Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 58: Trombone Frustration

Jaw- 3/10
While you are out of playing pick
up a new instrument! Ukulele
is always fun for me. 
Headache- 5/10

I have been trying to play my trombone the past few days. I am 8 weeks post op. I most definitely can play. But I am very frustrated. Months before surgery I could pick up any piece of music and play through it. I would play my trombone if I was having a bad day, and it would make me feel better. Now I feel like I have nothing. My teacher told me I was going to get upset. Well he was right. I know what I have to do. It’s just going to take time.

Tips for musicians:

1.                             Long Tones!- They are boring but they will help you. Work on playing with less pressure. This is the perfect time to perfect your embrasure.
2.                             Don’t push it- You need to listen to your body. I am only playing 5 minute intervals. Yes, it absolutely sucks. But it will help in the end.
3.                             Don’t give up- I have considered giving up. Switching my major and putting away my horn for good. Don’t do that. It is frustrating but you can do it!

My jaw pain went up because I played my trombone on and off for a bit tonight. I also tried to chew a bagel. I haven’t gotten that amazing feeling everyone is talking about when I bite into something. I can’t wait until I can experience this. One thing I have noticed, I’m not making as much of a mess when I bite into things. As for my headache, it obviously is still there. I am not sure why. I will talk to my orthodontist in a week when I see him

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 54: Salad Spasm

Jaw pain- 2/10
Headache- 5/10

I thought I would go with the mirror shot. 
I would like to start out by apologizing for not making a post in a while. I have been taking mid-terms and away at my granny's because my grandfather is sick.  
I am eating much better than I was the last time I blogged. Tonight I had tender chicken. I didn’t have too much of a problem with that. I also tried to have salad. By salad I mean 3 pieces of lettuce on my plate with dressing. That was interesting. My teeth still don’t touch and my jaw decided to have a spasm while I was chewing. I am still getting very tired when I chew, but I know that will pass.
I started playing my trombone yesterday! It was quite strange. It was like picking up my horn for the first time. I mentally know what to do. Physically I don’t. Playing my trombone really shows how much my mouth has changed. Before surgery my embrasure was very high and awkward, now it’s a better feeling. I still hear a “double buzz”. But it is nothing like it was before I had all this done. So I guess I am improving!
Things are finally starting to go back to normal. I am happy about that. I am not so happy about my insomnia being back. If anyone has tips on insomnia let me know!
I woke up today and had my piano lesson. It wasn’t my best lesson. I was too tired to think. But my teacher asked to hear me play my trombone. He said my sound is there. But my air is very shaky. I am kind of afraid of playing still. My surgeon assured me that I wouldn’t mess anything up. But still. The fact that bone fusion takes 90 days and I am allowed to play worries me.
There is a close up
of my bite. See how things
are lining up?!
I still have headaches. That Is just because my orthodontist is still moving my bite around. But my jaw pain is almost nonexistent. My jaw only really bothers me when I try to chew. That’s if I have a spasm. I am also back to sleeping on my back! And sneezing is getting les and less painful. Things are finally looking up!
As for my ankle, it is just a very bad sprain. My orthopedic told me that it looks like I fractured it a few years ago and it wasn’t treated for. That doesn’t surprise me. This has been a LONG journey. I have a high tolerance for pain.  Ankle pain is nothing. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 35: What's next?

Day 35: What’s next?

Headache- 6/10
Jaw pain- 4/10
Yup! I got colors this time! Might
as well enjoy it! :)
(look at all the elastics)

