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Archive for the ‘reconstructive surgery’ Category

Ok, today did not go well. Not at all.

I woke up at 9am to brush my teeth and turn the screw. I wanted to go to sleep a little more after, but things went terribly wrong.

As I was brushing my teeth, I felt sharp pain that came with something breaking inside of my mouth with the nasty “CRACK!” sound. The pain became even worse in few seconds and I could feel the inside of my palate move. A lot of pressure, a lot of pain.

I panicked.

At first, I thought the Hyrax broke or one of the rings around my teeth broke or for gods sake at least only a tooth broke…. but nothing of that happened and the pain and pressure did not cease.

I called my bf to work and gibbered something about something breaking and going to hospital, grabbed the few things I thought I might need if they needed to hospitalise me again and rushed to hospital (taking subway and bus, it took about 30 minutes) .

I contacted one of the nurses there and she sent me to chief doctor who was doing consultations in another part of hospital. I went there and was waiting for about 15-20 minutes, thinking that my bones broke and I will need another surgery. It was the worst time of my life.

He had a look at my palate and teeth and listened to my panicked description of the whole incident and then told me, that my bone broke, but that it happens sometimes. He explained, that after they perform the osteotomy, they leave your jaw held by about 4 places – under your nose (where it is flexible and stretches) and on the end of the jaw. The place on my right jaw broke. The pressure from Hyrax broke the bone there. Scary, is it not? But he says it is ok, they call it wing loosening, it happens sometimes, no big deal… right? *nervous twitch*

My fracture   candarpain.JPG

To be honest, I am calmer, because I know nothing totally absolutely nasty happened, but then… I do not care if it is ok for the doctors! It is fracture! It hurts! It feels weird!

I did not even have an x-ray and they want me to keep turning the screw. Honestly, when he turned it in hospital (because I did not in the morning, obviously), I felt like crying by pain and now I have to do it myself?

Well, since it is getting late and I am 2 hours late with the turning, I will have to do it. Probably… god I am scared…

Anyway, I swallowed one of the painkillers he gave me to take regularly and am going to turn the damn medieval toruring machine in my mouth.

Wish me luck.

Update: After long hesitationg. I turned the screw. It did not hurt so much. Not the turning itself at least. I am drugged by Ibalgin 400mg and still feel pressure and a lot of pain where the bone is broken. Looks like what happened to me is not as common as my doctor said, but it is a rare minor(-ish?) complication. I suppose he tried to not scare me, since there is nothing he can do with it if I do not want to take the hyrax off, have the bone fixed and then undergo the surgery again. I found some articles about the pressure stressing of cranial base. They are a little difficult (at least for me, because English is not my native language), but give a lot of information that most doctors wont give you.

Stresses at the Cranial Base Induced by Rapid Maxillary Expansion

Complications during Mandibular Midline Distraction

I hope this helps anyone who would have to face any complication that he/she did not know about before.

As for now, I will just relax, drink some good tea, take my painkillers and be a good little soldier.

PS: Oh… and as an delightfull add to today’s misery, I just got my rejection letter from Disney. After month of preparations, writing my entry project that they liked, interviews and such, they choose someone else for the game designer job. Well, that’s life I suppose. 😦

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Yesterday’s night was bad. Really really really bad.

I spent most of it with a finger on emergency button, waiting for something bad to happen. Luckily, it did not.

I was sore, my neck, head and chest hurt, so did my canylla and both hands. I could not breathe well and overally felt like hit by a truck. My doctor explained it today as delayed shock from surgery. To be honest, it wasn’t just unpleasant. It was really really scary.

When I woke up at 6:00 am this morning,  I got my last antibiotics and my canylla has been removed. Yay I say! I could finally take a shower and wash my hair properly.

I am feeling a little better today, even if I got fever from not drinking enough today and the nerves on my teeth and palate are starting to reatach. Well… ok, time to go to bed again. I will be back with an update tomorrow.

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Ok, hello again everyone. As promised, I am going to share my surgery experience. The text below is made from fragments that I kept writing on paper during the last few days and rewrote today. Please, excuse the mistakes and typos. I will check the text when I feel better. Also I made some photos, but I will be able to upload them first when I come back home. They consist of mostly my room pics and pics of one swollen hamster – me.

