Thursday, April 30, 2009

Surgery Day and Post-Op, Day 2

Well, I made it through surgery. I don't really feel like writing my blog yet, but I also don't want to forget. I got to the hospital around 7:30 yesterday morning. My surgery was booked for 10:30. I guess it was around 9:00 that they took me into the pre-op waiting area where I changed into my gown, little cap, and socks. The nurse gave me an IV and started me on a lactated ringers solution. They then took a sample of blood to screen my blood type (even though they did this when I donated my blood 2 weeks ago) I think they finally came and got me for surgery around 12:00. The CRNA gave me some Versed to relax me and it all went pretty quickly from there. I was out and awake before I knew it. They kept me in recovery for 3 hours. I was fine when I woke up ~ no feelings of choking or not being able to breathe. In fact, my nose has been super clear, which has been great. They finally got me to my room around 8:00 where my family came to visit and took some pictures of me. (I will post those when I am feeling stronger)
I had a really nice private room at the new Kaiser hospital. It was awesome not to have anyone else in there with me. My nurse
was really great too. She gave me my morphine every 3 hours and brought me new ice packs. I think I slept pretty good, waking up every 3 hours or so. I had to go to the bathroom a lot because of the IV. I chose to use the bedpan because I felt pretty dizzy. I don't have much numbness and no throwing up so far, so that's good.
I did have a couple of small nosebleeds, nothing major. I got to leave the hospital at around 12:00 today. Dr. Relle said everything went great. I am (in my opinion) really swollen and my lips are huge. I have some bruising on my cheeks. He said the swelling and bruising will continue to get worse over the next couple of days. I've been keeping ice on at all times. He gave me Tylenol with Codeine for the pain. I wish it were something stronger just to help me sleep better. :) My face feels really tight and has a dull ache. Nothing unbearable.
I can't really tell yet about my appearance. To me I just look the same with some major swelling. My husband and my mom are here taking good care of me. Thank goodness. I'm very uncomfortable so I really just want to sleep. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. And beware ~ they aren't pretty. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today is the Day

Wow, I can't believe today is the day. It doesn't seem real. I don't feel nervous. Maybe I've resigned myself to everything. I just want to get it over with. They want me to check into the hospital at 7:30 and my surgery is scheduled for 10:30. The doctor prescribed me an antiemetic transdermal patch to put behind my ear. It's supposed to help with nausea for 72 hours. I hope it works. I'll be back home tomorrow and will try to update as soon as I can. Thank you all for your well wishes! It means a lot.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tomorrow's the Big Day

I went and had a pre-op pedicure with my mom today. I can't believe tomorrow is the big day. I'm trying not to be nervous, but I am. The hospital still hasn't called me to confirm my surgery time. I'll call them in a few minutes to see if they can let me know. My family and I are going to go out to dinner in awhile. I hope I'm not too nervous to eat! :)

Oh yeah, the surgeon let me know that he will be moving my top jaw forward 4mm and the bottom back (didn't tell me how much) and rotate it.

I'll update as soon as I can.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Surgical Hooks Are On!

I went to the ortho today to get my surgical hooks put on. It only took about a 1/2 hour. There were a total of 8 put on. They don't feel too bad, just a little more bulk. Dr. Paz told me that Dr. Relle made a special trip down to see him to talk about my case. Dr. Paz said it has been many years since Dr. Relle has done this for one of his patients. I asked if this means that I am a difficult case, but he didn't really say much. He did say that he thinks I will have a good result. Part of the problem is that I have the dental implants and they have to work around that. I know I am in good hands, so I'm not too worried.
As for my nerves, I am feeling much better. Thank you to those of you who left comments. It means a lot. :) It is helpful to know there are so many of you who have already been through this and don't have any regrets.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I am breaking out like crazy...I guess it's the stress. :)
My pre-op appointment is on Monday. I'm really looking forward to having all of my questions answered.

