About Me :)

I am undergoing upper/lower surgery on December 6th, 2011!  With my wonderful team of doctors Dr. Chira, Dr.Maclendon, and Dr.Gunson (who is the surgeon who will perform the surgery.)

This blog is to update all other candidates, and those that are simply curious 🙂 Questions and comments are a lot of fun!

Little bit about me:

I love to write.
I have a degree in Journalism.

I am fluent in English, Italian, and French. (And I know the alphabet (plus a few) of American sign language)


37 thoughts on “About Me :)

  1. Hey Ashley!
    I’m loving your blog – thanks so much! I’m scheduled to have upper, lower, genioplasty, and possible upper palate expansion some time in the new year, around March. I’m simulateneously terrified and excited – I’ve had TMJ since 20 (I’m 27), and have no bite, it’s so frustrating just trying to bite a sandwich! And don’t get me started on the daily pain and muscle fatigue/stiffness in my jaw…..

    You are looking AMAZING 14 days post op. The swelling has gone down so much and your profile is looking beauuutiful!!!!! I kinda have the same pushed back wonky chin you did in your before but my chin is pointy so it kinda hid it but I haaaate my chin nonetheless. I know you must have lots of ups and downs but as an outsider looking in, it’s worth it because you look gorgeous!

    1. Thank you!
      That is A LOT of stuff to get done! I was supposed to get genioplasty too and then the Dr. thought I didn’t need it. I’m glad you’re excited and that you’re reading blogs, that was a HUGE help. You need to go into the surgery knowing as much as possible, especially about the parts that suck…honestly. I don’t like painful surprises!
      I am really liking my profile too! I hope it doesn’t change as the swelling goes down, I like it the way it is.
      Thank you for the words of encouragement, if you have any questions about the surgery…let me know!

  2. Hi Ashley, I found your blog and have found it very informative! I also see Dr. Chira and will be meeting with Dr. Mac this Friday and Dr. Gunson in May 2012. Can you tell me if you had any sleep apnea? Also, if you don’t mind me asking….did your insurance cover any of your orthognathic surgery?

    1. Hi!
      Yes I did have sleep apnea but I never noticed it. NOW I notice it more then ever because I actually FEEL awake when I wake up. I used to sleep for 11 hours and be tired , today I can sleep 7 and its not totally fun but I can manage and function. It will make a world of difference!
      The insurance covered most of my surgery. We were really lucky and I feel so blessed!I wouldnt give up on trying to have your insurance help you out as much as possible.

    1. Hi Krista!
      My orthodontist is Dara Chira located in Burlington, Vermont.
      She’s great and works really closely with Gunsin.

      P.s Sorry for the late response!

  3. Hi Ashley!
    I’m so excited to find your blog. Today was my big day for deciding about my surgery with Dr. Mac, Dr. Chira and Dr. Gunson. I’m going to have surgery in May. I am so relieved to find blogs that will give me information to help me prepare.
    People keep asking me why I’m flying all the way out to Cali from Vermont for my surgery.

    1. I am so excited you found my blog! I hope it can help you and feel free to ask me questions!
      Once you’re done with all your surgery, you wont even feel the need to exlain why you’re travelling so far! Yuo will just have to tell them how amazing Gunson is and that he is the best.
      Best of luck Judy!

  4. hi there!!! your blog is such an inspiration and help to me. I just had my surgery on 12/4/2012.

    Been feeling pretty depressed and hungry. I had a cyst taken out of my jaw and it filled with cadaver graft.

    My second jaw surgery the first one i had at 15.

    i cannot believe the amount of swelling im having this time, its unreal. Any tips?

    I cant wait to open my mouth again. Every food looks so wonderful!

    1. I am so sorry. You sound like you’re having such a rough time…It will get better.
      I know it’s hard to beleive right now but, it will get better.
      As for the hungry part? I know EXACTLY what you mean. That was one of the worst parts of my post surgery recover. Food was literally everwhere. In front of me, on bilboards, on TV…it was just awful.
      As for the swelling? I feel like you can do the cold and hot compress and of course make sure to keep your face elevated. At least you KNOW that will get better right?
      Thank you so much for your nice comments, you guys are what keeps me writing on here!