Saw my orthodontist yesterday. He said I am still swollen, but my bite is really coming along. My teeth aren’t touching so I got some new hooks in my mouth. I have to wear my elastics in the shape of triangles. I have two upside-down triangles in the back of my mouth. That will bring my back teeth together. I also have two upright triangles in the front of my mouth. That will bring my front teeth together. My orthodontist said he wishes all his patients would listen and follow the rules like I do. When I am all done he wants my picture on his wall in his office. I feel honored.
 I have been very bored. I am not like most Americans. I can’t sit down all day and watch television or play video games. I have to be moving. So I decided to go outside and play some soccer. I love dribbling the ball around. Well, it was kind of muddy and getting dark. I slid and tumbled. My left ankle got caught under my right led while my body was sliding in the mud. I lied in the grass for a few seconds, and then I tried to move. I couldn’t get up. It was so painful. It’s a good thing I had my cell phone because my dad was out there to help me within 30 seconds of our call. I went to the emergency room and got some x-rays. I didn’t break anything, thankfully! But I did badly sprain my ankle. Apparently sprains are worse pain wise. And they take longer to heal because you are dealing with muscle. I get a fancy splint and cool crutches! If the pain doesn’t go away in 4-5 days I need to go a specialist. I might have torn a ligament or something. It never ends! No chewing, no walking, what’s next?
My headache is still there. It isn’t going away. And if I sneeze, my day is ruined. That’s where most of my pain comes from. I had to do a half day at school this week because I sneezed. I think my body is starting to hate me.
Great news! My surgeon told me I can start lightly playing my trombone! It makes me very happy that he said so. I was afraid when he said that. My bone isn’t fused together yet and I can’t chew. How can I play? So I called one of my teachers and told him how I felt. He told me to wait until I am 6 weeks. And if my body feels good enough I can try. He even gave me an assignment. I am being very cautious about this. I am so worried I am going to hurt myself.
Oh yeah, my orthodontist said my swelling should be almost all gone within the next 4 weeks! I can’t wait until this is all over and done with!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 26: Banana Success!

Jaw Pain- 5/10
Headache- 6/10

Before and after.
Wow, it’s already day 26. I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I have had surgery. I am still not chewing. I am trying to add more to my diet because I am getting tired of chicken broth and smoothies. I got chocolate malt and vanilla Carnation Instant breakfast.  My mom has been putting them in my milkshakes. The vanilla tastes wonderful in a smoothie. So I am getting a little more food in me.
I slept in a recliner all weekend and my headaches didn’t go away, probably because I still end up sleeping on my side or flat. I also think I need a chiropractor. My back is killing me from sleeping like this. (The sleep I do get)
On a good note, I ate a banana! Not a full one of course. But I was making a smoothie and I took a piece of it and put it in my mouth. It was very exciting! I know a banana isn’t much. But today a banana, tomorrow a turkey sandwich!
My weekend consisted of relaxing and eating. I still managed to loose two more pounds. But I watched a really good movie! It was called Abduction. Before you make any judgments, I did not watch it because of Taylor Lautner. The previews were actually really intriguing.
           The picture I posted today is a before and after shot. The image to the right is what I looked like before these surgeries. The image on the left is what I look like now. That’s after 2.5 years of braces and 2 surgeries. Do you think my bite was messed up now? Notice how narrow my bite was. And look at my chin.
            I also learned something today. You know when you drink soda you get that weird feeling in your nose? Well, that feeling is VERY painful if you just had major surgery up there. I totally forgot that my surgeon had to go up in my sinus cavities when I took a sip of Pepsi. That’s when that feeling hit me. I will NEVER do that again. Lesson learned. So anyone who is considering getting this done, learn from all everyone's mistakes in these blogs. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 22: Granny's House

Headache- 6/10
Jaw Pain- 5/10

I know it's hard to see but I am
wearing cool green elastics!
         As you can read, I am at my Granny's house this weekend! I am very close with my grandparents. Granny went shopping for soup, smoothies, applesauce, yogurt, and extremely soft snacks. She wants me to eat all weekend. Oh, she also got me vanilla flavored Carnation Breakfasts. I have been drinking the chocolate flavor for 3 weeks. A change is really nice.
        I have been taking it very easy. I'm not moving my jaw as much and not overdoing anything. My surgeon had to remind me that I am only 3 weeks post op. And my insicions and what not are still very raw. I shouldn't start really pushing myself until after 6 weeks. I am beginning to get use to the pain from these elastics. My othrodontist said that these elastics will make my back teeth touch. I already feel a difference. My teeth are starting to touch more on my right side than my left. It's a different feeling every day. Yesterday I was very comfortable. My braces for rubbing against my cheek. Good thing I have wax. It feels much better today.
         I am hungry and I am unsure about what I want. I really want PB&J. Now, can I make that in smoothie form???
        I had chicken pot pie for dinner tonight. I mached it. And couldnt eat the ckicken or the carrots in it. But it was still very delicious.
        On Thursday I had to take an ear training test which required singing. Talking isnt much of a problem anymore. It hurts to sing. I learned that you use different muscles in your face to sing than you do to talk. Luckily, my professor understood and let me do the singing part of the test after class when everyone left. I think I did very well on my test.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 19: Graduation day

