Brandy's Braces, SARPE, Jaw Surgery Journal

This is my daily journal to my eventual perfect smile and Apnea free life. It logs my surgeries, and daily progress.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Third Surgery Dream, Not So Scared Anymore!

So last night I had my third surgery dream. This time I woke up with ice packs on my face, a white board to write on, and my husband taking pictures of me giving him a thumbs up. It was a good dream, and I can tell you that my nerves are starting to calm down a bit. I don't know if its because I'm just becoming resigned to the fact that it really is out of my control, and that I have to go through with it whether I really want to or not, or if I'm just to tired to be scared anymore, or if its just because it is taking so long to get here. Maybe the dreams are in some weird way helping me work through my anxiety. I have been reading a lot of people's stories and it seems like everyone is coming along pretty well. I feel confident now that I will be fine and that it will all work out as its supposed to. I think I'm even feeling a bit excited about my surgery. That probably sounds a bit odd, but hey, I would rather be a bit excited, then scared out of my wits anyday!

I have an appointment next week for my EKG. I'm sure it will come back normal, I don't think my little flutters are anything to be concerned about, they are probably nothing ...too much caffeine or stress most likely. Either way, I guess I will know for sure very soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ahhhh.....Pokey Archwire Relief & Other Medical Minutia

I ran to the ortho today. I had a piece of barbed wire stabbing into the area behind my lower left molar. Ok....well maybe it wasn't barbed wire, but man it sure as heck felt like it for the past 5 days. These steel wires have like zero give, so I couldn't even bend it. I tried wax but the wire was so thick it just kept poking right through it. Even when the assistant was using the wire clipper it felt like she was squeezing so hard and it just wouldn't cut. Finally it did but man it was tough. It's amazing how something so small can cause such pain! I'm so glad its gone now.

Went to the doctor today to follow up on my blood tests. Not great news. Seems that my DHEA levels are very high, and they can't figure out why. Normal is about 500. My is at 711 this time and was 825 last time. While lower, it is still far too high. My doctor said she even consulted with another doctor about it and they are both confounded as to what the problem is. So....I now have to schedule a ultrasound on my adrenal glands. They want to see if there is a reason why they are cranking out so much DHEA. In addition I have to go have an EKG done (so I can appease the anesthesiologist) and make sure there isn't a serious reason why I keep getting these little heart palpitations. Last but not least she ordered a new blood test to check my vitamin D levels. Living in Alaska with all the darkness, there are a large number of people who have serious vitamin D deficiencies due to the lack of sunlight. I was feeling soooo much better when we went to Hawaii, and upon getting back, within a week with no sun I was back to feeling rather down. Alaska has a very high rate of cancer compared with the national average. It's been postulated that it may be due to the lack of sunlight and a lack of vitamin D production.

My doctor said that an average amount of vitamin D for a person is about 80 - 100mg. She said if you are in the sunlight in say Florida for a full day, that you would produce about 90mg in one day. She said she tested her vitamin D the other day and it was at 8.6mg. I told her that Hawaii was my first vacation in two years to a sunny place. Last year our summer was totally crappy with hardly any sun and the little bit that we did have I missed out on because we were moving and unpacking. So basically I have been sun deprived for 2 years. I use a SAD light at work, but it is just not the same as the real sunlight. So....anyway that is the reasoning for the vitamin D test. Spring is finally starting to come here so hopefully my sun exposure will start to become greater very soon.

Man! reading all this I sound like I'm a physical wreck! LOL... Honestly its much less dramatic then it sounds. I'm very healthy, you would never know anything was wrong. I just want to be as healthy as I can be so I'm doing all this ahead of time to get things in order early and while I'm still relatively young and can make a change or fix things.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Be Still My Beating Heart!

I was trying desperately to work out my Dr. appointment schedule for the next two months prior to surgery. I wanted to change my Ortho appointment to later in May so that I would not have to be wearing my surgical hooks for a month before surgery. So I did. Made it the same day as my pre-op appointment. So now I will see my OS on May 15th, then head out to my ortho for impressions and hooks, then back to the OS to drop of the new impressions for his pre-surgical practice fun.

I called my OS's nurse today regarding what I have to get done prior to surgery for them. She told me that within 3 days prior to surgery I need to have a blood workup done, a urinalysis, and a pregnancy test, however the hospital allows us to schedule those so while I'm there on the 15th we will call and get me all set up.
I asked her a few others questions that went something like this:

Me: Can you tell me how long the surgery will take??

