Adulting 101

Hello readers, Happy April! (I’m writing this on April 30th so for some of you…’s May)

For those of you on the West Coast, isn’t that sunny weather beautiful? For those of you on the East. Hold on? Don’t give up? Spring is around the corner?

Thought I should give you all an update as the lean mean jaw machine is up and

My jaw is feeling well as of lately. Stressful full times make for stressful jaw muscles but a lil’ bit of relaxation and stress-relief is a quick solution for that.

So, it’s time for me to get my more “permanent” teeth. As of now, I had composite added to my teeth on the bottom (mainly the front two) and while I don’t mind it, I also despite it. The reason I say I don’t “mind it” is because I am lucky to have been able to get it. The reason I despise it is quite simple:

They break.

I have come to understand that the time limit of MY personal composite is one year and a half. After that time has passed, I prepare to lose half a tooth. It’s traumatic and frustrating.

I would also like to bring attention to the fact that I have lost my half tooth while eating my favorite foods. These are never healthy foods, and they are not foods I consume regularly….but they are some of my favorites.

First, was the bagel. Ah bagels. My personal favorite is Cinnamon Raisin. Give me a good Cinnamon Raisin bagel and I will TEAR off individual bites and insert them into my mouth on the side.


Okay,  maybe you shouldn’t be eating them ever….but really….bagel.

Then it was the quesadillas. A soft warm cheesy beautylicious invention I created that was so delicious. So timeless. I have no had a quesadilla since.ff836a19c324f728e0c957ebd5625028So, as you can see, it is not a question of eating hard foods. My teeth literally FALL out of my mouth mid-dinner. If that’s not attractive, I don’t know what it is.

Prior to getting my more permanent teeth, I am going to be giving up my old two piece retainer. I have been told by Dr. Chira that a one piece nighttime retainer will be better for my overall jaw and will likely protect my teeth more. (There are assumptions that my jaw could be causing the breaking teeth.) I am fine with that as long as they don’t blame it on the quesadillas. #TeamQuesadilla

Once I get this new retainer/splint/denture/contraption, I will move on to the esthetic tooth portion.

So I repeat this to you once again:

Jaw surgery is not a one time thing, it is a commitment.

(Apparently I missed the memo on that, wouldn’t have changed my decision but still, memo = missed it.)

I am also partaking in using some White Strips. I have thoroughly enjoyed them as my teeth look surprisingly whiter.

As always. keep the questions coming, I love hearing from all of you!



Hello, it’s me.

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet? To go over…..everything.

Shout out to Adele for lending me her beautiful quotes to start off my post. And yes, I am wondering if after all these years ( 3 to be exact) you would like to go over EVERYTHING?

Okay. So maybe not everything, I’ll spare you the boring stuff 😉

It has been about 3 years since I wrote on here, but I assure you, I still visit. Every time I get a question, I am on here to answer. So please continue asking, I love being able to help out or provide some sort of reassurance.

I was looking back at old posts and ohmygoodness, I was quite the angry little elf towards the end wasn’t I? Granted, I was in A LOT of pain (which I had forgotten!) and I was unemployed which meant I had a lot of spare time to be angry and complain. Good news is that, as you can all tell, the issues were all resolved. Yes, it took a while, and yes, there were communication issues, but all is good in the world of Ashleysjaw! What a relief to be able to say that.

What prompts me to write this update is my most recent up taking! I was informed that Dr. Gunson and Dr. Mac would be visiting, so obviously, I had to attend the gathering. These doctors have become quite a part of my life. Everytime they come up to visit, I am there.

Today, all is good with my jaw. I still get sore muscles if I’m really stressed or if I was to eat a bucket full of tootsie pops, which I wouldn’t do haha (or would I…..) and the evil perpetrators that you may know as “braces” were removed years ago. OhmygoshthankgoodnessIneverthoughttheywouldleave.

My teeth still have the bonding that Dr. Mac did which was done to elongate my tooth so that they would fit my overall bite better and serve to maximize it’s overall function. I have a permanent retainer on the bottom teeth…I know, I was bummed out too. But the doctors explained that I need to have this as my bite was still settling in, yes, years after my surgery.

So I couldn’t wait to see the doctors as I had two questions I really wanted to ask. They are the following:

  1. When can I get the retainer out?
  2. Why does my jaw crack (not a pop sound…a CRACK sound) everytime I lie on my right side. Specific, I know.
  3. Okay I said I had 2 questions but I remembered I had this one too. I was getting my teeth cleaned and I was informed I had a “bump” in my mouth. This thing I like to call Henry, felt HUGE. I can only feel it if I go poking around mind you.

So, I got my responses in real time, which was awesomeeeeeee. They are as follows:

  1. Dr. Mac will let you know.
  2. Dr. Gunson showed me a whole diagram of it and explained that it is air pressure and that a simple softer pillow would resolve the issue.
  3. This is in fact NOT a bone growth (good to know my periodontist got that one right, huh?) It is in fact……and I quote “your plate.”

My plate? What do you mean my plate? Like for food? Like a platter?

Gunson explained (through the use of real x-ray jaw photographs) that I have a plate in my mouth that was inserted during surgery.

Hey, I am as surprised as you. I knew there was a lot of metal in there but hot damn, a plate!!? And I still don’t ring at the metal detector?

But anyways, the skin thinned out and is causing the plate to be more prominent and noticeable. No biggie! As Gunson said he would be happy to take it out BUT that would mean going back to the West Coast etc etc. So for now, I’m going to let the plate stay. Call me The Terminator.

I will have to schedule with Dr. Mac to go and see him so that he can make some shaping and other esthetic and functional changes. This is in order to make the final touches to my overall surgery and recovery process. I know,  I thought I was done back in ’12.

So as I look back on the whole process, I still get anxious. It was very traumatic, and going back into my blog I had forgotten just how horrible it could really be at times. However, if I had  not gotten the surgery? I would be so miserable, constantly hurting, and probably not able to eat a sandwich  whole.

As for the doctors? I would not have picked another group of professionals as this team is the best of best. Yes, it can get frustrating. I mean, let’s remember that each doctor is in a different part of the country. BUT, they work so hard together and I know that they want every patient of theirs to have the best results possible.

I feel very blessed to be where I am today with the jaw that I have.

Please send me any questions you may have, I am always very o happy to reply 🙂 🙂



UPDATE…that isn’t really an update.

I want to update all of you, but usually an update talks about something exciting…and this isn’t really exciting. Which is good? When you’ve had a surgery and you have nothing to say about it a year and a half later I think that’s a good thing, no?

How’s my bite? Dandy. It’s just hanging out, no wait, not like that type of hanging out. It’s not hanging out of the joints. Yikes, I need to be careful with my word usage!
My bite feels great. My teeth close down the way they’re supposed to and I can eat comfortabley. The ONE thing I’m still hesitant about is apples (my life is so hard.) I don’t plan on biting into an apple at any point, like, ever. I have this image that I will bite into one and my front teeth will just chip off and I’ll be left with sharp, crunchy, uneven teeth. I have officially sunk down into my chair and my tongue is running across my front teeth because apparently just thinking of that image will cause it to happen.

Good news is that I no longer have those awful nightmares where I would close my teeth together and not be able to open my mouth again. All the while I would be biting down so hard that my teeth would just start to break off. I’d be there trying to open my mouth up but it would just keep closing down tighter and tighter. Yuck!

So yes, my teeth are doing well. I went to Dr.Mac the other week and he bonded my front teeth making them look bigger and longer. I love them! They make my mouth look more complete and less “sideways.” I have a sideways smile still, just a little but I notice it in photos. Apparently its an easy fix though, just a few thousand bucks, some removal of my gums (it would be the third time) and I’d be all set! I think I’m going to wait that one out…for a few years….until Im a millionaire….and have bought my parents a boat to thank them for spending so much on my mouth.

My face in general is fine, Im completely used to my “new look.” The most obvious change in my opinion in my cheekbones. In certain lighting they really pop out, which I like. I have to spend some time in the mirror alternating the lights to find the perfect angle where I can just float across any room Im in and have my cheekbones be prominent. I still stand behind the fact that I should have gotten a nose job but according to Gunson it wasn’t needed. I trust him so I think if he thought I needed one, he would have mentioned it. Meanwhile I live everday hoping I’ll get hit in the face by a football so I
A) Can get a nose job because as the doctor would put it “its going to be lopsided, causing complicated sinus issues and ridicule”

B) Not pay for it. Hopefully the football that hits me is one thrown by Tom Brady so I don’t feel guilty about the amount of money involved. I don’t think I could bring myself to force a third grader to pay for my nose job.

I guess only time will tell.

I have already let family and friends know what kind of nose I would like IF the situation came up that I was “under” and the doctor felt the surgery had to be performed right away.
Option A) Lindsay Lohan

Option B) Hilary Duff

Mind you, both of these lovely ladies have had their beaks redone but I just want people to know that should the time come that I am hit in the face and require a nose job, I would like the following. I look ahead in life, not ashamed.

Eating is all back to normal although I try to not bite into crunchy things. I’m more of a “pull a piece off” kind of gal, just to keep things safe.

So what’s next for me? Well, veneers are a possibility and a recommendation for the future. Not the near future but eventually these babies are going to fall off and I’m going to have to get the teeth re-bonded. As previously mentioned, I am also a candidate for getting my gums “cut” to get rid of my lopsided smile which mind you is very minimal but it’s one of those things that is quick to fix (although costly.)

Please send me questions if you have any! I love hearing from all you lovely people, no shame in asking questions whether weird, stupid, or just common sense. A question, is a question, and I love them all!

xoxo From me and my mouth.



p.s Apologies for not posting any pictures (which would have included ones of chipped teeth, apples, lindsay lohan, and yours truly.) WordPress has been having severe issues posting my pictures! I’ll look into it and update you folks.


Hola todos!
I am officially in Rome, Italy and the jaw is doing well. It gets tired every now and then which makes me think

“is this going to happen for the rest of my life?”

because honestly my jaw cannot take naps and therefor when it gets tired….I’m kind of out of options. Not talking would be mentally and emotionally distressing.

Being in Rome is quite stressful so my muscles get soar and then you can catch me massaging my face as much as I can. I swear there are knots…like the ones you get in your back. Is that possible? And would putting either A) Bengay or B) Icy,Hot on my jaw be a bad idea?

Im being so careful with what I eat because I am terrified of chipping a tooth and having to get it fixed here. Not only do I not know where I would go but insurance OH WAIT insurance doesn’t cover that haha SILLY ME. I would be stuck paying OUT OF POCKET again. Ah I miss the days of chipping my tooth every week.

But back to the positive side, I haven’t chipped one yet. I still have a chipped tooth YES but it’s the one that is always chipped and refused to be complete. Ever. It’s my little trouble-canine…always insisting on being a rebel that one. Trouble maker.

Dr. Mac gave me the thumbs up email to go to Rome which was a relief. Yes, I asked them. I wanted to make sure that it was okay 🙂

I’ve been having severe hip pain that has caused me not to be able to run/jog so I called Dr. Gunson from Italy asking him if I could take this prescribed medicine a family friend and doctor thought could help me. He got right back to me which was SUPER awesome of him and his office.

Turns out that I am on the largest dosage of piroxicam and taking more would be dangerous and cause a hole in my stomach? Or no wait, that’s if I take Advil with it. Which is really sad because I am a spokesperson for Advil (not officially, more like around my friends…college campuses for the post weekend hangover…the usual)

First of all, wow.

Second, if I am already on an antinflammatory and I am being prescribed another one for my hip, why does my hip hurt? Shouldn’t I be so medicated on anti inflammation meds that Im just livin’ la vida?
So I got off the piroxicam, took the other antinflammatory for my hip, and now Im back on the piroxicam.

Wooo, that was complicated.


