Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Updates and My Personal Thoughts on New Years

Well hello internet!

So, my last blog update wasn't my nicest blog ever but sometimes I just need to vent so I apologize for that. I really just needed to get out what I was feeling. However, that doesn't mean that I am forever grateful for being able to get my gums fixed so I wouldn't get an infection or for something worse to happen.

Anyway, this blog is kind of a two one. Right now, it's 11:02 where I live. . . almost new years and I figured I'd do an update for you guys and do my thoughts on "New Years" and all the ideas that come with it. Some of you might agree with me and some of you might disagree with me and that's okay, but this is just sort of a reflection update for me over what New Years is and just this past year or whatever.

So my update. . .

My gums are feeling better. It still hurts when I smile or when I put any kind of pressure on my upper lip. And what's funny, is because my graft was taken from two locations on the roof of my mouth, it feels better for me to have my retainer in because it puts pressure and makes the pain non-existent there, but when it's out in the open, without the retainer, everything is super sensitive.

Looking back at the surgery, I didn't like it. Obviously. And when I was going through it, I was thinking, "Man, if this is is what they're doing for this small kind of procedure (I put 'small' lightly) then what the heck did they do during my jaw surgery?" And you know what, that brought back some bad memories and that's probably why I ended up writing that interesting blog post this last week. I think I'm still learning to deal with surgeries and what it means for me to have them.

I may or may not have mentioned that when I finally got out of the office and went into the bathroom I broke down into tears. I deal with physical pain pretty well. However, I don't deal with emotional pain very well. I don't really know why. . . maybe it's just me but there are moments when I feel kind of broken down and I don't want to have to put up with going through surgery after surgery or problem after problem when it comes to my mouth and my teeth or even my face.

I still have at least two or three surgeries left, as far as I can see. My dad told me to look for noses I like. Why? Because I can get a nose job after everything's all done. And inside, that kind of makes me sad because I just can't seem to be okay with a lot of what that sentence means in context. Do I not like my own nose? Why can't I just accept my own nose? Sure, it's crooked. And definitely not symmetrical but it gives it a little bit of character, I guess.

But compared to where I was, last January, I definitely have a lot more self confidence and a lot more perspective on things. Surgery was a major deal. There were a lot of down and very few ups at the time I got it down but I love my new smile and even more so, I love that I can breathe! It's done loads for my playing the clarinet and it's done a ton for my singing.

Overall, surgeries are my least and favorite thing about my past. They've helped me in more ways I can say. They've also hurt me in more ways I can even think about. I've had a lot but at the same time, it's kind of something I have to go through. What's funny though, is one of my classes at school, I met a boy who was also born with cleft lip. No palate. I don't think, from what I can remember. He had six years of braces--pretty much like me. But no surgeries. And he's one of those guys that people like in high school and also. . . hate. He's cool. He's an athlete. Or. . . he was. He switched schools his senior year. But it made me think about how circumstances are always different and it's kind of interesting to see how other people have dealt with the same ordeals as me.

Anyway, from what I can see, I'm pretty okay. Pain is minimal except when smiling. My dentist said it looked good today. I was supposed to get a cavity filling in today but she didn't to mess around the grafting site so they decided to postpone it. Which in my mind, is totally okay because I really hate shots that go in my mouth. I really do. Like. . . with a passion.

New Years--it's a big "thing" around the world. It gives people the opportunity to change who they are and it gives them hope that change can happen.People make resolutions and plans such as, "I'll eat healthier!" or "I'll be more organized." "I won't procrastinate." "I'll work on my love life." Whatever they may be--it's kind of something most of us do and over the past 17 years, I've realized how silly they are. People will be so excited to get to it for the first past few weeks and then suddenly, things go back to normal.

Raise your hand if this has happened to you? **awkwardly looks around the room and raises hand slightly** Yep. Me too. I think the problem with New Years is it gives me a fake version of hope for change. Change can be great. Sometimes you're thrown into it and you have no word in it and then there are times like New Years. We have complete control over this sort of change. Change is a touchy thing because if you have the ability to change something then that means you're deciding whether or not happens and sometimes, it won't happen only because you aren't ready for change. You're not committed to making the change--despite the fact that you seem like you are because New Years has psyched you up for change. Hell, it makes sense! Change for the better makes all of us excited and proud of ourselves. We get motivated. But here's my question for me and the rest of you: If you wanted to change so much then why didn't you change some other time in the year?

Sounds harsh, but I definitely think I make sense. I could have ate healthy back in the summer. I could have started being organized yesterday. I could have stopped procrastination several years ago. But I didn't. And a lot of the times, I make the same resolutions every year and it just never happens. Why? Because I don't think I actually care.

New Years Resolutions are great. But only if you're ready for them. . .

