It’s here.

Shout out to a dedicated reader, Tom De Moya, Thanks for reading kind sir!

 Can you spot the cat?

I looked in the mirror today and did not like what I saw. Strangest feeling, almost like a body dysmorphic moment. I know I look good, thanks to my wonderful family and friends who have given me so much support (also known as giving me compliments all the time…they keep me very positive about the final results)

So…this is what happened.

I was doing my jaw exercises with my mirror when I noticed my mouth…I hated it. I knew perfectly well that it looked fine but I just hated it. I propped myself up and looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. My face looked huge to me, my eyes were really far apart, and since when do I have that little wrinke above my forehead? I had no idea what was happening, I had been fine with my face so far and in less than an hour, managed to find all these things I thought were wrong.

I knew something was wrong when I started thinking “well, someone can lift my eyebrows, give me a light nose job so it’s not too noticeable, give me cheekbone implants, and remove some of that extra pudge below my chin. Perfect”

The reality? THE AFTERMATH, and it’s here.

I had been warned about this moment, I call it THE AFTERMATH. The moment when those of us who have undergone “facial reconstruction” or esthetic procedures look in the mirror and just see imperfections. I want my old face back, I kept thinking to myself. I hate this new one, its high maintenanace and I look square…and it’s just not what I wanted!

This is a typical effect on your pysche after you have undergone surgery that has changed you, physically.

Now,I’m going to get scientific on you but, did you know that the anesthesia used in operations stays in your system for three weeks? Not a biggie right? Well, if you consider the effect it has on you physically and emotionally, it becomes a huge issue. I was lucky enough to have researched this before hand. My second week after surgery I had two days where I just wanted to flunk out on everything,I was miserable. Dr. Gunsons office warns you of all these things but it seems so bizarre you don’t really play attention to it. A couple days later I was feeling tons better but, I’m not going to sugar coat anything. For anyone about to undergo surgery, the anaesthesia can have this effect….it is very short but not fun.

For me, not being able to take care of myself, so to speak, has had its challenging moments. I get angry (sometimes) when people cook for me but, I’m too weak to do it myself! I’m sick of getting tired so quickly, I’m sick of having to keep the door unlocked when I take a shower incase I pass out. I’m really sick of being so damn cold all the time due to lack of calories. Or being terrified of anything that looks icy where I could slip. I feel like a glass statue sometimes.

I realise now that this is just because i have undergone a huge trauma and your mind is telling you to be extra careful as your body is very fragile!

One more thing, as I mentioned previously, is the physical change. In one month, we have had our faces changed, our skulls changed, our airways changed, and the loss of weight has completely transformed our bodies. That is a huge amount of change. And let me tell you something, I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. (I was the girl who used to move her room around and then cry because it just didn’t feel right.)

So this is my little “sad”post. I had some sad moments but I keep telling myself that this is normal. And I hope all my other surgery buddies know that.

Please just make sure I don’t get addicted to altering myself? Like, addicted to plastic surgery! No really, because I have weak moments where I suddenly think of butt implants and all I watch is nip/tuck where the operations look so simple! It could literally get out of control 😉

Here’s a video of someone who is now, addicted to plastic surgery.

(Jenny Lee on Larry King Live)

I can’t wait for the day when I am all back to normal and I realise how wonderful of a job the team did.I mean,look at the blogs from Gunsons patients? See any regrets there? Nah 🙂


7 thoughts on “It’s here.

  1. Hey Ashley,
    Very interesting post indeed, there was a whole discussion about this on jawsurgeryblog forums- how do you feel when your face changes? Can you accept it? How to learn to love and see your new face as beautiful? This must be tough, and pretty much what I am scared of the most for this surgery. Im not worried about being wired shu or the pain, or soft foods for weeks- but that when its done IF I hate what I SEE and then Im like f—-
    I think with our old faces, we become comfortable, attached, and after years and years of seeing it in the mirror we are like okay face I’ll live with you- what other option do I got?
    But yeah this is really tough, how are you handling it, do you have any suggestions or tips? I mean for me personally I dont HATE my face, its quirky, its cute, I just want to fix my gummy jaw issue and thats it…

    When Gunson did his face projections for you were they any different than where your at right now and if so how? Mine were scary :S…. Also think about it this way you’ve lost 20+ lbs in a month, your jaw is still recovering, so while its hard, I’d honestly rec staying away from mirrors if you can help it especially if your mind is tearing you apart.

    Be strong woman

    1. You’re totally right about the whole “feeling comfortable with our own faces” thing. I DO have moments where I look in the mirror and I think “mhm…okay, I guess I like it.” With my face projections from Gunsons office he told me that I wouldn’t look exactly like it because, yu know, it’s computerized. I definetly look better then my picture haha. I just keep reminding myself that if you read blogs from Gunson/Arnett patients who had surgery years ago,today they are so happy with their results…and have NO regrets. That’s what keeps me positive.
      Interestingly enough, I actually had my gums reduced a few years ago because of a gummy smile. I noticed in pictures that it was still kind of gummy but after surgery bam! It was totally gone. And I didnt even ask for that to change, Gunson just knows what people want without us saying it. I mean, you can’t remember EVERYTHING you want changed right? So, as for your concern about a gummy smile….no worries, I bet that’ll be the FIRST thing you notice right out of surgery…no more gummy smile!
      I’ve lost some more weight but I start school again Monday so Im slightly excited to see the reactions of people. Im also nervous, my blog has been all over facebook so I know people I dont even talk to anymore are going to notice me walking down the hall to class and think “oh there’s ashleys new face…”
      Hopefully they like it!


