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Post-op Photos

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I peeked at my files while I was waiting during a post-op appointment; the surgeon’s plan was to move my upper jaw forward roughly 3mm and down 2mm (apparently my upper teeth had a bit of an angle) and my lower jaw back roughly 3mm.
 

one day post-op
One day post-op.

A few people asked me about being in pain. There wasn’t much pain. The post-op experience is more pain in the ass than painful.

Imagine all the things you can do with your facial muscles. Well, now you can’t. You basically have no control of anything on your face below your eyes. (It would be totally fucked up if you lost control of your eyelids no?) Can’t smile. (It hurts to watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report.) Can’t spit. (You’ll miss this very much when you cough up stuff behind your banded teeth and after rinsing your mouth with stuff.) Can’t suck. (Some people brought up drinking through a straw when they learn of my surgery. I wish; milkshakes would’ve been very nice.) And so on. Oh, your face is also the size of Jupiter. And for about a week you’re constantly drooling, which is extremely inconvenient. And for a day you can’t breathe through your nose at all.

So there you are, standing over the sink, drooling out of the front of your mouth, sucking air through the back of it, and then you’d try to drink your meds and food without losing a quarter of it to the sink.

There’s more, but of course everything improved gradually. Very gradually. (Parentheses!)


Four days post-op.

Note the yellow bruising on my face and neck.  It didn’t stop there…


Six days post-op MySpace foto 5tyle.

It got even wider and moved slightly lower after that picture was taken. I still have a couple of spots on my chest after almost four weeks.



One week post-op.



12 days post-op.



Two weeks post-op.

Finally told my sister that we want to see the changes on my face, not the wall or my torso. In other words: zoom in plz.

When Joe and Sam got their kittens, I put up a picture of them with me. Now that they’ve got a child…


Barry: 20 days post-op. Penelope: 0 day post-birth.

Lil’ Penny: Uncle Barry, what the hell was wrong with your face?
Barry: Where the hell did you learn to talk like that? I know your parents don’t speak like that.

At any rate, when I score the x-rays, I’ll put them up.

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Written by Barry

November 24, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Backwards, Forwards

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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

Love and Drugs

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Here’s the belated obligatory Valentine’s Day entry from your perpetually single friend. Ok, it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. And I’m probably using “obligatory” incorrectly. Oh well!

During Eric‘s birthday dinner last weekend, a med student was telling a pharmacist about recommending a couple of drugs (benzodiazepine and sertaline?) to a guy who’s very shy but wants to talk to women. Naturally, I said I need those types of drugs. But they, both women, told me that I don’t need it.

What. The. Hell.

Exactly what signs am I giving off that make people think I’m any good with women? I don’t mind people think that, except it’s simply not true. Somehow I managed to go through puberty without growing a pair of balls. Whatever. I’ll work on it, however slowly and awkwardly.

But I don’t want people to think “Barry know what he’s doing”; I need all the help I can get. (Ok, no drugs. Maybe.)

You have some attractive single friends? Hook the brother up. You’ve got some ideas? Let’s hear them. Tell me things. “Dude, that’s a shitty haircut.” “Barry, that shirt doesn’t fit you well.” (I think only one of my college roommates ever hinted at that.) “You’ve got a poor posture.” (My posture was pretty weak up until senior year in college.) “Barry, that’s not an attractive thing to do.” Or, “Barry, you need some fucking drugs!” And so forth.

Moreover, I definitely don’t want the ladies to think “oh yeah he know what he’s doing he’ll come over and talk to me and spark will fly and it’ll be messy but in a good way so I’m just gonna stand here being all shy and when he looks over I’ll quickly look away because there’s nothing more inviting than avoiding eye contact.” No, no, no…actually, that messy part sounds pretty good. But seriously, give me something to work with. Don’t make me hit on you.

Anyway, my point is this, enjoy this dinosaur comic:

if there's one thing i know, it's women

Written by Barry

February 17, 2007 at 1:24 am

Posted in Bitch & Whine

Chocolate Ice Cream

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A short while back on the show with zefrank, he talked about making decisions, taking action, and not looking back, because things will work out. Just buy that pair of shoes and don’t check the price after you do, he suggested.

Richard Feynman also talked about this in the excellent Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Upon noticing that he was wasting time deciding on the dessert after a meal, he simply decided that chocolate ice cream will be it for the rest of his life. And after a difficult decision between teaching at Cornell or Caltech, he decided to stay at Caltech for life. When Chicago came calling, he turned them down before they had a chance to tell him how much they were offering. Even after learning that Chicago was offering him five times the money, he declined the offer (with a very amusing reason).

It’s a philosophy I agree with. Fuck the what-ifs. It’s not like we can go back do it again. The past is dumb. Learn from it and move on. And all that jazz. But some decisions are just difficult. Plus I don’t even like chocolate ice cream.

I received an offer for a position in Portland almost two weeks ago. Initially I turned it down because I was a little shocked at how low the base pay is. (But they make up for it with bonuses.) Then a message from a friend made me reconsider. So I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and in the end I just stayed with my first decision. (I don’t know why, so don’t ask.)

And that’s it. The decision was such a pain, I’ve simply decided that I’ll just stay at my current position for a while, at least until my jaw surgery. No more interviews; I had two this year. I really should focus on other areas of my life anyway.

(Oh yeah, if you are a good programmer, I know a place that’s hiring…)

Written by Barry

November 1, 2006 at 2:59 am

Good Job Me!

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Has this happened to you: a girl gave you her number, you punched it in, and later you found out you didn’t save it properly? Yeah, me too!

Maybe I’m one of those pen and paper kind of guy.

Written by Barry

October 14, 2006 at 3:16 am

Posted in Bitch & Whine, General

Things I Do Not Want To Hear

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Orthodontist: “Oh for crying out loud! Oh…”
Assistant: “Are they backward?”
Orthodontist: “Yeah…”

Thanks doc, for the effort. As a guy, I understand why you tried to force something in even though it did not fit. And how did you know about my high tolerance for pain?

Written by Barry

October 11, 2006 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Bitch & Whine

Top Stories

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Here is a series of headlines from one of my RSS feeds:

  • Fallout grows from Republican sex scandal (AFP)
  • Scientists issue global warming report (AP)
  • Tori Spelling, husband expecting baby (AP)
  • Court temporarily OKs domestic spying (AP)
  • U.S. gives N Korea stark warning against nuclear test (Reuters)

WTF mate? Tori Spelling? She’s not even hot! Her kid better reverse global warming or something.

Written by Barry

October 4, 2006 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Bitch & Whine