Monday, March 18, 2013

My before and after jaw surgery self

Dear friends,

I know many of you going through this jaw surgery process find that it is possibly one of the most challenging things you have ever gone through. It's hard to believe how changing your smile can really change your life but it truly does. In some ways for the better, and in some ways it just gives us clarity.

I was always uncertain of how people would react to such a huge decision and I was more so worried that people were going to judge me. People would assume I did it out of vanity, or that I wasn't content with myself the way I am. The truth of it is simple, I did it because I deserve to have the best quality of life I can provide for myself and having a functioning jaw and a normal bite is a part of it.

The decision itself was huge for me, I found out at 15 that I had a jaw deformity and that unfortunately the only way of correcting it was through surgery. At 15 I was very content with my jaw as it was and I buried that fact away for a years. Over time my jaw issues surfaced, and I'm grateful that they surfaced when they did because I feel I was much more prepared to go through this now than I was back at 15.

The part that really worried me even two years ago as I started to undergo this process was that people would have a misunderstanding of it all. My family took a long time to warm up to it as I don't think they really believed a surgery like this would solve my chronic headaches and they would never agree that physically my jaws were far from perfect and were beginning to strain the overall structure of my face.

The most important thing is that the people who genuinely care about me understood, they listened, they did not judge. Unfortunately not everyone will be like that. I remember my best friend telling me how she saw an old friend of ours at a party and this old friend was telling people that I was destroying my face having plastic surgery. This person who hasn't talked to me in years had no problem looking at my surgery pictures on facebook and telling people that I had too much plastic surgery!? I'm sorry but I hate people who talk behind your back when they never bothered to ask you what was going on.

This is why for so long my blog was private, why I didn't tell anyone in my life about it. It gave me an escape from the people who could most easily judge me, those closest to me.

Regardless of what people may say I have grown so much through this experience and I am so happy to not be suffering from all the pain associated with my TMJ issues. Those people who want to say things behind my back can go ahead and talk. All that matters to me is that I know why I went through this and I am happier than ever that I did.

Instead of trying to get back at two faced people the best thing you can do is kill them with kindness. If you don't show hate then the hate other people show stands out twice as loud and makes them look foolish.

Most people waiting for jaw surgery are in anticipation of what it feels like emotionally to be post op. From my experience I can say that it's like crossing a bridge. You wake up and from that day forward you're forced to adapt to a new you. I found it difficult at times and parts of me are still adapting, but I don't regret this decision at all. I tried to go in with no predetermined expectations, and I think I came out of it with more than I could have expected.



  1. Very well said Terra. At the end of the day, the reason behind why we are doing this isn't really important - it's a choice we have all made as individuals for ouselves & there is no other person out there who could make that decision for us. If we are comfortable with our decision then end of story. Those that really matter will support you; and those that don't understand (and don't bother to) show exactly what they are made of - a lot of hot air.....

  2. Wow Terra! That is a beautiful, heartfelt post. I love it. It brought a couple of tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your experience, it's nice to know that the 'anticipation about the emotion' of being post op is something that I am not alone in experiencing. I would have struggled to put it into words like that, but you said it perfectly :) thank you, truly, thank you

  3. I love this post! It sums up everything perfectly! Thank you for sharing. :) It's nice to know that as 'jaw surgery goers' we have another community of people who are all there for us - understanding, and going through the same thing! Thank you :) x

  4. Great post Terra. I agree with so much of what you said! I found that people didn't really understand how necessary surgery was due to the physical issues I was experiencing or how major the surgery and recovery was. Thanks for sharing for all of those going through the process!

  5. I have an underbite:-( i am so self conscious&never have my picture taken because of it..please can you tell me abit more about the operation and how long you were swelled for,etc:-) i am 14 by the way x

  6. Congrats on completing your dream. I have been following your YouTube videos for some time now (pretty much when my date came closer) I wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, your videos have helped me get prepared for my upcoming surgery.

    I know exactly how you feel, and just remember, we do this for ourselves. Not your best friend, or the guy down the street. Braces have changed my life, and I'm still not even half way there yet. I feel confident for the first time in my life!!!! Yay!!!

    Anyhow, thanks for sharing, I'm due for my double jaw surgery April,25th 2013.

    You can following my story at: