Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

It is so hard to believe that it is already 2011 and that we are beginning a new decade! I am so thrilled to be starting this decade with a new jaw line, a slimmer waist, and a great out look!

Since getting my wires cut last week I have been exploring food again. For new years we went to Cooper's Hawk Winery where I enjoyed a big glass of wine and Gnocchi Pomodoro. Both were absolutely delicious!

Here is a picture of Mike and I enjoying our dinner!

The new year also marks my return to work! It feels great to get up and have a reason to shower and get motivated for the day. It also helps that I got a new wardrobe thanks to the Taylor family members that gave JCPenney gift cards for Christmas. I got 7 shirts, a pair of dress pants, a track jacket, and some boxers! I scored big and am so excited for the new threads!

I also have a doctor's appointment today. So far, I am allowed to remove my rubber bands for 3x a day for 30 minutes. I believe the next step will be 45 minutes for 3x a day for a week, then I will ride out the remainder of the month of January with 3x a day for an hour. All I can say about the experience of opening my jaw is that it feels so weird! I have some excess tissue that is behind my back lower teeth that makes for challenges when I am trying to chew. The doctor is wanting me to push through the discomfort until the end of January. Our options to take care of this are to remove the tissue, or remove the last teeth in my upper jaw. Right now they don't have a lower pair to match up with, which is where that extra tissue developed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

First solid food dinner!

Mashed potatoes done three ways (plain with turkey gravy, cheesy potatoes, and garlic potatoes)! The smile says it all!!

Oh, and what good Italian would I be if I didn't pair this with a good wine. The wine selection which I have been saving for this very moment, is none other that my top red pick. La Crema Pinot Noir! Smooth as silk!

I took my rubber bands off for dinner and freaked Mike out with my un-muffled speech! It was the best! This moment is very exciting for me as I do see a light at the end of this tunnel. Today mashed potatoes, and some day down the road a delicious steak!

Also something I haven't done in 2 months, me sticking my tongue out!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm Free!! But ...

8 weeks later and wires are finally cut! What a long road this has been, but the end result looks amazing.

Before (10/31/10):

After & 35lbs lighter (12/28/10):

While I am excited to have my jaw unwired, I still have some recovery ahead of me. I am currently wearing rubber bands to ensure my jaw stays in its new location. For tonight, I can't take them off. Which means a liquid dinner and breakfast for me. I have an appointment tomorrow morning for the doctor to take a look, change the rubber bands, and explain the rest of my recovery to me. I know that I will be in rubber bands for another month, but hopefully they won't be as tight as they are today. I am hoping solid food is somewhere in my immediate future!

Here is a look at my smile. Only rubber bands keeping it closed which feels much better! I can actually breathe through my mouth again!

Monday, December 27, 2010

26 hours to go!!

I have 1 more day left until my wires get cut! I think all of the running around I did over the Christmas weekend has wore me out, because I am beat today! I will post pictures and provide an updated entry tomorrow.

Thanks for all of your support! I'm so excited for tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

1 Week to Go!!!

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be exactly 7 days away from having my wires cut!! I will apologize for the lack of updates lately, but no one would cast me in a reality show about my life right now. Nothing exciting with my progress has been happening. I am currently 31 pounds down and am tipping the scale at 194! I feel great, my clothes are falling off, and I am sleeping well at night!

Based on my good friend Erin's vegetable soup she brought me in week 2, I was found a vegetable soup that I absolutely love and that I look forward to making from here on out. The ingredients are onion, garlic, carrots, celery, kidney beans, basil, oregano, diced tomotoes, tomato sauce, and salt/pepper to season. The recipe I followed also included ground beef which I might incorporate once I can open my mouth. This tasty soup was almost like an italian flavored chili with the basil and oregano. I even topped it off with some parmesan cheese! Yum! I am pretty sure I will be dining on this Christmas Eve night.

