I've had some big changes recently. I am still moving forward with my new surgeon, Dr. Karas. I've spoken with him and my prosthodontist a few times in the last month or two, and every time I get the feeling like they want to say something to me regarding my ortho, but they're holding back. They say just enough to give me the hint. I already knew I had to find greener pastures in terms of the ortho, but I've seen five orthos and nobody will take me on because, 1.) I'm a super complicated case now, and 2.) All of these orthos know my ortho and I guess there is this code among orthos that you don't take a buddies case over from him. I got pretty discouraged after traveling up to an hour to see five different orthos and hear the same story from all of them regarding their relationship with my current ortho and why it was a conflict. I gave up and figured I have to make the most of what I've got with the current ortho, despite his past and continued mistakes. My prosthodontist finally had it though, and on the last appointment for a teeth cleaning, he got pretty blunt with me once he found out the reason I was still with my ortho is because I felt I had no other choice. He flat out said I need to find somebody else, and mentioned that he was even a little ashamed of his profession right now because these docs shouldn't be doing this to me. Dr. Karas has been just as blunt already and told me to cut my ties with him (this was after he did a post mortem on my records and saw how much my ortho screwed up and continues to screw up). They teamed up and referred me to a guy in Danville, about 40 minutes north of me. I was dreading another appointment where I would hear the same story. Turns out.... my expectations were wrong.
I walked into the ortho office and I could tell I liked the place. Much different than the orthos I saw in the other parts of the bay area. I didn't want to get my hopes up though because I figured they wouldn't take me on as a patient for the same reasons the other orthos wouldn't. Doc looked at me and said "If you choose to come over as a patient, I would do...." Wait, wait, wait..... you mean you'll take me on?! Did I just hear this right?! He was surprised that I was surprised, and I told him my experience with the other orthos. He said he can't believe that happened to me and that is not the way it should be. This is what is best for the patient, what I want, and if that is the way it is, then you put your feelings/friendship aside and do what is right for the patient. He offered to call my ortho and do the transfer himself. Wow. I was speechless. I was also holding back tears at that point, but they were happy tears. FINALLY ..... an ortho who is doing the right thing. And not just some ortho I had to settle for. He's a good one and he works exclusively with my surgeon, so they have done tons of cases together. I can't tell you the relief I felt walking out of that office that day. Still nervous about how the transfer would go down (not that I should care if my old ortho's feelings get hurt, but I do for some reason), but so relieved to have an awesome new ortho who works with my surgeon a lot. It's important to have that team element this time around. I was scheduled to come back for my records a few days later. They called my ortho the next week to initiate my transfer, and not only did it go well with no hard feelings, but my ortho offered to refund 100% of my money right off the bat!! I got all $8300 back!! I was shocked!! Was that because he really feels bad that this all went so wrong? Or Maybe he is just so glad to see me gone that he doesn't care and just wants to be done with me, including my money? Or is he afraid I'll come after him for all of his screw ups in this and hopes this will stop me from doing that? Maybe a little of all of the above, honestly. Some glamor shots from the records with my new ortho:
Otherwise, no major changes at the 6-7 months post op mark. I would say the numbness on my chin/lower lip hasn't change in the last 3 months. My lower jaw feels pretty good (outside of being crooked and still making my joints sore) and solid, but the upper feels a little wonky still. The area around the plates/screws still feels weird and is tender. Not sure if that is something that will be permanent or will still get better up to the 12 month mark. If it's permanent, I'd rather have the plates/screws out after this next surgery then. I would say my puffiness has been the same the last 2-3 months. Some days I am puffier than others, especially around the nose. If I fly it irritates things, sleep wrong, stay up late drinking, etc, all causes some additional puffiness. I'm eating almost back to normal (minus biting in to anything directly with my front teeth so loose. and I still don't go to town on super hard stuff a bunch since it does make me sore eventually), so I've gained about 8 lbs back out of the 11 lost (some of it is good muscle weight this time, but just a little. lol), and that has actually helped hide the lopsided face issue a bit. When I was thinner it was def more noticeable. I definitely still notice it at least. So much so that I did ask the photographer that did my boudoir photos (got them done for Matt's anniversary present) to shave down the jaw that sticks out more on my left. She did a good job and it looks a little more like my old jaw before it got all messed up in surgery.
So, I'll leave this post on a good note with a shot from the boudoir session. It was nice to get my hair/make up done and feel good about myself for a day! :)