Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scott's Surgery

It's OVER!

For the past 6 months, Scott has been anxiously awaiting jaw surgery. I, on the other hand, have just been anxious.

He's been in braces for about 9 years, but he still had a severe underbite - only his back teeth touched, and he had to "chew" with his tongue. Every few months he's had x-rays taken to find out if he'd stopped growing - finally at the age of 22, he's full-sized!

So 9 days ago, Dr. Felice O'Ryan and Dr. Hendrickson performed the surgery at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California. The surgery was supposed to take 4 or 5 hours, but was completed in 3 1/2 because everything went smoothly and 'picture perfect.' When we were allowed to see him after he got out of recovery a couple hours later, he was alert and not in any pain. That's partly because of the meds, but mostly because the nerves in the jaw are cut during the operation.

I spent the night on a cot next to him in the hospital, but he was able to get up, move around, and gently brush his teeth by morning, and was released at about noon the next day.

We were warned that there would be horrible bruising, but the only visable sign that he had surgery is that his cheeks are swollen - he frequently wears huge ice packs. He is frustrated because he is always quite tired and naps a lot, but otherwise, he's doing so much better than we'd expected. And I was able to avoid the fetal position completely!

His jaws have to be wired for 14 days, and he's only able to drink fluids. He learned the hard way that jell-o is too thick to make it through the wires & ended up looking as though his entire mouth had been bloodied. Cherry teeth.

Post date May: I was absolutely over the moon that the thing I had worried about for 5 years didn't happen - we had been warned that he might be nauseated and would vomit while the wires were on. I thought that they would send a pair of wire-cutters home with us, but we were assured that he could spew the vomit between the wires and not choke to death. Mommy might have passed out, but Scott would have been just fine. But luckily, there was no vomiting, no spewing through wires, and no smelling salts for me!