Anyway, let’s begin.

Thursday – The hospital entering day

I was nervous. The first thing I had to do was to visit my best friend and return her notes that I borrowed from her months ago, so she can graduate, lol. I also brought her a plush crab for good luck with her exams, which will take place when I will be in the hospital. She was ill, so we just talked for few minutes and then I took another bus to the hospital.

I came a little late (hey, I am INFP personality, that is my sacred right), but they did not mind. A nurse took my examinations and x-rays and let me subscribe ton of papers. Then I met a doctor who explained me all the details of the surgery, medication etc etc.

The problem arised, when my main surgeon came and it came out that they have to extract a totally healthy tooth because my dentist wished for it. My surgeon did not agree, I did neither so they argued quite a lot with my dentist. The result was that the tooth will be extracted during the surgery. (As I realised later, my surgeon changed his mind and did not do it, instead finding out a way how to reach the same result while keeping the tooth).

I was really stressed from the argues, hints that I must have known it from before because my dentist must have explained it and whatever.

In the end of it, I felt really bad. I felt like it was me who caused the mess.

Oh, I also realised I weight 60 Kg and measure 163 cm (though the nurse wrote down 165 so I wont feel midget-ish, lol). My plan is to go down to 55 Kg and keep it and I must say that being on liquid diet for few months sounds like the perfect chance for doing it 😉

In hospital with Gackt

The night before my surgery was strangely calm. I was given Diazepam in the evening, so I would not stress myself and could sleep well but it merely put me into a strange thinking mood with totally relaxed body and clear mind. Felt like a meditation more than anything else.

It was silent in the hospital. The younger children were given tranquilizers, so they could sleep peacefully, especially because some of them had their surgeries in Thursday, the day before me.

There were 3 other patients in my room. One was a young girl about 10, who did not seem to like me at all, she was to be released on Friday and one 21 years old, who was also long after her surgery and should go home the next day as well. The third was freshly operated on girl who was about 17, and was in a deep sleep when I arrived to hospital. She just returned from her wisdom teeth removal, which seems to be the most common procedure performed here on teens and adults. They perform it under general anaesthesia with sewing and all.

I could see the nurse slip into the room carrying a flashlight and checking on her about twice an hour and giving her different medication in infusion bottles every few hours. I was pretending to be asleep when she was around, because I did not want to be given stronger sleeping pill – I knew I will be drugged heavily the next day, no need to add to it.

I was listening to Gackt’s music on my small MP3 player, letting his ballads from Seventh Night Unplugged and Love Letter CD’s wash over me and keep me company. When I think about it, these two CDs are almost perfect pre-surgery music – they are calming, deep, gentle. There is something in them that I can not grasp exactly, but that really helped me to not stress myself over the next day’s issues.

So I was there. Lying in a metal bed in the biggest hospital in Prague, surrounded by patients and nurses preparing mentally for the surgery that had to take place at 8:15 the next morning, while listening to Gackt’s deep voice. To be honest, the idea that something might get wrong and I might not wake up from my general anaesthesia crossed my mind few times, but I was decided and there was no way out of it. Strangely, I did not even fear it much.

I fell asleep around 1 or 2 am and woke up at about 4 am to Gackt’s song Oasis. My battery decided to die few minutes after in the middle of the song, but I was too tired to switch it, so I just put the MP3 player aside and fell asleep again. Without the music, falling asleep was a little harsher, because I started worrying a little. Anyway, I was too tired to panic anyway, so I managed to sleep till 5 am when the nurse woke me up for another Diazepam and 6 am for temperature check. I had 36 celsius, which is quite low, but then, I am a mutated vampire thingy anyway 😉

I knew I will be in the surgery room in few hours, so I did not go asleep again as the other girls in my room did, but instead started preparing myself. I took a long hot shower, brushed my teeth several times using a lot of herbal toothpaste to prevent any possible post surgery infection, tied up my hair and such. I also sorted my things in my cabinet next to bed (just in case I thought) and then laid down with a book and was waiting for the nurse to come with premedication injections.

