Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Day 905!!! 3 years later, my face is changing - on its own! :(

I hope you're all well!

I came back to this blog, to look at photos of me from surgery till now, because lately I've noticed some drastic changes to my face - the asymmetry is back, granted not as bad as pre-op, but its not as good as a year after surgery.

My jaw had also began to 'crack' and 'lock', which was my original problem - CAUSED by the original asymmetry. So I'm wondering if my face has changed, and because of that have the same problems as before....

I'm struggling to not feel like it wasn't worth it

I mean I know obviously it is, and was, but I feel like I'm back to being concious of how I hold my head, and how I angle my face in photographs...

2012 - Before/ 2016 Now: my right side is flatter, has less shape to it than before surgery.

^2013 after

 Now super lopsided again>>>

Even my mom has noticed it now - an she doesn't like to say anything to make me feel self conscious if not necessary.

I read an article, no surgery related, about a girl who developed asymmetry through chewing primarily on one side of her mouth.

I REALISED I ONLY CHEW ON MY RIGHT which apparently, could make my left side 'larger' just like anything else lacking exercise. So I've swapped sides to see if over time, it'll make any difference, and already the clicking has stopped!!
I have one last ortho appointment in a few months, if its still an issue I'll mention it.

2015 was a pretty crappy year.... This year holds graduation, new jobs, and hopefully a new home!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Just Dropping by... (I Miss You All) Day 472

I've genuinely surprised myself as I logged on to this blog tonight - I'm incredibly emotional as I visit everybody's pages, and re-read my own. 

Corrinne -
 ''...I hope one day I feel 100% worthy of someone. Just to feel totally adored and valued - and to feel like I deserve it, without question or doubt...' 
You absolutely got me as I was reading that line. That is bang on what goes through my head a good majority of the time; feeling overly grateful for a person wanting to be with me, and constantly doubting their motives- can't just accept that it may be that I'm a wonderful, kind person right?

I think I miss the sense of belonging that I got from sharing with this little Brace-Faced community -  something unique to be a part of, with people who just 'got it'. 
But I also think that knowing when it's no longer necessary to post frequent updates is important. I'm of course keeping this blog open for people to benefit from it the way I benefited from others, but as you can see, my last update was 17th April 2014, so My posts will most likely become yearly - That doesn't mean I don't come nosing around to see what y'all been up to ;) I like to see what everyone's doing and in a sense, watching people grow -this blog has been here for getting on 4 years!

How is my jaw, you ask?

It looks like this :)

So July just gone was my 1 year post op mark - it came and went before I even realized. I forgot to post anything and then I guess life got in the way.

The only downside (and really, it's not a big deal!) 

My numbness has not changed, the feeling in my right lower lip, chin and all of my bottom gums has not returned, nor does it seem like it ever will at this point. It can be frustrating, and makes me feel quite clumsy when say, I'm out eating with my class mates, or generally anywhere in public, as I'm prone to not notice food around my mouth but if you asked my dad he'd tell you this has always been a problem...

My surgeon is genuinely stumped about this as he claims (according to his surgery notes) ''...both nerves were seen and avoided - no damage...'' so he doesn't understand why just one side has recovered despite both sides enduring the same thing. He's booked me in for another check up in 6 months.

But everything is generally well! 

I'm waiting for my orthodontic appointment in a few weeks where they'll decide if I've been wearing my retainers properly. ( I haven't, but it's because they're so lose they don't do anything for my teeth!) My teeth look fine to me - no drastic movement despite infrequent retainer use, which is probably because I haven't grown in about 8 years so the retainers have an easy job!

oh, I also had my FIRST scale and polish/ dental check up SINCE BEFORE BRACES which was 4 years ago! My dentist was shocked my this but said I had perfectly clean teeth despite this. I described some sensitivity I get since being de-braced, he took some xrays and decided that there may or may not be some decay in one of my molars (where the bracket would have been) he said there's no way to know for sure so I can either have it drilled to find out or leave it! I said no way am I having a filling just cause I 'might' have a problem!

So I'm just sticking to the Sensodyne ;)

Lastly- What have I been up to?

