Monday, 22 December 2008
I'm very excited that it looks like this is the last Christmas I shall be braced up... I can't believe how quickly the last month has flown and it'll be no time before I end up out cold having my face broken!!
I finished last term on a high, had some very positive feedback from my Consultant, y'know the one who has severe foot-in-mouth syndrome... who recognised my hard work which is always nice. I just need to pass the exam (helpfully set for just after Christmas, of course, thus ruining any chance of switching off completely...) and all will be good and shall set me up well for my next rotation.
I also met a wonderful guy (ironically, at a time when my aesthetics are at their worst - unbelievable!) who is incredibly considerate and supportive and that has been an unexpected but exciting twist in my life. Although I have to say it does worry me somewhat when reading the wonderful Bella's latest blog post:
Update on Changes in Appearance
I do hope that such a drastic change in my face will not cause too much trauma... I really think about the whole issue of what my face will look like post-surgery and make sure I talk to The Boy on the subject without scaring him off too much! I guess there is not much more you can do and you just have to hope for the best.
So yes, for once Christmas is looking pretty positive! I can't wait to see what the next few months bring and hope that everyone has a wonderful peaceful holiday and all their wishes come true over the next year! Especially those waiting on surgery dates! :)
Lots of love to all
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Went in early to get some more impressions done and was ever so nervous. For those of you new to the experience it's very intimidating being in a room with at least 3 people staring intently at your face, pulling you this way and that, getting their rulers out and measuring every angle and telling you 'bite together' followed by 'broad smile'... But you just grit your teeth and get it over with...
So after a lot of fiddling with my moulds and discussion, they decided that I will need to have a full 10 mm of movement... 6 mm forward on my maxilla, 4 mm back on my mandible, and elevating my maxilla by 4 mm to prevent the gummy smile... The genioplasty wasn't mentioned again and I forgot to ask..
So then the diary comes out, and they ask when would be ideal. I tentatively said 'Well, obviously Christmas is the best.. but...' and that was ruled out straight away, as I thought it would. There are a few minor tweaks that need to be done still, and a lot of work-up and pre-assessment appointments too, and we agreed around Easter... So this is the calendar as it looks so far:
March 24th: Pre-assessment. As far as I'm aware this is the appointment where the final models and measurements are taken, so that the 'wafers' can be made and fitted. It sounds like they also make lots of measurements of my head so that my jaw can be aligned with my eyes, and ears etc.
April 3rd: They try the wafers to make sure they fit my teeth. I think this is like a splint which they use to line up my teeth during the surgery to ensure the bite is right.
April 8th: SURGERY!!
So.. it's really happening; of course, I need to run by the details with school but was great timing as I am seeing my tutor next Wednesday so I can discuss it then.
After the consult, my ortho took me to reposition 3 brackets on the teeth that need to be moved slightly and had my wires changed - has been a while since my teeth ached and they do again today! There'll be a few more appointments and I'll need some more hooks fitted apparently, but really when you think about it in terms of 6-weekly appointments it's not long at all! So even though it's not ideal, and it looks like I'll have to miss my friend's wedding, it's a huge relief to have something definite to plan around... Good luck to everyone else waiting on surgery dates!
Friday, 7 November 2008
It's been a while since anyone made a particularly negative reference about my face, but it came yesterday courtesy of my Consultant firm head; we were having mid-rotation interviews and he asked me that his secretary had told him I was due to have surgery? So I explained the situation and he proceeded to mutter on about how it was 'definitely the right decision' and that it'll make such a difference, as when you compare other people's normal faces... Just as well I'm no longer overly sensitive about the whole thing; to be honest he's such a brusque kind of guy and doesn't really mean it nastily, more of an observation. And he made up for the fact by making some extremely positive comments about my progress so far, completely unprompted. We're changing over so that we're more ward-based next week and I can't wait!
Let's just hope my recent run of happiness and good luck carries forwardr to Friday.. fingers crossed!
Friday, 10 October 2008
Luckily she sneakily got me an appointment for the November combined clinic on the 24th (it's once a month), as I would've had to wait til December otherwise. But even *if* my teeth are perfect by then, I don't think it's likely there'll be a slot for me by mid-December, as I was hoping. I can only hope for a miracle that all will be fine for that date and somehow I can get fitted in. If not, I have no idea how I'm going to manage with school, it's going to be impossible.