Her: About 4.5-5 hours. 2.5 for the top, and about 1.5 for the bottom. Prior to surgery there will be about 1-1.5 hours of surgical prep work to be done.

Me: Will I have a catheter?

Her: Yes the doctor usually does use them, however it will be removed long before you even know you had one.

Me: Cool! So what about a splint? Will I have to have one of those?

Her: Well that depends on if its a 3 piece lefort or just a one piece.

Me: Oh...its just a 1 piece Lefort. Moving forward 3mm.

Her: Oh..ok, then no, the doctor does not usually use a splint for 1 piece Leforts, only 3 piece ones.

Me: Oh...that is totally awesome, I was so not looking forward to that thing. Should I give blood?

Her: Well you can but if you are going to do it you would want to do it right away so that you have time for your blood cells to replenish themselves. I should tell you though that the dr does not require it anymore. We use to have people donate routinely, however, we found that we never needed to use the blood and it compromised people's blood counts at the time of surgery. So, the doctor no longer feels it to be necessary. It really is up to you though.

Me: Ok...well if you don't think I will really need it then I guess I will pass.
So what about an EKG? Do I need one of those?

Her: Well usually we require it based on age, at 43 you probably do not really need one. Have you had any issues with your heart?

Me: Well honestly in the last 6 months I have had about 4 incidences where my heart seems to flutter. I sorta lose my breath and my head gets a bit light headed, then things just sorta go back to normal and everything is fine.

Her: Well then YES you need to get that looked into and have an EKG done. The anethesiologist will want to see a clean EKG before he goes to work on you. The last thing you want is to fail the EKG right before your surgery and then we have to postpone it. Who is your primary care physician??

Me. Well I see Chris over at ___________ she is a licensed nurse practioner.

Her: Oh, so she is a naturopath? (said with serious disdain)

Me: Uh...yeah.

Her: (Long pause).....Well you will definitely want to see her, or at least talk with her about this. She can either run an EKG at her office or refer you out for one. I will speak to the doctor about it and see if he has anything else he wants you to do in addtion to this. If he does I will get back with you this afternoon.

So that was about it. Now I have an appointment with my "UH Naturopath" on Wednesday to discuss all of this heart stuff. Hopefully they will find out what the problem is and that it will not be anything serious or that is going to interrupt my surgical plans. I should've just kept my mouth shut huh???? LOL....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pre- Surgical Dietary Prep

So today I set out on a mission to get the supplements I'm going to need for my surgery. I'm going to follow the nutrional supplementation recommended by John Wright for faster and better healing. I have been able to find most of the things I need in capsule, powder, or drop form, so that I will easily be able to add them to blended drinks, or fruit juice. There is one that is sublingual (meaning it needs to go under my tongue to dissolve. They are very small though so I'm thinking this will not be a huge issue, I mean I WILL be able to open my mouth a little bit....I think/hope! Right??? I started taking a calcium supplement today, in addition to my 3 time a day multivitamin, and 3 packets of Emergen-C. I'm going to start working out more regularly to make sure my heart is strong, and that I'm physically fit for this surgery. Since I won't be able to work out for awhile after surgery, I want to do some lifting and build some muscle before hand. Summer is coming, and I have a wedding to go to 3 weeks post op, plus I will be in Vegas (in a swimsuit) by the end of June. I want to at least have a little muscle tone that will hopefully carry over until I can start regularly exercising again. I have decided that as of today....I'm on a mission to make this surgery as easy as possible, and to do what I can (at my age) to heal quickly and thoughly. I want it all (that which I have control over) to go smoothly.

I'm a little nervous about the pain meds post op that I will be given. I have never had morphine, and I think I have a pretty high pain tolerance so I don't know how much I will really need. I have also been told that it is better to stay ahead of the pain then wait for it to come and then try and address it. I'm sure I will learn more about this when I talk with my OS more on the 15th. What have all you surgery veterans found? Did you need many pain meds? If so how did you decide when to stop taking them? What were you all given?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Alyeska Ski Resort Rocks!!!

