Monday, January 9, 2012

Post Op from Surgery Number Two-Back to Ortho

Finally went back to the ortho last week to start aggressive treatment to close up the gaps in my upper teeth.  All my stitches have fallen out since surgery (they came out a couple days before New Year's), and I have A LOT more feeling my my lower jaw.  It's still very tender as if it's just waking up, all tingly and such but I have pretty good awareness of my lower lip.  I wish I could say the same about my gums on the inside but unfortunately, I still can't feel my gums and teeth :(  Thus leading me to some disgustingly huge pieces of food stuck in my teeth for hours before some brave soul tells me ;)

As for the ortho appointment; I now have a chain on my lower teeth to keep them banded together and close up the tiny gaps that remain.  I have new hardware on both sides of my upper teeth that uses little chains to make my upper palette smaller.  They are moving at a rate of 1 mm on each side every two weeks.  Unfortunately, the ortho told me I HAD to go to physical therapy since I'm no where near where I should be with opening my jaw and my muscles/tendons are extremely stiff.  I am on a brand new PPO medical insurance plan as of Jan 1st so hopefully those session are covered.  I haven't researched this yet but apparently there are specialists that work w/ jaw surgery patients so I imagine that I will have some massages/exercises and POSSIBLY some ultra sound therapy?  I don't know the details but I'm expecting a call any day now to set up my consultation and I will keep you posted.

My ortho does think that I should see a maxiofacial surgeon when we're completely done with treatment but his look and sighing while looking in my mouth made me feel like that wasn't going to be for a longgg while, lol.  My gums are extremely jagged where the stitches were but the doc also thinks that this will even out over time...fingers crossed!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

6 Days Post Surgery Number 2

Short rundown of the last week...

Surgery last Thursday went perfectly!  It was so much nicer being in outpatient services since I didn't have to spend the night and got to be with my puppies that night :)  Surgery took about an hour and I spent another hour or so in recovery yelling things like aaaaarrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhh lalalbooooo aaaaaaaaa... it was quite adult and useful to the nurses.  I'm pretty sure my English speaking brain was saying, "F*CK this hurts and my throat burns!"  They were able to remove the two side plates and 6/8 screws as two of them were so dug into my jaw bone that it would have hurt way to much too carve out that bone to get them out...which makes me wonder how the hell they got the plates out w/ out taking out the final screws; but I won't let my mind go there.

I'm sticking to soft foods but not liquid like last time and I ice packed non stop for the first three days but went back to work sans Vicodin on Monday-definitely should have taken this day off.  I was NOT ready-super nauseous and my face was all sorts of purple.  It has since turned yellow, swelling has gone down tremendously and I went back for my post op today and got to see all the lovely holes the screws left in my jaw in a weird halo xray.  Also-bittersweet news, that was my last surgeon appt EVAH!  I gave the staff hugs but made sure they knew that I wasn't going to miss them TOO much.  Time to heal so I can look cute before New Year's!  I go back to the ortho on the until then, xo.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Removal of Hardware Surgery Tomorrow!

Just got home from my pre-op appointment and I'm all set to have surgery tomorrow at 11 am.  I'm having two of the three plates removed and their screws (which I can actually feel AND see both on the outside of my jaw and inside of my gum lines) so I'm actually excited about having them taken out.  He said out of the 150 jaw surgeries he's done this year, I will be his first removal and he's doing one more on 12/26 for another patient.  This further intensified my theory of how horrible my luck is.  Dr. S also stated that there are only two reasons that the gums wouldn't heal properly; either you try to chew too early in the recovery process or your body just doesn't accept the metal.  I was cracking up because him and I both know that I am DEFINITELY in the latter bracket of this hell since I barely open my mouth/chew now as it is.

The cool thing is that I only received Vicodin for pain afterwards and no antibiotics, which I found surprising but definitely happy with.  So I'll be going in tomorrow morning after having starved myself for hours on end ;), surgery will be approximately one hour and then I'll spend one hour in recovery.  I will be released the same day and I'll be all stitched up but not banded or anything; after which I'll be on a liquid/soft foods diet for some time until my stitches fall out in 2 weeks hopefully in time for New Year's!
P.S. I'm only taking 2 days off work so here's hoping it all goes perfectly!

Will post after surgery xo

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Outcome of Final Follow Up Appointment-and I am NOT a Happy Camper

I know it's been a week since my follow up appointment but it seriously took this long just to come to terms with how horribly that appointment went down. After 2 bouts of antibiotics and 2 months of waiting it down, Dr. S. decided that it was time to "get those things outta you." My jaw plates have not healed properly and all the problem seems to be with my gums. I had xrays taken and the bones looked amazing still but for some reason my gums won't heal over the two plates on the side of my face. So my worst nightmare is now my crappy reality-I am having jaw plate removal surgery on December 15th :(

I was super upset about this-to a point where I barely asked any questions before I ran out of there sobbing like 3 year old who had their candy stolen from them, but Dr. S. called me a couple days later to check in and we were able to go over all my fears.

Thankfully I will NOT have go be banded shut or go on a liquid diet. The surgery will, however, be conducted under general anesthesia again but will only take about 45 mins and I will be an outpatient and can home home that evening. I'll have to stick to a soft foods diet and take antibiotics for 10 days, AND there will still be lots of swelling/bruising to look forward to, but he's pretty confident that I will look somewhat normal in time for Christmas-YAY!

That's all for now. Pre op appointment is on the 14th where I'll get all my lab work done, pick up my meds and start my freak out sesh ;) Will update then! :D

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2 Months Out! Where did time go?

