Thursday, May 25, 2006

28 and 35 days

(above: my gap at 28 and 35 days, click for large size)

Much to my continued amazment, progress continues! The other night I felt a push that was stronger than usual and I swear I could see a difference within 5 minutes! Now to just get rid of the "V" shape that's left.

Eating is getting better. I ate a can of beans in 15 minutes tonight, a new record. I was also able to have Rice Krispies last weekend without letting them get mushy in the milk first, yay! Now that things are approaching normal position again it is less and less uncomfortable to bite down harder. For lunch I also had a jam sandwich. Biting into the bread is a very delicate act but I can do it slowly.

Talking is pretty much back to how it was before surgery, blocked only by my RPE, though it does feel like my incisors get in the way sometimes.

I went back to the office this week after working from home since a week after surgery. I felt pretty weak on Tuesday. Wednesday I worked from home since I had an all day conference call. Today I went in to the office again and it was better than Tuesday. What's bothering me most is really my neck and shoulder which is still causing me to have episodes of vertigo.

I still feel tight in my top jaw. Smiling feels like stretching. I've noticed too that I can't suck my top lip into my mouth. I really hope the tightness goes away and my range of motion comes back. It has a lot since surgery, so I hope that continues. I'm trying to allow myself not to feel normal until I get my RPE out in another 7 weeks.

I'm getting my lower braces on in 12 days, yikes!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

14 and 21 days

(above, left to right: 14 and 21 days. click for large size)

I am now 3 weeks after expansion. Progress has felt slow this week, though when compared with last weeks photos I can see some continued improvement. The gap has closed a little bit more, the front of my arch is flatter and rounder, and on the first 3 teeth on the left, new gum tissue has covered over more of the base of each tooth. If you look closely at the base of those three you can see the little bumpy parts which are gone on the right photo. Feels much smoother when I run my tongue over those spots too, which is good because it was causing me some worry. I hope the gap will close up more at the top soon and get rid of the V shape it's been in for a while.

Last weekend I managed to eat some pancakes. It was slow and tedious but I was thrilled to have more food in my tummy! I can also eat Nutrigrain bars and for dinner I am trying to eat a can of brown beans the usual way, sans blender! Took me half an hour last night. I have to be mindful not to use my six front teeth while chewing.

I took some Motrin last night, but other than that the pain has been tolerable. I have regained a lot of feeling back in my cheeks and upper lip but still some way to go yet. Still a little bit of swelling or puffiness there. I can sleep more comfortably on my stomach with the side of my face directly on the bed now but only for short durations.

Talking has improved. Getting easier to pronounce F and Th. I think I'm getting close to the point where I was before surgery, back to when my speech was impeded only by the RPE appliance. Smiling is a lot easier now too. No more painful tugging, but still a feeling of tension. Same with being able to sneer my nose, so I seem to have a bit more range of motion.

3 more weeks till I go see Dr W. I hope to be gap-free by then!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Off to the races...

(above: my gap at 1, 7, and 14 days post-expansion. click for large size.)

Week number two is in the bucket and you can definitely see some progress now. There is space on the outer sides of both incisors, and they are tilted toward each other at the bottom creating a v-shaped gap. I can feel the movement all the way from my back molars as if everything is pushing forward. Lately it's been once or twice a day I can feel the pressure from it. It's not painful, save for the odd lightning spike here and there, but it does bring back that prickly numbness while the teeth are actually moving. Everything feels a little bit loose too and it does hurt to put any pressure on them so I've still not been chewing much at all. I think I've lost more weight too, not good.

I got a call from Dr Goldshlager's office to remind me of my cleaning appointment that was booked six months ago. I was thrilled to tell them that I had done my SARPE and was in recovery mode. I'll give them a call to reschedule once Dr W gives me the ok. I have a feeling that won't be until I get my upper braces on in July when everything is pretty much solid again.

Time to start finding more solid things to chew, and push myself to do it (within reason of course).