Monday, October 29, 2007

First day back to work :(

So, today was my first day back to work after the big day. I was actually feeling quilty about take three whole weeks off. But now I am glad that I did. Today was a LONG day. The week that I had my surgery we started a new work schedule. We use to work the normal 5 days, 40 hours a week. Now we work a 9/80 schedule. The first week we work 9 hours Monday thru Thursday, 8 hours on Friday, the following week is 9 hours Monday thru Thursday, and Friday off. So we get a three day weekend every other weekend. Which is nice, but HAVING to b e at work for 9 hours sucks. Now, I usually work 8 - 12 hours a day anyway, but at least I only HAVE to work 8 hours. I left my house this morning around 5:30 am, worked 9 hours, went to class for 1.5 hours, and didn't get home until almost 7 pm. LONG day for my first day back. But it was nice to get back to work. I am a people person and I like to be around people.

I got lots of good compliments today. Maybe because I see myself everyday, but I don't notice that much of a difference. The worst part about going back to work was eating. I am still on a "mush" diet and only using a baby spoon. Got some funny looks at lunch as I was heating up my small amount of pasta that was all chopped up. Luckily my husband works at the same place so we eat lunch together and he could let me know when I had food on my chin!

I also had a LONG weekend. My husbands friend from High School got married this weekend and he was in the wedding. So we had to go to PA on Friday and didn't get home until Sunday afternoon. Lots of partying and talking, and of course drinking! Here are some pics from this weekend. By the time that he took the profile pics, I had a few drinks, so I was feeling pretty good then! There are more from this weekend in my "Post Surgery Pics" link to the right.

Bob and I at our friends wedding

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

First Ortho Visit Post-Op

Today I had my first visit with my ortho since the big day! It went well. They were all amazed at how great I looked! They couldn't believe that I had major jaw surgery just 15 days ago. They all kept saying how different I looked. The ortho himself even said that if he were to see me on the street, he wouldn't have noticed me from the first time I came into his office (which was over 4 years ago!). I told him that I didn't see that big of a difference, so they took out my pics from before the braces. WOW, there really is a huge difference! Actually, one of the last times I was there one of the ladies asked me if I was using the same surgeon who did my SARPE. I told her that I didn't have that done. She was amazed at how far the ortho got my upper arch to move without doing SARPE! So between that, and then the lower jaw being moved back... it was a big difference. One of the ladies today asked if I decided to have my chin done because it looks so much more proportionate. I told her that the OS said I didn't need it since he switched from upper to lower.

So after all of the compliments, it was time to get to business. I really love my ortho, but he is not the most gentle person when you just had surgery. I think that because I'm not that swollen or bruised anymore, he thought that I wasn't in any sort of pain. WRONG. He kept telling me to open wider... um, I CAN'T!!! Then he was pulling my cheeks back to see the back teeth. OUCH is all I have to say.

After all that he decided that he would wait another 3 weeks before my first post-op adjustment. He needs to put some "buttons" on the back of up top teeth, so there was NO way that they were getting in there today. So they just took some pics and made me another appointment for 3 weeks.

He said that he thinks the braces will be off in 6 - 9 months. However, I am not holding my breath on that one. He originally told me 6 - 9 months is how long I would have them on before surgery. Well, here we are 19 months later! And when I had braces as a kid I was told 1.5 - 2 years. 4 years, 3 months, 17 days, and 5 hours later they FINALLY came off. I have VERY stubborn teeth (which I guess is a good thing, they are in the bones REAL well). But I don't really care how long they are on now. Don't get me wrong, I was them OFF. But I also want my teeth as perfect as they can be.

So, now it's just a waiting game to see how much longer these will be on. Oh well. The worst part is over now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

First post-op visit

So I had my first post-op visit with my OS yesterday. It went great. They were all so shocked to see me. They couldn't believe that I just had jaw surgery a week ago! They were just so surprised at how well my swelling and bruising were. I have barely any. If you didn't know me and you saw me in the store or something, you wouldn't even know that I had jaw surgery 9 days ago! It's great. I can't complain. I guess all of that ice really did help (and it felt good too, so can't complain about that).

I got there and the tech took some x-rays. Then the nurse took the stitches out of my cheeks. The ones on the right side were a little tight, so it took some work to get them out, but it didn't hurt or anything. I just wish I could have watched! I don't know why, but I find that sort of stuff really cool! Then my doc came in and he was shocked at how well I looked too! He looked inside my mouth, said everything looked PERFECT, just as he had hoped. Then she showed me my x-rays. They were pretty cool to look at. You could see where he had to cut the bone to avoid the nerve and where the screws are. I look like Frankenstein! Too bad I couldn't wear my x-ray for Halloween!