Well! Most significantly for me, I hitch-hiked from London to Budapest in 4 days spending no money and using nothing but my wit and charm to get there, all in aid of AICR which we raised an amazing £31k!!! Worth every blister ;)

Tom and I pleased with ourselves as we blag our way on to a German train!

Finally made it to Budapest! - Group photo of all the teams

Enjoyed my first festival! Sonisphere 2014 - a little too much!

 Pirates for Alestorm :)

Moved my 'elderly' bunnies in to my uni house, and got two new gerbils to the growing collection of animals 

I'm painting again! Just cause i don't study it doesn't mean I should waste my *ahem* talent 

Rango ;)

I got some more tattoos... not really news but sure I like them!

All in all things are going well! I'm very happy still living as a student with my partner and our pets, I'm well in to my second year at university now - I'll be a Forensic Investigator in no time! ;)

Wishing everyone well, new followers and old friends

Best wishes until next time 


Thursday, 17 April 2014

When you're smiling.... Day: 276/ Shout-outs for Corrinne, Amanda and Natasha!

So I recently got asked about my surgery by a girl who will be having her surgery at the end of this month (Good Luck, Sarah!) and talking about it again made me think I should do a little update.

What can I say, I'm really happy, I feel good, no, better than good I feel NORMAL! I'm making eye contact with my peers and lecturers at university and no one has said to me 'GOSH You've had jaw surgery!' (sounds stupid but this was at one point a fear..' 

Nope, no one suspects a thing ;) But don't get me wrong, I'm far from embarrassed about it. I needed it. I wanted it, and it's helped me, and so many more people like me, not look better - that's just the bonus, but feel confident enough to walk in to a room full of people and to know that whatever thoughts pop in to their heads, it's not about your jaw!

I've had some big presentations since being at university- group and individual, and I was able to stand at the podium and look each person in the eyes, and not feel the burning stare I used to get as they tried to assess what was off about my face!

Jaw Stuff? Oh right I forgot that's what you come here for!

I am almost 10 months post opp and honestly, my only complaint is again, numbness. It's still there in half of my chin and all of my lower lip - and the gums are the worst. My surgeon still swears there was no disruption of the nerve so because of this, even he doesn't know when I will regain sensation, he just says I should.

I know its a little far gone to be talking about swelling, but there is kinda still some there. My right side of this photo, is still 'thicker; than the other, which is due to the mass of muscle, which has been described to me as 'shifted in to a pile' when my face was rotated, so the thinner side is thinner literally because it has less muscle on it. the thicker side will settle down with time, but even if it didn't I wouldn't be bothered.

(On a side note, I got hit in the face at a concert the other month and OH MY GOD it hurt - I can feel the metal in the sides of my face, and around them was a sharp shooting pain and it swelled a little the next few days.)

Despite not posting, I still visit here probably 5 times a month to see how y'all doing, and I must say theres some amazing results you've got!

Natasha! (awimpsguidetoorthognathicsurgery.blogspot.co.uk)  You look happier each time I see your updates! Hope you have fun in Germany!

Corrinne, (jawsurgery-journey.blogspot.co.uk) your de-braced smile is beautiful :)

and Amanda (bracefacethesequel.blogspot.co.uk) You're glowing! Good luck with your family!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Day 113 - Where has the time gone?

Wow, where do I begin?

These last few months have gone so fast - I mean it's almost Christmas!

I'm a bad Blogger - I haven't blogged since 19th September!

I've been busy, living away from home in my new shared house (yay), studying Forensics; looking at lots of dead bodies, and of course, going out and having lots of photos taken- from ANY angle ;)

Halloween! I carved my first pumpkin all by myself (my mom usually scoops out the seeds!)

It's Jack Skellington 

I'm still so happy - and generally content with my jaw, I don't shy away any more!

But first, here's my new room!! It pretty much looks like my old room now that I've moved all my paintings and posters in to it!

I love this house, it's so nice :) It's an old house which had been modified inside and we're the first people to live in it since so it's all nice and fresh. Floor space! I've been craving it since I moved out in 2010 for uni but came back to find my brother had taken my room leaving me with the box room. 

New Additions! 

