Ashley Goes to LA ~~~~>

Hello!
As I mentioned before I have not updated in waaaay to long. Major no-no. I just returned from Los Angeles this morning. The flight was great, what a difference from last time! Then again, I was on antihistamines (more on that in a bit.)

To update you all, a lot of Gunson/Arnett patients return to S.Barbara at about the 8 week mark for a post-op check up. It’s a chance for them to make sure you’re staying on track with recovery. Lucky for me Dr. Mac and Dr.Chira were both going to be there too as there was a conference on that week.

Here’s a picture of the team looking at my mouth, I felt so VIP 😉 Very cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Dr.Mac in the jacket.Dr.Gunson is on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the left: Dr.Chira, my orthodontist and the lady who first told me I needed to have jaw surgery! Kim is in the background, she’s like a personal assistant who knows the answers to everything. Dr.Mac and Dr.Gunson are working on me!

Everything with my jaw is good. I wasn’t ready for soft chew quite yet, one more week said Gunson. He tested this by putting a stick into my mouth and asking me to bite lightly. The right side didn’t budge while the left was still slightly wobbly and therefore needed a few days.

While I was there I mentioned that my ear was still blocked from Dec.24 when I flew home. I could not hear out of my right ear! Gunson, who is also a real doctor ( as in, he did everything before specializing) looked in my ear and said I had “pockets” or things that were causing my ears to block because of swelling. The next part is when it got scary. After making a phone call to an ENT Gunson returned to the room and informed me I needed to see an ENT right away and I couldn’t fly home Sunday if it wasnt fixed. Apparently if this “pocket” was to erupt during flight I would lose hearing in my right ear. Scary right?

The rest of the day was horrible as I was so stressed and scared. I refused to miss school and even considered driving across America. Too bad it would  take us 5 days! After we found out the ENT could not see me that day we stayed the night and drove back to LA the next day. That’s when the calls started coming in….everyone from Gunson to Dr. Chira and finally even Dr. Arnett! My ear had become a huge issue and no ENT doctors could see me. As a senior I was refusing to stay until my ear was fixed, I couldn’t risk my grades. Gunson put me on steroids, nasal sprays, and all sorts of other fun stuff with specific instructions on how to take them.

In the end, Dr. Arnett called me and said that after much discussion they had a plan to get me on the flight safely, ear intact. Taking an antihistamine and Afrin nose spray I was told to chew gum when going up and when going down during flight. Here I am now, still not hearing, but theres no pain and that’s great news! Just have to see an ENT asap to get it resolved!

While I was at Gunsons I was able to have my screws removed, soooo fun! They put some numbing stuff and after a few minutes he literally used a screw driver. No pain, kind of weird, but very cool to see. I had a video but it disappeared 😦 Anyways that’s it for jaw updates. My soft chew diet starts Wednesday and Im not as excited haha, I am very prepared for it to be difficult at first!
Getting into the sun and out of the cold was so nice, it was the necessary break I needed after what is the toughest recovery!

Here’s a picture of my team: Aren’t they just a good lookin’ group?

I can’t wait to smile haha.

Never let you down!

Im so sorry I havent updated in forever! I just got back from Los Angeles for my 8 week post op. I flew all night,had class, and now Im in bed.

The post will be worth it though I swear. It invovlves:Jaws, and hear loss.
and by the way, on my trip I forgot my chord which is why I didnt post any pics, see? I always have a good excuse.

I would never let you down and skip out, how rude would I be!?

Snow snow snow…No no nooooo!

Happy winter everyone!

I walked into the kitchen today and a deliciousness was afloat in the midst. Yes, it is the pictured above. Two of my room mates made it and obviously, told me about all the possible ways I would be able to eat.

“You can just put a piece in and let it melt!”

Peppermint isn’t really my thing but it looked so handsome that I decided to try a tiny  thin tasty flake of it. It obviously melted right away but the taste was great. Even for someone who doesn’t love peppermint!

So for all of you who are wondering how my two nights of “sleeping on my side” have gone? AMAZING. I fall asleep in less than five minutes and sleep so well. No more waking up and wanting to sob because I can’t stand being on my back anymore! Strangely enough I wake up earlier then my alarm, a rarity….I don’t have an explanation for this.

I am still in the process of obtaining my “disabled parking permit” and am no longer feeling large amounts of guilt. If you could understand what is outside right now. All I need is a yellow ball gown, a pair of ice skates, and ta-dah…I am Belle from Beauty and the Beast on ice.
I have to admit sitting on my couch eating peanut butter while watching people attempt to cross the ice field has become a popular hobby of mine.

Here are some pictures I took of the front and back of my house. These are also proof for those that are doubting the accurate-ness (yes, I just invented a word.) of my claims:

Item. 1: Here I present the field outside my house, yes there is usually grass there. The light you see in the far distance are where my classes are. Deciding to cross this ice field is a choice I choose not to make but….can you blame me!?
Oh. And don’t let that dry-looking path fool you! Patches of ice hide in blind spots, the path has the added downside of being highly visible to neighbors. A fall in this location would cause deep embarrassment and eternal mocking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item.2: Presented here is the back of my house. As you can see, to get to one’s car you must risk a dangerous fall. I take this risk about 4 times a day. It’s awesome……….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item.3 Presented here is one more picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It snowed tonight, this means you never know when your walking on patches of ice. With every step, I question “is this going to be one that lands me in the hospital?”

