After my first surgery flopped, I was in a pretty bad spot. Confusion, then denial, then pretty bad depression, then anger, and then the last year or so I've been in acceptance mode. People hear me use the expression, "It is what it is," a lot. Talking with a therapist helped, but I think I forced myself in to acceptance mode to avoid going completely bat shit crazy, but subconsciously I was still feeling all of the anger and sadness over everything too. I feel like a lot of emotions have shifted in the last month or so. Old ones resurfacing and new ones rearing their ugly head. My bite has become embarrassingly bad. This has been causing some anger, frustration, and embarrassment, especially in situations in front of people who I am not closest to.....like when I drooled on myself at my last presentation I was giving to a group of about 30 pilots. Same thing happened the other day in front of a few coworkers, and more often than not, I am lisping and slurring often when I speak to them. Or when I am having trouble chewing and food falls out of my mouth in front of others. It's been getting bad lately. People understand most of the time, but it's been frustrating and embarrassing none the less. What makes it even more frustrating is that I should NOT be here. This is not the situation I should be in after ortho and jaw surgery. I don't deserve this. And then more anger knowing that it's my original surgeon who's done this to me with no explanation or apology. I really think that is the root of most of my anger still.
I've always had anxiety issues when it comes to medical appointments. I was the type of person who would get so wound up before a simple teeth cleaning that I would throw up before going to the appointment. It's sad, but I need a xanax just to go to the dentist. So, in the weeks leading up to my first surgery, I was a wreck. I wasn't sleeping, I was irritable, short fused, and constantly on the verge of a panic attack. I ended up taking the whole week off before surgery to take whatever I needed to keep me calm, and try to be as destressed as possible. Figured I would be doing the same for revision, but then a super important event popped up at my work that would require me to be there just before surgery. So, more stress added to the mix worrying about surgery and what is best for me and also not punking out of work when they need you to step up the most. But even this whole last month, a full 6-8 weeks before surgery, I am already having issues. The anxiety I had last time is even worse now, probably because I am much more scared to death of the results this time around. What if it's not right again? I seem to have the worst luck with all of this jaw stuff. Will my bad luck continue? Will I be even worse off after this revision? I like to have everything planned out and be in control, and this is the main element I have no control over. And like last time, despite my best planning and effort as the patient, it could go way bad again. That is a hard pill to swallow, and I think most people would be feeling what I am feeling going in to this. So, I won't sugar coat it, but I've been a mild train wreck and it's not even the 4 week mark before surgery. Some days I am barely hanging on. To the point where I feel like I just need to get up from my desk, announce sick leave, and go home for the day from work. To be fair this isn't just the emotional side of this causing some of those days, but also the physical side dealing with the pain and discomfort of my current bite and jaw positioning. It starts from the moment I wake up and never ends. I'm sick of taking advil 24/7. I think one of the main reasons I haven't tapped out is because I am stubborn and hate nothing worse than quitting. Going home would be quitting. It would be like letting my surgeon win. Maybe I need to get over that, because worrying about feeling like a defeated quitter has also just added to my stress.
I think I am just getting tired after dealing with this for so long and I'm reaching a breaking point, which unfortunately is at a crucial time right before revision. I've done so well of keeping it all together through this whole nightmare the last 2 years, and it sucks to feel defeated towards the end. If I had unlimited sick leave or the ability to go out on disability for the next few months through all of this (unfortunately that is not the case. No such thing as disability when you're a federal employee and my sick leave bank has continuously been drained the last two years through all of this), I would probably do it. Not only to keep my sanity, but to keep my friends and coworkers away from the emotional fallout from my issues with all of this. Quite frankly, I've been a short fused bitch lately. My poor husband.... luckily he knows how to deal with it and knows it's how I deal, so he does an awesome job of not taking anything personally and cuts me a lot of slack in a lot of ways, but I've caught myself being super short with friends a few times lately, and co workers as well. I've been able to catch it after the fact, and sometimes apologize, but then it just leads me to feeling even more wound up and bad and just adds to the already high strung and mixed up emotions going on. This happened last week when I bit a friends head off just for her poking a little bit of fun at me for blowing a weather forecast for their outdoor activities (which under normal circumstances would have been totally fine and I would have laughed with them about it). I've also tried removing myself from situations where I could bite somebody's head off; just keep to myself quietly..... and then people think I am a bitch for being quiet and removed in response to everything and everybody. So, it's really a lose lose situation no matter what I do right now....which again, leads to more frustration. So, I really don't know what to do. I always tell people going through a tough time with this process to seek a therapist, so maybe I will take my own advice and go talk to somebody again. It did help after my initial botched surgery. Otherwise, I need to find a way to get through the next month or so without completely falling apart and pushing all of my friends away in the process. Not sure how I am going to do that, but my guess is it will involve some good sleep and anxiety meds.