Ski Lift So today I decided to give myself a sanity break. I gathered up my darling husband, his friend, my son, his buddy, my best girlfriend, and myself and we headed up to the slopes (Mt. Alyeska) for a glorious day of sking. Now mind you I'm not a pro by any means nor is my husband, but we can hold our own and not end up dead which is what really counts. Both of our friends, as well as my son and his buddy are really really good skiers. They took off to the top of the mountain while we got our bearings on the Chair 3 hill (not a bunny hill, but not a big scary one either) I decided to take a lesson today, and ended up getting a two hour private one since no one else signed up for the group lesson. The guy taught me a lot and I was swooshing down the slopes like a pro by the end of the lesson....ok, maybe not a pro, but definitley a much improved novice! LOL...

It was an incredible day for sking!!! It cleared up and got beautifully sunny while we were there. It was warm, clear, and the snow was perfect (amazingly perfect) We skied non stop from 11:30am til 4:45pm and had a wonderful time. Needless to say, I'm completely wiped out....exhausted really! It's a good kind of tired though, and I feel like I worked out a lot of my pre surgery stress today, which I so desperately needed to do!! If you ever get a chance to come to Alaska you so have to check out Alyeska. It is truly a world class ski resort, and was made even better this year by the huge amount of snow we have recieved. What a great day!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pre-Surgical Consult Scheduled!

May 15th at 10:00am for one hour. That is my official date, and also my last appointment with the OS until the 24th (the day of doom.) I sorta feel like I"m on an emotional roller coastert these days, vasilating back and forth almost hourly between being ok with surgery, and just dreading it and wanting not to do it. Guess that is probably normal though huh.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Last Adjustment Before Pre-surgical Impressions

So I went to the ortho today. He gave me a look see, said that my alignment looks great and that there is not much else we can do until after surgery. He took out my steel wire, put a couple different bends in it then had the tech put it back on. I decided to take a walk on the wild side today and went for new metallic blue powerchains on the top and bottom.

The ortho wants me to come in again on May 3rd for pre-surgical impressions so the OS will have what he needs to make additional casts for his practice surgeries, and to design my splint. Yes....that part made me sad, I was sorta hoping that I would not have to have a splint LOL... The ortho was also planning to put my surgical hooks on at that time, however, I have a job where I have to talk all day long so I have decided that I'm going to see if I can make that happen at a later date, like about 2 days before surgery. Other than was a relatively uneventful appointment.

Here are my new blue powerchains!

My son found out that he is just about done today though. He got new rubberband configurations (upside down triangles.) If he wears them like he is supposed to (which I know he will) we may be looking at his debracing appointment being schedule next time. He will for sure have then off by the time we are out of school. LUCKY HIM!

Here is a little slideshow of my darling son isn't he cute! LOL

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Day 4 Pattern Emerging?? with my surgery looming in the very not to distant future I have been reading tons of blogs and surgery updates from all my online surgery buddies, and really anyone else I can find who is, or has gone through this whole procedure. Recently I have been following Steph's, Amy's, JennNicole's, Rebecca's, Larkins, Kristen's, Cary's, Kelsie's, Mary's, Bill's and a few others blogs. I have started to notice this interesting pattern emerging. I'm convinced that day four is the worst! It seems like everyone is missing in action on their blogs on day four!! It's like things just move along fine through day three, then day four comes......and NOTHING! So with that being said, I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for this.

I'm also determined, no matter how horrible I feel or look to post on this day. Even if I'm feeling like total CRAP! I will find a way to update my blog buddies. I may make my husband do it for me LOL! but I WILL POST....with pictures even on day four!! :)

I'm on spring break this week, and I was all excited because when we go back we are down to our last 7 weeks of school before summer break. Now, however, I find I'm not quite as excited.....because well, with each day we get closer to break, I also get 1 day closer to my actual surgery date. I want it done, but the anticipation is killing me. I'm not going to lie and say that
I' m not nervous, because I am! I'm truly at this moment in time trying to live in denial. I'm just choosing to not think about it until it is closer and I absolutely have to. I did have my second surgery dream last night though. I don't remember all the specifics of it, just that I made it through and was still alive. That part to me was very comforting. I actually remember waking up thinking......Oh thank GOD! I lived! Clearly even though I'm choosing to live in denial, my subconscious is definitely processing my insecurities about this surgery. I wonder how many more surgery dreams I will have before the actual procedure happens???

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Love of a Child!

I was talking to my son last night on the instant messenger. We do that most days when he is at his dad's house so that even when we are apart we can still talk and stay connected.

