Monday, February 7, 2011

Journey, Part 2

Where did we leave off?  Oh yes, that's right.  They decided I needed jaw surgery.  Now I wish I could say that this surgery was no big deal, but that's not at all true.  I wouldn't be writing about it so much if it hadn't been a big deal.  Or a HUGE deal, in fact.

Here, in rather lengthy detail, is PART 2:

We began to prepare, waiting for the day when I would finally stop growing.  This involved putting braces on the 2nd semester of my senior year (adorable) and then....waiting.  I waited for a year and a half, going to college in Washington state and coming home once a month for appointments with my orthodontist. I waited through living on my own for the first time, having my first boyfriend (and subsequent first break up with said boyfriend), I waited through figuring out the school wasn't a fit to applying to transfer, through finding out I'd been accepted to NYU.  Finally, the time came.  Just 2 days before my 19th birthday, I went to the hospital to finally take care of this damn jaw thing.

There had been a lot of prep for this day, talking about what was going to happen and in what order, watching videos and then talking about it again.  The plan was to (squeamish people, be ware) break my jaw in 4 places, remove bone from the bottom so it was the right size, adjust the top and then screw everything in place.  Bing bam boom. They were also going to give me a chin implant so I had the same profile and move my top lip up to show a little bit more of my teeth (seriously, the surgeon asked me if I was "happy with the amount of teeth I was showing." Who has ever even thought about that?).  Fine, all fine.  A lot of details I'd never even thought about but the oral surgeon and orthodontist were old friends of the family I'd known my entire life, so I knew they had my best interests in mind.  

It is important to mention that too achieve the new and improved me they were going to have to wire my mouth shut for 3 months.  Yep.  You read that right. They WIRED. MY. MOUTH. SHUT (ok, fine, it was actually rubber banded shut, but that's neither here nor there).  The nice people at my oral surgeon's office even gave me a book of recipes for when I couldn't eat solid food called (and this is no joke) Dinner Through a Straw.  My hand to god the first time I opened it up the first recipe I saw was for Chicken Cordon Bleu....THROUGH A STRAW.  Totally grossed out, I promptly slammed the book shut and never looked at it again.

The surgery went off without a hitch and it looked like I was in for a long, hot summer (did I mention that we moved just a week after my surgery?  We did. On the hottest day of the year.  To a house with no air conditioning).  I tried to keep things pretty normal, spending time with my friends and doing all the things I'd normally do, though all a little modified since I was only subsisting on liquids through a syringe (at one point all I could eat was Gatorade, so I was subsisting on, like, 80 calories a day).  Needless to say it was difficult for me to exert myself since I basically wasn't eating.  I dropped 2 dress sizes in about 2 weeks, which sounds great, but meant that I couldn't do anything because I'd nearly pass out any time I exerted myself. I don't recommend it. 

And of course, because it's me and I can't have anything go easily, I wasn't able to take the good drugs. Nope, I'm violently allergic to Vicodin (Ashleigh + Vicodin = gastrointestinal pyrotechnics, not good when you can't open your mouth), which is what they typically prescribe (in liquid form) for surgeries like this.  And the big time pain meds I can take aren't available in liquid form.  They literally told me I could crush the pill up into water and take it what way.  And I don't know if you've ever accidentally tasted a crushed up pill (like when you hold it in your mouth too long while trying to find water so you can swallow it), but it is awful.  So I said, "NO THANKS, what else you got?"  And their reply was almost comical: " You can take children's Motrin, which comes in liquid form."  THAT'S RIGHT.  LIQUID CHILDREN'S MOTRIN.  But, being an adult, I had to take basically an half of a bottle at a time to equal the correct dosage.  Through a syringe hooked into the back of my mouth.  I told you, comical.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of those first weeks on my parent's bed watching "The Drug Years" on VH1, which was good, because about 3 weeks after surgery-- BAM.  Depression hit.

To Be Continued...

1 comment:

  1. holy moly.

    i have to say i laughed out loud at some parts because of the way you wrote it...particularly "chicken cordon bleu....THROUGH A STRAW"

    girl, you are a rockstar for surviving this.
    is it weird that i can't wait for the next part??