So as a result I'm feeling awfully low, I'm so fed up with the whole thing and not knowing when this will all be over. I do know it'll be completely worth it, but in some ways knowing how great life will be in a few months just makes me more anxious to get there!
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
I met with my co-ordinator who is a lovely lady and told her about The Impending Surgery.. And it turns out that her brother had it done a few years back. It's amazing how many people come out the woodwork and tell you about friends/relatives/etc who have been through orthognathic surgery, and yet I never knew anyone in the same boat growing up. She proceeded to tell me what a huge difference it had made to his life, and that he used to cover it with a beard but is now so confident and outgoing. I was a bit disturbed that she may have been implying I'm neither of those things, but then realised it was my first day and I probably did come across that way as I was nervous as hell.
However, the long and short of it was that she was extremely supportive and assured me we'll be able to work around it and it won't be a problem.
So I guess the next step is my next ortho appointment next week, and will try and discuss it then. It'd be nice if my teeth are *actually* ready though...
Feels like things are in motion. Still exciting, but the nerves are starting to kick in as are the new anxieties... It will all be fine, I'm sure.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
... And he was a bit of an arse. Not that he is a bad guy, just super-busy and made it quite clear he's impossible to get hold of, which in my opinion is a pretty bad way to start out a pastoral role. I don't really see the point of getting involved if you don't really care and are looking around for other people to talk to. Still, I braved it and mentioned my upcoming maxfax journey.
He was a bit vague and unsupportive, but did say that someone had been through a similar surgery a couple of years ago and managed it. He did then mention that it'd be worth speaking to my year head, which was a good idea. I accosted said guy and basically deduced that what I had been thinking was probably going to be the least disruptive sequence of events. However, will need to run it by my placement co-ordinators next week when I meet them. There was a lot of talk of 'as long as you're not struggling with your work... we can make concessions...' No pressure then!
Am feeling generally a bit less lost though, and the sense of relief to *finally* talk to someone about it all got me choked up, although doesn't account for the foul mood that has set in over the last couple of weeks, due to various events. That will pass, I'm sure; will just get plenty of hugs. They always help. Virtual ones are appreciated too!
So next ortho appointment is on the 10th and should hopefully have spoken to the co-ordinator by then. I'll keep you all updated about whether things progress. Fingers crossed (although the fear is starting to creep in...)
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Have just returned from the most amazing holiday, myself and some school friends went to Turkey for just over a week on a diving holiday. I qualified 3 years ago and haven't done any scuba diving since, but absolutely love it. So when one of my schoolfriends organised a trip, as he used to work there as an instructor in a previous life we all jumped at the chance.
A few of my friends did their PADI too and also fell in love with it, which makes the experience even better. The life was amazing, and the town was fantastic, and it was generally a good time, with one unforeseen problem..
As I said before it's been 3 years since I last dived, and my bite has changed since then. A lot. It was such a challenge keeping the regulator in my mouth, and it kept slipping out as well as ending up with a pretty sore TMJ from all the clenching. But then I got to thinking, will I be able to dive once I'm all fixed and healed?
Another question I hadn't thought of before yesterday on the way home: My passport doesn't run out til 2014, will I need to get a new picture before then when I have an entirely different face??? It's amazing, that despite the amount of time I spend thinking about not much else other than the surgery, I'm still finding questions and problems that I hadn't anticipated. It just goes to show, yet again, how life-changing this whole thing is!
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
So fingers crossed, this should be the final adjustment now. I have another appointment booked early October where we'll take some more snaps and assess whether or not the teeth are in the right place. But it looks as though I'll be ready for the Christmas break hopefully - it will all basically depend on how school goes, but hopefully by my next appointment I will have a better idea with how this term will pan out, seeing as it's all change now that I'll be on placement.
But potentially will be eating my Christmas dinner through a straw which amuses me no end! May have to have one before I go in for surgery - now that would be a great 'last supper'!
My ortho was also impressed at how much better my problem area of gum is - she hasn't really had any patients using a water pik but it sounds like it will be incredibly useful post-surgery to keep my mouth clean...
