Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sinus free is the way to be!

Hey everyone,

So some of you have called wondering how the surgery went, but unfortunately I haven't been able to take your calls. My mouth is indeed wired shut right now, so I thought I'd put an update on how everything went up here.

First of all, the surgery was a TMJ corrective surgery, in which my upper jaw was moved forward 8mm. According to my doctor, the bottom jaw continued to grow over the past couple years and for some reason the upper jaw didn't keep up. This meant that the teeth weren't lined up at all, that the bottom jaw occasionally popped out of alignment (and that didn't generally feel too good) and that the underbite prevented me from sufficiently chewing my food, which would continue to take its toll on my digestive system.

So yesterday I went in for surgery to move the top jaw forward. They put me under and then made two long incisions along the inside of the lip and basically stretched it all up and open. They then cut the upper jaw completely off of the skull and then reattached it with four metal plates, further forward. This meant there was much more space for the nose and the sinuses, and that the sinuses had to be detached. The doctor found that the sinuses had been severely infected for a long time and that several polyps had formed. He ended up then removing the sinuses in their entirety. Apparently they will grow back.

The good news is that there is much more space in the nasal cavity and I can already tell that breathing through my nose will be a lot better. The skin around the nose and the lips however has lost feeling (as it has all been detached from the face) and some of the feeling may or may not return. It's kind of funny but when i try and pop my ears, my whole face ripples, and the muscles spasm kind of randomly.

Overall, I feel so blessed to be in a position where this surgery can be done, and that everything went smoothly, even with the discovery of the infection.

As far as recovery, my teeth are currently wired shut and my head is in a giant sock that holds my chin in place. My face is about as swollen as a marshmallow and because there are no sinuses any more, I can feel a pretty constant stream of blood dripping down the inside of the face. My mom has been an excellent nurse, and I've been having chicken broth and ensure through a syringe that i then suck through my clenched teeth. Many other people have their jaws wired shut for weeks, but hopefully mine will only be for a few days and then I'll switch to rubber bands. I can't imagine having them wired for weeks - its really pretty painful and inconvenient.

All in all, things have gone just fine, and like I said before. I just feel really blessed for good doctors and pain medication.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!