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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Feeling Much Better

So today is my 6th day on Biaxin. Can you say YUCK! I hate this stuff as it gives me the most awful taste in the back of my throat, BUT with that being said, it does work! I'm feeling much better. Still coughing a tad but I'm pretty sure that will be fully gone in the next couple of days too! I have noticed some very interesting stuff going on with my sinuses since all of this cold/cough stuff showed up.

The left side of my sinuses seem to be sorta plugged up or blocked. When I blow my nose nothing comes out the left side, only the right side. The right side is incredibly clear, when I had the sinus infection and would blow my nose, I would get big discusting globs of yellow crap coming out of my right side nostril only. Not to be gross or anything, but just to clarify what I'm talking about. I think once I get my braces off I'm going to schedule an appointment with my ENT and have him do a new CT scan on my sinuses, just to check for any abnormalities or post surgical issues. Especially since I don't want to keep getting sinus infections everytime I come in contact with a cold germ.

But hey! I'm feeling like my old self again so I'm not going to focus on the negative. That which you focus on you get more of, so I will focus my energies on postive, healthy thoughts and not worry about the rest for now.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

5 1/2 Months Post Op

So I'm getting pretty near the 6 month mark, hard to has gone by pretty quickly.

I finally got ahold of my ENT on Friday and he called in a prescription for Biaxin. I have taken 3 doses and at the moment not much has changed. I'm kind of bummed as I really didn't want to take antibiotics again. I have been doing everything to try and stay off of them. So, I guess its back to square one after this to try and figure out something that will make my sinus infections quit reoccurring. Hopefully I will start to feel better in the next couple of days.

Because of the sinus infection it is kindof hard to report on progress this week as it seems that everything has been stunted or slowed due to all the other symptoms that have been taking place. My lower lip numbness has been exacerbated this week. It is very annoying and frustrating. Eating is still a pain in the rear. I'm starting to feel like it is never going to get back to normal. Maybe when I get full feeling back in my teeth, and the inside of my cheeks are no longer numb it will be better, but for now it is nothing short of exasperating.

Range of motion is still the same, it has not changed in probably 3 months. I can open it enough to get food into my mouth, but it would be nice to be able to get it back to where it was before surgery. Hopefully that will happen within the next 6 months.

I have only 1 month left til my braces come off! Woo hoo! Can you tell I'm counting! I do think this powerchain is messing things up a bit. My front left incisor seems to be protruding out farther then it was before. My two front teeth are not lined up next to each other. I would be totally livid if we had to postpone my debracing due to this change. I'm hoping it is something that can be fixed with my retainer, or that will improve once the powerchains are removed. Guess we shall see!
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Doctors can be maddening!

So, I have come to the conclusion that I have a sinus infection. Nothing has changed since Tuesday when things took a turn from getting better to me feeling like I'm dieing again. My husband and son both had this and are both better already. So I called my allergist because he told me last time I was there, when we were discussing my chronic sinus infections, to just give him a call next time I have one and he will get me taken care of. So I called, and left a message asking if he could call in some meds. I get a call back saying that they can't call in meds and that I should probably see my primary care provider!

WTF! I have an oral surgeon, an ear nose and throat doctor, an allergist, a dentist, a dental sleep medicine doctor, and a naturopath that I see for most everything else. Why would I even bother with a primary care provider these days when every one of them just refer you to a freakin specialist? My oral surgeon tells me to call the ENT, the ENT says he wants me to see the allergist, and the allergist tells me to call my Primary care provider. Is it just me or is it some kind of sick conspiracy to make people that are already feeling like crap feel worse? I'm so confused as to who I should call when I get one of these. The ENT says he can't find anything wrong with my sinuses so he sent me to the allergist. The allergist says I have "chronic sinusitus. He tells me to take Zyrtec so I have been, and I have been doing my nasal irrigation religiously, twice a day since this all started. Yet I call, because I'm having sinus issues and he blows me off, and tells me to call my primary care provider. Well...the nurse tells me that, not the actual doctor.

So, tomorrow I will call again, and not be quite so nice this time. It's just wrong I tell you! Sorry for the rant, but it really is crazy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Killer Cold!

