Monday, October 17, 2011


Im going out in public more and come to find out, people don't know who I am and it is really weird. I'm starting to get paranoid that I will run into someone I know and start talking to them and they will have no idea who I am.
1st experience: I was not allowed in the doors to Trent's work because his coworker thought I was another customer and wanted me to wait outside for him. When I told them who I was they told me they didn't recognize me and at that point I was allowed in.
2nd experience: Yesterday at church somebody in my ward came up to me and said "Jennifer?" I told her yes and she told me I looked completely different except for my eyes and hair.
3rd experience: Also at church somebody else came up and apologized for staring at me so much, but she and some other sisters couldn't figure out who I was. She said she saw me with my children and so thought I was my sister. This is the second time someone has told me I look like my sister, which I find really funny because I only have one sister and Whitney is adopted and African American so I'm pretty sure that even though I look different I don't look like her.

I guess I don't need to dress up for Halloween.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crappy Attitude and Gratitude

Crappy Attitude:
These last 3 weeks have been some of the hardest I've ever experienced. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I was wrong. First of all the majority of people who have this surgery report that they have little to no pain, just discomfort. I on the other hand have not had that pleasant experience. So last week I asked the Dr. why this was. He told me that usually during surgery the nerves in the face are pretty much destroyed, but my surgery went so well that they were able to keep all of my nerves intact. Um, I don't know how I feel about that. And the crap thing about this is that a lot of my face has been numb meaning I can't feel when you touch it, but I can feel all of the pain. Blah! This will all be worth it. This will all be worth it. Another thing that I wasn't prepared for was brushing my teeth. After surgery I was barely able to get a baby toothbrush in my mouth and it wasn't really effective so I used medicated mouth rinse. By two weeks I was able to brush the outsides of my teeth, but not the insides because of the bands holding my jaw together. At my 2 week appointment I begged the surgeon to let me remove the bands and brush the insides of my teeth, because it was so so so sick not being able to. The surgeon gave me the heads up and also told me that I could eat anything I wanted as long as I didn't chew. So of course I was happy. That is until I got home. I took off my bands, made myself some pancakes and bathed them in syrup and was so excited, but I realized at that point that I couldn't open my mouth any wider with the bands off. Not even one fingers worth. So I sat at the table for half hour mushing up my pancakes and adding more syrup and trying to suck them through the small opening between my teeth. The result was that I was burning way more calories trying to eat than I was taking in and pancakes really aren't that filling so I ended up hungrier than when I started.  So admitting defeat I went to brush my teeth and was devastated when I discovered that I couldn't even open my jaw wide enough to fit my baby toothbrush in! So I wasn't able to brush inside. A couple of days later I was able to fit the toothbrush in, but only for about 10 seconds because my jaw just gets too tired and then the toothbrush will get stuck. And this is where I am now at 3 weeks post op. I have also discovered that I have absolutely no feeling on the roof of my mouth because I try to brush up there, but can't feel anything.  To make my oral hygiene even more disgusting I have something called a splint on my upper teeth. It is made of clear plastic and is wired to  the bottom half of my top teeth and I would describe it as a mouth guard/retainer, but it has little indents on the bottom for my bottom teeth to fit into to make sure my bite is correct. And this little darling I was told last week will stay there for 6 weeks. That means I won't be able to brush my top teeth for 6 WEEKS! Ewwwww! This is worse than when I ate those ants! This will all be worth it! This will all be worth it!
So I am getting really sick of my diet. Liquids really suck, but what sucks the most about liquids is that they are not very substantial and I am absolutely exhausted! Before my surgery I asked my surgeon how long I would need help with my kids and he told me one week. Well obviously he is a man and didn't take care of his kids because taking care of your kids when you are feeling good is really hard and tiring, but taking care of them after this has been a nightmare. I have no energy at all. And I have become depressed because I can't take care of my kids. Trent has obviously gone back to work and he's also going to school so I have long days with my sweet wild little girls. And because I have to be as coherent as possible I am no longer able to take my pain meds, because they make me even more tired so it has not been fun. Yes I am complaining a lot and having a pity party, but I find this is really therapeutic, but its time for my pity party to end. And it is time for pictures! Yay!

 You wouldn't believe how hard it is to smile when your face is numb!

 I just have to put this in. Trent ate this the other night in front of me.  A sweet pork salad from Costa Vida, my fav :( I love this man, but he can also be really really cruel sometimes. 

 So of course you can understand why I was so sad in this picture!

 Loving my profile! 

 My smile is starting to look a tad less scary. 

One of my absolute exhausting days I was woken up by vaseline Lily! And I soon discovered that baths and shampoo does not get that out of hair, but lemon essential oil and dish soap does!

20 days post operation

These last three weeks I have also been so touched by how many people have helped me and my family. First of all Trent has been amazing. He has been mom and dad and yesterday (Sunday) before I had even woken up he had gotten the girls ready for church and packed the diaper bag. And so I slept most of the day while Trent took care of the kids and cleaned. Yep, I love him. I also love the women in my life who include my mom, scottish mum, and my grandmas. They have been amazing with helping with the girls, cleaning, and talking to me because it has not been fun being stuck at home so much. And lastly my friends and ward members who fed my family last week, even though some of the meals were torture because I couldn't eat them, but don't worry I have a list of what I will eat when I can eat again. And finally one last shout out to somebody who I know reads this blog. This particular person and her husband offered to take my girls to church with them a couple weeks ago so Trent could take care of me. My parents were already taking them to church with them that day, but the fact that this couple was willing to take my children to church was so incredible touching. I don't know about all you other parents out there, but surviving Sacrament with two little girls is quite an accomplishment. So Thank You so much. You don't know how much that meant to me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hardware Hottie!

