Monday, February 26, 2007

Response to the Anonymous Comment

Hey anonymous reader who left a comment - here are my responses to your questions:

1) How long did your surgery last and did you have to stay over-night?
My upper and lower jaw surgery took exactly four hours. I spent three nights at the hospital. Initially my OS estimated a two-night stay, but he agreed I should stay an extra night because of my breathing difficulties. Don't worry - not everyone experiences those.

2) How long after were you able to talk after having the surgery?
Hmm. Let me think. Maybe 10 days. Through clenched teeth and the splint and four rubber bands. Once my OS allowed me to remove the splint during the day (after two weeks), it became much easier.

3) Do you have any regrets?
Good question. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Well, on a second thought, I proceeded with the whole thing (braces, consultation, et cetera) as soon as I learned about this type of surgery. So I *wish* I'd learned about it sooner, but really, since I acted as soon as I found out, I have no regrets. It's something I can benefit from for the rest of my life. I'm glad I did it. There IS no downside, as far as I can see.

The way I stumbled across jaw surgery was through an ex-colleague/friend, Isabelle. One day we were out shopping at Whole Foods, and very casually she just said, very bluntly, word for word - "Kristen, show me your bite. Do you have a bite problem?" I was floored, and refused to. My bite problem was such an embarrassment to me! She then told me that she had had jaw surgery five years ago herself, to fix an open bite (she couldn't even cut sandwiches or eat noodles). She told me all about her experience - the braces, the surgery, the cost - as we strolled through Whole Foods picking up groceries. Boy, was I shocked! It felt as though a door had suddenly opened for me. The next day, I called her surgeon and orthodontist.... and the rest is history in the making. I'm so grateful that she told me about the whole procedure. It is truly life-changing.

4) How many weeks of work/school did you take off after having the surgery?
Five. It's been almost four, I've got one more week to go. Clarification: Kim makes a good point (see her comment on this post). Five weeks is NOT required. I've "known" people who went back to work after 10 days, two weeks, three weeks, whatever. The length of time off really depends on your speed of recovery, your company/school policy, benefit coverage, et cetera. I took five weeks because I had no idea what to expect, so I wanted to play it safe and not push myself too hard too soon. I'd concur with Kim that at two weeks post op I tired very easily. A couple hours out of bed, and I'd need a nap right away. But after three weeks, my energy level came back almost 70, 80 percent. Again, how much time you should take off really varies from case to case, due to a number of factors.


Kim said...

Hey sure and tell people that five weeks isn't necessarily needed. I went back 1/2 days after 11 days post op and full time after 18 days. Other than being tired I'm doing really well. By the way, you look super. I continue to be amazed at the transformation. Kim

PS...what in the world are you doing up at 2:30 in the morning? I'd have to sleep until noon if I did that. I guess that's the difference in 30 and 40, huh? hahaha

Kristen said...

Kim, great point. I've just added the clarification to the end of the post. Thanks! How are you doing? I hope you're still putting in half days.

Kim said...

Hey Kristen...I'm back full days beginning this week. Monday was rough but today was much better. After work my husband and I went to the mall. I'm trying to get my stamina back so that I won't be exhausted by the end of the week. You know.....I'm just jealous I couldn't take off more time like you! LOL Kim