Apples, onions, and lettuce too

Up until two years ago, I had never been able to bite into an apple, or eat a hamburger without the onions and lettuce sliding right back out. But two years ago today (March 4th) all of that changed! I was able to have major reconstructive surgery on my upper jaw. I will never, ever be able to forget the long-lasting effects of this procedure because I am able to experience them every single day, and I feel so blessed that I had such an amazing team of doctors to make my life even more beautiful than it already was. I wanted to post a few pictures (just a tiny few), and some facts that I had written down not long after my operation about the surgery and recovery.
You can see just a bit from this picture how my teeth had begun to go crooked. They also flared out, and I had a large overbite.

Here I am ready for surgery, March 4, 2009. This was after 2 years of braces and a gum graft surgery to prepare me for my big jaw operation. It is crazy to compare pictures from my wedding day, to the day of surgery, and after!

Right after surgery

How I was fed for a couple weeks after surgery

7 days out of surgery... I remember feeling like I had a tootsie roll inside my top lip!

And here I am with my wonderful husband one year past the surgery. The comparison is incredible!

Here are some of the things I wrote down about my surgery not long after it was done:

**My surgery lasted 1 hour 45 minutes in which I had the post set in my lower jaw for my tooth implant, had my upper jaw removed, a wedge of bone cut out, then replaced and put back together with 4 plates and 18 screws. Crazy...ouch.
**I was asleep for a long time after surgery (because of my anxiety the anesthesiologist was surprised at how much medication was required to keep me asleep!)
**Once I woke up and sat up, my nose bled and bled and BLED. It was so frustrating because I was so numb-so as I tried to clean the blood off myself I couldn't because I had no clue where the blood was at. I ended up throwing up blood 3 times through my banded-shut mouth. :(
**My diet consists of medication after medication and about 10-15 cc's (about one tablespoon) of juice.
**I crave to talk with Shane...not being able to express my feelings through words is hard. It is tiring.
**I am amazed at how this recovery is seemingly easy despite the incredible difficulties. I have experienced an outpouring of love and service, and I know that has helped me heal. I couldn't ask for a better husband. I can't believe how gratefully and willingly he has served me! I love him with all my heart - can't wait to give him a big KISS someday! I can't wait until I can smile and laugh too. :)
My looks changed subtly, but they did change quite a bit. My nose is different, the muscles in my cheeks sit higher on my face, and my chin is more prominent. The entire shape of my face is different!
My teeth haven't budged one tiny bit since my surgery.
Just a few months ago I actually took my very first official bite out of an apple.
I will sometimes eat one piece of flat lettuce through my front teeth to feel the sensation of my front teeth actually getting through something so tiny...it is so amazing to me, still.
I feel so grateful every day for the experience that I had... I feel so blessed to be able to eat normally!