The surgery

She appeared at about 7:30 and I had to change to white surgery nightie called “angel” in our hospital – it is the coat like thing with naked back. If you ask me, it felt like loose straight jacket, lol. The nurse also bandaged my legs all the way up to my crotch to prevent possible thrombosis from the surgery. Then it was quick. I got two premedication injections, the doctors came to visit me and other patients and then told me it is time and asked me if I have some further questions or something, if I am afraid and such. I told them I am fine and know everything I need, so I was taken to the 6th floor (6,5 floors up) to a huge surgery room. They carried me from my bed to the operating table and I had to strip and was covered by a sterile green blanket thingy. They also fastened a belt around my waist and arms, so I would not fall down.

The worst part was about to come. Canylla’s and transfusion/infusion needles and monitoring. I have really thin veins that tend to rupture, so it took 5 or 6 very painful tries until they hit the right vein that let the needle stay in. They also needed to use the thinnest canylla they had, because anything else did not work. The canylla’s are located on my hand between the fingers and wrist and to be honest, it hurts quite a lot there, even if I am use to have blood taken from that. I was about to cry, when they repeated that my vein ripped again and they need to try again, but somebody held my hand and was caressing it and saying it will be fine. I have no idea who it was, I do not know even if it was male or female, but it felt nice and the last try worked. Before I could look at the person, I got my general anaesthesia and fell asleep.

Waking up

I woke up about 5 hours later in a new room. I got a single room right across the nurses’ station, so if anything happened, they could come immediately. I was one of the heavier surgery patients, not really a wisdom tooth removal one who can go home in 2-3 days.

First things I realised were two thick canylla’s in each of my hand and infusion with something dripping into my vein. My head and jaws hurt like hell, I could not feel my upper teeth and felt like I was run over by an angry bull in heat. All I could taste was disinfection, flood in my mouth and my lips and that my lips were totally dry and sore.

It hurt so much I could not even cry, so I was just whining like a beaten puppy. I was also still heavily drugged, so I could not control myself too well. My nose was bleeding heavily and I was sure something must have gone terribly terribly wrong. I was told it was a minor surgery and no big deal and now….

Waking up again

Fortunately, I fell asleep very soon after the first real awakening and while I was taking the additional sleep, the strong painkillers did their work. I woke up to get another infusion of painkillers, then a shot to stop my bleeding and another against swelling. Then large bottle of antibiotics and then canylla cleaning and sealing something. I think they called it heparine closing. When the infusions stopped, I was feeling quite fine actually. Nothing hurt at all, except opening my mouth too much or trying to smile – if I stayed calm, I felt almost like I had no surgery. My nose was still bleeding (I think they used the right nostril for intubation, because it continued bleeding time to time for about 3 days). I was swollen and somewhat sore, but quite fine.

The first shock totally wore off and I realised I had 3 large incisions in my mouth instead of the planned one (or one and two tiny ones). That was the reason for the horrible first awakening. Due to my unusual condition (Crouzon Syndrome and almost cleft palate), they had to modify the approach during the surgery and also try if the Hyrax screw works and opened it the whole way to check if the teeth will match and all. So, my SARPE with Le Forte I was finished well.

Anyway, except for the painful canylla’s (damn my bad veins once more), I felt great compared to what I expected. I had almost no bruising and the only major thing that kept worrying me was the huge nosebleed (and yes, I did not want my pajama’s with teddy bears stained too, lol). My surgeon stopped by to check on me and said the nosebleed was expected and will stop soonish and if not, that I will get medication into my nose. I did not want that, so I kept using small soft tissues to drain the blood out of the nose and slowly it dried up and was starting only when I moved quickly or elevated my head too much.

I finished reading the book, went through dozens of infusions and was forced to drink at least 10 glasses of tea. That was the requirement or I would get some additional infusions which I did not want. I managed to drink 12 during the day, which paid off and unlike other patients, I had no fever the next day. Going to toilet was a holy quest, but I managed it alone, even if keeping close to the walls. My head was spinning and I could not sleep until 0:30 am, but since I was on a single room, the nurse let me read my book and just kept checking on me. I started reading a third book and was listening to Gackt, Loreena McKennit, October Project and a CD called Songs for the free birds. Most of it was Gackt. I just love his deep voice, especially when I am not feeling well.

