The Accident

Throughout my blog, I refer to an accident I had in November 2010 when I fainted and broke my jaw. On this page, I'm going to copy and paste my (previous) blog posts about the accident in case you have no idea what I'm talking about.  This is SUPER long reading, sorry!


An explanation of the accident, ER, and hospital stay
Why 2010 was the best Thanksgiving EVER
Feeling extremely down and depressed
The arch bar removal! This was crazy.
My current dental x-rays (interesting!)



Entry #1:  The Accident and Hospital Stay

I'm going to try and remember everything with details, so I apologize for a long entry. I'm in an insane amount of pain right now and I keep making spelling errors that I probably won't correct soon.  This whole mess started on Friday.  (Oh, and by the way.... this was my first trip to the ER, my first broken bone, my first stitches, my first surgery, and my first ambulance ride).

FRIDAY:
I ate like crap on Friday. I even bought a big container of chocolate peanut butter ice cream to eat after dinner because I hadn't had it in so long and I was craving it like crazy. So on Friday night, I was home alone with the kids. I ate some icecream, then some more, then some more... until I had eaten the whole freaking container. I think it was just under a half-gallon size, but maybe it was a little smaller than that. Either way, it was way more than I should have eaten.

The kids and I decided to watch a movie together. I was thinking about how I got so off track with my diet and I was feeling guilty about it, and I wanted to make things right with the kids at least by spending some time with them. Jerry was at work. We watched Wall-E, and at around 7:45, Noah fell asleep while lying on my lap. I picked him up (he's about 50-55 pounds or so) and carried him to his bunk bed. I set him up on the top bunk, and he said to me, "Mama, I don't want to go to sleep yet." I told him that he had already fallen asleep, but I would put on a movie in his bedroom for him.

I walked over to his TV, turned on the DVD player, and then got super dizzy and nauseaus. My vision went kind of black (like it does when you stand up too fast) and then I thought, "Oh no, I'm going to throw up this ice cream!".  I started walking toward the door of Noah's bedroom in order to get to the bathroom.

Next thing I knew, I was laughing kind of heavily and felt claustrophobic and just weird. My face was throbbing, and felt wet. I had no clue where I was or what I was doing. I kept trying to look around, but my head was just killing me. Finally, I discovered I was on Noah's floor with a pool of blood under my face. I thought, "OHMYGOD, I actually passed out! What the heck?!" and then I tried to bite my teeth together, which caused more panic. My teeth felt SO MESSED UP. They wouldn't close together and they felt "floppy" or something.

My first thought was that I lost my teeth when I fell. I rushed to the bathroom, and started spitting out blood like crazy. It wouldn't stop coming out. I was rinsing out my mouth over and over, but the blood kept coming. I tried to scramble for the phone, but of course couldn't remember where it was. Finally, I found it and called my mom. I blurted out, "Mom! I passed out! I'm bleeding!" and she kind of panicked and rushed over here. My dad followed her so that he could watch the kids while my mom went to the hospital with me. My mom wanted to call 911 to get an ambulance, but I really didn't want to go to the local hospital (which is infamous for killing people, really).

I had her drive me to a town about 25 minutes from here. I walked right in and they took me to a room right away (I was probably the only patient there). I had to explain the story a dozen times. They did a CAT scan and some blood tests to figure out why I fell. The sent me to the bathroom to pee in a cup, and lo-and-behold, I had to start my damn period at the ER... REALLY?!

My mom called my husband at work, and he drove to the ER. It was super foggy outside, so I was worried about him. At this point, I really didn't think that my jaw was going to be the big deal it turned out to be, so I wanted Jerry to stay at work since we need the money. The doctor came in and said, "Your jaw is MESSED UP. You can't stay here."  Haha, awesome. My jaw was so bad that they needed to send me to a place that specializes in trauma.

