Boycott

As you may have read in my previous posts, I did quite a bit of experimenting with food after my surgery. I did not expect that finding things to eat would be such a struggle, but it’s one of the largest challenges any human being can face. That moment where you’re watching a commercial for food and start crying? Been there. It’s painful I know… but it gets better!

Anyways, as a Journalism major, a classmate informed me that I should write to companies whose products I used after my surgery. I hoped to sample their products and then write about them to help other patients find even more options post surgery. She assured me that I would receive some goodies, perhaps samples of other products from the company? I thought what a great idea!

Fast forward a week and I am irked. Not only do I find myself empty-handed with no free food or even fun things to sample but I even got a rejection email! And yes I realise that this whole situation is bizarre beyond reason. Why would someone be upset for not receiving free food? But I am a recent graduate, unemployed, and Costco is a 30 minute drive so getting their wonderful free samples is quite a hassle.

Being rejected hurts. Being rejected after telling these companies how much they have helped me and how I hope to help others by advertising their food is far worse than having my mouth hammered in. (Read my previous post if you find yourself confused/clueless. )

Here is the email I sent to Quaker Grits. My (former) pride and joy.

To whom it may concern, I have been a huge fan of Quaker Grits for as long as I can remember. Whether it was for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Grits has always been a top option. Today, my love for Grits is stronger than ever. As a college student I can say that I have had numerous meals provided for me by your company. Delicious and nutritious, could it get any better? This past December I underwent jaw surgery. Unable to eat ”normal” food for four months, I was left trying to figure out what (and how) I was going to eat. In come Quaker Grits. Wether it meant adding extra water to make them easier to eat or adding broth, I have enjoyed your product in more ways than you could ever imagine. Today, I have a blog with more than 6,000 visitors. Most of my audience is about to undergo or has undergone jaw surgery. I write about my experience and also give recommendations about what to eat. I am writing to ask if I could receive some samples of your products. Using my b log as an outlet to review the products I feel this would prove beneficial to your company and more importantly to my viewers. I pride myself on answering every question that is sent to me and helping in any way I can. I can say with confidence that my readers would benefit greatly from knowing your product is not only an option, but also delicious! Thank you.

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Here is their response:

Ashley:
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story of surgery and recovery. It’s wonderful that you are willing to host a blog for people who are in similar circumstances.
It’s great to know our Grits have played such a big role in your life, and we count you among our most loyal fans. While we’re flattered that you’re interested in receiving coupons for our products, we do not send them upon request.
Some of the best places to check for our coupons is in store circulars, newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, and magazines. We also work with our grocery store partners to periodically offer in-store sales and promotions. I hope you’ll watch for them in your local newspapers and store circulars. You can take advantage of these specials as they are offered quite frequently throughout the year.
I’ll share your interest in seeing more coupons with our marketing team, Ashley. Thank you for your loyalty to Quaker. After all, we know you have a wide variety of brands from which to choose, and we always appreciate your choosing ours.
Allison Quaker Consumer Relations A Division of PepsiCo

Well. Thank you Allison for reading my “inspiring” story. You know what I felt was inspiring? The thought of having samples from you.

And here is the response from Campbell soup. Nicer, but still…..rejected. And yes, I am aware of the fact I got a coupon but let’s be honest people. I wanted a box of samples to try. I had a mission to sample their products and then write about it on here.

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We received your message and appreciate your taking the time to contact Campbell Soup Company to let us know that you think our Campbell’s Slow Kettle Soup is “M’m! M’m! Good!”  I’ve forwarded your kind words to the rest of my team so that they too may know that their efforts are appreciated.
At Campbell, our number one priority is to delight our consumers.  We realize that it is consumers like you who have helped build our businesses and we sincerely appreciate your loyalty.
As a small token of our thanks, I’ve sent a complimentary coupon in the mail.  Please use it to enjoy your favorite product from the Campbell family of brands including V8, Prego, Pace and Pepperidge Farm.
Thank you for visiting the Campbell Soup Company website.
Campbell Soup Company Web Team ELR/DXV

As a result, I am boycotting Grits/Campbell. Which will be challenging considering I ordered them in BULK after surgery and still have hundreds of packets of Grits left over.

I was planning on responding to their rejections, recommending they visit my blog to see

A) How much we need variety after surgery and thus feeling extreme guilt after depriving me of their products.

B) Seeing the bad light I am now shedding onto them.

Revenge is sweet….but never a good idea. Therefor, I shall refrain from responding to their emails BUT I will leave my mark. It is now up to you my fellow surgery buddies. Grits? or no grits? Campbell’s or no Campbell’s?

