Monday, 1 April 2013

24 weeks (6 months) post-op and an appointment update

I can't believe it has been half a year since my surgery!  Crazy!  Although at the same time it kind of feels like a lifetime ago... it's just the braces that remind me it wasn't!

Generally things are all good jaw-wise.  Still sooooo happy with how I look.  I don't like to sound big-headed, but the photos I put on here don't really do my new face justice, and I'm not saying I'm now the most gorgeous person it the world, but when I look in the mirror there is nothing I'm unhappy with.  Of course I'm not perfect, but to me, there is nothing there that I'm not content with, and that's exactly how I wanted to be.  I think before I had this surgery, people thought that I was striving for perfection, and that I wanted to be stunningly beautiful when I came out of it.  Of course, that would have been nice, but all I wanted was to feel content with the structure of my face, and although it probably still doesn't seem like a big change to most people who know me, to me it has made a world of difference.  I always said that this was about how I saw myself, not about how other people saw me, and that's so true.  If somebody said I don't really look much different or much better, it doesn't really matter, because to me I do.

The only slight concern I have is about how wide I can open my mouth.  It's still only about two fingers.  The other things is, that when I have my mouth open for a long time, like when I'm cleaning my teeth, I sometimes find it hard to close my mouth without having a sharp pinching feeling in my left TMJ.  It's not agonising or anything, but I sometimes have to stand over the sink with toothpaste dripping out my mouth while I slowly try and close it.  I've come to the conclusion that part of the reason for this is that I'm still subconsciously trying to push my bottom jaw forward a bit when I clean my teeth, because that's what I always used to do.  So now I just try and relax my jaw a bit more when I brush, and that seems to have helped a bit.

I went to see my ortho a couple of weeks ago.  She took three of my brackets off and replaced them in a slightly different position, but oh my God it bloody hurt!!!  The pain only lasts for a split second, but I think because I still think of my jaw as fragile, I have this irrational fear that she's going to pull the bracket and my whole jaw will come off with it!  I don't know how I'm going to cope when I have to have them all taken off!

Anyway, she moved some brackets, and thank God, she changed my archwire, so I don't have so many surgical hooks left any more.  The ones in the middle have gone, so my mouth is looking a lot more clear of metal.  I also don't have to wear my bands at all any more!  Yay!  

So the plan now is... I've got an appointment on 2nd May, then the one after that will be on 3rd June, and at that appointment she will get the more senior ortho man to come in and see whether I can have my braces taken off, and if he says yes, then they will come off at the next appointment, which hasn't been booked yet, but is likely to be in July.  So, overall, the whole thing has taken a lot longer than I expected, but it's only another 3 or 4 months I suppose.  I bloody hope he says I can have them taken off then, otherwise I think I might cry right there and then in front of them!!

The other thing my ortho kept talking about was the poor quality of my two front teeth.  Since I was a kid I've had problems with the enamel not forming on my teeth.  The result now is that my two front teeth have a rough, mottled front surface, and the bottoms are worn away.  My ortho was saying about me getting some veneers put over them once my braces are off, but as far as I'm concerned, this really does seem purely cosmetic.  So I will enquire about it next time I'm at the dentist, but I'll have to see how bad they look once the braces are off, and whether they look bad enough for me to justify spending hundreds of pounds on it!

Talking of dentists, I went to my dentist the same day, and as I suspected, I need three fillings.  However, because I still can't open my mouth very wide, the dentist said she'll have to do the fillings in three separate appointments because it will take her so long to do each one with my mouth only opening a small way!  Oh what fun!

Here are my 6 month pictures, I just took them myself and I'm not wearing much make-up so they're not great, but hopefully they give you some idea of my progress...  As I always say, things look a lot more wonky in pictures than they do in real life.