 ❤  ❤ 

Villagers Gone Wild

I went to my dentist appointment in Southern Vermont to get my chipped tooth fixed. There were two so that should be plural and it went well. The dentist was very nice and the drive wasn’t too bad. Rap tunes kept me company, and just made everything better 😉

The area itself was very isolated and I feared the village people would come at me with their axes.

Today, I noticed one of the teeth already chipped. Yay. You may be wondering how come I’m not more bothered and that it because I have succumbed to the anger and overridden it. It is now mine.

I did call Dr. Chira and let her know that I was very frustrated because I don’t want to leave the country (which I am next week) with a fang. Needless to say, I think she’s going to appreciate the voice mail. Its just a baby break but still.

Is this normal?

Why is it happening?

Is THIS why they want to me get fake teeth all over? So they don’t break all the time?

Now that I’m reliving the moments I’m getting angry again. It is SO frustrating to spend more then 250 dollars to fix a tooth and then have it chip. Of course, it’s never refundable and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY. They have explained it to me so many times but everytime I just don’t get it!

Do you?



Dear followers/new visitors/stumble-upon-my-blog’ers,

Not much has changed with my jaw. I’ve been beyond stressed lately and every now and then will find myself in excruciating jaw pain. I’m confident it’s muscle related and not joint related. After my appointment with Dr. Mac a month ago he said all that was left to do was esthetic things including re-shaping of some of my teeth.

Mind you these are all things that will cost a lot of $$$ so they may have to wait. There is talk of doing some gum-reduction (yum) and some veneers. I told the doctors that frankly, celebrities can keep their wide, blinding white veneers. Im fine with my teeth like this. I don’t need my mouth to look extravagant. It’s a mouth….

Anywhos, apart from that I am still taking all my vitamins (all thirteen of them) again, yum. I’m still on the piroxicam that is an anti inflammatory but might as well be candy as I swear it does nothing. I emailed Dr.Mac telling him about flights to New York City for 45 dollars and asked him, and I quote “Do you see any upcoming appointments with me in the next weeks because these plane tickets are really cheap.”

No answer.

I guess I’ll stick to paying 300 plus dollars for those wonderful last minute flights.

Apart from working and not biting into anything super hard I’ve been doing a whole lot of this:


New York City Part 2

Before I update you on my medical status I just MUST tell you all about my voyage to the big apple.

Mother and I departed from our home at 5 o’clock and arrive in New York City at about 12. We were staying at the Westin and the GPS got us there by 12:30…right when my appointment was to start. We valet the car.

I go into the hotel with our bags and ask the bell man if he can hold them for us. He looks on his computer and tells me I am not a registered guest. I s-p-e-l-l the name out for him because obviously he is wrong and I am correct. After driving down for so long and being late (I hate being late) I was in no mood for this little mans sass. I tried again but to no avail, I was stuck bringing my bags with me to the appointment.

I walk in the door and Dr. Mac looks at me and goes, sarcastically “I was just telling them that I have had it up to HERE with you.” I look at him, point to my jaw and (being totally honest) say..

“I am not happy, Im in pain, lets fix this…now.”

We made up later on.

After my appointment I rush back to the hotel with my bags. For some reason the hotel is different looking? I had gone up a flight of stairs with an esclator so I start going around asking for this damn escalator leading me to the front desk. I try going to a higher floor and reach an office where the lady tells me “ma’am, there is no escalator here.”

Of course, I am fuming at this point. I’m in pain, tired, and frankly…I had eaten alot for Christmas so I was feeling slightly sluggish and just slower in general. I am sure that this woman in her office is giving me a hard time because shes upset she has to spend her days talking to annoying people on the phone.


So I’m really getting angry at this point but I maintain it. It is not her fault she put on her bad attitude pants on this morning. I go back towards the escalator and say ” I KNOW I went up an escalator!”

I check in and go to my room.

Next day I go to my appointment to hear the update from Mac. As soon as I’m done, I rush back to the hotel to get the car that I had valet-ed. They tell me it’s going to be twenty minutes and I don’t have twenty minutes. I am paying sixty dollars for 24 hours and have 15 minutes to get my car. I tell them I will go get the car myself.

I’m trying to find out how to get my car and ON THE WAY realise that upon arrival I had gone to the wrong Westin. Holy muffin-top. Could I be that stupid? And it’s finally dawns on me that yes, I went to the wrong hotel.

Of course I try to blame it on the valet who should have made sure I was a registered guest but I move on. It hits me that I am now the person with the attitude. NOT A GOOD LOOK , NOT. A. GOOD. LOOK.

So I’m rushing around from 34th to Broadway to zanadoo to wherever looking for my damn car. I get to the garage that tells me I cant get my car because they will bring it to me and I just look at him and say

“I am here to see a dr. I parked in the wrong hotel. I have sixty dollars for you and that is it. ”

He let me pay just 30 🙂 IloveNewYork.

An hour and a half into our trip mother and I decide to get some food. “Mom, you got the bags from the hotel right?”

She just looks at me.

She forgot the bags in the hotel.

My reaction? Laughing. More like hysterically laughing. Mommy was crying 😦 which I didn’t like, but now she laughs so it’s become a funny story.

We turned around and went back to get our bags. What was supposed to have taken six hours took about ten as we then had to drive IN the snow storm.

We made it home safely, thank God.

And now to update you.

So my jaw was basically “twisted” in that my back teeth were not touching. This was cauing my muscles to strain thus causing severe pain in my skull/jaw/face. Apparently I have to talk slower and less.

I told Dr. Mac that this was simply not possible and had they told me this before surgery I would have been very honest and would have let them know that me talking less was just unrealistic.

He said to fix the problem he would make a few bite adjustments and then I would need to make sure my teeth don’t move. Apparently, I also need to do some more jaw exercises as my opening and closing is not up to capacity.

So it seems like it went okay. He mentioned the possibility that I would need invisalign or brackets on the back teeth to which I simply glared. There is not enough money in the world to get me to put brackets back on my teeth. I also shouldn’t HAVE to spend any more money. I am in the final stages of my journey and that’s that.

I have chosen to simply ignore the chance that I would have to spend even more money because it’s just too nauseating and I can’t handle it.

For now I’m wearing my retainers as much as possible and doing my jaw exercises and much as possible and YES I am trying to talk less.

It’s quite the challenge though.

Quick news!

Hi everyone!

wrting from my my hotel room so I’m going to be super quick!! Appointment seems to have gone well yesterday. dr Mac said my jaw was twisted a little but it’s a quick fix. Today, he’s going to do some more remodeling so I will update you all.


thank you SO much all of you for the continued support!


I have finally been in contact with all three members of the team today and I am feeling relieved. Scared and still upset, but there is a sense of intense relief from knowing that they haven’t forgotten about me.

Dr .  has two trauma patients he is taking care of so I understand he can’t get back to me right away. Those people are priority, absolutely.

That’s all I needed to hear. I understand and I can wait!!

Dr. Mac turns out, is in the hospital with his flu-infection thing. I understand that too, and again, I can wait, especially because it sounds like he’s very sick! Boooo 😦

It comes down to this:

Give me a response. Let me know that I am not forgotten.

I understand things happen, I really do, but how am I supposed to know this is all happening if you don’t tell me?


I’m not sure where I left off. Somewhere between exhausted and in pain. Now, I’m frustrated and in pain. I already updated you all about my appointment with the “stanger” doctor who basically told me he had only been made aware of my chipped tooth and nothing else. Well… That night after finally breaking down and crying, I got a call from Gunson (after mom called their office…she said she was nice, but the promptness of their phone call leads me to think differently? Lioness!) apologizing and telling me he would call me back after talking to Dr. Mac and Dr. Chira.

No call.

Now, I understand they’re busy BUT I sent an email explaining that I am in so much pain. I am taking my piroxicam anti-inflammatory and popping tylenol left and right. The pain does not go away. It’s also accompanied by a backgound headache that lingers on ALL DAY. I’m still waiting for a reply and since I sent it Thursday I figure, Ill give it until tomorrow.

I just dont know what to do. I am so tired of this whole procedure and my biggest fear at this point is giving up and “living with the pain.” My teeth are moving every day as I can actually SEE them starting to go diagonal. Perhaps its a quick fix? I don’t know but I just need answers.

Im going back to Dr. Mac in a couple weeks, a day after christmas and this time i have to go alone. Lovely. Just what I want is to have to go to NYC when everyone else is at home with their families. What a bummer.

I’m wondering what he’s going to do though? Apparently bonding of some sort, reshaping, and the like. But is anyone playing attention to the pain!? I don’t care about the shape of my teeth, I care about the pain.

I wish they would read my blog as maybe that would make them realise how much distress I’m in. I am just worried and in a lot of pain 😦

I’m a person that doesn’t do well “yelling” at people or showing anger, even when warranteed.

Leave a message after the beep.

Finally went to the “stranger” DR yesterday and poor man, I was NOT happy to be there. I don’t like any random doctor touching my face but I was willing to give him a chance because im desperate. I’m still in pain and frankly I’m mentally and physically exhausted from this whole ordeal.

So anyways, he comes into the examination room and it’s tense. You can feel it in the air, big time.  He looks at my mouth and says “I can fix the tooth, but it wont help the pain.”

I automatically start spewing out comments and questions on why he wasnt made aware that my problem was pain? Did the doctors not TELL him what was going on? I dont care about my chipped tooth at this point, I care about my 100,000 dollar reconstructed face and intense pain

Turns out, he didn’t know about the pain and I left empty handed. I had nothing done. No fixing the chip, nothing. Good part was that he didn’t charge me anything. I think he was afraid of me.

I never cried after my surgery but yesterday the tears came down 😦 I was just so over tired from everything. Not hearing back from anyone, feeling completely shut out of the world by my doctors who I have given so much of myself, my time, and work too.

To ease the stress I went to the gym where I recieved a call from Gunsons office. He apologized for the pain and called what I was going through “a complete nightmare.” I agreed with him and felt so relieved he was on my side.

He asked me if I was on the pain medication, which I told him I was and said I should even take a tranquilizer at night because me being stressed means Im clenching my jaw and that’s causing the pain to worsen. He said he wishes he lived in the neighboorhood and could see me but unfortunutly that’s just not possible.

His final say was that we just need to get me to NYC to figure out what to do.

He reminded me of how great a doctor he is, and how the whole team looks out for me. Even if they don’t reply as fast as I would appreciate, I felt much better getting that call from him. Felt like a big hug and a cookie.






A year ago today I was in a hospital room in Santa Barbara, California. Suctioning blood from my mouth and nose, I had my morphine pump in hand. (My close pal for the next 20 hours.) I shudder at the thought of what I was about to go through. The months of not eating, losing 20 pounds, and overall weakness, both physical and mental.

I wish I could say Im so happy to be done with it. But there was something about knowing “this is going to get better for me” that Im not feeling today, and that I was feeling a year ago.

My jaw is a crunching machine whenever I chew. I dont go through the day without pain or a headache. I’ve gone back to taking Advil like it’s a job…..

Im right back where I started.

To update you: I have been prescribed a strong anti inflammatory that I will start taking sunday. I could start tonight but honestly, I want to have a glass of wine this weekend and mixing meds with alcohol is never a good idea. I’ve had to make an emergency doctors appointment with a “stranger” in my area who will do something to my bite, not sure what. I fear anyone unknown touching my jaw. As someone put it I had “my jaw taken out of my skull, sawed, and fastened back in.”

I am starting to lose hope that this is really the end of my journey. Who knows if I will have to get more surgery? The thought is simply shocking, I jus’t cant imagine what it would do to me….physically, mentally, and financially.

Along with my appointment, I got an email saying I would have to get impressions done that would cost me 200 dollars for the labor, shipping.

My first thought is “no, I cant afford anything more. I just spent more then five hundred dollars to go to New York City for an appointment that was cancelled.” But then I think to myself, what else am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to live every day in pain again? Waking up at night with excruciating aches?

