I didn't expect to have my braces taken off prior to Christmas, but I was hoping that maybe I could have them taken off early in the New Year - perhaps at my next appt in February. I was hoping that was going to be my news because two of my bloggy jaw surgery friends who had surgeries around the time I did, have either just had their braces off, or are about to. Yes, I know everyone is different. I just wanted to be as excited, and as close to the end as they were/are.
And you know what - that isn't something I should be complaining about, I'm not meaning to complain at all. I've had my braces on for almost 17 months, I've had my top jaw broken twice, and my bottom jaw broken once, I've had no nasty side affects or complications (just some impressive bruising thanks to my genes), AND I have an amazing team in charge of the changes to my teeth/mouth/jaws/face. I really could not ask for a better experience.
I'm happy with my results to date, I have no residual numbness to speak of, and the altered sensations I am feeling on one side of my chin are reducing and expected to return to normal fairly soon. I can comfortably open to two finger widths (at the second knuckle) and am aiming to improve that with some stretching exercises (and tongue depressors).
Maybe its just that the AFTER SURGERY waiting is perhaps more intense than the BEFORE SURGERY waiting. Maybe because I know that I'm over the hardest, biggest bit of the hill & on my way down the other side that I just can't wait to reach the bottom. It's just a bit longer ride than I hoped for. In saying that though - I was originally told I would likely have my braces on for 24 months (with 12 months of that being post surgery) - so as long as I am out by the end of July - I won't have actually gone over time. Ugh - that's another seven months!!
When I saw my Orthodontist - Dr O this week, I told him that as long as I was brace free by August (I'm getting married in August) I'd be happy. He laughed and told me that we should definately have them off well before then. So.....not February, but not August either - somewhere in between - I can live with that. And you know what - I am sure that the wait between when I am told I can have my braces off, and the actual day I get my braces off will probably be the longest time E.V.E.R!!
There really isn't anything major still to be done - just a little tweaking and fine tuning in order to achieve the best result. Something I say to my kids all the time is that "if you are going to do something, do it properly" - and I need to remind myself of that. And I have full faith that Dr O will deliver the best possible result in the best possible time.
So - news since my last post & appointment:
My bands worked better and quicker than expected, so much so that I ended up with my top and bottom teeth sitting smack bang on top of each other & I could not put my bottom teeth behind my top teeth at all. That was a little scary & of course it occurred on a weekend.
So I wore my bands backwards only at night for probably a bit over a week and a half which brought my bite back to normal.
When I saw Dr O again this week, he noted that my midlines are off slightly more than he would like, so we did some things to change that:
- Dr O 'polished' a little off the sides of a few of my top teeth on my front left side (about 1mm total)
- I have to wear a band on my left side only 24/7 to pull the top teeth left and push the bottom teeth right
- I have a power chain from my back left teeth around past my two front teeth to try and pull them all slightly to the left
- This may create a little gap where the power chain ends, and if that is the case I'm to take some pics, email them to Dr O & pop on a rubber band to help bring the back teeth forward a little on the right to close that gap.
This week, I also had my last follow up appointment with my surgeon Dr D, which was a little sad (yes I gave him a hug, and yes I cried). That man has changed my life, and I'll probably never see him again! Now I know that he 'only' made physical changes to me, and that a big part of this journey for me has been a lot of mental changes as well - but it's all linked.
I honestly couldn't have asked for a better surgeon & all round good bloke to look after me the way he did. I guess that feeling comfortable with and having complete trust in the person who is going to cut open your face, peel it back and break and re-position your bones & put you back together is pretty important. And I did. Although I was nervous about how I was going to cope and feel and look - I wasn't worried that he would fail to hold up his end of the bargain.
Now I know that you're probably reading this Dr D - so again I say thank-you from the bottom of my heart. I have so much admiration, respect and awe for you and what you are able to do for people, and what you have done for me. I'll never forget it. And thanks for letting me post this picture - you really are a champion!!
So, for now - to my heros Dr D & Dr O; to my bloggy friends and their families - I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year. Stay safe, and until next time.....