Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fresh Out of Surgery...

Here I am just out of surgery and in my room. Don't remember much about the ride to my room or surgery for that matter. Last thing I remember was being given some "funny stuff" before they rolled me into the operating room and I watched Dr. Wood tearing tape that he would be using on my chin and that was the last thing I recall.

Remember very little about recovery other than my jaw hurting. Surgery went really good...that's what I was told by Dr. Wood. Dr. Wood and Dr. Smith did my operation and I they moved my jaw forward about 6mm and my chin back 6mm and he was very pleased with how everything went. They didn't put the splint in as he didn't like the way it fit...which I'm not going to complain because I was having a hard enough time with swallowing and my tongue being a bit swollen so there didn't seem to be enough room for anything else in my rubber banded mouth. I was happy to see I was just banded with rubber bands but the surgical hooks in the front a few were broken which Dr. Wood wasn't happy about.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12 Hours....oh NO!!!

Wow...hard to believe I'm just twelve hours from acquiring my fashionable blue and white checked hospital gown and getting a brand new jaw and chin!! Wow...what more can one ask for with the New Year rolling in??!?!?! I'm just sitting here actually looking forward to getting on with this much anticipated event! Yes....I'm nervous, I was actually in tears most of the morning trying to work out all the financial details that were thrown upon me at the last minute by the hospital...but I'm feeling quite better now.

My girlfriend and I went out for "the last supper", actually we ate at Scholsky's Deli and it was deliciouss! I love my turkey whole thank you...not put in a blender so I won't be looking to blend my turkey and mashed potatoes anytime soon...Ha! Ya...ya...that's what I think, right??? Well, I just might have to get use to the look of my turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn all in one quick easy to blend meal after tomorrow...but hey...I get lots of pudding and ice cream, right???

If you don't already know...I take my camera everywhere and it will be going with me to the hospital tomorrow. My girlfriend is in charge of capturing me from the neck jammy shots please!!! I will be praying and I hope all of you will too that everything goes as smooth as silk and I will be home before you and I know it!! Depending on how much morphine they give me, I just might want to hang out a bit longer...LOL...only kidding!!! I'll post again on either Friday or Saturday depending how I feel. God Bless and see you all soon!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Surgery Day" Countdown Begins...

Wow...three days seems too quick...or not quick's finally almost here. Am I excited??? Uhmmm..well I wouldn't say excited as much as I'd say a bit nervous right at this point. I've still a bunch of things to get done before Wednesday so I'm writing lists like crazy. I still have to submit some pre-surgery paperwork, pick up a few things at the grocery store so when my son gets home on Friday he'll have something to eat besides pureed soup. :)

I have a wonderfully sweet girlfriend who will be getting herself out of bed at 4am in the morning to come over and pick me up as the hospital is about 45 minutes away and I was told to arrive by 5:30 am with all the other surgical patients for that day. It must be quite a sight seeing all these sleepy people walking like zombies into the hospital to get operated on even before their completely awake...only to be put back to sleep again. Maybe that's why they have you come so early, figuring you're still half asleep and you won't know what's going on and what's to come as soon as they inject that sleepy serum and have you start thinking of being on a beautiful sandy beach with a handsome hunk....or if they think you don't look like a beachy kind of person, they'll have you counting backwards from 10, 9, 8, 7....until you drift into nothingness.. *sigh* wonder if you dream when you're put to sleep??? I'd like to dream about what I'll be able to eat after weeks of slurping down pureed soups, runny mashed potatoes and smoothies. Maybe I'll dream that I never needed the surgery to begin with. :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Home w/ Tissues, Vicks and Tea...

I made it home from the great northeast with a nice headcold but having enjoyed my time spent with my family. I was hoping to get through the next two weeks without any sickness as my surgery is on Dec 31st but that didn't happen. I arrived into Tucson with a four hour delay through Vegas so that put me home at midnight Christmas eve. Christmas day my favorite spot was parked on the couch in front of the TV with my quilt, klenex, vicks and chapstick. It was a very quiet Christmas but a well rested one which was just what I needed. I'm staying home from work today and just resting over the next few days before I go back to work on Monday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let It Snow...Let It Snow....

Well it has been snowing up here in upstate New York since my arrival two days ago. This is the first day that is clear with no snow but as pretty as this scene is of my mom's log cabin it was freezing outside...I think it was probably about 15 degrees out with windchill that made it feel below zero. We had probably close to 10 - 15" of snow over the past few days and it sure does look pretty outside.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Off to the Snowy Northeast...

