A Slightly Askew Life

A Slightly Askew Life
Nick BrothersThe Free Weekly Managing Editor

Nick Brothers
The Free Weekly Managing Editor

Readers, I’m going away for a little while.

Today, Thursday April 9, I’m in Dallas getting a surgery I’ve been waiting for my whole life. I was born with a combination underbite and crossbite, and it’s something that’s caused a lot of jaw TMJ discomfort and annoying difficulties.

Eating things like steaks, apples, burritos, pizza and sandwiches have been something I’ve just had to deal with, rather than mindlessly enjoy. Instead of cutting when biting, which normal bites do, I have to grab and tear like some kind of godless savage. It also affects my speech and the crossbite has caused a deviated septum in my nasal passageway.

The procedure I’m getting, called orthognathic surgery, involves the repositioning of the jaw by cutting sections out and placing them at predetermined spots where they will be bolted together. It will reduce the length of my lower jaw, and my surgeon will surgically expand my palate, and bring my upper jaw forward. If all goes well, I should have a well-aligned bite. I’ll also look a little different, which should be a strange experience but a necessary one.

Getting this surgery will help my quality of life in many ways beyond finally being able to chew normally. Because of my crossbite, one of my nostrils is constricted due to my deviated septum and close to unusable. Thus, my sinuses have always given me problems. This surgery should alleviate that as well.

The recovery is lengthy, about a month, and I’ll be on a liquid diet for quite a while — just in time for beach season. During this time while I’m zonked out on pain meds and becoming a blender connoisseur, The Free Weekly publisher (my boss) will be filling in for me in my absence.

But please, this isn’t some “Oh, poor me” column. My condition isn’t life-threatening or scary. Honestly, most people tell me they don’t notice I have an underbite or crossbite. I’m lucky it isn’t something drastic, but nevertheless this is an important surgery. I just wanted to explain why I’m going to be absent and educate y’all about underbites.

Another thing I’m a little anxious about is how it will change the shape of my face. Most all before and after photos show jaw improvement and has it looking more correct. I’m hoping it isn’t too drastic or at least looks more natural. Pretty much everyone seems to have improved, but I’ve heard that looking at yourself in the mirror takes some getting used to once you’re healed up. I’ll be sure to put up some before and after photos of the process when I’m good and ready.

I’ve also had adult braces (such a drag, man) for the past year prepping my teeth for the surgery. While it sucks having them, it’s a necessary and beneficial thing to do, and thankfully something no one I’ve met really cares about. I’ll still have them for another six months, but hot damn, I cannot wait to relieve my teeth from their steel fortress of captivity. I do want to give a shout out to Richard Roblee, my orthodontist in Fayetteville. He and his staff are great.

In the meantime, keep a look out for my solo rap project I’ll be working on during the recovery, “Through The Wire.” I’m certain that no one before me has thought of doing something like this, and I hope Jay Z will like it.

As always, thanks for reading. I will return as Nick Brothers 2.0 in May with new and improved features.

Categories: Commentary