Thursday, May 28, 2009

inquiring minds want to know...

I just had a freak-out moment when I realized that no, jaw surgery is NOT a million light years away anymore. And yes, it really is happening... in 33 days. And wait, I should start thinking about all of that STUFF that jaw surgery patients can't live with out. Because really, when you think about ordering after payday on the 1st of the month and waiting for things to come in the mail (and my UPS and USPS guys refuse to leave stuff on my porch, telling me to come pick it up during business hours - which are 8am to 3pm, when I work 7am to 3:05pm... I've been working on getting a package of music games for 2 weeks now... And since Nick is no longer here to pick stuff up for me I'm a bit outta luck)...

(Did I just rant about my mailmen on my tooth blog? I really have lost my mind. Back to the regular scheduled programming...)

All of you lucky patients on the dubious other side (and anyone else who has an opinion). Answer me these:

1) Zip and Squeeze Bags: Worth it? Not worth it?
2) ZnS Cool Jaw Wrap: Worth it? Not worth it?
3) What are products that I should think about buying NOW (other than a recliner, I'm working on that this weekend)?
4) Do I need a recliner? I am looking into both purchasing one and also possibly leasing one.

I think that's it... for now. In a few weeks, expect another post titled "inquiring minds part II" about questions for the surgeon and foods and other STUFF that I can get at the grocery store. Maybe it's a good thing all of my buddies are beating me to the operating table ;)

Love you guys!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

orthodontist today

It was an uneventful orthodontist appointment today. I did lose the springs on bottom, and while I never thought I'd say this - my braces feel so small now! Playing the clarinet will be much more comfortable now (and my insane wax usage ought to level off). I'm in the same wire as I have been for the past few adjustments, and it'll be the wire I have surgery in.

He did mention that when he emailed Dr. Lee she wasn't specific in fixing the height of my bite (ie the gummy smile thing). He told me to make sure to remind her of this in our pre-surgical appointment (although, this seems WAY too close to my actual surgery... yikes). I must remember to ask her about this, though, as it's pretty important to me. I figure if I'm going through all of the dual jaw surgery thing, I might as well come out with a nice smile.

Anyway, pictures finally: Check out the [lack of] gaps on the bottom!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

by the numbers

Days until surgery: 40! (tomorrow will be 39!!!)
Days until my half marathon: 37
Days until the husband is home: 25 (ish).
Days until school is out: 18 (actual school days, not including weekends)
Number of migraines in the last two weeks: 8
Miles in my race last weekend: 7.5
Days until my next orthodontist appointment: 5
Performances/Concerts/Field Trips in the past two weeks: 5

I have to say, I am quite jealous of all of the swollen lips, puffed up faces, sawed-apart jawbones, and perfect bites of the past few weeks. I am SO happy for everyone, especially Kate and Aimee and Aimee (ananda devika)... it seems like we all started orthoblogging around the same time, and now they're all "fixed"! But tomorrow that countdown clock rolls on into the 30s, which I can't complain about. I'll follow you guys to the 'other side' soon enough!

I still haven't called my benefits coordinator about what exactly is covered. I'll do it next week. Somehow it's fallen off of the radar with all of the relief still goin' on. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

officially approved!

May 12, 2009

Dear Mrs. Sheppard:

The Board of Trustees of TSP heard your appeal requesting coverage for orthognathic surgery at their May 7, 2009 meeting.

The board has approved the appeal and I will contact Regence Blue Shield to let them know that the trust will pay for that coverage.


Still need to call about what exactly is covered, but I think that will be on next Monday. I'm violently vomiting everything I eat, but don't have time to make it to the ER - I performed in a concert on Monday (with my left eye closed because it was too blurry to see out of), conducted a concert last night, had band contest all day today, conducting a concert tomorrow night, and have orchestra concert on Friday. If this is still happening on Friday you can bet your butt I'll be in the ER after school.

Unless my head just explodes on my shoulders before them. Seems like it's about to happen - I'm amazed that one little head (big head?) can hold this much PAIN.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

countdown begins

I like to stare at my countdown clock lately. It makes me feel strangely peaceful. It's funny - I can't say that I ever thought I would be joyful looking at a countdown to someone sawing apart and re-arranging bones in my FACE.

The surgery is going to be wretched, the recovery process long and difficult, and I will hate every minute I'm not able to sleep or eat or drink or talk or chew or move. I'll want to cry when I see my swollen face and I'll be scared about my nose changing or whether or not I'll like my face once the swelling goes down.

But at the end of it all, I will be able to chew steak. I will be able to eat a gummy candy and not get a 3 day migraine. I won't have this terrible jaw pain and all of these constant, aching migraines.

The migraine that I am currently getting (will probably be full blown tomorrow, great timing with one performance of my own and 4 for my students) doesn't seem as bad because I know that in 51 days I might not ever have a migraine again. (Probably not, but you never know!).

Hurray!! I'm on cloud 9. STILL.

Friday, May 8, 2009


The short story is... I'M APPROVED!! I'M REALLY APPROVED!!!! AHHHHHH!! I've been sobbing for the past 15 minutes in relief. I hope the husband doesn't freak out - I'm sure my message was a blubbering confusing mess and he'll probably think I was denied.

Now, the long story. I left a few minutes late from school (pep assembly today and the band always plays). I couldn't wait until I got home, so I talked while I drove (I figured I could pull over if the tears got too bad). Well, I got ahold of someone - but he said that "no one was in the office today" and that he would go look for that information. WTF?! I freaked. He came back, and said that while he heard the meeting and the cases presented, he didn't know names and couldn't give out that information. I desperately said "please... Mine was the jaw surgery case? Orthognathic surgery? Scheduled for July 1st? Contract exclusion?" and he hemmed and hawed a bit before telling me he'd call me back in 5 minutes. 11 minutes later (possibly the longest 11 minutes of my life thus far) he called back and apologized for the run around and made small talk before telling me I was APPROVED!! He said he didn't know details and the head honcho (Mike) would contact me next week and talk details.

So I don't know if anything EXCEPT the surgery is covered - that 14,000 dollar bill. I'm not sure about hospital stay and all of that - but even if I have to cover the hospital stay, we can accept that kind of debt.

I'm still crying! Oh, Lord, thank you all. Thank you for your prayers and your kind words and your encouragement when I thought I was going to just fall apart! (Which I did. Many times).

July 1st - we're on!!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

slowest. week. ever.

This week is crawling by as I count the days down to Friday. I decided I'm not going to call the benefits office until after school - if they decide to deny me and I find out at 8am, right as my first class starts, there's no way I'll be able to teach for the rest of the day. I'll just leave right at 3:05, drive my butt home, and call from the comfort [read: privacy] of my own apartment.

Just 43 hours. Or so.