It just doesn’t seem fair?

Thanks to everyone for all your support. Hugs.

Get Jaw Surgery: see the world.

I am sitting in a small bar in a side alley in the middle of New York City.

A crisp, cold glass of wine in hand.This morning after three hours of sleep, I woke up and departed for my appointment with dr Mac. I landed, cellphone rings.

Dr Mac is sick and my appointment is cancelled.

I kid you not.

After spending hundreds of dollars on two plane tickets ( of course, I begged my mother to come with me) we are back at the airport for our 10:30 p.m. flight back home.

I am obviously sorry that the doctor is sick. I just can’t believe that after everything, I am still in discomfort… and a chunk of dollars poorer.

I am trying to stay upbeat by thinking that maybe this means Dr. Mac will come up to see me next time. He visits up North a few times a year and I’m hoping that maybe he can just see me up here? I just cant afford another trip down there. And for those of you wondering if I did calm my sadness with cupcakes and shopping? No. Shopping? Yes. But there were no cupcakes.
My day was an emotional roller coaster. One second I was happy to be in New York City, my favorite American city. The next I was so upset to think of the money I had spent to get down there and the idea that I am back to square one.

Am I expecting too much? I know my pain matters to the doctors but there are so many factors that are pointing me in the direction of “these people just don’t care anymore.” I sometime feel like “Im done with the surgery, why should they even play attention to how im doing?”

As a conclusion to this entry. BE AWARE. Having jaw surgery is a life time commitment. Yes, you’re paying for surgery and yes, overall it ended up being about 100,000 dollars…but add on the trips you have to take. New York City and Santa Barbara are neither close nor cheap….Heck, they are probably in the top most expensive cities to visit.
I know the costs will pay off someday..when Im all healed. Oh, and also when I buy my parents a:
and, let’s add an albino baboon to that combination for all the “incidentals” that occurred before, during, and now after my surgery.

The costs just never seem to EVER end 😦
Thank you again for all your well wishes.


I am happy to say that I did receive  a response and I was informed that Gunson knows of my pain and they will contact the doctor in New York City after my appointment.

Meanwhile, its 12:40 a.m and I got out of work an hour ago. I have to get on that plane at 6 am which means I need to wake up at 4 am. Goodness gracious.

This doctors appointment in NYC is going to be so important as I will finally get some treatment for my pain. How he’ll do it? I dont know. Will it work?

I’ve decided to take advantage of NYC and bring my savings with me. No, Im not spending everything in anticipaton for the apocapyse that is booked to occur in about two weeks. I am shopping for me 🙂 Boots, dresses, shirts oh my! I am so thankful my appointment is in the afternoon.

If I get bad news, just plan on finding me in an upper manhattan cupcake store surrounded my tons of bags and eating everything. Stressed IS desserts spelt backwards afterall….

Thank you all so much for your messages, thoughts, and prayers. They mean so much!
I am definetly relieved to have a response. I have put all my trust in Gunson and it’s still iI know that, god forbid, if anything was gravely wrong with my jaw, he would go to extremes to fix it and help me.



I have recieved an overwhelming response from people with many questions. Please ask your questions right on here in a comment. As much as I wish I could respond to all the questions by email, I just dont have the time and a lot of the questions are the same 🙂

Thank you so much!




I am upset…and very disappointed.

Here I am, almost a year post-op and I have been on a soft chew diet for three days. I can’t believe I’m actually saying those dreaded word….SOFT CHEW. After not eating solid food for FOUR months I thought I was done with that, done with the dreaded feeling of being constantly hungry and weak.

To make matters worse? I am going to NYC exactly a year after I went right before going to California for the surgery. It’s like a bad Groundhog Day scenario!

I’ve been in a lot of pain. I don’t know why? I’ve been waking up with pain in my jaw so bad I can’t sleep through a whole night. My hearing’s impaired because of a connection between my jaw and my ears. When I chew anything or talk, a strange noise like…grinding noise or crunching echoes through my skull.

I have informed Dr. Gunson, letting him know that I made an emergency appointment to see Dr. Mac in NYC. Another 400 + dollars to fly down there and thats without the appointment cost.

I wrote to them last week asking them a question. Four days ago I wrote to them again because I got no reply, repeating my previous question and saying that I was scared, that I NEEDED some kind of reassurance. Did I go through months of pain and hell for nothing? After having facial reconstructive surgery I never thought I would be in any more pain. I was told I would be back to normal..and Im not.

I have followed every single recommendation and every rule possible.

I understand that sometimes these things happen, but there is nothing worse then when your feeling ignored.

I have spent a good part of the past three years dedicating myself to my surgery. My family has made so many sacrifices to afford all the doctors appoiontments, trips to NYC, trips to California.

I was very hesitant to write on here because I didnt want to scare anyone but with the recommendation of my friends and family, it’s something that needed to be said.

I wasn’t ready to still be having issues post-op. It seemed impossible for me.

Now I’m just wondering: is it a botched surgery? Is it something that was done wrong?Am I being lied to? Is their something wrong with my joints/ligmanets/ bone that NO ONE is telling me?

All I need is answers. A simple email back.

I don’t feel that that is too much to ask for?

Of course, its possible that maybe the doctors are on vacation. Perhaps my email is not working.  Last time I saw Gunson, I was nothing but happy and I am still so reassured by his confidence in my healing and overall improvement. I know Gunson cares about my overall recovery.

I will update you once I get back from NYC.

Stay strong my fellow surgery friends.


Hi everyone!

(Had a shirt with “Just got my braces removed” made, thanks to mom for the purchase!!)

Here are some pictures of me with my new-and-improved smile. I was waiting to get my haircut and finally did it so…here they are!

I finally found a food that I hadnt been able to eat. Tootsie rolls. breaking off the pieces, I feel I can thoroughly enjoy them now!

The reason I put on this photo is because you can see the “new” shape of my jaw. And look at that slight cheekbone action happening 🙂


Hey folks!

There are no words to describe. I just got home from my first night out in the “real world” without my braces. They have always been a sort of security blanket for me. An insecurity…yes, for sure. But at the same time, a type of protection from the outside word. An excuse, If I may say so, not to interact with that hottie by the water fountain 😉  There is nothing worse then someone criticizing you for your braces.

-Oh, I’m sorry. Are they offending you!? Let me take back my 7 hour surgery, two nights in the hospital, THREE years of preparation, physical therapy, trips to California, and COUNTLESS appointments at the dentists office back.

I feel pretty confident, a form of undefeatable. I keep catching myself laughing and smiling and then realising that its okay….I don’t need to suddenly close my mouth out of fear.

It may sound weird that it would be such a huge deal but to me, but it was. And I know I’m not the only person to have felt their braces were such a huge part of their life. I may be weird, yes. But I am in no way stupid.

My plan from here is to get back to being super healthy. Perhaps being vegan? I don’t know. Now that I don’t have my braces I feel like I need something else to study. Something to keep me occupied.

As for those of you wondering what I’ve eaten so far, I never really changed my diet. No gum still but that’s because I feel like gum is just so bad for  your jaw in general.

I was waiting in line for food tonight and noticed a young attractive male specimen cutting. His reason for cutting was…interesting. Apparently, your birthday is a reason to cut in front of a whole line of people.

OBVIOUSLY I said something. Before I got my braces I would have probably kept my mouth shut and watched him “break the rules” but tonight, heck….there was no passing me. I went right up to him and said “I don’t care if its your  birthday, I JUST got my braces removed and you need to wait in line like everyone else.”

The rest is history. My room mate got her piece of pizza and I went home and had oatmeal. (Remember the whole “going vegan” plan?, yea I started it.)

To all my followers out there 😉 Don’t think that this will be the end of it, I will be back. There are still numerous doctors appointments, trips to NYC to see doctors, and perhaps a trip to S Barb. I am beginning the last wing of my recovery.

I am so proud of all the people that have with-gone the surgery. There is nothing as emotionally and psychologically “testing.” For me, I would say it was physically challenging jsut because I love to stuff myself with food and not eating for four months was difficult. My twenty pounds lost are slowly creeping back but Im working to keep them off. That is definetly one of the things I gained after surgery. I mean, losing a pound a day has its short term benefits. It’s keeping it off that can be challenging.

For all you people out there, I congratulate you whether you’re done with surgery or just beginning!

It is all worth it.

Beginning of the End

As I promised, here are some pictures of me with my braces on. I can’t believe tomorrow I get them removed!

Its simply unreal.

I will obviously post pictures tomorrow but here are some from today.

I hope all of the other people getting jaw surgery will read this and remember that it will all be done soon! I know it can seem like years away, but trust me…it goes by so quickly. Before you know it, you’ve gotten your surgery and you’re all done.
Here to starting new with my new smile!


Yesterday was my appointment with the whole team. It is always such a wonderful delight to see them. Obviously, I came bearing gifts. Lake Champlain Chocolates (almond and cherry truffles) for the docs.

There is nothing funnier then having all three work on my mouth. You know those scenes from movies when you see the doctors from the view of the patient? All you can see is their faces with the lights attached to their heads….

I went in to my appointment expecting to find out when my braces would come off but I was also ready to not get an answer. That’s one thing that this process has taught me. Don’t expect anything at every appointment. Sometimes I would get no answer while others I would find out something that I didn’t even thinking anyone would know.

All I received was good news 🙂

Turns out my mouth is at a great place. I think I heard the word “perfect” being mentioned 😉 My braces are coming off in THIRTEEN days and I could not be more excited. This is the one thing I have been waiting for and I am still in shock that I’ll actually be able to smile like I used to. There’s nothing worse then being in a room full of people and not talking because you fear what people will say.

“Why do you have braces?” (The most frustrating question in my opinion. Oh, these ol’ things? I thought they looked good with my earrings so I got them put on.)

“OMG, I didnt even notice you had braces!?” (See, this one is half and half because on one side Im happy you didnt see them, but on the other side you just reminded me.)

The other day I was talking to a little girl at a chocolate store and no joke, she looks at me and goes. “DO YOU HAVE BRACES?” When you’re so close to getting them off it’s like you don’t care anymore about people asking. She said they were SO COOL! And I just laughed and said “I know!!” Ah, so naive. She has no idea….

So these babies are coming off in twelve days! TWELVE DAYS. TWELVE DAYS. TWELVE DAYS.I am definetly getting a t shirt that says “JUST GOT MY BRACES REMOVED!” I’ve been planning it for a while. I will be so happy that I won’t care if people stare. I have a beautiful smile and you are all welcome to see it 🙂


No more flossing with a threader, no more elastic bands, no more pain.


Please feel free to ask me questions, I love reading them!

It’s the Final Count Down.

Well, countdown may be a little bit of an exaggeration but….a hopeful (very hopeful) date has been given for when I will finally be able to get my grill removed.

Dr. Chira will be having her baby in mid- November and has set up a time line in hopes of having everything complete by that date. Yay.

*  I have informed her that if they are not removed, I will in fact show up at the birth of her child and insist she remove them promptly 😉 Just kidding.

Anywho’s, my jaw is still feeling dandy and I even munched on a granola bar today. I was rummaging through the kitchen like a squirrel searching for food when my roomie said I could have the “hard” granola bars. I felt a sense of sadness as I realised my jaw wouldn’t be able to….Oh wait, yes it can. Tehehehehehe

I broke off pieces of the granola bar (okay there were three bars in all but they were different flavors and I wanted some variety) and my little jaw was working at it. I am hoping im not in pain tomorrow but I figure until I hear a bang, crack, or god forbid the sound of a metal screw coming loose, I will be just fine.

I am still taking all thirteen of my pills, yay. I enjoy showing onlookers my ability to take so many at once. I consider this a talent. Please don’ t try to challenge me as this can be dangerous.

I made some calculations and  have now swallowed:

1,095 daily vitamins,

and a whopping 3,500 fish oil pills.


