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!

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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 ūüôā I was merely trying to make a good Parisian picture.

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Yay Jaw, go go goooooo

Here are some pictures from India!
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This is me at The Cherish Foundation orphanage in Hyderbad. The children are all so beautiful and wonderful!

 

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Chris and I outside the monkey temple in Jaipur!

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Costume time!

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Lil’ monkey and I!

 

Hugsies,

Ashley

SIX MONTHS POST-OP

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.

Boycott

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.

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Here is their response:

Ashley:
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.

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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 ūüėČ

Bobs Red Mill Natural Foods (http://www.bobsredmill.com/)

Frontier Soups (http://www.frontiersoups.com/)

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

Graduate

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:

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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.

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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.