Also immediately when I could, I asked for my phone and texted grandmother and my friends that I am still alive and that I am fine. I did not mention the bad first awakening, no reason to scare them and have them worried.

I got sponge biscuits to drip in tea and water-blended baby food apple thingy to eat for dinner. Drinking was ok before, but as I realised, eating was an ordeal. The apples made my palate and whole mouth sore after first few spoons. I ate just about half of it and then some of the water softened biscuits, but at least something. When I did, I stopped feeling sick and my stomach calmed down, so it was good for something.

As for funny moments, I happened to lie on my nurse bell two times and started the emergency call for sisters. I felt so stupid, especially when it happened the second time. But I also needed to have it close to me in case something really happened and I needed the nurse or doctor immediately.

Saturday

Saturday was uneventful. I am not allowed to blow my nose for 4 weeks, so I had to learn how to softly clean it using rolled tissues and such things. I had some hard time with the nosebleeds (and hiding it’s severity from my surgeon who wanted to check it properly = ouch!), but I managed it all somehow. Also sneezing would be really bad for me (one bad sneeze could rip my wound and stitches and keep me in hospital at least a week longer), so I had to learn how to prevent it.

(Oh, damn, nosebleed incoming. Let me stick tissues into my nostrils so we can continue… ok, good now. Hmm, for some reason, I can not stop thinking about Mr. Bean while I am walking around the hospital with huge white tissues in my nose ;))

Anyway, where were we? Ah, yes. I could also eat a normal breakfast (well, if you call a very liquid puree or what it was a normal breakfast) and was allowed to have my right unused canylla removed. Actually it was the less painful one, but when the nurse tried to give me infusions through it, it was stinging like hell, so they decided they will remove it, so I won’t get vein inflammation.

The doctor checked my incisions and stitches (I was dead by fear as I expected something nasty and painful coming) and just praised me for doing well. My stitches and incisions were totally clean, no inflammation, healing and closing well and I had no fever. I had to start cleaning my teeth from that moment, which showed to be quite difficult, provided that I can not feel them, nor can I properly open my mouth. But I was (and still am) doing my best, using a mirror for reference. I also got chamomile extract for rinsing.

I could sleep well on Sunday. The only thing was that I had to wake up for infusions during the night, because my canylla seemed a little blocked and I had to hold my hand in a specific position to be able to get the medications without having to remove and attach the canylla once more (which would mean more tries in my case and I did not want that). Midnight infusion was the scariest one – the canylla got blocked totally, but a brave nurse pressed the infusion bag a little and cleaned it. Ouch! Very very very ouch! But it saved me from having the needle reattached, so bless her.

Oh, I almost forgot. My grandmother and my boyfriend came to visit me today, which was really sweet of them. My bf even brought me my notebook and games. How can one not love that guy? 😉

Funny moments: When the nurse came at midnight, I almost jumped out of my bed saying: “Oh, it is morning already?! Oh my gosh, it is morning!” and she had to put me back to the bed and explain that I am just getting antibiotics and that the light is the lamp above me.

Post-op sarpe profile

Post-op sarpe

Canyla

Not much swelling yet

Right canyla removed

 

Sunday

Today. Well, what can I say? Well, my painkillers stopped being served. Ouch. I can feel the incisions, but I am getting pills, so it is not so bad. I feel the wound fully for the first time (except the first awakening) and it is sore and tense, but no big deal unless I smile, talk or eat. Oh, rinsing and tooth brushing is a little painful too, but bearable.

I got called for check and one of the doctors cleaned the wound and stitches using… well… peroxide. OUCH! Hurts. I was trying to be brave, but one of the nurses told the doctor I am not as fine as I say and that I asked for painkillers in the morning, hmmm…

If things go well, I can have my second canylla removed on Monday and finally take a proper shower and wash my hair.

