Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 6

Today I had my appt with my surgeons. They were very happy how everything looked. I have another appt next Monday and I may have the splint removed! Nothing guaranteed, of course, but I am optimistic. I also had X-rays taken and it's crazy to see the changes from a week ago.
I was on a kick to eat more today and I did ok, just ok. Had a protein shake from jamba juice, ninja'd some chicken noodle soup and later some mushroom soup, and then had made a protein shake from GNC. It's the most so far and I was happy with that. I just worry about getting pieces of food stuck in the splint. My surgeon told me to not brush my upper teeth for a while to let the tissue heal. Ick! That's all I can say. Rinsing with mouthwash helps but not that much. One more fun stage of recovery! Still can't believe it's almost been a week.
Can't wait to see my baby girl tomorrow and life will slowly start to return to normal. Thanks to my awesome friend jana for stopping over with food and cheering me up....even tho I'm a mumbling, drooling mess. It's been a huge comfort.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 5 - so tired

So I didn't do much today, I was so tired. As my mother in law said yesterday, this really knocked my body for a loop! Maybe I tried to do too much this morning. Mostly layed around reading and watching altogether too much tv. Was able to sit outside and get a lot of fresh air. Getting enough calories continues to be a problem. I've lost about 9 pounds so far and I'm not real thrilled about that. The swelling continues to spread. It moved down my face and has created some nice looking jowls. As far as feeling goes, I am feeling more than I expected. The splint prevents me from feeling my upper teeth at all and most of my upper mouth. I can feel the stitches now. I can feel my lips and most of my nose, nostrils are numb and gigantic. All around I just feel that my face is enormous and monstrous! I expect this feeling to last a while though.
Tomorrow is my first appt with the surgeon. Will keep u posted. Hugs to Rosa and good luck tmrw Tiff!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 4 - on the up?

I'll be honest, the last few days I have been toeing the line between rock bottom and beyond rock bottom.  Finally this afternoon I feel tiny bits of my old, healed self returning.....and it's awesome.  I was able to slurp some cream of chicken soup, that in itself felt incredible.  I did  not spend the entire day in bed feeling sorry for myself, either.  Been drinking lots and lots of water and clear Ensure, even on top of the nausea . I have quit my pain meds.  They weren't doing much for me at all and now I'm just using ibuprofen, which has helped intensely with my throat pain.  Day 4 has been a great day for me, trust me I needed a great day :) 
So about my surgery day...
I arrived at the hospital at 5:45 am and we were registered and then taken up to the surgery center.  I was weighed, given another pregnancy test, changed into my gown, had a cry in the bathroom and then was given an IV.  My doctors came out in their scrubs at that point and chatted with us about what they were going to do, made some jokes (i appreciated that), apologized about putting the surgery off for that week (he really was sick) and said they would see me soon.  I was taken into another room and put on a bed and covered with a warm blanket.  The anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself, asked about prior surgeries and my reaction to drugs.  I wished I would have told him to pump up the anti-nauseous medicine, but who knew it would have gotten as bad as it did.  Then they told me they were ready to take me to surgery and off we went.  Now this is where I had hoped I would have gone under, but instead i was wheeled to the cold, scary surgery room, transfered to the table and forced to watch everyone wandering around, getting utensils out, etc.  Not exactly something I would have signed up for.  I was told to use the Afrin nose spray to "get things moving in there", laid back down and he said I would be asleep within a minute, and I was.  Surgery took almost three hours, it went actually shorter than expected.  (I had the 2 piece Le Forte and they also expanded my palate via bone graft.) 
Anyways, before waking up or I guess while I was coming to, the world went from complete blackness to a dream of my husband and daughter playing on the swingset.  It was quite nice.
First thing I noticed as I woke up, I could totally breathe, in fact my nose had never been so clear.  Definite plus, right?  We all worry about not being able to breathe, so check that one off the list.  The nausea was next in line.  I want to be honest here and not scare anybody, but it was bad.  I didn't throw up then because I was scared to with the splint in my mouth.  They wheeled me to my room and i had to have them stop because i almost got sick again.  The next few hours were also not fun.  My husband of course wanted me to eat almost immediately and they brought in the soft food lunch, whatever that was.  I was so hungry i gave some yogurt a try and found out very immediately that food needed to be in liquid form. I choked on it and gave up.  We requested a protein shake like Ensure but it didn't arrive until 7PM because it's actually a restricted food unless you have a special order for it.  Really?  For a jaw surgery patient?  That was just the beginning of our problems with the hospital.  I was starving.  They brought 1 Ensure and that was all I would get for the 24 hours I was there. 
The nurses were ok, but I felt they had a hard time figuring out what to do for me.  This clearly is not a procedure that they see enough of.  so that's about it for now.  I am so swollen and disgusting today!  Definitely worse than yesterday.  Hoping the motrin will start to help that. 
Hope you're feeling better, Rosa!
have a good night all

