Today I had my final set of appointments before I go in to hospital in just over two weeks to have my jaw broken and pinned together and six metal plates stuck in my face. By which I mean get orthognathic surgery.
It feels a bit weird, saying bye to the people who I’ve seen every 6-8 weeks over the last 3 and a half years and knowing that the next time I see them I’ll have a different face, pretty much. It’ll still be my face, but it’ll look pretty different.
Pre-op was a long process complicated by address issues. It was kinda nice to go to the main hospital though. My appointments are in an outpatient bit, we don’t see much hospital stuff happening. And I quite like hospitals. I always have. I wanted to be a doctor until I hated chemistry at A-level. Although it’s exceptionally easy to get lost in hospitals, especially since I am always distracted by the signs. They are populated with such interesting destinations as ‘cardiac catheter unit’ and ‘intensive care unit’ and I am fascinated by them.
Anyway, the pre-op assessment. Endless questions about how I am, family history of illness, do I know what’s going to happen, this is where you have to come, this is when, you can’t eat anything after 6.30am on the day of the surgery…I got given reams of paper, leaflets about what I can eat afterwards – whatever I like as long as it is totally totally liquid. No lumps at all. Otherwise my jaw could bend. Nice image, that. Blood was taken, height and weight measured, blood pressure and heart rate taken.
I have pretty much the perfect BMI scoring so they would prefer me to not really lose much weight after the operation – which could happen as it’s kinda hard to get all the nutrition if you can only eat liquid – so they’ve pretty much given me the go ahead to eat whatever I like for the next two weeks, all the kinds of stuff we’re normally supposed to shun, to try and build a little buffer. So that’s kinda cool.
And then I had to go up to see the treatment team. Which I was not looking forward to, as yesterday I developed a mouthful of painful ulcers. But they had to try out the surgery splints to make sure everything would be okay for the operation. They have little casts and models of my jaws and teeth and what they will look like at the end, in a big fancy hospital box with my name all over it and important surgery things in bags of sterilising solution. It all feels very important.
Suddenly it feels more real than it has done up to now. Apart from all the ulcers. When I am at uni I don’t much think about it. The work is starting to kick in and I have too much else to think about. But now I have to think about getting to hospital, plan when to arrive and stuff. They told me about the aftercare, all the pills I will be sent home with, the morphine drip, the ward that I spend the night on that’s in between an ordinary ward and ICU. This is happening, in 15 days.
No going back now.