Also I should have an appointment with a renomed plastic surgeon who is working with my main reconstructive surgeon very often and would not mind to give some advices for my second and third surgery in the future – which, if things go well, could be even blended in one.

Funny moments: People are starting to call me teddy-bear thanks to my super cute and very infantile pajama covered with yellow teddy bear pictures.

(

 

 

Strange facts:

Strong antibiotics work for my acne. No new acne appeared, even if my face was violated in many horrible ways during the surgery and I really expected a huge breakout. I wish it stayed so clear and rosy. (Update from 1 month post op: The acne is back :()

You can get vein inflammation if you feel that your canylla hurts. Be careful about that and tell it to your doc if it happens.

If you are all swollen and fed hamster like looking and your bf comes in and says “oh, you look different, somehow better”, do not kill him. He probably just thinks you had something else done and wants to be nice, lol 🙂

Pics:

 

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So, I got up at 6 am today and took buss from gran’s home to Prague. This weekend was really great. We were having some argues with my gran lately, mostly because she was nagging no matter what I did, which frustrated me a lot, but nothing like that happened this time. I think that the thing that helped the most was, that I took time and red a lot of articles and studies about old people and behaviour changes that come with old age. I learned how to avoid an argue and how to stop before she manages to stress me enough to snap. It works and I highly recomend reading sites about caring, especially advices for carers who have to manage caring and own life/daily job, to anyone, who could have similar problems.

Anyway, I made my last round around doctors today, getting my x-rays (oooh, my rib cage is sssooo pwetty!) and a spare asthma inhalator, just in case.

My blood tests are done, my examinations are done and summed up by my doctor, I have the x-rays , I have my CTs and teeth x-rays, the Hyrax is on. I am really hoping nothing gets wrong this time and the surgery will be performed as planned.

(Just a note: My teeth do not hurt at all anymore and I learned how to eat with the Hyrax. I can not eat anything hard though, because the metal bands are too close to my gums and if I chow anything harder, they will irritate the gums. Anyway, I magaged to eat a piece of chicken and enjoyed every second of it ;))

Now to the musing part.

Some of you (who red my posts on plastic surgery forums) , know, that I spent a lot of time thining about how I should look after my journey is at it’s end and fearing that I might end up with facial features that I might hate. As an abused child (yeah, I do not really want to talk about details much, ok? 😦 ), there are some facial features that I might have hard time to get used to – as they would bring bad memories every time I would see myself in the mirror.

A friend of mine once asked: “You love asia and your face is flat-ish anyway. Why do not ask your doctor to give you asian features?” She then explained that I might benefit from bigger high cheekbones, similar to what chinese or japanese women tend to have.

That was what triggered something in me. To be honest, if somebody asked me what beauty is, I would probably explain by showing them a picture of an asian person with lovely eyes, high cheekbones, full temples, full lips and nice small chin. All the traits I lack. I do not think I could manage something like that, still, that is where my perception of beauty lies. Silly, I know.

I never had the usual perception of beauty common to my friends. I never wanted to look like Spice girls clone, never wanted a tiny upturned nose (actually the thought scares me) or full round apple cheeks or whatever. But when I started to be interested in Japan and then lived there for a while, it just clicked. That was where my perception of beauty lied. In delicate harmonic faces – asian faces.

But then, how could I come to my doctor, who spends most of his time repairing really serious defects, to which are mine minor, and say “Hey, you know, how about asian cheekbones? Good idea, ne?” Damn, I do not even know if it is or isn’s a good idea, not to mention he would think that I am actually asking him to redo me to asian with the eyes and all.

Ok, I would love to have these features, but I can live without them just fine. The question is what all can I do with my face without going too far, looking silly or undergoing meaningless surgeries. I am used to look less than average and to be honest, almost anything will be improvement unless an accident happens (like accidentally dipping my head in a barel of acid, lol). Still, I would love to look more than just a little better and if I was able to plan these things, it would be great.