Now, onto a different topic: Reflection.

Reflection through any mile stone is just kind of a natural extinct for us humans to do. We're emotional creatures. We're social creatures. So we look back at our year and say, "Wow. Thanks [fill in important people here] for making this year such a great one! Here's to another year!" Or maybe, "Wow. This year sucked. Next year will be better." Or "Wow! I learned so much through this year. I've met new people and I've had my heartbroken. Despite all of that, this year was great and I really hope next year will be just as great!"

I love reflection--as you can see. And here's my hypocritical side coming out of me--why the hell do we have to do this every year? Why can't we reflect every day? Or every month? Or every 6 months? I don't get it. What makes the fact that the number of the year changes makes us reflect on the past year?

I personally look back at 2013 in both a personal way and a social media way or pop culture way. Two totally different things but I feel like reflection isn't really much until we actually take it and really learn from it. Here's what I have to say about both pop culture of 2013 and my own life.

Pop culture? Crap. Don't get me wrong, this year had some intriguing things in it. Miley Cyrus and her tongue. The U.S Government shutting down. A shooting nearby. The Harlem Shake. "What Does The Fox Say?" More war. More hatred. More technology. Sexist music and videos. Great movies. Bad movies.

All of it isn't all that memorable sometimes. Personally, I hate Miley Cyrus' public image. I don't know about her as a person but to me, she really just wants to be remembered. And she will be. I don't know if she will be memorable for really genuine moments, but who knows. Politics aren't even worth discussing. People are always going to be hateful and spiteful. Catastrophes all over the world are always something that I think are touchy. People remember them but I don't know if anybody really change because of them. I say this because I look back at my own school shooting from when I was in 8th grade and sure, protection has gone up but I feel as though community only happened because of the tragedy. And in ways, it's both good and bad. Community should always be there--it shouldn't matter the circumstance. But in the same way, tragedy always ends up bringing out the absolute worst and best of people. It's crazy to me. Pop music will forever be something that I either absolutely HATE or love. That's just me. Catchy tunes make me happy. However, music is something that means the world to me. So when I see artists doing crazy things. . . well, to me, I don't think it makes sense to call themselves musicians just because that person can look psychotic on a stage while sing well. Real music is music that makes you reflect on life. Pop music is a great way to have fun with, but it isn't music that touches my heart and my soul.

On a personal note. . . this year has had some major ups and some major downs. As you all know, surgery has just taken over my life. My face looks different because of it. I sound different because of it. I loved the overall outcome of it. I hated it at the moment. I think, it just goes to show that if you're too closely involved in a situation, sometimes it's impossible to see things clearly until you take a step back or ask for some guidance from an outside perspective. 

This year, I saw a friend leave my life. We're still in contact but it's certainly not the same. At the same time, I made two really awesome gals who have really helped me kind of become myself. They're just as crazy as me but the three of us are so different that it's good because we balance each other out.

I got closer to God. I met some really great Godly people who I truly admire and look up to because they've helped me through some really hard times. I met some really awesome girls at camp from youth group who taught me a lot. And some of them were several years younger than me. They taught me that it doesn't matter your age--God is always there and if you let Him, He'll bring some really awesome people into your life. You just have to want it. And because of that, I met some really great, Women of God who changed my life.

I grew a lot in passions that I love.

 Marching band was tough on me emotionally this year. The friends I met came from marching band. Despite the fact I wasn't really fond of it, they were there and dealt with my venting and pushed me as a clarinetist. And hell, as a marching band, we put on one HELL of a last show. It was memorable.

Choir . . . has been. . . interesting. Since it's been two school years in the last year, there was a dramatic change. I don't love school choir anymore so much but I learned a lot from the gals who were in it last year. I'm learning how to be more of a leader. I'm learning that I don't deal with people very well and I need to asking for patience. I've learned what it means to become more of an independent singer. I learned that failure is okay. . . especially when it comes to auditions. In the past three years, I auditioned each year for my school's musical and not ONCE did I make it. However, I decided to do tech for musical. Yes, there are people who annoy me there too (that's just my personal nature) but I still loved some of the people who I did meet and make bonds with. I learned that just because I didn't get into something doesn't mean I won't have a talent somewhere else. And even though I failed several other auditions, I managed to get into ALL STATE CHOIR and be the ONLY girl from my school who got in. Which is a HUGE deal. I learned to have confidence in myself in ways that means I need to be okay with my failures. Music is always going to be a part of my life--small or big. I love it. I love doing it. But I don't do it so I can do great things with it. Even if I'm not very great in say, acting and singing, I still love being able to sit in my room and pluck out some beautiful sounds on my guitar in my room in private.

