Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 23 post-op

Today I received a call from my OD's office, they said that Dr. P had spoken with Dr. L regarding my situation, and Dr. L (OD) wanted to schedule an appointment with me before Oct. 20th when I was scheduled to see him next. So I have an ortho appointment now on Monday.

I saw Dr. P for my 3rd follow-up appointment since surgery. He said that the mid-lines look better than last week. He said instead of my maxilla moving, it may be that the swelling is creating an illusion. So, let's hope this is the case, and as the swelling goes down my midlines will be spot on! We'll see what Dr. L says on Monday.

In other news, he took a look at my plate, and said that it has opened up a bit since he last saw me. So that is bad news. It means it probably will not heal over on its own. So I will need to continue to do the Peridex treatment, he told me I could reduce it to only once a day, but I had to continue to reduce risk of infection. I asked him if he preferred me to do the rinse twice a day, and he said yes, but it will cause more discoloration to my teeth. I told him that if he wants me to do it twice a day, I will, because right now my primary concern is my health, and I can worry about the aesthetics of cleaning the dark film off my teeth later. He agreed, I am also to do 4-5 salt water rinses a day as well. Once I move to soft chew, which will be around the 6-8 week mark, we will give it a couple of weeks and decide at that time if I am ready to get the plate removed. He explained that in a human being, bones take about 56 weeks to heal. It would obviously be preferable to keep the plates in, but the risk is infection. So you need to weigh the better of two evils. At 8-10 weeks post-op, the bones are only semi healed, however I have 2 plates on each side of my jaw where the BSSO incisions are, and he will only remove one of the plates, the one that is exposed. So, I feel much better about this now. From all of the stories I have read, I wanted to keep those plates in as long as possible, to prevent relapse or non-union. But I feel a lot better if I reduce the risk of infection by removing the plate plus I keep one plate in. Many only have one plate on each side with the BSSO to begin with, so I am feeling pretty good about this. Obviously it would be nice to not have this complication, but when I decided to go though this process, I knew that I would have to do "whatever it takes" to get to the finish line and deal with whatever complications arise. Normally, he would clear his patients at this point to see them in 4 more weeks ... but given my exposed plate, I have to continue seeing him weekly (not that I mind).

I asked him what may have caused the exposed plate, he said it could have been a multitude of causes, but possibly, since when viewing my x-ray, the plates appear a bit higher on the left side than on the right, they could have been a bit to high (too close to the incisions).

I asked Dr. P about my sutures, he said that they are self-dissolving and should start to go away around the 5-8 week mark. The ones under my upper lip will take the longest. I am ready for them to go so I have the resemblance of a normal smile again!

I told him that I could open about as much as my pinky finger, and it felt like there was something stopping me in my left joint. He said that is normal, that it would take me months to get my ROM back, and the blockage that I feel could be from a variety of reasons such as swelling in that area or other factors.

he said my swelling has gone down nicely since my last appointment, particularly in my gums. He said the ones in the back are about a quarter of the size (swelling wise) of what they were last week. I have noticed that the swelling in there has gone down considerably as well. I wonder if the bromlain has had anything to do with that, or if that is just my body healing naturally.

He said my profile is coming in nicely, he is glad that he did not to the genioplasty because I will have a good profile without it. I concur, the projections were a little bit strong (masculine) looking, and I prefer the softer look, plus I believe it made my recovery much easier. Not to mention the finacial bennefit of not doing the genio.

He said I should see the swelling in my lower jaw to continue to come down, but the swelling behind my nose, under it, and along side it could take up to a year to diminish. I gues sthat is consistent with what I've read elsewhere ... and everyone heals a bit differently.

He asked me how I was feeling overall, and I told him that I prepared myself for the worst, and recovery has been "easier" than what I anticipated. The worst was the 2 full weeks of liquids no particulates. He empathised and talked a bit about his experience, how hard it was to choke sstuff down when nothing tastes good and you just loose your appetite.

I just can't say enough about my OS and OD. First, that they are in such close contact to ensure that I have an optimal result. And Dr. P takes the time to answer all my questions, calmly, and he's not put off by any question. He just has such a great bedside manner and explains everything in laymans terms so I am comfortable with it. I wonder if he was always that way, or if part of it is a result of him having undergone the surgery himself. Either way ... I feel pretty lucky to have such a competent team of medical professionals.

Lastly, my boss asked my yesterday if I would be able to go to Paris. Not for the food show that I was originally considering, but for a meeting which is taking place about the same time. I said I didn't think there was any reason I couldn't go, but I would get it cleared with my surgeon. The food show was completely out because how can I be on my feet for 5 days, 10 hours/day, talking with clients and potential clients all day long while still banded shut and on a blended diet. But, a 4 hour meeting seems perfectly acceptable, and my surgeon agreed. He just wants me to let him know before I go because he will put me on antibiotics, he doesn't want me to go to be in a foreign country and have an infection. I'll only be gone 2 or 3 days at the most, so I think I can survive on juice, Ensure, and Boost for that period of time.

Sorry for the long post ... I will update with more photos this weekend.

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