They transported me by ambulance to a huge hospital in Detroit.  The ER there was pretty bad. There were a lot of drug overdoses that came in, which I am so not used to seeing! They did another CAT scan, some other tests on my heart and a arteries, etc.  Eventually, they just put me in a room to spend the night. They said I would need surgery on Monday.

Frickin MONDAY?!  Yep, I had to wait with a broken jaw from Friday to Monday.

It was kind of funny, too--I can't even count the number of times I was asked if I feel safe at home, if my husband did this to me, etc. They just said that the injuries I have seem way too extensive for a fall. I felt bad for Jerry, because people were giving him the evil eye, lol.

SATURDAY:
My sister decided to come to town and pick up Eli and take him home to Illinois with her for a week.. Noah still had school, so he stayed with my parents.  I knew Eli would have a blast with Jeanie.  The hospital started giving me some serious pain meds, so that helped a lot. But I still just wanted to be done with it!  See, with a broken jaw, you can't eat anything---I had to have clear liquids only for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My meals consisted of:  chicken broth, hot tea, juice, and jello (which I couldn't eat, because it had to be chewed). My mom, aunt, dad, Noah, and my pastor came to visit, which was nice.

SUNDAY:
A little more testing for surgery. My brother Nathan came to visit, and so did Stacie. Stacie brought me some magazines. By this time, I was super anxious to just get the surgery done with and go home.  My surgery was scheduled for 9:30 AM on Monday. I couldn't sleep at all, because I had a crappy roommate.

MONDAY:
They came to get me at 8:00 AM to prep for surgery. Asked me a million questions, explained the surgery, etc.  I was TERRIFIED of general anesthesia. Don't know why it scares me so badly, but it's not something to take lightly! They put another IV in my arm (at this point, I'd had quite a few different ones). I said good-bye to my mom and Jerry, and my pastor's wife who had come to see me.

I was wheeled to the OR where I started panicking. I was crying and a nervous wreck. The OR docs were really nice and made me feel a little more comfortable. However, once they had me all strapped in to the OR table and everything, I REALLY felt like I had to go pee. Which  sucks badly when you have a 3 hour surgery ahead. That was the last thing I remember then.

I woke up feeling REALLY hot and kicking my legs around to get blankets off of me. I was kind of thrashing because I remember just wanting those blankets off. I also had to be so badly that I felt like my bladder was going to explode. The surgery had actually taken over 4 hours! I kept insisting that I had to pee, and they put a bed pan under me. Even then, it was hard for me to go. Once I did though, I felt a lot better.

They brought me to my room where my mom, Jerry, and my pastor's wife were all waiting for me. I was extremely swollen. My lips were so big! Jerry said that there were two teenage boys in the hall at the hospital making fun of me after my surgery (I didn't see this) and he wanted to go punch them out so badly. However, considering that his wife was there with a broken jaw, he thought better of it ;) 

I was too afraid to look in the mirror at that point. I knew that I looked like shit. I knew that I was swollen. I knew my face was no longer "pretty". Most of all, my teeth just didn't feel "right" anymore. When I talked to the doctor about this, he agreed. He wasn't pleased with how my teeth were lining up. He tried to maneuver my jaw in his office, but it was way too painful to do much, so he said he wanted to take me back to the OR on Wednesday. I was okay with that, because if you're going to fix something, might as well do it correctly, right?

To describe my injuries and surgery is kind of difficult without a diagram, but I'll try. I had broken my jaw at each corner (just under each ear), once on each side of my chin, and once in the center of my chin. There was a bone fragment from my jaw that split off and punctured two holes--once through my lower lip, and once through the bottom of my chin. On top of that stuff, I also had bruising and a type of rug burn or something.

To correct all this, the doctors put metal plates along my jaw bone and screwed them together. Then, they wired my jaw shut (by wrapping wire around my teeth) to stablize my jaw and let the corner breaks heal.The wires would need to be on from 4-6 weeks, in which time I could only be allowed to eat pureed things that could go through a straw.