Well I survived the first week! And I barely survived. This last week has been the most painful week of my life! And to make things even more enjoyable our poor little Lily was really irritable and started limping and so Trent and my mom took her to the Dr. and found out she has that nasty hands, foot, and throat virus that's been going around where they get little sores on their hands, feet and in their mouth. Luckily Lily didn't have them in her mouth, but she did on her hands and feet. And of course with viruses the Dr. will say there's nothing they can do about it, so just go home and wait it out,  but of course I know better. So listen up everybody! Melaleuca Essential oil can kill viruses! So we have just been rubbing a tiny bit of Melaleuca on Lily's feet and on the sores a couple of time a day. So easy even Dad can do that while Mom is out of commission.

Since this has been a lot more painful than I had anticipated some people have asked if I regret doing this? Not at all. I met with my surgeon today and he was quite pleased with my progress. Even though I am in tremendous pain, considering what they did to me I look pretty good! Here is my x-ray from today and you can tell where they cut the bone and put plate/screws in. I have a total of 7 new pieces of hardware in my face.
Yeah, I know you're jealous!

While I was there the surgeon changed my rubber bands (what is holding my teeth together) and as he was taking one off he cut it and it snapped up and hit under my lips where they had cut! OWWWW! I didn't cry though, because that would only have added to my pain. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? Anyways here are the pictures I have taken since my last post to show you how amazing I am looking. Still looking a little scary, but I had a nice compliment today from my sweet Grandma, "You're starting to look human again." Ahhh thanks Grandma!

 Ok, I swear I looked better than this on day 5. Or at least I didn't look so pale/green. The lighting is bad

 And just note that I have not been doing my hair whatsoever or wearing makeup

 This is the 7th day (6 days after surgery)

And since today I actually got out of the house I kind of did my hair, put on some makeup and put my contacts in! Definitely the best photos so far I think. (side note: most of my face has been numb and swollen, but my eyes have also been numb and swollen especially my left eye so that is one of the reasons why I have been wearing my glasses so much. It is really weird.)

 Do you agree with my Grandma? Am I starting to look human?

Just Some Thoughts From Day 4 (3 days after surgery)

So I showed this video to my parents and my mom couldn't stop laughing. I guess I look and sound a little funny?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 5: It's Hard Not to Be Mom

Preparing for this surgery I thought it would be like a vacation, 1 full week where Trent would take a week off work and take care of the kids and I would just lay in bed and do whatever I wanted! The first couple of days I was too drugged up to really notice what was going on, but the last couple of days it has hit me and lets face it its hard NOT to be mom. Everybody has been so helpful with the kids and doing things around the house and I am so grateful, but one thing I have learned is that I have a little OCD and sometimes it is really hard to accept help. My house isn't spotless by any means, but some well meaning and definitely appreciated helpers have done some laundry and folded it and put it away for me, but it has been folded wrong and put away in the wrong place and I am having a hard time laying around and watching it happen. I know, I know your saying take a chill pill Jen. And I am chilling because I honestly have no choice. I have obviously lost a lot of blood and my food intake is pathetic and so I have NO energy at all! This is how I will feel when I am 95 years old, holding on to the walls and other people to get down the hall to my bed. But don't get me wrong I am very grateful it is just again very hard to not be able to do things. Another thing that is apparent that I am no longer able to be the mom is that my children are being dressed in all sorts of outfits. Adalynn went to school in her pajama top and Lily's pants. I think she had her own shoes on though. Gotta love Dads and Grandmas!
But all that is nothing compared to loving your children. We had to pay out of pocket for this surgery and so I have to be extra careful that nobody bumps my face and messes anything up before it is healed because we obviously could not afford another surgery. So this means that I am unable to hug and comfort my children. And this is killing me : ( I have to lay in bed all day and when I hear my children cry or get hurt or its time for them to go to bed I can't even give them a hug and a kiss. Now I know you other moms will understand my torture and non moms will probably think I am being a baby. Which I already know that I am and being the baby that I am I tend to cry a lot so during my little feeling sorry for myself cry last night (I would not recommend crying when ones mouth is banded together and most of the bones in your face are broken because it is VERY painful!) one of my bands broke! So just to add even more complaining into this post I have since then been in the MOST pain in my entire life! My muscles are spasming and I feel so much pressure on my face and of course crying just makes it worse so Trent just gave me some pain medicine and hopefully I can fall asleep and wake up in a better mood and be able to take some day 5 pictures because my face and neck is really starting to look flattering now since the bruising is showing up! Stay tuned.

Feeding Time

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 3: Oh the Pain!

I've read probably hundreds of blogs of other orthognathic patients and most say that there is little pain and it is mainly uncomfortable. And that is due to the face that during surgery there is usually a lot of nerve damage and so most of the face is completely numb so one can't feel the pain. My surgeon told me that I had a thick lower jaw so there was not very much nerve damage there and I should regain feeling in that area quickly. So just to clarify I disagree with most of the blogs I have read. I am in a lot of pain and in a lot of discomfort. I know a part of that is all the puking that occurred on day one and. The Dr. also  said my swelling will peak around day 5 and at day 3 I can't imagine my skin swelling up any more! I'm also wondering if some of the sensations I am already having are related to the essential oils that I have been using. A lot of them have properties like regenerate tissue (helichrysum), strengthening connective tissue (cypress), improves blood flow (geranium), regenerative (lavender), connective tissue regenerates (lemongrass). Many of the oils are also anti-inflammatory so I am planning on the swelling to go down really soon. Until then, the oils are providing me with the frequent relief that I need.

On a happy note I was able to take off my ice pack and get my first real look at my new profile. Obviously I am very swollen so the end result will look a lot different, but I already like what I see!
oh la la!

Now here I am syringing up some blended potato soup and the grape juice! Yum!