So I've been battling with my jaw ever since I was...
So I've been battling with my jaw ever since I was a young teenager. As a young girl I had a huge overbite and was advised to have jaw surgery but thought with the help of orthodontics I would be able to achieve the facial harmony I wanted.
I had my first set of braces on my upper jaw at the age of 13. They were on for 2 years and after another two years my teeth started moving and creating gaps. At 25 I had braces fitted on upper jaw again with a further extraction on my lower jaw and fitted orthodontics on my lower jaw. These stayed on for 2.5 years and I had wires fitted behind my teeth so that this time my teeth would stop moving. Worked great but one big problem - I still couldn't close my mouth naturally.
At times I felt unattractive and would be afraid to fall asleep in front of people such as s journey on the train. My mouth naturally hangs open. I drool beyond belief when I sleep and when awake I am always struggling to close my mouth.
So a year ago I was referred to a London hospital. It took 9 months for my appointment to come through and I was given two options. Double jaw surgery or genioplasty. The consultant advised genioplasty because this would help close my mouth and achieve the facial harmony missing in my lower face. A double jaw surgery would be too invasive and too many potential risks for benefits gained.
I've opted for genioplasty. The consultant will be cutting approximately 6mm from my chin horizontally (from inside my mouth), move my jaw up and forward and secure with titanium screws. Now, 3 months on from my consultation my surgery date is a little under 2 weeks away. The hardest part has been cutting back smoking! I've cut down from 15 a day to 2-3 a day. Eventually zero 1 week before surgery! Call me insane I know but it's so hard!
As for the actual surgery I'm nervous but also excited. More nervous. I can't stop reading blogs and excited about how my new facial structure will give me s more comfortable life and confident inner self.
5 days pre-op!
Nerves are certainly kicking in now! I'm trying to enjoy my best eateries as I probably won't be able to eat any solids for at least a couple of weeks.
I spoke to the admissions department yesterday and they advised no food after midnight the night before.
My parents have booked a hotel in London so they can be with me through the day and take me home the day after.
All that umming and arghing.,,, for do many years! it's now almost here!
Days off work all organised and handover scheduled for 1 week.
I can feel my heart beating whilst writing this. :-0
Just a few hours to go!
I'm dead nervous. Read lots of reviews of other people's stories. Heard if not done right can make you look older, saggy skin, prominent bottom lip, nerve damage to appear stroke like. I'm trying to remind myself the reason why I decided to go for this in the first instance. This is seriously the biggest decision I've ever made in my whole life. And it's my face!!! So please god..., let it all be ok xxx
Some final pics added. Just taken now before I go to bed
13 Sep 2016
Day of treatment
So much to say!
So I got to the hospital at half 6 and the nerves built up as I progressed through the day. Lots of checks/ bloods etc, met by my consultant and his team s couple of times. Again I felt reassured I was in good hands. At half past midday got taken to holding bay in theatre. There for about an hour, some more questions. Then I got dead nervous when I got taken in to s little room with lots of drips and machines and my anaesthetist told me he was going to give me a cocktail which would make me feel wonderful. Hah hah
A few needles here and there, some stickers on my chest and then they fed something in drip. I heard morphine and asked will you give me morphine? He said you heard that? Very alert and we both laughed. He said well I did tell you, you'll get an amazing cocktail! I started praying to my Lord and all I remember us reading two lines.
Next thing I woke up in recovery. It felt uncomfortable. My throat felt so sore! I wasn't so thirsty - I was in incredible discomfort and pain. And then I could just hear how busy it was. Just sounds. But my nurse was there. I tried to signal my throat was really hurting. She said it was because of the pipe they put down my throat. I was given more morphine and I really can't remember much more. Just lots of background noise. I was there for an hour before they wheeled me back to my ward where my parents were waiting for me.
My throat was really hurting-
- way more than my chin. I caught glance of myself in the mirror. TBH I was expecting worse. More morphine, more pain killers, and I managed to have s few spoons of tomato soup and then some hot chocolate before bed. Weirdly even though I'd not eaten since last night, I didn't and don't feel hungry at all. And it's so painful to swallow.
Tomorrow has to be better!
1-2 days post surgery
So I'm in an incredible amount of pain. I look like elephant man and I'm starving. Struggling to eat and the morphine and codeine has made me bloated and constipated- not been to the loo for 3 days now.
This op hurts like mad. But one thing that's keeping me going is reminding myself why I had it done. I have no doubt that the benefits will far outweigh what I am going through. I'm expecting tomorrow to be worse before the swelling starts to calm down again.
Trying to eat what I can especially so I can go loo but not managing much! Attached is a pic of my lunch. I managed a small bit of soup and the custard with a syringe. Couldn't eat the yoghurt!
