Friday, May 10, 2013

Life 7 months later

Hey all,

So it's over 7 months past the big surgery day.
I have to admit that I couldn't be happier with my decision.
I finally have a jaw that I love!
I can look at myself in the mirror now with no makeup from any angle and I look normal!

I don't think this surgery has made me look perfect or beautiful, but I think it's helped me fit in. It's helped me feel like I don't have a deformity and that I no longer have to explain a speech impediment or  any of the other issues I had to live with for so long.

At this point I am waiting for the metal to come off but I just don't get my hopes up as nothing moves fast with this process. Someday it will be nothing but a faint memory.

I just want to send out a thank you to so many of the people out there who have been so kind to share their stories and to keep in touch throughout this process. I think the best way to reach me regarding this surgery is through facebook as I check those messages most often. Please feel free to add me or message me on facebook to talk about jaw surgery or share your experiences.

The reason I have been so open with my blog and staying in contact with everyone is because when I started this process I just wanted someone to talk to about it. Most blog people were very hard to reach and get a response from and I was so grateful for the people who did share and responded.

It's a little hard to stay in contact via blog comments as my phone will not let me respond, ugh!!!

Anyway I want to send out a big thank you to Suzie from metal mouth with mascara. She recently had her surgery but she has seriously been such an amazing person throughout this whole process.
We've been in contact for a long time now and I am so grateful to have made such an amazing friend through this process. I think having so much in common and both dealing with jaw surgery has just made it easier for us to get through something so big.

Update on life, it has continued. I have been back in school since January although I've had issues come and go with my jaw. It was a little overwhelming to go back into school full time and still have issues with my jaw but I'm pretty good right now.

I love a Guinea

Pookie had a bath but he's smelly again. He went to the vet and a lump he developed is just a fat deposit so that is good news after Tommy had that tumour. He also gained 2 lbs and needs to go on a doggy diet. Poor Pooka

I have to upload pictures off my Nikon but it just freezes a lot and my inertia will probably keep me from getting it done.



  1. Why do you think your cheeks are uneven? Not that I would have noticed.

    1. My left cheek is still very swollen. It's probably from having the second surgery on that side and being stuck with that drainage tube. The incisions on that side didn't get to heal until about 4 months post op jaw surgery. I'm going to ask my surgeon about it when i see him

  2. Terra, you are the sweetest <3!!! It was personal trouble that bonded us, and its funny how something wonderful can make up for something so crappy! Your blog is such a resource for anyone deciding or going through this process on what to expect and how to get through it!That uneven swelling might be from the infection settling down so dont let it bother you just yet.
    Btw that vegetarian sushi, looks amazing, now Im STARVING lol.
    Thank you for everything <3

    1. hugs!!! It was so frustrating not being able to chew food!!!! I couldn't eat sushi for ages. I was planning on going to all these great japanese restaurants when I was in Sydney and that didn't happen. I couldn't even chew noodles at 2-3 months post op :(
      The recovery is so long but at the end of it you'll be so happy you made it through

  3. hi
    did your headaches go away?? i have tmj also and currently on a lower stabilization splint for almost two years but now an open bite and my crossbite that ive had since always and need braces did getting braces make your tmj symptoms worse??

    1. My tmj was horrible with the braces. It getsworse before it gets better. Decompensation before jaw surgery will make your bite awful and you'll have really bad tmj days but its so much better once your bite is fixed

    2. My tmj was horrible with the braces. It getsworse before it gets better. Decompensation before jaw surgery will make your bite awful and you'll have really bad tmj days but its so much better once your bite is fixed

  4. hi
    omg im so scared now well i first need to get a deep cleaning and 7 cavities filled and a root canal if i survive that with my tmj last is braces but im thinking in doing the dental work slow do one thing and take a break then whats next. So my jaw can rest but im so scared now with doing braces since the headaches get soooo bad :((((( i forgot to ask you is there some advice you can give me like when you had cleanings or root canals done what helped you in not getting bad flare ups after getting dental work since im sure u have to open your mouth for a long time

    1. I have the exact same problem when I go to the dentist or orthodontist. My TMJ kills when they make me leave it open for extended periods of time. I always beg them to let me close it a little. Sometimes the assistants don't get it and I'm like HELLOOOO I HAD SURGERY FOR THIS PLEASE BE GENTLE!!!
      What does help though I find is massaging the muscle in your mouth. I should make a video to explain this. I started seeing a RMT a while back and she taught me how to massage the muscles myself. Also advil is really helpful or an anti-inflammatory. Another thing she told me to do is take cold water and hold it in my mouth for a while before swallowing.
      I really hope that helps. Hang in there and warn them to be gentle. Hope everything goes smooth

    2. hi thank you soooo much for writing me back sooo soon i also follow you on instagram ive been watching youtube and reading blogs and came across your youtube and saw you had instagram so started following you :)) im under judyz25 so back to jaw problems my dentist said they will let me take as many breaks i want and to take muscle relaxer before going his wife is the ortho that i saw so they both know about my tmj now for the surgery how can i choose a good oral surgeon im from the us Arkansas and i dont even know how to start looking like what credentials should they have is there online pages i can look up surgeons i know ur from canada and its probly all different i wish i was in canada since u look great with ur surgery u had ;))) how are u doing after surgery? did ur tmj headaches go away? i hope everything is going good for you

  5. So happy you have reached a normalcy in your life right now. You've been through a lot and have finally reached the end of your journey with jaw surgery. I can't wait to eat veggie sushi!