Now, I just have to say... you all know how I've been bitching about the last 10-15 pounds I have to lose, right?! Well, THIS is SOOOO not how I planned on going about losing it!  I can't believe people actually PAY to have their jaws wired shut in order to lose weight. However, it could just be the intervention I needed to get my ass in gear :)  Not that I had a choice, though, really.

I slept on and off for the rest of the day Monday. By the time I had gotten back to my room from surgery, it was dinner time.


TUESDAY:
Tuesday was mainly prepping for surgery again on Wednesday. I had some more tests done. I met with the surgeons to discuss what they were planning. They said that the new surgery would be very simple--just adjust my jaws and rewire my teeth so they liked how my teeth looked. They said it would probably take an hour, and the anesthesia was really just so that I wouldn't have to feel the pain. They doubted they'd even have to make an incision.

I was getting really restless in my hospital room. I was still in the trauma center room, which was very small. And I had a roommate, which sucks when you're sleep deprived and staying in a hospital as it is. The nursing staff was mainly really nice. There were only one or two nurses I didn't care for, but the rest were very friendly and helpful. I even had a hot male nurse during the night on Sunday and Monday.

Tuesday night, Renee came to visit me which was fun. She brought me some magazines and we chatted for a couple of hours. She made me feel a lot better about my whole outlook on all that was happening. She is such a positive person, and I think that rubs off on me sometimes. She's been the best friend I could ever ask for, seriously.

While she was there, the hospital finally switched me to a private room on the ENT floor, which was AWESOME.  It was a brand new room and just gorgeously decorated and spacious and nice.  And QUIET. I was so ready to sleep that night. I fell asleep while Jerry was still there with me, and he watching TV.

An hour and a half later (Jerry said I was in a SUPER deep sleep) I woke up extremely confused. I didn't know where I was or what I was doing there. I was hyperventilating. I was just so scared that I had no clue what was going on! I was asking Jerry a million questions a minute, and I finally started breaking it down... So I fell on Friday? I went to the ER? They did surgery already, and I'm getting another tomorrow?  etc etc. Finally, I actually remembered it, but I tried so hard not to sleep that night because I was scared of it happening again. I don't think I've ever been so scared about something like losing memories.


WEDNESDAY:
I was woken up at about 5:30 by one of the doctors who would be doing my surgery. He wanted to get my consent signed and all that. I wasn't nearly as nervous this time around. My aunt came to be with me again, which was super nice of her to stay all day. They took me to pre-op at about 8, then got me ready and brought me to the OR. I made sure I didn't have to pee this time, and I told them I'd rather wake up freezing cold than hot like last time. That's the last I remember.

When I came too, my throat was SO SORE. It was sore after the first surgery too, but this time was excruciating. It was from the tube they put down my nose. I was starting to feel panicky, because I could feel mucous in my throat and I was worried that I was going to choke. Keep in mine my jaws were wired shut, so if I had to vomit or something, there was no place for it to go. Once I calmed down enough, they took me back to my room.

My second surgery had ended up taking them almost 3 hours! Once they got in there, they realized they wanted to replace the metal plate in my chin with a smaller one to bring my teeth closer together. So they had to cut open that incision again (along the lip/gum line inside my mouth). Then they did all the other stuff they planned on doing. However, when they were done, it looked much better than before. I wasn't nearly as swollen this time, and my teeth looked more aligned.  They also told me that I could go home the next day... yay!

THURSDAY:
The doctors came into my room early again to check me out, said everything looked good and I could leave an a few hours. I spent the morning (actually, I couldn't sleep during the night, so I got up at 2 AM) dry washing my hair, sponge-bathing, etc. Cleaning up a little. Trying to wean off the medications a little, which was hard... the Dilaudid in my IV was WONDERFUL, but obviously I couldn't take that forever.