2 days post op lunch
Thought I attached this!
Managed a little soup and the custard with the syringe.
By the way still very numb. My bottom lip and my chin is numb. The sides of my bottom lip and chin have some sensation but middle parts none at all.
My middle bottom teeth are also numb.
3 days post op
So I've completed day 3. The best I can describe how I feel is as though somebody has knocked the living daylight out of my face. The pain is deep and stinging right through to the surface of the skin.
I woke up in the middle of the night unable to bear the throbbing pain and so took codeine. It knocked me out ok but then the comedian meant I had the worst headache ever. I've been warned this is the worst day in recovery so bring it on!
Visited my doctor and she mentioned my stitches looked a little pussy but I'm on the right medication to keep them free from becoming infected. Got a sick note for another week and some more mouthwash.
Back at home I really couldn't eat or drink anything. My mouth was so sore and I've developed an inflamed red ball under my tongue which I keep playing with - with my tongue. The incision was made under my gums on my bottom teeth so not sure why the area under my tongue is inflamed. Everything is sore and painful.
At 4pm I was starving. I hadn't eaten anything since the tiny bit of soup and custard I had for lunch the day before. I managed a cup of coffee and a couple of Viennese biscuits soaked in the coffee. More meds, some sleep and up again around dinner time.
My mum making a fuss as always cooked me what appeared to be a mouthwatering dinner. Seriously when you've not eaten for 5 days, anything will make your mouth water. Had some really runny mashed potato & cheese with baked beans for dinner. This has been my first dinner or as close as since the op. Food was so good!
A bit painful to chew but worth it! The worst is when the food gets stuck between your lip and teeth - where the incision was made and your sutures are. But you just have to spend longer cleaning after so to make sure nothing is left. And lots of antiseptic mouthwash.
Now just waiting for it to strike 10 so I can take my antibiotics and get myself to bed.
Tomorrow will be a better day!
1 week post op
1 week....! It'd be great to say it's flown by but realistically this has been the most challenging week of my life - both physically and mentally. Apart from the physical stress and pain you have to be mentally prepared for what you see in the mirror and keep a positive attitude. I've got to say though that the last two days have been a lot better. The swelling has calmed down by about 40% now and my new face and jaw is slowly starting to reveal itself bit by bit.
My chin area - particularly the right side is still numb, my bottom lip is still numb and so are my bottom 4 teeth and gums.
The left side of my chin is slowly regaining sensation. Everyday I touch the area and feel the sensation is spreading slowly. My teeth are numb but super sensitive. If you've had this procedure done you might know what I mean. It's a horrible antagonising feeling like your muscles and nerves are all stretching. But I take this as a good sign that my nerves must be attempting to regain life. :-)
My sutures are still in place and I still have inflammation under my tongue which both together make it difficult to eat. But I'm eating well now - still on soft food such as soups and smoothies but can manage a smarties if eaten slowly too now!
The weird bit is coz you don't have sensation bottom lip and below you have to hold a napkin under your lip as you tend to dribble unintentionally. And you can't stick your tongue out to lick anything off your lips coz your mouth is still semi paralysed!
Now I just can't wait until my sutures dissolve! And I have no idea how long. I've read they can take two weeks to 4 months! Big variation!
I'll put some pictures up in a few days to show you guys my progress xxx
3.5 weeks post op!! Sorry For the delay xx
Firstly, apologies to all who have been following my blog. I returned to work 2 weeks post op and my god it's been manic!
I look significantly different to myself and my jaw/ chin seems to be changing by the day.
My sutures fell out all at once 2.5 weeks post op. What a relief! I was cleansing my face last weekend and felt something on my tongue. Yay... a suture! Obviously had a peek and noticed they'd all dissolved bar 1 which disappeared the following morning. Mouth still feels sore inside and I'm still pretty numb. My sensation is beginning to return and improving by the day but I am still numb on the right side of my chin and the middle part of my bottom lip is still very sensitive, sore and numb. My mouth (bottom half) feels like it's glued together so partial paralysis but I can talk normally. Just feels stiff and sounds like I have a lisp. My lower gums are numb and lower 4 teeth are numb/ no sensation/ feel like they're not mine.
I'm wearing a scarf round my neck at work to hide the swelling round my neck under my chin. But..... I am so happy with the results so far. I'm getting compliments and I feel great because I feel I look good/ have the harmony in my lower face. My teeth touch perfectly now. But with my mouth being weak I'm still on a semi soft food diet. Stick to soup, mash, fish etc. I'm craving a steak burger!!!
I've attached some pics. Xx