My son and I are flying to upstate New York today. We're hopeful that the weather will cooperate as we were expecting some storms here in Arizona...ya...I know...snow!! We do get snow in southern Arizona as we're at 5,000 feet but usually only once or twice a season and it's usualy melted by noon time. The Albany area was hit with some ice and snow storms over this past week and it's not letting up. We're traveling on a good day because they're expecting another 7 - 10" tomorrow...and then another storm is coming right behind that one...I just might not make it back to Arizona on Christmas Eve if this keeps up. I'll have some good snow pictures I'm sure so I'll post a few over the next days...cya in N.Y.!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Surgery Hooks are Shiny

Went in for my last orthodontist appointment before my sugery day on Dec. 31st. They put in some very strong wires and can't seem to get rid of those powerchains so they're still part of the scene. Hey...but look at my new hardware, my very own set of surgical hooks on top and bottom...I think they add a bit of bling bling...HA! They sent me home with a lot of wax so I'm ready with my wax but so far not a big issue. I'll let you know how they're doing in a few days!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mentoplasty Reduction Surgery

Mentoplasty is actually a surgery on chin reduction. It basically promotes the reconstructuring and the reformation of the mentum of the face. Mentum refers to the most anterior region of the jaw or the mandible. For some people, the jaw region is prominent, this is called macrogenia. If the jaw is somewhat deficient or receding, then the condition is called microgenia. With mentoplasty, the mentum region is aesthetically enhanced to make a better profile to the face.

During the mentoplasty surgery, the surgeon usually makes an incision in one or two possible location. He may either do the cut under the lower lip inside the mouth or under the chin in an inconspicuous location or in both. The procedure uses a bone burr or a drill, which is an electrical instrument, to change the shape of the bone in the chin yet still give it a natural appearance. For problematic fat chins, the same procedure is applied. After sucking or melting out the fat, the surgeon will stitch the incision or apply a tape to suit up the incisions.

I will be having this done when I have my lower jaw advanced. I'm a bit nervous as I would like to see my chin before he I can tell him whether I like it or not. I also would like to try to negotiate the charges for such surgery. My doctor is wanting to charge me $4,000 for this surgery and I feel that is a bit much for this procedure and for what I've been researching. Has anyone ever negotiated these types of charges??? Let me know because I really can't afford that much and as part of my jaw surgery I think it should be inlcuded with a small fee. What do you think???

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Son is Brace-free

Just thought I'd post a picture of my son, Schuyler who just had his braces removed less than a month ago. What a beautiful smile. Dr. K did a great job.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Zip 'N' Squeeeeeezzzzzeee.....yum!
I just placed my order for this wonderful product that others have told me about....Zip 'N Squeeze bags. You can purchase them individually or as a package deal but I just bought what I thought I'd need for the six weeks I'll probably be wired shut. I bought both the liquid and pureed food bags, 3 food and 4 liquid which I'm sure will get me through those weeks. They're washable so that's a good thing. :) Great product because you squeeze them verses having to suck as the doctors don't want you to really...they forbid you from sucking so this is a great product!'m not being paid for this commercial but I'm just excited to know that they're available for all of us maxiofacial surgery patients. God Bless!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oral Surgeon Appointment

Hi sure does fly by. I am not real good about keeping you all updated on my progress and so the new news is that I had an appointment with my Oral Surgeon this week...yay!!! Anywhoo...he met with my ortho, Dr. Kawakami and they discussed my case and when surgery should happen. Dr. K told him I'd be ready for surgery the end of January beginning of February and I started to panic as I've been tellling Dr. K that I need surgery before the end of the year due to the $4500 we've put into a Flexible Spending account for expenses that would be above and beyond what my insurance would pay for and if we don't use that money before the end of the year...we'll lose it!!!!!!!!!!! That's WAY too much money to be losing and we based this deduction on my ortho telling me that I'd be ready for surgery around May/June and it's now I'm a bit anxious with getting this taken care of before the end of the year.

