Wednesday, September 7, 2011

fresh in the morning

so, it's 8:30am and i'm training myself to get up super early to be ready for class at the end of the month. my cat's looking at me like i'm crazy, and i think she may be partly right! i have my very last appointment with dr. jackrit on friday (which is also my birthday), and i'm very excited! i can't believe it's done! 
well, not exactly DONE in terms of healing, but still. my lip and chin are numb, and the area near my incisions inside my mouth still feels funny...but otherwise i'm doing well. i must have slept wrong on my right side the other day, though, because the right side of my jaw feels like it needs to pop if i move it side to side, even the slightest bit. i'm using listerine and other germ-killing mouthwashes after i brush just to give my immune system a boost, and i'm trying to generally stay healthy. 
it's great to be able to exercise again! i really missed hooping. it doesn't seem like much of a workout, but let me tell IS! i'm going to make a concerted effort to hoop every day for at least 20 minutes. it's good for both my body and my mind. in addition to that, i'm doing a little bit of beginner's yoga in the mornings(afternoons?) when i roll out of bed. the stretches really help to loosen me up and get me going. i'd also like to regain the flexibility i had when i was in ballet and gymnastics and all the sports i played. 
i realized i haven't posted any pictures for a couple of weeks at least, so here's one...don't mind the sleepy face/no makeup/bad lighting:'s off to get some things done today. thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


it's been 67 days since my! things are going well. i've been able to eat pretty much everything, but my teeth are hurting so i'm going to stop with the crunchy stuff for a while. i still have a LOT of weird nerve things going on. when i sniff, i feel a cold spot just under my left eye. my nose, lower eyelids, and upper cheeks itch and when i scratch them it feels like a  sunburn...pretty painful. also, my bottom lip and chin are still numb. i can feel the incision lines in my mouth and that takes some getting used to, and sometimes the one at the bottom front can really bother me.
regardless, i'm still so glad i got this done. i'm ready to take on the rest of my schooling, and do my best with improved sleep and breathing! i can open my mouth all the way again, and it's feeling pretty good. it's still tight with side to side jaw movements, and i can chew the best on the left side. i've been trying to make myself use my right side more so it gets enough exercise as well.
pro tip: DO NOT TRY to blow up a balloon. it HURTS your incisions and was a horrible idea!
i hope everyone is doing well :) 

Friday, August 5, 2011

i'm free! 37 days post op

i can't believe it's over already! isn't it amazing how quickly a jaw broken in five places can heal? i feel so much better. i can't wait to see the concrete results once fall quarter starts, and it will be amazing to be at the horse barn at 8am on a full, quality night's sleep for once. i'll be able to wrestle those yearlings a little better :) behavior and training, here comes the more coherent, cognitively-improved and alert (not to mention more cheerful) hilary!

my cheeks are still a bit chubby and the bottom lip is numb so my smile isn't back to full-on charmer quite yet...

i think the arch bands and surgical hooks were by far the worst, most painful and difficult part of the surgery. my molars and canine teeth were wrapped in wire and strapped in with surgical hooks, tearing up my cheeks and lips. by the time i got them out, they were embedded into my gums and the wrapping wires had all but disappeared into my gumline, so getting them removed today was awful, even with laughing gas and 6 shots of novacaine (ouch).
on a brighter note, my parents' birthdays (yes, both on the same day) were yesterday, so we went out to smokey bones. i was able to eat a smoked chicken breast with onion rings and bacon on top, mashed potatoes and mac n cheese. the chicken gave me hardly any trouble and was amaaaaazing. i couldn't eat the bacon, though, because it was pretty thick cut and crispy. to get through an entire meal like that was so wonderful. today, after i got my arch bands taken off, my dad and i went to arby's and i got to eat a beef n cheddar with no problem; i could take bites and everything! never take the ability to eat whatever you want for granted.
i can't wait to get back into the loop with my classes and my friends, as well as hooping and being more active. i might even invest in my own glow hoop as a birthday present to myself! this has been the most boring, uneventful summer i've had in a long, long time. i haven't gone camping, only swam a few times, and haven't gotten to go to a festival...but it's worth it. i conquered this surgery like a boss and significantly improved my quality of life and thus, my future. in addition, i've had the chance to learn a lot more about myself, and to attempt to get back into writing. i think i might just keep this blog, or start a new one, so i can use writing's meditative energy to my benefit.
today's parting thought: i can't wait to eat a steak :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