Day 19: Graduation Day  

Headache- 7/10
Jaw pain- 5/10

This is 2 nights ago. I didn't
have time to take a picture this
morning since I am at school.
I saw my surgeon yesterday! He said my bite is looking great and I am really coming along. He gave me the okay to do VERY lightly chewing again. His example was really tender chicken off the bone. And I am now wearing elastics in the shape of triangles in the very front of my mouth. Boy, do they hurt. I can’t really open my mouth with them in. And it is rubbing on a sore on my lip. So that looks wonderful right now. It was a good appointment.  I graduated from weekly appointments. Now I get to start going every 2-3 weeks.
After I got home from my appointment I tried to eat some tender chicken. It didn’t work out. Since my back teeth don’t touch, I couldn’t chew it. And the Elastics make the front of my mouth very sore. My dad stepped in and shredded up the chicken for me. I switched to spaghetti-os after that.  
I finally slept good last night thanks to some Melatonin. I had two wonderful dreams! One was me playing at Carnegie Hall again. Then I woke up because my jaw decided to have a spasm. The second one was me going to Australia. I was strange because it wasn’t just me in the dream. It was my whole high school band.
I didn’t eat anything this morning. And I still have this headache. I told my surgeon about the headache. He told me to keep my head up. (Both literally and metaphorically) By lying down I am creating more pressure in my head and sinuses. So it’s going to be another 3 weeks of sitting up while sleeping sitting up.

I made a list of goals for this week:

  • Up my water intake
  • Create an awesome shake
  • Stay asleep sitting up (Because I keep moving to my side)
  • Add some type of very soft food to my diet

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 16: Cupcake!

Day 16: CUPCAKE!

Jaw Pain- 5/10
Headache- 6.5-/10

I was so hungry today and my Granny came over with cupcakes. I could't chew it. But I successfully licked off all the frosting. It was delicious!!!
Good news! I ate raviolis today! No, I didn’t chew it. I used my tongue and crushed it at the top of my mouth. It was very tiring. And after an hour of doing this I got very tired. I have been having this rice faddish the past few days. Not that I can chew it. But it is something simple to eat and has more taste to it.
            I really miss playing my trombone. I can’t wait until I can get back to playing. I know it’s not going to be easy. But I miss it so much. My moms’ friend came over today and gave me a trumpet! I won’t be touching that for a while. Since I can’t play I have been catching up on my theory and playing a lot of piano. I decided that I am going to work on my clef studies. I might not be able to play my trombone, but I can still work on being a good musician. That’s my goal!
            I did my first long day of school on Thursday. It took a lot out of me. And my theory professor was really fascinated with what I’m going through. I showed him my x-rays and I explained to him exactly what I had done. Let’s just say I have full permission to miss that class whenever I want.
            As for my jaw, it still hurts. It really only hurts on the right side because it’s so tight. It is still kind of sore above my lip (where the stitches are). And my stitches are starting to come out and dissolve. It is gross.  But it is a step closer to being done with all this!


Here is an updated list of food I want:
  • Turkey sandwich
  • Steak
  • Hot wings
  • Cheese Burger with tomatoes and ketchup
  • Hot hog
  • Bagel with cream cheese
  • Bagel with egg and cheese
  • Salad
  • PB&J
  • Chips and dip
  • Celery
  • Pizza
  • Candy Apple
  • Subway
  • Crepes
Today we had a party for my sisters’ 14th birthday. You know what that means? FOOD! Guess what I couldn’t do… I am starting to get use to people eating in front of me. And I don’t get as upset about it anymore.
            No plans for the weekend. I am probably going to study because I am a nerd. I am sleeping over Granny’s next weekend! That’s exciting because I haven’t slept out since the first week of January. I can’t wait.

Surgeon on Monday!