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 2

Tomorrow if I'm feeling better I will do a long post about surgery. Tonight and today have been tough, physically and emotionally, so I just wanted to do a quick update....
First off, I am home thank god. Was released about 830 this morning. Haven't done much other than lay around and not sleep all day. I wasn't able to sleep at the hospital because of all the distractions so I hope to really pass out tonight. Getting comfortable has been a little tricky, so we will see.
I am feeling pretty bad that I haven't seen my daughter that much over the last few days. luckily my mom and sister have been keeping her occupied. I know that's a good thing and that I need to heal, but I just really miss
her. Anyways, hoping for a better day tmrw. I'm so thankful for my awesome family and husband for taking care of me. I honestly did not think I would be feeling this crappy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I think I'm alive

Hi friends
The surgery went well I was told. Not an easy day at all. I've been super nauseous all day and finally after somewhat choking down a bottle of ensure I feel a little better. The got-hit-by-a-bus feeling is generally how I feel tho.
My nose is draining so much and my throat is so sore from the tube that swallowing is challenging to put it mildly. And I ended up with a splint after all, not a palate expander, and I am not wired shut.....but I may as well be! Talking is also a challenge and I think I will zip it up over the next week or so:)
I will post more tmrw.
Rosa, I hope you're hanging in there babe cause as they say this ain't easy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

keeping my head up

it's been a good week so far!  my nerves are in a way better position than they were last week.  haven't succombed to the anxiety and am feeling pretty positive.  just got a call from the hospital and i am set up for a 7:30AM surgery.  will have to be at the hospital by 6AM, which means we will be leaving our house around, eh?!

promise to post lots of pictures and info if i'm feeling ok tomorrow.  thank you for all of the good wishes, you guys rock.

and good luck to Rosa who is also going in tomorrow!  will be thinking of you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

surgery update

After a totally crazy week, we are scheduled again for next Wednesday.  It's probably just as well that the surgery was moved because i came down with a little cold on Monday and Wednesday I was feeling pretty bad and ended up sleeping  most of the day.  Feeling better today but I can't ever seem to escape from a sinus infection after a cold and I feel it starting, so we'll see.

I did go to the orthodontist on Tuesday to get my surgical hooks put on.  The experience overall was not that unpleasant, but since the doctor thought the surgery was the next day, he cut off the wire between my front teeth and took off the coil which was giving me that awesome gap.   Well the gap is no more and i'm not sure that's a good thing for surgery.   I have been waiting to here from the orthodontist's office regarding this.  My front teeth don't know what to do without that wire holding them together and they are super sore. 

