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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Free the Jaw - June 2017

Monday, 26 June 2017

Finally, 6 weeks after the revision to the initial jaw surgery, Katie got "unwired" today!  She was so happy to be freed, she was all smiles in the recovery room.  Thankfully, we got into the Ronald McDonald House again - these people are SO kind to us!  We only stayed from late Saturday night until Wednesday afternoon.  We flew here from Houston, where we had been visiting for 2 days for my granddaughter Adelle's baptism.  We'll fly back to Houston, where Pam is, for a few more days' visit before heading home to make our big retirement move from St. George to Payson, UT.  We're right in the midst of having a house full of boxes, packed and ready to move!  Makes for a wild life right now.

The new combo bone in her jaw, from hip and rib, has evidently come together and healed well.  It's not a common combination, and Dr. Matthews says it was new territory.  But it seemed to work.  He reports that her jaw moves well, and that the bone will continue to strengthen with use.  He cautioned her to eat only soft things for at least the next month, to give the bone plenty of opportunity to solidify.

As to "next steps," he says she must work with her prosthedontist in SLC to see what he can do in expanding her upper teeth so that they meet the bottom teeth better.  Dr. Matthews figures that is the best, and maybe only, approach from this point.  He got a little emotional when he said goodbye to us, as if he didn't expect to see us again.  I think he has stretched himself quite a bit in accomplishing this much, and he doesn't have any more ideas.  So I hope Dr. Nick Egbert in SLC, the prosthodontist, will be able to do something.

Step 1 is to get her some serious dental work.  She has a lot of cavities, as you can imagine, after having her jaw completely wired shut for 3 out of the last 7 months.  During this most recent wiring, she fell when she got out of the bathtub one time early on, and hit her mouth guard hard against the door handle.  At the time, she felt like she broke a front tooth, and sure enough, when she got unwired, the right canine tooth is chipped.  (Dr. Matthews didn't find tooth fragments during the surgery though.)  That needs to be fixed ASAP as well - KT reports that it is very sharp.

Charlotte NC - The NASCAR Hall of Fame
The pain in her right lower jaw area, well below the new bone area, was caused by some infection starting to develop around the wire that was holding her mouth shut.  "Grannulated tissue" he called it.  He thinks it will resolve itself, by draining into her mouth or through the incision, and he did not feel it necessary to give her antibiotics since the bone isn't involved.  It is still very painful to her, and I hope he's right about that - I do NOT want to see another full-blown infection arise out of this!  She did sleep very well the first night after surgery, but last night was not quite as comfortable.  I think it would be prudent to just get her on antibiotics to ensure this clears up.

KT and I got to go visit the Charlotte NC NASCAR Hall of Fame yesterday.  It was THE best museum I've ever been to, and I'm not even a race fan!  So educational, and so well done - I'd highly recommend it to anyone visiting this area.

On, now, to get KT back on the normal track of her life - of course, with continued efforts to get her bite to close for eating...