  5. Hi Ashley,
    I read about your chipped teeth. I see Dr. Chira for my braces and she sent me to Dr. Greg Penny in Jericho to repair my chipped tooth. He is working with Dr. Chira and Dr. Mac.

  6. Ashley,

    I was wondering when you felt like all of your residual swelling was gone. It is hard to tell in pictures, and I know that the flash actually hides a lot of swellig. I had surgery with Dr. gunson quite some time ago, and I still have a lot of swelling in my cheeks. Did it take you 4+ months to get back to looking/feeling normal?

    Thanks or any advice you may have.

    1. Hi!
      I would say that 6 months post op I felt the swelling was all gone. But then again, I didn’t swell that much. Fourth months post op is when I was able to start eating “normal” food and I really started to feel normal again…thank goodness. It was such a relief to be eating normally and not have to blend everything. I have heard of people who’s swelling didn’t go down for longer then 6 months and the office always told me that one year after the surgery is when you can expect to see complete results!

  7. Hi Ashley. Sorry you have gone through so much. I had surgery with Dr. Arnett back in 2005 for retruded jaws, and was not happy with the result, as I still felt there was little room in my mouth for my tongue & still hung my lower jaw forward to breathe better, so I sought further treatment in Europe in 2008. Unfortunately it has been a complete botch & I am left with bone loss and a twisted maxilla with only 2 back teeth that contact, sleep apnea, crunching tmj & pain. Plus my braces are still on after 5 years!

    It has been complete nightmare & incredibly frustrating as I am continuously waiting for appointments with different orthodontists & trying to find a surgeon who may be able to help over the last year and a half. So I totally understand your entries on trying to find answers. It`s as if I want them to care about it as much as I do and treat me like they would their daughter 🙂 I was thinking of seeing Gunson (very ashamed to go back & see Arnett) in the vague hope that something could be done. But I have a feeling it’s all too late & make pose too risky. I can’t believe I’ve been though all of this to be worse off.

    In your blog you said your jaw was twisted at the back. Was this a result of surgery? What surgery did you have? Did Gunson say that it could not be fixed or how this happened to you or would it be too risky to perform another surgery? Their website is so detailed & I remember they are very thorough in treatment planning, so I am keen to hear why it hasn’t worked for you & advice on whether you would recommend Gunson for an assessment?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi!
      I cant believe everything you have been through, how awful! I really recommend going to Gunson just because of the fact I know of someone who had some issues appear after surgery. Although he was angry with Gunson, he agreed to go see him again and was able to get the help he needed. He is now doing well.
      My jaw was naturally twisted so to speak. The surgery was able to fix and repair it.
      I recommend going to Gunson asap! Your story is so long and you’ve been through the mill. Gunson will really feel for you and (I hope) he can help you!

      Stay positive!

  8. Your blog is great, I came across it when looking for how others had dealt with the fun process of re-introducing food into their diet after a double jaw surgery. I am 7 weeks post surgery and just got my splint out of the roof of my mouth today and was given the clearance to start into soft chew foods. My only question (sorry if I missed anything in the blog) was how long were you on soft chew foods and what was your progression from there in introducing more foods? Thanks again for sharing all of this, it was great to read.

    1. Other question as well, how long was it before you could sleep on your stomach again? I meant to ask my Doc about this in my last appointment too, I too am a stomach sleeper and its driving me nuts having to sleep on my back.

    2. Hey Adam,
      thanks for the visit and im glad you can finally eat some soft chew food! I *think* I ate soft chew food for about two months….Im not sure though. When I went to normal food it was like, I did it so slowly that it was gradual and therefor I don’t have a specific day. I ate sandwhiches….and things that were comfortable 🙂 NO PEANUTS
      The sleeping was the most challenging part. All I wanted was to sleep on my stomach! I think I waited two months before I slept on my stomach. I asked my doctor before I did anything and just explained how desperate I was.

