Day 8

I had my first real post-op appointment with Dr. M today. Most of our discussion was about how shitty I have been feeling since surgery. He told me that I should be completely fine without the painkillers, so I am officially DONE taking them. and guess what? It is 5:30 pm and I have yet to be nauseous (knock on wood). I am rotating between ibuprofen (600 mg every 5 hours) and Tylenol (1000 mg every 5 hours). I think I am going to give up on the children's Motrin. I cannot stomach that atrocious berry flavor any longer.

I have more sores in my mouth. Seriously? They have moved to my bottom lip on the inside. I don't experience much pain with the ones on the bottom, other than brushing my teeth. My top lip constantly stings and feels really dry, even when my lips are completely lathered with Aquaphor. Let me tell you, this is getting OLD.

I was experiencing really bad headaches from the bands being so tight and holding my jaw together so strongly, so Dr. M configured the bands so that they would be a bit looser for me. He also said that I can take the bands off for a few hours a day. He didn't say how often or for how many hours.. can anyone tell me what their surgeon has told them after the first post-op appointment in regards to how long and often they can have their bands off? I took them off for about 2 hours, and because my lips are covered in sores, getting them back on was painful. It wasn't difficult to do, but it just made my lips that much more sore.

I expected the tape on my cheeks to be taken off today, where the incisions were made for the screws. Dr. M didn't mention it, and I didn't think about it until I got in the car. Can anyone tell me when their surgeon removed the tape?

I am wondering if anyone else has found themselves clenching when sleeping? I wake up and realize I am doing it, and my teeth have gotten so sore in the last few days! When I realize I am doing it, I try to relax my jaw as much as possible, and I think that works a little bit.

Eating takes FOR-EV-ER. I have actually taken down quite a bit today. I have had mashed up hamburger helper (just the noodles), a whole banana, a bit of cheesy rice, oatmeal, and some scrambled eggs. There may be more, but regardless, eating that amount has taken over like 3 hours of my life today.

Look passed my puffy lips, and you will see the swelling has gone down some more! Dr. M said I am ahead of most people in the decrease in swelling, but behind in swelling of my lips. I guess that's the way it goes! I don't know why I always look so dead in these pictures, even when I am feeling OK when the pics are taken. It's hard when I can't smile!

Day 7

Every time I start one of these posts, my morning is typically good, and my evening is less than good. I am writing this with EVERY intent of making it through this day nausea free and getting this posted on time!

I woke up in the middle of the night craving some real food, so my mom blended some soup for me at like 3 am. She is such a rockstar :)

When I woke up again at 7:30, my mom and I took a walk around the block. I had been planning to take a 20 minute walk every day, but I never anticipated my lips staying so swollen, and with the beautiful weather that has finally showed up in the midwest, there are far too many outside for me to waltz on by looking this way. I took advantage of being awake so early and it was SO nice to get out, even if it was only a 5 minute walk. My butt is getting so sore from sitting and laying all the time!

The pills I was prescribed for the sores on my lips are definitely not going to work out. They are so big, and even when I break them, they are not smooth enough on the edges and they get stuck in my throat. I tried crushing them and mixing them in a smoothie, but the taste was so terrible I couldn't possibly take them that way. It tasted like there was alcohol in my smoothie. My mom called the surgeon and he prescribed me some liquid form of the medication, that ended up costing us $143! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The stupid horse pills that I didn't take were $40, and now this is another $143. It just makes this whole swollen lips situation that much more frustrating.

I ate a full small chili from Wendy's today! Woohoo!

My boyfriend woke up early this morning and came over to my parents house to surprise me with flowers before he had to head to work. He only had about 15 minutes to hang out, but I haven't been able to see him since Wednesday, and it was so nice to see him again :) I am seriously lacking in the being a good girlfriend department, but he has been really sweet through this whole thing. I am a lucky girl!

**I didn't make it. again. Around 5 pm I was hit with nausea that lasted until 3 am. I slept nearly this entire time, waking up briefy, with a cold towel on my head. I seriously cannot figure out WHAT is causing this. Sorry for yet another late post :-\

Day 6

My face is constantly tingling. Not like come-and-go, but constantly tingling and throbbing throughout the day. It gets so intense I can barely concentrate. It's almost painful, and the only way I can cope is with my bed buddy heat pack. Has anyone else been this way? I know that the tingling means the nerves are regenerating, but I don't feel like I have read about the non-stop intenseness that I am experiencing.

