Thursday, 25 September 2014

Week 7 of Recovery

I started week 7 with the cutest present you've ever seen. My friend, Maddy, made me this adorable felt owl phone case - she really ought to set up an Etsy shop for the things she makes because they're all incredible.

Me and Mom took the dogs for a walk up to the viewpoint at Kinver Edge and took some chip-shop chips to eat on a bench. It doesn't get better than that does it? I could really feel the difference in ease of breathing when we were walking uphill. When my teeth were wired together I found that I felt really breathless very quickly whenever I was doing any form of gentle exercise such as walking but now my jaws are free it's immeasurably easier to breathe!

I finally got a much-needed haircut this week and I have to say I love it! Normally I hate having my hair cut as I always leave it too long and then my hair needs a really good chop to get rid of all the dead ends (and I love the length of my hair). Invariably I end up having at least a couple of inches off and then my hair just feels so short, which I hate. This time though I decided to embrace the shorter cut by having my hair softly feathered around my face (although not too short as I like to be able to scrape back all my hair into a ponytail without faffing about with clips and grips) and having "long graduated layers" put in. Somehow I feel like the cut has made me hair look blonder and I just love the shape she put in as it has so much movement whereas my usual straight-across trim looks positively flat in comparison now. All in all I'm a very happy bunny and it's even got me considering chopping more off in a Taylor Swift-esque style although I'm not sure I have the guts to go quite that short just yet.

I'm getting more and more movement back in my jaw now and if I really strain (which, strictly speaking, I shouldn't be doing) I can open my mouth three fingers wide. In real terms this means that it's starting to feel a lot easier eating now as I'm not just crashing my fork into my teeth while fondly imagining that my mouth is wide open. I'm trying not to overly stretch my jaw as much as possible though as I've heard a couple of stories of people bringing on really awful jaw ache because they've strained their muscles.

Couldn't resist including a selfie with my new haircut!

I've taken a few more photos of my new facial profile and put them in below to show my progress...

Another dog walk filled with photos below - Me and Mom took Shep and Charlie round some woods near our house and of course Charlie found the biggest stick he could and doggedly (ha!) dragged it round with him.

For tea I cooked up some soft-shell tacos as they were one of the foods I'd really been craving during the lock-jawed purgatory of recovery. I love to put loads of peppers in my taco filling as I'm a real vegetable lover and then you just have to put grated cheese on top; there is literally no meal that cannot be improved by cheese! I really enjoyed the soft tacos though as even ordinarily I find regular tacos quite difficult to eat and these were more like a taco-tortilla hybrid.

I spent one evening this week catching up with my friends at a local Wetherspoons and it was just so nice to hang out and talk like a normal human again!

I booked up my flights to visit Fi in Munich and now that I've set up a countdown on my phone I'm getting really excited! It's going to be amazing to travel and see the sights of Germany but I'm mainly just looking forward to spending loads of time with Fi as I've really missed her this year.

Ate some lemon cake - it was delicious. No further caption necessary ;)

Not to be picky or anything but I just wondered why you need a freezer to bake fresh goods, Tesco? I'm pretty sure the latest appliance to hit the baking scene is this thing called an oven...

Is there any quicker, easier (well maybe not easy - don't you just hate having to wrestle the duvet cover on?) boost to your mood than putting fresh bedding on?

I went along to Shep's dog agility class this weekend and couldn't resist sharing this photo of Shep and Charlie with his almost mirror image!

For lunch on Monday I picked up the £1 pizza from our local Domino's. I took along my own code and Mom's and picked up one chicken pizza and one tikka chicken pizza; of the two I definitely prefer the tikka chicken as it was much more flavoursome. Just a heads up if any of you are on O2 because the Monday £1 lunches really are great value!

So that was week 7 of my recovery! I'll be back next week with my next weekly update post!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Week 6 of Recovery - WIRES OFF!

Yo everybody! I say this every week but it's another mammoth post. I don't know why I'm always surprised by that as the daily updates were pretty comprehensive and now I'm trying to squish seven of them in to one single post. Oh well! I'm kicking off this week's update with some photos of an agility demo Shep performed in this week...

While we had the DSLR camera out (for taking agility photos) I also roped Dad into taking some good quality photos of my teeth at the six week mark of recovery. I wanted to get some decent shots done before I got the WIRES REMOVED! You know the drill - left, right and centre with some hilarious facial expressions.

