Friday, March 28, 2008

Alveoplasty vs. Orthognathic Surgery

Alveoplasty wins by a mile!

Is anyone still reading this blog? LOL

Today I got to the hospital at 9am for my alveoplasty. Talk about deja vu. Same dressing room, same johnny shirts, same paper slippers as last time. Same millions of questions, asked by three separate people, over and over again. Same hour of waiting, freezing to death in my hospital gown, before the anesthetist came in to talk to me, followed by Dr. C with his handy consent form, corny jokes, and ever-present smile. Last time he told me to pretend I was on Grey's Anatomy, this time he told me he was doing a "bumpectomy" on me. Such a comedian. But I do love that man, he's awesome.

I had a different anesthetist this time, a younger man who looked exhausted and promised me anti-nausea meds. Yay!

I did the "OR walk" with my glasses on this time and I got to see all the shiny objects, saws, blades, and all that fun stuff. Just like last time, I hopped up on the table, a nurse tied me down, I got my IV, monitor patches (those things itch me!), etc. There was this funny moment when the anesthetist asked for tape to secure my IV needle and a nurse joked around and said "Tape is overrated." and he said "We don't want it to fall out." and I'm like, "NO, please for God's sake don't let it fall out!" Heh.

Another funny moment was when one nurse told another nurse that I was having the bumps on my jaw smoothed down and I said, "Yeah, I'm having a bumpectomy." Everyone laughed and I said that's what Dr. C had called it and one nurse goes "Oh, so Dr. Phil called it that." I giggled at their nickname for him. Phillip is his first name, of course, but considering his last name is hard to pronounce, everyone apparently calls him Dr. Phil.

Then a nurse put an oxygen mask on me. I was pretty tense and shaky for some reason (What was up with that, I'm an old pro at this!) so she held my hand, which calmed me right down. I'm not sure if she had to hold my hand for some medical reason, or if she was just being nice, but it helped nonetheless. After that I remember getting woozy and the next thing I knew, I was awake and someone was saying, "Rebecca, the surgery is over and everything went great."

I had a hard time breathing when I woke this time, and I was shaking like a leaf. I told the nurse I was cold and she brought me a warm blanket. I had an ice pack on my face. I felt numb and groggy but not sick. As my blood pressure climbed, I began to be able to take in a deep breath. Within a few minutes I was completely alert, and STILL NOT SICK. Dr. C breezed by to see me and told me everything went well and that I had a line of stitches above my upper teeth.

I spent about 15 minutes wide awake in recovery and saw the most interesting things. I don't remember recovery at all last time. This time, they wheeled a young woman in who had just gotten her wisdom teeth taken out under anesthesia, and she was crying and screaming that she couldn't breathe, retching horribly and trying to get out of bed. Two nurses had to hold her down and try to calm her. Poor lady.

So I got my BP checked a few more times, got rid of my IV and oxygen finger-pincher thingie, and they wheeled me into the day surgery waiting room. My husband came to sit with me and I had some ginger ale. I felt fine and STILL NOT SICK. This had me pleasantly surprised. The nurse went over my post-op instructions with me. No hot foods, no rinsing, no spitting, just cold liquids and soft stuff like yogurt for today. 600mg of Advil every 6 hours for 3 days. Tomorrow I start rinsing with salt water and eating things like soup. Can't wait.

I am swollen now, and the feeling is returning. I wore my retainers for a couple of hours this afternoon, all the while fearing they may get permanently stained with blood, but they seem okay. I've taken in chocolate milk, a milkshake, yogurt, and apple sauce. I am starving, but I can hardly complain. Last year I did this for two weeks. I can easily handle two days.

So, compared to last year's surgery, this has been a breeze so far. I won't know if it made any difference until the swelling goes down, but I am hopeful. Even Dr. C said again today before the surgery that it probably won't make much of a difference, no will even notice it, but even if it's a small improvement, I will know. I will be pleased.

Off to eat something soft and cold.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Alveoplasty tomorrow

That word brings to mind Alvin and the Chipmunks for me. I guess I will look like a chipmunk when it's all over.

Tomorrow I go under again for my bone-shaping surgery. More anesthesia (puke), more swelling (yuck), more soft foods (sigh), more Tylenol 3 (puke again), and more stitches in my mouth (ouch). But alas, my crooked noseness may finally be fixed. I say "may" because Dr. C reminds me that he can only work with bone, and I may have excess tissue there as well that he can't fix. That's okay. As long as there's some kind of improvement, I'll be happy.

I shall update you all when I get home tomorrow (day surgery rocks) and after I stop hurling from the anesthesia. Ugh.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

1 year anniversary

It's been one year since I went under the knife and emerged with a new face and a new life. This past year has changed me as a person, inside and out. Can you believe I still feel my new chin, every single day, to make sure it's still there? Can you believe still I smile at myself in the mirror, every single day, to see my new smile? I look at old pictures of myself and feel a mixture of relief and astonishment. I don't remember looking like that and I'm glad I don't anymore.

I'd do it all over again with zero hesitation.

Above are pictures of my hubby and me, about six weeks ago. He has lost 50 or more pounds in the past few years, so we both look dramatically different from the day we were married 9 years ago. It's the new, improved us. :)

I would give you a picture today, but I have pink eye. Fun! These will have to do.