Today is definitely a better day than yesterday. I had a bout of nausea this morning, but took one of my anti-nausea pills, along with a nap and felt okay after. The swelling in my face continues to go down little by little, woohoo! It's so hard to even tell because I get so distracted looking at my huge lips. My surgeon prescribed me a pill that is supposed to get rid of these sores, but the pill is HUGE. I am talking like horse pill. I have to take 2 of them at a time, and my mom had to break each pill into 4 parts for me to even be able to get it down. My neck and cheeks are nearly fully yellow, but I am all about the bruising if it means the swelling is calming down!

My appetite increased throughout the day. I wasn't able to stomach much this morning, but have since managed to venture as far as spaghettios again! I am officially down 9 pounds from my initial weight, and even managed to fit into my jeans from freshman year of college :-P

I finally took another bath today. I have been so sick for 3 days that I just wasn't able to get it done, but I am feeling much better with clean hair and new clothes on!

**This post should have been up last night, but dangit, nausea came after me again. My anti-nausea pills weren't doing anything for me. I am thankful that I never got sick, but there really is nothing worse than feeling nauseous and not being able to take pain pills. I was supposed to take them around 6, but wasn't able to until nearly 10:30. NOT fun!

I look like total shit in these pictures. I was super nauseous but I didn't want to miss another day of pictures, so I made my mom hurry up and snap them quick. I look so pathetic, but I seriously thought my life was ending at this point. Try to focus on the decrease in swelling, and not on my massive, distracting lips and bright yellow bruising!

Day 5

Sorry for not getting my post up yesterday.

Have I ever mentioned that I have the worst immune system? I am one of those people who can come 100 feet from some virus and catch it instantly. I have always been an incredibly slow healer, so I am not sure why I expected anything differently from such a major surgery. I can't even get piercings to heal properly!

I started to have some pain at the back of my mouth, just behind my bottom left molar, right where the incisions were. Every time I swallowed, I had to brace myself because it was so sore. It's a hard feeling to explain, but seeing as my first post-op appointment wasn't until Tuesday, I just couldn't deal with it that long. My mom called the on-call surgeon and I headed in 30 minutes later. He took a look in my mouth, and said everything looked great, no infection or tears to the insicion sites. He did tell me that I have sores all over the top lip and roof of my mouth, which is causing my lips to still be so huge. They are caused by my immune system being down, kind of like cold sores. He gave me a prescription for a stronger painkiller (Percocet) and said my lips should sort themselves out soon.

Upon arriving home, eating something, and taking my new pain killer, the day seriously went down hill. I spent a majority of the night vomiting, couldn't keep anything in my tummy, and my head hurt so bad the light was painful to my eyes. I was miserable. We considered going to the hospital because I kind of felt out of options, but after a few phone calls with the surgeon, I was able to get a prescription for an anti-nausea pill. After such a long time of nothing in my stomach, I wasn't able to take any pain killers, so my face was really hurting. I kept getting so hot and sweaty, and then I would take off my blankets and be freezing cold. I was worried about a running a fever, but I took my temp and was okay. Around 9 pm I was finally able to eat some jello and get a pain pill in my system, and started feeling well enough to get some sleep.

Day 5 was by far the most difficult day of this process. I am praying to never, ever have to go through a day like that again.

Day 4

Still searching for that positive attitude I had a few days ago!

Last night was awful. My mom woke me up to take some meds, and I was so tired I just popped them in my mouth without realizing I needed to eat something first. I instantly felt terrible. Narcotics on an empty stomach are not a good thing. I tried to take down some apple sauce to counteract my mistake, but it didn't help and I ended up vomiting up everything. I was so nauseous, even with nothing in my stomach, it was so hard to sleep comfortably.

I honestly don't think any bit of swelling has gone down. I still feel as massive as I have since the first day. My upper lip is really sore and stinging from being so swollen for so long. I don't think the ensure drinks are terrible, but they are starting to make me gag after drinking them so much. I did manage to eat nearly 3/4 a can of spaghettios today.

I spent nearly half the day dealing with pain. My head hurts, and I can't get rid of it. My face is throbbing, I am hoping that means the feeling is starting to come back, but right now it's just a constant throb and it's driving me nuts. My neck is so sore from sleeping sitting up. I fall asleep feeling as comfortable as I can be with this face, but when I wake up, my neck is always killing me. The bruising has started to show up a bit, mostly in my neck and lower part of my cheeks. I will take a yellow black and blue face over this swelling ANY DAY.

Sorry for such a whiny post. Still hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Day 3

The discouragement set in today, darnit, I was really hoping to keep a positive attitude through this whole thing.

