Dr. Gordon surprised us again today. We thought today was to be a pretty easy surgery (#8 since 1 June), just to wire her mouth shut and bring that new upper jaw down for her teeth to meet. Well, he got in there and because her upper jaw still had so little bone, and the bone it did have was not good quality, he called out to the waiting room to ask Pam for permission to do some bone grafting on her upper jaw. He said it would take far too long to create enough good bone up there to stabilize things adequately. Pam gave her approval, and boy, did he go to work! Not only did he give her bone to boost that upper jaw, but also placed the first layer of cheekbone AND worked on her nose!
Doesn't she look great?! I mean, you've got to get past the blood, but you can definitely see her face coming together. It's just beautiful to me. The bad thing was that I had promised her I'd be there for the "BIG" surgery, thinking it was scheduled for 26 October. Today's was supposed to be relatively minor. Now, she's recovering without me there to hold her hand, sing into her head, and just hug and pray with her. It was hard on both of us tonight as she called and I said a prayer with her over the phone. I'm so glad Pam, Ali and Wade are there. She needs family! She always wants to hear the voices of family members that aren't there - right after surgery is a tough time for her.
The swelling will get pretty great over the next few days before it starts coming down again, so I'm glad to get this early shot that shows what she'll look like. Our TCS friend, Carrie, had these cheekbones implanted earlier this summer, so we kind of know what to expect. Carrie, who is 18, said that the recovery pain was not nearly as bad with this part of the process as it was with the jaw distraction, so I'm hoping that'll be the case with Katie, too.
When I talked to Katie tonight, about two hours ago, she couldn't really talk. But when I mentioned that it must be nice to be rid of the R.E.D. device, she nodded her agreement to Mom, who relayed that response to me. If I'm remembering right, she's been wearing that thing since July 20th, so almost a full two months! You can see in the picture where the R.E.D. injured the temple area; those should heal completely, and the hair follicles will regenerate, the Dr. assures us.
I'm excited for how great she's looking! Now, let's all pray that her recovery goes well, that no infection sets in, and that her pain is minimized as much as possible. And that Katie's normal, jovial, full -of-life self will quickly return to her spirit. She has been through so much. I know she's going to be vey pleased with the end result, but what a row to hoe to get get there! Thanks for your faith and prayers.