Monday, January 26, 2009

Is it weird that I am happy?

Surgery is 20 days away and I am happy about it. Not that getting my neck cut from ear to ear and then have my skin pulled over my chin so the doctor can take the titanium plate out is fun (gross I know). But I hope that with this operation that I will finally be done with the major surgeries.

I feel that over the last two years my life has been on hold in some way. Almost to the point where my highlight was waiting till the next doctor appointment (there has been at least 30), the next CAT scan (7) or the next surgery (3 to date). Well that’s not really true as I took some great trips over the last two years; Los Angeles, San Diego, Disney World, Salem, Mass to name a few. But I practically live at Johns Hopkins.

Speaking of Johns Hopkins I found an interesting fact about the name Johns. Turned out his great-grandmother maiden name was Johns. That is where he got the s in Johns. That is for all you history buffs out there.

Anyway, I will find out the week after my surgery when I meet with my oral surgeon what the time frame will be to get my implants done. So I may one day soon finally be able to eat on the right side of my jaw. Once that is done I will feel whole again. Well as whole as one can get with ½ my jaw gone and my fibula chopped off and moved to a different place... (Too dramatic?)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Meeting the Big Three

Today has been a long day. Been up since 4am. That is the one bad thing about having doctors that are 3 hours away. At least there was no traffic and I am lucky my appointment was not next week during the inauguration.

My first appointment was with Dr B. and I brought up the concern of my swelling moving down to the bottom of my chin. He stated that the infection is looking for a way out and since the leaking in my mouth has stopped its trying for another route. He put me on Amox for 2 weeks to combat the swelling. I am really getting sick of taking all these antibiotics. Sometimes I just wish they stuck an IV to my arm and give me the drugs that way. It would be easier for me.

He also gave me the worst possible news that I could get. He has to cut into my neck again. All the way thru. He wanted originally to cut inside my mouth to take out the plate. But upon further examination and where the plate is attached too, he states he will have no choice but to cut along the same line as the original surgery and pull my face back and take out the plate. I almost feel like I am starting over again. He said he will not be effecting nerves but I don't know. Its a shame that he did the microdermabrasion on my scar last November as that was a waste now he has to cut back in. Maybe I need more then 3 weeks off of work.

I think at this time I zoned out. Good thing my mom was there but sometimes I wish I would bring a voice recorder to record everything that was said that way I could remember. I zone out sometimes. Its so surreal, Amelo.

I few hours later I meet Dr K. I have not seen him since April when I first swelled up. I gave him the run down of what has happening to me over the last 8 months. He took a look at my last Cat Scan that was done in November. I did not see any evidence of the tumor coming back as that was one of my fears. Just the swelling that occurred under my chin. He did put in his little Blackberry the date of my next surgery. He wants to take a look and see what I look like inside my jaw. If everything is fine then I don't need to see him for another 6 months.

He did mention a type of therapy used many for people who have radiation or burns called Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Therapy. From what I understood and looked up later when I got home was that:
HBO is a non-invasive, safe, and painless treatment for wound care. During the therapy session, patients lie down in a specially designed glass chamber and comfortably breathe 100 percent oxygen. This, in turn, provides increased oxygen to damaged tissue.
He said this is usually done 5 days a week for a few weeks. Maybe this is something to look into.

After lunch my next appointment was with Dr Sinada. You should see the glee on this mans face when I told him Dr B would take the metal plate out. I know he was worried that the infection from the plate would hurt the chances of the implants taking. He said that if things go well he will be there for the surgery to expose my implants or metal studs that are inside my month. That would make me one step closer to getting my permanent teeth. HAZZAH! I was just worried that it would interfere with what Dr B. would do. He said it should not. But he would talk to Dr B and get some sort of game plan going.

He also wanted me to do a Dental Cat Scan. 3-D imagining instead of a normal dental X-Ray. But Johns Hopkins does not have that machine in the hospital. But his personal practice does. So off I went to Towson to get it done. I almost got lost on the way. So that was no fun. Good thing I went home after this. Its been a long day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The infection is spreading. Again

It’s a good thing that I am meeting my doctors this week because I don’t think I would have been able to hold off for much longer. It seems that my infection has decided to spread, again. I honestly think the only reason it took this long is that I am able to drain a little of it myself. Otherwise I would have 3 chins by now instead of only a chin and ½. My luck they will want me to get another Cat Scan. That would be my 8th in a little over a year.

Good thing its winter as I can hide the swelling by wearing nice thick scarves. In reality it’s not that bad but I do get a little self-conscious about it. But I do get to go out and buy pretty scarves. I am developing quite a nice collection.

33 days till surgery

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I have my date

I finally got hold of the secretary for my doctor at Hopkins. My next surgery, and hopefully my last, will be on Monday, February 16th. He will be taking the plate out and closing up the fistula that developed in my mouth. I wish he did this back in November but there is no sense in looking at the past. I guess. I also made sure that the secretary knows that I will be admitted at the hospital for a few days for observation. My track record and all…

You can not imagine the relief that I feel right now. This will be all over. I hope. No more surgeries. No more swelling. I will still have to get my implants (3 or 4) put in but that will be the normal part.

I have scheduled a meeting with every single doctor I have every dealt with at Hopkins for next week. I just want to make sure there is no possibility that my body is rejecting my fibula or if the tumor is coming back. That’s all I need.

I will find out more later.