Wednesday, June 18, 2014

4 weeks post surgery

Ellie can talk clearly now! :)

I took Ellie to Dr. McKenna on Monday. He was very pleased with her progress so far. He took the paper wafer - splint - out of her mouth and he also changed her bands so that they aren't holding her jaws shut anymore. This was a very happy day for Ellie! So now it's just like any other kid with braces and bands. She now says she feels much more comfortable going out to public (it never really stopped her before) because she can talk to anyone to sees now. (If you didn't know Ellie before - she is a talker!!) Her swelling has continued to go down - I would say she still looks just a little puffy in the cheeks. She is still partially numb in her nose and cheeks but she is gaining back some feeling so this will just take additional time.

She is to continue on soft foods only for the next 2 weeks. No chewing. She is gaining her strength back everyday. And she is slowly gaining some of the weight she lost back too.

She is going on our youth group mission trip - she leaves Sunday - this has always been the highlight of her summers so she is very excited that she feels well enough to go! We are just going to send her with her own (soft) food.

I finally got the okay to post pics of her before, during and currently. Just amazing quite honestly. I am so grateful for the Drs. that learn how to do things like this. And even more grateful to Dr. McKenna and the team of Doctors that assisted him through Ellie's surgery and entire process.

The day after surgery :(

2 days after surgery in hospital with Emma

X-rays BEFORE surgery
X-rays AFTER surgery

Profile BEFORE

Profile currently
Happy Camper now!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Day 16

Day 16 - I took Ellie to the Dr. for a followup yesterday. They were all so very pleased with how the stitches, her swelling, and overall health was going. We were instructed to keep on doing what she has been doing and they will see her back in 2 weeks.

So, she will continue being banded shut 22 hours a day. During those other 2 hours, she can take the rubber bands out and eat soft foods, that don't require chewing. Then brush her teeth and put bands back in. She can only open her mouth (when the bands are out of course) about 1/4" or less. He explained that she would do physical therapy to open her mouth wider once she is out of the bands. She wanted to go ahead and start start stretching her mouth to open wider but Dr. McKenna said no, not yet. She can barely get a spoon or fork in her mouth but she can if she uses a baby spoon.

I would say the most challenging part for Ellie right now is that she is hungry for meat or substantial food, but is unable to eat it. She does mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, smoothies, ice cream, milkshakes, Italian ice, yogurt, mashed potato salad, drained soups, slushees, broths, etc. She is so ready for something else! We have tried to puree chicken, BBQ, etc but I guess she is not quite desperate enough yet, because she can't get past the way it looks. I must say, food looks a lot different when it is pureed. Not a good look at all. :( I don't blame her. We hear stories about people that put all kinds of things in the blender and eat it (hamburger and french fries, steak, thanksgiving dinners, etc), so I know that this can be done and people do get desperate enough.

Dr. McKenna did take off one of her bands, so she only has 2 bands holding her teeth down, which does give her a little more flexibility which allows her to be able to talk a tad more clearly when she is shut. I think most people would be able to understand her now. :)

Ellie has continued to be amazed at people whom have reached out to her by way of a card, book, gift, flowers, ballons, food, etc. Ellie has always been a very caring person, but this has made her realize what an impact it can make by offering a gesture of doing something nice for someone when they are going through a challenging time. I can't say enough just how blessed we feel.