lazy and late on posting! 35 days post-op and eating anything i can

well, i've had my jaws unbanded for 4 days now, and i've been pretty lazy in regards to posting on here. first thing after my appointment friday, my parents and i went to talita's in grove city and i tried to tackle a giant cheese, rice and bean burrito:
the green portion is about how far i got. the margarita was no problemo, though!

it felt like i was trying to chew with someone else's face using telepathy. the teeth on the right side feel numb still, and it's just so awkward. i felt like my teeth fit together all wrong, and my tongue felt huge and clumsy trying to push food around my mouth. however, i continued the theme of being an overly determined bada$$ and made it through about a quarter of the burrito. the hardest parts were actually getting the food into my mouth (teeny, tiny, slightly flat bites...use a fork!) and keeping it between my teeth so it would get chewed. i also have almost no muscle strength to chew with, so it was kind of like smushing the food until i got tired and swallowed it. gross, right? yes! after all the work that involved and a little kick of my old friend jose cuervo, i went home and passed out for an hour or so. 
with my mouth moving around again, the insides of my cheeks are getting completely shredded by the surgical hooks i still have on my teeth. i get these off friday. the doc wanted to leave them on to make sure everything is stabilized in case they should need to band me back up (which i would be crushed). i feel like things are pretty much fine, relatively anyway.
i still feel kind of swollen when i wake up in the mornings, but that's probably just from sleeping on my sides (i can't help it!). my lower lip is still completely numb, which makes me sound a little silly when i talk and makes it hard to make sure i'm getting food where it needs to go. 
i went to the ohio state fair yesterday with matt, and had a blast! we saw all kinds of animals; i especially loved the huge draft horses. i thought i'd put a few pics up here:
 this was a belgian draft horse that stood over 20 hands high(almost 7 feet at the shoulders)! also, his eyes didn't really glow. although that might've been really, really awesome. 
fun fact: belgian foals are born at about 200 lbs. 
 a big sleepy percheron, standing about 20 hands high also.
percherons all dressed up in their harnesses
 here's my humongous bunny friend. i called him general fluffybun.
 here's matt, eating a bahama mama from schmidt's sausage haus (while i watched...don't worry, then he bought me fried cheese on a stick!)
 this is a striped gar (i think), which apparently lives in ohio rivers as well as in my nightmares.
 a horse with some really wicked tan lines...hah
 india's brahma soft and sleepy
 the cutest goat i have EVER seen in my life. he was an african pygmy baby standing only about a foot tall.
 yeah, people actually do things like this. huh. 

 we spent about 6 hours or so at the fair, and i ate fair food! i had deep fried cheese on a stick. i couldn't actually take bites; i had to break bits off and eat them by hand, but it was soooooo good, and i didn't have too much trouble with it. 
later that night, we went to steak n shake and i got to eat some fries soaked in cheese sauce. i'm making major progress! :) 
here are a couple pictures of my face so far. it's been almost 35 days since my surgery. i don't look super great in these by the way, i'm kind of tired and have no makeup on but...

so altogether yesterday i got to eat: mac n cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, rice and cheesecake at hometown buffet; deep fried cheese on  a stick at the fair, and cheesy fries at steak n shake. it might not sound like much, but it's SURE better than this:

how fast can i regain the 10 or so lbs i lost? haha...*starts exercise regimen*

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

grumpy and itchy.

my lovely, healing nerves woke me up at about 4:30 this morning ITCHING itching itching! i've been up on and off since then, and i am not a happy camper. the itching had seemed to subside for a couple days, but now it's back full force. it's mostly my nose and my cheeks on either side directly next to it. does anyone have any suggestions on how to relieve this, even a tiny bit? it's really messing with my sleep, and i feel like my skin is going to be raw here soon.
anyhow, i guess being up early is alright. i'm going to start studying for the GRE today. i'm aiming to take it in december, so i figure 3 good months or so of studying in between classes and such will do the trick. i've gotta get moving on my career and my future! ack!

