Thursday, November 26, 2009

20 Days!

Wow, I can't believe that it's Thanksgiving already! I'm at home in Denver with my family- it's nice to be out of the dorms and in my own bed.

I saw my orthodontist in yesterday morning, and everything looks good, so they didn't really adjust anything. Yay! I'll be able to eat today (as much as I can ever actually "eat")! She will be putting the surgical hooks on in 2 weeks (when she takes my impressions), and then she won't see me until 6 weeks after my surgery!

Yesterday afternoon I saw my OS. He did his measurements...and he's concerned with how far I can open my mouth. I asked him some of my questions: I will have external incisions (which was not told to me previously) and I will be eating mush for 6 weeks (until I get my splint out). He said that I would have bands in my mouth, but I could take them out to eat after 5 days or so.

I'll see my other OS in 2 weeks, and he'll do his measurements, then they'll make sure that everything matches up. Then I'll be having the surgery (20 days from now!)

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

<3 Stefane

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

4 weeks!

It seems so far away, but so close at the same time! I know that the next few weeks will fly by, with Thanksgiving, final assignments (why do they have to give us assignments so late in the semester???), and final exams...

I'll be going to the ortho in a week for my final adjustment before surgery. woohoo!

Nothing much else to update on, though I am starting to search for tasty foods to "eat" after surgery :)

<3 Stefane

Friday, November 13, 2009

Deep Muscle Relaxation

Hi everyone!

Last night I went to a workshop on Deep Muscle Relaxation. they promote it as an important skill to learn before finals, but I had a different use in mind!

I have a tendency to tense my face up a lot, and I don't usually realize that I'm doing it. So, I figured that going to the workshop would help me now, as well as after surgery.

We went through the entire body tensing and relaxing muscle groups, from the hands up the arms then from the head down to the toes. We did quite a few to relax the face, jaw, throat, and neck.

Next time my muscles start to get aggravated I'm going to try this, and see if it helps! I'm hoping that this will help me relax when I wake up after the surgery and when I'm trying to fall asleep. I'm going to practice a lot between now and then, just so it's automatic for me to do it when I feel myself tensing up.

If anyone wants the instructions on how to do this I can send them to you, just leave me a note in the comments!

<3 Stefane

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things I'm most worried about...

I'm not actually too worried about the surgery itself. I have two wonderful surgeons who have been doing this surgery together for years. I'm young, I've done plenty of research, and I have a clear idea of why I'm doing this which helps me have a good attitude.

Mostly I'm worried about the recovery:
nosebleeds-I get them fairly often when I go home because of the high altitude, so add that to jaw surgery, yikes!
throwing up-my surgeon has already told me that I will have a tube in to drain the blood out of my stomach, but I'm still nervous. I'm going to ask about anti-nausea meds at my next pre-op appointment (which is in 2 weeks!)
getting back to school-3 1/2 hour plane ride 23 days post-op. Enough Said. (Has anyone done this??? When was the first time any of you flew after your surgery?)
the cold-last January we had classes canceled multiple days because it was -25 F with a -45 F wind chill! I'm buying plenty of scarves to wrap up in!

And the big one...
the SPLINT-I will have the splint in for 6 weeks! I will have post-op appointments with my OS at 1 week and 2 weeks post-op, but won't have a 4-week appointment because I'll be back at school (yay!). So I'll fly home the last weekend in January to get my splint out...I've heard a lot of people say that their speech was affected by the splint and eating is messy. I suppose the first few weeks of the semester will be interesting! Also, will I be able to close my lips over the splint?

5 weeks from tomorrow (when I will not be posting because I have classes all day, a meeting, a paper to write, and an exam to study for)!

<3 Stefane

Monday, November 9, 2009


These are pictures that were taken in May, pre-braces.

You can see my underbite(in the dreaded profile picture...), and how my teeth don't touch (that's the left side where nothing touches). I don't know if I'll get more photos taken pre-surgery by my ortho or by my OS, so I might have to take some myself! I'll be sure to post them.

5 weeks and 2 days!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I'm self-conscious about my bite and my smile, but that's not why I'm putting myself thought this surgery. I'm doing it because I want to have a normal life again. My jaw problems interfere with everyday life and I can't do it anymore.

I have two teeth in my mouth that touch. I have been using those teeth, and only those teeth to "chew" food for over a year now. My muscles are tired of compensating for my jaw misalignment. I can't eat or even open my mouth without pain. I can't cry or get stressed out because then the pain cripples me. I know it's major surgery and it won't be fun and it's going to hurt. However, I can't continue to live like this.

I'm excited to be only 5 weeks from surgery, but trying to figure out how I'm going to be prepared in that time! I'll be home for Thanksgiving, then back to school for the last week of classes and finals (I'll only be back for a week and a half!), then back to Denver. I get to Denver on Dec 9, have my surgical hooks put on (thank you wonderful orthodontist for not putting them on at Thanksgiving and making me deal with them while trying to study for/take final exams!) and my molds and x-rays taken on the 10th, pre-surgical physical and blood work on the 11th, getting my teeth cleaned on the 14th, final pre-surgical appointment on the 15th, then into the hospital early on the 16th for surgery!!

Much luck to anyone who is having their surgery in the next few days! Wishing everyone a speedy recovery.

<3 Stefane

Saturday, November 7, 2009

From the beginning...

My name is Stefane and I am 19. On December 16, 2009, I will be having Orthognathic surgery to correct my class III malocclusion. He is some background on my story.

I had braces when I was 11. They used rubber bands to correct my underbite, but within a few weeks of getting my braces off (when I was 13) I was forcing my top teeth infront of my bottom teeth. I never mentioned this to my parents and we moved shortly after I got my braces off, so my orthodontist never thought anything was wrong.

My underbite bothered me, but only because I was self-conscious about it. I never wanted to really smile, though I had straight, white teeth. I thought that I looked funny, especially when you could see my tongue between the gaps of my teeth.

When I was 18, I began to have problems with TMJ. In February of 2008, my jaw locked shut. It happened slowly. My jaw began hurting on Wednesday and on Friday I noticed that I could only open it about halfway. We didn't know what to do, so we ended up at the urgent care center. The doctor there didn't know what was wrong, so he prescribed me a slew of medications (Antibiotics, steroids, pain killers, and muscle relaxants). By Monday I could barely open my mouth at all. I called my dentist and he got me in for an emergency appointment. Tuesday I went to see my younger brothers' orthodontist. They refered me to a TMJ specialist, who I saw on Wednesday (1 week after this all began). He managed to unlock my jaw (very painful!!) and said that we were going to watch it and see what happened.

What happened was my jaw locked shut again. This time they unlocked it and made me splints to wear. The orthodontist told me that orthognathic surgery was the likely solution, but I was leaving for college and my family was moving, so there was nothing I could do that summer.

In January of 2009 my jaw locked shut again. I was at college in Michigan. My mom was in Colorado. I didn't have a dentist or an orthodontist here in Marquette, MI. Neither of us knew what to do. After a week of waiting to get into the one dentist who treats TMJ in Marquette, he told me that we were going to wait and see if my jaw fixed itself. Yeah right. I waited another 5 days and saw an orthodontist who was able to unlock my jaw and make me another splint. He also told me that orthognathic surgery was the answer.

When I went home to Colorado for the summer I immediately made an appointment with an orthodontist. She said Orthognathic surgery. Dr. Wiggins is amazing. When I told her my story and told her that I wanted this done in December, she said "Let's do it" I had braces on within 3 weeks and an appointment with an oral surgeon 2 weeks after that.

Now it is November 7, 2009 and I am 40 days away from my orthognathic surgery.