Wow! I thought I’d be in braces for an eternity before I’d have surgery to correct my ever-worsening bite. It turns out, it’s only been 8 months, and I’m fairly used to it now. Braces are really not so bad… but if I don’t get these stupid chunks off my teeth in the next six months I’m going to throw something through my window!
So… jaws surgery the day after Election Day 2008! How dramatic. This is perhaps the most dramatic election in all of U.S. history, in this humble historian’s view, and I am going to get my skull sliced the next morning! I am hoping that I will be SO elated about the election results that I’ll barely notice them rolling me into the operating room.
I had 4 appointments today, all surgery-related:
1. Pre-surgical appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Kasey Li. Dr. Li is a master surgeon. If you are considering having jaw surgery for a malocclusion (bite problem) or for your sleep apnea, I think it’s worth considering actually coming to Palo Alto, CA, USA from wherever in the world you are to see Dr. Li. The pre-surgical appointment was my time to assail him with more questions and getting my necessary documents in order. The questions, and their answers, will follow in a separate post.
2. Koby hooks installed at orthodontist. Koby hooks are little wires with a loop that replace the elastics on the front brackets. These are for jaw surgery patients only. They are used as hooks for rubber bands, splints or wires that the surgeon uses to keep your jaw stabilized for the weeks following the surgery. In my case, it’s rubber bands only, and I will be able to remove them as needed for cleaning and eating / gumming food.
3. Dental cleaning. Wow, I am so glad I got braces to straighten out my teeth. It turns out that many of my tooth rotations worked themselves out in the 4 months since my last cleaning visit, revealing numerous tartar deposits. These deposits had been hidden by crooked teeth! My teeth were never very crooked – a lot of folks were very surprised when I announced I was getting braces – but apparently they were rotated enough to leave nooks and crannies for plaque and tartar. I NEVER want to go through another painful cleaning appointment like that again – hence the braces and soon-to-be perfect teeth.
4. Blood testing. Surgery patients must have routine blood tests done before surgery to make sure everything’s ok. I don’t know too much about the specifics, but I am wondering… if it turned out that things weren’t ok, isn’t this kind of late notice?
All in all an exhausting day away from the office!
These appointments make up the standard To Do list for the week before the surgery, and it feels great to get them out of the way. What a milestone.