Tomorrow is the day i’ve been waiting for!! We (my mom and I) arrived in Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon with thankfully no travel delays or troubles. We had four pretty heavy suitcases and they all got here and we managed to load them in our rental car. We checked into our condo which is very nice and took a trip to the nearest Target (30 miles away) for some necessities 🙂 Sunday we had a day of fun on a Segway Tour before the week got started with multiple doctor’s appointments.
Monday we spent the entire morning 7:30- noon in Doctor Gunson’s office for pre surgical measurements, molds, and treatment plans. There is something about the staff there that makes me feel so comfortable and confident with what i’m feeling and what the results will be. Dr. Gunson is very thorough and measured my face dimensions to a tenth of a millimeter. Renee his lovely assistant went over a slideshow of what to expect post op and let’s just say I am very anxious about the aftermath. I am very excited and ready for this surgery, but there is no way of knowing exactly how I will feel or what I will look like until it is all over with. Will I get nauseous after surgery? How much swelling will I have? Will I bleed? What will I feel like when I wake up? Will I be able to feel my bite put together again? Will I be constantly hungry? How will I live without solid foods for 2-3 months?! So many questions are floating around in this mind 🙂 Dr Gunson described in detail what he will be doing and the outcomes of this surgery. My time slot got moved back to 1:15 pm because Dr G has a few minor procedures to get done in the morning, so that is somewhat of a bummer, but I’m going to try and sleep in to make the time go faster! The surgery will take around five hours and then I will be in the recovery room for 1-3 hours. While in the surgery they are going to lower my blood pressure to prevent some bleeding and will be rotating my jaw so the condyles sit correctly in the socket and bringing my upper and lower jaws forward so they fit together and I have a stable bite. He will be breaking the upper jaw in two places and shifting it downward. Some things they told me I was kinda of surprised by- like the fact that my eyelids will be sewn shut during this procedure to prevent any bone fragments from getting into my eyes and damaging the cornea. I won’t remember any of that but still crazy and kinda freaky! I will be on a particle free liquid only diet for two weeks followed by a pureed/liquid food diet for another 6-8 weeks. Hello soup and pudding! Going to have to get creative. I will be released from the hospital Thursday afternoon as long as I am able to take a short walk and use the restroom on my own. Sounds so simple but again, who knows how I will feel
Today I had pre surgical admission paperwork to get done at the hospital and again I was impressed with the staff at the hospital. So warm and welcoming. California has been good to me so far. I also had a medical history and physical examination appointment with a physician who made me laugh and feel at ease. He told me “today should be your scariest day because it is all about the unknown” which is true. After the surgery I will just have to keep my head high and deal with whatever comes my way. It’s the not knowing that is eating me up. We picked up my step dad from the airport this afternoon and I came back to the condo to find flowers waiting for me from my dad, step mom, and brother and sister at home. It is so nice knowing I have a great support system- here and in Iowa! We returned to Dr G’s office at 430 for him to show us a 3D model of my surgery. That made me feel confident knowing the surgeon has already planned out and visually seen the movements he will be making. We left and had a final dinner of delicious pizza before heading home.
I am hoping to sleep well tonight and wake up feeling relaxed and determined. Thanks for all your positive thoughts and prayers- see ya on the other side! 🙂
Below is Dr G doing the measurements in his office on Monday. With Dr. Ardanza (from Spain!) looking on. He is studying the way Dr. G does surgeries to try and model after him. The 2nd picture is all of the jaw surgery necessities..looks very similar to preparing for a newborn infant. Sippy cups, rubber mini spoons, and bibs. How cute!;)