Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hey! Where is the other implant?

Today was a big day for me. I went back down to Johns Hopkins to see my doctors for follow up. The first appointment was with Dr B, my plastic surgeon. We have a running joke between each other. He never knows what to expect when he opens the door to the patients waiting room. (Will I swell? Will I be fine?) So, he opens the door very slowly and peeks his head in. It always makes me laugh. I always tell him that I love seeing him but not this much. Anyway, after the examination he gave me a clean bill of health. No issues to report inside my mouth. I did bring up again the lack of lip movement on the right. It has gotten a little better over the past 1 1/2 months. He stated that was a good sign. Give it time. He also brought up again that if I am not happy with how I look cosmetically that he can help me with that. But that would be in the future. Now I don't have to see him for another 6 months. HUZZAH!

I then went to see Dr R. He is on the oral surgeon team. I normally see Dr S. but he was not in that day. Today, in what I thought was just a follow up appointment turned out to be much more. He informed me that he would be making an incision over the implant fixture or screw that were implanted back in November and place the dental abutment or studs over them. This would make me one step closer to getting my new teeth. Now I knew I lost one implant when Dr B took out the titanium plate last month. Fine, no problem as I have three left. Or so I thought. After the Doctor put in the first stud, he had a hard time finding the other two. He had me take a panoramic x-ray. (Why did he not do this before hand was beyond me.) Upon examination of the x-ray he made two very interesting discoveries. The first was that bone had grown over one of my implants. Bone? This implant was the closest to my original jaw. Guess my bone did not like that there was a whole in new bone and decided to cover it up? Crazy, but that was the easy part. The hard part was the second discover. There was no other implant. WHAT?

As you can see from the x-ray there are only two implants. One to the left you can see the stud over the implant screw. To the right there is the screw that is covered with what looks to be bone. No other implant screw. Where did the other one go? Could Dr B not know he took out two screws or did it just slip his mind? Regardless, I can not get my implants done. Doctor said that he would need to place another implant screw in. So that would require more oral surgery. Great, it would be the 5th in over a year. He stitches me up taking out the stud that was placed in the back screw, worrying that it would get an infection, good idea with my track record. He stitched me up and gave me pain killers and antibiotics. So all this was for nothing. Again I ask myself why did you not take the stupid x-ray before hand. Whatever.

I will be talking to Dr S, my regular doctor tomorrow to go over this. I need to understand what happened. So, as you can understand, I was very pissed. Not to forget I was now in pain. So help me if I get an infection.

Monday, March 16, 2009

One month mark

Today it will be one month since I had my surgery. No swelling. Which is always good. However, I noticed a small red "bubble" in the back of my right jaw. I placed a q-tip gently on top of it and pressed down. I noticed that there was a little blood on it. Not a lot where I would be calling the ENT at Hopkins, but enough to make sure I tell my doctor in two weeks about it. My luck is that I am getting another infection. GREAT

Also there had been no improvement with the right side of my lip. It is still paralyzed. Feel like a stoke victim. I know the doctor said give it about 3 months but still. I don't like the way it looks when I smile. I don't like the way my lip moves, or lack of movement, when I talk. And I really don't like what happens when I try to drink anything. Lets just say I get more on my shirt then in my mouth. I have to either hold the right side of my mouth closed when I drink to prevent leaking or drink through a straw. God I hopes this gets better.

Scar treatment is still on going. Its only been a week so I am not really thinking about it too much. Mederma is making so much money on me. All these scar creams are not cheap.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Others dealing with Amelo

For the past year and 1/2 that I have been dealing with Amelo I have talked with some wonderful people online. Sadly they too have been dealing with the same thing. I have said before that I am thankful for sites out there that offer support such as the one on Yahoo!. I also think it’s wonderful for those who wish to share their experience dealing with such a disease. But that’s what this and other blogs are there for, help others. Besides, it is good therapy for the writer. Believe me, I need it.

Below on the right hand side I posted links to 5 different blogs. I encourage you to check out their story.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Scar treatment, week one

Today I start my scar treatment. I know in time it will fade but right now it looks like a bright red line drawn right across my neck. Doc said I could use any scar treatment out there. I will start with Mederma with sunscreen and vitamin E.
I am not a fan of the regular Mederma as it itches like heck and gets all flaky. Perhaps a combo of E and the cream will help. Says it takes about 8 weeks to work.

We will see. If all else fails I can always switch to a different product.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stupid Amelo

It is hard not to look into the mirror and see the side effects of Amelo. At little over two weeks since my surgery the swelling is minimal now. Only at a side profile can you really tell I am swollen. But what no one can fail to notice is the bright red scar that goes from one side of my neck to the other. Almost looks like someone tried to strangle me with a piano wire. (I watch too much TV). Monday I will start my scar treatment with Mederma or Scarfade, per doctors orders. That said my scar really does not bother me. What does concern me is the weakness of my lower lip, specifically my right side. It does not move. Not like it use too. When I smile its very crooked and one sided. Doctor said give it time. Anytime when you cut around nerves or stretch out the area it take a few months for it to go back to normal. A similar thing happened last time when I first got the reconstruction. It did take 3 months for the lip muscles to resume the normal function. But they are no guarantees that it will come back. That is what scares me.

I know I can not dwell on matters that are out of my control. I can not feel overly sorry for myself. (OK, maybe a little). But I find myself back in the same position I was when I wrote about it on Friday, January 4, 2008 from my first operation. I would smile, but I can't.

Stupid Amelo!