Saturday, September 01, 2007

7 Months!!

The elastics finally stopped hurting about three days ago. Thanks Mylene, Bill, Graham, and Brandy, for your encouragements.

I can't believe it's September already. New Year feels like only yesterday. Where did the time go? Seep through my fingers again?

Seven months post op - I'm ready to get the braces off and move on. Part of my lower lip and right chin still feel numb, but the feelings have been returning gradually. The photo on the left was taken on the morning of my braces "installation", in February 2006. The photo on the right was how I looked today.

Now that I've been through this, I tend to notice abnormal jaw alignments a lot more than before. Saw this girl at a Napa wine tasting today, who has the exact same problem I did: long face, protruding lower jaw (not quite an underbite yet), pointy chin. We chatted for a few minutes, small talk. Looking at her reminded me of my old self, and how I was always horrified by my own profile and avoided the issue. I was just dying, DYING to tell her about the jaw surgery! But even I wasn't that bold. After all, this is quite personal, and wine tasting isn't exactly the right forum for jaw surgery advocacy. :)

But for all of you out there who're considering the option, if it's medically necessary, and your insurance covers a reasonable percentage, then why not? My $0.02.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristen-
I have been following your blog for some time now (I love reading it :) I think I was lead to your blog through a posting on the yahoo boards. I just had surgery two weeks ago and actually, you remind me of myself a little bit. We are about the same age, I also had a long face, pointy chin, and was horrified when I saw pictures of myself from certain angles. I am SO happy that this surgery is finally behind me. But the reason I am writing is that something you wrote struck a chord with me. It is in your last paragraph that says 'insurance covers a reaonable percentage'. In my case, they did not cover my surgery. I fought for months and months on end and ended up cancelling surgery twice because of it. You see...I work in Washington, DC and my health insurance is self-funded and not subject to any state laws, therefore they could exlude Orthognathic Surgery with no penalities. And they even said in one letter that the medical necessity of the surgery (yes! they actually admitted it was necessary!) would not come into play since there was a policy exclusion. It truly is disgusting the way some health insurance companies get away with such things. In the end, this surgery is going to cost me roughly $25k, and I am slightly bitter about it, but in the end I do think it was worth it. Anyway, just wanted to share my story. Good luck with your debracing! I am sure you are very excited about it!

-Samara

Kristen said...

Hi Samara,

It absolutely sucks that your insurance flat out refused to pay for the surgery even though they admitted it was medically necessary. Just because it's not terminal doesn't mean they should get away with not paying. For crying out loud, what if someone has a leg shorter than the other? That wouldn't be terminal either - does it mean insurance can get away without coverage, too?

If it makes you feel any better, I paid $22K out of pocket, total - which includes the surgery, hospital stay, and the orthodontics. Without insurance the price tag would've been $100K. Crazy, isn't it?