Apart from trying to gain pity for the weather, I am doing relatively well. I still get tired easily and school work is piling up, yay. On an other note, I have been biting my own tongue today, and no I don’t mean that in the literary sense. I mean I’m actually biting my own tongue, without meaning to. Picturing myself as I sit in class suddenly jerking and then saying”Ouch, I just bit my tongue by accident again” does put a smile on my face though 🙂

Jaw Surgery, and how it relates to zombies.

I arrived late to my first class today! I left half an hour early to cross campus and make it on time, stopping to get coffee. I only realised once I got my coffee that I in fact, could not just grab a bite to eat. I looked around….bagels,cereal,fruit,toast. Oh no, what am I going to eat? I left for class without any food in me, I swear that’s  lesson number one of the first day of school, eat breakfast!!!

It was five minutes to eleven and I was trudging my way over the ice covered ground. For the average individual, icy ground is never fun. For someone who’s just had surgery? It’s terrifying, a death trap in my opinion! I asked a friend to help me walk because having that extra bit of support is just so helpful, I figure Im less apt to fall that way, and if I do fall I might land on my friend thus cushioning the impact. Just kidding…not really.

For those of you awaiting surgery. If you live in a cold place BE WARNED.

The cold was painful on my face. Especially the titanium pieces next to my nose, probably because it’s so close to my skin. It feels like you’re getting slapped in the face, more like one constant slap. The whole time I’m asking myself “Why? What did I do!?”

In my first class we spoke about our first text, a book about International Relations and Zombies. Ironically, I could relate…

I was tired,hungry,and…well,let’s just say the way I walk could be misconstrued.

http://www2.newsadvance.com/entertainment/2010/nov/04/couch-potato-zombies-descend-amcs-walking-dead-ar-632264/

 

 

 

 

———–> The individual on the right would be me….

 

 

 

 

Focusing on class was difficult as I kept wondering what would happen with my participation grade? Having my jaw still banded shut makes it a little challenging to talk and I was already late to the class. Argh, not starting off well. Luckily, I spoke to the professor after class who was understanding, thank goodness. Good news is that I should only have to have my jaw banded shut during the day for about two more weeks, then I’m free to open my mouth all I want. Yay!

I had a space of one hour in between my class and a meeting with a professor but was so terrified of going out onto the campus wide ice rink that I just sat around. Thank goodness there’s an elevator as I told a professor of mine “i dont think I would make it to class otherwise.”

By the time I got home I was exhausted and force-fed myself some apple sauce. This was nowhere near enough food and the rest of the day is kind of hazy. It was so overwhelming, physically and mentally as each step I took I was terrified of slipping, and mentally, I was trying so hard to focus. One of the most challenging parts was how much I was moving, I wasn’t lying in bed resting anymore.

This is my last semester of college and I cannot let my jaw stop me from doing well.

I understand why people take semesters off and why Dr. Gunsons office forbid me from taking Ballet I. Every day is still just so exhausting. Tomorrow I have two classes and I just hope I won’t get overtired.

As for people’s reactions to my face, they were all lovely. I didn’t see half as many people as I usually do and once I was in my house I didn’t leave except to go to the store. Basically, I’m a hermit now. Who knows what this weekend will bring? The first weekend of my last semester in college? I can only imagine….No, not what you’re thinking.

I’ll probably spend my day in bed watching TV (sans my cat, breaks my heart to think about it) followed by a trip downstairs to blend some dinner and then retreat to my room too exhausted to go out. Sounds exciting huh!?

I wish I could say more positive things about my first day. I can say that everyone was nice. Friends helped me walk and my roommate even forced me to eat something healthy, and professors were all understanding and very accommodating.

On the more negative side, I’m just so tired. I’m already in my pj’s ready to go to sleep…..Well, here’s to tomorrow.

My First Day of School

Brrrrrrr, it is SO cold outside. Every time I step outside the skin on my body screams “what is this!? Ew, the sheer terror!” The metal in my face starts to feel chilly and obviously I start getting worried. Just the idea of having the metal feel super cold creeps me out. It’s already tough with wind blowing on my face, cold wind? No thank you.
I live only 15 minutes from campus but I thought it would be a smart idea to “move back in” over two days. I brought some stuff over yesterday and today brought over the rest of it. My awesome mom and friend helped me with the suitcase, I just couldn’t do it myself.

What.a.diva…

No really, I’m noticing more how little strength I have. I was going to the gym and doing yoga at least three times a week before surgery and now I have to wrestle with a jar to open it. Anytime I have to move something it’s a challenge I sometimes can’t complete.

