Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This I Believe Essay

Hey everyone! I'm going to have another post right after this one, but I thought I'd just add this by itself. 

So, this is an essay that I turned in today for my 'final' which I thought turned out really well. I ended up getting an A in the class and I got a 95% on this assignment and it ended up being about jaw surgery. 

Honestly, it was really personal to read in front of the class because well, I never realized how personal and how much this surgery really did affect me. I honestly thought, "It's just another stupid surgery". I knew I was going to be scared, I knew it was going to hurt, and I knew that it took some time to heal from but I didn't realize the emotional change I would have. 

So without further a-do . . . here's my essay

This I Believe

     Have you ever sat in a math class and stared at the teacher, confused as ever? And then suddenly, everything made sense and you’re overwhelmed with a feeling of satisfaction? Or maybe you just got home from the doctor and the news struck your family with grief and sadness? And despite the outcome, you and your family have learned to overcome everything that the situation threw at you?

    Throughout life I’ve always heard that “life is a climb, but the view is great.” And to me, that signifies the majority of my life, but even more so, I’ve learned that just because I’m struggling doesn’t mean I can’t be happy. I’ve learned that happiness is conditional and it comes and goes as it pleases. Bliss comes from myself and how I view the rest of my life.

    I was born with a birth defect called cleft lip and palate and that alone is a struggle. Even though I had it ‘fixed’ when I was younger through surgery, it still continues to shape my life today. I’ve had to deal with speech issues and I’ve had to overcome seven years of braces while I’ve watched my friends get them off in a year or two. I’ve dealt with numerous amounts of surgeries and the worrisome effects of being self-conscious about my appearance.

    Recently, I’ve gone through maxillary surgery and that alone has been one of the biggest struggles I feel that I’ve overcome. After waking up from six hours of surgery I felt everything hit me at once. Large amounts of pain or numbness overcame my entire face. I felt my opinion on my personal image change. I knew the sudden change in diet, or even going through a lot of emotional challenges would change me. After the first few days I felt unbelievably self-conscious. I was swollen, I couldn’t talk clearly, I drooled constantly, I didn’t have the independence that I personally thrive upon, and I looked different and as time went on, it got to the point where I didn’t even want to smile. Smiling became something I was ashamed and self-conscious of because I thought my ‘new’ smile looked horrible. I had been so used to the smile I saw in the mirror for the past 17 years and the sudden change wasn’t easy .

    Now, seven weeks post-operation, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’ve overcome 

maxillary jaw surgery and even more so, I’ve become stronger because of it. I’ve learned that 
happiness doesn’t come from other people or through aesthetic, materialistic ideas--it comes
from my state of mind. Not only that, but I feel that I can see the beauty of everything else in my 
life. Through the battle I’ve learned to appreciate what my abilities and my circumstances are.
Struggle has allowed me to progress and learn more about myself. Struggle taught me to fight 
even when times get hard. Struggle has taught me to become passionate and appreciative.
Struggle—that’s what I believe in.

And there you have it. I hope you guys like it, as I'm sure some of you can apply what I said in other ways, but yeah.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Life Through Music and Quotes

I thought I'd put up a few songs and quotes to show how I am feeling, how I have felt, and just songs that I love and quotes that I love in one single post. I might annotate them to my liking and I might add comments and I may just leave them as they are.

Music has always been a major part of my life and quite frankly, it's my best friend. I'd feel 
As I said in my last post, this is me reflecting and letting others read it. Maybe my random reflection can help others, which I doubt. This is also going to be another long post. Anyway, let's get on with the music/quotes:

"And now I try hard to make it
I just want to make you proud
I'm never gonna be good enough for you
I can't pretend that
I'm alright
And you can't change me

'Cuz we lost it all 
Nothing lasts forever
I'm sorry 
I can't be perfect
Now it's just too late and 
We can't go back
I'm sorry 
I can't be perfect" ~Perfect, Simple Plan

This song has really been one of my go-to songs for whenever I feel like people (mostly my family) have put so much expectations into me and my life and I really just want to throw them all away. My dad, who is one hell of a wise guy, has always told me that by defining someone by anything can limit them and I guess, as I'm growing older, I can finally understand what he means. People expect me to always be this happy, smart girl and when I fall short of that . . . it's not okay. In reality, what's not okay is people judging others. I really wish I knew why we do that to each other when we all hate it when others do it ourselves. I hate that all human-beings, myself included, are very hypocritical.

