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Post In Forever

Posted: October 6, 2014 by gennipenni in Uncategorized

Faceoff

Soooooo it has been forever and a day since I last posted about my surgery and everything that has happened since then. I am all healed up for the most part after my last surgery. My upper lip now does not have the noticeable scarring that it has before however now my lower lip (where they took and replaced the gab in my upper lip) has a single scar where the vein was connected. It is slightly bother some but everyone keeps saying that it is a great improvement then before. I have feeling back in my upper and lower lips but not completely (which could take years for the nerves to grow back). So in that aspect everything is going well and I am happy with the outcome. I also got my braces off to add to the enjoyment of everything haha, I was extremely happy about that.

On…

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Well it has been quite an exciting couple of days. If you are still following you know that Evan FINALLY had his last surgery on Tuesday!!! Big yay!

I’m going to recap the following days and post a picture for all to see!

We got to NYU at about 11 for 12:30 surgery time but of course nothing ever goes according to plan! Evan’s surgery started officially at about 2:30 after a consultation with the surgeon where he went over the surgery. He reminded us this is the easiest of the three he has had and it should take about 2- 2 1/2 hrs and afterwards a small part of his lips will be sewn together for a week to keep the blood flowing to the relocated part of his upper lip. Of course we knew all this already but a quick overview was great to calm nerves! After they took his back (with one last kiss with his “old lips”) his parents and I waited…. and waited… and waited. At the 4 hour mark we got antsy, at the 5 hour mark we got nervous and at 5 1/2 hrs we demanded to know what was going on. His father eventually found a nurse who called down to the OR (considering it was almost 8 pm!!) and found out that everything was “ok” he just was finishing up. Dr. Warren finally came out at about 7:55 to tell us he was done. Evan had a lot more scar tissue than expected and because of that it took longer to get through. He also wanted to make it “perfect” so he redrew the lines for about an hr before he started the procedure. All acceptable reasons to take longer (and we certainly appreciate the perfection) but some communication with us would have been GREATLY appreciated!!!!

Now we all know Evan does NOT like to wake up from surgery easily, this time was no exception. He stayed in post-op recovery until 11:40 ish and while he didn’t throw up this time (yay!! It was our goal to control it BEFORE leaving the hospital this go around) he did remain super groggy the rest of that night. We were able to take him home that night!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get another day off of my rotation so I couldn’t stay the next day with him, but he did ok! No throwing up, minimal pain but still bleeding a little. That was the only concerning item of the day, besides exessive drowsiness (but that was expected!) Today being Day 2, Evan is much more awake, in less pain but his nose is stuffy and he is still dripping blood. When I got there after my day I was able to help him take a bath and he seemed to feel better. He wrote to me on his phone that this recovery is a little easier than the past two, but very annoying with lips sewn shut and the dripping. We’ve been putting medicated ointment on the stitches, which he has under his nose, two strips down to his lips and a “y” shaped area on his bottom lip and of course all inside his mouth as well as outside, but the ointment makes the blood cake on his chin and his in hair (sorry for the graphics!)

For now we are really only concerned about the bleeding and hope it starts to clot more. Tomorrow I might call over to his doctor before the weekend and just get his opinion!

Sorry for the lengthy post, but here’s a picture for the end!! I’ll update again over the weekend. Thanks for all the loving support for Evan, I know he appreciates it all.

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Just wanted to share my favorite book from this summer. This video is from the author and reminds us to “choose kind.” I loved the message and I loved reading the book. Thought it was an appropriate post from this blog in particular ;]

Looking good an hour or two after surgery!!!! Longer post and more pictures to follow!

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Welp I haven’t posted in awhile and since Evan’s next surgery is less than a week away I figured it was time! Just when we think things are finally getting back to normal and used to Ev’s new look, it will change again. Although this time is much less of an external change and more of an internal change, it will still be a change.