UPDATE: I don't know why the girl told me I was getting 8 surgical hooks. I counted them last night and I have either 16 or 18. It's hard to tell ~ some are clear and some are metal.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm nervous

I picked up my molds from Dr. Paz today and brought them over to Dr. Relle. Dr. Relle showed me how Dr. Paz wants my teeth to be after surgery. Some of my molars are pretty worn down so instead of shaving more of my front teeth down, they are making my bite in such a way that Dr. Paz is going to have to "grow" my molars after surgery to make them fit in the new bite. I hope it all works out like they are planning.
As I was leaving Dr. Relle's office, it hit me that surgery is next week!! I started feeling sick to my stomach. I'm sure this is a normal reaction to having surgery, but I was feeling fine and excited up until today. I can't believe how fast it's coming. I don't feel ready!! It was easy to say I was excited when the surgery was some unknown future date, but now that it's almost here, it's freaking me out. My friend Stephanie asked me what I was most nervous about and I really don't know. I guess it's just a bunch of things... the anticipation of it all, going under, having my jaws broken and put back together, recovery, not being able to eat much for awhile, all of it. Two and a half years ago I was in the hospital for 4 days - it was a bad experience. I'm hoping Dr. Relle will let me go home the day after surgery because I do not want to stay in the hospital any longer than I have to. Having to stay in the hospital is a big part of my being nervous also. Anyway, that's it for today. I'll be going to see Dr. Paz on Wednesday to get my surgical hooks put on. They said it will be a 2-hour appointment. Until then...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Holy Cow...

My ortho just called. I have to go in AGAIN. He looked at my molds from yesterday and they didn't fit exactly right. So he has to do a little more grinding, take my wires off again, take more molds, put my wires back on. I'm glad he's being so thorough and wants my bite to be as close to perfect as possible after surgery but I just wanted to stay home and clean today!! :)

UPDATE: Just got home. In addition to putting my wires back on after the molds, the ortho put on some little wire things around my brackets in what he called "figure eights" They are to keep my teeth from moving at all before the surgery. Hopefully we are all set with the molds for awhile. I'm really not a fan of them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another Ortho visit...

I just got home from another visit with the orthodontist. It lasted a little over an hour. The girl took my wires and my power chains off to do the molds. One of my brackets came off. Got that glued back on. The ortho had to do an occlusal alignment ~ grinding a bit off 3 of my teeth so that my bite will fit together better after surgery. That wasn't that big of a deal, but now those 3 teeth are rough. I'll have to ask him to polish them the next time I see him. The girl took my molds, which was uneventful. She did a good job getting them out before they got stuck. She put my wires back on and left the power chains off. They made my wires "passive" so that my teeth won't move anymore before surgery. The ortho explained to me that since my teeth are short, he is going to "grow" them after surgery ~ meaning he is going to bring them down so they are longer. I was happy to hear that. That's about it. I'll pick up the molds on Monday and bring them over to Dr. Relle.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More molds...blah/post-surgery supplies

I just got a call from my ortho office. The orthodontist and the surgeon have spoken and decided that I need more molds. I will go to the ortho tomorrow and get them done and then pick them up first thing Monday morning and take them over to the surgeon.
The surgeon also just called me to let me know that he doesn't normally do splints, but he is going to use one on me. I didn't really understand the reason why. If I see him on Monday, I will ask him. He mentioned something about the "wearing" on my back teeth, which could mean that the splint will keep my teeth from touching and wearing down even more while I am banded shut. Not sure.

I've been picking up things here and there that I might need after surgery. I haven't bought any food yet. So far I have:

* 2 zip-n-squeezes
* 2 "cool-jaw" wraps from zip-n-squeeze
* neck pillow
* Afrin nose spray
* Saline nose spray
* Q-tips
* facial steamer
* hydrogen peroxide
* dry-erase board
* baby spoons
* sippy cup
* Emergen-C packets (lots of vitamin C and B vitamins)
* Aquaphor

I originally bought a humidifier but decided that a facial steamer would work better. So I returned the humidifier and bought a great facial steamer on Amazon. Since I am having extensive work on my upper jaw, my sinuses and nose will probably have a lot of blood in them after surgery. The nose sprays, hydrogen peroxide and steamer should help clear them out.
I'm debating if I should get a bed wedge or not.
I still need to stock up on movies, book, magazines. I may not need them right away since I'll be on pain medication and will probably want to sleep a lot.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to MARIA for answering my 101 questions. :) She had upper and lower jaw surgery recently and she looks amazing. Thank you, Maria!

