Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Two and a half months out

Two and a half months out from genioplasty. Swelling gone.
The surgeon hasn't weighed in yet, but I think the swelling is gone now.   The muscles around my lips are getting better.  I can press my lips together (like to blot lipstick) again.  I see the surgeon late next month but things seem to be working the way they should.  Still have numbness in my chin, mostly in the middle,  not as bad as a month ago.  Still not sure I like the look of the result.  Sometimes when I see a photo or video of me, all I see is the huge chin.  i think it makes my mouth look thinner when I am not smiling and my jawline is bumpy where the bone was cut.  This is supposed to wear down in time, but hasn't yet.

Got fed up with my hair.  Was going to grow it longer, but finally realized it just wasn't working and had it cut short today.  It is very short in the back and tapers to jaw length in front.  Still kind of long layers in front.  Not sure I will keep them.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Two weeks out

Two weeks out— most of swelling gone
As of today, I am nearly three weeks out from my genioplasty, but I didn't post the photos from last week, so thought I would catch up.  My chin is starting to look pointy, at least when I smile.  Most of the bruising is gone except for two tiny red spots on my neck and some pale yellow areas.  Stitches have started to dissolve, but not fast enough for me.  This is the only real issue now as well as some numbness in the chin and pins and needles feeling where the numbness is starting to go away.  I am pretty happy with the results now except for when I wear my retainers at night.  Then I have trouble keeping my lips together.  Told the orthodontist last week and he said to wait until all the swelling is gone.  Not sure what he will do.  I am hoping for a retainer adjustment. the good news is that this helped enlarge my airway even more.

I can eat most everything and enjoyed my thanksgiving holiday last week.  The only issue is that the area where the incision was and the stitches are gets irritated when food touches it.  The only relief is with warm salt water rinses and making sure I brush after meals.

I am finally happy with the way it looks, even in profile.  I no longer have the "flat face" look I had after the big jaw surgery, nor do I have the "dumb" look and the overly prominent nose I had before I started down this path.  No more recessed jaw.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Genioplasty 1 week out

1 week out
My genioplasty was one week ago today.  I am pretty much back to normal activities, although I try to rest half the day.  No real exercise yet, but I went to Naginata practice last  night to watch and ended up helping people, although not practicing myself.

Still sticking to relatively soft foods although I ate some tortilla chips yesterday and it seemed ok.  Made muffins out of the apples left in my fruit basket as I was afraid to eat them raw at this point.  The only flaw in the ointment today was a sinus like headache that would not quit.  Can't seem to shake the cold symptoms from the cold I had a few weeks ago.  Took half the day to get rid of the headache which made me sick to my stomach and started to resemble a migraine.  Ate the last of the leftover mashed potatoes that my husband made me the other day and felt immediately better.  Put hot compress on my head and that helped too, as did a hot shower.

I see the surgeon for my follow up tomorrow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Post Op Day 6

Day 6 bruising on neck and under chin
Day 6.  Almost back to normal in terms of energy.  Lots of bruising on the neck now but large painful bumps of bruising under the jawline are much smaller. You can start to see my jawline now. These pics are not bad.

No pain, no fever, no complications.  The really unexpected thing is that I have had no serious headaches for over a week.

Still eating relatively soft foods: smoothie with yogurt and berries and chia seeds for breakfast, brown rice and kale casserole for lunch.  Will try to make a real stir fry dinner tonight if my energy lasts.  Planning to make tofu and vegetable stir fry.

Got out today and took my car to the dealer to get a minor problem fixed, then stopped at the store for a few groceries I forgot to get yesterday.  Felt pretty normal.  Like yesterday, I had my neck wrapped in a scarf to avoid questions about my colorful neck.

So in terms of function, I think the surgery worked. It seems easy to fully close my mouth now.  Not sure how happy I am from the beauty side of things.  I am trying to wait until the all the swelling is gone to pass judgement.  Right now I think it makes me look more severe from some angles.  We'll see.

First Outing

First trip out of the house
Yesterday my husband drove me out to the grocery store to order our Thanksgiving Day turkey.  I wrapped my bruised neck and chin in a big scarf so I didn't scare people.  Had to mark the occasion with a selfie shot from my iPhone.  Seems to me that the iPhone camera gives you that "fish-eye" camera look when you turn the thing on yourself.

Anyway, the bruising is mostly underneath the chin, what is above the jaw line is pretty light and covered up by makeup. Still looks like my chin is huge.  This morning it looked a bit smaller as the swelling continues to go down. I am still not sure I did the right thing.  Will have to wait and see.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Genioplasty Days 4 and 5

Day 5 (Nikon coolpix in the mirror)
So here we are looking more normal, but still not happy with the profile.  No pain, unless I eat something too hard.  The whole chin area is still very swollen and stiff and numb, so sometimes difficult to open my mouth wide enough to eat.  Still eating soft things but can have hot liquids now.
Lots more bruising on the neck now and under the chin.  I am still hoping that the final result after all the swelling is gone will be ok, but right now, when I look at the full profile (from behind) I look like an old lady with no teeth.  I think my mouth still looks sunken, because of the swelling on the chin.  At least you can see my lower lip better now.  Yesterdays pics were not too bad, but the 3rd day ones were horrible.  Of course, everything looks better after a shower and a hair wash.  So there you go.  Days 4 and 5.

Day 4 (iphone selfie)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Genioplasty. The First Three Days

Home from hospital with pressure bandage - Day 1
It's over. I survived another jaw surgery.  I had a sliding genioplasty advancement three days ago.  My doc says it went so well that my recovery will likely be shorter than usual.

The prep before surgery was almost the same as for the big jaw surgery, except that they did not have to use a nasal gastric tube.  Loved my anesthesiologist.  I was nearly asleep by the time I arrived in the OR.  Just as the last time, all the bad stuff happened when I was asleep.

Afterwards, the nurses didn't have my post op instructions from my doctor so they tried to give me crackers.  Luckily I remembered the instructions were for clear liquids only, but I ate some jello too. Then they fairly quickly had me up and dressed and out of there.  Everything was much easier than the last time.  No nose bleeds, not much nausea (they gave me a patch to prevent it).

The surgery involved cutting through the bottom of my chin bone and repositioning it 6 mm up to shorten the distance between my mouth and chin.  I try not to think about how they did it.  I wasn't worried so much about the surgery, but I was somewhat worried if something unexpected were to happen.  I was paying out of pocket for this surgery since my insurance would not cover it.  I could handle the cost of the surgery but maybe not if things went south. Luckily, they didn't. The total cost including the doctor fees and the hospital were just under $5,000.

I only needed the pain meds for the first day and it wasn't that bad.  Just a dull pain in the chin and a slight headache.  I also had a bit of a sore throat but that went away quickly.  I wasn't very hungry so I didn't mind the clear room temperature or cold liquids.  The real problem was that the hospital didn't have my post op instructions (they had all kinds of computer related issues that day) so they did not pack the incision area with gauze and they didn't give me any gauze to take home.  We only had the thin stuff you use for a minor cut and I went through those pretty quickly.  I was so out of it when I was discharged that I didn't notice anything was wrong until I looked at myself in the car mirror and saw there was blood all over my teeth.  We got it sorted out quickly though.  My husband made a run to the store and got me the thicker gauze and I used that with no problem.  The bleeding stopped in the early evening that day.  The pressure bandage came off the next day.

Since the numbness inside my mouth went away quickly, I was able to eat soft food later on the first day.  The second day I had a scrambled egg for breakfast, but even that seemed too hard to chew without straining.  I gradually worked up from chicken broth and apple juice and jello to yogurt, mashed potatoes and then today I had tuna fish and tomato soup.

There is always so much to do that first day or so...antiseptic rinse twice a day, pain meds, antibiotics, drinking water...a lot of water.  The second day I slept a lot.  I am once again living in my recliner as they wanted me to keep my head elevated.  But compared to the bigger surgery, this was really nothing.  No braces, no rubber bands, no real pain, just watching in horror in the mirror as my face swells up to a big horsey mess.  I had to look back at the photos from the other surgery to remind myself it would be ok and not to worry. I won't look like this forever.
Day 2 and 3