My son is going to be 15 in June. He is a wonderful kid and while he is not the type to really wear his heart on his sleeve, he and I share a very special mom and son bond. We were discussing my now official surgery date. The conversation went something like this.

Me: So I have an official surgery date as of today. May 24th at 7:30am. The day after school is out.

Son: O rly?

Me: Yep, it's all set, I will have to spend at least 2 maybe three days in the hospital afterwards though, as its considered major surgery.

Son: oh

Me: I'm hoping it will only be 2 though.

Son: oh

Me: So do you even care? LOL...

Son: OF COURSE I CARE...... you could DIE!

Me: Are you worried about me?

Son: YES!

Me: Wow...really honey, it will be fine. I'm not going to DIE....I have way too much to live for. I plan to be around to see you graduate, get married, have kids.....I plan on being around for a very long time!

Son: That is good! But...

Me: Really I have read lots of accounts of this surgery, and researched it a ton. I have never heard of anyone dieing from it. My surgeon has been doing this for 30 years, plus there will be another surgeon in there with him, if I experience any complications I will have two very capable doctors there to take care of me. I don't want you to mommy will be fine! This is routine surgery for them.

Son: Ok

Me: I might look like a giant puffer fish, for a couple weeks. Actually it is very similar to my SARPE, just a bit more involved. They will be making incisions in the exact same locations they will just be releasing the whole piece this time instead of just fracturing it.

Son: oh..ok.

Me: It is still 2 months away....lets not worry about it until we have to ok? I will be fine, I'm tough, and I love you.

Son: Ok.

So, I supposed I have been so involved with my own internal drama concerning the nerves and fear that I hadn't noticed my sons concern. My darling son is a typical boy, so good at being cool, keeping his real feelings hidden (as at his age, it is so not cool to wear them on your sleeve anyway.) We are very close so I'm not at all surprised, but now I feel even more stressed knowing he is worrying about me not coming back. I just want to hug him and tell him it will all be ok. I'm going to really focus on helping him feel better about this over the next couple of months.
It is sortof ironic as his father has been in the hospital for a couple of different gallbladder, and knee. and our son was very calm, in fact when I asked if he was worried he said no. He just isn't as close to his father as he is to me. Don't get me wrong, he loves his dad, but they don't have that "special" bond like he and I do. I know for myself if anything were ever to happen to him I would never be the same. I really think I would totally and completely fall apart. He is the same, doesn't show it as much, but he is definitely mama's boy.

Anyway....he is my little Angel...a gift from the heavens for sure! I just love being a mom, and love my boy more then life itself....there's nothing greater then the love of a child.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I Officially Have A Surgery DATE!!!!

May 24th at 7:30 am! It is exactly 2 months and 1 week from day after the kids get out of school!

I got my pre-auth estimate today. Looks like my insurance is going to cover all but about 3,000 dollars. Which isn't too terribly bad, considering that one of the procedures is for a bone graft that is going to support an implant at a later date. The genio has not been pre-approved yet so we are waiting on that. If they don't approve it, and I want to have it done I will have to come up with another $3600.00. Which would be a bit more then I wanted to spend. I will just wait to decide on that one though once I talk to my OS again and see the pictures he has drawn up. I mean the doctor is not even sure he is going to need to do it.

I also found out today that I will be having two surgeons working on me, not just my regular OS. That sorta surprised me, but in a good way, as I figure if they are both working on me then the surgery should go twice as fast. They are going to call me Monday to schedule a pre-op appointment and let me know if there is anything else I need to do like; give blood, get a physical, have an EKG done, etc.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stress Compounding Daily!

So, its been what almost a week now? and still I have not heard anything new from my insurance company, now mind you I'm just about positive that they are covering things for the most part. The question is, just how much will I be left to pay??? I would really like to plan for this a bit so the sooner I know the better. Plus I want to actually schedule my surgery date, and my doctor won't let me do that until I get the the pre auth-treatment authorization in writing. Even though I faxed him the email saying they would cover it! I guess I will call them again tomorrow (the OS) and see if they have recieved anything new, OR if they have the new letter of medical neccesity written and the pre-auth for the genio done, so I can submit that and see if they are going to take care of that also.

