It may sound like a lot of whining when it comes to what I've already spent in the first two weeks of 2017, but don't feel that bad for me. I'm really not whining so much as I am venting, and venting here so that others going through similar things know they're not alone. It's pretty well known that dental insurance doesn't cover enough, and that leaves many frustrated even for the most normal of routine work. But, I am always thankful that I am in a position where I can pay for it. I didn't used to be so lucky not many years ago, and there are many who are not that lucky now. Our system definitely could use some change. Anywho.....Yes, the costs to fix things that could be attributed to the carnage from my first round of treatment is irritating, most of these 2017 expenses so far are not because of my first round of treatment. Both are expenses I was expecting, and they are TOTALLY worth it. I am not seeing the cheapest doctors in the Bay Area, and that is a choice I made and do not regret for even a second. Why? Well, if you've read about what these guys have done for me, then you easily know why. I'm getting the best of the best. They are super experienced, knowledgeable, honest, skilled, have more than earned my loyalty as a patient no matter what they tell me it costs, and I am getting what I pay for as far as I am concerned. So, this one is easy to get over. The stuff that won't be easy to get over is the rest of the years expenses. $8-10,000 worth of restorations on teeth that are probably just going to need $20K+ worth of implants in the next 5-8 years. That is work that (more than likely) is attributed to my first team of docs and the cowboy moves and mistakes there. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, I guess!
Anywho... I am scheduled to get the upper plates and screws out around my nose Feb 7th. Not the set above my upper molars. Those don't bug me luckily. Neither do the lowers for the most part. The week before that I get the crown on my implant, which has healed nicely in to the bone and my prosth and surgeon are happy with it. Speaking of my prosth, he tells me the other day he's read in to my website here a little bit (Hi, Dr. Lew ;) ). I gave all of my docs my website at one time or another. I never really thought any of them would do much more than glance at it and maybe not even that. I mean, it's more than OK if they want to, but I would never expect them to take what is their precious time to look at it, nor would I be put off if they didn't look at it. Regardless, as people know who have kept up with this story from day 1, I've got it all out there for anybody to see (including my docs) in all its rawness and honesty. But, there are a few concerns with it when I know my docs are reading-- 1.) Have I done the medical side of this justice? Have I correctly transcribed everything they've told me and everything that has happened to me? and 2.) Does knowing that your work is being publicly showcased make them nervous? Not that they should have any reason to be since they do above and beyond fantastic work, but I think it's human to feel nervous in a spotlight of any sorts, even if you're the best at what you do. Hopefully I am not doing that to them. And if there is a little of that, then hopefully they understand the impact this website has, especially for other patients doing jaw surgery research or other revision patients looking for information and/or to just feel not alone in a crappy situation. And for me too. This has been a great outlet for me obviously.
I'm almost a year post op. Kind of crazy. By actual days (I've kept track of my monthly progress on my google calendar) the year post op mark is next week, but by calendar date, it's not until Feb 18th. I'll probably wait to do a blog post for that on Feb 18th, maybe with a Vlog to show where things are coming along and how healing looks at the year mark. I might do that BEFORE I get the plates and screws out though, since doing it in the week or two after I might have some lingering puffiness still from the plate removal and it won't be a good indication of where I am at a year post op from jaw surgery itself. In general though things are still going OK, but I'll wait to fill in more specifics on the year post op post. So, I guess stay tuned for that post soon in the next week or two before plate removal!