This week's bargain find was a pair of River Island wedge trainers that were brand new in their box for £4! I know they're more of a style from last year but I loved the bronzey-gold colour of them and I think they'll be perfect for Autumn/Winter outfits.

Some more face photos except this time I bothered to put some make-up on so I don't look completely horrendous.

My OOTD looks a bit like I got styled by Cher Lloyd but I'm personally loving the 90s trends right now. I'm all about the crop tops etc!

Me and Mom spent a very gentile afternoon at a local produce show where there were competitions in literally everything and then the produce was auctioned off at the end. These little bumblebee cupcakes were so cute!

We ended up coming home with a pretty big haul of cakes, vegetables and flowers as everything was being sold at prices between 50p and £2! I also won one of the main prizes in the raffle, which was a huge hamper full of gorgeous home-grown produce.

Shep's been working the monochrome nails trend.

Even Siri is in on the countdown to real food now!

I treated myself to a Lush bath using one of their bubble bars as a treat.

I'm loving this Snoopy t-shirt from the men's section of Primark.

The countdown is REAL now.

Charlie decided that none of his dog toys were fun enough and so he needed to play with a plastic plant pot he found in the compost heap.

Part 3 of the list of forbidden foods. I was seriously so excited to start ticking off all these foods again once the wires came off!

The Final Countdown...

I thought I'd record a little video clip before I set off to have my wires removed. After 6 weeks of having my jaws wired together I'd gotten pretty good at talking as clearly as I could but it's still very quiet and mumbly.

Looking cheery on the car journey to the hospital!

Dad's hilarious name on his Starbucks cup. He's such a white girl ;)

TA-DA! THE WIRES ARE GONE! If you'd like me to do a dedicated blogpost all about the experience let me know via the comments or Twitter. 

I had to visit my consultant first thing to check that he was happy for me to have my wires removed. I don't know what I would have done if he'd told me to keep the wires on for any longer... Probably screamed (albeit very quietly and with great difficulty). After a really long wait at the orthodontic ward I was finally shown in to one of my surgical team who said he would be removing the wires. I was a little bit scared as he said lots of patients were given a local anaesthetic if they found the pain too much but it turns out I didn't feel any pain whatsoever. He clipped the wires in a few places and gently eased them out from around my braces. The whole process only took a few minutes and didn't hurt at all but it was pretty scary. He then slid the plastic splint out from between my teeth and told me to try and open my mouth as wide as I could. This was absolutely terrifying as I'd got so used to the sensation of having my teeth held together that it felt as though my jaw was going to fall off completely. I strained my mouth open as wide as I could, which hilariously was only a few millimetres, and he told me that it would get easier over the next few days so I was sent home with just my old braces for company.

There's another short video clip below of me trying to talk and open my mouth about an hour after I had the wires removed. You can immediately hear how much clearer my voice sounds without that stupid splint in the way but it's still a little bit mumbled as I was too scared to move my mouth around too much.

Within an hour of having the wires removed I could open my mouth to a maximum of one finger's width.

For my first unwired meal I had a bowl of chunky (oh how I missed you, chunks) leek and potato soup with cheesy bread. Never in my life have I appreciated a piece of bread so much. It was absolute heaven to feel the different textures of real food after six weeks of liquids.

As you can see I finished the whole meal in absolutely no time.

My second treat after being unwired was a bag of crisps and it was every bit as amazing as I dreamt it would be ;)

I've inserted one last video clip in from a few hours later, when my jaw muscles have loosened up a little more and I found it easier to talk clearly.

For tea that night me and Rich ordered a takeaway from our local Indian restaurant. I had Aloo Gobi (curried potato and cauliflower), Pilau Rice and Naan Bread. I feel like it was a good choice of meal as it was really hearty and filling but the vegetables were soft enough to not require any real chewing. It was easy eating but oh so satisfying.

I followed up the curry with a slice of lemon drizzle cake while we watched the Great British Bake Off.

The next day my jaw muscles felt considerably looser and if I really strained to open my mouth I could open it to two finger's width! In less than a day my mouth was opening twice as widely.

As a treat, Nic paid for me to have a gel manicure at our local nail salon and I chose this peacock inspired design as I just loved all the different colours and patterns. Mom even bought me this turquoise bracelet as a present to match my new nails.

I'll finish on this horrendous selfie of me and Nic haha.

See you next week!