"She's beautiful, in her simple little way. She don't have too much to say when she get's mad. She understands. She don't let go of anything, even when the pain gets really bad. I guess I should have been more like that. You had it all for a pretty little while. Somehow you made me smile when I was sad. You took a chance on a bruised and beaten heart and then you realized what you wanted what you had. I guess I should have been more like that. I should have held on to my pride. I should have never let you lie. I guess you got what you deserve. I guess I should have been more like her." ~More Like Her, Miranda Lambert

I think most of us feel like this. I mean, this is about a girl, but clearly, it can relate to anybody. Have you ever felt yourself comparing yourself to someone who seemed more worthy? Better even? Yeah, me too.

"Remember when I cried to you a thousand times? I told you everything, you know my feelings. It never crossed my mind that there would be a time for us to say goodbye, what a big surprise. But I'm not lost, I'm not gone. I haven't forgot . . ."~Remember When, Avril Lavigne

I'm not really going to say much for that one.

"I couldn't tell you why she felt that way, she felt it every day. I couldn't help her, I just watch her make the same mistakes again. What's wrong, what's wrong now? Too many, too many problems. Don't know where she belongs . . . She wants to go home, but nobody's home. It's where she lies, broken inside. With no place to go, no place to go, to dry her eyes, broken inside."~Nobody's Home, Avril Lavigne

"Do you ever feel like breaking down?
Do you ever feel out of place?
Like somehow you just don't belong,
And no one understands you?

Do you ever wanna runaway?
Do you lock yourself in your room?
With the radio on turned up so loud,
That no one hears you screaming

No you don't know what it's like,
When nothing feels all right,
You don't know what it's like,
To be like me...

To be hurt, to feel lost,
To be left out in the dark,
To be kicked when you're down,
To feel like you've been pushed around,
To be on the edge of breaking down,
And no one's there to save you,
No you don't know what it's like,
Welcome to my life.

Do you wanna be somebody else?
Are you sick of feeling so left out?
Are you desperate to find something more
Before your life is over

Are you stuck inside a world you hate?
Are you sick of everyone around?
With their big fake smiles and stupid lies,
While deep inside you're bleeding?

No you don't know what it's like,
When nothing feels all right,
You don't know what it's like,
To be like me...

To be hurt, to feel lost,
To be left out in the dark,
To be kicked when you're down,
To feel like you've been pushed around,
To be on the edge of breaking down,
And no one's there to save you,
No you don't know what it's like,
Welcome to my life.

No one ever lied straight to your face,
And no one ever stabbed you in the back,
You might think I'm happy,
But I'm not gonna be okay,
Everybody always gave you what you wanted,
You never had to work it was always there,
You don't know what it's like,
What it's like...

To be hurt, to feel lost,
To be left out in the dark,
To be kicked when you're down,
To feel like you've been pushed around,
To be on the edge of breaking down,
And no one's there to save you,
No you don't know what it's like,

To be hurt, to feel lost,
To be left out in the dark,
To be kicked when you're down,
To feel like you've been pushed around,
To be on the edge of breaking down,
And no one's there to save you,
No you don't know what it's like,

Welcome to my life . . ."

~Welcome to my Life, Simple Plan

That song, just as a whole was my anthem growing up because I felt so alone and I don't think that's changed much. I stand at Youth Group tonight and here I am feeling like an outcast and I've honestly not sure who to talk to and this is what I'm doing now. I'm going to blog the crap out of how I feel through music and this song is definitely been there when I wanted to cry and cry and cry.

"She loves her mama's lemonade, hates the sound that goodbyes make. She prays one day, she'll find someone to need her. She swears that there's no difference between the lies and compliment, it's all the same if everybody leaves her. And every magazine tells her she's not good enough, the pictures that she sees make her cry. She would change everything, everything just ask her. Caught in  the in-between a beautiful disaster. She just needs someone to take her home." ~Beautiful Disaster, Jon Mclaughlin

This song in itself is just so true for a lot of girls these days I think. And it kind of reminds me of this ridiculous surgery. I stare at the mirror and I stare at picture of girls on Facebook or in magazines or in the tabloids and I know that people wanted me to go through all this pain to make me look a little better which honestly killed me inside . . . and as I think about it, it still kind of does. Anyway, that's all I'm going to touch base-on for that song.

"Seems the only one who doesn't see your beauty, is the face mirror looking back at you. You walk around here thinking you're not pretty, but that's not true 'cuz I know you. Hold on baby you're loosing it. The water's high and you're jumping into it and letting go and no one knows . . . that you cry but you don't tell anyone, that you might not be the golden. And you're tied together with a smile but you're coming undone. I guess it's true that love is all you ever wanted 'cause you're giving it away like it's extra change. Hoping it will end up in his pocket but he leaves you out like a penny in the rain. . . "~Tied Together With A Smile, Taylor Swift

Another song that was may anthem during my ages of middle school. It just spoke to me because I could relate to it. It said words I was too afraid to say and it appealed to me, just for that very reason. I knew at that moment, at that low part in my life, I couldn't hold on to my facade. 