  9. Hi Ashely, I just started reading your blog, and I am wondering if you are still feel in the same about your results, and how your jaw and face are now. I just was referred to Dr. Chira by an initial consultation with Dr. Gunson, so it seems I will be hopefully be beginning your process soon and I want to know if choosing this team is right.

  10. Hi Ashley,
    I am starting to undergo the process of TMJ repair, ortho and potential jaw surgery. I have my appointment with Dr. Chira soon. I was wondering if you had any suggestions of how to approach my first appointment with Dr. Chira, and overall if you were happy with the team of Dr. Chira and Dr. Gunson, both professionally and interactionally prior and after your surgery. Are you still satisfied with as well as the outcome of your how you feel physically and look? Thank you for answering if you do!
    By the way, I too am a female college student at a wicked small liberal arts school. I would love to be able to talk if you can! That sounds super creepy, but if you can/do contact me I can provide more info. I totally understand if not.
    Either way, thank you for sharing all your info on your blog!!!

    1. Hi Katie!
      I am so sorry it has taken so long to answer. This is e THIRD time I respond and each time seems to not work.
      Here it goes! Thank you for reasong out to me! Dr chira is wonderful, her team is great,
      Warm and caring and they will take great care of you. She also has great gifts for kids in her office that I, of course, enjoy rewarding myself with after an appointment.
      I am very happy with my results. It is a log process but you sound positive which is the most important thing in my opinion. If you’d like to send me your email id be happy to give you my number! You can text/call with all your questions! I am happy to help 🙂

  11. Hi Ashley, are you still willing to connect with Dr. Gunson’s patients? I am 5 months post op and have a couple of questions that I think your experiences will help me with. Please let me know, thanks!

  12. Do you still monitor this? I am thinking about having my jaw surgery done and am wondering if I should visit Gunson even though hes out of state

    1. Yes, I still monitor this blog! Thanks for your question. I reccomend Gunson (despite being out of state) and I feel it would be unfair for me to tell you he’s better then a local Dr…simply because “how would I know?” Hehe but Gunson is my top choice, absolutely.


  13. Hi my name is Blakely and I’m 17. I am having double jaw surgery with Gunson this fall and needless to say am freaking out. 😦 I just got presurgical top braces and currently have a 7mm open bite so I wear a bottom splint on my lower teeth. After reading your blog, I was wondering if you are doing well now? I’m so scared that I won’t be strong enough to go through the surgery and any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. I live in Colorado so I am having a digital consult with Gunson soon. Did you have a digital or face to face consult? He told a surgeon he knows in Denver to remove my wisdom teeth and then he would operate 6 months after that.
    Is it okay if I continue to ask questions on this blog once I have my consult with Gunson?

    1. Blakely! Thank you for your message! I didn’t want to make you wait so I thought I would reach out and let you know I got your comment, will answer any-ALL your Q’s, and I will write to you when I don’t have to use my phone. I’ll be right back!
      You are oh so brave, and do not worry!
      – your jaw surgery pal

    2. Hi Blakely!
      Thank you for contacting me. I understand completely what you’re going through. I remember having moments of “I just CANNOT do this….I just can’t. I won’t go in that operating room, no way!” First of all, when you get there for surgery, let the docs know your anxious. They will serve you a nice cocktail/martini to lala land and you won’t have a chance to escape. Remember: this surgery will HELP you in the long run. It will change your life for the better. Your physical and mental health will be thankful you went through with it! AND I don’t know if college is in your plans, but getting this surgery wil improve your grades. I wish I had it earlier. I was able to sleep well and study longer…it was a reward I wasn’t expecting for sure!
      So, I went to Gunson in person…and I had no other choice! Haha I wonder if it’s a new thing they’re trying??
      Yes, please ask me questions! Ask me anything, whenever you need to. Nothing is more rewarding then being given the opportunity to help people 🙂

      1. Hi Ashley!!
        Thanks so much for replying so quickly! Knowing that someone has gone through the same thing is encouraging. Do you still have any jaw pain? Is your healing complete…no headaches, can talk a lot with out hurting your jaw, stopped grinding at night, no more ear pressure. I know the surgery is my only option but I’m just so apprehensive that I’ll have residual affects.