Ok, I think it was Beneath the Stars who said that my first post surgery cold would be a killer! Boy she wasn't kidding! I'm still not sure if it is just a cold or a sinus infection. I had been doing my little neti pot nasal irrigation every night before getting it, and then twice a day since it started, so I don't see how it could be a sinus infection. With that being said though, my sinuses are so different now, I have no idea what a sinus infection would even be like now. I used to have them a lot prior to surgery, so I knew my symptoms etc. Now, however, it has all changed and I'm just not sure.

I feel very tired! Everyone at my work has been sick with this crud and I've heard it likes to hang on. Yesterday I felt like things were getting better, like I was turning the corner. My nose wasn't stuffy at all, and aside from a little tickle in my throat my voice sounded fine. THEN last night it all got worse! I hardly slept at all. My nose is all stuffed up again today, I'm coughing, and have a bunch of crap in my chest. I have barely any voice, when I do talk I sound like a frog, and have three lessons to try and teach today! UGhhh! Forgotten how much it stinks to be sick!

I figure I will give it til next Monday and if its not better by then (12 days from onset) I'm going to call my allergist and get checked out. Hope I can stand it that long, as sleeping is really unpleasant. I've been loading myself up on vitamin C, and cold eze, plus tons of fluids but it just doesn't seem to matter. It has gone from a sore throat, to a sinus cold, to my chest, then back up to my sinuses! CRAZY huh?

Thanks Michelle for checking in on me! I'm hanging in there for sure, but feeling rather puny at the moment!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

First Post Surgery Cold and Sore Throat

So I haven't been sick with a real cold in over a year and a half so, I suppose I really can't complain. Things have not been near as bad as they could've been. I woke up Thursday morning with a wicked sore throat, which proceeded to get worse as the day went on. I began sucking on the "Cold Eze" lozenges that morning and sucking down the "Emergen C" as well. I woke up at about 3;30 in the morning with serious pain in my face! I have never really had sinus pain before (even when I get sinus infections.) I just never got it. It was bad enough that I had to get up and take a couple of Advil though. I went back to bed and after about 20 minutes the pain subsided so I fell asleep. Friday morning my throat was beginning to feel a bit better, but I was sneezing and really stuffed up. I had my adjustment done Thursday morning and my teeth were really sore. I thought it was from my new powerchain, but realized, as the day progressed that it was from sinus pressure right above my teeth. It was really uncomfortable and I had to take some advil again to make it stop hurting. I started taking some Mucinex yesterday so that things will stay thin, and I have been doing my nasal irrigation 2 times a day as the last thing I want is for this to turn into a sinus infection.

I avoided sleeping on my right side last night so that my teeth and sinus area would not hurt anymore. I woke up today and while I definitely don't feel 100% I feel like things are on their way out now. My sinuses are not as plugged up and my sore throat is gone. I still feel some congestion in my sinuses but not like yesterday. I'm going to pump myself full of fluids, Vitamin C, and Zinc lozenges, today and see if I can't kick this before the weekend is out.

Considering that I'm working off a whole new sinus configuration though, this cold has been relatively easy compared to the ones I used to have. If I can get over it with no sinus infection developing then this truly will have been a miracle surgery!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wooo Hooo! I Have A Debracing Date!

Saw the ortho this morning! He said we are running out of stuff to do and that we could set a debracing date today. He asked me if there were any areas I had concerns about. I told him about my right first and second incisors looking a bit off to me. He explained that it was a filling in one of them, that he will shave down and level out when he debraces me, and explained a few other technical details regarding some other areas in my mouth. He then put my wires back in and told the assistant to put my "last powerchains" on the top and bottom so we can keep everything secure. I figured I would go out with a bang and picked pastel pink! I actually really like this color, I should've picked it sooner!

We scheduled November 29th for my debracing! Not as soon as I had hoped for, as I really wanted it to be like in 2 weeks! But hey, I have a date, they are for sure coming off, so I guess I can survive another 6 weeks! Woo Hoo! I'm so excited! The end is near!

Here are my new PINK powerchains!
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

5 Months Post op / Changes Come In Threes!

So today is the 5 month post op mark!