"I could be mean. I could be angry. You know I could be just like you. I could be fake. I could be stupid. You know I could be just like you. You thought you were standing beside me. You were only in my way. You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you. You thought you were their to guide me. You were only in my way. You're wrong if you that I'll be just like you. I could be cold. I could be ruthless, you know I could be just like you. I could be weak. I could be senseless. You know I could be just like you." ~Just Like You, Three Days Grace

This is a song I listen to when I'm angry with people who are expecting me to be just like them. 

"I thought that I could count on you. I thought that nothing could come between us two. We said as long as we would stick together--we'd be alright, we'd be okay, but I was stupid and you broke me down. I'll never be the same again. So . . . THANK YOU for showing me that best friends cannot be trusted. And THANK YOU for lying to me--the friendship, the good times we had--you can have 'em back." ~Thank You, Simple Plan

Gosh. I listen to this song when I think about some horrible friendships I feel that I've had. It's not that I'm spiteful or anything but goodness gracious,I get angry at myself for letting people treat me like that. It's not okay. Ever. 

And yeah . . . I'm going to end that there because this post is already really long. Whew. Hahaha. I got some good emotions out on that post. (: I feel a little better now.

Music . . . man, I'd be dead without it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Seven Weeks Post-Operation Update

It's crazy that it's been over a month and a half since my surgery and so far, things are going well! I feel pretty much back to normal physically and I'm just really reflective about the whole thing. Actually, I had a school/English assignment for this essay thing-a-majig called "This I Believe" and I was able to really reflect on that!

I've decided that I'm going to put that up once I've put it in and everything's all said and done . . . but anyway, I am going to give you guys a real update on me, myself and I:

Pain: 3/10 I just got rubberbands put on, during my check up, last Thursday, the 16th of May and my teeth are now kind of/sort of in pain . . . which is a big pain.
Numbness: As I said before, it's like 90% gone. It's just more in my upper lip and my gums, but still, I can feel my face and know that I'm touching my lips. My smile is still a tad bit tight.
Emotional Status: I'm pretty good right now, actually. It's kind of a nice feeling to just feel content wit anything. Nothing that's extremely happy and nothing that seems like I'm dragging myself. Actually, last Friday was my school's seniors last day and that was kind of depressing to see all my friends leave. They'll be graduating on Thursday and it's nuts to think I won't be seeing them again after that. Lots of crying on Thursday and Friday, hahaha.
Swelling: I'm not sure, still. I know it's still there, but I don't know how much is gone since I'm slowly, but surely getting used to what I look like now.
Congestion: It's usually in my right nostril and quite frankly, it's really, really frustrating. It's like there's swelling in the very back of my sinus area and I can't breath AT all through nostril and that is my better one. I've decided to just take nasal congestion pills and see how those help.
Bleeding: Still gone from what I can see.
Dizziness: I believe it's still gone!
My speech: Still the same as last week, but it's nasally lately because of clogged my nose hsa been.
My smile: Uhhh . . . I don't know. We'll put up a picture. Hahaha.

Other than that, nothing is really new. I'm out of school after next Wednesday which is really nice but because it's a week before finals, I'm pretty much cramming everything. It's a tad bit stressful but I'm managing.

I think I'll start updating a lot more during the summer and keep all of you posted as well. Also, I have a orthodontist appointment on June 6th and I don't see my surgeon again for another month which is a little weird. It went from every week to every other week to a month! NUTS! So yeah, I'll have to update all of you on what happens then. Anyway, time for a quick pic . . .

As you can see, my hair looks a little nuts because it was up all day and I apologize for the bright light in the background. It's almost 8 here. And as you can see, you can see my doggy! And now, I feel the need to take a picture of that! 

Okay, enough of random pictures . . . hahaha. I guess you can kind of get an idea of how random I am. 

So yeah! That's what I look like now, which I think is a huge improvement from week four. It's crazy, actually.

Anyway, that's my little update! I'm actually planning on doing a fun blog once I have time, so look out for that!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Reflection and An Update (late . . . heh)

I wrote this a week ago and never posted it because I didn't finish it. Sorry! This is my six week post-operation reflection and update.

