Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Two Month Post Surgery Update

Well, here it is ... two months already. Time is definitely flying by.

I managed to sneak in to the Orthodontist's office last week after my appointment with my Optometrist (one of the benefits of military medicine is all of the doctors offices are co-located within the hospital). My eyes were dilated and I didn't feel like driving by braille 40 miles back to work in the middle of the day (and it was a sunny day to boot) so I checked with the Orthodontist's secretary to see if there had been any cancellations / no-shows. Luckily for me there was and I got in to see him right away.

During the visit he removed the archwires (and surgical hooks) and I was able to floss and brush without interference (Yay!) for the first time in months ... it was awesome. He then replaced the archwires and had me start using rubber bands again - he wants try and align the midlines a bit more. My next appointment with the surgeons is on 5 June and my Orthodontist follow-up appointment is three weeks after that.

Things are progressing nicely ... in fact, the changes are so minimal now that there's really not alot to post about. I'll do the best I can with the updates so I hope ya'll check back again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No Update This Week

I received a call from the Orthodontist's office informing me that I needed to reschedule today's appointment. Turns out my Orthodontist scheduled a little vacation time this week but, apparently, didn't tell his office staff.

Needless to say I'm a bit frustrated. This is week 7 post-surgery and was supposed to be my first post-surgery ortho appointment. I've rescheduled for Thursday next week so I'll hopefully have more updates then.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Calling All Orthognathic Surgery Survivors!

Did any of you fellow Orthognathic surgery survivors notice a shifting in your upper and/or lower midlines between the time you had your surgery and going back into regular orthodontic treatment?

I've noticed that my lower midline has moved about 2 mm off center (back to the left side) over the past six weeks and that my bite is a wee bit off as well. I know that additional movement is often needed after the surgery to finalize tooth placement so I'm hoping that's what is needed now.

I'll ask the Ortho directly when I see him next week but would like to hear personal experiences from fellow jaw surgery people too.


Week Six Post Surgery Update

Not a lot going on this week. The swelling is still around but it's slowly going down. I'll be seeing the Orthodontist this coming Wednesday (23 May) ... the appointment is scheduled to last an hour. Maybe it's wishful thinking but I hope he decides to replace the archwires and take off the surgical hooks.

Will update again after next week's Ortho visit.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Five Weeks Post Surgery Update

Wow ... I can't believe that it's already been five weeks since the second lower jaw surgery. The first couple of weeks of recovery seem almost like a dream now. I can't wait to wake up one day and have these braces off for good :)

I had another post surgery appointment today and it went very well. My jaw continues to heal nicely so the surgeons said I could go bands-free during the day and only wear them at night. The surgeons also have me wearing a lighter type of band ... 1/8 " light instead of 1/4 " medium. I'm glad for the change because it's another milestone on the road to recovery but I'm a bit hesitant to wear the lighter bands at night (due to stability reasons). I'll give it a couple of nights and switch back to the medium bands if I think I need to.

I was also given the go ahead to resume a chewing diet ... woot! The surgeons don't want me trying to chew anything too tough / hard right off the bat so no steak or pizza just yet. Besides, my jaws still don't open very wide and I'm kind of unsure how my new bite will work. It's going to take a lot of practice to get back in championship eating shape :)

One last thing for now ... my first post surgery appointment with my Orthodontist is in two weeks. I'm hoping he'll remove my archwires (along with the surgical hooks that are attached) and replace them with new ones (minus the surgical hooks). About the only thing I'm not looking forward to is the dreaded post-adjustment tenderness. Of course, I've already stocked up on a giant-sized bottle of Advil and, just like the voting in chicago, I plan on using it early and often.

Note to Self

Perhaps it's not such a good idea to eat Safeway Select Signature Soups' "Stompin' Steakhouse Chili with Beans" a half hour before I go to bed.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Thanks Everybody

Thanks for the comments on the week four photos. I have to give credit where it's due though. It's not hard to "look good" when your camera is a cheapo 2.0 mega pixel SAM's Club special and the photo is out of focus!!!


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Four Weeks Post Surgery Update

I took the above photos yesterday ... there's still swelling in both cheeks (can't see it here) and the lower lip & chin area (I can definitely see it in the smiling photo). I think the next set of photos will be at the two month post surgery mark.

Recovery is going really well. This is my second full week back at work, I'm getting a bit more adventurous in my diet (thank you Taco Bell!), and my weight loss seems to have leveled off. Speaking of weight loss, we had a command directed weigh-in this past Monday and I couldn't wait :) . The last time we did this I weighed 180 pounds ... this time I was 164 pounds. No kidding, the last time I weighed 164 pounds was at least 10 years ago -- and I feel good. And before anyone says anything, my Body Mass Index (BMI) is 23.5 (normal is 18.5 - 24.9 for my height). I'm sure some of the weight loss was muscle mass so I know I'll put a few (hopefully)pounds back on once I'm given the go ahead to start running and hitting the gym again.

Sleeping has gotten a bit easier now too. Being that I'm only at four weeks post surgery I'm still hesitant to sleep fully on my side ... I kind of sleep so my jaws aren't pressed completely (if any) into the pillow. Oh yeah, I had a weird (sort of) experience Monday and Tuesday morning -- I woke up CHEWING ... and this is still a big no no. It's been seven weeks since the first surgery and this week is the first time this has happened. I'm not hungry as I'm putting something in my stomach every three hours or so ... maybe my body is trying to tell me something. Like I said, weird.

And that's it. The visible signs of recovery are slowing down and I know I'll need to work on being patient as I work my way through the healing process. My next post surgery appointment is a week from today and my first post surgery Orthodontist appointment is two weeks after that.