Like many other bloggers, updating you guys months into recovery becomes harder and harder to do, because ... Well, because you're simply not as obsessed with jaw surgery as much as you were before you had it. Life goes on, and with it come all the other things that you're left to obsess about. For me, that's been work. I didn't really tell my new boss or fellow co-workers that I had just had jaw surgery either--- the HR department knew, but I didn't want to be "that girl" at my new workplace. Not being able to talk about jaw surgery 24/7 made not think about it either. So, I've been ridiculously busy trying to keep up pace with the new job, and in the interim, had to stop paying attention to my face, and thus stop blogging--- for a bit!
So, how is my face doing these days? Well, my swelling has really gone down. I can still feel it when I hold my hands up to my cheeks, but most people (including me) can barely see it anymore. Also, I can now open and close my mouth without that horrible, jarring, TMJ clicking and popping pain. It used to freak me the hell out, but I don't even have the slightest sensation of that anymore.
I can also open wide enough for most foods now (pretty much 3 fingers--I'm about half a finger away from 3). I still have to smush down sandwiches a bit in order to fit the whole thing in my mouth, but they get in there! I also still chew kind've slowly--- or at least, I mean I can't chew as fast or as much food as I used to in one bite, but I think it's a matter of time before I can chew like I used to.
I went in for my 2nd to last braces adjustment 2 weeks ago, and my orthodontist continues to be impressed with the results, and most especially my recovery (he digs how wide my mouth opens). At the moment, he's closing all remaining gaps in my teeth. My next adjustment is July 3rd, and he said I'd only need the braces for 3 more weeks after that, and then be done. I'm just a LITTLE bit bummed that I won't be out of braces before July because my birthday is on the 9th, but I'm seriously not stressing it. I've waited this long, what's a few more weeks?
As far as my appearance before and after; there's a definite noticeable difference. My parents think I look really different--- they love the results, but they're still adjusting to the changes. Friends think I look younger and that my face looks more "angular." I guess that makes sense. My surgeon did work to make my lower jaws and chin much more symmetrical, and coupled with the fact that she pulled my lower jaw "out" to address my recessed chin, I could see how my face looks more angular to people. I can see it myself in some recent photos I've taken with friends and family.
Speaking of which, having my picture taken is weird. Old habits die hard because I still find myself angling my face to the camera to "hide" what used to be my lower jaw asymmetry, and I still find myself wanting to "control" how I smile, so that my gums don't make a glaring show of themselves, but then I remember I've had surgery, and that it's okay to just let loose and SMILE! I'm loving even some candid shots people have taken of me. Yet, I feel like I have to practice "picture smiling" all over again--- like I need to learn what my "new" best angles are and how wide to smile depending on what look I want to give the camera. I try doing this in the mirror sometimes, but I think I'm only going to relearn my "picture face" by taking lots and lots of pictures with friends, family, and even some selfies! This is something I would've dreaded before, but now I'm pretty excited about creating tons of new memories that don't include how self conscious I felt WHILE having the picture taken.
Lastly, I've attached a video for you guys. I don't know if it's just my laptop or if the video's audio really is out of sync, so let me know if you wouldn't mind, and I can try to fix it. I'm sorry I haven't posted pictures in forever either! I promise to do a time-line post of pictures. I find these illustrations fascinating on other blogs! Might as well see what mine looks like.