I've found out that I'm avoiding this blog for reasons I don't think I can quite understand. I look back at this surgery and the rest of my life and it's definitely been a long and short 17 years. 

I think I've been avoiding it all because I really don't want to reflect by myself because it makes me feel even more alone and more annoyed and sad and just really complacent. Which I guess isn't really a good thing either, but I've decided that I better do this at least weekly or else I'm going to have another breakdown sooner, rather than later. 

So first up is my update . . . 
Pain: Virtually a 0/10 or a 1/10. It kind of depends. I have wires poking me everywhere.
Numbness: It is officially only in my upper lip, my gums (duh), and some areas in the roof of my mouth. I really don't know where to be honest.
Emotional Status (I've decided this is important, so I'm adding it! :P): I'm currently stressed, avoiding things, and kind of paranoid. I don't know. It's a mixture of emotions. Mostly avoiding things.
Dizziness: It's gone! YES!
Swelling: Ummm . . . Yeah I don't even know. My mom still thinks I'm more numb on the right side of my face. 
Congestion: Most of the time, it's annoying as heck. I can't even breathe usually through my nose anymore. I had gotten so used to the new feeling of being able to breathe through my nose that it's annoying when I can't. Right now, it's clear. I put some decongestant spray so that helped a lot.
Bleeding: Gone! I haven't seen any blood at all!
My speech: Is less nasally which is really nice. I'm still getting used to talking.
My smile: is really confused. Honestly, I don't even know how to smile anymore. It's sad, really. 
It's not as wonky as it once was and it's slowly coming together which is making me happy.
(I decided to make my own little collage and I put my photo-editing skills to work!)

So as you can see from the photo, these are from today, six weeks post-operation. 

So now, I thought I'd do a bit of reflecting during this six week post-op blog post. About what I've learned and about what I've experienced during this long journey and just throughout my life.

I think I've finally fully understood what it meant to be independent and why I think I've clung so close to being that way. I feel like in today's world, we look at everything and we look at happiness as something is something you 'achieve' and once you achieve it, it doesn't go away which is so, unbelievably wrong. 

I think I've grown so much stronger and so much more independent through this experience. I've shed a lot of tears this year, both for this surgery and just from having to say goodbye to so many people that I love and I've learned that how one acts during a struggle defines that person's character and I refuse to be one of those people who sits there and let's life pass them  by because I'm too busy waiting to be 'okay' with something. I refuse to sit there and wait until I'm ready, because odds are, I won't be ready at the end of the day.

I finally have learned that pain is nothing but a mental thing and I've learned that instead of complaining and whining about my circumstance, I can just face it head-on and hope for the best. I can reflect and I can learn on what I've experienced instead of acting selfish in this type of circumstance.

To end this post, I will use one of my favorite quotes recently, that I heard on one of my FAVORITE shows, One Tree Hill.

"People get lost when they think of happiness as a destination. We're always thinking that someday we'll be happy, you know when we get a car or a job, or that person who will fix everything. But happiness is a condition, not a destination. It's like being tired or hungry. It comes and goes, and that's okay. And if people thought of it that way, they would find happiness a lot more often."

Friday, May 3, 2013

Splint is Gone!

Sorry I haven't updated my blog in a while. I think I needed to just reflect on my own to just get a little bit stronger and I think that helped a bit. 

Anyway, today I had a doctor's appointment, or a follow-up appointment and they took off my SPLINT WOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!! It feels so good to feel the roof of my mouth again, as well as my upper teeth. It's almost a relief actually.

It's weird, actually. The roof of my mouth feels a LOT wider and actually, when I want to talk, I'm not entirely sure as to where I'm supposed to put my tongue, which is a weird feeling as well. My teeth can actually fit together and I'm not really sure how it's 'supposed' to feel. My doctors and my parents continuously ask me if it feels good but quite frankly, I don't know what that means. I don't know what 'good' is. I know what normal for me is and that's my old bite. My teeth hitting together because I'm not used to the placement in my new teeth.

Anyway, I was really happy to hear that I could get my splint out and I can talk semi normal now. Unfortunately, they also put in a bridge in between where the gap is actually still kind of there to help move my teeth a little bit and keep them in place for some support. I'm still on a soft diet with really, really careful chewing. They want to wait until my bone graft is healed and apparently, there's still parts of my teeth that still move in my upper teeth. 

I thought I'd put a picture up, to show what my new teeth look like without the stupid splint around my teeth. It definitely feels really, really, really weird but I'm sure I'll get used to it. I'm just really happy it's out of my mouth.

Slowly, but surely, my smile is regaining normalcy. Hahahaha.