My Crooked Smile (Part 1)July 22, 2010
My smile is a little crooked at the moment. It is not due to an injury caused by hearing a joke that was too funny (nor was it the result of an injury sustained after one of my bad puns). It is due to the fact that the right side (or left as you would see me) of my jaw bone has started growing again.
The condition is called condylar hyperplasia. The consultant told me that it is still not known what causes this bone growth, but that the extra growth has caused mis-allignment in my jaw.
The treatment will be carried out over a few years. I would have to wear braces to ensure that once the jaw (upper and lower) is broken, my bite will fit. A mould of my teeth taken at one of the early consultations has shown that my bite looks as if not much work needs to be done but that will be monitored as the misalligned bite will cause different wear on my teeth.
But before any of this can be done, a check had to be done to see if there was any active bone growth, after all, it would be silly to start treatment only to find the bone is still growing and then we would have to start the whole process again. Time for me to become radioactive. I was given a radioactive injection and told to drink and pee a lot over a few hours, then I had to return to the hospital for a scan. The results of this showed that there was indeed active bone growth. This would mean an operation before treatment can begin.
The operation would be to slice the side of my face open so that the surgeon can access my jaw bone and shave the bone and hopefully prevent future growth of the bone. There is some risk as the area where the jaw meets the skull is also near some nerve endings which, if damaged, could leave me looking as if I had had a stroke. A CT scan was now required.
The CT scan gave a 3D image of my skull and showed that the bone growth was larger than originally thought. The consultant needs to consult with others.
This is where the current process ends. I was told the results of the CT scan yesterday but I will be going to the dental clinic in August where, hopefully, I will learn more as to what the gameplan for me will be. Originally, I was planning on having the bone shave operation in the new year as I would be able to enjoy Christmas and Christmas time is the busiest time of year for me at work.
Although I have been alone at all my hospital appoinments, I am very lucky to have strong support, especially from an unexpected source ~ twitter.
There have been many people there who have brightened my day, made me laugh or inspired me with their awesomeness that I feel far more able to manage my fears than I otherwise would have been able to do. For that I thank you (I hope you know who you are). I shan’t name names for fear of forgetting someone.
To be continued…