Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just an Update (& a lame cartoon...)

I travelled to the Royal Kingdom paying homage to My Liege yesterday. I'm still grinning! The word 'wonderful' got used a lot. Normally, he'd want to see me again at 6 & 8 weeks post op, but said these visits would be waste of time as I'm already at the 8 week stage now; that my recovery has been WAY beyond average! I told him about the "I 'heart' my Surgeon" t-shirt I'm having printed. Wow, I knew I was feeling really well, but how wonderful to have such encouragement from the One Who Should Know.

I'm allowed to do anything I want, physically, and eat whatever I choose; that my head would inform me of poor decisions quickly enough. COOL!!!! (I've basically been doing this anyways, mind you, with the odd caveat.....) With a grin, he asked when I was resuming orthodontics and getting the Surg hooks off already? Ohhhh he's a funny one. He knew I was just waiting for his omnipotent nod.

So of course I called dear OD the moment I got home and snagged a cancellation appointment for today. NO MORE SURGICAL HOOKS! I've got new active wires and fun non-latex elastic configurations to wear 24-7 for the next four weeks. Bite settling time~ I will wow them with my compliance.

Having my mouth reefed around for and hour was not fun and pulling & snipping the old wires out beyond creepy feeling; putting that much pressure on something that's just been relocated made me feel a bit queasy, actually, but no real pain. I cringed the odd time, but from instinct more than necessity. Everyone was as gentle with me as possible. I think they want t-shirts, too...

It's rather exciting to have that initial orthodontics discomfort again. Progress!

Sentimental Nostalgia: If you've read the early days of this blog you might recall this is the same OD office I went to as a kid. With the exception of a couple new additions, the majority of techs and reception are all the same. It is *SO* cool to walk in there and be swarmed by these ladies who "knew me when" and the encouragement and excitement of this post-op visit was pretty special. Awwwwwww....


  1. Yay! It must be exciting to get the braces going again from the other side of surgery! It's all downhill from there!

  2. AnonymousJune 18, 2009

    That is such exciting news! How does it feel when you try to chew and do all of the "normal" stuff that we forget about after surgery? Are you still getting sore at all? I went back to work (just 1/2 days) on Monday, and after talking for 4 hours straight, I'm wiped out! I'm just a few days over 3 weeks post, so I'm trying to be a little more paitent, but I feel like I'm at a bit of a stand-still. Did you feel like that at all? Send some of your miracle recovery magic my way. :) I'm really happy for you that you are healing so well and so fast!

  3. Congrats Kate! Can't wait for my time--4 weeks 2 days to go--They scheduled me for the 20th which is 5 days after 6 weeks--I was so hoping to have it done on the 15th! He did remove the stitches from my bottom lip today, oh joy.

  4. WOW you are doing great!! So happy to hear it. I have the same orthodontist also from my childhood days. It is great. Blessings!! : )

  5. Looks good, feeling great, it seems as though you are going to make it through this whole crazy process! How does it feel? :P

  6. Gooooooooo Boot Camp!!!!

  7. My daughter really digs that you have a Elmo picture up. So, I know I'm late but CONGRATS on making it to the other side. ;) Your blog is the like the queen of all jaw surgery blogs. When people email mewith questions I send them your link. HA!!

  8. You do look fantastic! I can only hope for results as good (my upper and lower jaw surgery is August 10th) But, here is a different type of question for you. I am having some (ok, much) guilt as a result of my decision to go forward. Arguably, this surgery is more cosmetic than anything else. Yes, my bite is not nearly perfect and I have some TMJ symptoms. Nothing that I couldn't live with. The palatal expansion surgery and orthodontics have done wonders already... As a mom with two young children, I wonder if I shouldn't take the risk of surgery. Also, my insurance is covering most, but I am still liable for $5000. So, I can't help but wonder if I am being completely selfish and vain. Did you have any of these thoughts?? And, if so, how did you overcome them?

  9. Hey Kate,

    You're everywhere, I see you on all the jaw surgery blogs! haha

    I'm Brandon from the Jaw Surgery Blog.

    I just wanted to congratulate you on a successful surgery, and it would be a great help to others and future patients that are going to be going through the same thing you did if you could share your story and experience.

    I'd love to get as many people to share their story as possible in one organized place, so people just like us won't be as scared, and they too can have a successful surgery.

    All you have to do is write a quick summary of how the process was for you, in as much or as little detail as you like. For example, you could include how you felt right before surgery, how you felt after, what the sensations were like, what you wish you had known before, or anything else you can think of that will make the process a little bit easier for someone else.

    To help, just go here:

    If you have any questions at all or trouble posting your story, just let me know, and I'll be glad to help you help others!

    Thanks again,

  10. Derelect in keeping up lately, aren't I? Apologies in being a slow responder. This will be lengthy.... :)

    Meredith, it DOES feel awesome to be back at the Braces stage, though it's amazing how fast you go from "Yay! I'm back to braces!" to "Crap! SOOO sick of braces!". How exciting it was to be ables to brush and floss normally to moaning how much easier it would be if there was no metal in the way, haha.