Part of the surgery is having a sliding genio to reduce my chin that will be very prominent when they pull my lower jaw forward 6-7mm. Right now I have a beautiful chin but that will change when my jaw is moved will be quite strong and masculine and insurance will not cover that as they see it as cosmetic which my feelings is...yes...but I'm only doing it due to the fact that my jaw is misalligned and once it's where it needs to be that changes my entire facial appearance from what it once was to something that will look totally off balanced. My flex spending that we thought would help us to pay for the genio now we're finding that even with the flex spending account that you can not use "YOUR" money that you've put into this savings medical account pre tax dollars that you can not use it for plastic surgery....I'm FURIOUS! I just found this out and I'm about ready to explode as this is "OUR" money that we put into this account for this specific procedure thinking that we could pay for it because insurance would not cover it...and now we're finding out we can not use it for my genio. I'm going to be spending time calling the insurance company which the flexible spending account is through and having Dave follow up with his human resource department to work on our behalf to help us be able to use this money without losing it. Pray for me that everything will work out.

In talking with the financial person at the OS office I will have to pay about $2100 in hospital fees as well because I have not met my $500 deductible for the year so that's another expense I didn't think about so some of the flex money willl help to cover that but that will still leave over $2.000 in the Flex account to be used. So...there's a lot I need to be working on over the next few weeks so pray for me as I deal with insurance company. seventeen year old son has his braces removed a few weeks ago and his teeth look beautiful. I'll post a picture of him soon. He also is having surgery the day after Thanksgiving to have his four wisdom teeth removed as they showed up in his final xrays at the ortho office and they were sitting there pressing against his newly brace-free molars so they need to come more WISDOM for him. :) More pics to come soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Surgery Date...Not To Far Away!

I had an appointment today and will be having my surgery early December. Looks like my travel plans to New York will have to be put on hold as I won't be able to take off that much time. Today they put in a really strong heavy wire on the bottom with power chains all the way around and same on the top. I was comforted to know that surgery will be happening not far in the near future.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where Have I Been????

I's been quite some time since I LAST updated my blog and my apologies for the delinquency of my has just been quite hectic for me over the past several months and there's been a lot of change going on in this life for which I won't bore you with the details.

OK...well as you can see I had my lower TPA removed last week and I'm a happy girl! Progress is finally being seen. I wore that thing for a year and two months and I was ready to say "Si-A-NORA"...can't spell but you know what I'm trying to say. It's gone and I'm not a bit sad about it. Although I will say it did a great job and there's quite a bit of difference from when I first had it put in. With the removal of that appliance the wonderful assistant cemented bands around my back molars and put some pretty silver brackets on my eye teeth so I'm quite colorful below.

So now it's just a matter of closing the spaces below between my back molars and the few spaces that have developed from the TPA. Dr. K put in those hurtful POWERCHAINS on both the bottom and top this time around and I could not eat for days...LOL...ok, a little exaggeration there but you know what I mean. My teeth were so sore and today is four days since the inflict of pain and it's just now starting to feel painless. :) The next visit they'll be putting in a strong wire on the bottom to start to move those back molars forward which right now there's a huge gap on my lower right side where food likes to get trapped and my tongue works overtime pushing it out.

As I mentioned in a previous post I have the "OK" from the insurance company for surgery and now there's a rush against time because Dr. K told me last year that I would be ready for surgery by May and it's now August and I HAVE to have the surgery before the end of the year as we had put the maximum we could put into our Flexible Spending account knowing I'd be having surgery this I am getting bit anxious as to it happening this year or else we lose that $4,000 that we have sitting there. It is more for the genio surgery as insurance won't cover it but it needs to happen before the end of the year. Pray that things move along or I'm going to have to insist that they move along...LOL...ya right...well I will, we'll just have to have the surgery whether I'm ready or not because I can't afford to lose that kind of money. Also, my husband may be losing his job so time is of the essence here and we just have to pray that my teeth move quickly to where they need to be for surgery to take place. Thanks for your prayers! More to come soon....this time I won't wait several months before posting again. God Bless!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Six New Lower Brackets & 1 TPA

Well today I had six new brackets put on the bottom, things seem to be moving right along. Dr. K wants to keep the lower expander in for now because it's doing such a good job and he's just not ready for it to come out. I can see a bit difference from May when it was installed. See the pic I posted in a earlier post. I did speak with him about surgery and he thinks that by May I would probably be ready but it's hard to say. I just want to get this moving, and I'm happy to see there's progress in my teeth. On my next visit I'll be getting bands around the molars and he'll start pulling everything back so I don't see too much more time before everything is moved before I have surgery. I've waited quite a few years to since my last orthodontics experience to have my jaw in the right position.