Things are going well, so well in fact that I guess I no longer have to see my oral surgeon anymore. My implant is doing well, and I actually think that the removal of the screws in my mouth, especially the one that was on the outer side has made a big difference in my healing. My chin is still pretty tingly, but way more so this past week. It is very uncomfortable to touch as it is just super sensitive. Feeling is really coming back in my lower teeth and they are hyper sensitive. I mean super duper sensitive! Just brushing is excruitiating lately. I'm hoping this will pass soon, but see it as a good sign as it means feeling is on its way back! My lower lip is getting much better too. Since the screws were removed the left side of my lip (the part that was really numb) has gotten a lot of feeling back in it. The tingling has toned down a bit, and things don't seem quite so swollen now in my left cheek area and in my lower lip. I can drink a cup of coffee and actually feel the cup on my lower lip now, instead of having to use my top lip to guide things into my mouth. I'm feeling pretty confident that full feeling will be returning in the very near future, so that is something to look forward to.

Cross your fingers that the orthodontist will take my braces of very soon! I'll know Thursday.

I thought I would show some pics of how my features have changed over the last year and half and through all the surgeries.

Before Surgery

After SARPE (Surgically assisted rapid palate expansion surgery) You can see my little gap still trying to close up :)
Current pic (after Upper,Lower, and Genio surgeries) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yay! No More Surgeries!

I saw my oral surgeon today for my 1 week follow up check on my implant. He said that everything looked great, and that when they put my implant screw in, that it went in so tight they were able to put the abutement on too so....I'm officially done with surgery! HIP HIP HOORAY! He said that the implant still needs to fully infuse with the bone for a bit longer, but I can go see my regular dentist in about 3.5 months to get my crown made and put on.

I'm so excited to know that I don't have to have anymore incisions in my mouth! I said to the doctor "nothing personal, but I really am so glad that you will not have to do anymore surgery on me, I'm really sortof maxed out on the surgery stuff" He laughed and said "No offense taken, I imagine that YOU ARE sick out it! I mean obviously asthetics are important but the real issue was the apnea. You went through a lot of surgery to achieve results so its great that the apnea is now better, and personally I think you look great too" He finished up by telling me that if I start feeling some sensitivity in my lower gum area, that most likely it means that the abutement has come loose (he says that this happens sometimes) and that if that happens I can contact him or my dentist to have it tightened up. Other then that, I think I'm done seeing him. I mean I guess I don't have to see him again. I left the office a bit conflicted. I mean I love my oral surgeon he is so great, and he has made such a difference in my life with his fantastic expertise. It just all seemd so anti climatic, like I should've hugged him, or thanked him more, or something! They didn't tell me I needed to make another appointment though. Just said if he needs to see me again they will call me, since he didn't say anything.

Maybe I will see him again if something comes up, if not I plan to write him a thank you letter, and also send him some pre and post pics following my journey, so he can add them to his patient book. He really needs some pictures from an older adult rather the just a bunch of teenagers! :)

I will post more tomorrow at the 5 month mark.

Friday, October 05, 2007

4 Months and 3 Weeks Post op

Not much new to report this week. Numbness appears to be about the same, maybe even a little exacerbated due to the implant stuff yesterday. I know I have what feels like a big knot right under the skin where the implant was done. I think it is just swelling as it wasn't there yesterday before I went. Pain has been minimal. I was pretty puffy on my cheek and very sore to the touch this morning upon waking, but no pain in the implant or stitches themselves, and so far no bruising. The doctor gave me enough percocet for 5 days and I haven't even had to take an advil. So that is a good thing! I was still pretty dizzy upon waking though so I stayed home from work today to give myself time to recover from the I.V sedation. I still feel run down and not quite myself yet though. Hopefully after a good nights sleep tonight things will be much better.

Here is a pic of my new implant post today, minus all the blood. When I went to bed last night it had a really big blood clot on the viewable side, but when I woke up this morning it was all gone. I go back on Thursday for a follow up appointment.
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Survived Stage 1 Of My Implant!

Well today was the day that I got my screws removed from my bone graft. I really had wanted to ask if I could keep the screws, but I was so totally out of it after things were finished that I forgot to ask. Oh well, I've got the pictures to last a lifetime so its all good.

Here are the gory pics I promised. Sorry about the little bits of blood, but hey...I just had surgery 5 hours ago and its still a bit weepy. I think the pics are very clear though and should help those of you that might be having one of these procedures soon. You should be able to see what you are in for. You can click on either one to get a full on view! really was nothing. I've had mosquito bites that hurt more!

