Thursday, 17 January 2013

5 Month Post-Op Update

Wow hey everyone, it's been a while since I've posted! Not much to report here really, thankfully all was well from the get-go *knock on wood* and recovery was quite smooth.

Swelling I think is 98.5% gone haha, I may have a little bit left on the right side of my face, but I'm not even sure anymore. I see my surgeon on the 24th and he'll probably be able to see if I have some left.

Braces are going good too, they're just closing up some spaces here and there. For some of my teeth, since they're not beside each-other and not overlapping/crossing each-other, some "black triangles" have formed. I've been assured it's NOT because of gum recession in my case, but rather the shape of my teeth. Some of them are chicklet-like, which is good, meaning the edges are straight, like this:

|    |    |    |

Some though have a tapered like shape, like this

\ /\ /\ /\ /

Note at the bottom there's some triangles. To fix this, the orthodontist did something called Interproximal Reduction (IPR). Essentially, they shape the teeth to be a chicklet-shape to fit better.

I should be having my braces come off in a few months, but really at this point in time I'm just letting them hang in my mouth without worry. All the hard stuff is done, it's just a waiting game now!

I had some questions in previous posts though comments, since I get alerts in my email on comments I'll generally respond to them within a day so if you have questions feel free to ask me though the comment system!

To whomever is going through with this, remember it's totally worth it, pain is temporary and the results are a lifetime!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

21 Days Post Op Update

Hi everyone, I've been taking a set of pictures every day from day 1. I will get around to posting them soon so you can see the progress in regards to the reduction of swelling, the reversal of a crooked nose, etc. :P

My swelling is basically all gone, with the exception of some in the cheeks and a bit on the bottom of my chin.

With my midline, I remember after the surgery and a week afterward that it was pretty much dead on. As days went by though, it shifted a little bit to the right (about 1 to 2mm). Of course, being me, literally the definition of a worry wart, called in frantic panic about it. To sum it up - Don't worry about it! It's the muscles of the jaw pushing one side a little of kilter temporarily due to it being in a new position. All will be fixed in due time, and, if it was the off chance the teeth shifted - surprise, no big deal for your Ortho.

My next concern was yawning; when you yawn, you naturally open your mouth, but - I can't! I'm banded shut, which would mean I would be pulling on my elastics, my top jaw, and putting downward pressure on my bottom jaw - still, no need to worry. The screws and plates are there for a reason :P

Now on to my next worry, which I will I am sure will alllll be good when I go and ask him on my next appointment - teeth clenching! I noticed that since I've been doing the elastics I have been clenching randomly. Most of the time, I believe anyway, I'm not clenching. I don't feel pain; even when I do realize I'm clenching though there's really no pain so I figure I'm not doing it as bad as others. Still, I read, I worry, and go crazy. I've seen posts where people say it's fine, and others who say it's a big no-no. We will see on Wednesday!

I'm planned to go back to work on the 17th, but we'll see officially on the 12th when I visit my OS, and, for the first time post op, my ortho.

Cheers all!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Post-Op Update! All Is Well! - Some Stories, Thoughts, and Rambilings

Hi guys! My apologies for the delay in response, recovery and all that stuff really hit home with me again LOL.

It all went well, in fact the Dr. came out and did a clench to my parents and my girlfriend basically saying the bite is PERFECT. So yay to that!

The hospital this time around was much more relaxing. I'm not knocking on the other one at all but this one was much more up-beat with large windows, lighter colours, more open spaces, and technology that allowed my parents and GF to follow where I was throughout the hospital on a big screen (I.E Pre-Op Admission, OR, Recovery, Ward #). So that was great piece of mind for them to know things were actually moving.

Like last time, I DID wake up from anesthetic before I was supposed to. They call it "emergence" (sp?) and since it happened the last time around this time they were prepared they said haha (they strapped my arms down to the bed). Everyone was really nice, pre-op nurses, nurses in the OR, etc. They even played the radio for me while I waited for the Dr. to come in.

Recovery was a bit rough, I threw up a bit of blood and I had a mini panic attack as I forgot that my mouth was closed with elastics and that I literally couldn`t feel anything below my top lip LOL. After a little bit of that I was pretty calm, fading in and out of sleepiness as the anesthetic wore off. The nurses really nice in there too, saying all positive things and helping me get back to reality.

A different approach in this hospital vs. the last hospital was the way they managed oxygen flow and blood; I don't know if it because the last surgery only had my top jaw and this one had two but for this one they had a contraption going into my nose. In my right nostril, I had a tube feeding oxygen to me, and in my left nostril, it seemed the tube was sucking out any blood that was lingering around inside of me that generally would have went into my stomach for me to throw up. The blood tube though seemed to actually be working in reverse and putting blood BACK into me, thankfully the nurse finally realized my panics weren't crying wolf and noticed the flow herself. She changed the pressure of the device, the tube, and put the container down to the floor (I suppose it works with gravity).