I can't believe how much time I let pass since I posted but here's a quick rundown of doc's visits/swelling/progress:

Oral Surgeon Visits:  The antibiotics didn't end up bringing my swelling down at all, unfortunately.  When I was done with my first round, Dr. S. had me in the office saying I really needed to start opening my mouth wider than the 4 mm I was at, before he gave me the okay to start chewing.  I'm just on two bands now that I wear 24/7 except when I'm eating/brushing my teeth hoping that these plates will cooperate.  When I went back to see him this past Monday, he told me that the infection, which he so kindly refers to as an 'irritation' is getting pretty bad on the two plates on my sides (so the one in my chin is doing just fine). 10 more days of antibiotics and praying and wishing in store... I go back for my follow up on the 22nd of Nov. and if my body isn't loving on my plates by then, I'll have to make an appointment for plate removal surgery in December.  EPIC BOO.  This scares me so much as it would be under general anesthesia, banded shut, the whole deal.  The good thing is that my bones are completely fused so this wouldn't mean a reversal of the original surgery.  I'll post after THAT appointment. (P.S. I got the okay to start chewing this past Monday and have already put on 5 or so pounds :( I wish he would just band my mouth again, lol)

Ortho Visits: I've seen my ortho every week since surgery just so he can keep up on my progress/bite, etc.  He gave me a little ruler that goes up to 50 mm and said that was my goal on how wide I could open my mouth!  I measured my husband's mouth and open wide it was at 55 mm so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to get to 50 mm.  A couple of days ago he changed out my chains and made an appointment for a longer visit so I could have my brackets replaced because I  guess the surgeon had to shave down my brackets so they don't have 4 prongs like they normally should.  I'll officially be back on my adjustments on Nov. 23rd.

In other news:  I had fun with Halloween this year by dressing up as a mime for the irony of it all. 

The swelling hasn't gone down much in the past four weeks so I'm hoping this antibiotic does something miraculous soon!

Thanks for following!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Almost 5 Weeks Out and BACK TO WORK!

The good, the bad, the ugly post...

I shall go in order since we all know how tidy and calculated I am (I make myself laugh sometimes)

I saw the ortho again last Wednesday and although he still couldn't move anything around yet, he says it's all healing up beautifully and he wants to see me every 2 weeks until we get back on program which is hopefully a total of 8 weeks from surgery day.  My new instructions were to try to use my electric toothbrush again to get rid of the uneveness in my gums and start using Colgate Peroxyl mouthwash.  I did a puppyface thing and conned like 25 free packages of this stuff from the front desk ;)

In other news, I'm back at work!  So far I've definitely needed more food /energy/sleep but it's good to be back!

I saw Dr. S on Friday and after taking x rays and thinking everything looked good, he recognized that I had an infection where my plates are at.  My sutures healed up just fine but my body may be rejecting the plates BUT NO WORRIES (his words, NOT mine).  Meanwhile, I'm like almost in tears but we are somehow talking about his kid's costume while he gives me a prescription for a strong antibiotic for the next 10 days.  The pharmacist took one look at me and said, "this is going to be a problem... you kind of need to eat a huge meal everytime you take this FOUR TIMES A DAY, oh, and it may give you diarrhea for the next three months..." NO BIG [insert eye roll here]

I know what you're thinking, infection, da poppy pants, what could get uglier?  Lol, i guess I could have just those two into one.  My swelling hasn't gone down AT ALL in 2 weeks but I'm hoping the antibiotics help.  Will update soon!  xoxo

Monday, October 10, 2011

Latest Doctor's Visit and Jaw Progress

Last Wednesday was a huge turning point in the healing process as Dr. S was ready to see how far I could actually open my mouth.  I thought he was kidding but he removed my bands and left the room with the strict instructions that when he got back, I better be able to fit a tongue depressor at least in my gap.  He was gone for fifteen minutes and I managed to open my mouth THIS much {}.  Impressive, eh?  LOL.  It was NOTHING.  He then jammed a tongue depressor in between my teeth and said, Lara, you're never going to graduate to soft foods if you don't try to open your mouth.  I don't know if it was anxiety, pain, or both but I had a hard time following this instruction.

Nevertheless, my mother immediately became excited, managed a lunch date with my hubs and an hour later I found the three of us at a Thai restaurant and me with a bowl of curry under my nose.  Sheer will and hunger forced about 1/8 of the curry down my mouth but I quickly became sore and stopped.  It's been 5 days since I got the OK to remove my bands to eat and I'm so much better.  My favorite foods have been oatmeal thinned with milk and a dollop of jam added to it, rice with tons of sauce of some sort, vanilla and apple milkshakes and Italian Wedding Soup (but w/out the meatballs) and Naked Juices.

I had thought all my stitches were out but when the doc removed my bands on Wednesday, I spit 2 more out :P But none have come out since then so that's awesome!  I can now open my mouth 2 mm's worth and actually brush all my teeth!

What my stitches look like, SO GROSS! There were like 100 of them in my mouth!
The pain is actually always constant but that's because my nerves are coming back together and I can feel more.  The pain is mainly in my chin, where the surgeon says all the nerve endings are, and in my actual teeth.  I don't nap all throughout the day anymore and my energy level is up as long as I eat constantly.  I'm down 14 lbs and am ALWAYS hungry, lol, so that's going to be my biggest challenge when I go back to work on Monday.  My next appointment is this Friday to get the all clear to return to work.  I'll get another set of x-rays and see how everything is healing :D

Thanks for following, as always.