both my sister and mother are notorious cheaters. Flagrant, malicious, devious, calculated cheaters. And because you read that on the internet, it must be true. So now that's out in the open and I, for one, feel much better.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Skinny Jeans – Fat Lips (No, Not The Real Housewives)There are two ways this post could go. I could pretend to be a thin person and tell you how worried I was about losing weight. There are lots of those blogs around. If you want to read them, go for it. I'll be honest.
I've lost 30 lbs!!! YAY!!!!!!! Hooray!!!!! Suck on that Abraham "Slim" Lincoln!!!!!!
Look, reader. My weight has been up and down my whole life. I realize that orthognathic surgery is not a viable "diet" – excuse me "lifestyle choice." But I'm tempted to stay on puree for another 6 weeks... or years – whichever. I'll be really skinny with a puffy face. At least I can get work as a Renee Zellweger look-alike.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Greetings from Pennsylvania
Got up quite early and flew out. It was a remarkably short flight. My parents met me at the McDonalds in the airport. My mother said I looked "almost normal." That's ok. I know I don't look normal. Approaching normal is fine by me. She also asked, "Why are you talking like that?!?!" Um, I guess it has something to do with my face being sawed apart. Or perhaps it's an unrelated coincidence. There's no way to know for sure.
When we got back, it was a whirl wind of events. First we... Zzzzzzzzzzzz. Yes, reader. I fell asleep on the couch. Perhaps for several hours. I keep thinking that I should have more energy because my surgery was a long time ago, but it's probably more related to my diet. Another spoonful of puree anyone?
May We Rifle Through Your Underwear?That reminds me. I was worried the TSA might confiscate the "blades" of my Magic Bullet. So instead of bringing my blender attachment, I brought the grinder one. It still works on food, but looks less weapon-y. And if they took it, I wouldn't be too mad. Everything went through, though. No problem. That includes my very pointy tweezers for elastics and my metal-tipped syringe for teeth cleaning. All of these were in my carry-on.
Also, no double takes on my former-faced driver's license and my skull didn't set off the metal detector. All-in-all a successful airport experience.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Still the Baby of the FamilyWhen the going gets tough, well... I'm not sure what the tough do. Me? I go to Mom and Dad's house. They live in Pennsylvania and I usually rent a car. Since, I'm not really up for a 6 1/2 hour road trip, I bought a plane ticket – a last minute plane ticket. It cost over 5,603!! (That's converted to pesos for dramatic effect). I leave tomorrow.
Spent most of the day just packing and getting ready to go. Searched all over the TSA website to see if my Magic Bullet will make it through security. The jury is out.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Solution? Back to my house for Design Star: All Stars, Bachelor Pad, and RuPaul's Drag U. These were much more in line with my mental state.
Today definitely felt like a little regression – in my speech, swelling, and (minor) drooling. Relaxing on the couch was more my speed. Suzie and I also enjoyed some sugar-free pudding parfaits.
Btw, in A LOT of my pictures I seem to be suffering from Laura-Bush-crazy-eyes. Check out the first version of today's picture, below. Where did they come from?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Other sites suggest that muscle fatigue from chewing will slow me down. I'm pretty sure fatigue is the only thing that ever slowed me down from eating. That – and running out of food.
These six weeks of blenderized food were not bad. The only annoyance was when people wanted to "meet up to grab a bite." It's the social aspect of eating that I miss most.
What am I looking forward to? Anything crunchy, pizza, pancakes, French Fries... Yuck. Maybe I should stay on a blenderized diet. It's healthier!
Monday, August 20, 2012
For someone who has avoided pictures his whole life, it seems odd that I'd post a close-up every single day – on the internet no less.
Oh well. Drink it in, reader.
I love orthognathic blogs that include lots of pictures, so I feel an obligation to document my progress.
However, when I look in the mirror, I don't notice a big difference in my looks from before surgery. Except maybe that my eyes look more deeply set (since everything else is moved forward). Other people have mentioned that my profile looks pretty different, so I thought I'd take a picture of that.