My surgeon and his tech were saying that I should be there model patient. With how well I was healing and how prepared I was for the surgery. For my pre-op I went in with about 25 questions to ask him, and they were all written down and organized into topics. He could tell I had been doing my research. So I must thank you all for that! And he said that I just had the perfect attitude for this. He said that usually his adult patients do better because they are there on there own will, not there parent's forcing them.

But other than that, nothing really new has changed. I have been so busy studying for a stupid mid-term that's today (I just want to finish up with this masters already). So wish me luck!

Here are some pics from yesterday. With my hair down, you can't even really tell that I'm swollen (I know it, but others wouldn't even notice it if they didn't know me).

I actually have a smile again!

These were the stitches that they had a hard time getting out.

These stitches came out much easier. I can't wait for the swelling to go down to get rid of that little bit of a double chin. I know it's not bad, but it wasn't there before.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Way to excited about being able to spit!

I was doing my mouth rinse just a few minutes ago and I could actually spit the stuff out rather then just opening my mouth and letting it run out. Just yesterday I couldn't spit, I had to let it run out. I really can't remember how it was earlier, but I was SO excited that I could actually get my lips together to spit! Such little things are making me happy right now.

My parent's came last night for the night and left this morning. My aunt had made my mother an apple pie so she brought it with her. She thought that I may have been able to chop it up and eat it. She was right! I took a small sliver and chopped it up with the Pampered Chef Ultimate Chopper. I am SO glad that she brought that pie. I took my first baby spoon full and put it in my mouth, and I literally moaned! It just tasted SOOO good to have some REAL food.

Once again, it's the little things that make my day!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day of surgery recap

So here's a recap of my big day!

My surgery was at 8:00 am, so we had to be there at 6:35 (why not 6:30?). We live about one hour away from the hospital, so we had to get up BRIGHT and early. My parents' had come down on Sunday night to be with me for my surgery. So my parents', my husband, and I leave our house by 5:30. I am tired and try to sleep on the way to the hospital (I get REALLY car sick, so I usually try to sleep to avoid feeling like crap). But of course I couldn't sleep. I couldn't sleep at ALL the night before. I don't think that any of us 4 got any sleep.

So we get to the hospital and they take me right in to pre-op and give me my "room". I put my lovely hospital gown on and wait for a few minutes for someone to come in.

My husband, Bob, and I waiting for the fun to begin!

The first nurse came in and gave me my wrist bands. I was lucky and got two because I am allergic to fish and seafood. I guess a lot of people that are allergic to fish and seafood also are allergic to iodine, so they don't use it on you if you are allergic to fish and seafood. This nurse also gave me a lovely "shot" of some medicine for nausea. Then she gave me a pill for nausea too, with a little drink of water. I made sure to drink it all since I was SO thirsty from not drinking. (Bob was so sweet. He wouldn't eat or drink anything until they took me away to surgery that morning since I couldn't eat! That didn't stop my parents from drinking coffee. But then I have had coffee in front of them when they couldn't, so I deserve it).

The next nurse to come in was to give me my IV. I was actually a little nervous about this since I have heard some horror stories about how much they hurt. I didn't feel a thing. First she cleaned my hand, then she gave me a little shot of lidocane to numb it. That was the tiniest prick ever. So my hand was numb when she put the IV in, so I didn't feel a thing.

As if I didn't already have enough anti-nausea medicine, this nurse gave me MORE in my IV. It was the weirdest thing. She said that this particular side effect only happens to females. Basically, it was this warm burning feeling between my legs. It only lasted a few minutes, and if I sat up it was better.

Next came the anesthesiologist. He came in and asked me when the last time I had anything to eat or drink was. I told him 9:30 last night. He then asked in a joking way "Did you take the meds they gave you?" I guess he was right, the one was liquid and the other one was a pill, so they gave me a little bit of water for it. But I got a chance to ask him about waking up during surgery and would there be any chance of me feeling anything. He told me that there is ALWAYS a chance, but that they take precautions to stop that from happening, and since I wouldn't be given any paralysing drugs, I would start to move before I could feel anything. He explained that there are risks whenever you go under, but that I took more of a risk getting in my car to drive there today. He gave me some nose spray to use and said that he would be back to wheel me off to surgery.

