Monday, January 14, 2008

First post-op adjustment (#13)

Today was adjustment #13, my first adjustment after surgery. I'm in my 10th week post-op, a little bit later than usual due to the holidays and rescheduling. I was 10 minutes early, and a good thing too because he ended up doing a lot more work than expected. He had to replace 5 or 6 brackets on top, I lost count! They were all broken or loose from surgery and I didn't even know it! Probably due to the elastics is my guess. My intuition about my right central incisor was correct, the bracket was clearly broken and in the photo below you can see that it has already almost put the tooth back in place. Dr W did the rebonding himself this time and had me outta there in 40 minutes flat. Speedy gonzales! Best of all it didn't even hurt an ounce! I think he put a lighter wire on, so that definitely made it easier for me, but I was sure I'd feel something when he tightened the ligature ties. Go figure. I do feel some burning now but nothing unbearable, and I took an Advil before I left anyway. All the brackets were intact on the bottom and he ran out of time so he didn't change anything there. I go back in 8 weeks, seemingly forever! (But I see Dr T on Friday.)

Another great piece of news is that I only have 2 payments left! Woohoo!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Week 9 pics

New pics are up. Check out my top two galleries and scroll down to the bottom for week 9 stuff. Here's one that shows that my left pre-molars need some expansion.

And my latest mug shot:

Monday, January 07, 2008

Update circa week 9

Happy 2008 y'all! I hope everyone had a great holiday and at least some of you were able to actually eat and enjoy something yummy in a non-post-op, traditional manner. Christmas eve dinner was a milestone of sorts for me in that it was my first meal without any kind of protein powder or blenderized fare (although I am still supplementing with it). I did have to relegate myself to mostly non-chew things like mashed potatoes and stuffing, and despite being the last one to clear my plate I was happy to have made it that far, and so were the others at the table with me.

Let's see, I was out of town for 3 weeks over the holidays and thankfully was able to get a visit in to both of my docs just before leaving. Dr W just had a brief look around and then did a tiny bit of cranial therapy on me. He said all looked good and that my face was melting under his fingers, a good sign. The next day I saw Dr T and after a lengthy wait due to other wisdom teeth surgeries he was doing I was finally called in. He said I look better each time he sees me and that he was happy with how things were progressing. He gave me permission to start wearing elastics at night only starting on Christmas eve, which was day 56 for me, and to continue at night only until I see Dr W again at which point Dr W can do whatever he pleases. I wore them every night until Friday night last week when I caught a miserable cold and hence decided I preferred breathing to wearing elastics. My cold is waning but I now only have 4 elastics left anyhow so I've decided to throw in the towel and go naked until my appointment on the 14th. I highly doubt 2 nights less will make much difference.

That said, I do have a big concern with my front incisors. The right one seems to have decided to droop down notably lower than the left, and they aren't aligned vertically anymore from a z-axis perspective. Dr W did warn me that things would likely be out of whack after surgery and not to freak out, so hopefully this can all be easily fixed. I remember him saying he wanted to do more expansion too and I can see how that definitely is needed because one of my left pre-molars needs to swing out more. I'm dreading the word "button", and those of you ahead of me know what I'm talking about.

My face is coming along. I am still slightly swollen in my cheeks and under my chin, and after having this cold I think the swelling got a bit worse. I tried as much as I could not to blow my nose so hopefully that helped. The animation in my lips is probably about 85% now, most of the twisting when I press them together is gone. The numbest part of my face is the left side of my chin, and somewhat along the jaw line. Shaving is no fun - the numbness quickly radiates into pain which is felt right in my teeth at the moment. I've had a few really strong zingers, but I take those with pride knowing that it means things are healing up in there. I can also feel the gaps in my lower jaw where the grafts were taken from. I think I read somewhere that it takes 6 months for those to fill in, and that won't come a minute too soon.

Some people have noticed a change in my voice and I have to agree. I think I sound more nasal now, but not annoyingly so. I think now that the bones have had a chance to solidify, the new configuration produces a different resonance in my skull which makes me sound different.

Overall my holiday was pretty unremarkable from a post-op perspective and I really hope that continues. I think I need to dive into more solid foods now to help keep my energy up, hopefully the adjustment on Monday will assist in that endeavor. I must say that I am really amazed at the simplest things I can do now like bite into a piece of toast and tear it off without knocking my teeth together in a traumatic clash. I am also amazed at how efficient my premolars are at chewing food since I've never really been able to use them before! I'm used to just chewing with my back molars, like feeding an olive to a dog!

I'll try to post some pics later this week.