  2. Ashley, I have to say I have thought of some of the very same things you mentioned in this post, maybe not to the addiction to surgery part ahah but to the whole not liking change and the big question of will I like how I look after the surgery. Yes I have already seen computer projections of what they think I will look after the surgery but like you said, its really just a guess.
    I didn’t know that the anesthesia used in operations stays in your system for 3 weeks, wow haha that is quite interesting. I cant imagine what I will be like/ how I will handle my surgery. I am the type of guy who always wants to do things him self and for others also, when I had all my wisdom teeth taken out last summer my girlfriend Genna would yell at me because I would always try and do things my self and I wouldn’t sit still.

    1. (so I accidentally hit enter when typing this >.<) but as I was saying, I wouldn't sit still and Genna would have to force me/remind me to take my pain killers, I am a bit stubborn when it comes to stuff like that, I don't even take Advil at times when I have a headache and it kinda of scares me to be honest knowing I will be on heavy duty pain killers after the surgery. Also I absolutely HATE when something is wrong with my mouth such as a fat lip, or any numbness (like after the dentist office) or things like that. I know people don't like things like that but out of everything else I hate that most of all, so I am sure I will be LOADS of fun after my surgery haha.
      I can only imagine how exhausted/tired you are after starting classes and I hope you start to feel better soon.

      1. Thanks for understanding my fatigue!
        Yes, the emotions that follow surgery are erratic, to say the least. I was high,I was low,I was sad, and then happy. The ONE thing you have to remember is that tomorrow is a different day (literally) as in sometimes, I would have the best day. I was happy and eating etc. The next day would be horrible,I wasnt hungry, I was pissed off more then anything (quite common in the tough times, you’re thinking to yourself “”) but then I’d go back to happy!
        As for the pain killers, you’re going to be so out of it…you wont have energy to care,believe me.And you need to rest, dont stress yourself about it at least for the first few days:) After that, if you still dont want those nasty drugs see if taking over the counters work? That might make you feel a little more comforted knowing your taking “normal” stuff instead of this large bottle of liquid pain killer.
        What I’m about to tell you is super important,especially if you dont want to be in so much pain you need to take the heavy duty stuff more,and longer. And this is probably more for Genna because congrats girl, you will officially be a private nurse! Sounds like you’re already an expert in this area though. And you are lucky to have her as your nurse!

        But back to what I was saying…
        You take the meds before you go to sleep and (hopefully) you’re asleep for ten or more hours, rest rest rest. Your body is not going to be able to handle not being on meds during the first week or perhaps more. Lucky you, this means getting up every two hours at first to take your dose of the medicine, and then moving on to every four hours after a few days to take the stuff, and after around two weeks tada you dont need to take anything anymore. I know this may seem like it’s totally impossible and it’s my personal way of doing it, but you do go back to sleep and it is just NOT worth having the medicine run out, waking up in pain, and then having to wait for it to kick in as you lay there in the dark. Trust me, if my mom hadnt figured out that taking the medicine ROUTINELY was so important, my recovery would not have been good. I blog a little about this (in the first week after surgery.)
        Another good idea is to put your medicine in the order of when you’ll take it by your bed. I did the strong stuff and then the next dose would be over the counter stuff. I had a row of little medicine cups (the ones that come with liquid medicine) and when my alarm rang, I picked up the one closest and chugged it down,went back to sleep,and repeated the same process later.
        You’re probably going to have a lot of times where youre just not that much fun but, I can assure you that there is no excuse not to bsuper nice to your nurse haha. Seeing my mama take care of me and do everything I needed so well just made me make sure I was especially nice and told her how much I appreciated and loved her.

        Recovery after jaw-surgery turns a grown adult into a baby. And yes you may be swollen, but you’ll look adorable. Who doesn’t love an adult with swollen cheeks who is mentally afloat in lala land. We’re so much fun to be around!

  3. Hahaha yes I can only imagine how I will be acting on the painkillers, everyone has been telling me that when I am on the painkillers they will be video taping it for entertainment >.< haha. Also yes I learned that little trick about taking the painkillers at night before sleep and waking up and taking them again when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. I also understand that there will be good days and bad it just cant be helped. As for being nice to Genna because she is basically going to be my nurse, trust me I will be thanking her and being as nice as I possibly can, that is when i am not being stubborn (sometimes it just cant be helped ahah).

    By the way, I hope you get the handicap parking space permit, I can completely understand why you are getting it. I would be completely scared of falling/slipping on ice and hitting my jaw after just having the surgery. I am trying to have my surgery over the summer so I wont have to worry about classes and ice but at the rate things are going I don't know if that will be happening.

    1. Sounds to me like you have this all planned out. That is the BEST way to go about it. Sure, I thought I had everything planned and ended up having to drastically change or alter few things but in the end I was way more prepared!
      Thank you for your support of my parking permit. My blog tonight includes pictures as proof!

      p.s The video taping will….never……end. Just kidding. No but really, it’s going to be the main theme of your life for at least a month.

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