When I was discharged, I was so happy to be going home, but nervous as well. I knew the pain was going to be bad, trying to eat a balanced liquid diet is practically an oxymoron. My parents and family and friends are SO AMAZING. My mom went and bought a bunch of the stuff I would need at home--mouthwash that is made for this, Boost (protein shake stuff), juices, new pajamas, straws and cups, etc. All the little things you don't really think of until you need them.

Jerry had the house pretty clean when I got home. He'd been keeping up with it. He actually stayed at the hospital with me about 99% of the time--even spent a few nights there with me--but when he went home, he really took his role as spouse seriously :) 

As soon as I walked in the door, my cats were all over me. They've never been like this before. I can tell they really missed me, and it seems almost like cants have a sixth sense.  They really won't leave me alone now :)  I love my kitties!

Anyway, I really wasn't feeling up to writing all this yesterday. I was in a lot of pain, and it's hard to get used to controlling your own pain when you've had the hospital do it for a week. I am constantly worried about overdosing myself or mixing the wrong drugs or something like that. And not to mention how ITCHY I am!

Eli came home yesterday with my sister-they flew home, and it was Eli's first "real" flight. I was so happy to see him! I didn't think I'd get so emotional, but I actually cried when I hugged him. When Noah got home from school, I got emotional all over again. Jerry and I had a parent-teacher conference scheduled for yesterday with Noah's teacher. She said he's probably the best-behaved kid she's ever had in class. He got all A's and one A-... what a great first report card!

Renee brought over some more goodies for me yesterday--fruit and vegetable juices (very healthy ones, which I need), some tea, a nice card, some hemp protein, etc. My parents, my sister, my kids, my younger brother  Nathan, and Jerry all sat around at my house chatting for a little while, which was nice. It's a shame that it has to take a broken jaw like this to get everyone together. My older brother is coming in today, and I'm excited to see him too.  My wine club meeting is tonight, and I'm actually thinking of going, lol. I obviously can't have any wine, due to pain meds and all, but I might just go see my girl friends.

I'll try and put together a rough time-line of these pictures. Yes, I look worse than I ever have in my life! But you can see my injuries :)

PRE-OP:
This was before any surgery--in the ER. It was actually much worse than it looks in the pictures...


It's hard to tell here, but you can see how misaligned my lower jaw is by looking at my teeth. The hole you see on my chin came from a bone fragment that punctured through my chin.


Noah came to visit before my surgery.


All of my meals were the same:  hot tea, broth, apple juice, and jello (couldn't eat it, too solid) and popsicle (again, too solid to eat)


Post-Op photo #1... See how SWOLLEN?


Later that night...


Morning after first surgery. Swelling went down a lot.


Just before the second surgery...


After the second surgery...  This was my lowest-point since the accident. I was in SO MUCH PAIN and MISERY here.


Healing... this was on Thursday morning (discharge day)


Getting ready to leave...


Homecoming!






Phoebe stalking me... she NEVER sleeps with me. Ever. But she did all night last night.


Last night, I took off the bandage from my chin injuries... here is a peak at those.


My chin looks so crooked. I will never take "But you have such a pretty face!" comments for granted again. I'd love to have my pretty face back!





Entry #2: The Best Thanksgiving EVER

A little premature to be saying this, but this has honestly been the best Thanksgiving I've EVER had. Wait, WHAT?!  Yep, you read that right. I passed out, fell and broke my jaw, spent 6 days in the hospital and got 2 surgeries and have a long recovery process ahead... but this has been my best Thanksgiving.

Let me start by saying that I have the BEST family and friends that I could ever dream of. Ever since my accident, people have been going completely out of their way in order to help however they can.  I've needed a lot of help caring for my kids, since my husband wanted to be at the hospital with me, and have needed help doing all the everyday things that I take for granted (cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc).