My nose will not.stop.bleeding. Yesterday I taped some gauze below my nose to catch the constant dripping of blood, and I can STILL see liquid and feel it dripping. It certainly has started to dry up, but the extra gauze on my face is driving me crazy and I am ready to remove it, and until it is fully dry, I have to leave it alone.

My face just feels like a massive brick. I think my lips are less swollen now, but my face seems to be at the same level as it was yesterday. I have read that most things turn around and start improving at day 5. Pre-op, I would think that I just have to get through day 5 and things will be better, but gosh, day 5 seems to be FOREVER away. I am not feeling that anxiousness to know what I will look like without all the swelling quite yet, I am just ready to get rid of some of it just to get rid of some of the discomfort.

I have definitely stepped up my eating today. I have had two Ensure drinks and 2 apple sauce packets and some Naked juice. I even tried to tackle some cheesy rice. I am still eating and drinking mainly out of a syringe, other than my apple sauce packets, and used the back end of a spoon for the rice. After all of my blog reading, it seemed like most people were ready to get rid of these syringes ASAP, but I don't mind them. Obviously, I would rather eat WITHOUT one, but it keeps things less messy and guarantees me getting food in my mouth, and not on my chin. I am down 6 pounds from my pre-op weight.

I am keeping up with my salt water mouth rinses and the medicated mouth wash. I have brushed my teeth twice since arriving home from the hospital, but am planning on increasing this as well. My upper lip is definitely more swollen than my bottom lip is, so I still haven't really seen my top teeth, which makes brushing them really difficult.

The band on my right side snapped today. I was out enjoying some sunshine and I think I was nearly asleep when I felt it snap. My mom called the OS and I got in to see in an hour and a half later. Dr. M replaced both bands, he said they lose their elasticity very quickly, and I can definitely vouch for that one. My teeth feel much tighter now, but it's still bearable. I saw the mom of the girl I used to babysit who is getting this surgery on June 6 (just lower jaw) in the waiting room, and she didn't recognize me at first. I am really hoping I didn't freak her out with all of my swelling! Dr. M pointed out that I am definitely more swollen on my left side, but that's because the bone shave was done on that side so he said it was normal.

Dr. M said my bite looked perfect, and my teeth looked really clean, so that definitely lifted my spirits and turned my day around a bit.

I know that I only have improvement to look forward too. I am thrilled to be on the other side of this surgery, but I know these next two days are a huge test of my patience.

My first real post-op appointment with my surgeon is on Tuesday. Even though I had my bands changed today, Dr. M wants to take another look when the swelling goes down a bit, and change my bands again. Hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Day 2

I woke up probably once every hour last night, until 6 am, when I slept until 8:25- success!

Around 5 am, I put some effort into trying to clean my mouth and brush my teeth. My upper lip is still very swollen, and I know that it is lined with stitches on the inside, so I am worried about messing with those when brushing my teeth. I am trying to take things slow and do more intense brushing once I can actually SEE my teeth and see what it is that I am brushing!

My mom has been pretty exhausted lately, I think it was from her terrible sleep at the hospital and she's trying to catch up now, but I have had to continue waking her up to give me my meds! Hopefully this changes as I continue sleeping longer periods, or I will end up missing all of my meds!

The swelling has definitely increased. I was really excited thinking I wasn't going to have to use my whiteboard, and I was doing so well talking and having people understand me, but now that the swelling has moved up to just below my eyes, rather than below my nose, it has become much more difficult to move my face and my lips! I received steriods through my IV constantly while in the hospital, and received a steriod shot in my butt right before leaving the hospital, which are used to help reduce swelling. have had my jaw bra with ice on my face nearly 24 hours a day since surgery, and am continuing to take my Bromelain tablets. I am not sure about their reaction with my other medications, haha, but I am hoping it's nothing negative and that the pills will help further reduce my swelling.

Can anyone post-op tell me how long it took for the lip swelling to decrease? My surgeon said it would be quicker than the swelling in my face, something like just a few days?

My eyes have been in pain the last few days. I know the nausea patch can cause your eyes to dialate and do crazy things, so I was going to take mine off today, but my mom just checked my ears and there is no patch anymore, so I am not sure what's going on. It's hard for me to focus on things and my eyes just hurt. I am wondering if this may just be the aftermath of the nausea patch.

I showered today! Actually, I sat in my bathtub in my swimsuit and my mom took the spray shower head and helped me wash my hair for me, but it was still amazing :) I even shaved my legs! Woohoo!

My neck has the most discomfort right now. I am really sore from sleeping sitting up, and it is also sore right below my jaw line. The rest of my face mostly just feels numb and stiff. Below my jaw line, it's tender for me to touch, and I think the bruising has began.