So here is how things went. Arrived at the OS office at 12:50. Got into the doctors office by 1:10. Nurse gave me two penicillin tablets and said "consider this lunch" LOL....then made me rinse with some nasty, minty, mouthwash for 4 minutes. I had to gargle a mouthful for 2 minutes, spit it out, and then do it again for 2 more minutes. She put a lovely little timer on the counter for me so I could be sure and get the full 4 minutes in. It wasn't peridex but something very similar, to disinfect and eliminate germs etc. Doctor came in smiling, touched my arm, asked how things have been going, and told me I looked great. Nurse took my blood pressure (119/68) which is actually rather high for me, and put a pulse monitor on my left index finger. On the other side the doctor got my I.V put in (he is so great with this, never has a problem finding my veins, and is very gentle too) He proceeded to tell me that after everything else that had been done to me that this would be like a "walk in the park" He said if he could get the post in nice and tight, that he would put the abutement on it at the same time so I would not have to make a separate appointment for that. Then all that would be left would be to get the actual implant tooth made and put in, in about 4 months. As he was telling me this he was gently adminstering the I.V sedation told me I was going to start to get very drowsy, and that once I was out he would be numbing up my left hand side to work on. I had to struggle to stay awake and comprehend what he was saying to me. His nurse could see that I was fighting it and sorta smiled at me as if to say....yeah, I know, he's talking and your signing out! LOL....

The surgery started at about 1:15 and I was done by about 1:50 so all total it took about 35 minutes. Now I wish I could tell you all something about the whole procedure, however, I don't remember a blasted thing once I went under. I mean absolutely nothing. I didn't feel anything, in fact if you would've told me they did nothing I would've believed it. I woke up pretty groggy and out of it. I vagely remember them saying something about keeping the guaze pad in my mouth for 30 minutes but that was about it. Getting out of the chair was weird, like I was in serious la la land. I was absolutely sleep walking. My mom and husband were both helping me walk since I was dizzy and my legs felt very wobbly and heavy. Now...they told me that we took the elevator down to the first floor, and walked to the car. At which point I called my son to tell him we were on our way to pick him up from school. If only I remembered any of this it would be good. I fell asleep in the car til we got to his school, then we drove out to the pharmacy on base to fill a couple of my perscriptions. The doctor gave me a perscription for percocet which I probably won't use but filled anyway. I slept all the way to the pharmacy, and for the whole time my husband was at the pharmacy turning in my perscriptions. My son fell asleep too so we were both out for the count for awhile. After darling husband got back in the car we drove to the mall for something to eat. I couldn't eat or drink anything before the surgery so I was starving! I slept most of the way to the mall too. At the mall we went to my favorite Vietnemese restaurant and I had a nice big bowl of seafood Pho noodles. It was so good, and I started feeling a lot better after I was done with it. We then walked the mall, shopped a bit, and I had a chai tea boba drink.

The novocaine was pretty trippy. The left side of my mouth is still quite numb. I have learned to accomodate for the numbness quite a bit thus far without even realizing it. So, when the novocaine made things even more numb my husband said I had a "Sylvester Stallone" lip thing going on. My son and him were both cracking up at my lip contortions! Now that the novocaine is just about completely worn off I think things are feeling much more normal and better. I do feel a slight bit of bruising on my lower cheek/jaw area where the outside screw was removed (so glad that thing is out now though) but other then that I'm in absolutely no pain at all.

I will keep you all posted on how things are faring tomorrow. I suspect I may end up with some slight bruising on my lower cheek, but hopefully will be none less for wear.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Under The Knife Again tomorrow!

So I get to have stage one of my implant put in tomorrow. Basically they will be cutting me open again, taking out the screws in my bone graft, and installing the post that will eventually hold my implant tooth. It will then heal for 5 months and my oral drama will be complete in March when they finally put the tooth in.

Doctor called today, said no eating or drinking for 4 hours prior to procedure. That means I cannot have anything after 9:00am. I'm not really nervous, as I mean I know what to expect with the IV sedation etc now, but can't say that I'm looking forward to anything but getting it over with. One more thing I will be able to tick off my oral checklist. I will post more tomorrow when I'm done.