And if you thought food got stuck in your braces just in general, wait til you get you surgical hooks! They are a total pain.  I need a full brush after i eat anything because it gets snagged in the wires so bad.  My mouth feels a lot heavier since they've been on.  They are rather pokey, but nothing I can't deal with for a while. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Surgery postponed

Just wrapped up a conversation with a good friend, she sent good luck wishes and all that good stuff. I no sooner put my phone down and it rings again. It's the assistant surgeon and he informs me that the surgery is off for tomorrow because the head surgeon was admitted to the hospital. You've got to be kidding me people! My bag is packed I am ready to go! My husband took time off work, plans have been made for my daughter...we are not canceling.....but we are. I am somewhat speechless right now and all I can do is laugh. I will get to do this emotional thing again?! That sucks, this situation right now completely sucks. Some luck I have.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Just a quick photo of my family. Also wanted to share some embarrassing shots of my bite, at rest, smiling, etc.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday night blues

Generally I really like Sunday nights. I think about my week ahead and what I need to do...appointments, work, cleaning, you name it. Today was a weird Sunday. I don't know what to expect this week. I think I have everything I need for my recovery, but I feel overall that I am totally unprepared for what lies ahead on Wednesday. I am trying hard to not get too emotional but honestly I have been so all over the place. Feel bad for my family for having to put up with me! Also I am eating like its going out of style. Nothing unhealthy really, but I guess I'm trying to compensate for what's coming. Wednesday I face my biggest insecurity that I tried to cover up and live with for so long. I really can't stand the way my face doesn't fit together but I am also scared of what the new face will look like. Here's hoping that I have hit my emotional peak :) erin

Monday, July 9, 2012

moulds and more moulds

And so the countdown is on!  One week from Wednesday.  I met with my surgeons again today for moulds and man that was the worst experience i have had with the impressions.  They had to take four on top to get two good ones and i was super grossed out by the paste and even gagged.  Then they put this torture-looking device on my head which went into my ears so that i couldn't hear anything.  I kept having to hold it in place while they did whatever they needed to do.  thank god that's over. over two hours spent in their office today.

i also learned that the genioplasty is no more.  they are just doing the upper jaw in two pieces, removing some bone and basically the jaw will be tipped up. we also talked about changes to my nose. yes, i should expect my nostrils to get a little bit bigger (crap!).  the stitches they put in will somewhat control that and he said proportion-wise, that it will actually fit my face better. mmmmkay.  they will be removing some bone in the nose and then cleaning out my sinuses, expect some bleeding from that. potention problems in include obviously swelling, bleeding, problems with teeth,etc.  fun stuff.

I never finished my post from last week but basically i had received a letter from my surgeon's office about fees (which i knew) and down payment (which I didn't know).  the last surgeon i had consultations with had required a down payment of  $1500 for the surgery.  stupid me, i just assumed most offices would be somewhere in that ballpark.  after reading their letter, which was sent to me only two weeks before surgery, i was informed that they required a down payment of 50% of the surgeons fees and 50% of the assistant surgeon's fees.  Say what?  You all know that this is not a cheap surgery and to require someone to put that kind of money down even though i have insurance is somewhat baffling to me. 

Which leads me to another point entirely.  I have good health insurance with a major provider.  I live north of Chicago, which has plenty of good oral surgeons, however there are zero oral surgeons that are in-network with my medical insurance.  Zero.  I spent hours upon hours calling surgeons.  They all would ask who my dental provider was and maybe they were in-network with my dental provider, but none were in network with my major medical provider.  So my surgeon is out of network and that means they will pay less of it but also there are no discounts, etc, etc. etc.  So I just feel like they have really stuck it to me and I was upset. 

Hopefully not everyone went through the insurance debacle, because it sure does suck.  Tomorrow i go for my pre-op physical.  I still can't believe this is really happening. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Decisions and drama

Well it's been another interesting week. My surgeons and orthodontist were meeting monday night to review everything. They both called me yesterday. My orthodontist assured me I was in very good hands and that we needed another appt for surgical hooks. My surgeon told me they decided on just the upper jaw surgery but that he also recommended chin genioplasty. I hadn't really researched this procedure since I was planning on double jaw surgery this whole time, but I guess it will make my chin smaller. He also said we have to move the location of the surgery to a different surgery center because of insurance reasons. Ok. I am scheduled to go in on Monday to review everything with him. They also faxed over all of the paperwork regarding fees, down payment, etc., and this is where it gets a little hairy. Will post more later.