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Sunday, July 8, 2012

orthognathic [‚ȯr·thəg′nath·ik]

A word we're a little too familiar with and is woven into our everyday conversations these days.
We knew it was coming, but still.  Seeing your child ushered away for surgery is the stuff that makes a mama's heart tremble.  Especially when that child is old enough to get it. 

Fancy schmancy techno talk says we are dealing with malocclusion issues owing to skeletal disharmonies and early onset of TMJ.  None of which can not be treated with orthodontics... although we certainly tried.  As it stands prior to surgery, Livy can not eat foods that require lots of chewing, things she loves like steak, pizza, and bagels... as her upper molars line up with her lower gums when she chews.  Her teeth don't even come close to closing.  And she is in constant jaw pain.  

There have been years of tracking her skeletal growth, countless dental molds, more visits to both the orthodontist and surgeon that I'd care to recount, and I won't even get into the money.  We now find ourselves at the point of orthognathic surgery as a last resort.  
It hurts.  
Literally and figuratively.  

During surgery, Liv's jaw will be cut, realigned, then held in place with screws and plates.  Her jaw will be banded shut-ish for 2 weeks at which time she will be on a liquid diet.  Total recovery will be about 4 months.
I will do all I can to help her recover.  Cook and puree anything she desires, help her Skype her BFF, buy her magazines to pass the time, and chauffeur her to and from the surgeon's office among other things.

Did I mention her surgery is Monday morn at 6:45am?
She's a bit nervous. 
She asked me to take some "before" pics.  I won't show her profile pics here.
Maybe after her recovery is complete, she'll give me the green light to show before and after shots.  
So am I.  But don't tell her that.  


  1. Nancy, I fractured my jaw when I was in 7th grade. Had it wired shut. Went through numerous treatments and lived in pain, bad pain, until about 4-5 years ago. Doctors had told me time and time again surgery was the only thing that would help. I was SO close to having it done just so I could live again but then we found a Dr. who helped. Email me if you want to know the details, but I am basically better. It's a rare occasion I get a "Jaw headache" (as I call them). Poor Livy!

  2. Oh! Poor baby and poor momma! I will be praying for success. What gorgeous eyes she has!

  3. I had the same surgery when I was 18, it was painful but so very worth it. I even love my profile now :).
    My tip would be to sleep propped up for the first week, the sensation of my jaw moving was too much for me.

    Good luck!

  4. Herbalife shakes are incredible for post surgery recovery

  5. Nancy,
    I opted not to do this surgery as a teenager. 15 years later I decided that was a mistake and had to do braces again and then the surgery, both upper/lower jaw. The surgery was no fun, but not as bad as I expected. She will do great, you are a good mom for encouraging her to do this now and not have it be a constant problem in her future. Oh, when she is ready, Kentucky Fried Chicken's mash potatoes where my favorite :)

  6. Poor girl! I pray and hope that all goes well and she will have a speedy recovery.

  7. I got braces when I was 31 (arents could not afford them when I was young). I had a slight underbite so they told me I would have to get my jaw fixed or the braces wouldn't work. Needless to say my teeth have pretty much moved back almost to the way they were when I was a kid because I waited so long to get braces and didn't wear my retainer like I should have for many years after. The surgery was really nothing. I have no pain now, did not have it right after the surgery that I remember. I was just swollen up for a long time with bruising and of course had to drink only liquids. Thankfully there are a LOT more healthy juices out there now (I am now 52 years of age) with vegetables and fruits in them that a person can drink. You will do fine Livy and will be able to eat anything you desire after your surgery. Thank goodness for modern medicine! Hugs to you!

  8. I will add Livy to my prayer journal!! Please let us know how she is doing throughout recovery. xoxo! Brooke

  9. You and Livy will be in my prayers. God Bless.

  10. Praying for a smooth recovery for your sweet girl.

  11. Will be thinking about ya'll tomorrow.

    P.S. I recommend rolling peanut butter cups flat between wax paper and freezing them. The key is to get them flat enough that you can fit them through the jaw gap. Delish.

  12. My lips are sealed - I won't tell if you don't! Prayers - hugs - and so sucks to see a child "down" but it will pass!

    hugs - aus and co.

  13. Aw beautiful girl...this will be a great thing!! Think of all the things you will be able to eat without all the pain!

    If you need it, there is a really tasty protein drink called Unjury. The chocolate is VERY tasty and I'm picky picky about those drinks, but you mix this with milk and yummo! They even have a unflavored one you can add to warm soup to get some extra protein. Something to keep in mind if you are having trouble getting enough protein in while you are are going to need it to heal.

    Good luck!!

  14. Thinking of her and hoping all recovers well. No more pain!!!! She is beautiful either way...I know that.


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