    Katherine, if it hasn't improved already for you, you're going to get that energy back really soon. I felt like there was a change almost overnight. One day you're zonked, the next you're Wonderwoman looking for those snazzy tights ;) Chewing is going really well. I've had steak, pizza, nachos, peanuts (in my icecream), even gave salad a go. It's slow going, mind you, and often not pretty to watch, but the only things I'm staying away from are the things limited by braces in general. The big shift in chewing improves as my side-to-side jaw movement gets back to normal. way easier than the up-and-down biting motion alone.

    Rita, it is really cool! My mom used to take me, hauling my younger siblings in tow and now I go, hauling my children along.... maybe that's why they remember me, always surrounded by a whack of kids :)

    Mollie, it feels awesome! Sick to death of braces, but kind of cool that braces are the only thing to complain about. I feel "normal" and am amazed.

    Haha, El~ Bootcamp ROCKS!!!! Did I ever feel the relative inactivity of the weeks before though.... Much mockery ensued...

    Carmen, so happy things are going well!!! How good did it feel to not have strings hanging and knots poking?! The 20th has been & gone now (sorry) but what a relief now, eh? Ahhhhhhh!

    SHONTELL! How ARE you? So good to see you're doing so well and have this waaaaay behind you!! So wonderful to hear from you!!

  11. tsteeves~ I do understand what you're struggling with. This very neatly sums up why I put off pursuing this surgery for so long. I spent 5 years off-and-on seeking different opinions and options to avoid the surgery route, more desperately as what originally were mild TMJ symptoms became more and more unbearable ones. There was a long time I was willing to just live with them....

    The Cosmetic Factor is definitely an arguable one. Am I thrilled to no longer smile with only my bottom teeth (or have to roll my upper lip into my left nostril to show top teeth..)? You betcha. As a mom of young kids, would I have gone through this JUST for that end? Nope. Do I think there's a problem with others who'd say 'yep' to that? Not a chance. Do I love staring in the mirror and biting down over and over to see top teeth come down in one fluid, straight motion over the bottoms, no awkward shifting, clicking or grinding to be had? HOOOOOOO-YA!!

    This is a tough one to wrestle with. All I can really suggest is that you might ask your Ortho or Surgeon what your mild TMJ symptoms could become. Ask how this surgery will benefit you as a whole, not just as cosmetic advantages. Ask what the possibilies are if you DON'T do the surgery. They just might offer all the reassurance you need to make a confident informed, decision.

    Granted it's easier if you've got alot of support behind you, but what do YOU want to do? If there wasn't another soul to consider in the equation how would you feel? Guilt. Really. Sucks. I'm sure we all wrestle with it at times, I know I did, for all of the reasons you've listed (Is it really that necessary? Kids? Family? Risks? Money? etc). You have to do what's best for you and be confident that in the end it is best for everyone by extension. But only you know what's best for you. Look at it from the other side: Will you regret NOT doing it? *shrug* I don't know the answers to these.

    I do wish you the very best no matter what you decide, and hope you get clarity on what's best for you; an 'AHA!' that leaves no room for doubt, guilt or regret, just contentment and purpose for what lies ahead. (Wow, sorry for how pretentious that sounds, no matter how well-meaning it is meant, haha)

  12. Ps. Irregardless of your motivation, does this surgery mean you are selfish and vain??

  13. Kate!! How is it going? You're back to Boot camp already? Holy crud! How is everything else healing?

  14. Kate--that is July 20th--not June 20th!! Uggghhh-still 3 weeks from tomorrow!

  15. Wow - great progress! I'm happy to hear things are going well. Can't wait until my teeth fit together like yours do - that's really what I'm looking forward to the most, although getting the braces off is a very close second...

  16. Thanks for your insight...I too have been putting this off..started the process 10 years ago. So, a big part of me feels like I just need to finish. Hope your recovery is still going strong.. Look forward to seeing an update ;)

  17. Okay, I'm going to send out a search party for you! :) Hopefully you're enjoying the lovely summer up there and have just put blogging to the back of your mind.

    How are things going now? Update? Pictures? :)

    Much love,

  18. AnonymousJuly 24, 2009

    Ditto, Stephanie!

    Kate... come baaaaaack! We miss you!


  19. Hi Kate.

    I really miss reading your updates. How is everything going?


  20. Hi Kate! Just popping in to say hi. It looks like my surgery is happening after all, if you can believe it! I'm glad you're doing well and that life can resume to normal again.

  21. KAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTe! Did you hear me? How are you doing? I second that search party!

  22. I'm glad to hear about the developments. I'll be visiting my Raleigh cosmetic dentist and hope to have a good news. I wish my raleigh cosmetic dentistry can also tell me that I'll be brace-free for Christmas!