Monday, February 9, 2015

hi again

i noticed that i am still getting quite a bit of traffic to this blog, but as you can see, i stopped posting on my one year surgi-versary, and now i'm at 3+ years! if you have a question for me, you can email me at

because i'm not checking the comments here regularly, though you're still very welcome to leave one.  i'm glad my story is still helping some people figure out things about their own crooked jaws!

:D keep smiling, and best wishes to you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

one year later!

Today marks exactly one year since my surgery!


I still have some numbness in my gums and my chin on one side.  It's normal to me now.  Not concerned or bothered.

I don't have any residual pain.  No grinding that I can tell.  No joint pain, no headaches.  No infections! :)

My teeth were in really bad shape at my dentist cleaning at about 6 months post-op - lots of build-up and tartar.  The hygienist said it was probably due to the liquid diet coating my teeth and not brushing well because of my sore joints.  Luckily last week at my one year cleaning she said it was an entirely different mouth and I got a clean bill of health.

I can't think of a darn other thing to say!  Except that I have no regrets.  Taken today:

PS. The procedures were BSSO and Lefort I.  Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

q & a

for some reason blogger is being stupid and not letting me reply to comments so let me respond to some questions that were posed to me in comments here:

who was your surgeon?

my surgeon was dr. gary warburton.  he's with the university of maryland medical center and dental school.  because he's a professor, he is also teaching maxillofacial surgery residents. i know you might get nervous about residents, but they were totally amazing, caring, competent, and professional.  i got to know them well and will actually miss them.  i had not one complaint!  i would whole-heartedly recommend dr. warburton and his team.

did you have surgery on both jaws?

yes i did.  my bottom jaw was more crooked than my top, but both were off kilter.  to have them line up the best i had to have both.  now, just my lips are crooked! :)

how much did your surgery cost?

without insurance coverage, it would have been about $51,000.  this is the main surgery itself including anesthesia, hospital stay, etc.  it does not include pre-surgery appointments or post-surgery check-ups, or my second surgery i needed to have because of my infection.

why did you not have braces?

i first went directly to dr. warburton (the surgeon) with my problem, after some online research, just for a consultation.  i did this because i'd been tossed around in referral process for several months - when i would present my problem, no one seemed to know exactly who to refer me to.  i ended up once at an ear nose and throat doctor, for example.  dr. warburton did confirm that my issue was something that was sometimes fixed with the type of surgery that he performs.  before anything else though, he sent me to his orthodontist colleague (dr. steven seigel in glen burnie, md) to check me out to see if ortho could fix my bite issue without surgery.  i already had like a decade of ortho when i was younger but they didn't address my asymmetry problem, or if they did, it didn't work.  my mom doesn't recall them really mentioning working on asymmetry, rather they were trying to widen my jaw.  in fact, my previous orthodontia may have contributed to worsening my asymmetry.

anyway, i did have nice straight teeth.  dr. seigel took a load of xrays and molds and concluded that my problem could not be fixed with orthodontia alone and it would require surgery.  he also decided that it would be an option for me to choose to have braces or not.  with braces, he said, i would get a more perfect result.  the main reason being, things could be tweaked post surgery to line it all up perfectly.  but he felt that braces would not be required and i would get a good result without them.  i was lucky in this way because my teeth would still line up well after the surgical movement.  i think this is because of the axis on which they moved my jaws (up and down) is different than those of you that have over and under bites (forward and back).  based on the cost of braces, time involved, and pure annoyance and vanity factors, i chose not to.  also, i figured i could have braces later in life if i was dissatisfied with the placement.  my teeth are slightly on a slant now in my mouth, because my previous braces as a teen made my teeth straight on a crooked jaw, but it's not super noticeable and it's not bothering me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

scar tissue

one hour before surgery - a marked woman (to confirm which side)

one day after surgery - a bit bloated and crooked again

now eight days out, my wound appears to be healing nicely.  stitches are starting to get loose and i cut one out myself tonight because it was bothering me.  while i was doing that, for the very first time, i noticed all the scar tissue from the first surgery around the perimeter of my mouth where my gum meets my lip and cheek tissue.

i hadn't really examined it before, i guess because that area was tender for so long, i avoided it, even just looking at it.  it has spidery white webs in it, some parts are thicker than others, some parts are higher and lower.  when you stretch it out (like by pulling out my lower lip) it becomes even more apparent that it is super webby scar tissue.  it's freaky looking and grossed me out.

i guess i was suprised to discover how irregular/unnatural it looks in comparison to the way that meeting point between the lip and gum did before.  and although of course i did know this already, it also is showing how the entire rims of my mouth on top and bottom were cut open.  it's clear that anyone who examines my teeth/mouth in the future will be able to tell i had something hardcore done!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

adios, uno placo

today i had just one plate removed! they didn't want to do any more "invasion" than necessary and since i had only had problems with the one, that was the decision.

i'll be pissed if i get problems in another one in the future, haha, but this makes my recovery easier!  and i'll still be able to go, "hey feel my creepy plate" as a stupid human trick in the future.

unfortunately i could not keep or see the plate (i asked) because it is a biohazard thing and had to be sent off for testing because of it being "colonized."

the incision was about 3cm, everything went well, and they scraped out some infected tissue around the plate.

the cool thing seemed to be that they checked out my bone healing while they were "in there."  my bone cuts apparently healed awesomely and they said you could barely tell i'd had a BSSO.  i've got bone-healing SKILLZ.  :D

have some pain (duh) and some swelling (also duh).  it's cool though!  much less scary than last time:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

leap day

am mid-air enroute to baltimore.  oh the technology.  reminds me of the fantastic louis ck bit:

so my report time is 8:30am tomorrow for my little procedure.  i don't have much info about it like how long it takes, details about recovery, diet, etc.  i guess being the seasoned veteran that i am now i just wing it.

hey, i just realized because today is feb 29 and my original surgery date was october 28 - FOUR MONTHS now.  woooo. this means nothing really, except that time keeps on tickin into the future...faster and faster.

my moomoo is coming to baltimore again!  she is driving by herself again from detroit as i type this.  i heard it's raining a lot so that sucks.  she is such a good mommy!!  dear readers, please trust i am an adult and am capable to handle my business by myself. but she insisted to come keep me company and i can't say i don't appreciate it.  the plan is that as long as i'm recovering well we will be tourists in baltimore.  this will be nice.

Friday, February 24, 2012

i'm a hot mess

could it be related to my infection that i've had mega stomach flu-ish symptoms for almost 48 hours?  also i have some sort of sty or clogged duct in my eye.  AND, i got rear ended at a pretty decent speed this evening and now i have whiplash aching in my neck and back. dude.

my infection thing is stagnating. i think it was a good thing to expedite the surgery!