I told my boyfriend last night that he could come over today, but that was until I realized how much more swollen I had gotten and before I realized this constantly dripping bloody nose was not going away any time soon. ugh. Wish I could keep him away, but I think at this point he's going to show up regardless.

Starting weight: 132.8 lbs
Current weight: 129.6 lbs

I have really been trying to keep my nutrients up, but eating is not really on my mind. The little apple sauce packets have been a lifesaver, they have been SO easy to eat, and I have yet to spill on myself at all while eating them. I think that because they are so easy, it is keeping me from wanting to try other things, because I know anything else will be so messy. I have also been drinking Naked juice.

Day 1: Uhh

Today was less than great. I barely slept all night, because there was a constant flow of people in and out of my room. The nursing assistant (or whoever it was) changed 3 times and they came in every 30 mins-1 hour to check my vitals. The nurse changed over at 7:30 this morning, and that made things more difficult was well. My day nurse was okay, but definitely not as sympathetic and understanding as my night nurse was.
My uncle showed up around 6 am to eat breakfast with my mom at the hospital. The private room I was given was so tiny, they had to haul in a little recliner for my mom, and I could tell she slept terribly in it, it did NOT look comfortable at all.
I had some volunteer woman stop in and wake me up at 8 am to talk to me about my religious beliefs or my relationship with the church or something like that, and I somehow got rid of her pretty quickly. I realize these people are just trying to help, but seriously? I was not in the mood to talk to some complete stranger about my religious beliefs, especially when I was so swollen and could barely speak as it was.

My sisters best friend had her baby yesterday at the same hospital I was staying at, so her and my nephew came to visit me and then to go see her friends new baby. I didn't exactly want her to visit, just because I knew it was going to be more to deal with, but it ended up being good to see her, and Jackson waved at me, so I hope that means I didn't look too scary :)

I forgot to mention in my day 0 post that in the middle of the night, I couldn't feel or see any bands on my teeth and I started freaking out! I thought Dr. M forgot to band me shut. He came to visit me in the morning and told me that my jaw lined up so well that I only needed 2 bands. I am actually able to open my mouth a bit, which I was not expecting, and it is SO nice to at least have that going for me! He told me everything in surgery went great, and he was really happy with the results!

I was released from the hospital around 2 pm, and went straight to the surgery center to get xrays. My energy level is up from yesterday, but I am still exhausted. My mom and I stopped to pick up my multiple prescriptions, and I am finally home, in bed :) My face is so swollen, I really don't like to look in the mirror with my jaw bra off- there is so much swelling below my chin, I look like a square face! I know this will go down and it is nothing to worry about, but it's still hard to see myself look the way it does.

I cannot get my nose to stop dripping blood. It's driving me crazy! I have taped some Kleenex below my nose so that as it drips it can be caught on something, but uh, it's no fun! Can anyone post-op tell me when this slows down/stops?

This is kind of all scatter brained, I am exhausted but wanted to get my first few posts out.

Day 0: I MADE IT!

I was really hoping to have posted earlier, but man, credit to anyone who can manage to get anything posted sooner, I was EXHAUSTED!

Yesterday was rough to say the least. I headed to the hospital around 10:00 am, and was called back to get my gown on by 10:30. I was disappointed by the amount of time I had to be back there alone, it wasn't until noon that my mom was finally told she could come back. I met with a few nurses, the anesthsiologist and finally my surgeon, Dr. M and another surgeon who was assisting him, Dr. Y. The anesthesiologist and nurse decided it would be best for me to take out the two difficult piercings in my ears. They were both pierced at a tattoo place, and the earrings themselves need to be opened with special tools. I completely understood their reasoning, but it was just a bit frustrating. The nurse decided to find some makeshift pliers tool to open them, had absolutley no idea what she was doing or how my earrings worked, and with the IV in my arm and two people leaning over me, it was kind of too much, and I just started crying. The anestheioloigst was incredibly understanding, he asked me if I was crying because it hurt, and I said no, and then he asked if I was just upset because they are a part of me and they were taking them out, and I said yes. He was really nice about it, and it made me feel better about the whole thing. I think I had at least 5 people tell me I needed to remove my tongue ring, and a lot of people had this 'you know you can't keep that in, right?' attitude. It was a bit frustrating, as I had already figured everything out with Dr. M.

