Saturday, 12 September 2009


Just a word about my retainers, the only remnant left to remind me of the last couple of years (that, and the screws in my face that I can feel just below my eyes!).

I have some clear retainers, that sit over my teeth, a bit like dentures. Although they are infinitely more annoying - I have to take them out to eat (not essential, but the food gets stuck beneath them), and when brushing my teeth. They are supposed to be in for the rest of the time but I can get away with the occasional break (e.g. as for my friend's wedding last weekend - after all, I thought it would be most improper taking them out at the table for the dinner!). I'll be wearing them permanently for about 4 months, then just at night for about 2 months hopefully.

I'm now having to brush my teeth about 5 times a day! And the state of them first thing in the morning... Yeugh. I've always been afflicted with pretty special morning breath, but it's something else these days.

However, it's still SO much better than having my brace in. I've never grinned so much in my life!

Friday, 11 September 2009


Righto.. This will be a fairly long post (not word-wise) but the braces are off (hurrah!) and I've just got hold of all my copies of photos and x-rays so am going to try and get the full effect of before-after on here!

So to start with, front-on view, smiling 1) Pre-treatment 2)Pre-surgery after nearly 2 years of orthodontics, 3) Post surgery and de-bonding

And here, the same again, but side on mouth closed 'naturally':

And then just to finish off, teeth before/after treatment with a side-view x-ray of my hardware:

Friday, 21 August 2009

Long time, no see!

Hello all,

So it has been a rubbish couple of months for me blog-wise; after the internet repeatedly disappearing in my flat (it's back on now), then having to seriously knuckle down for the end-of-year exams (all passed), as well as Dad finally receiving a kidney transplant after 4 years of waiting (not quite out the woods yet and working, but still incredible), and now Mum having minor surgery today (phew!), I have massively fallen behind in my updating - which is what I swore I didn't want to do after experiencing the disappointing dwindle of so many blogs post-surgery. And I can't believe how many surgeries and updates I have missed - will definitely catch up. But I'm sure you'll all forgive me under the circumstances.

So the state of my jaw today is... well, pretty much fully functional with no areas of numbness or even tingling. I can open it as wide as pre-surgery as well as even still touch the tip of my nose with my tongue. I am one lucky girl.

The last few months have been agonising however for a new reason; I'd gotten used to the braces pre-surgery and with the big date looming you don't even imagine life after de-bracing. But once the big day comes and goes and you're well recovered, it's ALL I can think about. And it's not even as though they are doing much - literally half-millimetres of tweaking and fine tuning. Promptin me to ask my consultant whether anyone had proposed a study of the correlation between orthodontists and incidence of OCD...

But.. the great news is...


I honestly can't wait and will have pics of pre-and post- up for comparison once I get round to taking them.

As for how this whole process has affected my life? Well...

1. Looking at old photos of myself is incredibly weird. Like it's not me. Not the reaction people assume I have looking in the mirror now - quite the reverse. I can't get over how *bad* I looked; pictures that I'd thought were OK (they were, just the best of a bad situation) I now can't believe I felt that way about. For ages, I felt a bit funny about my new face, but I am super-used to it now, and thrilled.

2. Life still goes on. I found I had the same problems and dramas pre-surgery, but a combination of feeling more myself due to the sugery and the wonderful counsellor I see through uni have given me the confidence to do something about it.

3. Have patience! Invariably, the process will take a lot longer than you expect. But it's worth it and patience means better results, no matter how frustrating!!!

4. Even now, 5 months after surgery, I'm still seeing old friends for the first time who marvel at my new face. Which is a nice reminder, as I've almost forgotten it happened by now!

5. I'm still getting approached all the time by weirdos trying to chat me up. Only now there are more of them. And the flattery is more OTT than before but I can now accept it deep down. And then run away... :)

So.. photos and developments to come. I couldn't have done it without all your support and the main message I want to send, in my own personal case is that I am so so happy I've been through this journey and pleased with the result at the end of it. It's by no means easy, but every time I look in the mirror, I smile and it looks FABULOUS!