I did get a bit of relief last night, as I work for the school district here, and for this whole year we have been fighting for a new contract. We were all set to strike, which would've meant that we had to extend the school year to make up the time missed. Well last night they came to a tenative agreement with the district. Mind you we still need to vote on it, but from what I can see at this point it looks like a pretty good deal, and like everyone will go for it. It's definitely one of the best contracts I have seen since I began working this job. This is a big relief now as now I can rest easy knowing that I can still have my surgery the end of May as planned.

I thought I would report on a couple things today. First my upper teeth are still working on getting full feeling back, but it is coming back...ever so slowly, but getting better everyday. Also, my doctor gave me the supplement about a month ago to help with my cortisol levels, and things are sooo much better in that department too. I'm now sleeping very well, I'm dreaming every night now whereas I was not before. I actually remember my dreams daily, and I'm amazed at the difference it has made. My memory has also improved tremendously, I don't feel like my head is full of cotton anymore (thank goodness.) My skin is looking so much healthier now too and a women at work today even commmented on how fresh and healthy I looked. Even after a day of working together and being tired, she said I looked like I just got to work, and that I didn't even look tired at all! I thought that was an amazing compliment.

I see the ortho next Wednesday for another adjustment. I'm going to ask him about rotating my left canine, and fixing the flare on my front second incisor, oh, and also what my surgical hooks will look like. On the 3rd of April I have an appointment at the dentist to fill a cavity in my left canine, before it gets bad and I end up having to have another root canal. Other than that things are just moving along.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Insurance Stress may kill me before Apnea does!

I'm trying to stay calm about all of this insurance stuff. I started as early as I could with it, getting the initial pre-auth before I ever even got the orthodontics. I mean I wasn't going to do all of this if it wasn't covered. So...we had the SARPE, got the braces, now I'm ready for surgery.

My treatment pan changed though, so now I'm having to go through the whole pre-auth stuff all over again, with the new treatment plan information. I'm now looking at upper jaw and genio in addition to the original lower advancement. My insurance lady told me that it should be fine, that treatment plans change all the time. That the doctors just don't know for sure how things are going to work out until they get in there and start moving everything around. So, I ended up paying $7200.00 for my braces and another $1,000 for my SARPE.

The other day I get a copy of an email from my insurance lady. It was the info she sent to the main lady at the insurance company. She had emailed her back saying

"This will still be okay as is, but no orthodontia is allowed under the Plan."

So I'm like all happy, and proceed in doing all the stuff in the post below. Today my insurance lady emails me again. She talked to them about the info the doctor needs etc and emails me saying "FYI, that it looks like we should be getting something in writing soon." An again she forwards me the reply from the lady. Only today, I'm sortof freaking out about what the other lady wrote. She said:

I have done a revised pre-treatment estimate that will go out tomorrow, or the info should be on the website currently. The charges submitted will be allowed, but 2 of them will be reduced as multiple procedures and then there is always the chance that HCI may edit for unbundling. I would like to talk to you a bit more about this one and a couple other things that I still have out there for you.

I of couse emailed her back, asking her if I should be freaking out now, or just wait til the pre-treatment estimate comes. I told her that I was under the premise that this was all going to be covered and that as it is, my doctor wants me to put like 10,000 down. I can't afford to go $20,000 into debt to do this, I would've never started it if I had known in advance that this would not be covered 100%. I'm waiting to hear back from her, or maybe I should say that I'm sick to my stomach waiting to hear back from her. What does this all mean? Why would the amounts be reduced for "multiple procedures?" Who, or what is HCI? I'm really stressed out about this! I mean I HAVE to have my surgery in May, if I miss this summer window I can't do anything until next May again?! It would totally suck! Now I know I still have over 2 months to get this worked out, but right now.....that feels like it is coming up really quickly! CALGON....TAKE ME AWAY!!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Insurance Woes

Man, just a few months ago I was complaining about how far away May was. Now, yet again, I'm grateful that I still have a few monhts to spare. Called my insurance manager to check on my pre-auth today. She had submitted all the paperwork I gave her (new medical necessity letter, new treatment plan, and all the previous info etc.) So she had recieved an email back from them saying that it would still be covered. I also talked with her about the possiblity of having genio covered. That the doctor had said that he would be doing it to help correct my sleep apnea, and that it does have functional benefits to it, that it changes the pull on the tongue. He had not put it on the new treatment plan so I wanted to know what to do. She told
me that the doctor could submit a new pre-auth for the genio, or add it to the current one.