The next morning the nurse shift changed happened and the nurse on shift decided I didn't need to tubes any more as my oxygen readings were 97% in my blood and any drainage was very minimal. The oxygen tube was no more than 1.5CM/.6in long, no biggie... but the drainage tube, be prepared! It seemed like it was 13/14CM or 5 to 5.5in! I was told it goes down into the throat and thus needed to be that long to catch any drainage of blood.

That day in the hospital was pretty relaxing; I had some visitors and the Dr. came by to check up on me. I have to say I couldn't feel any better with the Dr. I've chosen, he really cares for his patients. He noticed due to either the elastics and or my unintended jaw-clenching at night I shifted the mid line a bit but he says it's no big deal and happens all the time. On Wednesday (now today), I'll be going into his office to get the bands adjusted.

I had some tape on the lower bottom part of my jaw up until last night I believe until I couldn't take it any longer and took it off myself. I called the Dr. before to make sure this was okay of course. The reason why I wanted it off was because kept my bottom jaw really pushed in, making a bit difficult for me to breathe, and added a big strain on my neck (especially when sleeping!) Trying to lock your neck downward in let’s say a 10* angle and then add tension on your jaw when you want to look up wasn't fun, and was the cocktail for massive neck pain and headaches even the prescribed morphine couldn't deal with for that long.

Showering on the 4th day was GREAT. It felt SOOO good. I definitely recommend you shower as soon as you can; it makes you feel in an overall better mood.

I haven't eating anything solid since last Thursday and surprisingly my appetite isn't coming back any time soon, which is good in a way, because my dad's is always there haha! He made a yummy smelling sandwich that I sort of shrugged off like nothing. I like that; I hope I can keep that up. I entered into the surgery weighing 214.5 on the 17th and I am now 199.8 on the 22nd. Pro tip for anyone who wants to lose weight fast, get jaw surgery! In regards to what I can eat, well not much - I will find out more today when I get back from the Dr.s' but as of the first day is was only clear liquids with no bits of anything inside, which, essentially limited myself to these healthy choices: Soda, Water (okay so that's healthy), broth galore, and see-thru juices. Surprisingly, I'm still not hungry per-se, but I am getting heart-burn here and there now, especially when I burp. After meeting with the Dr. today, I believe I'll be approved for things like Boost and Ensure and only dairy like things so I can coat my stomach with something more substantial and get back some nutrition in my body. I have to say though; I love the head start on the losing weight bit!

My swelling seemed to hang off in the distance until these past few days where it came on pretty hard, which sort of makes sense as most say swelling maxes around 72 hours. No black eyes yet like the last one haha, but you never know!

Numbness is there like no tomorrow all along the bottom of my face, but last night for like three seconds I felt a tiny tickle under my lip so that's exciting! As far as I remember, it will take almost a month to get most of it back, and up to a year to see if it all will come back.  :D

I hope this was a good update, I'll be adding more as time and experiences go on! Probably as soon as this evening after the Dr's visit.

P.S. BLISTEX FOR LIPS! Wooww, I'm surprised how dry and cracked mine are. In fact, I have a few canker sores in there too so I'm sort of happy they're numb as anything right now lol 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Surgical hooks installed, had pre-op meeting with Surgeon - READY TO GO!

Hi everyone,

Today I had my meeting with my orthodontist. I got my surgical hooks installed, they`re basically little metal-wired loops that tie on to your brackets, from there, the surgeon will put the elastics through those hoops. Please note, my surgeon chooses to use elastics rather than wiring to keep the jaw closed, so if your O.S. uses wires it may be different.

The hooks took about 45 minutes to install, and are not painful to put in place at all. In fact, I`d say some adjustment appointments are more painful than this.

In regards to them being abrasive in the mouth... The top set of hooks are not bad at all, in fact, I can`t event really tell that they are there. The bottom ones though are a different story, I can definitely tell they`re there lol. In order to eat I put wax over them so they don`t dig into the underside of my lip.

Meeting with the Surgeon I had some X-Rays done, some photos, and some moulds of both my palettes and my bite profile (this little wax strip that goes in-between my teeth that I bite down on). This little bite profile seems to be the most important aspect of it all I was told, so cool! Everything was great, all is well; I got my care package with some booklets, massive syringes for my liquids, and all that good stuff.

I go to the hospital in just a few days where I go on to start a new chapter in my life! I`m SO EXCITED! As crazy as that sounds! :)

I`ll most likely make a post tomorrow, and if not it`s because I`ll be busy trying to wrap up some last minute things. If I don`t, I`ll be posting a few days after the surgery when I get back home! I`m told I should be good to go home on Sunday if nothing pops up, so that means a two night stay (Friday Night & Saturday Night).

Cheers everyone!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Six Days to Go!

So, I have six days to go before surgery if you count today and the actual surgery day. I've been doing a lot of running around to get things organized before then! Last year when I had my SARPE done, things were a bit different mainly due to the different hospital's procedures.

For the SARPE, the hospital I had the operation in did the blood-work on site. For the hospital I'm going in to for the Double Jaw + potential Genio, they request I do it from a blood-work clinic. In order to get that done though, I needed to go to my family doctor first to get the hospital's physical form filled out and the official blood-work order form filled out.