In labial news, I've gotten more feeling in the right side of my lower lip. However, while removing my elastics this morning, I accidentally caught the other side of my lip with the tweezers. I pulled up a half-inch peak, but luckily didn't feel a thing. Looked pretty gnarly though.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Today, I walked the mile to the Apple store, then Starbucks. The lady barrista was clearly put off by my face and speech. She looked absolutely horrified. (I hope she doesn't play high stakes poker, because she will lose all of her hard-earned Starbucks money.) I tried to be extra nice but I couldn't win her over.
Girl: "Mother, the hunchback crossed my path!"
Mother: "Go home. Light a candle."
Reader, I almost forgot. Big news!! When I touch my lower lip in one small spot on the right side, I can just barely feel it. Come on nerves! I reeeeeeeeallllly want to feel my lower lip again. [Here's my old numbness map. Can't wait to re-do it.]
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Reader, I can't believe I almost forgot to show you this. It's life changing really. A real "game change" as my friend Suzie wouldn't say. (She hates that expression.) But "no worries." (She hates that phrase even more). But I digress.
Do you remember Elvis's signature lip curl? Prior to surgery, I could only do it on one side of my face. And now I can do it in both directions. (I'm not kidding.) This is totally new. I've been doing it... all... day... long. As we all know, superpowers can only be gained through some kind of accident or trauma. And clearly, I earned mine. Mind reading or flying would've been cool too. I have no idea how I got this new "ability" but I do plan to find a functional use for it. Does anyone have the number for Cirque de Soleil?
Ever stand next to someone heavier to look thinner? Me neither, I swear. Ok. So next to Dizzy Gillespie, my face doesn't look THAT swollen. But actually, it puffed up quite a bit overnight. Maybe I've been eating too much sugar and/or salt. Tried to watch what I ate today and enjoyed some (anti-inflammatory) green tea.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Happy Anniversary, Face!
|I think my doctor also performed a |
"crazy eyes" procedure.
I haven't seen much improvement lately. Other people tell me they see it. I've been looking at my old face in my Facebook profile. Why did we break up again? Oh, right. You were smothering me – literally.
To celebrate I had a nice breakfast. I started with a smoothie, and then had some eggs. I'm eating well and not losing weight. I may have even gained some. Maybe my face will get me a heart-shaped box of pureed chocolates and I can really pack on the lbs.
Every day, I try to get out of the house and walk around a bit. I don't really have dizziness. Unless I put my head back and turn it to the left. Luckily, I don't walk that way – unless I'm carrying a boombox and trying to look cool.
|Hi, old face. You look good. |
How have you been? Want
to get coffee sometime?
SwellingSo, allegedly I'm doing really well and am not as swollen as most people are at this point in recovery. But trust me – I'm swollen. My speech is understandable, but my not-very-pliable lips make me sound muffled. As soon as I talk, people know there's something wrong with me. I'm not sure if they could tell that just by looking at me.
The other weird thing is that when I wake up. My lips are fused to my braces – like fat thighs to lawn furniture – or a Play Doh Fun Factory. I have to pry them loose before I can talk or it hurts. I wonder if I pressed my lips against a newspaper, if they could transfer a comic strip.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
The fun part of seeing my doctors is that they say things like, "You look fabulous!" and "Wow, you look great!!" Of course, in parentheses after that is, "for someone who just had his face sawed apart." But we don't need to dwell on that part. Look, reader, compliments about my face are rare. Let me have this.
I was hoping for something new – maybe fewer restrictions. But I just got, "keep doing what you're doing." (i.e., blended diet, no nose blowing, still no straws). They did indicate no strenuous exercise for two months. That's the nicest thing a doctor has ever done for me. Laziness on doctor's orders?!?! Ok, I'll try my best. Is watching reality T.V. strenuous?
Good news, I noticed today increased feeling in my formerly "dead" cheek. My lower lip is still cadaverous – plump, luscious, glistening, and cadaverous. Like a dead hooker. (As I imagine a dead hooker to look. I mean, how would I even know?) Just drop it, reader. Drop it.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
- Over 50,
- From Utah, or
- Pretty cool.
