As per my last post, on Friday 14th of November I had an operation known as a bimaxillary osteotomy, or double orthognathic corrective surgery – in layman’s terms, surgery to completely realign both my jaws, so that the bottom jaw bites behind my top jaw, as it is supposed to, and as it does with the majority of the population.
This surgery was the climax of 3 and a half years of braces and over 5 years on waiting lists. I thought at some point I was supposed to be having the surgery in the summer of 2013 but that didn’t work out. I could have had it in summer 2014 but the only date available was the date after I graduated, 300 miles away. So. November 14th was the date and by the time it got to November 13th, it’s safe to say I was bricking it. I hadn’t really thought about the surgery in the run-up to it. I’m at university 300 miles away, and getting time off for this op was complicated – first of all emailing all the lecturers involved, sorting out extensions, making sure I get all the work done that I need. Then the not insignificant task of booking a train home, packing, actually getting the train home – that was a hell of a journey, which started with a broken lift in my apartment block, featured me breaking my (extremely heavy) suitcase so that the handle wouldn’t retract anymore, and ended with me losing my parents at my home station cause they went to the wrong platform, I assumed they were late and went out to the car park to wait, and we must have crossed while I was in lift and they took the stairs.
The surgery is big surgery. If anyone is reading this blog because they are about to go through it, don’t let anyone tell you it’s like having your wisdom teeth out. I did that last year. Quick whiff of anaesthetic, out for 15-20 mins max, home three hours later. Orthognathic surgery is a big deal, and if you’re going to have it you need to take at least two weeks off work/school/uni, preferably 3-4.
My surgeon left the hospital in the summer because he got promoted so I only met the surgeon who was going to do the operation a couple of weeks before the surgery. Surgeons, as a rule, are incredible people. They wake up in the morning knowing that they are going to cut someone open and poke about at their insides. You can’t go to work a bit tired, as a surgeon, because you couldn’t get to sleep. You can’t have a heavy night drinking before operating because you will probably kill someone. My new surgeon was no different. And three weeks [and one day, if we’re being picky] I’m starting to get back to normal and despite the nightmare of the first few days, the ambulance ride to A&E, and the being confined to the sofa for far too long, I have to say…it’s so nice to look in a mirror and feel like I look normal [except for, you know, all the swelling]. My face is balanced out now. I don’t feel horror every time I look at me. I feel like I have the right face now.