Most of all, I've really just learned acceptance. Hell, I'm still learning it. I'm learning what it means to accept myself and my own flaws. I need to learn not to be so hard on myself. I need to learn to be patient still. I need to learn how to just take things as it goes and just kind of go on with things. I need to learn to understand people a little bit better. I need to learn to deal with things better. But this year was full of well, just a lot of events and a lot of memories. I took them and made reactions out of them and lessons. That's what every year is. But mostly, I've really learned what I need to work on.

In this next year, I don't really have resolutions. I just hope that I can learn them and not force them upon myself. I hope that college will go accordingly. I hope that All State Choir will be bombtastic. I hope that I learn to survive more surgeries. I hope that graduation will just come and go and I won't have to see people from high school EVER again. I hope that other people plan to change things because they want to NOT because they feel the NEED to.

As for me, I'm going to go and read Harry Potter and enjoy myself. I don't care that I didn't do anything special tonight. Most people feel so upset because they didn't do anything enjoyable. But to me, tonight is just another night. I've reflected tonight just as much as I did, if not LESS, than I did when I got my surgery done.

It is now 11:59. My last moment in 2013 and all I can say is I just hope throughout my life, things go well. NOT just 2014. Or 2015. ALL OF IT.

Happy New Years everyone and I hope I enlightened some of you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Procedure Done

I'm home!

Unfortunately, I'm in a good amount of pain. And I really, really, really, really, REALLY hate doctors. For so many reasons.

If anything, this blog post might be a venting post if not anything else. So, I had tissue grafts done which means I had two areas of the roof of my mouth taken apart and put somewhere else. I don't know about you, but that sounds PAINFUL! And it is! Especially when your doctor doesn't give you enough Novocain to begin with! Second of all, my periodontist was all, "Oh there's this new technology that we use! It vibrates and it makes sure the shot that you put in for the Novocain doesn't hurt at all!" WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, the vibrating stick DOES NOTHING for the pain when you get a shot--ESPECIALLY when it's on the roof of your mouth! WHY THE HELL DO YOU DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?! What?!?!?! HAVE YOU TRIED IT ON YOURSELF! I DON'T THINK SO DOC!!!!!!!!!

Second of all, I just feel the need to say something about how doctors just randomly talk to their freaking assistance as if the patient isn't there! NO DOCTOR, I DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU SAW AT THE DAMN DRIVE-IN! It's completely irrelevant and I don't care about it! And quite frankly, your making the procedure sound super nonchalant as if it's no big deal! Uh. . .no, doc, sorry. . . it IS a big deal!

Third of all, this procedure? Yeah. . . LOTS OF BLOOD. And because I was completely aware of everything that was going on around me, I was NOT a fan of having the damn assistance jab a freaking suction thing in my mouth every chance she got! I'D MUCH RATHER SWALLOW THE BLOOD than having you freaking choke me with a freaking suction thing!

Fourth of all, after going through jaw surgery, I don't even want TO KNOW what they did during my jaw surgery and what that felt like during the surgery. Because these grafts were NOT fun. All you hear is freaking chipping going on in your gums and scraping and they prick YOU A TON! It's not fun! Quite frankly, I miss my doctor for my jaw surgery because at least he was personable. This guy? OH NO. He was just "let's do this and go from there." In my own opinion, I don't think that's the best way to go about something as painful as a tissue graft.

Anyway, now that I'm done with my venting here's how it went:

I got there. They brought me back and the used that STUPID vibrating crap in my mouth while they were giving me the Novocain shot (which did NOTHING) and then they waited a little bit for it all to settle in. All in all, I think I got around 4 shots. All of them hurt. After that, they did a lot of poking and prodding around my tooth that was getting the graft and then they a lot of poking and prodding on the roof of my mouth where they were getting the tissue for the graft from. That DID hurt. And only one graft took about. . . hmmm an hour and like twenty minutes or something. I was gagging on my own blood it was FANTASTIC. Then they moved on to the other graft which was just as annoying as the first one. All in all, it was the same thing. They cut out tissue, they poked me, stitched four areas in total in my mouth and now I'm done.

Quite frankly, going through it just reminded me of jaw surgery and that experience. . . isn't something I like to remember. It was painful and it made me feel very vulnerable. And that's basically how I'm feeling now.

So let's start to gage some stuff:
Pain: 4/10 (It's throbbing pain)
Emotional state: I'm a mess. Let's be honest. It brought back bad memories.
Diet: I'm on a liquid diet for the day. WHOOPDEEFREAKINGDO.
Numbness: I'm basically numb anywhere in my upper lip, my gums, and like the first part of my palate which is where they got the tissue from.

Overall, I'm more annoyed than anything else. Nevertheless, I'm still a sarcastic person who doesn't like doctors.