On another note, once I put my stuff in the car I drove off. Quite sad really. I’ve gotten so used to being a hermit in my house/bed that moving back to school was making me nervous. As soon as I drove away my car started making the strangest noises. I tried to open the windows to hear it better but…my windows were frozen shut! After about 5 minutes I drove into a gas station to check out my car, something was very wrong with it.That’s when I saw an elderly man waving at me in my mirror. “You’ve bust your tire” he said.

Oh no.

Indeed my tire was completely flat…so flat it bent the inner metal area.

So in the end,mom came to get me and we left the car parked there. We’ll handle it tomorrow.We decided to go to Panera and had some delicious soup yum.Mom’s awesome, my lack of strength means more work for her, but she’s a real sport.

For now,Im in my dorm room trying to figure out how the heck I’m going to sleep on my back….I just want to lay on my stomach. I’ve got the first day jitters! And with my new face,that makes things even more nerve-racking. I have a theory that if anyone says they don’t like it…I’m going to cry.

After having so much done to my face, I just wouldn’t be able to handle someone being mean to it.

Ah well, I sense a wave of fatigue so I’m going to take advantage and trying to get some rest. Goodnight all 🙂

Sleep Cravings

I still have to sleep on my back and I can’t stand it anymore!! I’m a stomach sleeper, I enjoy putting the covers over my whole head…sometimes you can’t even tell I’m even in the bed. It’s bliss.

Personally, I think I sleep  (literally) like a baby in the womb but people say that’s really weird. I don’t care, I miss it too much. And as the email I sent the Gunson last  night said, my “weak,skinny body craves to be on its stomach.” I actually sent an email begging that I be allowed to sleep on my side.

It’s here.

Shout out to a dedicated reader, Tom De Moya, Thanks for reading kind sir!

 Can you spot the cat?

I looked in the mirror today and did not like what I saw. Strangest feeling, almost like a body dysmorphic moment. I know I look good, thanks to my wonderful family and friends who have given me so much support (also known as giving me compliments all the time…they keep me very positive about the final results)

So…this is what happened.

I was doing my jaw exercises with my mirror when I noticed my mouth…I hated it. I knew perfectly well that it looked fine but I just hated it. I propped myself up and looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. My face looked huge to me, my eyes were really far apart, and since when do I have that little wrinke above my forehead? I had no idea what was happening, I had been fine with my face so far and in less than an hour, managed to find all these things I thought were wrong.

I knew something was wrong when I started thinking “well, someone can lift my eyebrows, give me a light nose job so it’s not too noticeable, give me cheekbone implants, and remove some of that extra pudge below my chin. Perfect”

The reality? THE AFTERMATH, and it’s here.

I had been warned about this moment, I call it THE AFTERMATH. The moment when those of us who have undergone “facial reconstruction” or esthetic procedures look in the mirror and just see imperfections. I want my old face back, I kept thinking to myself. I hate this new one, its high maintenanace and I look square…and it’s just not what I wanted!

This is a typical effect on your pysche after you have undergone surgery that has changed you, physically.

Now,I’m going to get scientific on you but, did you know that the anesthesia used in operations stays in your system for three weeks? Not a biggie right? Well, if you consider the effect it has on you physically and emotionally, it becomes a huge issue. I was lucky enough to have researched this before hand. My second week after surgery I had two days where I just wanted to flunk out on everything,I was miserable. Dr. Gunsons office warns you of all these things but it seems so bizarre you don’t really play attention to it. A couple days later I was feeling tons better but, I’m not going to sugar coat anything. For anyone about to undergo surgery, the anaesthesia can have this effect….it is very short but not fun.

For me, not being able to take care of myself, so to speak, has had its challenging moments. I get angry (sometimes) when people cook for me but, I’m too weak to do it myself! I’m sick of getting tired so quickly, I’m sick of having to keep the door unlocked when I take a shower incase I pass out. I’m really sick of being so damn cold all the time due to lack of calories. Or being terrified of anything that looks icy where I could slip. I feel like a glass statue sometimes.

I realise now that this is just because i have undergone a huge trauma and your mind is telling you to be extra careful as your body is very fragile!

One more thing, as I mentioned previously, is the physical change. In one month, we have had our faces changed, our skulls changed, our airways changed, and the loss of weight has completely transformed our bodies. That is a huge amount of change. And let me tell you something, I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. (I was the girl who used to move her room around and then cry because it just didn’t feel right.)

So this is my little “sad”post. I had some sad moments but I keep telling myself that this is normal. And I hope all my other surgery buddies know that.

Please just make sure I don’t get addicted to altering myself? Like, addicted to plastic surgery! No really, because I have weak moments where I suddenly think of butt implants and all I watch is nip/tuck where the operations look so simple! It could literally get out of control 😉

Here’s a video of someone who is now, addicted to plastic surgery.

(Jenny Lee on Larry King Live)

I can’t wait for the day when I am all back to normal and I realise how wonderful of a job the team did.I mean,look at the blogs from Gunsons patients? See any regrets there? Nah 🙂