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.