I am now going to spend the rest of the day in my bed, reading Harry Potter, watching Harry Potter, and going on Pottermore and be taking strong meds.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Another Surgery

Why hello!

It has definitely been a while and I really had to go back and think about all the things I've been through for the past few months. I have to say, things have been going well since the last surgery that I had. Jaw surgery is a major surgery. It's a big deal and it definitely can have it's impact on you. It made an impact on me, that's for sure.

Anyway, recently, just about two weeks ago, I got my braces off. . . if you couldn't tell by the last post! It felt so great to get them off, but of course, my upper teeth (since I had upper jaw surgery only) are still a bit unstable. Hell, I had my braces on for seven years so getting them off was a big difference to me! I felt myself running my tongue over my teeth all the time after I ate because I was afraid I had food in them! Haha. . . how ironic.

Anyway, as a real update for all of you, I would have to say that jaw surgery is definitely well worth it. I look into the mirror and I feel really proud of my smile and it's definitely been a long journey for me. I've had MULTIPLE surgeries, including the jaw surgery, as well as seven years of braces. I had them on since fifth grade and I am now a senior in high school. However, I started with only braces on my upper teeth and I also started out with an expander (also not very fun) but all in all, it was all really worth it. It's definitely been an emotional roller coaster for the past few months, but with some really great friends, an even more amazing GOD, and my family, I've been able to get through it. Sure, my best friend moved away, but I managed to get closer to new friends and God and that has really proven to help me become stronger as an individual. Oh. . . and using jaw surgery as my college essay was a huge help too (; hahaha.

For the most part, the feeling in my face and upper mouth is back. If I touch it, I can definitely feel that I've been touching it.  However, my upper gums don't really have their feelings or sensitivity back, which in ways can help sense my teeth are still sensitive. I still find it hard to eat certain things, because my teeth are sensitive and I definitely find it hard to play clarinet sometimes because I do bite with my upper teeth.

One thing I did fail to mention (or so I think) is that after my jaw surgery, I had a tooth root showing in my upper gums. Basically, it looks like gums. My surgeon, from my jaw surgery, assumed that it would close up after a few months and that just never happened. And on top of that, it seemed as though I have either one or two dead teeth from the jaw surgery which is kind of disappointing. Because of that, I had to go to the periodontist last week (Tuesday to be exact) and now. . .  well, tomorrow morning, I have two tissue grafts planned. I have to say, I'm nervous but I'm definitely not as nervous as I was for the jaw surgery.

The jaw surgery scared me to pieces. As most people have told me, I have a HIGH tolerance for pain. It's just who I am and I've been through a lot of pain because of other surgeries and I manage to deal with it. (Except when I fall, I'm sick, or I get hit, then it all hurts like hell). But of course, despite my high tolerance of pain, I was extremely nervous for my surgery and looking back at it, I certainly had every reason to be. It HURT. And it was not fun at all. Of course, that morning of my jaw surgery, I basically broke down into tears when I went to go change into my hospital gown. That's how scared I was.

However, now I'm looking at tissue grafts which also. . . don't seem to sound that pleasant. I mean, for all of you who don't know what tissue grafts are. . . well it's basically taking a piece of your tissue on your palate and taking it and putting in your gums. I don't know about the rest of you, but that really doesn't sound that pleasant. And of course, my friend's aunt had the same operation, and she said it hurt like HELL. She said that it took months for it to heal because it's healing in an area that's wet and damp (your mouth). However, my periodontist said that it only takes a few days for it to feel better and just a couple of weeks for you to feel better. And let's be honest, I think my friend's aunt's condition was rare and was an exception.

Just like I did for my jaw surgery, (I was stupid) and I decided to look stuff up about it just now and it turns out, it really isn't that bad. It really does take a couple weeks to heal and the most pain you feel is like having a really bad burn on the roof of your mouth.

After having a week to process it (well 5/6 days), I've realized that it really can't be ANYWHERE nearly as bad as jaw surgery. The pain will be nothing. The emotional damage will be NOTHING. The diet will be nothing. Overall, I feel pretty confident in myself. I feel pretty good about going in tomorrow morning and being okay with everything. I think at the end of the day, I think it's more important to get it done. I mean, the jaw surgery I don't think was NECESSARY for my health but this is and it'll make my smile look even better than it already is.

I think after going through a ton of other stuff, I think I'm more than well prepared for this surgery. It's amazing what past experiences can do for you. I actually decided to get two surgeries in one day and I also decided to only get numbed up instead of having an IV or even having laughing gas which just means I'm not as nervous which definitely brings comfort to myself.

For any of you going through jaw surgery or any surgery at all, I wish you luck. . . especially as I go in for another one tomorrow morning! (: