Thursday, 29 October 2009

Some Questions, then

My clinic with the surgeon is on 12th November. So, here are my preliminary questions for the surgeon. I presume that I won't be wired shut, as it seems more common now to have the rigid fixation, so on the basis of that:

Main things I'm interested in knowing:

How much more expansion do I need, and is this all going to be done during the surgery?

Will I wear elastics, or have to have a splint or TPA again? (because of the extra expansion)

What can I do to reduce swelling post-op? because after SARME the swelling was really bad (If anyone remembers the game Theme Hospital, I looked like I had 'Bloaty Head'!)

- to follow up from the previous question- Will I be given an ice pack or some such aid at the hospital?

Things I'm sure the surgeon will cover during the course of the appoinment anyway, but if not I will ask!:

What exactly are you going to do? (that sounds rather accusatory! ). I'll add: 'How much will my jaws be moved, and where to?

How long will the surgery be?

How long will I be in hospital for?

What will I be able to eat post-op?

How long will it take to recover, approximately?

Hmmm, I think that's it. I don't really think there's much that is essential to know, although of course it's great to be well informed. I'm just not going to ask about every particular.
Anyone have any questions they think are important though, and that I've missed?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Okay, photos...

These are me biting down naturally (yes, biting! *rolls eyes). The top one is my right side, and underneath is my left side (you can see the gap slightly. Below I have pics of how the gap is now)

Like something Jessica Rabbit might say: I'm not moody, I'm just made that way!:
Ok, so here are some profiles of me. The first is me just relaxing my mouth. I always think I look rather moody, even though I'm not. It always give me the urger to overcompensate and what I've noticed I do is fidget (like 'bite' my nails-*note, I can't physically bite my nails, though!.. or bite my lip) if my face is relaxed, so as to take attention away from the profile. It's not something I do purposely. Or rather it is, but I don't notice I'm doing it. Hope that makes sense.

These are some pics of the gap I've been mentioning. Since my ortho says I'm done with adjustments until after surgery, I'll be going into surgery with the gap. My canine needed moving around so it would fit with the lower jaw after surgery, and it now is in the correct place, but I'm just left with a gap from whence it came. The pics from the left are of the gap forming, starting from around a week after I had the springs put in, and end on how the gap currently is:

Hope those are ok, and give you an idea of how things are. I'm working on a camera phone, and I can't for the life of me post photos on here easily and neatly. So sorry if the post turns out a bit muddled up.

Compiling my Interrogation..or preparing for one

I'm going to start compiling a few questions to ask my surgeon for when I see him in November. Although generally a clinic with your surgeon consists of your surgeon and his or her numerous cronies having a good stare and point in your direction, which always embarrasses me a little bit, and I end up just wanting to leave as soon as I can! My mum has decided she is coming as well, so she can have a good point and stare along with them I suppose!
I'm prepared for lots of 'bite down', 'big smile'....'bigger!'...'bigger please!'..'ok bite down again'. I really hate having to bite down for a prolonged period of time though, because my bite is so..unstable, that after a while my jaws start to shift and grind a bit. It's like when you have to balance for a long time and your muscles start to shake!

I don't really have much I want to ask, other than stuff like what can I eat, and how can I reduce the swelling. I don't think there's any need for me to ask about every single detail, but I'm sure he will answer possible questions I might have in the course of the appointment anyway.

I'll post any questions I might have later, and if anyone has any questions they think are particularly pertinent to know, do let me know!

I'm going to post some more photo updates too. Because I started writing this mid-treatment I don't exactly have progress pictures, but I have got some current pictures, which I will share nonetheless. Also a few of my profile, which though it pains me to look at them, it's the best way to see my underbite in its full glory
I tried to make a slideshow to put on my blog, but I couldn't do it. Might try again!

Oh also- my lower lip is in such pain lately. The braces seem to irritate my mouth sporadically, but the main issue I've always had is my lower ligs on the front 4 teeth rubbing my lip, and digging in them when I'm asleep (but I mean how does it happen? It's not like I lay face down on ym pillow!), creating a perpetual imprint along my lip of the pattern of the barces. I woke up today with a massive red indentation in my lip, so needless to say I've got the wax on now. I like this stage of treatment I'm at, where my wires aren't changed often now, so I don't get sore teeth much after appointments anymore, but my lip is irritating the hell out of me!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Turn of the Screw Once More? - ortho app and news of more expansion

So had an app. with my ortho today. Not much happened brace-wise; she said there isn't really anything else to do now until after surgery, which is GREAT. That means at least the only thing now is just getting a surgery date. She took my upper wire out- and obviously there was a reason for taking it out- but she put the same one back in again with no real changes to it, as far as I can discern. So dunno about that. My lower arch hasn't even been touched the last 2 or 3 appointments.
Then she got my molds that were taken last appointment, and while she was fiddling with them she gave me the bombshell (though not too much of one, in terms of the big picture) that I still need more expansion; relapse obviously comes into play, but she said for me I could have done without the relapse because I needed so much (I think overall I expanded 10mm the first time) to begin with. She said during the surgery they will just do the additional expansion then. I suppose that means I will have to wear an expander or TPA again, though I won't be actively axpanding my jaw after surgery. From what I gather all the expansion that I need will be carried out during the op. If it's a TPA I don't mind ( ) because it doesn't get in the way too much. However I don't know what else I will have in my mouth from the surgery- a splint? Might be rather in the way!

After that she just took some measurements of my midline/cant/underbite (or 'reverse overjet', as would be the technical term)/lip diameter...and one that seemed funny to me- length of neck (she measured from my chin down at an angle to my neck). Apparantly mine much longer than is normal. Who knew....

She said that generally people have more of a movement of the uppr jaw than lower, however in my case my lower will be moved the most. Doesn't really matter in general terms, but it's good to know. Also I remember hearing the measurement of 6mm for something, which I will assume is my underbite. According to this site (which I just stumbled on): that puts me in the highest grade of 'need of treatment'- Grade 5. Yay, I feel so special. Like when you get an A* in an exam

So now I'm done teeth-wise, it's just a matter of when will my surgery be? Again she reiterated that a lot of the time surgery dates are cancelled first time round. My question to that would be; if you know things are overbooked and will inevitably be cancelled, why not just not overbook and not get people's hopes up, and book dates you know will be followed through with? As with anything though, that is too simple a view. I will just take my first surgery date as a general timeline, and go from there. I suppose though, that given my appointment with the surgeon to find this out is in November, chances of a surgery this year is slim. Well, the chances of an actual surgery date, and not just one that will be cancelled!

Any clairvoyants in the house (although who would believe them?)