Right at 12:30 I was wheeled back into the OR. I asked the anesthesiologist to not give me any relaxers before putting me under, because I wanted the whole OR experience. Everyone thought I was nuts, but it was really fascinating me to me to be in the OR and watch everyone prep everything, wrap me up like a burrito to keep me warm, and listen to all of the lingo :) I never did any 'count-down' and don't remember being put under at all! It is so cool to remember being in the OR though.

The surgery took 6 hours I believe, and I was finally awake by 7 pm. The first thing I remember asking about when I woke up was my tongue ring. I realized it hadn't been put back in, and was totally unable to comprehend what the nurses or my surgeon (I can't even remember who!) was saying as to why it hadn't been, but some nurse handed it to me, and in my drugged up stupor, I managed to put it back in all by myself. I felt like such a champion!

My night nurse, Heather, was such a sweetheart, I was so lucky to have her. She really had to put up with a lot of tears and a LOT of bathroom trips. With all of the fluids they pump you with, I had to pee at least once an hour, I felt so bad, but she was so sweet. DISCLAIMER for anyone wanting to avoid receiving TMI from me: to any females to may end up having their time of the month during the surgery, please find someone to discuss it with prior to going into surgery, possibly one of the nurses that will be in the OR with you or if you feel comfortable, your surgeon. I had some issues with this post-op, and I really wish I would have been in better communication about it with someone before going into surgery. It lead me into a state of tears and total stress, just one more thing my nurse had to deal with.

To be completely honest, last night was terrible. I was so weak, I was in and out of sleep every 30 minutes, and I constantly had the urge to pee. One of the biggest things I recommend asking your nurse about is if they have one of those suction tubes that are used at the dentist. My mouth felt so slimy and gross from all of the blood inside, and it felt so great to have that to get rid of everything!

I looked in a compact mirror after arriving to my room, and because the mirror was so small I could only see one half of my face at a time. I looked at my eyes, and it looked just like me, but I brought the mirror down to the bottom half of my face, and started bawling! I scared myself! The swelling is so intense and my lips are so massive, that it was scary to see somebody in the mirror that didn't look like me!

The pain was minimum all night, any discomfort came from my face weighing 100 pounds and my lips being absolutely huge. My face is numb from below my eyes downward. I didn't eat anything at all the first night. I did my best to sleep as much as I could, but with the nursing assistant coming in every 30 mins to get my vitals, it was a bit difficult. I felt sorry for the guy, I could tell he was a big nervous dealing with me!

Surgery was a success! I am so incredibly thankful to be on the other side!

Pre-Op Pictures

My compensated bite

Where Dr. M measures my bite

I know everyone says this, but I honestly cannot believe tomorrow is the day. The day I have been thinking about and preparing for for the last 5 years of my life. It's crazy, but I really don't think I could deal with even one more day of waiting!

It's hard to even explain the way I am feeling. I have dealt with anxiety most of my life, and this surgery is far from an exception to that. Honestly, I really am SO excited, but the excitement has been taken over by my nerves. I really am freaking out. I am not a calm person when it comes to dealing with stress, I can BARELY handle taking midterm exams without my heart racing like it's going to pound out of my chest. I am a serious Type A, and hate the feeling of being out of control. With my surgery being moved to 12:30pm, instead of 10:30am, I am going to have a bit more time in the morning to sit around and be antsy. I think I may take my dog on a walk in the morning, just to keep myself from sitting around and thinking. I have to be to the hospital by 10:30, which allows me 2 more hours of sitting and waiting until I am actually going into surgery.

Last night I went to see Bridesmaids with my boyfriend. I heard it was hilarious, and it did NOT disappoint! I recommend everyone to go out and see it, such a great night full of laughter, something I am going to struggle to do the next couple of weeks. It was one of those laugh so hard you cry movies. The Hangover Part 2 comes out on the 26th, and I am so disappointed I won't be able to see it in theaters because I know it will hurt too much to laugh, and it's not as fun when you have to restrict your laughing!

This morning my mom is preparing a big brunch for everyone. My sister, her fiancé and my little bug are coming over, along with my aunt and uncle, another uncle, my boyfriend and one of my best friends. It will definitely be helpful to be surrounded by everyone and keep myself distracted. My boyfriend is staying the night at my parents tonight, because I really did not want to be up in the middle of the night freaking out by myself, and I know he will put up with whatever I throw his way! I am running a few errands today and picking up my last minute supplies. I need a new pillow and a 'bed rest' pillow as well. I am allowed to eat tonight until midnight, and you better bet I will be eating up until the clock strikes 12! Spending the rest of the evening attempting to relax, but we'll see how that goes.

