In less than 24 hours I will be out of surgery!
I'm really excited right now and, surprisingly, I'm not that nervous.  I'm staying calm and collected right now, but I think I may be subconsciously freaking out because I've been having headaches all week.  Normally I would just take 2 or 12 Excedrin and get over it, but Excedrin and Advil have aspirin in them so I'm not allowed to take them.  This leaves me with Acetaminophen based medicines like Tylenol which really don't work at all. Oh well, by this time tomorrow I'll have precious morphine and all will be well.

Since I won't really be able to do much the rest of the summer, my mom took me and three of my friends to Six Flags on Monday and I had a friend stay at my house for three days.  It was good having some more people to ramble to about my surgery considering I never get tired of telling people the gory details.  This friend that stayed with me told me about a friend of hers who had the surgery a few months ago, so I went to check out his Facebook and see if he had any pictures from after the surgery, but I didn't see any.  This discouraged me a little because I was hoping to see how someone my age recovered, but I guess it'll still be a surprise.  I like surprises!
At least, I'm trying to.

Yesterday my mother, my friend, and I went to the grocery store and picked up lots of food for my post-surgery diet and my prescriptions.

First we bought lots of Ensure.
With lots of special stuff to help me recover faster.
With different special stuff to help me maintain my weight.
Yeah, you read that caption right.  They make this stuff specially formulated so I won't look like someone that's been locked in a basement for seven years! I like it already!
Plus, I dropped one earlier and it killed a fly that had been bothering me.  Go Ensure!

And here's that wonderful bag of goodies my surgeon provided me with.
Squirt water bottle for my numb, immobile lips; a liquid diet cook book; rubber bands; a pen; mouth wash, a tiny baby toothbrush; chap-stick; a nice folder to hold all my information in; that wonderful Best Buy gift card.
The title sounds a little counter intuitive, but we'll roll with it since it has some okay recipes in it.
One of those okay recipes, however, is not the peanut butter and tomato soup recipe.

This morning we went to the school to pick up some forms that need to be signed by me because the actual date to do it at the school is right after my surgery.  They didn't even have all of them yet.
The lady said my mom could just sign them for me next Tuesday, but I want to go myself and make sure they give me locker number 1251.  I want it badly.  So the anti-swelling medicine I had hoped to skip out on will be ingested after all.
My arsenal of drugs--minus one bottle that I've misplaced. Oops!
In a few hours I'll be going to church for the last time for a week or so and I think it's been hinted at that there may be pizza for me tonight. Man, I love my church family!
After some serious prayer with my youth group tonight, my brother is going to take me out for frozen yogurt--which I'll hopefully be able to eat soon after the surgery-- and then I'll be coming home to be a total control freak and try to pack for the hospital.
My list so far:
  • Vaseline for my sad, sad lips
  • A book
  • Magazines
  • My iPod (here's to hoping the hospital has WiFi)
  • My awesome batman boxers
  • Glasses (Will they fit on my swollen face?)

The list will probably grow as I think of more and more things I have to have, but that's all I can think of right now.  
My sister just sent me some socks for my birthday (yes, laugh, but it's what I wanted) from Japan, and you know how the Japanese like to make everything kawaii--cute--so I think I'll take these and make the nurses laugh.
They even have little arms and legs!
Jikai made!
Currently Reading: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Current Weight: 119.2 lbs (Yes! That's up from last week!)
Current Task: Packing; pulling an all nighter?
Two days ago I went to see my orthodontist so he could put on my surgical hooks.  They're weird, like they're kinda flimsy and just generally not what I would expect from something that is going to keep me wired shut after jaw surgery.  I was also surprised to find out that everyone in the office was aware that my surgery was quickly approaching.  Creeps.  Anyway, we took some pictures and x-rays and I was out of there in about an hour.
After that we went to my pre-op appointment with my surgeon.  We were 45 minutes early so we sat in the waiting room reading lame doctor's office magazines for what seemed like forever.  When it got close to my appointment time a lady took me to the back to take more x-rays and get dental impressions made.  Yuck!  What is that terrible pink stuff they use for molds?!  She sent me back out to the waiting room, but pretty soon they brought me back to another office, took more pictures, and the doctor came in.  I, being the control freak that I am, had done numerous hours of research before the appointment and had compiled a list of twelve questions on top of the fifty-something that I printed out from this website.  Thankfully, my surgeon and his assistant were more than happy to answer my questions.  And they gave me this suede tote bag too!  I was thinking, "Okay cool; there's a water bottle, chapstick, liquid diet cook book, etc. WHOA! They gave me a $25 gift card to Best Buy!  SWEET!"
I'm totally having surgery more often.
Then we went to the hospital to fill out paperwork and take blood.  Ugh.  I'm not a baby about needles or anything, but the lady who stuck me couldn't find a vein or something and pulled it out a little and put it back in like five times.  No big deal though, since she's not going to be my anesthesiologist.