So armed with the new info and the email approval I called my OS to schedule my surgery. I spoke to the nurse, who said she needed to pull my chart and asked if I could hold on. She came back and said that she wasn't sure how much time the doctor was going to need and that she needed to consult with him first, and get approval from him to schedule it, then she would call me back. She then tranferred me to the insurance clerk so I could talk to her about the genio pre-auth.
The conversation went something like this:

Girl: Hi, this is ____

Me: Hi, ____ this is Brandy, hey I wanted to ask you. When I picked up my new medical necessity letter it said that the Dr. may perform a genioplasty, however, it is not on the pre-auth treatment plan.

Girl: Oh..yea, that is not covered. Anything with the word "plasty" sorta freaks the insurance companies out. They consider it cosmetic and won't cover it. So it will be an additional $3500.00. So, you understand that it will be 30% of the procedure which is $7,000 plus 3500.00 so $10,500 to be paid before your surgery date.

Me: But, the Dr. told me that he wanted to do it because it changes the pull on the tongue. Not because it's cosmetic. My insurance manager said that I should submit a pre-auth and that when they investigate the procedure if there is support for this functional use, that they can override it and approve it. Also I got an email saying it is covered, and my insurance pays 100% after I pay $1,000. So this would all be covered.

Girl: Yes I know that, but this is our office policy and so when the insurance pays us we just cut you a check and pay you back the rest.

Me:, I thought we talked last time and you said that if my insurance would cover the whole procedure 100% that maybe we could reduce the down payment to $4,000 instead of $7,000.

Girl: Yes that might be true, but we need to have a paper copy of the pre-auth stating how much they are going to cover. Not just that they ARE going to pay.

Me: But that doesn't make any sense, why would the insurance company tell you how much they would cover? I mean aren't they going to be afraid that if they say they will cover $80,000 that you will charge $80,000? I mean really the doctor doesn't even know how much he is truly going to charge until he gets in there and does the work.....right????

Girl: Well I'm just telling you if you want to pay $4,000 instead of the $7,000 then that is what we would need.

Me: Ok...fine, I will call the insurance agent back again and ask if this is possible. But truthfully I couldn't care less about the down payment. I mean if I Have to put $7,000 on my credit card to proceed with the surgery, when my insurance has said they would pay 100% then so be it. I'm not worried about getting my refund, I know the insurance manager I'm working with will make sure it gets paid for me.

Girl: Ok...then, I will have the Dr. write up a new letter of medical neccesity for the genio, and we will submit a separate pre-auth for this procedure also.

Me: Great, if you will just call me when you have those ready to go then I will come pick them up, and take them to my insurance lady. She wants to hand process all my paperwork so we can keep everything together.

Girl: Ok, I will call you when they are done.

Me: Thanks, Bye. you can see, it was a lot of drama for something that is supposed to be relatively simple. I guess I'm confused here. I mean if a person has this jaw surgery because they have occulsal issues isn't it also considered a medical prodedure? I mean isn't it covered under ones medical insurance? I feel like I'm so confused now. It's insurance company voodoo I tell you!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

One Year Post SARPE

So today is one full year since I went in for my first oral surgical procedure. It seems so long ago now, but I must say that I'm so glad that I did it as I have been just thrilled with my results. I also wanted to mark the date in my blog, and report on my continued return of feeling. There is still a tini tiny amount that is healing but I now have feeling in the teeth that have been numb ever since my surgery. So I consider that a nice 1 year gift.

Since my last adjustment when I got the giant number 19 wire my teeth feel like they have moved a ton. Things feel like they are really lined up and straight. I find my jaw joints have been aching a lot lately since I keep holding my jaw forward to keep my teeth in their new comfort spot. I assume this is what my jaw joints will feel like after my jaw surgery so, I suppose in a weird way its good practice for my upcoming surgery adventure. I can tell you though, that the amount of distance that my teeth need to be moved to line them up and correct my occlusion feels like it has been hugely reduced. I mean I can say honestly, if I was only doing this to fix my teeth, I would more then likely not follow through with the surgery. I know the joint aching might have changed that at some point, but right now, just looking at them it really seems like a minuscule amount and I'm not sure I would've gone under the knife to fix it.