In the past couple of months as Evan has been adjusting to his new jaw, so have I. Apparently he has had an easier time than I have! Go figure! About a month or two ago (warning tmi!) we were kissing and I had to stop him because I thought he was kissing weird. I felt like I was kissing an entirely different person. The way he was kissing was different, our noses didn’t fit together, his lips felt different, he attacked me with his braces (they never bothered us before because his top teeth were too far back to touch any part of my mouth) and he looked different of course. Being a typical girl, I didn’t say anything at first but he could obviously tell I was upset and it took awhile to get the truth out. I didn’t want to upset him because he had worked so hard for this surgery and I didn’t want him to think I didn’t like the outcomes. Yes he looks different, but he is still my same Evan and I told him that way before he even had the surgery. My minor internal freakout slowly turned into an external cryfest! Fortunately Evan understood as I tried to explain that I was not unhappy with the surgery, just adjusting to the changes. I’m not sure why it took me almost 5 months to feel this way, but I have a feeling it is perfectly normal. My boyfriend had major surgery, changed his appearance, of course I was allowed to have a freak out! I’m actually glad it happened later in his recovery because before that I was trying so hard to make things easier for him, so maybe it was better it worked out this way. Ok enough of my rambling about past surgeries because now we must focus our energy on the upcoming one!

Luckily I was actually able to get off of camp for both the 16th and 17th so I can be there for Evan’s surgery. Maybe this time I will actually make it into the room (if you missed that post after Ev’s jaw surgery- I was so nervous beforehand I couldn’t make it into the pre-op room last time) If I don’t make it in again, at least I can be there right after he gets out (which I made it for last time!) Unfortunately our best friend Brittany (who kept me sane last time) moved to her dream job in Indiana and won’t be there this time, so I’ll be hanging with Evan’s parents!

I’m sure we will be posting more as things get closer, some more pictures of Evan pre and post op, from jaw surgery and this one!

Thanks for sticking to read this blog, I know it’s been awhile but there’s still a lot more to go! Thanks to all who have supported Evan, especially as he starts surgery number two!!

– Genna

Well it seems like I am the designated picture up-loader  Which I guess makes sense since I take all the pictures! In the past week Evan finally got his splint out! To say YAY is definitely an understatement. I feel like this post will have way too many exclamation points, but this is an accomplishment and a turning point for Evan- so they are well deserved!!! We spent the morning in the city, waiting for his appointment. The night before it was supposed to snow, and so the joke was, if need be we were walking to NYC to get that splint out! I totally can see why, the minute it came out the relief in and ON Evan’s face was evident. It was as if all the muscles in his face instantly were able to relax after two months of holding tight and making sure everything was were it was supposed to be. Seeing him comfortable and smiling for real (there were smiles in the past 2 months but this time you could tell it was as genuine as could be) made me smile and realize everything he went through was worth it. His teeth touch, he is slowly starting to get back to a regular diet (no steaks or bagels yet- back to an almost normal “braces” diet) and he looked so relaxed, happy, relieved, and cosmetically everything looks almost normal. Of course there was NOTHING wrong with the way he looked before (hell I dated him for almost three years that way!) but this surgery was needed for functional reasons.

As an occupational therapy student I can truly appreciate the need for meaningful participation in functional activities, and chewing/eating is an activity of daily living- something you need to be able to participate in to live. This is not to say that Evan wasn’t eating prior to surgery for 23 years but improving that function will allow Evan to participate more fully- biting into apples, chewing normally, and preventing further jaw pain.

I will now step down from my OT soap box (thanks to one professor SBK for clearly influencing that whole paragraph- Jeff OT peeps you get that!) and go back to just being the girlfriend of one amazing guy, who I am very proud of for hitting this mile stone. WOOHOO for completing Step 1 on this journey that includes at least 5 steps (two more surgeries, teeth implants, and the removal of braces left to go!) I’m so glad I get to join you on it. ❤ Thanks to all the support Evan has had in the past two months especially- he is one step closer to his goal!

I won’t be posting for the next week as I will be working in a pediatric rehab center in Cuba (SOOO excited!)- I’m sure Ev will keep everyone updated if he has any changes!

Now without further adieu I give you 2 months post-op pictures (we are still waiting on professional post op pictures to compare! photo credits to Brittany for the hot dog pics!!!!!!)

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More pictures and a post to follow, but the splint it FINALLY out!!!