I know a lot of people will say, "Oh, let me know if there is anything I can do to help," and you know they kind of mean it, but you would never really ask them.   However, my family and friends have really taken charge--"I'm going to come over and do your laundry" and "I'm bringing your family dinner today and on Wednesday" and "I'll pick up Eli from school and let him play at my house for a while" etc.  I love not having to ask, so that I don't feel like such a burden.

You all know how much I stress about everything. I'm always a nervous wreck. When this accident happened, all I could worry about was money. I wanted Jerry to be with my in the hospital, but all I could think about was how much money we were losing with him being at the hospital instead of work. And honestly, I shouldn't HAVE to worry about that! I was in a huge amount of pain and I wanted my husband there for support, which I don't think there is anything wrong with. But it was always nagging in my mind, "We need the money."

And also, I didn't want to buy things that I knew I shouldn't feel guilty about buying. I was even trying to pick and choose which medications I needed because I wanted to save a little money. I even felt guilty buying 100% juice for my liquid diet instead of a juice cocktail, because it's twice as expensive. How lame is that?!  But that is the way my mind works.

So, what I'm getting at, is just WHY this is the best Thanksgiving ever. My sister flew in from Illinois to be with me (as well as to help out with my kids); my older brother Brian flew in from Minnesota to visit me and help out;  my little brother came to visit me a couple of times (he lives in Michigan, but I don't see him as often as I'd like).  My parents took care of my kids EVERY day since the accident, keeping them overnight so that I can get rested.

On Saturday, since everyone was in town (it's rare that my parents, brothers and sister and I are all in the same town at the same time!) my mom decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner. She asked me if it was okay with me first (since I'm on the liquid diet and can't eat).  I was fine with it, and actually pretty excited to spend time with my family. She cooked dinner, and then after dinner everyone told me they had a present for me.

There was a card and two gag-gifts:  a straw that was in the shape of eyeglasses, and a HUGE jawbreaker.  When I read the card, I just started sobbing. That card meant more to me than any other gift I've ever received.  My parents and siblings chipped in and deposited $2600 into my checking account!  The number was figured because of my house payment ($1000) + car payment ($300) + health insurance deductible ($1000) + a little extra for Christmas money ($300).

Now, my family is not rich by any means. I know $2600 isn't an INSANE amount of money or anything, but I was in SHOCK over how generous that was!  Not just the amount of money, but the fact that they don't benefit from it in any way--they gave it to us out of the goodness of their hearts. They know that Jerry and I struggle financially as it is, and they know how much I worry about money. They didn't want me to worry about paying the bills this month since I've had so much going on with my accident, so they chipped in and took care of that for me. They even said that I don't have to use it on just bills--I can choose to use it how I want.  I'm just so GRATEFUL and amazed and PROUD to be part of this family.

So when I said this Thanksgiving has been the best one ever, I didn't mean because of the money they gave us, I meant because I realized just how blessed I am to have such a loving family. I couldn't have hand-picked a better family, and I just love them so much!  I really hope that someday I'll be able to do something this nice for each of them as well.

Along with all that, I've really gotten a lot closer with Jerry. He's always been a fantastic husband, but this accident has brought us closer than ever. He really enjoys taking care of me, and I love feeling taken care of.  He doesn't act like I'm a burden at all. He just loves me and really shows how much he loves me.  Before the accident, I wasn't very affectionate. I was never a very huggy/kissy type person, and I felt bad about that because Jerry most definitely IS affectionate. Now, having spent all this quality time with him and really just FEELING all the love from him, I want nothing more than to cuddle with him and hold hands and hug.

I was catching up on some shows, and Oprah's Favorite Things show was one of them. As I watched it, I just thought, "I'm so much luckier than all of those people!" Honestly--the gift my family gave me couldn't have been beat by ANYTHING--because it came from their hearts, as corny as that sounds. I realize that this whole entry sounds really corny, but I just wish I could shout to the world how lucky I am to have these people in my life.

