chenb•log

I don’t mind if I’m incomprehensible

Archive for October 2008

Backwards, Forwards

with 3 comments

New York, New York

I was going to post a few photos and say some silly nonsense about my six day trip to NYC. But then I got lazy and busy. Now the appropriate window for a post-trip entry clearly has passed. And I’ve got something more important to tell my nine regular readers.

So just one protip if you are going to visit New York (and you should): go to the observatory at the Rockefeller Center, “Top of The Rock”, if you want to see Manhattan from above. Do not go to the observatory at the Empire State Building.

Surgery

On October 28th I will be getting orthognathic surgery to correct my epic underbite. My former, now retired, orthodontist said my underbite was the worst he has seen. I’ve been wearing braces for two years now; it’s about fucking time.

The surgery basically involves cutting and moving my upper jaw forward and the lower jaw backward. My case is too severe to move only the lower jaw back.

For those of you who are interested, the two procedures are called Le Fort I Osteotomy (upper) and Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy (lower).  For the lower jaw there is also the Intraoral Vertical Ramus Osteotomy.  Although I haven’t asked my surgeon why he chose BSSO over IVRO.

Effects

This is what I really want to tell my readers: I will look different.  Mainly because someone will move parts of my face.

I don’t know how different.  After my sister’s surgery (only the lower jaw since her case wasn’t as severe), our uncle and the people at her orthodontist’s office thought she looked unrecognizably different.  I didn’t think she looked that different.  Her face was shorter and her cheeks got bigger.  But unrecognizable?  Nah.

I will also have titanium in my face.  How awesome is that?  (Very.)

Good News

My sister’s jaws were wired shut, and she was on a liquid diet for six weeks.  Since it’s difficult to sustain one’s weight on a strictly liquid diet (especially when it can be painful or tiring just to drink), she started losing weight and her body went into preservation mode and slowed down her metabolism.  When she started eating again, she quickly gain too much weight because of the slowed metabolism.  After she told me all that, I simply said “no, I’m not going to gain weight.”  It all made sense, although I didn’t check how the body respond to rapid weight loss.  And it’s not that I think my body is somehow different.  I’m just too god damn stubborned to let my body gain too much weight.  Plus if metabolism can swing one way, then perhaps a person can get it to move the other way too.

But I was very worried about weight loss, simply because I don’t have much weight to lose.  Fortunately, my surgeon told me that he won’t be wiring my jaws together.  Best thing ever.  While I won’t be able to chew for six weeks, I can still eat soft food.  That will make maintaining my weight much easier.

An Investment with Daily Dividends

Take out your health insurance member handbook and find “orthognathic surgery”.  Is it listed under exclusions or something like that?

On one hand, I should be upset that “insurance” won’t help pay for the surgery at all.  It’s the only thing I want done; I’ve never used my health insurance for anything.  (Hell, I actually waited until I had a job with dental and health insurance before I started orthodontic treatment.  Wrong move.  Wasted time and didn’t really save money.)

But I’m also thankful that I live in a country where a man of my modest intelligence is able to earn and save enough money to pay for such a surgery, and well-trained surgeons are readily available.  I was born into a place in China where no one had braces.  I certainly have never heard of them until I came to this country.  I don’t think our town had an orthodontist.  (Most people didn’t even have indoor plumbing.  But I don’t want to digress too much.)  I wonder how much things have improved.

 

tl;dr: orthognathic surgery soon; will look different.

Written by Barry

October 7, 2008 at 11:52 pm