Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Good news, finally!

I went to see my surgeon this weekend. Since I got my jaw unwired, I see him every six weeks to make sure my jaw is healing on schedule. This was my second six-week follow-up and I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to it because of my last experience.

At my unwiring appointment, he fastened four elastics - two on each side of my mouth - connecting my upper and lower teeth and told me to wear them at all times. These were to train my jaw to open symmetrically. They were placed at an angle to keep my lower jaw in its new position and to ensure it didn't start regressing back to where it was before the surgery. At night, I had to wear a single elastic connecting my front upper and lower teeth.

The problem was that my teeth move easily and quickly. So, instead of keeping my teeth in their current position, the elastics started pulling them forward. Over the course of the six weeks from my unwiring to my next appointment, my teeth shifted into an underbite position, with the lower teeth on the outside of the upper.

My lower jaw was slightly further out than it should be.
But I'm still totally cute.

As you can imagine, when I went to my surgeon with an underbite two months after my surgery, he was not pleased with the results. I had expected that he would just reverse the elastics until my teeth went back to where they were supposed to be.

But that's not all he did. Oh no.

In addition to changing the elastics, he took his thumbs and pushed my lower teeth until they sat behind my upper teeth.

Let me repeat that: He pushed my teeth into place with his thumbs.

I'll wait while you imagine that and twitch, because I'm still twitching thinking back on it.

After four days of migraines, my teeth were back to where they belonged. And six weeks later, it was time to make the two-hour drive to see the surgeon again.

In addition to having waking nightmares about his thumbs coming after me, I was a bit stressed about being able to open my mouth wide enough. When I got unwired, my surgeon told me I had to work up to opening my mouth 30 mm before I could go back to my orthodontist and continue with braces adjustments.

The last appointment, I only made it to 25 mm, and in the six weeks since then, I had been struggling to stretch it farther than that, and not making much progress. Fortunately, about a week before the appointment, my jaw finally started to give.

I took my jaw stretching device on the road and used it in the car on the way to the appointment. And, miraculously, when I saw my surgeon, not only did he not come after me with his powerful thumbs, but he also announced that I had made it to 32 mm.

32 mm!! Wooo hoooo!!!! No more surgical hooks on these teeth, and one step closer to debracing!!

Finally, some good news.


Katherine said...

Oh...My...Goodness. Bella is human. :)

Definately not making light of the relevations you've been coming to over the last bit at ALL, and thank you for sharing the conversation between yourself and your friend ~ what a powerful way to explain the frustrations. I know the ablility to put into words the way you feel and knowing what to do with it are two different things, but if anyone can figure this out, you can!
It is always uplifting to see how perkily you handle everything. I just felt, while reading your last couple entries, how REAL you all of a sudden seemed.

Sidenote: manually pushing on your teeth to moove them back into position..Um....barbaric. Forget the twitch, how about full body shudder?!

Kiwikaren said...

Fantastic that you can now open your mouth to 32 mm ... you've done really well!

Here's to getting back to your ortho and your teeth being naked soon!

Mylene said...

Oh, lord. The Thumbs of doom. Glad things are getting better though.


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