So he left and I waited for a while for my surgeon to come. He was making rounds so he was a few minutes late. He came in, asked how I was then left to go get the towels to put my hair up with. One of his nurses from his office always assists him with surgery. I was told is was going to be one lady, but it was the other one. I was glad. Not that I don't like the other one, it's just that I talked with this one the day of my pre-op so I know her better. But they put my hair up in this lovely do.

A few minutes after this, the anesthesiologist came back and took me away! I was actually pretty calm. When we first got to the hospital I was a little teary, but I kept it in. Then when we were waiting in the pre-op room, I actually thought to myself "Why am I doing this? Can I really go though with it? Am I strong enough to do this?" But when I was actually talking to the docs and stuff, I was MUCH calmer.

So I get wheeled to the OR. I was surprised at how small the room was. I was expecting a larger room, like they show on TV. It was actually pretty small. The nurses gave me a warm blanket and then had me move over to the operating table. That was the smallest table I think I have ever seen. I'm not that big of a person, but I barely fit on it. The anesthesiologist asks me what I am going to dream about. I say "Food, since I won't be eating anything good for a while". They get me all cozy on the table and I start to feel my arm tingly and warm. I say to the anesthesiologist "You must have given me something because I can feel it in my arm." He goes "Just wait until it gets to your brain." Next thing you know, the ceiling is all spinny and I say "I think it's getting to my brain now."

That is the LAST thing that I remember. I never had to count backwards or anything. It was great. I didn' t even know that they were putting me under. I think that I liked it that way. This way I didn't have to think about it.

The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery and barely being able to keep my eyes open. Next time I opened them there was a nurse there and she was saying that I was in recovery and that everything went great. Once I could finally keep my eyes open, she checked my blood pressure. I guess it was still high so I had been in recovery for over 2.5 hours. My OS stayed with me until I came out and took the bands off my teeth. He then went out to my family to tell them that everything went great. That he couldn't have scripted it better and that I have VERY little blood loss. I guess I even gave him a thumbs up when he left to talk to my family! I must have been feeling ok at that time!

The nurse with me in recovery said that she was going to let my husband come in to see me since I had been in there so long. But then she look my blood pressure again and I was good to leave. So she changed my gown because of the blood. But of course as she was changing it, I got blood on the new one, so she changed it again. I hadn't learned out to use the suction thing yet. Then she wheeled me to my room.

My room was actually in the pediatric ward! My OS puts all of his jaw surgery patients there because the nurses there are great and know what we need, and a plus is that you get your own room and bathroom! So I didn't complain. A few minutes after I get to my room, my husband shows up! It was SO great to see him. Then right behind him was my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew! I had a whole crew there. It was great to have such a support system. I LOVE my family!

I was still a little groggy, so I talked to them a little bit then they went to go eat lunch while I took a nap. It seems that as soon as I would fall asleep, in comes a nurse! My family returned a little bit later to visit for a little while before they drove the 2+ hours home. They game me there gifts (if you read my other posts, they are jokesters!)

My husband stayed until around 6:30, then he went home to take care of our dog and get some rest. I figured there was no since in him staying at the hospital with me. At least he could get a good nights rest. With the nurses coming in very 3 hours, I knew I wasn't going to sleep.

Bob returned to the hospital around 8 the next morning and I was "eating" breakfast. Ensure, apple juice, and watered down cream of wheat which wouldn't fit in the syringe, so I couldn't eat it. The nurses came in and took my IV out and discharged me! They said that they have never seen someone recover so well from this surgery. I just hope that I can keep up with the good recovery!

Ok, so that's the LONG story of my day in surgery! Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Post Surgery Pics

Check out my pics on Picasa. The link is under "Useful Links" and is the first one. I will put most of them there, and then some "good" ones actually on here. Enjoy!

I couldn't ask for a better Best Friend

So this post is about my awesome best friends! She really has one of the biggest hearts around. Today she gave me a "Get Well" gift. Well, she is just too cute. Here is a picture of it.

She has a gift for each day for 2 weeks, plus one for a day that I need a little more of a pick me up! They are even labeled for each day. Now the joy of getting "get well gifts" will last for the whole two weeks that I am home! That is just such a great idea!

Here is today's gift:

"ModernDog" magazine. I can't wait to see what tomorrow's gift is!