For future reference here are other companies that provide both grits and soup. Just puttin’ it out there 😉

Bobs Red Mill Natural Foods (http://www.bobsredmill.com/)

Frontier Soups (http://www.frontiersoups.com/)

We live and we learn

Ashleys Trip to NYC

I’m finally back home after going to NYC to see Dr. Mac. I went to get a “procedure” that would shorten the time I have to be in braces. This “procedure” was more like a baby-surgery. I definetly had some PTSD of some sort. The following description of what I had done is not nice or pretty. You have been warned.

As soon as I got into the office Dr. Mac explained what he would be doing. Chiseling at the bone in between each tooth which would allow my teeth to move faster. Sounded pretty simple to me, and let’s face it…I have had way worse done before!
I casually asked if there was any way I could get some nitrous (laughing gas) to which Dr.Mac said that was a sure option. So, they hooked me onto the nitrous which was super exciting because let’s face…it’s like going on a vacation in your mind. At the beginning he started the nitrous off slow and it got stronger as it went on….strong to the point where I’m only remembering certain things now.
Here’s a picture of me that I don’t really remember taking/don’t know why I took:

So I was feeling great. Dr. Mac numbed my mouth which I’m terrified of but I’ve learned that taking a deep breath as he puts the syringe in makes a world of difference, really. I hardly felt it. He then took out a blade (scalpel?) and no joke. a hammer. It looked like a hammer for dolls, like if one of the American Girl Collection dolls was a construction worker, she would have had this one. It was metal and tiny and a real hammer.
The blade went into my mouth somewhere (remember I can’t feel it) and then was the hammer. It felt like he was hammering a nail into my face, my head was vibrating and I suddenly panicked as I realised how horrible this was. My little fists were so tightly pressed together that I think he noticed and next thing I know I was even deeper into my la-la land of a dream. The hammering continued for what ended up being about two hours! It felt like five minutes but the hammering was still horribly traumatizing.
In between, Dr. Mac took a little break to which I asked him where Dr. Levine was. Dr. Levine is another dentist that works in the office and has been featured on the Dr. Oz/Good Morning America show various times.

Here he is:

I kept wondering why I had never seen him? A few minutes later I heard a voice to which I (in my altered state) demanded to know “who are you!?”

Dr. Mac responded with a “that’s Dr. Levine Ashley.” I turned my flirt on and proceeded to introduce myself to him ( probably with blood all over my mouth and chin,) a mask on my nose, and even offered Dr. Levine my resume. Dr. Levine now knows I am a recent graduate and looking for work. Feeling pity, he grabbed my hand and shook it as I exclaimed “you have the softest hands in the world” and then grabbed him with both my hands and held on…..for a while.

The rest of my baby surgery was filled with more hammering and me (flirting again?) telling Dr. Mac I hoped to marry someone just like him.

Oh the joys of nitrous.

I left the office with gauze, pain killers, and left behind my dignity.

Today, I have stitches under my lip that will be there for about two weeks. The pain is minimal but present. One thing I CAN say is that the titanium in my face is beyond soar. Under my eyes, in my jaw, and on the side of my nose. I feel it has something to do with the screws/nails vibrating with each hit?

Off to dream (without nitrous hehe), I’m tired beyond reason.
Hugs xo

Graduate

I have officially graduated from college. Sad but happy. Confident but terrified. I could go on and on with descriptions of my emotions….

I have done incredibly well this semester ending with a 3.6 GPA. Don’t get too excited though, this is only for this semester. Before my jaw surgery I had a lot of trouble staying awake due to my airway being so constricted. Imagine sleeping for 12 hours and feeling like you slept for 5 hours. If I didn’t get more than 8 hours of sleep every night, I couldn’t function. This is further proof of how really incredible this surgery has been. I only wish I had gotten it earlier so I could have had a better overall GPA! Oh well, It’s a confidence boost to know that I did so well even after not being able to eat solid foods for a month and then only being able to eat soft chew food. And of course, going to California for post op appointments. Time consuming is a good way to describe this whole process!

Here are some pictures of me at graduation:
Mom and I:

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My room mate!Image

Tomorrow is the big day when I get these braces taken off but WAIT, again, don’t get too excited because I have to get new ones put on and this time I don’t get the ceramic ones. I havent been told when I get the braces taken off all together but it should be less than a year. Until then, my life can’t really get started. I feel like once I am all healed from the surgery I can really go back to being normal.

No News is Bad News

I wish I had some good news to tell all you wonderful people but, unfortunately, the news I have is less than satisfactory.

I had my appointment today with the wonderful Gunson, Mac, and Chira but they told me that

A) I must have the braces on for another 6 months to a year.