The surgical hooks have grown to drive me slightly crazy. The top ones don't bug me a bit, but the bottom ones make indents in my lip, and they have also created a small ulcer. It's frustrating when all I have wanted to do was enjoy eating, but it's been pretty painful with this sore in my mouth.

I am going to try to post as soon as I feel up to it after I get out of surgery. Please end all of your good vibes my way for a successful and problem-free surgery tomorrow, and as easy of a 'wake up' from surgery as possible :) Talk to you all soon!
I got a call late evening yesterday from the ortho clinic saying they needed me to come in for xrays and pictures and asked when I'd be available. After making my appointment for today, I realized the ortho isn't actually open on Fridays, and they had made a special appointment for me to come in. When I got there today, it was just me and Ashley, one of the OA's I have been working with. She did an xray and then took a few pictures of my full face, profile, smile, and then a few up close teeth shots and I was on my way.

I finally figured out the story with the guy who is having surgery before me. Ashley was sure he was getting both jaws done, and having the same procedures as I am, but with the 3 hour surgery time scheduled for him, before my surgery, I was really confused. WELL, the RN from the hospital called, and my surgery time has been changed to 12:30, instead of 10:30 as it was previously scheduled for. This gives the first patient a few more hours of surgery time, meaning he is having both jaws done as well. Confusion resolved!

I asked the RN if there was any way I could request a single room, or for them to avoid putting me with a roommate, and she told me all of the rooms at that hospital are private rooms. Such a huge relief!
My supply list, in RARE video form :-P

Videos of myself are so odd to watch. Is it terrible that I get annoyed of myself? :-P


Surgical Hooks ON

I had my final two appointments yesterday. I started at the ortho, where I got my surgical hooks on. They really aren't terrible, but I don't particularly like them either. I got 5 on the top and 7 on the bottom. I can definitely notice that I have them on, but have no pain or irritation with the upper hooks. There was quite the struggle to complete the addition of the 7 bottom hooks. The OA tried to put them all on my round bottom wire, and then realized after adding all 7 they all kept spinning, that wasn't going to work, so she removed the wire and replaced it with a square one. The square wire doesn't allow them to spin and keeps them strongly in place.

A few of my surgical hooks on the bottom are pointed inward a bit, and I am really worried that they may start digging into my gums and irritating them, especially with the addition of the thick bands post-op. The OA also put SO much pressure while closing the hooks around my teeth that there were times I felt like she was yanking out some of my bottom teeth. With the new wire and all of the pressure she put on my teeth, they are feeling really sore right now. I am not sure if the surgical hooks have anything to do with it directly, but I am hoping they don't become too irritating.

The few lugs on the bottom that are more difficult to see are the ones that are jetting inward

I met the guy who has the early surgery with Dr. M. He is having his ortho work done by the same OD, and the OA's told me he was having surgery the same day with the same Dr. He told me his surgery is at 7:30, and mine is at 10:30, so I am thinking he is only having one jaw done and not both. Does anyone know the difference in surgery length if you had just one jaw done? It looked to me like he would just be doing lower.

Everyone at the office wished me luck and I was on my way! It's so great for them to all be so excited for me. I really enjoy the office staff, and it's really great that I am not just treated as a patient, but as a friend too.

Next I drove over to my surgeon's office. It was my last appointment with him before the surgery. Right when I got there, the assistant told me she would be taking another mold of my bottom teeth at the end of the appointment, ugh. Dr. M started out by doing measurements. When he measures my overjet, he makes me open my mouth fully, and then he pushes SO hard near the bottom of my lip, at the point where my gums meet my teeth, with his finger. I mean, the pressure he puts is nearly unbearable. He is trying to get my jaw as far back as it goes, but it feels like he is digging his finger into my gums, and it is so painful. He had to do it twice, and my eyes literally welled up with tears because it hurt so bad. I honestly don't think he has any idea that it's actually painful to me, I just try to suck it up.

As a side question, I am confused about the way he measures my overjet. He measures it as being as absolutley FAR back as it goes, yet where my teeth actually bite down together is a bit less of a overjet. Just confused why one is measured rather than the other

This is the way he measures my overjet

and this is the way it looks when I bite down so my teeth 'fit' (using that word loosely) together