So, I did get a few of my questions answered by the surgeon today.
1. The medical name for my surgery is Lefort I and Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy.

Technically, he said there's a less than 50% chance I will have a splint, and that's good enough for me.

My surgeon also seemed really optimistic about everything, saying that I would only have to stay in the hospital one night and I wouldn't really need to be on a liquid diet-- soft foods will do.  He thinks the surgery will probably take about 2.5 hours, he will not being doing a genioplasty or rhinoplasty, and he will be taking out my wisdom teeth at the same time.
I have to be at the hospital at 5:00 a.m.  
I probably won't sleep any the night before the surgery anyway.

All in all, the day felt very productive and I'm glad I got a lot of my questions answered, including the following:

Q. How long have you been practicing as a surgeon?
A. Are you really going to make me show my age? 30 years.

Q. Will there be much pain?
A. Not really.  They're going to keep you really doped up at the hospital.  Any "pain" you might feel is probably going to be some pressure and your sinuses will be all out of whack.

Q. Will there be much bruising or swelling?
A. It just depends, because everyone swells differently.  When I see you at your one week post-op appointment you might think you're really swollen, but as your doctor I might not think so.  As for bruising, you probably won't see anything dark, but you may have yellowish bruises around your mouth or as far down as your chest.  I promise, we weren't trying to kill you.

Q. Will I have visible scarring?
A. None!

Q. Must I abide by any special diet like a liquid diet?
A. Not really.  Anything that you can mash up with a fork and requires minimal chewing will be fine.  Just take it easy the first week or so.

Q. How long will my surgery be?
A. About 2.5 hours.  I can do it in an hour if you'd like.

Q. Will I have a splint?
A. I talked with your orthodontist this morning and he thought that you would need to have your maxilla widened, which would require a splint, but I don't think so.  I would say there's a less than 50% chance you'll have a splint.  If you do, it will be a small one and it will not stay on very long.

Q. Will I have rubber bands?
A. Not right away.  Maybe after a couple of weeks.

Q. Will you fix my midline?
A. Yes, I actually just made some notes about that.  Your midline is obviously off to the left and your teeth seem to go up at an angle on the right.  I'll line up the midline on the top with your face, and then adjust the bottom to fit the top.

Q. Will you take out my wisdom teeth?
A. Yes, I'll take out all four during surgery.

Q. Will this make biting or chewing easier?
A. Oh, definitely.

Q. Will you be doing a rhinoplasty or genioplasty during surgery?
A. I've been watching your chin the whole time you've been talking to me, and I think it will be just fine.  I don't think your nose will need any work either.

Q. Do you think this will help with headaches, speaking, mouth breathing and dry mouth?
A. Yes, to all of those.  After surgery you will mainly be breathing through your mouth because your nose will be stopped up, but I imagine you're doing that already, aren't you?  I mean, you can't even make your lips meet.   I'd say on a scale from 1-10, ten being the worst, you're a nine.