My little brother Nathan, me, my sister Jeanie, and my older brother Brian:


My siblings, my kids, and my husband and I:


My Thanksgiving dinner (a pumpkin smoothie):


Dinner with the family:


The jawbreaker they gave me:



The silly straw-glasses:


When they gave us "the gift":








Entry #3: Depression

My jaw is getting better, I guess. The doctor said it would take at least 6 weeks to heal, and it's only been 2 1/2 weeks. I'm just feeling really depressed right now. The day I broke my jaw I quit taking my antidepressant (discovered it may have been causing heart palpitations which may have led up to my passing out). I'm scared to start taking it again for fear of fainting again. But without it, I have been crying a lot and just feeling depressed in general.

I feel like I worked so hard for almost 16 months to finally be happy with how I look, and then I go and break my jaw... and now I feel really ugly. I know that it sounds terrible of me to be upset about my looks when so many people have it so much worse (what if I had broken my neck and was paralyzed? or hit my head and had brain trauma?)

I just can't help but think about how I'll never look as pretty as I was before. I never even used to think I was pretty until recently! My confidence went up a lot when I lost the weight, and I was feeling really good about myself. Now, I feel ugly again.

My jaw looks swollen still (I don't know if it actually IS swollen, but I don't think it is... it's just bigger, probably from the metal plates they had to put in there); there is a weird gap between my two bottom teeth in front that looks like a black spot--but it's just the gap where my jaw was broken. I can't keep my lips closed without effort, and I have all these metal things along my gums while my jaw heals. I have a 1-inch scar under my lower lip, and another under my chin.

For some reason, I suddenly have been breaking out in pimples along my jaw too. I have no feeling in my chin, and my teeth are in pain all the time. I'm taking highly-addictive pain medication that makes me a little dizzy so that I can't drive.  My muscles feel like they have turned to mush over the last few weeks, and when I went out for a run it was really difficult and disheartening. The antibiotic they had me take gave me a rash across my shoulders and chest that looks like bad acne... I quit taking the antibiotic, but the rash is taking forever to go away.  I'm sick to death of smoothies and pureed soup, but that's all I can really have.

I'm just so sick of this, and I wish I could go back to Nov 12th and do everything differently. I still have no idea exactly why I passed out, so there are things I'm avoiding simply because of the anxiety that maybe it was THAT particular thing that caused it. I've gotten back to the point where I don't want people to call me, I just want to stay in pj's all day and I want to do nothing but lie around--this is what I was like before I started the antidepressant. Everything in my life was actually REALLY good--I'd worked so hard for it, too--and then in an instant, it all changed because I fainted and broke my damn jaw. I wish I could fast forward until my jaw is healed so I can see all the permanent damage.

This picture is from yesterday--it's hard to see my face very well here, but I think you can see how big the lower half of my face is, and the scar under my lip...


My husband is cooking spaghetti and garlic bread right now for the his and the kids dinner... which is like torture. Better go make a smoothie or something. Sorry for the depressing entry.




Entry #4:  Arch Bar Removal

Yesterday was a big day for me.... I got my arch bars off!!! I'm going to post photos below, but PROMISE me that you'll read the story too--because I look super goofy in the pictures, and for good reason :)

My doctor told me to take Vicodin and Xanax before coming in, because the removal would be very painful. That alone made me a nervous wreck for weeks! But when I got to the hospital, I popped two 5-500 Vicodins and 1 mg of Xanax.

Then I went into the office, and the doctor (whom I absolutely LOVE--he's sooo cool!) talked to me for a few minutes about how I've been doing as far as eating and all that. Then he numbed me--he sprayed this horrible tasting stuff up my nose and around my mouth. Then he gave me a bunch of injections in my gums (that hurt like a bitch!) and my mouth was SO NUMB. My lips felt like they were the size of a grapefruit. I couldn't even talk very well, and I was drooling pretty badly because I couldn't close my mouth.