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Not really anything to report brace-wise, still waiting for my next appointment and enjoying my time off (despite the English weather ruining my camping trips..) so I thought I would actually take the time to show my latest photos of my bite and how horrific it's gotten (although all the gaps have now closed up). They all show me biting down fully, even though it looks as though I have my jaws apart, this is just how large my crossbite is now. I think this is pretty much how they will stay until surgery; there aren't too many archwire changes left now I don't think. Still, we will see how it goes after the next ortho appointment.
Above photos: natural, and smiling (though not my full grin that I normally do without thinking!)
It's odd, I used to hate the fact I had a 'big chin'. It's become ever-increasingly apparent now that I know what work I'm having done surgically is that a big part of it is how narrow the gap is between my top lip and nose. It's kinda scary to think about how much of a difference there will be, particularly in this region post-surgery. Really tough to envisage!
Monday, 28 July 2008
I E-mailed my tutor who told me the people who I'll need to be in touch with next year about surgery etc. She specified that once I know the date they'll be better-placed to advise me about exams etc. So I can see this going round in circles a bit. Still, she was very reassuring saying that every year lots of students get sick etc and they find ways to overcome it. Hmm. I guess I'll just have to wait until next term now, to see what the clinical tutors have to say, and what my ortho has to say at my appointment next month.
The last couple of weeks have been hell on my poor gums. No matter how much I brush and mouthwash the gums lining my bottom right teeth have been a complete state and look as though they are rotting, and bleed all the time. Perhaps I've not been eating enough fruit. So I reached the end of my tether today and ordered a WaterPik seeing as some of you fab blogfolk love them so much. I just want my mouth to stop tasting so foul 10 minutes after I've brushed. So will let you know how it goes when it arrives!
Otherwise all pretty quiet on the orthodontic front. I don't think there's a whole lot of movement left, so my teeth are pretty much in the position they're gonna be for a while now. I'll take some pics soon and put them up.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
So today was my 25th birthday. The second birthday I have been wired up. And am feeling pretty lousy (usual for this time of year, not usually quite as bad though). I voiced my concerns with my ortho with regards to the fact that my Christmas holiday consists of 2 weeks off followed by exams. As does every holiday for the next year. Not ideal candidates for surgery time, needless to say. She kept trying to hint that it wasn't an emergency, and that I could wait as long as I needed but it's so hard to try and put across how big a deal it is having to live the way I am now, and that I can't really keep on like this for more than a few months. So, basically I am going to have to email my tutor and find out what the deal is with the school. It's a complete headache, frankly.
On the flip side I did something incredible today and actually donated blood. Now that might not sound like a big deal, but anyone who knows me would tell you that I completely go to pieces at the mere thought of blood donation. But I plucked up the courage today, and it really wasn't so bad.
So generally speaking am just feeling a bit numb and depressed. We're throwing the party on Saturday so am hoping that will cheer me up a little but am not feeling too hopeful, especially knowing how many folks have bailed on me already. Ah well, there will be a good crowd there and plenty of silly costumes to make up for it!!
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
.. My ortho had to reposition my brackets which involved taking the old ones off - not so nice, but it allowed me the opportunity to run my tongue over the 2 exposed teeth for just a few seconds! It was heavenly! Can't wait to experience de-bracing now even though it's a LONG way off.. but I know it will be worth it!
Looks pretty likely that the op won't be til around Christmas most likely. It's annoying because seems to be a lot of fine tuning going on now, that normally happens after apparently, but seems as though consultant prefers it all done before. I don't mind waiting, but I'm just worried about the timing etc as Christmas will only have a couple of weeks off for holiday (ie study leave) and then straight into exams. Naturally, would rather they get done over the summer when I have more time off. May voice concerns at next check-up.
Have had a rough couple of days, my mum has decided now that she's found out about how much I've suffered in the past, it's a great idea to try and push me to talk about it and brings stuff up at every opportunity, and always seems to know how to say the wrong things to upset me. Does anyone else have a hard time trying to voice how they feel about the whole situation? I guess that's why we all blog on here, so that's my question answered really..
