Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ortho Appt, ER and lots of photos ...

Well, this week has been interesting to say the least. I went to my OD appointment on Monday, they took some progress pics and moved my wire half a mm to the right in an attempt to close up the gap on my lowers. My OD wasn't worried about it being closed for my surgery, but said sometimes plaque can build up on the wire inside the bracket and prevent it from moving. 2 days later, my gap was closed! They put a new powerchain on, but basically the same one as I had when I went in. When I left and checked everthing out in the mirror, I noticed my chain wasn't completely covering one bracket on the bottom lowers, so I went back and asked if that was ok. Well, it turned out the door on my self ligating bracket was kind of bent, preventing the chain from going completely around that bracket. So she checked with Dr. L and he said to bust off the door, put a wire tie around the bracket and put the chain back on. She ended up doing that to both lowers. He will decide at my pre-surgical appointment in August if he will reposition the brackets at that time or wait for after surgery. So here is my before picture compared to current as of Monday, July 14th:

6 days later, this is how the lower gap looks closed up ...
Tuesday afternoon, I went to go get my dress altered for my best friend's wedding in a few weeks. As I was standing there, I started to feel dizzy so I had to set down for a few minutes. She finished up tacking up my dress and I went home. I had that achy all over feeling, and occational sharp pains in my abdominal and chest region. My husband came home and I got up to go in the kitchen with him, and while he was making dinner I felt extreme pain in my abdominal/chest region that woudn't go away. He asked if he should call the hospital and I asked him to take me to the ER (the chest pain scared me because you don't know if the heart is involved). I was gasping for air from the pain, not hyperventilating but the pain made it hard to breath. It lasted for about 5 minutes, and the pain started to subside, but since we were already in route we decided to still go to see what was going on. They took the normal bloodwork and urinalysis, an EKG, and a upper body x-ray. The x-ray showed that I had severe inflamation of the lining of my stomach, technically termed gastritis. They also showed I had a bladder infection, unrelated to my pain but that explained the achy all over feeling. All of my bloodwork, blood pressure, EKG etc. came out good, but I did have a small fever.
So, it looks like the doxycycline struck again. I have been so vigilent to take it with sufficient water, and no where near anytime I will be laying down. It never said that I had to take it with food, so I am guessing this is what happened, I am just particularly sensitive to the medication and it irritated the lining of my stomach one day when there wasn't a lot of food in my tummy. Ugh ... 8 months on this medication and my 2nd major issue. I will be glad when I am off of it, but it looks like I will be on it for another 14 months as I need to take it for 12 months post op. When I got home that night, it was already pretty late but I thought I should try to eat something, so I had a tortilla with cheese and a yogurt. The yogurt didn't seem to sit well when it was going down so I stopped. About 40 minutes later I was doubled over in pain again, and it lasted about an hour. It was so bad, I couldn't concentrate on anything else, but at least I knew what it was this time. I advised my surgeon's office so they know my stomach has been particularly sensitive to the doxy.
In the ER, they prescribed me an antibiotic for the bladder infection, and some other medication for the gastritis. The next day, the Pharmacist told me that my insurance wouldn't cover it unless the doctor called them to get it pre-approved, so either she could ask the doctor to do this, I could pay for it myself ($130!!!), or she could check if something OTC would work (i.e. prilosec). So she called the doctor (not the same one but another physician who reviewd my chart), and he said I could try the Prilosec, and if that doesn't work to call back and they will try to pre-approve with my insurance. I know prilosec is normally used for acid reflux, but I guess in this case it would neutralize the acid in my stomach. So, sick of taking so many pills and being a walking medicine cabinet, I thought I'd at least try to eat and see what happens, and if I had another bad episode I would definately buy the Prilosec. I was petrified to eat, in fear of the pain, but I had a granola bar, waited an hour, and ate a yoghurt, and nothing. That certainly seemed to clear itself up more quickly than the esophageal ulcers. So, at least I know what to try if and when this happens again. Hopefully it won't.

So that is how my week started out. I have also begun to process the psychological issues I am going to face after surgery. I am trying to maintain a positive attitude, but reality is setting in now that my date is set and quickly approaching. Luckily, my husband has been incredibly supportive of me throughout this whole ordeal, so have my family, friends, and work. I spoke with my boss about it and he told me to take the full 3 weeks off, and I could work at home for however long I needed when I come back to work, reducing my hours if necessary. So, I will play it by ear. I also told him I wouldn't be going to Paris, he was more than fine with that so I will just skip that trip this year.

I wanted to get your opinions on my overbite. It doesn't seem to be as deep as it was before. When I first went to my OD, he told me I had an 80% overbite, but check out the pictures below (pre-braces vs current):

Doesn't it look like maybe it's around 50% now? Ideal is 20%. On the otherhand, my overjet has definately gotten worse, not that it was pretty to start ...
Last but not least, my full front view, showcasing my gummy smile. I think this has gotten worse since getting the braces as well ... but I knew going into this that things would get worse before they get better ...

I thought I'd throw in a couple profile views for good measure ... they'll be good comparison photos for post-op:
So, that's my week in a nutshell. The gastritis seems to have cleared up and I haven't had any more pain. I took myself off the doxy for a week so I will start it again in a few days, trying to make sure to eat with it from now on to prevent that from happening again. My next appointment with my OD is mid August and will be my pre-surgical appointment. I have an appoinment with the sleep and respiratory center next week so I will let you all know if anything comes out of that.

6 comments:

Katherine said...

Yowzers,you've had quite the exciting week. Over half you could've done without, I'm sure, but good to hear things are on the mend. How is it going to go with the Doxy post-surg, when actual 'sustenance' is a challenge on the best of days?

Teeth are looking great. It really is amazing to see the changes side-by-side like that.(and agree, the overbite is looking noticeably improved.)

August is going to FLY by :)

Stephanie said...

I asked my surgical coordinator about the doxy after surgery, because I imagine on the liquid diet my tummy won't like it. She said that I should ask Dr. P in my pre-op visit on August 28th, so I've added that to my list of questions. I told her I really don't want to add anymore complication on top of what I'll already be going though. So we'll see what he says ...

stephanie said...

Yikes, what a week!! Glad you are feeling better and know what caused all of the upset (again).

Your teeth look amazing!! They've had a lot of progress. Your overbite is looking MUCH better.

Look forward to updates!!

Bella said...

Your teeth look just like mine did before my surgery, so I imagine you're going to be advanced about the same amount. Did they tell you how much yet?g

Stephanie said...

I don't know how much I will get advanced yet, I would imagine I should find out at my pre-op appointment with my OS on August 28th.

Shelly said...

Hi, Steph! You look really great! I'll be having my braces next week too, that's why I've been searching for some overbite correction journeys of other people. My two Memphis dentists has examined my dental situation, and they're very careful of the procedure. Well anyway, congrats on your new smile!