On September 17th (one month prior to surgery) I had a pre-op appointment with my maxillofacial surgeon. It was quite a lengthy appointment which I was glad of as it gave me a chance to ask lots of questions and generally be put at ease. We discussed the surgical plan and what he hopes to achieve before he took some moulds/impressions (to make the surgical models and splints), 360 degree x-rays and plenty of photographs. He also took various measurements of my jaw and profile and explained what I should expect during my stay in hospital - which will involve waking up from surgery with a gastric tube and (I'm cringing while writing this) a catheter. Eek!
A couple of days later I had a telephone call from my anaesthesiologist who introduced himself and had a chat with me about how they would be taking care of me. He again re-iterated that I will have a gastric tube and a catheter when I wake up from surgery. The thought of a gastric tube didn't actually bother me until just now as I have realised what it actually is. I thought it was a tube which goes down the throat to the stomach to deliver food. Nope. It is a tube which is inserted through the abdomen and into the stomach. For some reason that bothers me a lot more than a tube down the throat. Of course all I need to do to forget the gastric tube is think of the catheter. Double eek!
Then on October 10th I had a pre-admission appointment at the Prince of Wales Private Hospital where they took my blood pressure, did an ECG, took some blood (in case I need a transfusion) and gave me information about the big day. On October 16th I will be checking into the hospital at 6am and can expect my surgery to start around 8am. As it is a 5-6 hour surgery, it will be the only one my surgeon performs that day. Then after a night in intensive care, I will be transferred to a ward where I will most likely stay for 2-3 days.
Finally today I had a pre-op check with my orthodontist who also placed several surgical hooks into my mouth. These are small metal hooks which are crimped around the wire of my braces. They are used during surgery to help my surgeon move my jaw around once the bone has been cut. In the photo below you can see one of them between my front teeth.
So that's it! No more appointments now, just a count-down to the main event. I must admit that I am feeling very excited, scared, positive and apprehensive all at the same time. While I'm not too concerned about the surgery or the pain, I am nervous about the end result and hope that after all of this time and effort I will finally be happy with what I see in the mirror.
And on that very deep note I shall finish this post and will write another update soon.