The doctor faxed over the physical paper to the Hospital, and then gave me the blood-work order form so I could bring it to any clinic that did the tests. Once the tests were done with that, they would fax over the results to the Hospital along with a copy to my family doctor. I was a bit weary that it wouldn't arrive on time or at the right department so I had my family Dr. also fax the blood work to the hospital again once he received it, just to be sure!

When I went to the hospital for the pre-admission interview we went over a variety of questions, all health related of course. They did my blood-pressure, weighed me, etc. All was well!

In parallel to doing all that administrative work, my girlfriend alerted me to a sale on Boost protein shakes at Rexall. We took that offer with great pleasure buying a total of 74 to 80 servings, I forget the exact number. I tried a view first to see which flavours I like the best and I was suprised to discover my liking was inverted from what I thought I'd like. My first flavour of choice is chocolate, then mocha, then vanilla, where as I thought I'd like Vanilla the most and chocolate the least. I didn't pick up strawberry but maybe I should just in case? Lol.

In a few days (Wednesday) I'll be going to the ortho to get the hooks in place where I believe they loop the elastics into after the surgery. On that same day, a few hours after, I'll be visiting my Oral Surgeon to have him plan out his procedure. Then, I'll have one day of buffer before going in on Friday morning!

I received a PlayBook for my birthday so I'll try and do some updates in the hospital with that if I have internet access in there. If not, I believe I'm scheduled for a two night stay so I should be updating on Monday or so after the operation!

I think I'll start producing YouTube videos too, along with some pictures of before, after, etc.

All the best to everyone going though it!

New posts soon, and more frequent, now that it's coming down to the finish line!


Monday, 2 July 2012

Surgery date is SET!

Hi everyone!

So, I officially have a surgery date! Friday, August 17th I'll be going in for the last big hurdle, the double jaw + genio!

My bottom teeth are basically done in terms of movement as per my ortho; they put the steel wires in there now which from my understanding is essentially a template that locks in the teeth; they are not meant to move the teeth, as the teeth should now meet a standardized template once they put those steel wires in.

My top teeth however are not 100% complete just yet; there was still a very tiny gap that needed to be closed from the expansion right at the two front teeth, so they popped on a power chain to fix that up. The gap is now closed, though there seems to be a tiny hole on the top of the two teeth where gum should be. I figure if it doesn't grow in by the time surgery rolls around I'll probably get some gum grafting (that is pure speculation, I'm not sure what they do in actuality).

In addition to the gap on my top row of teeth, my far-most back right molar is still on an angle, so they put another arch wire in to try and get it in the most correct position as possible. I was told that a steel wire needs to be in place for at least 30 days prior to surgery, so I go back in on the 9th of July and if the molar isn't corrected by then they'll just bend a steel wire to the current profile of the top teeth and correct it after the surgery.

I have the pre-op consultation with my surgeon on July 27th where I'm sure I'll have a list of questions on hand; I'm already thinking up some already, a big one being the mitigating any shortening of my face's length.

At the beginning of all of this, I found my face to be pretty "long", and my surgeon agreed as I remember him mentioning that. After my first surgery, that being the SARPE to expand my top jaw's width, I found my face to be a bit more balanced, and, in turn not as long. That, along with the amazing transformation from the braces, I find my face not to be "long" any more.

With that in mind and recalling the impaction of the top jaw as a component to my next surgery, I'm curious to know if I could avoid doing any impaction. From what I see, the impaction is mainly done to help the reduction of a gummy smile, however, I also have a feeling it may aid in removing the open bite I have, too.

I'll have more insights to that and more questions I think up when I go in for the pre-op consultation later on this month! Until then, I'm trying to get in as much stuff as possible and avoiding watching some of my favourite TV shows so I can just plow through them during my recovery!

I'll be posting more frequently now since everything's back on the radar!

Have a great day everyone,


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Overdue Updates!

Hi everyone, I figure this update is long over due however there's not much changes to report! Basically, I'm in limbo between letting the braces do their thing and the next surgery.

Essentially, I need to wait until my teeth are in perfect form so that the orthodontist can make moulds of my mouth. The moulds will then be used by my surgeon to determine his course of action. That said, I can't make an appointment with my surgeon until the moulds are made, which means I also have to wait to see him before I can schedule in the surgery date!

As it stands now, my teeth should be ready for moulding within a few months. Then, in early spring I'll be seeing my surgeon to book my final surgery. Scheduling is difficult as the surgeon needs an open day that also works with openings in the hospital where the surgery will be performed.

In terms of the experience with braces, I honestly don't even know they are there unless I'm eating something! Aside from that, I nowadays don't even feel them. To boot, I STILL have my expander in! Generally you take it out about 6 months after expansion, but I just never really was bothered by it and my ortho says you might as well keep it in there so long as I keep it nice and clean (which I do). To the reason why, well, he said relapse at this point is very very rare but can still happen even if it's a ever-so-slight amount.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask or comment! I do watch the comment emails :)

Best of luck to everyone going through the process! Updates in the coming months!