And no, reader, you can't be all three.
|Love my glistening lips. Might start |
applying the Vaseline with a
lip gloss wand (to add to the effect.)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
|No, they are not "wax lips."|
The good news is that I talked to my parents and sister on the phone, which was great. They can understand me fine and life is slowly returning to normal.
I did make the mistake of trying to do some professional-work-type-related-activity. That did not work out so much. I wasn't able to do the work, couldn't concentrate on tough tasks for extended times, and got TIRED. I feel for people who go right back to work after this surgery. My official return to work is September 4th. Luckily, I plan to "phone it in" until at least Thanksgiving.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Ok, what do you think? What is it?
My speech is clearly improving, but still somewhat mushy. I can say, "boiling pot of gold" with some effort, which is good because that's pretty functional language.
You'll also be undoubtedly impressed by my ability to not drool. Thanks for noticing, reader. You'll see my loudly-slurping-soup maneuver that makes that happen. Fun fact: I'm pretty sure Anthony Hopkins also had this surgery. Watch this video and see if you can tell where he stopped himself from drooling. (I know Mr. Hopkins, I get the same way when I talk about food!)
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Crazy eyes, chubby cheeks, and glistening lips? That's right. If Laura Bush, a Kewpie doll, and a hooker all had a baby... Well, that would be messed up. But whatever resulted would look a lot like me.
Went to see Billy Elliot with some friends. It was a great time. My friend, Kyle, looked me over and said, "Well, I can see how it's all going to come together," – like I'm an apartment mid-renovation...
"We've got just a few weeks, a budget of tens of thousands of dollars, and a team of doctors to turn this apneic, mouth-breather into a restful retreat with Old World charm. You're watching HGTV's 'Face Crashers!'"
Actually, Kyle is incredibly kind and optimistic. It was great seeing everyone. I even drank some alcohol. Want to see how much?
|The strongest drink I've ever met.|
So, what's new with my face?
- periodic stings (one under my eye and one at the corner of my mouth)
- sensation returning to my "dead cheek"
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Later, we went to a very cool place called, The Tides Beach Club. It's on the water. Newly renovated. Hip, beachy, and relaxed. We went for cocktails. (I sipped ice water out of a plastic cup.) I'll look forward to going back there when I can have a drink and enjoy some food. The mussels looked good!
Back at home, my friends had lobsters for dinner. I had some salmon. (I need to start branching out again in terms of my diet. I'm in a rut.) Starting to have the first pangs of, "I wish I could eat that." (Even a toasted bagel smells delicious to me).
Yeah, I'm getting antsy now. I'm ready to be healed.
|David and me "getting close"|
for a picture that is oddly
Friday, August 10, 2012
I'm in kind of a weird spot. The people who have been around me since the surgery seem to expect me to be "done." ("You can probably chew a little though, right?", "How can you be tired? We haven't even gone that far?")
Also, everyone seems to think I must be dying to get out of the house. But to be honest, I'm happy to stay at home. I'm tired, I can't eat in public, and my face is messed up. Who'd want to go out?!?!? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy going out for a bit. It's nice to see friends, but going on long trips seems more like a punishment. Going out of town this weekend made me uptight.
Loaded up the Magic Bullet, my baby spoon, syringe, baby toothbrush, jars of baby food, etc. and headed out. It ended up being a very relaxed evening. We went out for soft serve. I should've known not to get hot fudge sauce, but I really wanted a "normal" food experience. Everyone ate their's in the car on the way home. I held mine and waited to get back, remove my elastics, grab my mirror and a baby spoon and then... yeah, mine melted.
