HEALTH: An update – BMP

My recovery from a triple mandibular resection last February continues. The debridement surgery in September created a major quality of life improvement. Pieces of the bone that didn’t survive the transplant in February were removed, allowing my gum tissue to finally heal. My food options multiplied greatly. I’ve even gained a few pounds back from the 30 I lost.

The next step is a bone and marrow transplant from the pelvic area of my hip bone to the area of my replaced jaw that was excised in September. They grind up the bone and marrow from my hip and mix with a substance call bone morphogenetic protein. My surgeon described it as a kind of fertilizer for bone regrowth. This stuff is surgically placed in the debridement area in a mesh and allowed to heal and grow for several months.

The date of the bone graft surgery is January 24th. I can expect at least one night in the hospital. Lots of swelling. Plenty of pain. Liquid only diet for 5 days. It won’t be pleasant, but compared to what I went through last February, this will be a walk in the park!

All of this leads to the moment I’ve been waiting for…the installation of my implant posts and my new set of teeth. The surgeon and I hope that I heal quickly enough so that he can do the procedure before May 1st (when I’m set to travel to Indianapolis to be a guest of honor at Mo*Con). I will be a lot less self-conscious with my teeth than without!

Why self-conscious? Because not having bottom teeth affects my speech. I can be hard to understand at times due to the lack of teeth and the partial lip and face paralysis. From a vanity standpoint, the right side of my face is going slack due to the lack of a large bone presence and teeth to support the tissue. The permanent dentures should alleviate that issue.

Plus, it’s hard to eat and I make a mess. I don’t want Maurice Broaddus to have to hire a handler to dab sauce off my chin! 🙂


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