I don't know what I would do without friends like I have. They are all so great and have been such a support system for me!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm home

Well, I made it through the surgery! I came home this morning. My OS said that everything went as planned, and that he couldn't have scripted it to go better! I am just trying to keep up with my pain meds and get some rest. It is nice to be home now.

Just a few quick pics of how I looked yesterday. I already have more swelling. And my OS said that tomorrow would be the worst with swelling and pain. So I'll try to load more pics tomorrow.

Oh, can you see what kind of family I come from? They gave me some "goodies" and in there included tootsie rolls, twizzlers, "jaw breakers" (my mother's favoriate), gummy bears, etc... Gotta love family! My nephew thought it was mean, but I actually thought it was pretty funny. We are a bunch of jokesters, so I would have been surprised if they didn't do something stupid like that!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gotta LOVE Insurance Companies

Could you "hear" the sarcasm there? What a week, what a week. As if getting ready for surgery wasn't enough, lets throw in some more stress from the insurance company. If you aren't ready for a LONG story, you might want to skip this post.

So I go for all of my pre-ops on Wednesday. Go to the hospital, then to the surgeon. I must say, I LOVE my surgeon!!! And that's about the only reason why I am still having surgery tomorrow. He tells me that him and my OD have decided that I would be better off having lower jaw surgery instead of upper jaw. I had a few concerns, but I trust there decisions, and it's a safer surgery with a quicker recovery, so I'm all for that. I was with my OS for over 2 hours! He was SO complete on telling me everything and answered ALL of my questions. He could tell that I have been doing some research. So thanks everyone!

So I am ready to leave and I am only waiting at the front desk to get the note from the nurse excusing me from work for 2 weeks. After a few minutes of standing there, the receptionist asks me if I am ready to make a payment today. WHAT??? A payment? What for? I have insurance and it's covering it. So I tell her that my insurance is covering this and that I am all set. She goes and checks my records to verify this. Well, if you happen to remember I had a lovely scare at the beginning of the year. My OS use to take my insurance, but at the beginning of the year they decided not to participate with my insurance anymore (and I now see why). But we had it all worked out that they would take what my insurance would still pay them and they would write off the difference. Of course the ladies at the front desk don't remember the whole "we'll just write off the difference". So I call my insurance to see how much they will pay for each of the codes so that I have SOME sort of idea as to how much this will cost me (it wasn't suppose to cost me ANYTHING, which is why I went to this surgeon, but he happens to be the best around, so that's good!)

So I think that I have everything figured out until about 10:00 am on Friday morning. I get a lovely call from Sherry from the OS office. She says "I may have some bad news for you." NOT something you want to hear 3 days before your surgery. She tells me that I don't have "out of network coverage" and that now my insurance is saying that they won't pay ANYTHING!!! Are you kidding me?

So I will try to cut this short, but I was on the phone NON-STOP from 10 until 2 discussing this with the insurance and the OS office. But we FINALLY got it all figured out. And that was ONLY after my Surgeon himself got on the phone with the insurance company. My mother works for a surgeon, and she said that he has NEVER gotten on the phone himself. So that must have pushed things along. The OS office closed at 2, and we had it figured out at 1:45. Lets add a little more stress, right?

Monday, October 1, 2007

7 days!

Well, one week from now I should be in recovery! WOW, I can't believe that is's actually going to happen. I have been putting this off for over 10 years, so it will be nice to just get it over and done with.

I was freaking out a little last week, but I seem to be pretty calm right now (give me a few days and I'm sure I will be freaking out again!). I have lots of appointments this week. Wednesday is pre-op at the hospital then pre-op with the surgeon. They were nice to schedule them back to back since they are about a 1 hour drive from where I live. Then Thursday I have my chiro, pre-op with my primary care physician and then a teeth cleaning! It actually just worked out that my 6 month cleaning was scheduled for Thursday! I was going to try to get in before the surgery anyway, so it was great timing!

I have been eating everything and anything that I feel like this past week. Bob and I are going out for a nice steak diner on Friday! I actually wanted yogurt for lunch today, but I didn't get it because I don't want to get sick of it before next week!

I will have Bob take lots of "before" pics this week so that I can post them and keep track of the changes. I was actually just looking at some pics from our last motorcycle ride at work and there were a few profile shots of me. Man, I really hate that profile. But it won't be like that for much longer!

Well, I will let you know what happens at all of my appointments this week and I'll post lots of before pics!