Yes, reader. You're right. Self-pity is not a pretty look on someone who's already so... puffy.
|Btw, this was a "small."|
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Suzie ordered pizza (and barely ate much of it – she'd want me to tell you). I took one piece and blended it whole with some marinara sauce (see below). The result was ok. It was like lasagna. I've decided that pizza is a texture food for me. There are many, many foods that are fine blended, but some foods need their individual components to get their own solo in your mouth – you follow me, reader? I knew you would. That is so you. Classic reader!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
|Hard to believe this is an "after."|
T.V.I also watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey. I'm surprised to report that I'm kind of hooked.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Cues on TapEvery month there is a social event for people who use Cued Speech. It was great to see everyone and meet new people. They could even understand me even though my face doesn't really move so much. I made a video just for cuers. I've got the facial expression of a Real Housewife, but I also have the lips of one too.
I know, I know. My teeth have been off my whole life. That's not what I mean. The midlines of my upper and lower teeth don't line up. If you look, my upper jaw looks off to one side.
Can't you just picture the surgeon holding the drill while a nurse stands back and says, "A little to the left. More. More. No back to the right. Um, I guess that's good."?
The surgeon did not seem concerned at all. He said that they line up when I close my mouth. You mean when I can't see them anymore? That's reassuring. When I showed my orthodontist, he looked a little, um, nervous.
When this is all done, I'd love to at least have a symmetrical face. I don't need to look like Jon Hamm, just two matching halves of a goofy guy would be fine. Too much to ask?
Monday, August 6, 2012
I ate the heck out of that burrito. I scraped the filling into my Magic Bullet (with a splash of water and some yogurt) and blended them into a yummy (but salty) paste.
New PowersMy lips close now. Drooling is down to a minimum. I can drink multiple sips from a cup while sitting upright. So far none of these are Olympic events. (Fingers crossed.)
Still SwollenIs it me or are my cheeks looking chubby? I guess you are what you eat (baby food) or what you eat with (baby spoon), and maybe even what you brush with (baby toothbrush). If you think I'm adorable in the picture above, you should see me getting my diaper changed! Oh God, I can't wait to be normal again. Not a complaint. I've been doing really well, but I will really enjoy eating normal food again, with friends, without a mirror, and without re-spooning bites off my lower lip back into my mouth.
(Btw, I don't really wear a diaper – usually.)
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Dude, Fix Your FaceLet's start with Vanilla Sky. In the film, there was a touching scene that I think captures the dignity and compassion of mankind. Go ahead and click. It's under 20 seconds. Plus, you'll need it for backstory. Thanks for your compliance, reader.
Tonight, Jeff and I went out to a local restaurant – Ironsides. I consider this a huge victory. I drank from a bottle – in the public eye! (I dribbled a little, but I was pretty cool about it. Well, as cool as you can be while dribbling.)
There were two guys across the bar. One was a really charming and eloquent guy who I overhead musing to his friend , "Yo, tomorrow is gonna suck balls, dude!" Anyway, he stared at me FOR A LONG TIME. Eventually, I just left. Later, Jeff told me that the two guys came right over and asked, "What's wrong with your buddy's face?!"
Oh, I'm sorry. If rugged good looks and somewhat slushy speech are wrong, I don't want to be right!
Saturday, August 4, 2012
For dinner we had halibut blended with juice from the pan and some yogurt on the side to "stir in as needed." It was really, really good. It's also high in Magnesium. (Or Manganese, as Madonna would say.) I also had a sweet potato and a little more guacamole. (Holy crap, I love guacamole.)
New skill – I can fairly reliably take two sips in a row now. But I can't get greedy or I get a belly button full of Vitamin Water.
Friday, August 3, 2012
The dangerous part is that Heather can genuinely make me laugh. And she did. I spent a lot of time grabbing my cheeks and praying not to rip anything important.
For dinner we had burritos. The beef, beans, and guacamole all got separate little compartments on my plate, but I figured out that stirring them all together was the best.
We went to her grocery store, which is cheaper than mine and has greater variety. They had the Vita Muffin Tops in different flavors, so I got some. They also had 10% yogurt (nice and fatty). I weighed myself at her house and discovered I've lost 18 lbs. so far. Yeah, suck on that, Abraham Lincoln!