I met a guy in the bar after our last exam on Friday and got chatting, and it transpired that he'd had a mandiblar retraction a couple of years ago, he looked so great! It was so nice talking to someone face-to-face about what he'd been through etc and really gave me some piece of mind. Still find it funny that anyone I'm gonna meet post-surgery will never have known my 'old' face..
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Monday, 19 May 2008
As ever when things are weighing me down, it's manifesting as hatred towards my teeth. Seems so unfair to have to be going through all this. Just want it all done with, exams and surgery.
That would be nice.
Appointment on Friday, after my exam (so no celebrating for V..Well maybe just a little..). Let's hope there's no hitches this time. Not looking forward to having my brackets moved, I'm sure it won't hurt. Just hope that my teeth behave themselves...
Urgh. Should do some more study but am exhausted, time for bed methinks...
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Also need to have some brackets moved but ran out of time so back in a month. Got to see my new casts though, seeing them next to each other really allowed me to see how much they've moved already! And aligning them to roughly how they will look post-surgery almost seems worth it...Britton really helpfully posted a link after my last post, http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=25578
and I wanted to share one quote from it:
"It's odd, but I think the face I see in the mirror now is more like the image of myself I saw in day dreams than my original face was."
I think I may have come across as someone obsessed with the idea of beauty in my last post, but I wanted to share this with you as it really struck a note. It's not even like I'm going through all of this because I want to become 'beautiful', I know that this can only come from within - if that was the case there would be plenty of other things to 'fix'! However, it is almost that I need to reconcile how I look in my head with the actual image you see in front of the mirror. I know that doesn't really make much sense but I really feel that it will give me some inner peace when the person that looks back at me is the person I'm expecting to see. I feel as though despite being so happy within myself, there would always be a small part of my life on hold until that happens, which is what pushed me to finally take the plunge.
Otherwise, life is good. I have my first exams in about 2 weeks which I fear the ostrich tactics of burying one's head in the sand may not have been the most useful.. So I am off to do some hardcore study!
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Well it has certainly been a busy month for V! Finally got round to moving out of Mum & Dad's again (after like 4 years of being home) which is why I've had minimal access to the net.. All good now though. So just the small matter of cramming all my schoolwork like crazy before the exams.. they're still a way off but there is so much to do!
I had an ortho appointment week before last... Managed to get the bigger wire on the top without problems, hooray! So no changing of bands... My ortho said that the bottom wire was now the highest spec we would go and the top should probably be the same not next visit, but the one after. She's been pretty happy with how they're decompensating. So I say 'What's next?' and she tells me that when the thickest wire goes on she'll take some more casts and we'll have an assessment about where to go next. Was weird seeing my old cast and how much my teeth have moved! Before I leave she asks if I'll wait and she'll just double check with the prof whether he's happy with the progress. So he comes over and she explains to him where we're at.
'Take the casts today.' Was his response... then they have a bit of a discussion along the lines of:
'Well there's usually a lag time with the surgeons, so if you've only got a couple of months or so of treatment left it's better to take them today and then have the clinic when you're ready and then they can put in the splint (still don't know what that is!!) and then it's surgery.'
Now I don't want to get too over-excited but I'm sure that sounds more like it'll be in a few months rather than Christmas.. Still, I didn't want to press her for info after the prof. left, because although I am impatient to get it done, I don't want to force it early if my teeth aren't ready. If I've waited nearly 25 years to get it done a few more months won't hurt, right??
So I'm trying to focus on it being Christmas but I can't help getting a bit excited that it may be earlier. We'll just have to wait and see I suppose.
Have been having a bit of a down time with it all again over the last couple of weeks though. Just looks so awful and my confidence is so low that I can't wait to have the surgery, even if the braces have to stay on for ages after and it is the scariest thing ever. Am a bit worried that maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on the improvement I'm expecting. I really feel like I'm waiting for it all to happen so I can just start my life afresh - that's how much of a big deal it is to me and am worried it won't make an ounce of difference to how I feel in the long run. What have been my post-surgery buddies experience of long-term impact? It'd be interesting to hear.
I think we can all safely say I need to spend more time focusing on study and not thinking about it all too much!!
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Thought it was about time I posted a few pictures, seeing as there aren't too many of us Class III-ers on here!!