Monday, July 25, 2011

the end is near!

i'm so excited! i get my jaws un-banded on friday. finally! when i had them off to brush my teeth last friday, i could only open my mouth about 1 finger's width. so i know i'm going to want to go nuts and eat so much on friday, but i probably won't be able to eat exactly what i want. i'm thinking smoked pulled pork, mac n cheese and greens from the little bbq truck in clintonville. i can eat that with a fork and take my time, and rip up the bun of the sandwich to make the pieces small enough. those are also all pretty soft foods, so the chewing won't be too difficult. i can't wait! 
almost all the numbness in my face is gone now. the front of my chin is still numb, and my cheeks next to my nose are about halfway numb, which is a very bizarre feeling. i find it interesting how my brain isn't sure whether to interpret the returning sensation as tingly ticklishness or pain. 
the itching has toned WAY down, which i am very grateful for. that was awful! i can't believe how well this procedure has gone. i was preparing myself to be out of commission until probably september. i expected to spend the first week post-op crying and in tremendous amounts of pain. but so far, it has been smooth as butter. i couldn't have asked for a more tolerable, gentle recovery. i think after this post, i'll go add my opinion to dr. jackrit's ratings on the search site i found him on. for not having a choice (he was the only maxillofacial surgeon within 100 miles covered by my insurance), i ended up in the care of an incredibly talented, caring doctor and his staff. they really make you feel like they care about you individually. they called me every day for four or five days post-op to make sure everything was okay, even on memorial day when they were closed. too often, patients have procedures done and then they are sent home with little to no contact with the doctor before their next scheduled appointment. dr. jackrit has been there for me when i've had random silly questions, and i've never waited more than 10 mins in their waiting room. very impressed and pleased. 
being a very active, very social and energetic person, i feel like the last few weeks were spent in some sort of boring, restrictive time warp. it feels like i haven't seen my friends but once or twice in months, when it's really only been just over three weeks. so much can happen in that short amount of time, though, and i can't wait to get back in the loop with everyone i love. thanks to all of you who've sent your love, your positive vibes/prayers/whatever well-wishes suit your beliefs, and those of you who've helped to take care of me and cheer me up throughout this. i couldn't ask for better people in my life. everywhere i go, no matter what i'm doing in life, i am always surrounded by people that love me, and i'm very grateful for that fact.
i'll have to take a picture update post tomorrow. i look kind of scrubby today, so...i'll just wait :) but 95% of the swelling is gone, and i only have two bands on each side now, so you can see my pearly whites again! 
four days...come onnnnn, friday!!! the end is near!

p.s.: i've been a huge fan of free click-to-give sites for a few years now. so i'm going to take this opportunity to be a shameless hippie and promote a few of my favorite ones. giving is needed especially now; if you've heard anything about the drought in africa, children are starving, and we CAN help! thanks :)
The Hunger Site - Hunger, Children, Pets, Rainforest, and More!
Care2 - Click to Give, News and Petitions, and Community
and, my new favorite where i can both brush up on things for the GRE and help donate rice through the world food programme: FreeRice

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

thank god for insurance: the bill part 1

WOW. we got the bill from the hospital today, and i thought people might like to see exactly how ridiculous healthcare is...

laboratory pathological: 747.75
pharmacy: 1,022.30
all inclusive ancillaries (what?): 3,648.25
devices and implants: 9,994.25
operating room/surgery: 40,196.25
cardiology ekg: 96.00

grand total: $55,704.80

i wonder what the bill from dr. jackrit will look like? i should've majored in anesthesiology or something! jeez.