Dr. M went through the whole surgery with me again. The run-down is: the bottom jaw will be pulled forward 6 mm and pulled to the left about 1 mm to allow my midlines to line up. After the lower jaw is secured in place, he will move on to the upper jaw. The upper jaw will separated into three parts, using the front 4 teeth as one part, and the two side sections as the other two parts. The jaw will be widened to some degree and will be be tilted up 1-2mm, but the back part of the jaw will likely stay at the same level, it will not be brought down or up. This is because my occlusal plane (or my bite plane) is tilted downward, so the rotation will allow it to be even.
He gave me the opportunity to ask a few questions. After so much blog reading, I really don't have that many questions. I brought up the alar stitches he will use to keep my nose from widening. I also have read on both Elisha and Tina's blogs there was some concern of the nose being turned upward a bit. He said that there can be some level of upturned nose right after the surgery, but it will disappear after the swelling goes down. He also said that it typically only happens if the upper jaw is impacted a bit, whereas in my surgery, I am only being lifted 1-2 mm, so there shouldn't be any issue. The surgery splint will be on 6 weeks, and once it's removed he encourages patients to continue to pop it in at night, to avoid the jaw constricting in any way.

Dr M brought up the possibility that with this surgery, I may never get feeling back in parts of my lower lip/chin area. He did say that by looking at my xray, he already knows where the nerve is located and he said it is the best possible location for that nerve to avoid getting any longer term numbness. I am crossing my fingers!

The assistant did another bottom mold, and when that one didn't turn out, she had to do yet another one. After spending a good 5 minutes in the bathroom getting all the gunk out of my teeth, the surgeon came in and told me he needed a new top mold. I was slightly annoyed, and I think he could tell, but I know how important it is to have a perfect mold, especially when he will be running through the surgery on these molds before hand.

Sorry for such a long post, I know I can ramble a bit, but hopefully the information is still helpful for everyone!

4 days until surgery!

I have some paperwork to sign for my surgeon that lists his final 'list' of what's going down on surgery day.

1. 3 piece Lefort I Osteotomy
2. Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy (BSSO)
3. Bone shave reduction
4. Genioplasty

The bone shave reduction isn't something I think I have mentioned before. On the left side of my face, I almost look swollen all the time. I am not exactly sure what caused it, but the bone seems to have grown a bit more and my face is not symmetrical on both sides because of this. I have been asked by so many people if something happened to one side of my face, because it always looks a bit puffy compared to the other side! Dr. M is shaving a bit off that side of my jaw to make it look more symmetrical, but he told me it would never be absolutely perfect, he's just going to do what he can.
You know those days when nearly everything bugs you? I mean, the littlest, tiniest things can drive you absolutely crazy? Today was one of those days. and today was also the day I had 3 appointments, and therefore came in contact with way to many people who had to deal with my less than appealing attitude. I tried my best to cover it, so hopefully I didn't come off as too harsh.

My first appointment was the dentist. I hadn't been since right before I had gotten my braces on back in August, whoops! I have had the same dental hygienist every cleaning for the last few years, so it was good to see her again. She knows members of my extended family pretty well, so we always have a lot to chat about. She recently lost her 25 year old son, and I nearly started crying while I was on the chair just listening to her story and the struggles she's currently going through. It puts this surgery into perspective, I could be facing struggles much more difficult, and surgery is nothing in comparison to what she's dealing with.
There was a new dentist in the office, someone I had never worked with before. My DH told him that I was getting jaw surgery on Monday. He proceeded to do his little cancer exam and check everything out, and then started pushing up and down my jaw line pretty roughly, saying 'does this hurt? how about this?'. In comes my annoyed attitude with my reply, 'ah, yes, it does actually, that's why I am getting surgery on Monday...' It may have been rude, but uh, he was bugging me! :-P
Both the hygienist and the dentist told me my brushing looked GREAT, much better than other braces patients they see, so that was good to hear. It's something I have been really worried about lately! They told me I need to work on my flossing, but uhh, it just takes sooo long.

Second appointment was to get my pre-op physical with my normal physician. My slightly snotty attitude followed me from one clinic to the next. The nurse had absolutely no idea why a patient may be getting jaw surgery, so I had to deal with a million questions. She then could not figure out how to spell orthognathic, and I had to spell it for her 3 times. Haha, gosh, I was probably such a peach for her to deal with! Dr. C came in, who has been our family doctor for years. I love her to death, but she also drove my slightly crazy when she wrote on the chart 'has been in braces for 9 months to correct jaw pain, but it has not been working, so Dr. M has recommended jaw surgery.' ... I guess she didn't realize that the braces were needed FOR the surgery, and were not a 'Plan A' which needed to turn in to 'Plan B' when it didn't work.