Here is the most current pic of my arches taken on 3-1-07

The 10th of March is my Birthday. I will officially be 43. My dh gave me a Palm Tx hand held PA as an early present. I have been wanting one so that I can keep my appointments etc on it, however the fact that I can now check my email from anywhere, transfer my files, and of course blog at just about any moment of the day is pretty cool too! Just one more way to stay connected while at the hospital also. Now if it only took pictures I would be all set LOL

Thursday, March 01, 2007

First Surgery Dream!!

I had my first surgery dream last night. Guess that means that even though I'm trying not to think about it, my subconscious clearly is. The dream was actually a good one. I woke up from surgery amazed at how I looked. I had no swelling, only two lines of stiches down each side of my face. All the nurses and doctors where staring at me and telling Dr. Edwards what an amazing job he did, and asking how he made me not have any swelling. I also had complete feeling in my teeth, lips, jaw, and face. I was flabberghasted at how wonderful I felt. I awoke feeling very good about the whole thing, and was glad that it wasn't a bad, scary dream.

I wonder how many more of these I will have before surgery??? Did anyone else begin dreaming about their surgerys prior to having them??

Two Days Shy of One Year Post SARPE. Recent Changes!!!

Today is March 1st. In two days it will one year since I had my SARPE surgery. It has actually gone by rather fast, but sorta slow too. Hard to believe its been a year, but at the same time too it has been long waiting for all my feeling to come back.

So....I had to post today as so many of my milestones have been almost exactly where my doctor has said. I've had this numb patch behind my front two left incisors and canine. I could feel sensation on my teeth but they were still not 100%. When I told my OS this the other day he said that he wasn't surprised, that the maxillary nerve is usually the last to regenerate. This past week, my teeth and gums have really been burning. So much in fact that I took some Advil to try and ease the sensation. I woke up this morning and my second incisor was achey, I thought maybe I just ate something tough and tugged on it to much yesterday, however as the day has gone on the feeling has been gradually coming back in this area. When I run my tongue over my gums (behind my teeth) they feel different, not so numb and irritating. For a year now I have hated brushing my teeth from the back as this area has always been super sensitive but numb (does that make any sense?) It didn't really hurt to brush, but was definitely uncomfortable. Today....right now is different though. I can really feel my how they used to be. It is not completely back yet, but I imagine in the next couple of day it will be back to the pre-surgery state.

So.....I'm excited, now I have sortof a time line to look forward to for my next surgery. This particular healing period was the worst it could've possibly been. I was not on any kind of vitamin supplementation, I wasn't sleeping at all due to my apnea, and high cortisol levels, and with the complications I kept having re-occuring sinus infections. My immune system was compromised and I was just generally unhealthy. Even with all of that I managed to finally heal and get all the feeling back in my maxilla. I'm hoping that this next round will be much better. I have taken a lot of care to make sure I'm physically in good shape, as well as nutritionally. I will be able (once surgery is complete) to get good, deep, restorative sleep again. I won't have any infections going into this, I will basically be as healthy as I can be. So...I'm sorta making this like a challenge to see how much better I can make this healing process. Gives me a way to think positively about all of this and not focus on the discomfort I will have to go through.

Second Opinion Proof!

So I went to see the dentist who originally made my dental sleep appliance. He has one of those very high tech offices.....tempuredic chairs, warm wash clothes. non glare glasses, lip balm on your lips, digital computer screens over your chair, digital xrays, etc. IT is like "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" but at the dentists office. So anyway.....I went to him because even though he is not covered by my secondary insurance, and he charges above reasonable and customary, he is very cutting edge and good!

I had made this appointment with him prior to consulting with my oral surgeon about the Oral-Antral Fistula, but wanted to go anyway just to rule out any other dental issue in the tooth that has been tasting bad. He took some xrays and found a spot in my palate very near this tooth (he thinks perhaps from the expansion) where the skin appears to have overlapped a bit and not healed flat. He believes that this is where the hole in my mouth is that is leading into my sinus cavity. He says we can't be certain without scoping it, but from what he sees this is what he thinks. So....he said to just wait until my os gets in there with the surgery. That if I can stand to do the nasal irrigation for another couple of months that waiting til may is my best alternative at this point.

I have a cavity in my canine that needs to be filled (I knew about this so it wasn't a shock) so I scheduled an appointment to get that fixed. He said once they do my surgery I'm going to be "done" and not want anyone in my mouth for awhile, especially fixing a tooth. I have to agree with him, so over spring break I will be having it worked on.