    I just had jaw surgery...I'm 13 days post op and can't wait to look back on this!

  6. hi terra
    hope your doing well
    i have a question did u ever have root canals done before u had ur surgery? if so how did it go ? i just had my deep cleaning in my left side only nxt wk will be my left side and i have a tooth that has a big cavity and need a root canal asap ive been reading online and their only horror stories my dentist said they will let me use a block so my jaws can rest but i wanted to know if u have had root canals done since we kinda have same tmj only difference is u had the overbite and i have the openbite/crossbite

    1. Hey Judy. I've never had a root canal done but I've had a massive amount of teeth pulled. 8 in total. I find when you're going through dental work like that and you have TMj issues it's best to take an anti-inflammatory if your dentist allows it. The few days after try to consume a lot of cold liquids if permitted as that helped too to sort of numb the tmj pain. I find most of my TMJ pain comes from the tension in the muscles in my mouth when my TMJ is acting up so holding a cold liquid in my cheek will sometimes help.
      I'll try to do a post soon on how I massage my facial muscles to relieve TMJ pain as recommended by my RMT. Oh BTW I had an open bite and an underbite lol total opposite of an overbite.

    2. oh lol sorry got those two confused i think u mentioned in one of ur youtubes u also had a crossbite ? by the way how are u doing so far? no tmj symptoms enymore? oh what kind of orthodontist do u use traditional or functional ive been reading that functional are better with ppl with tmj is that true?

    3. It's all good. Yeah I had a crossbite too. I had a really weird bite. The underbite was much more severe on the right side so it formed somewhat of a crossbite.
      My ortho didn't really mention their approach but all they did was use ceramic brackets, decompensate, surgery, then finishing touches. Nothing crazy. Prior to surgery my TMJ was horrible, like every day it hurt. Now it's way better. I still have bad days but they are less frequent. Pretty much once a month compared to every day. The surgery has been a huge success based on my TMJ improvement

    4. Tara - Did you have to do any physical therapy to help your TMJ? And how soon did you see an improvement? I went through splint therapy and then had the surgery to correct my bit to help my TMJ. I just had surgery and my right joint feels really nice but my left one feels little out of whack when I try to do jaw exercises. In your experience, is the joint or the muscle that is tight when relearning how to open the jaw?

    5. 100% your joints will be super stiff for a while. Mines still stiff on one side.
      My surgeon had me practice opening mt jaw wide but i have to be careful because my TMJ gets really sore.
      He said to apply heat, then open, thats a good way to do it.
      For the first while take it easy because it took about half a year for my TMJ to loosen up enough to open my mouth normally.
      Now I'm having a lot of cracking on one side, but it doesnt hurt so i will ask my surgeon about it monday when i see him. I'll do a new post and tell you what he says on monday and what i should be doing to exercise my TMJ at this point.

    6. sorry. Just realized I spelled your name totally wrong!! Terra!! :)

      Would love to hear about your meeting with the surgeon. I've been using heat to loosen things up and help with some nerve pain I have on my face (feels like I have ice on my face).

      Thanks! Oh, btw...I just caught your discussion on - cool that you piped up and commented on your photos!! :)

    7. It's all good, the spelling of my name is really uncommon so i get that a lot.

      Haha yeah my friend saw it and message me and was like Terra your pictures!!!!
      I just found it weird that some dude was saying my surgeon did a bad job and that i'd develop sleep apnea when it's actually the total opposite.

      BTW I just saw your blog, because it's wordpress I couldn't follow it with blogger but you are so pretty!!! I wish I didn't finally see it at 4am lol or I'd read it all right now. I'm going to read it all sunday when I finish my final. Yay can't wait :D You look really great!

    8. Aww, that's so kind of you. (tear) haha, it has been an emotional journey. I think on day 5, I was crying about how the lower half of my face seemed much more puffier than the upper jaw area. I was freaked out that was the result. I'm learning from reading your blog and others it takes a LOOONG time to see all the residual swelling to go away. Patience is NOT really my strong point - haha!

      Glad you spoke up :)

      I also had issues with sleep apnea, it was getting scary near the surgery time because my bite was so bad at that time, I literally had no room for my tongue. All is well now, and I hope it stays that way!

      Take care.