Tom and I got some mice :) They're currently residing on my bedroom floor as I don't have a table to put them on, but they're cute to watch. we named them Bubblegum and Rainicorn - from Cartoon Network's Adventure Time :)


-I'm still pretty distressed at times with the sensation I get in my chin and gums, they're still really numb...but not numb enough to ignore. I get lots of itching, not tingling, the tingling was easy to deal with, but this can sometimes be unbearable.

-My chin is maybe over-sensitive? For example, I get spots, and if they were on my chin and I used a face scrub or even if I tried to 'pick' one, the pain is excruciating  Sometimes just scratching my chin in a 'normal' way can bring me to tears and I'm not sure if I should tell my doctor this?

-my gums are still numb, but brushing my teeth causes a lot of pain/sensitivity. I use appropriate toothpaste, but the discomfort is still there. It means I'm unable to brush my teeth for as long as I should.

-My jaw clicking/locking only happens very very rarely now, not when i eat, or talk and not even when I yawn. I find it happens when I'm stressed or tired, but even then it's a tiny click compared to what I experienced for years, so I'll take it.

-Retainers, they're fine - gives you the most awful taste/breath in the morning! But if it keeps all this lovely dental work in place then  it's worth it.

*Retainer tip!
Although the ortho told me I can use soap to wash my retainers, I couldn't bare the thought of soap in my mouth, so I've only used luke-warm water and my toothbrush to clean them and so far mine still look clear without using any products like 'retainer brite' as of yet.

All in all I'm enjoying everything more now. I probably still think about surgery everyday, probably because I can still feel the bumps of the metal fixes on my jaw when I'm holding my head up on my desk during 9am lectures! 

So, I'll try and be a better Blogger, I've still been looking at all your posts and watching your progress - Natasha! So happy you've finally had your surgery! I hope it's given you what you wanted.

I'll be sure to abuse you with photos again soon!


Thursday, 19 September 2013


So here we are, it's over, finally! I almost can't believe it. I'm just so so happy...

I'll shake off the euphoria just so I can tell you how de-bracing went.

 I was still terrified, expecting the worst which would be being told I can't have them removed that day. I wore my elastics in the car and took them off last minute so that my teeth would be in the right position for sure, and when Dr  Shaarh said 'Shall we take them off then?' I almost cried as I nodded a reply as his hand was still in my mouth.


I wasn't expecting this to be honest, I thought, they would use that solution which disolves the glue, they used it to clean up my mouth when they first fitted the braces to removed excess glue, but no, they just PULLED.

My god it hurt. and then came the scrapping of the glue! very painful on sensitive teeth but I just screwed up my eyes and grasped my hands together in my lap and it was eventually over. Felt like hours but honestly took about an hour and that was with impressions made too.


As soon as they'd scraped the glue off and I'd had a quick look in the mirror, they took 4 impressions of my teeth - two top two bottom. Then it was off home, until half 4 when I#d go back to retrieve my retainers. 

I was praying I would have the hard plastic type that you only have to wear at night.

Everything had gone my way that day :P

These are clear plastic, and just to worn at night every night for the first year, then every other day after that. I have to remember to buy some retainer brite to clean them with, otherwise soapy COLD water is fine (not hot as they will melt and they're only going to replace them within the first year, after that I have to pay at a dentist!) I got to chose this nice pink box too :)

I'm all moved in to my new place for uni now, living with Tom and 3 others, I'll take some photos soon and show you my room. I'm so so grateful that my braces were removed just in time for freshers' week to start! I haev the choice to tell people I meet from here on out that I had my surgery or not. Cause theres no way to know, and I like that, I look normal. 

This was the last photo taken with braces, and as happy as I was in that photo, I'm certainly more complete, more content with myself in the next few :)

So there you go, I'm pretty much done here, I'll be having a check up in 3 months, and then this time next year a meeting with my surgeon to see how I'm getting on and then I'm not going to see them again - I bought them a thank you card lol.

I'll post relevant things soon and let you know about numbness and other jaw related things, and I'm always looking at your progress - it makes me happy to see everyone getting on so well.

But for now, I'm gonna focus on smiling and going out and building back some of that confidence I've been missing all these years!

See you soon 


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Day 42/ My first birthday with a new face!!!

It was my birthdayyyyy !!! Saturday 24th August

I'm now 22 years young ;) and I was very excited to show off my new, less swollen face. 