Since my last post, I also got the opportunity to head down to my office in the loop to celebrate the holidays with my co-workers. With the exception of a couple people, this was a surprise to all. It felt great to get up in the morning and know that I had a purpose. I got on the Metra and followed my regular commute. It is sickening to say this, but I am actually looking forward to returning to work! Anyways, I just want to thank my awesome colleagues for a great afternoon. I laughed so hard a couple times that I totally was hurting my jaw, but I didn't mind. It was also great to meet some new colleagues who have transferred over from Diamond and 1 from our New York office. Hopefully I didn't scare them off with my muffled talking! I look forward to getting to know them when I return in 2 weeks!

With Christmas being a few days away, I just want to say that I am thankful for all the love and support of my family and friends that have been following this blog and keeping up with my progress! Speaking of progress, check out some updated pictures:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

18 days to go!

Hello Everyone,

I haven't written in a while because basically there is nothing to write about! Everything is going well. I have 3 weeks until I get my wires cut. The big day is Tuesday December 28th! While I was hoping to have this done before Christmas, what are a couple extra days? The most important thing is that I can start the New Year with a new smile!

Knowing that I am more than halfway done, I am starting to have some major cravings. I don't plan on eating junk food when this is done, but if I see another McDonald's commercial I am going to flip. I can't begin to tell you how exciting a burger will be!! I am a proud meat eater (please don't call PETA), and I have not had meat since pre-surgery! I am also craving a thin crust pizza with extra cheese. I just want to bite into it and have cheesy hot goodness!! I am getting hungry just talking about this!! The Ensure's and soups just aren't cutting it anymore.

I have been asked what my first meal will be when I get my wires cut. Sadly, my mouth is only going to open a couple centimeters at first. I will be having to exercise my jaw to work its way back to normal working procedure. While I am sick of soups, I will say that it will be nice to eat one with a spoon and not have to blend it up! I am just hoping that 3 days after wires being cut that I will be able to enjoy New Years Eve dinner. We have reservations at Coopers Hawk Winery and I am very excited to sip some good wine and eat some delicious food. While I know that I won't be ordering the steak, I am at least hoping for some gnocchi or pasta. Anything to make me feel full (which shouldn't take much since I haven't felt full in 5 weeks!).

In other exciting news, one of the side payoffs of having this surgery is the eminent weight loss that comes from consuming liquids only. I am not embarassed to say that I have gained some weight through college and have had failed attempts at losing it since college. For the first time in who-knows-how-long I am excited to say that I weigh less that 200lbs! None of my jeans fit me right and I only have 1 belt that fits. While I understand that some weight might come back when I eat normally, I am glad to see the excess go away so that I have a better shot at remaining a good healthy weight going forward.

In soup news, I have found success in a yummy Sun Dried Tomato & Pesto soup, and failure in a Provencial Vegetable Soup. Back to the drawing board on the veggies!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 5 - I survived Thanksgiving!

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am glad to say that I survived not eating solid foods over Thanksgiving. I really thought I was going to have a melt down but I kept trucking along. It went so well, that Mike and I ended up cooking and hosting Thanksgiving for 5 people! Turkey, stuffing, potatoes; the whole 9 yards! By the end of the night our feet hurt, 1 belly was full, and 1 person (me) avoided the extra weight gain over the holidays!

Before you all begin to feel sorry for me, I should let you know that I enjoyed a delicious dinner. I prepared White Bean Soup for myself. The recipe is quite simple and only calls for lima beans, celery, onion, chicken stock, and a little paprika to garnish. The taste reminded me of mashed potatoes. The good kind, not the potato water that was the potato soup disaster of weeks past. In the end, it was great to have family around and be able to host my first Thanksgiving.

I also got a kick out of setting the table. Notice in the picture below where I was sitting. Bowl, spoon, and straw ready for my meal!

I am glad to report that everything is moving as status quo for me. Now that I am at the halfway point all I want is for this month to fly by to get my wires cut. I am not hungry, but am craving the ability to chew food and eat whatever I want to. I am also finding that I can utilize less wax in my mouth to cover up poking wires and brackets. It certainly makes cleaning my teeth and heading out the door much quicker! I am also excited to report that I am down 25lbs. My weight is teetering right above 200. I cannot even remember the last time I weighed in with a 1 in the beginning of my weight. I am hoping that the next few weeks will help widdle down my weight and get me past that milestone.

Here are some updated photos of me!