On to the surgeon's office, and I was still being snotty. The assistant did molds of my teeth, but it was such a different experience than when I get molds done at the ortho. She warned me that her molds were messy but she was really good at it, and let me tell you, she was MESSY. The mold 'goo' was super liquidy and was dripping everywhere and I had to hold a little spit pan under my face to catch everything. After she prepped the mold goo, she would put it under the faucet for a second to get everything wet. I mean, molds are never a super fun, clean experience, but gosh, it was a mess and the goo was a completely different consistency than it is at my ortho. She wanted to do an xray, and told me I had to take out all of my jewelry. Well, I have my tragus and some other odd part of my ear pierced with earrings that are not just easily removed without a special pliers, so I told her I couldn't take them out. She was a bit frustrated, I think, but I have had multiple xrays and surgeries with these babies in and they have never caused a problem, and the xray she took looked okay to me (as if I would know) so hopefully all goes well and I don't have to do another xray with them taken out.

My mom and I went out to lunch and had absolutely terrible service and it took ages to be waited on (thus continues my crabby attitude). My mom and I went our separate ways and I drove home, absolutely DYING to take a nap (I nearly fell asleep in my car in the Dr. office parking lot, I was THAT tired). I get home, and realize I had my spare car keys, not my normal keys with my house keys on them.... UH! I ended up finding spare keys 15 minutes later, and got in a 15 minute nap before I had to get up again.

Sorry for such a whiny post. I am doing my best to get rid of this attitude!

I have two appointments tomorrow, one to get my lugs on and the other with Dr. M for my final meeting with him before surgery.

6 days until surgery!




When the springs were first put on, the left gap was bigger the right. The right one had barely opened, but after getting my wire changed to a stronger one, the right gap apparently was trying to catch up. The gap is huge now! They look a bit silly, but I really don't mind them. Maybe it's because I know they are helping me and that I will only have them for a few more weeks. For the most part, I don't pay any attention to them.

ONE day until I am FREE from finals. TWELVE days until surgery.

Bristol Palin

What is everyone's take on Bristol Palin saying that her jaw changes are due to orthognathic jaw surgery? Two days ago she was saying she did nothing to her face, and then yesterday said she got corrective jaw surgery so that her teeth and jaw alligned properly, and that it was for medical reasons.

It's interesting to me that I never saw her in braces, when it can take nearly a nearly a year to properly align the teeth for surgery. Has anyone read through any completed surgeries where people have not had braces at all? It certainly looks like she had just a genioplasty to me, but that certainly doesn't fall under corrective jaw surgery, but rather just a chin augmentation. When you look at her teeth in the 'before' picture, they look perfectly straight and have a perfect bite as well.

What do you guys think?

Good Luck Tina!

Tina is off to surgery tomorrow morning!

Wishing her the absolute best of luck tomorrow. I hope she's not going too crazy with nervousness/anticipation right now, like I know I will be.

I hope your surgery goes safely! Can't wait to hear from you, Tina !


Orthodontist Appt

I had my second to last ortho appointment before surgery this morning :) it. was. brutal. I had molds taken of my teeth, which are never fun. It is nearly impossible to get all of that pink stuff out of my teeth! Dr. S said everything was looking great, and the only changes that were made was putting in a thicker stainless steel wire on the top. For some reason, the OA was having SO much trouble getting the little doors on my braces to close around the wire, so she had another OA come and help. They were both literally putting all of their weight onto the tools to press the wire down in order to close the door and keep it in place. I had to brace my jaw tightly to push against them, which just caused major pain in my jaw. They were both incredibly apologetic and really sweet about it, and were very careful to keep the tools from slipping and hitting my mouth at all. They had trouble in a few different areas, and both of them were literally sweating by the time they finally got everything set in place, they even had to crack a door to cool off! haha!

In a previous post, I talked about how I highly doubted these gaps were going to open any more, but I was definitely wrong. There is absolutely no touching between the 2nd and 3rd teeth on each side now. Dr. S said he was really happy with the progress of the gaps, and told me that the reason they create them is to allow the surgeon to move my jaw exactly where it needs to be. He said that sometimes the front teeth get in the way of allowing your jaw to be set far enough forward where it's supposed to be, so the gaps push the front teeth forward a bit and keep them from getting in the way during the surgery.

My next appointment is May 18, when I get the surgical hooks on.

18 days until surgery! 7 days until I am DONE with finals :)


3 weeks!

3 weeks from today I will be having surgery. It sounds so close, and so far all at the same time. It is final exam time, so it feels like I have so much standing between me and surgery. I have an orthodontist appointment on Thursday, which will be my second to last one before surgery.

To all of my followers, feel free to ask me any questions throughout this whole experience! My mind is pretty much consumed with surgery thoughts, so I love getting questions and love talking with my blogger friends!

21 days!