The previous week was my parents 25th wedding anniversary, and as it was silver, they threw a party - the only day free was my birthday so I shared it with them :)

Here's a few pics from the night

Aiden, Bojo and my face :)

I'm still so nervous when photos are taken

Bojo and my boyfriend Tom :)

 Friends and family 

My dad and Mom 

 The previous Saturday was a goodbye party as me and my cousin, Olivia, leave for uni, she's off to Bangor, and I'm off to Stoke-on-Trent

I had a great time, and so did Tom - it was his first time meeting all my relatives - I think he made a good impression ;) 

Now then, back to all this face business!

I do actually have a complaint, I'm starting to get some sensation back in my chin which is getting me down as it's so horrible. It twitches and twinges, and feels like electric shocks, or someone flicking my in the face.
my gums are still completely numb on the bottom which makes me not know how hard I'm brushing my teeth.

I only have to wear my one set of elastics at night now, which leave my teeth free in the day.

I have an OFFICIAL de-brace date!

Tuesday 17th September! 9.30am to have my braces removed, and impressions taken, then back at 4.30pm to get my retainer fitted - I'm excited!

ALSO, I move out in 5 days! Moving to a shared house with 3 other class mates, and Tom :) I can't wait!

But for now, I'm off to bed as I've just got back from the night shift, and I'm back at work at 11am tomorrow :(

Night guys, I'll catch up with you all soon x

Friday, 16 August 2013

One Month been and gone! Day 32 Before and Afters Photos!

Well well well, one whole month

I can't beleive how fast this has all gone! 
This time one month ago, I had been home for 4 hours and was sitting comfortably on the seate with a bag of frozen peas on my face trying to fit a yogurt frube between my swollen lips! 

So much has happened since then, I've had ups and downs in recovery, thankfully mostly ups, I've learnt to eat with a babyspoon and drink cups of tea through a straw, I've had my teeth pulled about with elastics and the best of all I've been told a date for de-bracing!

Pain, chewing, numbness, swelling and smiling to date

Right, I've actually had a little pain recently! I think it has something to do with being back at work and having to take orders for 8 hours straight which strained my jaw before surgery let alone now. I think I over did it on the chewing too so I'm stepping back to softer things - i don't mind really at all.

I'm starting to get feeling back in the right side of my chin and lip which has been the most numb so far - it's very annoying as it's tingly and itchy - but when it itches and i go to scratch where my brain thinks the itch is..it's not there! So I have to go hunting for my itch, and scratch all of my face. But it's good -it means its healing.

Learnt something interesting about my swelling!

As has been clear from day 1 post op, I have has significantly more swelling on my left than my right. My left side is quite hard and still swollen in comparison to my right which feels thin and sort of lumpy (where the metal/ plates are)

My surgeon told me that my left is larger right now because it's all the muscle which was left over - they shortened my jaw but obviously can not remove muscle! So right now it's sitting there like a bunched-up rug on the floor, waiting to be smoothed out - or, settle down as he put it. So in time, my left side will lose muscle mass and hopefully my right will gain it as it works in rhythm with my left. Neat huh! :)

I feel comfortable to smile again - I do it all the time and to everyone. I forget when I'm out now that I ever had surgery, because I feel normal, not vulnerable  and even with this little muscle/swelling I know that no one can notice.

So I thought it's time for some before and afters - I haven't really looked at any of these since last year, and I can really tell the difference - 4 mm makes a heck of a difference! I have no teeth photos from pre-brace era so I've started from about a year with braces- as that's when my teeth changed the most. Enjoy!

2012-01-26 - braces for about a year

2012-05 about - underbite just developing

2012- 09-13 - starting my new university as a braceface :(


2013-08-15 - one month post op!!!! swelling is still present, but I can completely feel and see the difference

I'm still so happy with my results, even if some people can't tell (I've been told I don't look any different by some people) And I'm so happy that the majoriety of my brace bloggers' surgerys are moving forward! I can't wait to hear your experiences. 

My posting has slowed down, but I'm still reading all of your stories, and I'll letcha know if anything important happens! 

Those of you who aren't working, enjoy the weekend! And if you are, I feel for you!