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Friday, August 22, 2008


ADD will relate.
One of the things that’s been keeping me busy lately is helping my wife prepare for the jaw surgery she had this past Monday. Evidently the lower part of her mouth is not large enough to accommodate for the teeth there. So her jaw was cut and brought forward a few millimeters. The surgery usually involves a three-to six-week recovery period, depending on the track of the procedure. If all goes according to plan, the cuts to her jaw will be clean and the shorter time will be required. If on the other hand, a piece of the jaw breaks, then it'll be the longer scenario. Unfortunately, while one side went as desired, the other did not. Three little pins on one side, a titanium plate and one screw on the other. For probably the whole month and a half, she will have her mouth wired shut.

We’ve gotten some pretty peculiar responses to the news of her impending surgery. One person, when told that Carol needed to be eating strained foods for the next couple of weeks, shrieked "OOOOHHH, I HATE strained foods!" Not particularly helpful.

Then there are the people who think that my wife's mouth not being big enough is a sort of punchline for something out of The Honeymooners. Guys in particular seem squeal with delight that my wife will be somehow struck dumb by the contraption that is located in her mouth. It is as though they’re thinking "to keep the old lady quiet for a while" is my desire; I find this more than slightly disturbing, not to mention insulting to my wife. Actually, she will be able to speak, albeit with clenched teeth. We have been warned that she will sound a bit angry ,even though she is not.

The worse part of this was the tremendous pain my wife was in on day one. Even with "the good stuff", her pain threshold only went from 9 to 8. this is a woman who did childbirth without meds before and only extra strength Tylenol afterwards. I made it very clear to the hospital staff that my wife does not complain idly about pain; if she says she's in pain, she's in PAIN. By the next day, the pain had alleviated somewhat, but she still has a modicum of discomfort.

Ironically, the surgery is considered successful. The lower teeth ARE lined up properly with the upper teeth; the goal was met, It was merely the methodology that was problematic.

One of the good things that’s come out of this is that Carol’s finally gotten a health care proxy, which I’ve been nagging her to do for about nine years. She thought it was more complicated or required more verbiage. But when she saw my version, which I had done 15 years ago and have altered twice since, she realized it was pretty easy to take care of.

She’s recovering well and sleeping a lot.



Johnny B said...

Man, that sounds painful.

Anyway, here's hoping that everything goes smoothly from here.

NucMEd is Hot said...

I got queasy just reading parts of that, and I work in medicine. Hope she feels better soon!

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

I sympathize with your wife requring strained foods---my significant other is unable to chew anything with any real body to it, thereby requireing alot of soft foods----makes planing meals rather difficult if one is going for variety. I hope her time in "Hell" is shorter than estimated.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Here's hoping your wife has a speedy recovery!

Patty said...

My thoughts and prayers are with Carol for a good recovery.

Uthaclena said...

All the best to your Wifey on a rapid recovery!!

Nik said...

Egad, that does sound tough. Good vibes to Carol and you both, I hope she's feeling better soon!

Fred said...


Sorry to hear about the tribulations Carol is going through--please give
her our best.

As for the folks making the ersatz Honeymooners cracks--tacky, tacky,
tacky. (And besides, don't they realize that if ANYONE in your family
were to benefit from having their spouse's mouth wired shut, the shoe
would have to be on the OTHER foot, such as it were?...)

Sorry. Couldn't resist.


Anonymous said...

Carol -

Hope you are feeling well enough to enjoy some of the lovely end of summer days we are having. Look forward to seeing you and Roger and Lydia in September.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your update, Roger. Please give Carol my best and our continued prayers for healing. Hope you are managing, as well!
Love, V and H

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Roger, Our prayers for this lovely woman. and for you.. Any needs re Lydia ? I still can't lift much after May rotator cuff surgery ..but your daughter is old enough that maybe that's not a problem. Love, Joyce

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Roger. It's good to know Carol is coming along well and that you both are dealing well with a difficult situation.


Anonymous said...

Roger, I appreciate the inside scoop. Many prayers coming your way! Let us know if we can help this week.

- BO

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much, Roger.


Anonymous said...


Glad to hear Carol is feeling better

I don't know what caused the initial problem but

Over the years I have had some trouble, with over bite and tmj

a bite plate, like the one they use for football and wrestling, worked well

I use it now when the pain comes back, I find it very comforting..

it keeps the jaw relaxed

-- take care, the best of my love to you and yours


Anonymous said...

Hi, Roger.

I'm sorry to hear about some of the insensitivity to Carol's condition that you faced. I see, regrettably, it's not only adolescent and post-adolescent straight boys who are like that.

Still, I've obviously not been keeping up, as I had no idea about any of this. I will keep Carol in my thoughts and hope she continues mending well.



Anonymous said...

Hi Roger,

How can I help?


Anonymous said...

Hi Roger,

Ugh! Quite the experience. I'm glad that Carol is on the road to recovery. This sounds awful -- both the surgery and the comments. I am glad that I'm just limited to tooth grinding and a bite guard.

Give Carol my best.

Jennifer J.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to her (and to you, as I know it hurts when you love the one that hurts).

Anonymous said...

Rog and Carol,
All the best and much love to Carol, hoping the recovery goes really well.

Over the years I have received plenty of indelicate and weird comments esp. during a time of loss. Most people don't mean anything mean by what they say, they're just thoughtless and don't know any better...I guess that's the reason...the only other thing I can say is that it was a lesson to me to keep my thoughts to myself and say only 'gee I am sorry', what can I do to make it better? So...what can I do to make it better?

Anonymous said...

ROG, sorry to hear this. I meant to contact you earlier--after your bike spill and your daughter's B-day. The Internet Nazis here have blocked any blog access, so I can't get there from here. Hope Carol recovers quickly and hope you are OK.


Anonymous said...

Rog: we're glad Carol is recovering well. Please give her our best.....she has been in our prayers!!


Anonymous said...

Dear Roger,

What an incredibly painful experience for your beloved!
I will keep Carol in my prayers for a successful recovery & lasting health. GOOD idea, the health proxy.


Anonymous said...

Hi Roger,

Best wishes to Carol, you, and Lydia while she recovers from her surgery.

Take good care,

Anonymous said...

Dear Roger, Please tell Carol I am praying for speedy recovery. Love, RA

Anonymous said...

It is a relief to learn that Carol's oral surgery is successful. I feel
really bad for the excruciating pain and discomfort she is experiencing,
but hopefully it will be over soon.
Don't be too put out over the unkind sly remarks and poor jokes of
some people. It is certainly not funny. Your family RE in my thoughts
and prayers.
Best regards

Leah said...

Hey Roger, Somehow I missed this post, and didn't see the email that you sent me about it until TODAY. I hope Carol's progressing well -- please let her know I'm thinking of her!

My jaw is not properly aligned, and years ago one Albany dentist (who I don't go to anymore) suggested I get surgery --- never did though. But reading your post has brought my focus to that unaligned jaw, and it's getting achey as I write this!