Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Going to the orthodontist now! Maybe he will tell me why my neck and a little bit of my face on the left side has been swollen. It's been like that for 3 days, it's hard to talk because my jaw hurts sooo bad and I've had a headache bordering on migraine status...ibuprofen doesn't help!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I just tried on a bunch of clothes and got a little depressed. My life is on hold until the surgery, I'm sitting in a seemingly never ending waiting room. I don't want to buy anything for myself because 1) I have no idea what my size will be after the whole thing is said and done, and 2) I feel guilty because I'm so medically expensive.
I've been wondering if my personality is going to change afterwards...I know how much this deformity has shaped my personality. I am quiet, shy, and withdrawn. Will I be different? I am in so much pain all the time, I wonder how much that affects my personality? All the medication I take now that hopefully will be unnecessary afterwards. The scariest thing for me is that, right now, I have hope. Hope that the pain will end. What if it doesn't work? What if the pain stays? I want to cry just thinking that. I'm so tired.
I would love to hear from some that have gone through this.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I've created this blog because I had a little bit of a hard time finding stories about patients who are going through the process of orthognathic surgery. Most of the cases that I happened upon were the opposite of me, in that they were having their lower jaw reduced.
My story starts over 10 years ago. From the age of 12 until 16, I saw an orthodontist that needs to lose his practice for what he did to me. My case is so severe that only upper and lower surgery would allow me to have a correct bite. At around 14 or 15 years old, my orthodontist told my mom that I needed the orthognathic surgery in order to correct my severe overbite. I didn't have insurance, so obviously my parents could not afford it and said that I would probably have it later in life. At that point, the orthodontist should have just said that what he had done was all he could do without surgery and taken my braces off. What he did next though, has had me in pain for about 10 years...and he made me think it was normal. He had my mom sign a release saying that if the treatment he did next caused me to have TMJ, we could not sue him. Before he did this I did not have one single symptom for TMJ.
Once Dr. John Smith realized I was going to leave his office with an overbite, he decided to experiment on me. He put a herbst device on me when I was almost 15 years old (they are only supposed to be used on children that are still growing, generally from the ages of 8-12). He made the rods so long that my jaw was literally slowly dislocated. I immediately started having severe symptoms for TMJ, and when I told him about my symptoms, he told me that it was normal. He told me that I had TMJ and that it wasn't a big deal, and the pain was normal! I was a kid and I didn't even know what TMJ was...so i just ignored it since it was "normal" and I didn't want to be a wimp and complain about normal pain. I didn't have an overbite when I left his office, that's what was important to him. A few months after he finished his "treatment" and took my braces off, my jaw slowly and unevenly popped back to where it was. I think it's still not where it was before.
At the age of 22 I finally had insurance and decided to see how I would go about getting surgery. I accidentally made an appointment with a TMJ specialist rather than an orthognathic surgeon. The TMJ specialist took X-rays and very bluntly told me that I have advanced arthritis and showed me on the x-ray how I actually only have about half of my joint left. Thanks Dr. John Smith! The orthodontist that I'm seeing now would not even put me in braces until I had worn a splint for at least 6 months because he feared my jaw would shatter when put under the stress of braces and surgery. Thanks again John Smith, we are still in debt from that stupid splint!
So here I am in braces for the second time, waiting to find out when my surgery will be and what it will be like to not have headaches and chronic pain.
more to come!