I was still a nervous wreck. He left the room to get some supplies, and that's when the Vicodin kicked in. Jerry made fun of the way my mouth looked, and I started laughing like crazy. I tried to stop laughing, but I couldn't. Then the doc came in, saw the tears streaming down my face and asked if I was okay, if I needed more Xanax, etc. He thought I was crying from anxiety, rather than from laughing so hard.

I had the giggles really bad, and I explained that I was fine, the meds kicked in. This doctor has seen me at my very worst moments (he was the one who did my surgery and checked on me daily in the hospital when I hadn't showered or brushed my teeth in 6 days, and when I was totally drugged up on Dilaudid), so I'm sure he wasn't phased by my weird attitude.

Jerry took a few pics when my mouth was numb, but I was pissed that he didn't take pictures or video of the actual arch bar removal! From what he said, it was HORRIBLE. Let me explain the arch bars first... here is a picture of what they look like: 

This pic is NOT of me (thank goodness!)--but unfortunately, I didn't get a good pic of my arch bars before removal. This is what they look like.


The way they are held in place is with wires that thread between your teeth like this:


The wires actually thread between your teeth like dental floss--OUCH. It looks nice and neat in the diagram, but MY teeth aren't that far apart with gaps! So imagine wires that size shoved between teeth WITHOUT gaps, and you can imagine how painful it's been for 7 weeks.

By the way, where you see rubberbands in the first picture--that is where they wire your mouth shut. Instead of rubberbands, they use wires to hold the top and bottom together, preventing you from opening your mouth. I had the wires on for 2 weeks, and it was awful. I HATED not being able to brush the backside of my teeth, and you don't even want to KNOW what it did to my tongue!

So anyway, the removal of these arch bars involves untwisting the wires, and then pulling the (now crimped) wires between your teeth like dental floss. WIRE dental floss! WIRE dental floss with CRIMPS and BENDS in it! I'm just trying to convey the kind of pain this causes! lol

So as I was saying, I had the giggles just before he got started. Jerry took a couple of pics then:

My mouth was SO numb and I couldn't smile straight...


Here, Jerry told me to try to close my mouth. This is what it looked like...




Here, I was trying to show my arch bars for a final pic. LOL, didn't work so well with my mouth being so numb!




And like I said, Jerry didn't take any pics of the actual removal, which I was mad about. But he did say that he almost passed out watching it, because it was terrible. I could feel EVERYTHING that was happening--all the tugging and scraping of metal against my teeth, and I could feel the metal being pulled out. The numbing worked okay for pain, but there were about 4 or 5 wires that hurt REALLY badly because they were "stuck". The doc basically had to do a 1-2-3... rip it out! kind of thing, like ripping off a band-aid. Only much worse, of course! 

Oh, and I was surprised when the doctor said, "You have the cleanest teeth I've ever seen on someone with arch bars!"  For the past 7 weeks, I've HATED cleaning my teeth because 1) it's super painful to brush, and 2) I've had to brush all the time because EVERYTHING gets stuck in the wires and bars. Apparently I did a good job in the doc's eyes :)  I still need some serious dental work though, because I chipped 5 teeth when I fell, and now my teeth are getting stained in the spots that are chipped. Ugh.

When it was finally over, I was sooo relieved. I rinsed all the blood out of my mouth, but it was really hard to do that because my mouth was still so numb I couldn't hold it closed. Jerry assured me that I looked "normal" when I didn't try to smile or close my mouth, so I walked (wobbled) out of the hospital with a paper towel to wipe away drool, lol.

A couple of "after" shots, while I was still numb. Jerry thought I looked really funny, so he kept taking pictures...

Trying to smile...


This is me trying to look "normal" enough to walk out of the hospital...  pft!



In the car after the procedure. I was very sore, but SO GLAD to have those damn things off!






Entry #5: The X-rays

I got to see the plates on my jaw when I went to my first post-op dentist appointment. Pretty cool, huh?!
You can see the plates and screws holding my jaw together