2 weeks to go! Update following final surgeon appointment and pre-operative assessment.

I cannot believe it. 13 long years ago I was introduced to Clinic J and the possibility of needing jaw surgery, and now it is exactly TWO WEEKS until I go into theatre. I just cannot get my head around that!

And of course a (what I hope is) dramatic opening to this post has to be accompanied by a dramatic(?) photograph embracing the glory that is an underbite.  

Ahoy there! (South Wales)
Since my last post I got to see my boyfriend for the first time in six months (he was living in Australia) as he is now back home in Wales! Although the shot of this photo isn't very close, I think the angle really emphasises my bite and how much it has changed over the last couple of years. I'll be sure to post 'official' photos just before my surgery, which will be much clearer.

Yesterday saw the entire day spent at two different hospitals. The morning was dedicated to my appointment with my surgeon, where he tried the wafers that had been made to make sure they fitted well. And it was a perfect fit! It amazes me what different tools are needed for surgery, and how the lab technicians must make them. I also got to put my surgeon in the hot seat and ask him LOTS of questions. This was the last time I would see him before surgery day, so I put my thinking cap on and compiled this list -

  • Will my lips look different? (I currently have a huge bottom lip and hardly any top lip) 
  • How long will my jaws be wired? 
  • Will I be able to take tablets in hospital?
  • Are there any essentials/products you'd recommend to help aid recovery/comfort? 
  • *Silly question alert* Will the surgery have an impact on how my tongue fits in my mouth? 
  • How long will I be in hospital for? 
  • How long is the surgery? 
  • What will happen if I vomit and my jaws are wired? 
  • Do I need to put weight on before surgery? 
  • How will I clean my teeth?   
All of my questions were answered, albeit a sarcastic manner (my surgeon is pretty funny). Interestingly, he also mentioned passport photos. With the introduction of electronic passports, the machines might not be able to recognise me post op, so he advised I ring up the passport office after treatment is finished.  

After this appointment I was due to travel to the hospital where I'd be having the surgery. But I had some time to kill, so enjoy this photo of where I had my lunch (this is unusually very scenic for Stevenage)

Fairlands Valley Park 

The hospital I visited in the afternoon was very new to me, so I ended up getting lost finding the pre-operative unit! Nothing too exciting happened when I eventually found it. The appointment consisted of taking swabs for MRSA, taking my blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate, height and weight, a blood test and being asked a LOT of questions about my medical history. I also got to sign the consent form (moment of excitement for me!) I have to go back for another blood test close to my admission date (incase I need a blood transfusion, boo). 

Consider yourselves updated! Next up will be my final appointment with my ortho to change elastics so everything's nice and clean for surgery. 

If anyone has ANY advice on useful products for comfort following surgery - please let me know! 

Thanks for reading, 

B x


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Abi Baldwin said...

Good luck! :) It's an exciting time, but before you know it, it'll all be over.
Here are some good things for in hospital and after surgery:

- In hospital, get a relative to bring some small bottles of water. Sometimes nurses are busy and forget to give you water and when they do it is in a big jug which is difficult to pour when you're feeling weak.

- Invest in a light plastic cup (I bought a tommee tipee and just took the lid off) because it's easily picked up and cute to drink from. Also a plastic bowl because of the weight! You underestimate how much strength you lose.

- Baby spoon!

- Baby toothbrush!

- Sensitive toothpaste (although they might give you some at the hospital too).

- Plenty of tissues! I went through around five boxes in the first week (possibly more). This is for all the dribbling.

- Soup, ice cream, milk...

- Baby wipes to freshen your face.

- Cotton buds to clean your nose. It's a bit gross, but I was very congested and you're not allowed to blow your nose, so you can imagine what happens.

I think that's it. :) Basically, a lot of baby things. Hehe. I have learnt to love my tippee cup and baby spoons.


mis-erialc said...

Hey Beth, stumbled across your blog as I was clicking through some of the other jaw surgery blogs I follow. Are you in the Facebook group of jaw surgery patients? They are an amazing bunch and a great support group to have.

Check with your surgeon regarding what you should get as it varies with the different hospitals. The main things I was thankful for was getting a baby toothbrush, an Orabrush (to clean my tongue), and a hot/cold gel pack. :)

Claire Ariela

JawGodBlog said...

Hi Beth!

Exciting times! You must be very close to the big day now :-)

A few tips for stuff to get:

Curasept - it does the same thing as Corsodyl, which they will probably give you as a mouthwash to take home, but it really stains your teeth. You can get the stains off at the dentist/hygienist later, but Curasept is awesome because it doesn't stain. I found it on Amazon. Also, get a giant v shaped pillow for sleeping upright, and lots of cloths/face cloths to use as bibs for the drooling! Ice packs...stock up on vanilla icecream to blend with other stuff/ the shakes they give you in the hospital. Definitely have someone with you as much as possible in hospital to help you figure out how to sip. The nurses at mine were lovely but very busy and I didn't figure it out for ages! I really found syringes the easiest way so don't feel bad if you can't sip with a straw or eat ANYTHING they try to give you! They kept insisting I try and eat yoghurt, and I really just couldn't do it. Water down the Ensure drinks if you have to. Bring loads of tissues - sometimes I had to wait a while for top ups from the nurses. I didn't sleep a lot, so bring something to keep you entertained if you're awake in the night.

The first few days are uncomfortable but keep positive and you will get there! :-) xxx Jen

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