Sunday, 21 June 2009


I can't believe how quickly time has been flying. It almost seems impossible that I ever had a different face, and that it was broken a matter of weeks ago. Sometimes, I need to look at old pictures to remember what it was like - somewhat akin to pinching oneself to wake from a dream.

It's also coincided, that I have been incredibly busy at school, and have barely had time to contemplate things. I think this is definitely a good thing, and I am glad that I am still having my weekly counselling sessions as it is a good outlet particularly for the things that seem to be happening to me on a sub-conscious level, and to just live life during the rest of the time.

There is no question that I am so much happier with myself now, although I am having to work hard to undo the damage to my psyche from previous relationships and friendships and re-learning who I am again. I know it's going to be a long journey yet but I genuinely feel that the steps I am taking/have taken are heading in the right direction. I already feel more assertive in hospital, and am less happy to put up with things I don't want. I had it out with a friend that I'd been involved with romantically a while back, and said quite a few hurtful things, effectively burning any bridges in the process which was incredibly unlike me. It had been a tumultous, manipulative 'friendship' and he'd hurt me a lot but I'd never have made a scene before. It was a bit of a shock when I ended up walking past him at a train station, but it was a flash and I don't think he saw me, or if he did I was being ignored. It's a new thing for me to stand by my convictions and not cave in because I am worried about upsetting everyone, but I know it's not possible to please everyone - I just feel like I have more courage to stand up for what it is I want. I've undergone a life-changing life experience though, and my life has to change accordingly.

Knowing what one wants, however, is a whole different ball game - I think if anything that is the biggest lesson to be learnt. I know that I can stop feeling bad about myself now though, and concentrate on moulding myself as a person to match my new, wonderful face!

I *almost* feel like my old self again, when I was at my happiest!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Net Downtime

Hi all...!

Just a quickie, I haven't forgotten about you all but my net connection has been down for a few weeks.. So am trying to steal snippets of time on the uni computers which has meant not keep up-to-date/not updating over the last few weeks... Hopefully things will be sorted out soon though and can get back on track! Been busy as hell too and will post a nice long update soon...


Sunday, 17 May 2009


Thanks all for the incredibly kind comments. There are still up and down days, but on the whole they are up. I just wanted to make sure that you all know the full story - I can imagine it would seem as though it is too good to be true otherwise!

Thankfully I passed my exam (although only just scraped the first one).. so that's all good (for the very short time being).

I have also been doing some life-sorting... After realising nothing had really changed with certain friendships and relationships post-op I am saying the things I want to say and getting the result that I need, whether that be fixing things or binning destructive relationships. It's liberating but may be a little hasty. Still, I am much more confident in the thought of living with the consequences now I am post-op. Whether or not this makes me happier, we'll have to see in the long-term...

Friday, 8 May 2009


Just a short post, because I don't want my recovery to seem one-sided.

I don't know whether it's tiredness, the trauma of finally having done my exam yesterday and freaking out about my ability as a potential doctor, or the dredging up of all my deep insecurities with my counsellor, but today I felt absolutely rotten.

It wasn't entirely unexpected, and is the reason I started going to see someone pre-surgery to talk through the issues, but I felt massively 'disappointed' today. Now the excitement of new-face and seeing people's reactions has worn off, it's back to normality. And things feel just the same as they did before. I think maybe it's because I haven't had a chance to exercise my new confidence just yet, but today I just felt hideously sad. I feel like my face is still swollen and looks ridiculous (I know it isn't). Don't get me wrong it is still the BEST thing I have done, but I think it's important to be aware of what your expectations are and how things will or won't change post-surgery. I'm glad I thought through this before I went under the knife, that's for sure!

Just goes to show, there's still a little way to go; once the swelling has gone and the braces are off it will be great!