Things that I feel better about:
  • The man has experience
  • Pain will be minimal
  • No visible scarring
  • The liquid diet isn't mandatory
  • Splint is unlikely
  • My midline is going to be fixed!
  • This might help my chronic dry mouth

Things that I'm more worried about:
  • I will not have rubber bands
  • My wisdom teeth will be taken out

Okay, so my midline is going to rock! This is something that I've been worried about because I'd never heard my orthodontist mention anything about it until two days ago.  I mean, I knew it was a problem and I figured they planned on fixing it one way or another, but I didn't want to mention it myself.  Would that have been like trying to tell him how to do his job?  Thankfully, he brought up that the surgeon would fix it.  I hadn't even thought about him fixing it because I figured they could do it with braces, but I think it will be much less painful this way.  I'm also glad that I'm not the only one that noticed my teeth are at an angle in my mouth, as if they didn't come in far enough.

Now, you may be asking yourself why I'm worried about a lack of rubber bands.  Normally I'd say that the less pain and hardware the better, but that means there's nothing holding my jaw closed.  I'm sincerely terrified that I'm going to try to open my mouth and ruin all their hard work!

And then there's the wisdom teeth.  This one is bittersweet for me.  Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy to get it all done at once and hopefully never have to go back for another orthognathic surgery, but that's notoriously hard to get through.  I'm just worried that that surgery on top of a Lefort I and BSSO will be a bit much to deal with.

Anyway, it's only seven days now!  Even though I'm a little worried, it's far too late for second guessing.  So it looks like I'm just going to have to stop being a control freak and let God handle it from here on out.
Please keep me and my surgeon in your prayers this next week as we both are preparing for the surgery!
I guess I'd better add my parents to that list as well, seeing as they both simply shudder at the mention of the procedure.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Currently Reading: Beastly
Current Weight: 117.0 lbs
Current Tasks: Praying and waiting; breathing deeply
Well, technically, it's 15 days until my surgery, not 14, but I'm going out of town as soon as I post this and will not return to do my two week post.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm still just counting down the days.
Nothing new has come up since last week either, so this is mostly just a post of my pre-surgery ramblings and come-aparts.*

*For those of you not from Alabama:  Come-apart-- hysterical fit of stress and frustration.

I actually managed to keep my thoughts off of the surgery last Friday through Monday by going on vacation with my parents to what is probably the most ghetto place I've ever been in my entire life.  I swear, nobody knew how to drive and there was this girl who announced--amongst other private details of her life-- "I GOTS TO PEE!" to all the lovely customers of Waffle House.  I was also wary when I saw that our hotel was right next to the funeral home and prison, but all was made well when I noticed our room had this lovely window seat in which I napped daily.
I was also distracted by endless hours shopping, bowling (which I of course lost at), and massive amounts of food, bordering on gluttony.
Just to touch on bowling, I will say that it's not that I'm a bad bowler per se, but more that my parents are unfairly good.  
By "unfairly" I mean that my mother is somehow good at everything, and that the sheer force with which my father throws the bowling ball knocks every single pin down no matter which ones he actually hits.  I, on the other hand, can only manage an eight pound ball-- usually switching to a seven once my elbow starts hurting-- and psych myself out by being hyper-analytical of every move I make.

When I was not eating or losing I spent most of my time sleeping in the magnificent aforementioned window seat, reading, or thinking about my surgery.  During my time spacing out I had these two thoughts: "I'm going to have a lot of time to read after this surgery" and "will I be able to whistle afterward?"

First--I'm going to have a lot of time to read after this surgery.
This is not a bad thing by any means--I love to read.  So I promptly went out and bought six books.  I've already finished two and my surgery isn't for another two weeks.  I finished reading What's Your St@tus?--a fluffy, vapid book that I can't believe I'm even admitting that I read-- and Teen Angst? Naaah...--a book of "essays" about the authors high school years.  If I only had the money to buy more...  
Right here, right now I'm making a goal to read twenty books this summer.  I think that sounds perfectly feasible with my surgery and since I'll have summer reading and a ridiculous amount of AP summer work as well, it might even be a challenge.

Second-- whistling.  I used to be able to whistle.  Maybe this talent will come back to me with the repositioning of my face.

