Realistic-- hard real stats, data, science, etc. As a scientist, I like to approach things from that perspective. Do my emotions and personal opinions interject from time to time? Sure. I think it's human, but I also think I do a good job about talking about honest stats and numbers. I don't go out of my way to sensationalize things to skew anything one way or another. Numbers and data doesn't lie. When I talk about my case, I usually do say things like, "keep in mind, my case is in the minority in terms of surgical outcomes. Most people end up fine, or in the group with typical complications like numbness, but to be as catastrophically messed up as me, we're a small bunch in terms of the numbers. So, more than likely you will end up in that majority, but as patients it's good for all of us to understand that there is a chance that might not happen and it's good to understand what can go wrong and be aware of that and make a decision if your risk is worth the reward in your case." I say it this way because that is what the numbers support in terms of analyzing post op outcomes that I've looked in to. Very recently a new guy on an online surgery group accused me of trying to sell the surgery like nothing good can come of it and everybody will come out like me. That bothered me, because I am positive (even after looking back on some of my posts as part of a post mortem on all of this once he brought it up) that I do not sell this like that. Sure, I tell my story, but never ever have I told it like what happened to me is a high chance of happening to other people. Absolutely not. The reality of it is that it's a chance and nothing else. And even at that, I make sure to include verbiage that it's not a super high chance, but a chance none the less.
If I had to put it in meteorology terms, I would call it a "slight chance." Undesirable surgical outcome is always a chance with any surgery. So, lets get this straight-- do your research. Keep in mind that a lot of cases you'll read about on forums and online pages will skew towards the bad since most people who are posting online are the ones that have issues and the ones that don't have issues just keep on keepin on with their lives and aren't online posting about it (even though I am technically not in that group since I've been posting since day 1 of this whole process). The numbers don't lie. You'll probably find that most cases, even with the skew I just mentioned, come out fine and dandy with the typical higher chance risks, IE: numbness. I would call it the majority of cases. Having said that, I have no problem talking about what happened to me and remind people that what happened to me is a risk associated with this procedure. Doing so is not selling it to people like it's a high chance probability that what happened to me will happen to them. I had to stop and question myself after this guy went after me online because I wanted to assess if I was really helping people like I thought or if I was being a Debbie downer and just muddying the pre op research waters for people. After thinking about it, I believe I should still get the word out and try to remain as scientific about it as possible. It's hard to remove emotions from something like this, but I have to if it can help somebody else. Maybe it will help somebody do extra research in to the surgeon they are choosing and they can avoid picking an awful one like I did. And like me, maybe it will help them and give them insight on red flags to look for IF things go wrong. Had I not read about a few "shit hits the fan" cases like mine during all of my pre op research, I definitely would not have known what to look for and recognize the red flags that helped me act as quickly as I did when I realized things were not right.
So, to anybody who felt like I misrepresented the numbers and data on surgical outcome, I am sorry. I don't believe I have done that, but if I have in any way I am not realizing, then my apologies. I'm going to try and remain and scientific and practical as I can when discussing things about jaw surgery. Hopefully I can get a good balance of being able to talk about what happened to me as realistically as possible without sounding like too much of a drag. I don't want my story to scare anybody off by them thinking there is a good chance they'll end up in my shoes or shoes similar to mine, but patients do need to accept the fact that the risk is there (all be it a risk much less likely to happen compared to something like the numbness from this surgery) and incorporate it in to their understanding and assessment of their risk vs. reward when deciding if they want to move forward with having the surgery done. And to the guy in the online group who has a problem with me speaking from this perspective, then I am not sorry. I'm explaining a risk in the most truthful and practical way that I can and giving my own experience with it. If that offends you, then sorry not sorry.