Anyway, if there was a machine that could just redo me to my liking, I would probably choose to look like someone similar to this person, even though he is male. (Damn, he looks 100% more feminine than me ;))

GacktGackt profile

Gackt

Or maybe I would just become a manga character look-alike. I wish it was so easy…

Zack profile

Crisis Core Zack

Aerith

Well, enough musing about such things. I need to pack my things and prepare for my stay in hospital, which should be about 5-7 days with the surgery on Friday morning (GMT time). This surgery will be the real start of my long run, so wish me luck.

Anyway, as an apology for my meaningless ranting, have a confused rabbid maid.

Rabbid maid

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Hello world! Your favourite pony is here!

I found out that I can chew on only one molar with the Hyrax on. Basically, anything that is not very soft or does not melt causes me problems (and onion rings and wakame seaweed from soup get stuck behind Hyrax, lol) . Sssooo, I have sinking suspicion that I am going to lose some weight in the next 3 and something months. Not that I mind 🙂

I am getting quite used to the appliance and except for eating and toothbrushing, it does not bother me much. If I think about it, I am really lucky that I will get this surgery and appliance as part of my condition’s treatment and covered by my insurance. Unfortunately, the braces after wont, but it should be ok, it is not so expensive and I will just not buy something else.

What bothers me a lot now is my work future. I still did not get answer from Disney if I will or will not get the job I want so much, so I am starting to get a little pessimistic. If I do not get this one… well, I might stay jobless untill I finish my treatment, which is quite long.
Why? Well, I am a trained assistant/manageress/translator and am aiming for this type of position. But at the moment, I do  not look representative enough and have speech problems caused by a piece of metal across my palate for few months now. (Unfortunately, the “representative behaviour and pleasing visage” tends to be a condition present in almost all job offerring adds for assistant/manageress work. )

Also I am taking care of my grandmother by visiting her every weekend (and any free days I happen to have) and help her. I could not possibly even think about stopping taking care of her because of job that would require more than five days a week. She does not want to move from the countryside where she has friends and spent a whole life, so I am doing the best I can to take care of her.

So, I think I will end doing some cleaning lady work or something like that, lol. Not that I did not do it before, when I was studying Uni or helping my gran with her part-time when I was a kid and she broke her arm. I just have this nagging feeling that I should be doing something for my career and am losing time here, which is quite annoying. Our country has high uneployment rate and getting a really good job can be a rat race. My ideal job would be either supportive position with a nice boss, or (even better) doing some creative work like writing, designing, finding fresh possibilities and aproaches… just using my head in any way possible (Zombie employers do not apply, I want to keep my brain for a while, thank you very much ;)).

So, I foresee that this is how I will look for the next 3-4 months:

Rabbid

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Ok, I got my Hyrax palatal expander attached yesterday. It did not hurt (except for some tiny problems with my supercrowded teeth) and it was much less scary than I thought it will be. It sits on my first and third molars, because they just could not fit the first model made for the first and second molars in no matter how my doc tried. So, she said I have a very special appliance made. Look, look, I am special! Mommy and doccy say I am special! *eats some glue*

Oh, speaking of glue. I made a great discovery: Tooth glue that hardens in the UV light tastes like… yeah, GLUE! Shocking, is it not? Anyway, I took few hours to get the taste out of my mouth. Listerine rinse helped a lot, so did multiple teeth cleaning with a lot of paste. And if I say a lot, I mean A LOT!

The appliance itself does not hurt at all. It has sort of metaly taste, but it is bearable. For some reason, I feel like a horse 😉 (Reins and bit anyone?) I had really hard time speaking few hours after I got it in, but it is almost ok now. The metal bridge of Hyrax lies on my tongue, so it is a little annoying, but as I said, not painful, not unbearable. *neighs a little*

As for eating, my doc says I can eat anything, but since my bite (crossbite, class III as well) is not fully closed thanks to the metal bands, I find it a little difficult. Also teeth are still very sensitive, so I am sticking with soft food and galons of hot chocolate 😉

Aaaanyway, surgery is planned for the 14th and I am entering hospital on 13th, so that is when I will stop posting for a while, but I will try to make some post-op pics and get back as soon as possible.

Now excuse me, I am going to watch Lexx and maybe play some games 😉

Edit: Here is my little metal baby (excuse the unladylike drool, lol):

Hyrax palatal expander

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