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20 months later

Just a quick update, since it’s been a year since my last post.  Everything is going fantastically!

Swelling: Nonexistant.

Numbness: Small amount, but ignorable. 

One strip that runs from the corner of my lip, down my chin, about 1/4 wide.  It’s not fully numb.  It’s actually hypersensitive to light touch, and semi-numb to deep touch.  Light touch feels like a million tickling feathers, but it feels normal otherwise.   And the gums in the upper dental arch (just the part that houses the teeth) is about half-numb, or half-sensitive. Overall, totally ignorable.

Pain: None.

I can poke and feel all the parts of my face that were once broken and it just feels normal. 

Sleep: Fantastic.

I sleep regularly now, as in I am sleepy enough to fall asleep at the same time each night, and I wake up 8-9 hours later totally awake and feeling good. I still sleep a little longer than average, but still well within the range of normal. Gone are the days waking up each day feeling like I have the flu.  Gone are the 2-3 hours of zombie-me wake up sessions that started each day.  I’ve gotten exactly one cold in the last year, and 3-4 headaches, most of which were due to allergies. I used to get sick 5-6 times a year and have headaches most days of the week.  Also, I can travel now! Even if I get crummy sleep in a hotel, it’s still so much better than the sleep I used to get.  Traveling doesn’t mean feeling desperately unwell; it’s actually pretty fun. 

All in all, if you’re considering the “overwhelming” cures for sleep apnea, I can tell you without a moment’s hesitation that the result is worth it. Whatever you have to do to get there, you won’t regret it.

 ImageImage

The last part of the swelling to leave was beside the nose, above the lip.  This area was the most traumatized in surgery.

There were days where it would go down, then the next day would be puffier than it had been in weeks. After about 5 months (20 weeks), this stopped.

Changes in profile over 8 months while swelling reduced.

FAQ: Does the surgery change the nose?

Absolutely, yes. My nose is wider across the base where the nostrils attach and has less definition between nostril and bridge/tip.  The tip rotated upward too, but after 5-7 weeks, it came down some as the swelling under the nose reduced.

Facing front, here are all the photos I took over the last 8 months to show the changes in swelling and face shape.

Finished!

After 20 months in braces, my jaw bones are healed and my teeth are finally where they belong. No more braces, no more hooks, and no more rubber bands.

I sleep without waking up more than a few times a night, and wake feeling rested.  I sleep fewer hours, too. I don’t feel sleepy or groggy in the daytime, nor do I have raging headaches from lack of rest. Plus, my teeth are straighter than they have ever been.   All in all, I say the whole process was very much worthwhile.

 

253 days out

One more week in braces. I had 4 of the molar bands removed today and had impressions taken for retainers which will be ready next week when the rest of the brackets and bands come off. I’m very ready!