Friday, January 8, 2016

Allie graduated college!

Hi to anyone who's still reading this!  It has certainly been awhile since I've posted, but I wanted to revisit this blog to include this photo:

I graduated college recently (yay!!!) and matched up this photo of my mom and I from my high school graduation (left) with one from college (right).  My face is almost in the same position, so its easy to see the subtle, but significant changes to my jaw/teeth/face!

Before surgery, I could never fully close my mouth to smile.  Just look at me now!  You can see how the procedure caused my nose to widen and turn up slightly and the middle of my face to appear less sunk-in.  I rarely think about my jaw surgery anymore, but photos like this remind me how glad I am to be on the other side of it.

Also: I do still answer questions asked in the comment sections of these posts!  I get an email notification every time someone posts and I am always happy to help the best I can.

Wishing you all a happy new year!  Hope you're hanging in there, no matter where you are in this crazy surgery/recovery process. :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quick Update/NEW BLOG!

Hello everyone, long time no blog! This is a quick update to say that I am leaving tomorrow for a semester-long study abroad adventure in Peru and Chile!  If you have any interest in following my totally cliche travel blog, it can be found here:

I have still been following a number of recent jaw bloggers, who all are doing amazing so far-- you got this guys!!  

I myself have been having some discomfort with my teeth-- my upper teeth always feel pushed by my lowers, almost as if my underbite is fighting back.  The orthodontists/surgeon insist that my bite is perfect, but I feel what I feel.  It's unfortunate, but is a relatively minor issue.  I have recently seen some videos/pictures of my jaw before surgery that once looked completely normal to me, and now are almost uncomfortable to watch.  Overall, I still am very happy with the way things turned out!

It's almost midnight and I've barely packed for the next three and a half months... blogging = procrastination

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Planet Cavity

This morning, I was abducted by aliens.

After waiting nervously with the other victims in the unsettlingly clean and quiet holding area, I was led through a labyrinth of colorless walls and identical doors to a small white room which contained only a reclining chair, lit by a large overhead lamp and surrounded by an array of metal tools of varying shapes, sizes, and sharpness.  I was instructed to lie down as the chief alien peered at me through ultra-magnification glasses.  He and his assistant begin to force a plastic splint-like device between my jaws which connected to an air-sucking tube-- this was not about to be a pleasant experience.  The aliens then proceeded to inject a mysterious substance into my gums, effectively numbing them.  I squeezed my eyes shut, fluttering them open occasionally to glimpse a white-gloved hand grasping a sharp silvery tool.  The instruments screamed like tea kettles as I felt the enamel of my teeth being roughly scraped away.  Amidst this noise I could only understand a few words of their garbled alien speech; when I did not respond, they seized my head and jaw and moved it as they pleased.

The aliens had a strange fondness for Adele.  A live performance of the singer was played three times during the procedure among several technical difficulties.  Based on the approximate length of each song, I could judge that I had been laying in the chair for over two hours.  It has to be over soon.  What else do they want from me?

Soon enough, they released me back into the holding room, having performed the necessary operation. The left side of my face drooped from the numbing substance, leaving me dribbly and awkward for several hours.

CAVITIES SUCK.  This was actually my second trip to the dentist this week, as I wanted to get each hole-ridden tooth filled before traveling this summer.  As a result of the inability to clean my teeth during the two months in a splint, I had developed SO MANY CAVITIES.  Chief Alien didn't tell me how many, but I guessed 8 or 9.  Oh well, another unpleasant side effect of surgery.  It could have been much worse: I apparently was dangerously close to needing a root canal.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH KIDS!  Or you will be abducted.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Update from Allie!

It's funny how after all of the pain and suffering, stress, insecurity, frustration, joy, depression, impatience, and multitude of varied emotions that accompany this surgery and its extensive recovery, life starkly refocuses itself after it's all over.  Back to the future, back to relationships, back to exploring the possibilities that lie within you.  During the surgery process, my mind was consumed by the feel and appearance of my jaw, a small and largely insignificant aspect of myself.  Now those few months of my life are so distant, so intangible that it is difficult to realize that they happened at all.

After the braces were removed, I returned to school with my head held high.  Did the surgery fix everything? No.  Do I consider my jaw/facial structure to now be perfect? No.  Am I satisfied with the results and believe the surgery, to be worth all the suffering? Yes I do.

The preoccupation with my jaw has largely vanished, leaving me, at this highly transitional and formative period in my life, to return to learning about myself and the world I live in, growing, and gleaning as much happiness as I can from every beautiful moment while I am capable.

Recently, my time has been consumed by track season(sorry for not posting!).  This summer, I have an internship at an online publication (which means I can travel!), and will then be spending my fall semester abroad in Valpara√≠so, Chile studying Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development.  I am optimistic about the future and am gaining confidence in my goals, desires, and interests.

The response to this blog has been overwhelming-- I never dreamed that it would reach so many other patients looking for information about surgery!  I read everything that people write and have definitely teared up at some of the comments I have gotten, you all are so wonderful.  Thank you for being amazing!

And to the jaw surgery patients who are thinking about surgery, about to get surgery, recovering from surgery: YOU are incredible.  You have seized an opportunity to refocus your mind on aspects of life much more worthy of your attention than jaws and teeth.  The suffering, albeit awful, is such a short hurdle to jump in the grand scheme of things.

To end, here are some recent pictures because everyone loves those!

Aaaaaaand here's my teeth from beginning to end:


3 Months Invisalign Braces:

Regular Braces/Underbite in all its glory



PS. I love smiling now.  I LOVE IT.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The big day is finally here!  My dad accompanied me to the appointment and documented the entire process:



... the braces...

...the smile...

... the awkward pictures...

...the team...

... and the first bite!


I am celebrating tonight with friends I haven't seen since summer-- so excited!  I have more pictures to upload and a lot more to write, but I wanted to get in this quick update. :)) YAY!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

OFFICIAL Debracing Date!

So I paid the orthodontist another visit yesterday to take impressions for retainers-- it was gooey and disgusting but I was so happy to finally be at that stage!  We agreed that a more convenient day for debracing would be the 21st, the first day of my Thanksgiving break.  THIS WEDNESDAY I WILL BE FREEEE! I will be able to eat Thanksgiving dinner with no wires or brackets to trap bits of turkey and sweet potatoes!! The date is so close I can hardly believe it.  I cannot WAIT.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ouch in My Mouth

I woke up this morning and the inside of my mouth was absolutely screaming at me!  The braces have burrowed their way through the soft tissue, leaving the inside of my lips cut and swollen.  My tongue is rough, calloused from its repeated contact with the jagged metal around my molars.  One bracket especially feels like it's a spike attached to my tooth!
In this last month with braces, I feel as though my mouth is resisting these things more than ever.  I'm coming up on nine months with them now and they've almost never bothered me this much.  I have my appointment this thursday to get impressions done, then another two weeks (possibly one!) till they're off!  For now just poppin Advil.


Also, here's my profile as of right now: 

Almost five months post-op!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Had an appointment with my ortho yesterday and I finally have the coveted debracing date! November 29th. NEEDS TO COME FASTER. I am itching to have these things off of my teeth for good!
He also said my occlusion is textbook perfection: The extra month without bands is to ensure that they stay that way. I am counting down the days!