With all the Omega 3 I take, I better live to be a hundred and five.

The other medicines don’t matter but it is all either the same or more then the above. Ah, the sweet thought of filling my body up with chemicals and fish nutrients is so refreshing.

* I have recently discovered that fish oil can be bought off of Amazon for a fraction of the price. Just a fact.

I am currently working at the front desk at a classy chassy hotel and to my surprise, a dental conference is booked for the rest of the week. Oh, what a joy. As soon as my boss mentioned this to me I smiled saying “they are going to be all over me.” I am expecting a whole array of questions that I will obviously shut down immediately by exclaiming “I’M A JAW SURGERY PATIENT. This is not your simple orthodontics sir, this is far more complicated.”

I will then offer to speak of my experience at this dental conference in return for donations. I am always thinking up of new ways to bring in the dough.

Please entertain me with more of your questions and think of me as my long journey through this lonnnngggg voyage comes to a slow finish. I have begun the descent and look forward to starting my journey on a brace-free land.

New York City for 9ish hours

Yello everyones.

I wish I was more excited but alas, I find myself….not.

I am going to New York City on Tuesday to see Dr. Mac who will examine my bite. From there he will call Dr. Chira and they will discuss my bite. On Thursday, I will go see Dr. Chira and she will tell me what they discussed.

Sounds so simple…..

I am flying down to NYC bright and early at 6 am and returning home at around 5. Yay, a day in the city….alone. I’ve decided Im going to take the train/subway/bus to get into the city instead of paying 50 plus dollars for a cab. With my luck, I’ll get off at the wrong stop and miss my appointment.

The one thing I can only hope for is that I will get a due date. And by due date I do not mean for a baby, I mean for braces. If I was talking about a baby, it would be a devil child. Rosemarys baby. And I would want it out of me asap. Instead, it’s my braces, or my grill as I like to call it.

I have now been waiting for a possible removal date for months. Last time it was simply too early for them to tell me when they would come off. And mind you, they dont all come off at once. It’s a step by step punishment, sorry, I mean “process.”

Apart from that, my bite is good. Still. Now that I have the metal braces on there’s no point in trying to hide them and people like to still ask me “do you have braces?” APPARENTLY, I DO. Honestly, what does it look like I have? Something stuck on each individual tooth? Or perhaps Im following Ryan Lochte and decided to pull this stunt:








Thanks for that Ryan.

I will update you when I find out about removal dates IF I am given any. Please pray/wish for me!

Ashleys Jaw Goes to India!

Hi everyone!
It has been so long since I’ve written, I should be ashamed. I don’t have a good excuse except that things with my jaw have been pretty “average.” Thank you to all the people who still write to me, I am always so happy to answer all you questions and comments!
It has been 8 months since my surgery (to the day!) and my jaw feels great. I get some discomfort occasionally that is related to stress and grinding. Otherwise, I am still in my braces and still taking all my vitamins and the small selection of prescription meds. I can eat almost anything now ( I stay away from almonds and biting INTO sandwiches….The pulling action is a no no for any ones jaw.)

I have graduated from college and recently went to India! I had to wait at least 6 months to go anywhere because the team of docs like to keep a close eye on their patients. If anything was to happen in India, what would I do!? Apparently they have connections all over so I would have been referred to someone. I also was only allowed to go for three weeks, as a precaution.

I got back a couple of days ago and my jaw feels good. No problems. I say take the braces completely off! Can I get a “YEAAAAAAA?”

So, here a few pictures from India and from my day in Paris. Mind you there is ONE picture of me enjoying a yummy baguette. THE IMAGE IS A SET-UP. I did not in fact bite into the baguette but instead broke off pieces and consumed the baguette like royalty 🙂 I was merely trying to make a good Parisian picture.


Yay Jaw, go go goooooo

Here are some pictures from India!

This is me at The Cherish Foundation orphanage in Hyderbad. The children are all so beautiful and wonderful!



Chris and I outside the monkey temple in Jaipur!



Costume time!


Lil’ monkey and I!





It’s hard to believe it has been six months since my surgery. Ay ay ay! Most people would probably say it feels like it was yesterday but honesty, for me, it feels like it was six years ago. I cant believe I’ve only been eating normal food for two months. How did I do it!?
As for my swelling I would say that its gone but the doctors say it stays for a year after surgery so who knows if I’ll look in the mirror soon and notice a difference? My jaw doesnt give me any issues with popping or cracking. Every now and then I get some soarness but it’s not a huge deal and its usually because I need an orthodontic adjustment of some sort.

I have been able to keep the 20 pounds I lost after surgery off (well, Im three pounds heavier) but im staying healthy. I still LOVE to eat and cant believe I was on liquids for EIGHT weeks. I just can’t believe it.

Im fully healed from my second little baby procedure in New York City and Dr. Chira says my teeth are moving along just fine. Not sure if I will ever know how much time it cut off my having braces (its like looking into “what could have been”) but I will let you know.
For now I just can’t wait to get the “okay” from Dr. Mac to get my braces off and then I plan on flying out to Santa Barbara and getting the final say from Dr. Gunson. I am THAT desperate….and excited. Can you imagine? Hopping on one flight to Caifornia one day and the next flying back East? Geesh desperate much? I’d be lying if I said I wasnt saving money for it hehe.

I will post some pictures of my profile as soon as possible. Questions are always welcome of course.

p.s As an update on my Quaker/Campbell boycott. It is still stronger then ever and I feel empowered. My dislike for their lack of generosity was further strengthened when I recieved a coupon from one of them in the mail…adressed directly to me mind you. What was this coupon you speak of? ONE DOLLAR OFF. ONE DOLLAR. One dollar is what I find on the floor on a good day. One dollar is what I could make if I roamed the sidewalks for coins. As you can see….I…am…still…bitter.


As you may have read in my previous posts, I did quite a bit of experimenting with food after my surgery. I did not expect that finding things to eat would be such a struggle, but it’s one of the largest challenges any human being can face. That moment where you’re watching a commercial for food and start crying? Been there. It’s painful I know… but it gets better!

Anyways, as a Journalism major, a classmate informed me that I should write to companies whose products I used after my surgery. I hoped to sample their products and then write about them to help other patients find even more options post surgery. She assured me that I would receive some goodies, perhaps samples of other products from the company? I thought what a great idea!

Fast forward a week and I am irked. Not only do I find myself empty-handed with no free food or even fun things to sample but I even got a rejection email! And yes I realise that this whole situation is bizarre beyond reason. Why would someone be upset for not receiving free food? But I am a recent graduate, unemployed, and Costco is a 30 minute drive so getting their wonderful free samples is quite a hassle.

Being rejected hurts. Being rejected after telling these companies how much they have helped me and how I hope to help others by advertising their food is far worse than having my mouth hammered in. (Read my previous post if you find yourself confused/clueless. )

Here is the email I sent to Quaker Grits. My (former) pride and joy.

To whom it may concern, I have been a huge fan of Quaker Grits for as long as I can remember. Whether it was for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Grits has always been a top option. Today, my love for Grits is stronger than ever. As a college student I can say that I have had numerous meals provided for me by your company. Delicious and nutritious, could it get any better? This past December I underwent jaw surgery. Unable to eat ”normal” food for four months, I was left trying to figure out what (and how) I was going to eat. In come Quaker Grits. Wether it meant adding extra water to make them easier to eat or adding broth, I have enjoyed your product in more ways than you could ever imagine. Today, I have a blog with more than 6,000 visitors. Most of my audience is about to undergo or has undergone jaw surgery. I write about my experience and also give recommendations about what to eat. I am writing to ask if I could receive some samples of your products. Using my b log as an outlet to review the products I feel this would prove beneficial to your company and more importantly to my viewers. I pride myself on answering every question that is sent to me and helping in any way I can. I can say with confidence that my readers would benefit greatly from knowing your product is not only an option, but also delicious! Thank you.


Here is their response:

Thank you for sharing your inspiring story of surgery and recovery. It’s wonderful that you are willing to host a blog for people who are in similar circumstances.
It’s great to know our Grits have played such a big role in your life, and we count you among our most loyal fans. While we’re flattered that you’re interested in receiving coupons for our products, we do not send them upon request.
Some of the best places to check for our coupons is in store circulars, newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, and magazines. We also work with our grocery store partners to periodically offer in-store sales and promotions. I hope you’ll watch for them in your local newspapers and store circulars. You can take advantage of these specials as they are offered quite frequently throughout the year.
I’ll share your interest in seeing more coupons with our marketing team, Ashley. Thank you for your loyalty to Quaker. After all, we know you have a wide variety of brands from which to choose, and we always appreciate your choosing ours.
Allison Quaker Consumer Relations A Division of PepsiCo

Well. Thank you Allison for reading my “inspiring” story. You know what I felt was inspiring? The thought of having samples from you.

And here is the response from Campbell soup. Nicer, but still…..rejected. And yes, I am aware of the fact I got a coupon but let’s be honest people. I wanted a box of samples to try. I had a mission to sample their products and then write about it on here.


We received your message and appreciate your taking the time to contact Campbell Soup Company to let us know that you think our Campbell’s Slow Kettle Soup is “M’m! M’m! Good!”  I’ve forwarded your kind words to the rest of my team so that they too may know that their efforts are appreciated.
At Campbell, our number one priority is to delight our consumers.  We realize that it is consumers like you who have helped build our businesses and we sincerely appreciate your loyalty.
As a small token of our thanks, I’ve sent a complimentary coupon in the mail.  Please use it to enjoy your favorite product from the Campbell family of brands including V8, Prego, Pace and Pepperidge Farm.
Thank you for visiting the Campbell Soup Company website.
Campbell Soup Company Web Team ELR/DXV

As a result, I am boycotting Grits/Campbell. Which will be challenging considering I ordered them in BULK after surgery and still have hundreds of packets of Grits left over.

I was planning on responding to their rejections, recommending they visit my blog to see

A) How much we need variety after surgery and thus feeling extreme guilt after depriving me of their products.

B) Seeing the bad light I am now shedding onto them.

Revenge is sweet….but never a good idea. Therefor, I shall refrain from responding to their emails BUT I will leave my mark. It is now up to you my fellow surgery buddies. Grits? or no grits? Campbell’s or no Campbell’s?

For future reference here are other companies that provide both grits and soup. Just puttin’ it out there 😉

Bobs Red Mill Natural Foods (

Frontier Soups (

We live and we learn

Ashleys Trip to NYC

I’m finally back home after going to NYC to see Dr. Mac. I went to get a “procedure” that would shorten the time I have to be in braces. This “procedure” was more like a baby-surgery. I definetly had some PTSD of some sort. The following description of what I had done is not nice or pretty. You have been warned.

As soon as I got into the office Dr. Mac explained what he would be doing. Chiseling at the bone in between each tooth which would allow my teeth to move faster. Sounded pretty simple to me, and let’s face it…I have had way worse done before!
I casually asked if there was any way I could get some nitrous (laughing gas) to which Dr.Mac said that was a sure option. So, they hooked me onto the nitrous which was super exciting because let’s face…it’s like going on a vacation in your mind. At the beginning he started the nitrous off slow and it got stronger as it went on….strong to the point where I’m only remembering certain things now.
Here’s a picture of me that I don’t really remember taking/don’t know why I took:

So I was feeling great. Dr. Mac numbed my mouth which I’m terrified of but I’ve learned that taking a deep breath as he puts the syringe in makes a world of difference, really. I hardly felt it. He then took out a blade (scalpel?) and no joke. a hammer. It looked like a hammer for dolls, like if one of the American Girl Collection dolls was a construction worker, she would have had this one. It was metal and tiny and a real hammer.
The blade went into my mouth somewhere (remember I can’t feel it) and then was the hammer. It felt like he was hammering a nail into my face, my head was vibrating and I suddenly panicked as I realised how horrible this was. My little fists were so tightly pressed together that I think he noticed and next thing I know I was even deeper into my la-la land of a dream. The hammering continued for what ended up being about two hours! It felt like five minutes but the hammering was still horribly traumatizing.
In between, Dr. Mac took a little break to which I asked him where Dr. Levine was. Dr. Levine is another dentist that works in the office and has been featured on the Dr. Oz/Good Morning America show various times.

Here he is:

I kept wondering why I had never seen him? A few minutes later I heard a voice to which I (in my altered state) demanded to know “who are you!?”

Dr. Mac responded with a “that’s Dr. Levine Ashley.” I turned my flirt on and proceeded to introduce myself to him ( probably with blood all over my mouth and chin,) a mask on my nose, and even offered Dr. Levine my resume. Dr. Levine now knows I am a recent graduate and looking for work. Feeling pity, he grabbed my hand and shook it as I exclaimed “you have the softest hands in the world” and then grabbed him with both my hands and held on…..for a while.

The rest of my baby surgery was filled with more hammering and me (flirting again?) telling Dr. Mac I hoped to marry someone just like him.

Oh the joys of nitrous.

I left the office with gauze, pain killers, and left behind my dignity.

Today, I have stitches under my lip that will be there for about two weeks. The pain is minimal but present. One thing I CAN say is that the titanium in my face is beyond soar. Under my eyes, in my jaw, and on the side of my nose. I feel it has something to do with the screws/nails vibrating with each hit?

Off to dream (without nitrous hehe), I’m tired beyond reason.
Hugs xo


I have officially graduated from college. Sad but happy. Confident but terrified. I could go on and on with descriptions of my emotions….

I have done incredibly well this semester ending with a 3.6 GPA. Don’t get too excited though, this is only for this semester. Before my jaw surgery I had a lot of trouble staying awake due to my airway being so constricted. Imagine sleeping for 12 hours and feeling like you slept for 5 hours. If I didn’t get more than 8 hours of sleep every night, I couldn’t function. This is further proof of how really incredible this surgery has been. I only wish I had gotten it earlier so I could have had a better overall GPA! Oh well, It’s a confidence boost to know that I did so well even after not being able to eat solid foods for a month and then only being able to eat soft chew food. And of course, going to California for post op appointments. Time consuming is a good way to describe this whole process!

Here are some pictures of me at graduation:
Mom and I:

Image Dad and I


My room mate!Image

Tomorrow is the big day when I get these braces taken off but WAIT, again, don’t get too excited because I have to get new ones put on and this time I don’t get the ceramic ones. I havent been told when I get the braces taken off all together but it should be less than a year. Until then, my life can’t really get started. I feel like once I am all healed from the surgery I can really go back to being normal.

No News is Bad News

I wish I had some good news to tell all you wonderful people but, unfortunately, the news I have is less than satisfactory.

I had my appointment today with the wonderful Gunson, Mac, and Chira but they told me that

A) I must have the braces on for another 6 months to a year.

B) I have to go down to New York City to get this procedure that (good news?) will expedite the process of braces.

C) I have to get the dark braces, or normal braces if that’s what you want to call them.

I am so upset. The last thing I wanted to hear was that I had to keep the braces on for this much longer but then to hear that I had to get the “normal” ones? I didn’t know how to react. Dr Mac put me in my place and said that I could have them taken off right then and there and deal with all sorts of problems with my teeth, bite, and jaw. Which is true, I could have them removed but obviously that would be a less than ideal situation.

Meanwhile, Dr Gunson took out the evil hook from my jawbone which was terrifying but kind of awesome at the same time.

Here’s a picture of the little guy.


I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t cry because…I did but honestly its just becaue there is nothing worse then expecting some great news and then not only NOT getting that news but getting news that is even worse. And then I start to think to myself “how shallow am I that I am actually complaining about something that is superficial?” or “there are so many worse things that I could have and here I am complaining about this.”

The procedure that will expedite the braces (which by the way will still mean I have them on for 6 months) involves me going down to NYC to see Dr Mac and having him make some minor incision in my jaw bone and chiseling at it? I don’t know the specifics but thats what it sounded like.

I already told my parental units that I would pay for it. The last thing I want is for them to have to pay any more money for this process. Funny thing is I have no money so, Im offering and the thought is sweet and all but….I have nothign to show for it.

I wish I could act happier but I’m graduating in a week. Tonight was my last weekend night in college which was fun. I was fortunate enough to have a young gentlemen come up to me, ask me what class I was, and then proceed to lie to me saying he was also a senior and had recently transferred from Harvard.

Apparently I have the word stupid written on my forehead. At least he made me laugh, even if it was at him…it was worth it.


It has once again been far too long since I’ve written. As a senior in college my days consist of work, work, and more work following by weekends of catching up on sleep, catching up on work, and more catching up with friends. Basically, I’ve been super busy but for those of you who may not remember, I have in fact written a book titled “Minimum Wage, Maximum Sentence” available here:

As for my jaw, its feeling dandy! I am still doing my jaw exercises and have narrowed the time when I drive to when I do them. Its unfortunate when a good song comes on and I can’t sing a long but the jaw exercises are far more important. I have followed EVERY single rule so far in hopes of getting the braces removed before graduation which is on May 14th. I know, that’s pushing it but….I love to dream, and you should too.

My swelling has gone down to a level where you would never guess I had my jaw cracked open and repositioned which is an added plus. As for eating, ah eating. I can do all foods but should still stay away from really hard foods like nuts etc. Fine with me. There is no way I feel ready to crunch down on anything just yet. The temperatures are rising so no more pain caused by the titanium in my face. Oh and speaking of titanium, has anyone heard this song lately?

It’s written for jaw surgery patients, and goes a little something like this

” I am titanium. You shoot me down but I won’t fall, I am titanium.”

That’s right my fellow followers, we are titanium. Or we have titanium all up in our face but what’s the difference right?

Anywhos, I have been going to see Dr.Chira about once a week still and she adjusts my bite by making the tiniest changes that make a world of difference. I’m wearing my elastics at night which is in no way annoying, thank goodness. I would say the worst thing going on with my jaw is the braces but hey, I’m almost at the finish line and I can’t wait. I’m planning on making a shirt that says “I just got my braces off” and wearing it around for the day.

One thing I have noticed is that I still cant really whistle which I think is caused by the shape of my mouth which in many ways is “new.” I’m having to restrain myself. How fun is that!? I used to whistle all the time walking around and now I just kind of breathe with a slight hint of a whistle, its pathetic but I consider it my practice time.

This Saturday is huge! Dr.Gunson, Mac, and Dr.Chira are all going to be here and I am going to see them and guess what!? I find out when the braces are coming off so I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Although I have to admit that I dont know what I would do if Gunson looked at my teeth and went “yep, another six months.” No really, I just don’t think I could handle it.

I am currently looking for employment (hint hint) to all you readers out there. I keep having this image in my head that once the braces are off I can finally start my life over and feel 100 percent back to normal which is completely silly because, come on….they’re just on my teeth. But theyve become part of me and I have to admit my worst fear is being remembered as “that girl who had braces.” That’s why I try to act strange in public so people will remember me as the weird girl instead. I prefer that one a lot more.

So here are a few pictures of me taken last weekend.

I shall update soon, and Im considering starting a blog about being straight out of college. To my disappointment (not) I cant write about my jaw forever right? But of course, questions are ALWAYS welcome anytime.



Who wants to hear the BEST excuse ever?

I have disappointed my followers and I apologize. I should be updating you all. On a better note, I’m about to provide you with some great excuses for my lack of blog writing. Are you ready?

Being a senior in my last semester in College I am plagued by the “Final Senior Project.”

“What is this?” You ask.

“Perhaps a ten page paper? Maybe its a grant proposal? Oh I remember the days when I had to write those 20 page papers. What a pain right? Hahahahaha”


My senior project involves writing a book. Yes, a book….like the ones in waiting rooms which BY THE WAY considering Dr.Chira, Dr,Mac, AND Dr, Gunson and Arnett have waiting rooms, they can all expect a copy of my book. Im sure the patients will enjoy reading about prisons, I know I do.

Anywho’s my book has been my life these past weeks. And yes I know its been more than just weeks since I’ve written but I have other stuff to do people. Dont guilt me. (I already feel really guilty 😦

So for some entertainment I thought I would provide you all with an email I sent Kim (Dr.Gunsons assistant/my personal knows-the-answers-to-everything person.

Hi Kim,

How is everything over there? Over here I’m as stressed as can be. I’m working on my final senior project, a 120 page book. I get home from working at about 4 am in the morning followed by a morning class that I drink what I would feel are illegal amounts of coffee to stay awake through the class.

It’s breaking me down slowly but I shall not allow it to hinder my life!

Just had my first anxiety attack in a while. It involved me leaving the library as fast as possible, racing to my car, skipping stop signs and almost hitting curves. This was followed by my immediate reaction to….jump into the shower? Brushing her teeth, my roommate just kind of stared as I ran past her STILL dressed and just said “ANXIETY, MUST TAKE A SHOWER.”

Anyway’s, apart from me being stressed and erratic I have a few inquiries for you.

Am I still doing 20 minutes of jaw exercises three times per day? Because frankly finding the time to do the exercises is a HUGE struggle. I understand if its required and you know me, always followin’ the rules!

That’s my only question for now 🙂 You can tell Dr.G I am giddy with the thought of being able to see him in May! (yay) Perhaps you could come to!? I mean I AM graduating like, a week after! Break out the wine, woo hoooo. (Just kidding 😉

Thank you for your expert advice xoxo

Jane Fonda should do jaw exercising D.V.D’s.

4,000+ Blog Visitors!!!!!

Ugh, you guys make me blush.





College is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

The amount of work that goes into those four years is mind boggling. Am I really learning? Probably. The facts and numbers are practically jammed into my brain it’s hard to ignore them. Sometimes I wonder how frustrating it must be to win the lottery (yes, frustrating…listen before you judge) after you’ve been through college. I mean, you’re set for life now, you can do whatever you want. If you wanted to be a doctor you could probably pay your way to having a practice without a sheet of paper informing the public you are in fact, a real doctor. Or how about people who get killed in freak accidents after they’ve completed four years of college? You just worked your butt off, and then this happened. I wonder if I could make the argument that you could have done something better with your time in those four years?

I have completed hours of studying today and now, I must complete 20 minutes of exercising my jaw. Three times a day people, that’s a WHOLE hour. (See? I learned how to add in college.) I wish I could do my exercises spread out throughout the day like, in the morning, maybe at lunch, and then at night but no. I wake up and like a deranged animal head straight to breakfast, no time for exercises here. Then, there’s class. Yay. No time for exercises here either.

By this time its noon and I’ll have some free time so I sit myself down and try to do my jaw exercises. Of course  people all around me are wondering what the heck I’m doing…Just sitting there open and closing my mouth as wide as possible, sometimes I try to measure how far I can open. Who knows what they think right?

There are some classes where I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t care if people stare at me. I just do my exercises willingly, every now and then I’ll pretend Im yawning. Usually I save the pretend yawning for the car because I don’t like the idea of people watching me while I’m driving, makes me kinda uncomfortable.

On another note, probably a more humorous one that like the former, I don’t really care about. My college has a website where people write down their “crushes” on people they’ve seen around campus. Kind of like a shout-out to let someone know you think they’re cute like Craigslist “missed connections” it’s completely anonymous.

So anyways, there I am updating myself on current crushes that I’m never featured in. Sad, but true. Whatever, I’m on the path to having a beautiful smile.

Anyways, there I am when suddenly I see my name, “Ashley…”

I get so excited, until I see this


I am not even joking. THIS is what gets posted about me.

Out of all people….

Out of all the things you could have picked.

What happened to complementing someones hair…or their eyes? And how does this person know I stretch my jaw!? Could it be that my fake yawning has failed me and someone knows what I’m really doing? Could someone be hiding behind a couch watching me do my exercises?

I am perplexed to say the least.

I shall be watching my surroundings. Looking for this individual with either a jaw fetish or an exercise fetish.  Regardless you will not stop me from following doctors orders sir/ma’am?? I shall complete my one hour of daily exercises like a champ.

Thank you. 


Just got back from dinner and man, it is difficult knowing what’s soft chew! One of the things on our list of “okay soft chew foods” are french fries, So that’s what I ordered. French fries.

When they got there I noticed they looked especially crunchy and upon eating one realised these were a lot tougher then I had expected. “What do I do?” I start thinking. “I cant send them back and ask for less crunchy fries, thats crazy!”

So I continue to eat them. And now here I am, worrying I’ve fractured my jaw and will need to have the surgery AGAIN and this time, they’re going to have to take a piece of my hip bone as a graft, yikes. Anyone else have this experience? Eating something that you’re not sure was okay?

Mind you, this has happened before. I microwaved some delicious pasta and the micrwave must have made it harder. By the time I chewed on it, I was a hungry hippo and ate the whole thing. It was mama’s pasta and I couldn’t stop myself!

Here’s the frantic email I sent Dr Gunsons office five minutes after indulging:

Hi Kim,

I made the mistake today of heating up some pasta from yesterday. Didn’t realize that

microwaving the pasta would make it a lot harder. It was so good I ate most of it but left a few pieces that looked specially tougher.

It won’t happen again but it’s not like I’ve done some terrible damage to my jaw right? It feels okay… But I’m doubting myself thinking I chewed something too hard, will need surgery again, and you’re going to have to take a hip graft from me!!

Reassure me?


PS I will never eat pasta from a microwave!


Her response:


It is fine.  You can’t do damage by eating microwave pasta, I promise!!  No more surgery for you and no hip. 

You’re so funny.  Have a great day.

Stay away from the microwave. J



Isn’t Kim the best? I know Im being overly worried but my jaw is soar now and Im really worrying that I fractured it or something? Then again, isnt a fracture a broken bone-like situation? Wouldnt I be in excruciating angst?

Good side of this sad story is that:

A) I know not to microwave pasta.

B) I know to stay away from crunchy fries.




So. Busy. ……When is graduation?

When will I graduate!? I am so packed with work, I have no excuse for not writing lately but…..I’M JUST SO PACKED WITH WORK.

So this is my second week on soft chew and it’s been magical. I am back to eating pasta and had sushi tonight. Mind you, this is sushi without the seaweed because that’s a no no. I would have to say that the food I notice the most that I can’t eat is potato chips, nuts, and hamburgers. For some reason those things are just in my face lately and I’m not permitted to have any of them. Its better than eating only liquid though so I shouldn’t complain.

I am still keeping those 20 pounds that I lost off, It’s been a struggle! I’m going to Aruba for spring break and let’s just say, the good things that have come out of the liquid diet (aka the weight loss) need to stick around for a just a wee bit longer. I’m back to going to the gym and my energy is back to normal now, it feels great. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to do weights yet because of the clenching but I’m sure its written in my booklet. If any of you know, respond to me!?

 (Me and my friend, clashing shirt patterns…I know)

So. The parents are in India and I dont have anyone to take my mug shot but, I have lots of pictures of me with my natural habitat. Im still keeping my mouth closed because my bottom lip is still numb and I think its causing my smile to look slightly unbalanced. I’ve gotten a bit more feeling in my bottom lip and chin so that’s exciting, hopefully I will get it all back. Fingers crossed!

I do my jaw exercises three times a day for twenty minutes, take my medicines, and I’m wearing my elastics at night. I have to wear one in the back for a little bit more time because the left side of my bite isn’t closing as well….I think. It’s all very scientific and I honestly don’t understand a lot of the things the doctors say hehe, its gibberish to me.

(Me and my room-mate!)

Can we just talk about how whenever I see a group of highschool girls I automatically want to be their friend because I know they probably have braces too? It’s a new thing I do. Oh, and showing people my ID when I’m trying to get into a bar? Fabulous. I’ve gotten some stares because I look kind of different and one gentleman decided to ask me to “smile.”  Yeah, that’s not going to help me look anymore like my license sir.

So, these are my updates, I am more than happy to answer any questions. I apologize once more for the lack of writing I’m doing, I just want to graduate.

(A group of us 🙂

Thanks for reading my blog everyone! And rest in peace Whitney, what a tragic loss 😦

Ashley Goes to LA ~~~~>

As I mentioned before I have not updated in waaaay to long. Major no-no. I just returned from Los Angeles this morning. The flight was great, what a difference from last time! Then again, I was on antihistamines (more on that in a bit.)

To update you all, a lot of Gunson/Arnett patients return to S.Barbara at about the 8 week mark for a post-op check up. It’s a chance for them to make sure you’re staying on track with recovery. Lucky for me Dr. Mac and Dr.Chira were both going to be there too as there was a conference on that week.

Here’s a picture of the team looking at my mouth, I felt so VIP 😉 Very cool.








This is Dr.Mac in the jacket.Dr.Gunson is on the right.








From the left: Dr.Chira, my orthodontist and the lady who first told me I needed to have jaw surgery! Kim is in the background, she’s like a personal assistant who knows the answers to everything. Dr.Mac and Dr.Gunson are working on me!

Everything with my jaw is good. I wasn’t ready for soft chew quite yet, one more week said Gunson. He tested this by putting a stick into my mouth and asking me to bite lightly. The right side didn’t budge while the left was still slightly wobbly and therefore needed a few days.

While I was there I mentioned that my ear was still blocked from Dec.24 when I flew home. I could not hear out of my right ear! Gunson, who is also a real doctor ( as in, he did everything before specializing) looked in my ear and said I had “pockets” or things that were causing my ears to block because of swelling. The next part is when it got scary. After making a phone call to an ENT Gunson returned to the room and informed me I needed to see an ENT right away and I couldn’t fly home Sunday if it wasnt fixed. Apparently if this “pocket” was to erupt during flight I would lose hearing in my right ear. Scary right?

The rest of the day was horrible as I was so stressed and scared. I refused to miss school and even considered driving across America. Too bad it would  take us 5 days! After we found out the ENT could not see me that day we stayed the night and drove back to LA the next day. That’s when the calls started coming in….everyone from Gunson to Dr. Chira and finally even Dr. Arnett! My ear had become a huge issue and no ENT doctors could see me. As a senior I was refusing to stay until my ear was fixed, I couldn’t risk my grades. Gunson put me on steroids, nasal sprays, and all sorts of other fun stuff with specific instructions on how to take them.

In the end, Dr. Arnett called me and said that after much discussion they had a plan to get me on the flight safely, ear intact. Taking an antihistamine and Afrin nose spray I was told to chew gum when going up and when going down during flight. Here I am now, still not hearing, but theres no pain and that’s great news! Just have to see an ENT asap to get it resolved!

While I was at Gunsons I was able to have my screws removed, soooo fun! They put some numbing stuff and after a few minutes he literally used a screw driver. No pain, kind of weird, but very cool to see. I had a video but it disappeared 😦 Anyways that’s it for jaw updates. My soft chew diet starts Wednesday and Im not as excited haha, I am very prepared for it to be difficult at first!
Getting into the sun and out of the cold was so nice, it was the necessary break I needed after what is the toughest recovery!

Here’s a picture of my team: Aren’t they just a good lookin’ group?

I can’t wait to smile haha.

Never let you down!

Im so sorry I havent updated in forever! I just got back from Los Angeles for my 8 week post op. I flew all night,had class, and now Im in bed.

The post will be worth it though I swear. It invovlves:Jaws, and hear loss.
and by the way, on my trip I forgot my chord which is why I didnt post any pics, see? I always have a good excuse.

I would never let you down and skip out, how rude would I be!?

Snow snow snow…No no nooooo!

Happy winter everyone!

I walked into the kitchen today and a deliciousness was afloat in the midst. Yes, it is the pictured above. Two of my room mates made it and obviously, told me about all the possible ways I would be able to eat.

“You can just put a piece in and let it melt!”

Peppermint isn’t really my thing but it looked so handsome that I decided to try a tiny  thin tasty flake of it. It obviously melted right away but the taste was great. Even for someone who doesn’t love peppermint!

So for all of you who are wondering how my two nights of “sleeping on my side” have gone? AMAZING. I fall asleep in less than five minutes and sleep so well. No more waking up and wanting to sob because I can’t stand being on my back anymore! Strangely enough I wake up earlier then my alarm, a rarity….I don’t have an explanation for this.

I am still in the process of obtaining my “disabled parking permit” and am no longer feeling large amounts of guilt. If you could understand what is outside right now. All I need is a yellow ball gown, a pair of ice skates, and ta-dah…I am Belle from Beauty and the Beast on ice.
I have to admit sitting on my couch eating peanut butter while watching people attempt to cross the ice field has become a popular hobby of mine.

Here are some pictures I took of the front and back of my house. These are also proof for those that are doubting the accurate-ness (yes, I just invented a word.) of my claims:

Item. 1: Here I present the field outside my house, yes there is usually grass there. The light you see in the far distance are where my classes are. Deciding to cross this ice field is a choice I choose not to make but….can you blame me!?
Oh. And don’t let that dry-looking path fool you! Patches of ice hide in blind spots, the path has the added downside of being highly visible to neighbors. A fall in this location would cause deep embarrassment and eternal mocking.








Item.2: Presented here is the back of my house. As you can see, to get to one’s car you must risk a dangerous fall. I take this risk about 4 times a day. It’s awesome……….












Item.3 Presented here is one more picture.








It snowed tonight, this means you never know when your walking on patches of ice. With every step, I question “is this going to be one that lands me in the hospital?”

Apart from trying to gain pity for the weather, I am doing relatively well. I still get tired easily and school work is piling up, yay. On an other note, I have been biting my own tongue today, and no I don’t mean that in the literary sense. I mean I’m actually biting my own tongue, without meaning to. Picturing myself as I sit in class suddenly jerking and then saying”Ouch, I just bit my tongue by accident again” does put a smile on my face though 🙂

Jaw Surgery, and how it relates to zombies.

I arrived late to my first class today! I left half an hour early to cross campus and make it on time, stopping to get coffee. I only realised once I got my coffee that I in fact, could not just grab a bite to eat. I looked around….bagels,cereal,fruit,toast. Oh no, what am I going to eat? I left for class without any food in me, I swear that’s  lesson number one of the first day of school, eat breakfast!!!

It was five minutes to eleven and I was trudging my way over the ice covered ground. For the average individual, icy ground is never fun. For someone who’s just had surgery? It’s terrifying, a death trap in my opinion! I asked a friend to help me walk because having that extra bit of support is just so helpful, I figure Im less apt to fall that way, and if I do fall I might land on my friend thus cushioning the impact. Just kidding…not really.

For those of you awaiting surgery. If you live in a cold place BE WARNED.

The cold was painful on my face. Especially the titanium pieces next to my nose, probably because it’s so close to my skin. It feels like you’re getting slapped in the face, more like one constant slap. The whole time I’m asking myself “Why? What did I do!?”

In my first class we spoke about our first text, a book about International Relations and Zombies. Ironically, I could relate…

I was tired,hungry,and…well,let’s just say the way I walk could be misconstrued.





———–> The individual on the right would be me….





Focusing on class was difficult as I kept wondering what would happen with my participation grade? Having my jaw still banded shut makes it a little challenging to talk and I was already late to the class. Argh, not starting off well. Luckily, I spoke to the professor after class who was understanding, thank goodness. Good news is that I should only have to have my jaw banded shut during the day for about two more weeks, then I’m free to open my mouth all I want. Yay!

I had a space of one hour in between my class and a meeting with a professor but was so terrified of going out onto the campus wide ice rink that I just sat around. Thank goodness there’s an elevator as I told a professor of mine “i dont think I would make it to class otherwise.”

By the time I got home I was exhausted and force-fed myself some apple sauce. This was nowhere near enough food and the rest of the day is kind of hazy. It was so overwhelming, physically and mentally as each step I took I was terrified of slipping, and mentally, I was trying so hard to focus. One of the most challenging parts was how much I was moving, I wasn’t lying in bed resting anymore.

This is my last semester of college and I cannot let my jaw stop me from doing well.

I understand why people take semesters off and why Dr. Gunsons office forbid me from taking Ballet I. Every day is still just so exhausting. Tomorrow I have two classes and I just hope I won’t get overtired.

As for people’s reactions to my face, they were all lovely. I didn’t see half as many people as I usually do and once I was in my house I didn’t leave except to go to the store. Basically, I’m a hermit now. Who knows what this weekend will bring? The first weekend of my last semester in college? I can only imagine….No, not what you’re thinking.

I’ll probably spend my day in bed watching TV (sans my cat, breaks my heart to think about it) followed by a trip downstairs to blend some dinner and then retreat to my room too exhausted to go out. Sounds exciting huh!?

I wish I could say more positive things about my first day. I can say that everyone was nice. Friends helped me walk and my roommate even forced me to eat something healthy, and professors were all understanding and very accommodating.

On the more negative side, I’m just so tired. I’m already in my pj’s ready to go to sleep…..Well, here’s to tomorrow.

My First Day of School

Brrrrrrr, it is SO cold outside. Every time I step outside the skin on my body screams “what is this!? Ew, the sheer terror!” The metal in my face starts to feel chilly and obviously I start getting worried. Just the idea of having the metal feel super cold creeps me out. It’s already tough with wind blowing on my face, cold wind? No thank you.
I live only 15 minutes from campus but I thought it would be a smart idea to “move back in” over two days. I brought some stuff over yesterday and today brought over the rest of it. My awesome mom and friend helped me with the suitcase, I just couldn’t do it myself.


No really, I’m noticing more how little strength I have. I was going to the gym and doing yoga at least three times a week before surgery and now I have to wrestle with a jar to open it. Anytime I have to move something it’s a challenge I sometimes can’t complete.

On another note, once I put my stuff in the car I drove off. Quite sad really. I’ve gotten so used to being a hermit in my house/bed that moving back to school was making me nervous. As soon as I drove away my car started making the strangest noises. I tried to open the windows to hear it better but…my windows were frozen shut! After about 5 minutes I drove into a gas station to check out my car, something was very wrong with it.That’s when I saw an elderly man waving at me in my mirror. “You’ve bust your tire” he said.

Oh no.

Indeed my tire was completely flat…so flat it bent the inner metal area.

So in the end,mom came to get me and we left the car parked there. We’ll handle it tomorrow.We decided to go to Panera and had some delicious soup yum.Mom’s awesome, my lack of strength means more work for her, but she’s a real sport.

For now,Im in my dorm room trying to figure out how the heck I’m going to sleep on my back….I just want to lay on my stomach. I’ve got the first day jitters! And with my new face,that makes things even more nerve-racking. I have a theory that if anyone says they don’t like it…I’m going to cry.

After having so much done to my face, I just wouldn’t be able to handle someone being mean to it.

Ah well, I sense a wave of fatigue so I’m going to take advantage and trying to get some rest. Goodnight all 🙂

Sleep Cravings

I still have to sleep on my back and I can’t stand it anymore!! I’m a stomach sleeper, I enjoy putting the covers over my whole head…sometimes you can’t even tell I’m even in the bed. It’s bliss.

Personally, I think I sleep  (literally) like a baby in the womb but people say that’s really weird. I don’t care, I miss it too much. And as the email I sent the Gunson last  night said, my “weak,skinny body craves to be on its stomach.” I actually sent an email begging that I be allowed to sleep on my side.

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 🙂

Anyone got a definiton for “light cardio?”

Today was my first attempt at “light cardio.” After surgery the 4 week mark is when this is allowed. I entered not really knowing what “light cardio” entailed.

Could it be jogging? Perhaps some stair master, I’m quite a fan of it, or perhaps it means brisk walking?

I google searched it on my phone and nothing came back. Maybe if I tried searching for images of this mystery of “light cardio” I would understand it more.

This is what I found:

This image taken from:











It may just be me but, this “light cardio” seems like quite a challenge. I don’t think my legs are able to move in such a position. Feeling defeated at my attempts to understand “light cardio” I resorted to youtube.What I found, was worse….

(Video taken from “The Jordan Workout” feat. Katie Price)

I considered both of the above (extensively) but resorted to taking things into my own hands. Seeing where my mind and enthusiasm would take me.

Before leaving for the gym I force-fed myself a protein shake concoction that tasted like chalk mixed with chocolate powder.The taste was…..manly. I needed a lot of energy for this “light cardio” investigation!
On my drive over I planned my work out, I’ll warm up, do some light jogging, I’ll go on that machine that makes people look like they’re running on air.

I get to the gym ready for my “light cardio” and realise I am now in the abyss of the gym….I’m feel vulnerable, what if my light cardio is actually severe cardio!? What if Im too weak and I pass out? Worst, what if I pass out and hit my jaw on the floor causing it to break, I lay unconscious, blood spritzing out, my little jaw broken.I wake up in critical care, Dr. Gunson is there and he says “Ashley…First of all let me tell you how great you look! We had to redo the surgery….and since you broke your jaw…no solid food for 6 months! Oh and we’re giving you some medicine that causes 90% of patients to gain about 100 pounds. ps.Dont worry about your nose, it was broken when you fell but we can fix that in a year when the immense swelling goes down,and remember Ashley, it’s the inside that counts.”

I have a very vivid imagination.
I enter the gym and go straight to the track. I start walking, I’m doing well, walking to the beat of Rihanna singing “you da one,” this is going well. I come to complete a full circle on the track.

I am exhausted.

Two young lads speed past me, I’m left behind like the turtle.”Wait for me!” I want to call out, but my mind is screaming at me “AH THE AGONY, PLEASE…REST. I CANT FEEL MY LEGS…MY MIND IS NUMB! Is that David Hasselhoff running at me!?”

I’m pooped and….delusional? A possible side effect of my experimenting with what “light cardio” is?

I continue walking long enough for Katy Perry and Adele to sing a ballad to me. Mind you this is not brisk walking. I hold on to the railing, only a few more steps….Ah.

5 minutes on the track, yes!
Next step is the elliptical, I figure I’m going to be gliding, it’ll be relaxing….
I’m 1 minute in and I feel like I’m going to have a seizure or my legs are going to fall off. Or worse, my jaw could fall off!?

I’m in the main room now so everyone present has seen me.I can’t get off the machine now!? They’ll think im the laziest person. I speak to myself, mentally….”Come on Ashley, 50 calories, you can do it!”
I give up and stumble off the death trap of a machine. As a courtesy to everyone around ( probably appalled at my fatigue after a measly 2 and 1/2 minute work out) I even clean my machine with the spray. Considering I didn’t shed a drop of sweat I am probably cleaning up someone else’s sweat. A good deed done!

By now, I have decided I’m not giving up on the idea of light cardio . I am allowed to be exhausted I tell myself. I HAVE JUST HAD MAJOR JAW SURGERY AND YES, I HAVE SPENT MORE TIME IN BED THEN OUT OF IT, AND YES WHEN I GET OUT OF BED IT’S TO GET NUTELLA…..AND YES,  BY THE TIME IM BACK IN BED, IM EXHAUSTED.
But you know what? That’s okay I tell myself. Little baby steps…..little baby steps.

My post ends where I began. The meaning, of “light cardio.” Light cardio, in my opinion, involves light walking….perhaps a stroll in the park? Or a trip to the grocery store making sure you go down each aisle. Perhaps you can play some hopscotch?

Jump rope would be far too tiring.

How long do you have to have those?

I went to get some soup at a new “restaurant” downtown. The reason I say “restaurant” is because it has tables and chairs but you have to order your food at your counter and then you get herded to the other side of the counter like a cow.


—–> Just like that







“Restaurant” without the italics would be giving it far too much credit. I walked up to the counter and said
“Hi, Which one of your soups has no pieces in it?” (Reminder: I am on a liquid/with particle diet 🙂

*The lady behind the register looked at me, confused.
I knew I would have to explain my current situation to her.

“It’s just….I had jaw surgery and I can’t chew anything…it can have little pieces but I just can’t chew.”
The lady’s eyes got so wide, she looked absolutely terrified (and I know it wasn’t my face she was reacting to, I happen to have worn makeup on this cold day, I looked presentable) she turned to her co-worker at the other register, whispering in her ear. *Middle school flashback* THEY ARE TOTALLY TALKING ABOUT ME.
“What did you have done?” said the co-worker, perplexed. She was interested. I’m a rare species apparently and she wants to investigate  before I can order.
I told her it was jaw surgery and asked my question again.  The two ladies turned to each other and began discussing the soups, a line begins to form next to me. The next person in line just stood there staring at my jaw.

“Vegetable would be good for her, right?”

“No, the vegetable has vegetables in it”

(One of these ladies is definitely trying to kill me with her chunky soup. I have to be careful at this point.)

“French onion soup might work?”

“Fine” I answered back, “that sounds really good!” I decided I would bring it home and just blend it. This was the first thing I would eat that day, I was very hungry!

I thought I was in the clear until they began to ask questions..
“What did they do, did it hurt?”
(the person next in line is irked, she’s hungry and does not want to wait any longer)
I smiled and said “yea, it hurt a lot, especially after” to which the lady smiled, and (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP,) goes
“Oh, I have a baby, I bet it’s not as bad.”

I smiled……
Oh yeah! Of course not, because yu know, having a baby  is very similar to having your bones cracked and replaced. I see the similarities.
I smiled and thanked her.

**My French Onion soup was heavenly by the way.

I almost forgot the reason for my title! The question above has been a reoccurring theme in my rare outings, when I decide to get dressed and stop watching Nip/Tuck with my cat.

When someone hears of my surgery a large percent (ALL MEN) look at me and go,”oh, how long do you have to wear those?”


Those what? I’m confused, I stare back at them….The screw and hook jutting out of my bone? Or do you mean the elastic bands that tie my jaw shut so it doesn’t fall off my face?(exaggeration) Or is it the braces? Or no wait, is it the titanium pieces in my face, cause get what, those are permanent…that’s right, they are in there…foreverrrrrrrrr.

*Obviously, I politely answer their question even though the above, is running through my head.

Theres no “get better” comment, or questions that actually matter. No. It’s “how long do you have to wear those?” Next time, I’m going to scare them away and answer with “Why? Do they bother you? Is the light reflecting off my metal hook and blinding you?”

Feels good to vent. And let me just say, that from all you readers, I like all your lovely questions. There’s a difference between knowing the whole story and then asking for details. My jaw and I are very sensitive to newcomers and their nosy questions, takes us a while to get used to people.

Almost forgot, here are my pictures for today. My photographer wasn’t available so I did them myself!

The cat food looks so good…..

Due to my lower lip being numb, I didn’t realise this what happening:

It looks like I know it’s happening, I realise…but, I have NO feeling in my bottom lip. You should watch me try to eat ice cream…it’s pathetic.
So Bailey the dog got to first base…

I survived jaw surgery…I can survive dog kisses.

& on the topic of animals, my title refers to a moment of hunger I had at dinner. The smell of cat food has become surprisingly appetizing to me, and it is blendable. It’s nice to have options in moments of such desperation…

Hope you all had a wonderful first week of 2012. I did a whole lot of nothing, it involved me not leaving the house, watching tv shows, and ordering smoothies from the beauty that is Boloco! (Nutella smoothie with added bananas, can I get a yeaaaa?)
Today I had my second appointment with the orthodontist, Dr Chira and a special visitor from NYC, Dr.Mac who has been part of my superstar team since the beginning. They were both so happy at how much my swelling went down and started complimenting me, it was nauseating! Nah just kidding, I loved it 🙂

I can open my mouth 15mm now, a big improvement and I am now on track with expectations. At my first appointment my opening wasn’t cutting it, so I amped up my competitiveness and ta-dah,  15 mm! Dr. Mac made some adjustments to my teeth that didn’t feel like a big deal but apparently it was a huge adjustment. Something about me being able to open wide enough that they could now do what they needed to do.

Fascinating how I walked into the office with a couple of issues with my movement and after 3 minutes of working on a couple of teeth, the issues were fixed.

Usually Dr. Gunson likes his patients to go back to him after  8 weeks, just to make sure everything is going okay. We weren’t sure if I would need to do this since I was really doing okay but after some thought, the doctors decided going back would be helpful in the end. Oh well, this means I’ll have to leave the grey and snow for the warm weather of California, how horrible..not. I already booked my ticket!

Apart from my swelling going down, I have reached a plateau with my weight loss. (20 pounds) I continue to eat my soups and even had some french onion soup tonight, it was yummy. I don’t need any medicine for pain, including Tylenol and the only discomfort is when I’m doing my exercises and my jaw seems to be saying “ugh, Can’t you see I’m trying to rest? Rude.”

So here are my pictures!

Just a reminder that if anyone has questions, comment, I’ll respond right away!

Happy New Years!

2012 is here!

I went out with two of my close friends for new years eve, scary but I made it home safe and sound! I am so thankful they came over for the night (this involved getting on a boat to cross a lake mind you, not just a ten minute drive.) I took a protein shake with me and put it in my car incase I got light-headed, thankfully there was no need for it. Getting ready was tiring but fun, my first night wearing a full face of makeup and actually trying to look presentable. After going into the first place, we ended up staying there the whole evening…It was packed. There was nothing more terrifying than walking through the crowd, elbows of highly intoxicated youngsters, drinks in the air, it was an obstacle course. I spent my walks through the bar with my hands in front of my face I was so scared. I even put my phone up to my ear to make it look like I was talking on it….little did they know I was just protecting myself.

The weather was not as cold as past years, thank goodness. I was ready to feel my titanium pieces in my face get cold, apparently that can happen, but I didn’t feel it. The only thing that bothered me was driving over potholes, definitely a bother to the jaw. And walking alone is still a little bit of a struggle, I like to hold on to an arm for stability….Winter cold means icy pavement….a scary thought for me.

So I’m glad I survived my first night out, exhausting but it felt so good to be around people. It felt bizarre at the same time, I didn’t feel like I looked like myself, or that people were looking at the swelling. One of the weird things was with my ears still blocked from my plane ride the music in the bar was so loud! I couldn’t really hear people and I felt like people couldn’t hear me even though I swear I was yelling. I look forward to being able to go out without getting tired and looking less swollen.

Ah I cannot wait!

As for what people said about my “new” look? My friends said I looked great and still like me, thank goodness.

Here are some pictures of me on New Years, looking a little more presentable 🙂 I was so exhausted, this is at 3 in the morning when I got home and ate. Mother is so cute she insisted I take pictures…this is two of what I swear was a 15 minute photoshoot haha.










Get in ma belly!

Hi Everyone!

Tomorrow is New Years Eve, woo hoo. I’ve decided I’m going to try to go out, something I really enjoy doing. I went out by myself for the first time yesterday and being extra careful, I was still nervous about fainting. I got really light-headed in the dentist’s chair (I think it’s something to do with my new skull and the dentist chair when it’s down.) Either way I was still a little light headed when I left so I made sure to be extra careful driving the five minutes back home.

I understand now that I just don’t like going out alone, no one wants to faint without anyone being there..obviously.

Yesterday I had a crazy craving for peanut butter but the consistency was just too thick and I didn’t want to risk me trying to chew on it. I stuck it in the vitamix but it was still thick so I added some milk. I took a sip and was craving protein so badly I drank it all. Yuck! I realise now just  how disgusting it was.

Today however, I had  decided to try and eat some cheesecake that I wanted to blend. For anyone that thinks they can eat this after surgery in its original format, you can’t ladies and gentlemen. It’s just too risky and there is a much simpler method, as I was about to find out…

I put a slice of cheesecake in our little blender, a black and decker, and blended it…still too thick. The consistency needs to be able to run down a glass so that even if you can’t drink it, you can let it just run into your mouth. Attractive, I know.

So I added some cool whip…still too thick. At this point I was drooling and getting so impatient because I could smell the deliciousness but couldn’t get my mittens on it! I decided I would add some milk, why not right? Cheese…milk….come from the same source. Wowza is all I can say…It was delicious! It tasted just like cheesecake, none of this “it tastes like feet but I’m so hungry I’m trying to ignore it.”

Here is a picture of my culinary art, If I may say so myself…..

Here’s the before:

and here is the blended version:







If anyone would like directions let me know, its super simple and so worth it!

Today my swelling is down even more, my weight loss is at 18 pounds in 23 days!

Here are some updated pictures:

I look terrified in the first one, haha.

Xoxo  Meow

19 Pounds!


19 pounds lost in three weeks, complete insanity.

My face is still looking the same, so no need for a picture. My skin has been so bizarre, a side effect of the surgery. They don’t go into detail about what they do to your skin but they do stuff….a lot of stuff. It’s almost like there’s a layer of sand all over my face, dry skin? Perhaps.

I summarized how I was feeling overall and I feel this statement should become a headline for future surgery patients. It sounds really harsh but it really hits the nail on the head. I said
” I feel like an 85-year-old who is battling sickness.”

The lack of movement I’m willing to do and the aches and pains that come and go, and of course, there’s the overall fatigue that you feel after getting up for five minutes.

I’m feeling okay today, the weather is pretty gloomy and I don’t foresee myself leaving the house. Last night I took Advil PM since I had some pain and it allowed me to get some much needed sleep. I woke up as soon as the Advil ran out but was able to go right back to sleep.

Since I have no pictures of myself to enlighten you with I thought, what a better thing to post then……. PUPPIES AND KITTENS.

Okay, so they’re actually both middle-aged but still….so cute!


The Pain.

You would think that the worst of the pain would be over by now. Last night was one of the worst nights by far as I had a horrible headache and overall facial pain. The medicines just weren’t doing the trick ( I think it’s just really important to stay on top of the pain, I fell behind) and with a cold wash cloth on my forehead I tried to sleep. I fell asleep at around 2 am and woke up a few times during the night, today I am exhausted.

I went to Costco and used one of the electric carts, of course my cart showed full battery until running out 20 minutes later. The race to checkout before it ran out so I didn’t have to walk was the most entertainment I’ve had in a couple of days.

People definitely stare at you. I feel like they’re thinking “she doesn’t need that cart, how rude of her”…. Little do they know!

The dizziness is really getting to me, I get up and I just get so lightheaded…I’m hoping this passes soon.

So I’m kind of over doing the daily pictures just because I’m overly lazy ( I won’t even try to make an excuse) but if you would like some updates, let me know. I shall deliver. If I start to notice a change I’ll definitely post them!

Here is the medical stuff now: Are you ready?


On the left is the before picture, my air way is the little black “hole.”  On the right is the after picture. Moving my jaw forward during surgery allowed my airway to be the size it should be.

Here’s a diagram of my jaw before and after.


Merry Christmas everyone!

I just had my first “desperate attempt” at a normal meal, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes blended. I drank quite a bit of it and it really wasn’t that bad. Looking at the stuffing in its normal form in a plate is quite painful though, I have to admit.

My dessert was nutella, yum. Dr. Gunson said I should really try not to eat without my elastics in. It makes things a lot more challenging that way but, whatever is best for the mouth!

My lips and chin are still numb and I can’t use utensils so everything got really messy. I didn’t care though, I was so happy to be eating something so delicious.

I would post pictures but todays activities have worn me out! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

The Red Eye

Finally home.

And since this post is as long as a short novel, I’ll post my pictures right now. Please excuse the hair….smeared make up… shirt with grits on it….and my sign ( a piece of paper.) I lost the marker for my board.

We took three  planes, each one getting worse. The pain I felt was absolutely excruciating. I was so weak ( apparently from the weight loss and loss of blood during the operation) and needed wheel chair assistance. Arriving into Los Angeles, I waited five minutes outside the plane for the person with the wheel chair, standing there got too tiring so we started walking and were met by the wheelchair eventually. The lady was so rude, asking us what we wanted to do. They can’t leave you with the wheelchair  so they either wheel you around (eating somewhere would have been awkward, they just stand there…Maybe wheelchair theft is common in an airport, doubtful) or they drop you off somewhere ( for me, it was in a secluded seating area away from humanity) and then leave…with the wheelchair.

Wonderful. Three hour wait and I feel like a secluded leper.

To make things worse when it got time for our flight, the lady at the desk was a complete Grinch wearing a Hawaiian shirt, I wanted to drink from my sports bottle ( bad idea, normal bottles are much better, lesson learned) and then drool on her. Usually wheelchair assisted people get on the plane first so as to not disrupt everyone but no, she just let me sit there. I was even able to make my way towards the plane, only after did she realise that she hadn’t even checked my boarding pass and chased us down like wild zoo animal.

Mom was my personal guard and protector during the whole travelling. So funny. I was so “high” on pain medication that everything was hazy but I remember mom going up to the rude lady,behind the little “united airlines” podium. Hands flying everywhere and suddenly I just heard yelling. Something about my mom needing to step away from “United Airlines” podium, and my mom yelling ” my daughter….6 hours of surgery……she just needs a wheelchair to get to the plane!”

The last flight was the worst. Not because of the people (thank you Chicago) but because of the pain. I was so positive my brain was going to explode due to the air pressure changes. I don’t know if it’s because my sinuses were operated on during surgery but the pain I felt was absolutely horrible. The air pressure affects your ears, head, and sinuses.

I really recommend that anyone who has gotten the surgery try to wait as long as they can to fly. It’s different for everyone I’m sure, but the pain was almost unbearable. Mind you, this was also on my strong medication. Once hom we called Dr. Gunson because I was still in a lot of pain and I’ve been doing so well that we just felt it was necessary to call. He was so nice, and sounded genuinely sorry I was in pain. I feel like doctors are so used to patients wining they start not to care haha but Gunson told mom exactly what to do. His directions were surprisingly specific but the pain is at a bearable level now, so thankful.

Now that I’m done complaining about my flight, which I apologize for, I should be thankful I’m home safe…even with pain, it could be much worse.

We left Santa Barbara at 9 o’clock at night so we had the whole day and Dr. Gunson opened the office just for us. Since I was going home he wanted to confirm that my bite and jaw were doing okay. Have you heard of a doctor actually opening his office just for you? And two days before Christmas! I was so appreciative.

My favorite part was this:

Yes, that is Dr. Gunson on an awesome motorbike.

Home tomorrow!


I go home tomorrow, yaaaaaaay! I’m so very ready to leave. I love Santa Barbara but I’m ready to have some normalcy. I’ve been forgetting to mention one of the main reasons I had my surgery, my airway! Moving my jaw forward in surgery will allow my airway to be the size it should be.

This is an x-ray of my airway, it is encircled in red. Apparently it should be four times this size…Now it is! With my new airway I won’t have to deal with severe sleep apnea when I’m older which is when it becomes a real problem. Before surgery sleeping was never a big issue except that I would sleep for ten plus hours and still be tired. That’s one of the effects of a small airways according to the doctors. Again, I don’t know the scientific explanation so please excuse the simple terminology.

I changed my elastics today, it took about half an hour. And that’s after I did my exercises for half an hour, a whole hour dedicated to my jaw….exhausting. I can’t believe I have to do that twice more today.

I’m feeling some tingling and little nerve pinches in my chin which means it’s slowly trying to wake up. They’re kind of painful 😦