P.S. The surgeon has been really great! I am thinking that during my first 2 appointments he may have just been focusing on what needs to be done and didn't come across as having a great bedside manner, but he has been really great since my last appointment.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Long Day...

Today turned into a very long day. I had an appointment with the orthodontist at 9:15. They took a set of molds. The top one dried quickly (or she didn't take it out soon enough). It hurt like heck while she was trying to get it out of my mouth. I was sure my two front teeth were going to come out with it. Thankfully they didn't, but they were throbbing for a good hour. Then I had to get 4 x-rays ~ one was a panoramic x-ray, one was a cephalometric xray, one was to show the jaw joints, and I don't know what the other one was for. After that the ortho decided to replace the power chains on both my upper and lower teeth and also change the wire on the bottom. This took a long time because the wire he wanted to put on wouldn't fit so the girl ended up having to put a smaller wire on. Anyway, I left there at 12:00.
My appointment with the surgeon was scheduled at 1:30, so I headed to Kaiser in North Hollywood. Of course there was a car accident on the way, then I went to the wrong building and ended up being 7 minutes late. They were calling me as I was running down the hall to let me know that the doctor was waiting for me. Funny how they kept me waiting over an hour last time, but my being 7 minutes late is a big deal. The good part was I didn't have to wait and went right in. The doctor got started right away making molds. They were so big and mushy; it took everything in me not to gag and throw up. The alginate was just dripping in blobs down my face. It was nothing like getting molds at the ortho office. By the time he was finished with the 3 molds (2 upper and one lower) I had alginate all over my face and neck. He had me bite down on some waxy thing. Not sure what it was. He took some measurements of my face while I had this metal contraption fitted around my head. He took some pictures. He measured the distance between my lips when I had my lips relaxed. He took a good look at my bite and told me that my top jaw was really "wonky". He seemed surprised that the top jaw is so messed up. I guess he didn't pay much attention the last two times I was there. Then he and the two student doctors went into another room and I sat there and waited for a long time. When they came back, the doctor looked at my bite some more, wrote some things down, and then said that he had to rush me off to donate blood for myself. He said that I can't take any aspirin or NSAIDS until after my surgery because they thin the blood. He said that after I donate blood he wants me to start taking an iron supplement and informed me that it is constipating.
I asked what they would be doing for me as far as surgery goes. Apparently they don't know until they sit down and do measurements and work on the molds. The student doctor told me that they will definitely do the top jaw because apparently it is really messed up ~ set too far back and tilted wrong. He said they will probably tilt the bottom jaw but not sure if they will move it back or not. This really surprised me. I trust the doctor though, so I will be comfortable with whatever he decides.
Okay, so then I rushed over to donate blood before they closed. My veins are unbelievably hard to find and I hadn't eaten or drank anything all day. They gave me some juice and cookies and searched for a vein. The lady didn't think she would be able to find one and told me that she wasn't going to poke me "for nothing." She did end up finding one and I was able to donate over a pint of blood for myself. Yay. I ended up getting home at 7:00. Long day. I'm so tired, so I'm sorry if I babbled too long. :) I'm going to bed. Goodnite.
P.S. V - you look awesome!
P.P.S I just realized I didn't get a single one of my questions answered by the surgeon. Maybe at my pre-op appointment (two days before surgery) I will get some answers. That would be nice. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting Excited!

I can't believe there's only 26 days left until surgery!! It's going by so fast. The surgery coordinator emailed me today and told me that she called the surgeon's office to see if there's anything I need to bring with me next Friday when I go see the surgeon. They want her give me a copy of my pano and ceph x-rays. I guess they don't need to take new ones? Or will the surgeon take new ones? I'm just going with the flow here. I don't know what to expect. I have a small list of questions and I hope he takes time to answer them for me.