Overall, I would say that I'm excited about my surgery.  Now that it's getting closer, though, I'm starting to worry a little.  I'm not anxious about the actual surgery at all, but the thought of being numb for weeks and weeks isn't really appealing to me.  I get really... claustrophobic, but not "small spaces" claustrophobic.  More like "I'm-freaking-out-because-I-don't-have-any-control-over-this-situation" claustrophobic.

And then there's the eating.  I'm so picky anyway, I don't know what I'm going to do on a restricted diet.  I generally don't eat meat because I don't like the way it tastes, so it looks like meaty, blended soups are out of the question.  I don't even like soup!  It's so, just-- I don't even know how to explain it.  The only soups I like are tomato and broccoli and cheese.  Oh, and clam chowder.  Maybe I can coerce my parents into taking me to Red Lobster all the time.  I also don't like smoothies.  Or mashed potatoes.
On top of all that, I'm stressing about weight loss.  Most people lose 10-20 pounds after their surgery.  I can't do that!  I don't want to look like this!  On the plus side, I did manage to gain four pounds with all the eating out we did this weekend.
I don't mean to complain, really I don't, but I seriously need to start looking into liquid diet recipes.

Next Tuesday is my pre-op appointment and when I get my surgical hooks put on my braces so I'll update you after everything is finished there.

Until next time!

Currently Reading:  The Spectacular Now
Current Weight:  121.6 lbs
Current Tasks:  Research liquid diets; make a list of questions to ask my surgeon.
Today marks two very exciting things for me.  
First, it's the last official, state-mandated day of the school year. 
Second, it's now only three measly weeks until my double jaw surgery!  

Before I get into everything about what has to be done in the next three weeks, I'll explain why I've made the terrible decision to go under the bone saw.  
When I was little I was this adorable little kid with big dimples and a nice pretty smile.  I was a happy child, just being NORMAL.  
Then puberty happened.
I know, I know-- puberty is hard for everyone, but add growing a giant mandible to the list of things that makes teenagers uncomfortable and you've got a very unhappy kid.  
Goodbye precious dimples.  

To be fair, I can't blame everything on the dreaded P. 
Not only did my jaw actually start super-sizing at around eight years old, but there is, ya know, my genes and all.

Since the time I was six I've been sitting in the orthodontist's chair on a regular basis.  My first appliance came at the ripe old age of seven, when I was awarded a palate expander.  It's this neat little device that sits in the roof of your mouth, slightly resembles a 
butterfly, and slowly forces your mouth into an entirely different shape.  Fun!  
It also had these great little hooks on the side to which I attached a torture device that forced my maxilla forward and shoved my mandible backward.  
Couldn't find a picture of the headgear, but that's okay--wouldn't want to frighten any small children.

When I was nine I ended up having my first surgery.  The problem was that my two front teeth weren't cutting through my gums, so they were going to help them along.  I imagined that the surgeon would just cut two small slits for my teeth to descend through; however, upon waking, I discovered two huge, purple-ish teeth staring me in the face.  My gums were missing.
When I was thirteen I had braces put on my top teeth.  My parents were gracious enough to spring for the clear ones for their poor, tragic mouth of a daughter.  Shortly thereafter, I had another sugery to do something.  This one is a little hard to explain and I don't fully understand what they did.  I had this tooth that was practically growing out of my nose, so the surgeon attached a chain to it and sewed up my gums.
It was pretty weird because the chain was visible through my gums.  They worked for what seemed like endless months to pull my tooth over to the right side of my mouth and turn it the correct way.
After I turned 15, the orthodontist put my bottom braces on.  Did you know they don't do clear braces on the bottom?  Anyway, things have pretty much been at a standstill since then.

And that brings us to the fact that I'm having my surgery June 16th because I have a class III malocclusion.  I realize that to those of you that speak normal English (and have normal jaws, for that matter) that means absolutely nothing to you.  In layman's terms, I have a severe underbite.  
I've heard this surgery called all kinds of things.  I've heard it simply put as orthognathic surgery and I've also heard names such as Lefort I and Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy, amongst others.  Number one on my checklist of questions to ask my surgeon at my pre-op appointment will be what the actual name for my surgery is.

Until then, I'll just be counting down the days... one slow day at a time.