B) I have to go down to New York City to get this procedure that (good news?) will expedite the process of braces.

C) I have to get the dark braces, or normal braces if that’s what you want to call them.

I am so upset. The last thing I wanted to hear was that I had to keep the braces on for this much longer but then to hear that I had to get the “normal” ones? I didn’t know how to react. Dr Mac put me in my place and said that I could have them taken off right then and there and deal with all sorts of problems with my teeth, bite, and jaw. Which is true, I could have them removed but obviously that would be a less than ideal situation.

Meanwhile, Dr Gunson took out the evil hook from my jawbone which was terrifying but kind of awesome at the same time.

Here’s a picture of the little guy.

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I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t cry because…I did but honestly its just becaue there is nothing worse then expecting some great news and then not only NOT getting that news but getting news that is even worse. And then I start to think to myself “how shallow am I that I am actually complaining about something that is superficial?” or “there are so many worse things that I could have and here I am complaining about this.”

The procedure that will expedite the braces (which by the way will still mean I have them on for 6 months) involves me going down to NYC to see Dr Mac and having him make some minor incision in my jaw bone and chiseling at it? I don’t know the specifics but thats what it sounded like.

I already told my parental units that I would pay for it. The last thing I want is for them to have to pay any more money for this process. Funny thing is I have no money so, Im offering and the thought is sweet and all but….I have nothign to show for it.

I wish I could act happier but I’m graduating in a week. Tonight was my last weekend night in college which was fun. I was fortunate enough to have a young gentlemen come up to me, ask me what class I was, and then proceed to lie to me saying he was also a senior and had recently transferred from Harvard.

Apparently I have the word stupid written on my forehead. At least he made me laugh, even if it was at him…it was worth it.

Graduation

Hello!
It has once again been far too long since I’ve written. As a senior in college my days consist of work, work, and more work following by weekends of catching up on sleep, catching up on work, and more catching up with friends. Basically, I’ve been super busy but for those of you who may not remember, I have in fact written a book titled “Minimum Wage, Maximum Sentence” available here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/ashley-aubert/minimum-wage-maximum-sentence/paperback/product-20063261.html

As for my jaw, its feeling dandy! I am still doing my jaw exercises and have narrowed the time when I drive to when I do them. Its unfortunate when a good song comes on and I can’t sing a long but the jaw exercises are far more important. I have followed EVERY single rule so far in hopes of getting the braces removed before graduation which is on May 14th. I know, that’s pushing it but….I love to dream, and you should too.

My swelling has gone down to a level where you would never guess I had my jaw cracked open and repositioned which is an added plus. As for eating, ah eating. I can do all foods but should still stay away from really hard foods like nuts etc. Fine with me. There is no way I feel ready to crunch down on anything just yet. The temperatures are rising so no more pain caused by the titanium in my face. Oh and speaking of titanium, has anyone heard this song lately?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgqB0zg_6u4&feature=fvst

It’s written for jaw surgery patients, and goes a little something like this

” I am titanium. You shoot me down but I won’t fall, I am titanium.”

That’s right my fellow followers, we are titanium. Or we have titanium all up in our face but what’s the difference right?

Anywhos, I have been going to see Dr.Chira about once a week still and she adjusts my bite by making the tiniest changes that make a world of difference. I’m wearing my elastics at night which is in no way annoying, thank goodness. I would say the worst thing going on with my jaw is the braces but hey, I’m almost at the finish line and I can’t wait. I’m planning on making a shirt that says “I just got my braces off” and wearing it around for the day.

One thing I have noticed is that I still cant really whistle which I think is caused by the shape of my mouth which in many ways is “new.” I’m having to restrain myself. How fun is that!? I used to whistle all the time walking around and now I just kind of breathe with a slight hint of a whistle, its pathetic but I consider it my practice time.

This Saturday is huge! Dr.Gunson, Mac, and Dr.Chira are all going to be here and I am going to see them and guess what!? I find out when the braces are coming off so I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Although I have to admit that I dont know what I would do if Gunson looked at my teeth and went “yep, another six months.” No really, I just don’t think I could handle it.

I am currently looking for employment (hint hint) to all you readers out there. I keep having this image in my head that once the braces are off I can finally start my life over and feel 100 percent back to normal which is completely silly because, come on….they’re just on my teeth. But theyve become part of me and I have to admit my worst fear is being remembered as “that girl who had braces.” That’s why I try to act strange in public so people will remember me as the weird girl instead. I prefer that one a lot more.

So here are a few pictures of me taken last weekend.

I shall update soon, and Im considering starting a blog about being straight out of college. To my disappointment (not) I cant write about my jaw forever right? But of course, questions are ALWAYS welcome anytime.

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