      2. Hi Ashley!!
        Thanks so much for replying so quickly! Are you doing okay now? Is your jaw completely healed…can talk and chew without it hurting, ears are no longer pressurized, no more migraines. I saw you had a twisted mandible and it started to twist back are all those issues resolved now. I know surgery is my only option, but I’m just so apprehensive that I’ll have residual effects.

      3. Hi again!
        Yes I am all good now. If I have stress packed few days, I will feel some more discomfort,but it’s temporary 🙂 I also had to get some teeth work done (esthetic) and they chip off every few years. It’s beyond annoying, but I plan on getting veneers/crown in the future to avoid that issue.
        As for pressure,bite, and talking? I’m 100% over those issues. Much to the disappointment of people around me….I could talk non stop forever. I am so glad I went through with the process, the migraines are gone, painful grinding, ALL GONE.
        So yes, absolutely worth it with a few left over annoyances but still…..it’s worth the little things to not have to be in pain 24 hrs.
        Thank you again for the questions Blakely

  14. Hi Ashley it’s Blakely again!
    I had my surgical consult with Dr. Gunson and these are the surgeries I’m getting.
    Le Fort 1 Osteotomy Multi-segment w/ bone grafting

  15. Bilateral Sagittal Osteotomy w/ bone grafting
    Chin repositioning
    By diagnosis is:
    Maxillary Hypoplaysia
    Mandibular Hypoplaysia

    Did you have any of the same procedures?

    1. Hi Blakely!
      Ogmygosh! I wish I knew the names of everything I got! Give me a day to research and I’m going to find out exactly what I got haha
      How are you feeling after your meeting!

      1. Oh wow thanks so much!! Honestly, I’m pretty scared for the surgery. The thought of having my face completely taken apart isn’t the best feeling, but I’m so happy Gunson is doing the surgery. I get my wisdom teeth cut out tomorrow and am worried about how my jaw joints will handle it. It’s crazy because everything seemed so far away, but now it’s all moving along and I’m not sure I’m ready….
        Thanks for replying it really helps to know someone who has been through surgery and is all better now. 🙂

      2. Hi Blakely!
        I FINALLY got onto the desktop WordPress Site which allows me to respond to comments much easier. I answered on another comment of yours because my phone would NOT let me answer directly on here. SO, I’m going to also respond directly to your comment here….

        It is very expected for you to be scared AND worried. Gunson is the #1 doctor. You couldn’t have a better person taking care of your surgery. And yes, it happens so incredibly fast. But that’s good! It’s less time to second guess/worry about it 🙂
        So according to my records, my procedure involved:
        Multi Segment LeFort I Osteotomy
        Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy
        Bucal Lipectomy and,
        Lotsa grafting of bone!?
        (This is a clip of the list, but my thoughts are these are the main parts!)
        I am here for you, any worries/questions!
        I know it’s hard, but try not to worry 🙂 it will all work out! You will be fine!

    2. It won’t let me write on the comment you left, so hopefully this one will let me respond to the message!
      Totally expected for you to be scared AND worried. Gunson is the #1. You couldn’t have a better individual taking care of your surgery. And yes, it happens so incredibly fast. But that’s good! It’s less time to second guess/worry about it 🙂
      So, I had:
      Multi Segment LeFort I Osteotomy
      Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy
      Bucal Lipectomy *it keeps auto correcting Bucal to Buffalo. Hopefully it stays as the right word. Ha
      Lotsa grafting of bone!?
      (This is a clip of the list, but my thoughts are these are the main parts!)
      I am here for you, any worries/questions!
      I know it’s hard, but try not to worry 🙂 it will all work out! You will be fine!

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