The Skull Demonstration


I am such a curious one...At the risk of being totally freaked out, I want to know every detail of 
my surgery. This first skull shows the cut made in the upper maxillary jaw bone. It's the part that i find most disturbing but I asked.... (crap, crap, crap)!! Oh and he promised to do an altar stitch under the nose so that the 4mm advancement doesn't widen my nose. 




Then under all of the flesh on my face, this is the hardware that will hold my upper head together. A constant companion forever these little chain link metal cuties.


This shows the cut in the lower jaw, they will actually remove bone on the left side to push the jaw back. And all held together with 2 little screws. 

I decided to document my entire process to the best of my ability. DISCLOSURE.....I had to commit to myself that I would show the ugly pictures, swelling, bruising, no makeup, hair a mess, you get my drift. So my first not-so-cute photo.  The white bits are the dental mold goopy stuff. This was my pre-surgical appointment where they make molds and surgical plates, get exact measurements of my crooked face and lay out the blue prints of my reconstruction.(the surgeon let me know that I have a BIG mouth, literally he had to use one of the bigger bite plates.) I thank you in advance for loving me despite myself, as i give an honest look inside my process...

4/20/2011

Gods angels are found in Dr. offices

Meet Barbara...
It was that gloomy shell shocking monday when I found myself on the phone, scheduling appointments with recommended oral surgeons. I realized right away that getting a "quick" appointment as a brand new patient, was not to be expected. I couldn't wait a month to see them, I needed to get my surgery back on track and in this case patience was not my virtue! I managed to finagle my way into one surgeons office that week the other surgeon in  2 weeks. Then I called Dr. Egberts office. I could hear her typing away on the computer scanning for an opening, I knew it wasn't looking good. She was muttering the expected 1 to 2 month wait. Tears were on the surface all day for me, so it didn't take much to  catapult me into a full on sob. Through sniffles and defeat, I gave her as much of my background as I could in cliff note format.
I knew she heard and felt the despair on the other end of her line. She took a long pause and said "well... if you can be flexible, I can squeeze you in on Friday. The Dr. doesn't see new patients that day, but i will squeeze you in. And I will mark your file as RUSH!!" This brought on a full throttle belly cry, muttering gratitudes through sobs and sniffles. (it was the ugly sob)

Friday came so very quickly and I had already visited with 2 other surgeons.  They were good but had discouragement in their tone regarding my insurance. They told me to expect rejections, and appeals and possibly months of a pre-authorization process.  Months I didn't have.  As i was sitting in the chair waiting to see my 3rd surgeon, a bright energetic man extended his hand and asked me to smile. He said "I can fix that...and I'm the best there is" he then said, "how did you manage to get an appointment with me today?" I told him that I cried. He said "no more tears we will take care of you" I said what about insurance, he said "Barbara is the best, have no worries."  and then a hawk flew by his window, my sign that I was sitting in the right chair at the right time in the right hands... (this is how my prayers are answered)

I spoke with Barbara and she had scheduled my surgery date on the monday that I called sobbing. She had already prepared my file and assured me that everything would be fine. She said that she gets things approved all the time. She told me to expect a 2 week wait to hear back (not 2 months). It was time for me to surrender, I had done all that I could and had to let her take over. I had to mentally re-adjust this new timeline, re-calibrate my expectations. I resisted the urge to call every day to micro-manage the process, I only caved in one time to see how things were going and Barbara had everything submitted and was in the process of getting this thing approved.

You all know the ending as I shared in the previous post, but let it be said that Barbara and the entire office staff at Dr. Egberts office held a positive attitude from the first phone call. Barbara has developed relationships with the insurance company and I swear it was approved so quickly because it was HER handling the case. I want to acknowledge and praise her loyalty and genuine service in her work. She put the fears under my feet from the first day, instead of on my head (like other offices).  What a true blessing this sweet woman is. I am now not paying 60,000 or even 30,000 for my surgery, My insurance is taking care of it all. And I am in such good hands with a surgeon who not only handles the lions share of these surgeries in SLC but makes smaller incisions and can do the surgery in half the time. MIRACLES YES... Expect them every day...

Deepest love to Barbara and staff... You are an angel that God put in a Dr.s office...

4/19/2011

The day the sky fell on my head...

"THE GUEST HOUSE" by Rumi proved to be prophetic in more ways than one.  I flew to SanDiego  March 25th to Prepare for my surgery. I had an appointment on the 28th With my surgeon for the pre-surgical preparations. 2 hours of making bite plates and molds to assist the process. The first disappointment came when my surgeon told me the surgery would be postponed 2 weeks due to a conflict. We spoke with the surgical center to arrange details and got a weird vibe from them. Hmmm. Little did I know,  the rug was about to be pulled from underneath me in a way I could have never expected.

It was Monday march 7th. I decided to call the Surgical Center in San Diego to arrange details for the blood draw. They need me to donate my own blood for surgery in the event that there needs to be a transfusion. The director of the medical center came on the phone and said.. "oh your Dr. didn't tell you.. the board here met and they will not be able to do your surgery here, its not equipped to handle your type of procedure". The blood drained from my head, I felt dizzy, and my hands tingled. I knew instantly that they would have to do it at the hospital with a price tag of $60,000. I don't go down often. It takes a lot to make me cry. I cried, and cried it was ugly. The good news for me is that a really dramatic crisis stirs up the problem solving archetype. I called my insurance broker in Utah and begged him for help. He said he would make calls and get back to me. It was only 1 hour later that he informed me that my medical insurance actually considered this a benefit with pre-authorization. (Since when?? have always been told that it was not covered) By mid afternoon that day I had scheduled appointments with 4 oral surgeons. (if insurance covers it has to be in Utah) But still... I don't do well sitting in the place of the unknown. Perhaps this a test to learn patience? surrender?....

With the support of my dear friends Monica and Rebecca I survived the sky that fell on my head. And then ohh what a difference a day makes. The next day was remarkable. Becca called in the troops, there was a gathering of some of the strongest women I know. Together we had group prayer but more like a calling in of miracles and manifesting. When complete, I had total peace. I knew that the powers higher than myself along with the angels that surround me would take care of it all. My only job was to find the right surgeon. And he was chosen at the end of the week. Miracles....YES!!!

April 7th 2011 shall be marked as the day of miracles manifest. I called the surgeons office to see if they had heard anything from my insurance. After a lengthy hold she came back on the line and said that they had spoken earlier to my insurance who said that they are paying for the whole thing!! Seriously the second time in 2 weeks that I cried, and cried.

So Im here today 7 days and counting. My surgery is April 25th It will be here in Utah and I can recover at home with a support team. Now my job.... Puree puree puree..... and pray pray pray.

Up Close and Personal


From this angle, My smile doesn't look so bad! Some even say "why braces?" (again lucky to not have a severe esthetic deformity) Keep looking you will see my troubles!!

Molds of my bite prior to braces. Those smart little teeth "compensate" to find the best fit. 



Up close and personal, you can see my delima!! Im not kidding when I say that only a couple of teeth  touch. This is what happens when the Ortho aligns your bit to the arch. I have lovely strait teeth now but they are no longer "compensating" which means they no longer touch!! (And FYI my jaw really is this crooked. Im not dramatizing it for effect. )

Arrgh!! I be cuttin' off yer gub an' feedin' it to me wench.







YOU CAN SEE THE UNDERBITE OF THE JAW HERE. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE "AFTER" PHOTOS!
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." Leonardo DiVinci~