Have a couple from before having my brace, including an absolutely horrific one where I was lurking in the background talking to a friend and got caught in the crossfire! I think everyone will have some kind of photo like that which makes them just feel a bit sick; I have to delete them straight away in a kind of quick-before-anyone-notices way.. funny really, but I forget that people see me in profile all the time so it's not really that big a deal. But still.. I would never have wanted to post it somewhere so public but I hope it helps support others and help us realise that being so insecure about something and wanting to change it when you have the opportunity is nothing to be ashamed of..!
Also have a couple of more recent ones, including one in a wig - what a fun night, but that's a different story - just to show that my pout is no longer good enough to hide that hideous crossbite!!
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
I've had so much trouble with the alignment of my molars though, Friday ended up being quite painful. I don't know how everyone else's wire changes go, but my appointments never stick to half hour, something always goes wrong. The top wire got stuck, and my poor ortho struggled to get it out and was yanking so hard on my molars, she had to cut it eventually and thread it out through the back. One of my bands was a bit loose, so she re-glued that, and then attempted to put same calibre wire in.
Which got stuck going in.
So she tried pulling it out, but it got stuck again so had to be cut.
Tried a slightly lower wire..
.. Which got stuck.
On trying to pull that one out, the bracket gets knocked off, so needed that re-glued.
Needless to say, it hurt a lot and think all the frustration got to me and had a bit of a cry, though at least it was under the guise of being in pain! My ortho is such a star though, I don't know how she puts up with me, there's so much history of sadness and she gets the full brunt of it. Think it's just that awkward halfway stage, where have had them long enough to get fed up, but still a long way to go..
So have now ended up with pathetic wire on top, that won't do much until she tries to put a bigger one in in a few weeks (if it doesn't work may need all my bands changed.. :S) but it means having a strong steel one on the bottom the discrepancy is gonna get bigger between my bite. Still, fingers crossed for the next appointment.
Monday, 4 February 2008
Can't quite believe I will have to have my braces on for *that* much longer, even though I was warned it would take ages. It'll be a bit disappointing if I get told I need to wear them for another year or something, and although I know I won't be able to get a straight answer it'll be nice to have a rough idea as of course I have no way of knowing how far along the scale I am.
Am starting to find it hard to pose for photos now, before I had my pouting/tongue out down pat, but it's getting more difficult to cover up every day.
Anyway, enough of the whinging; life in general has been going great. I decided to hit 2008 running and make some serious changes. I'm moving out of mum & dad's again next week, which will be a great confidence-booster, and stopped having guy-drama by calling it a day and drawing a line under it all. School is going great and passed my exams (though of course even more to come). So it's only really the teeth bothering me, which makes a nice change. And with V-day (every singleton knows thats what D-day should be called instead..) looming, it is yet another occasion to question how happy I really am. Am the happiest I have been in a while, but find myself really putting the brakes on with guys and not even being able to flirt; there just aren't enough of them out there with a brace fetish!! Heehee.. Ah well, my yearly tradition of going out and having a good time will prevail, just have to see it out and then it's plain sailing! Hooray!
Saturday, 5 January 2008
I was fully aware that they were going to get worse leading up to the op, but my bottom teeth are sticking out so much now I'm actually starting to not want to leave the house, which is bad.. I know I shouldn't worry about it, but it's like having your worst features put on show and highlighted. I guess that on the upside by the time op comes around I'll be desperate to have it done to stop them looking so bad...!! I'll have to start taking some photos and putting them up for you to see. I just have to keep reminding myself about the endpoint and I know it'll be worth it in the end.. It'd just be nice if people could understand me when I talk to them and not have to spit over them when I do!!! :D
I can't believe they have moved so much and yet it's gonna take ages before I'm ready for op. Really want to ask my ortho how long she reckons, but don't wanna sound like a whiny kid in the style of 'are we there yet??' every time I go to see her.. But if it potentially could be over summer I need to know otherwise I'm going to start thinking about what I'm going to do over the holidays..!!
Ortho put on a steel wire and a stronger copper one last visit and so wanted to leave them 8 weeks to 'really work' so will have to wait til Feb before I can make enquiries..