At present, when communicating with the people, most often I encourage them to do what they desire but are wantonly afraid to. We live just once, so we must put efforts to make it unique.
Viktorija, what was your life like before surgery?
While I was a little girl, milk-teeth extraction seemed to be the only painful thing. I visited the town’s odontologist regularly until once, after complaining about one crooked tooth, I got a referral to Žalgiris clinic. That’s when my road of suffering began, which has now ended with the story of a happy person.
My life before surgery, until I learned that I need it, now seems so foggy… It seems that everything was just a bad dream. I used to conceal myself in every photo, I used to hide, felt deep distress but was kind of accustomed to my appearance, and accepted that there’s not much I can do to change it. When I was a teenager, sometimes I used to get scathing remarks from my peers, but I didn’t feel inferior, physical defects provoked intense spiritual experiences. I often felt pain and aching in one or the other half of the face. It’s a pity I haven’t kept a diary. If I did, then many more memories could be revived, because, like I just said, now it all seems obscure. That’s why during my first visit, I waited for the orthodontist to propose to me to wear metals of some kind.
What encouraged you to choose this treatment? Wherefrom did you learn about this treatment method?
It seems I learned about it from orthodontist during that very first visit. After seeing me, she immediately explained the situation and said that probably it could be possible to straighten teeth for the time being, but the problem is far bigger, and it should be resolved surgically. It was precisely orthodontist, respectable Asta Abunevičiūtė, the first person who informed me about such possibility. At present, when I return to the very beginning in my mind and analyzing it, I increasingly often think that I was the biggest encouragement to myself. Since the early days of my life, I had an interest in medicine, its innovative development. The clinic has always been an environment that fascinated me somehow. I even think that a sense of security and trust in this field was a stimulus for me to move forward.
Have you considered any alternatives?
Had there been any alternatives to orthognathic treatment in my case, probably I would have considered them.
Before choosing orthognathic treatment, have you made inquiries about the experiences, opinions of others?
I have made inquiries on the subject, analyzed marker, preparation. I viewed numerous films with stories about people with a similar fate. It was fascinating to me, and I wanted to learn as much as possible about it, I was fascinated because form me it was completely new stuff. In real life, I didn’t know any person who chose to have such type of treatment.
Did you need support from your relatives or friends? What their reaction was like when they learned that you decided to have surgery?
I sure did need support. On the other hand, I was supported by my family only by my two closest people. My friends didn’t understand why I need this, and they thought I’ve nothing better to do, that I’m looking for trouble. They tried to embroil me into discussions and make me change my mind regarding potential complications and other alleged disadvantages. But my family acted on the contrary; they stood by me all the time and never had any doubts about what was being done. I always got advice and support from them. A separate link – surrounding people who are not my friends or relatives. Their comments were diverse. Some of them were supportive, and others threw scathing remarks, others couldn’t understand what I am doing and why.
How did the treatment process go? What moments were the most difficult? Most comforting?
The treatment process was long, exhaustive, and quite painful. Nevertheless, I was zestful, did everything that I was told to do by the team of specialists who took on treating me, so, with joint forces, I managed to endure it all. The hardest moments were when I was already an adult, when every time going for a visit to the doctor’s office, I hoped the breakthrough has happened, and there’s not much time left until surgery. However, everything didn’t go as fast as I expected.
During the treatment, certain unforeseen things occur, and they must be handled without planning, and they occupy a substantial part of the time. Still, as the saying goes, patience is a virtue. It was already hard when I just this day drawing closer, but due to poor health, weakened body, or some other reason, everything had to be put on hold. I got to be nervous, to cry – all kinds of things happened. The most joyous moment was when I woke up after the surgery and heard the words of respectable Simonas that the surgery went perfectly and was successful, and that I did great. No matter how exhausted I felt, I was the happiest person in the world at the time. From that moment, my life changed cardinally, and I got rid of things that depressed me and forced me to feel bad.
In your opinion, what is critically important when deciding and choosing orthognathic treatment? What would you advise other people who encounter a similar situation?
I think, it is essential to know your expectations are. Also, it is crucial to understand what is done in the course of such treatment. It is necessary to assess all the pros and cons. To people who share my fate, I can say that each of us distributes one’s priorities differently. If every day is so hard to bear psychologically or physically that you don’t know ho to go on living, then there’s nothing to talk about. In these times, already, many things are beyond our will, so why not try changing something that depends on the person in this case?
How did your life change after the treatment?
My life turned around by 360° degrees. I became happier, self-confident, up-and-coming. It’s hard to believe that self-confidence determines so many things in a person’s life. I cannot fail to mention that I’ve become healthier. There is some truth in a statement which claims that all diseases occur because of stress and fears. I fell in love with myself, and that’s what matters the most today.
If you could turn back time, already knowing and experiencing that, and as much as now, would you still choose to have orthognathic treatment?
I often hear this question from those around me, and my answer is always the same as if it’s programmed in me: I wouldn’t doubt even for a second. At present, when communicating with the people, most often, I encourage them to do what they desire but are wantonly afraid to. We live just once, so we must put effort into making it unique.
Orthognathic treatment always encompasses the joint work of the surgeon’s team and doctor orthodontist. The team of dr. Simonas Grybauskas thanks Asta Abunevičiūtė for collaboration, by courtesy of whom these treatment results were accomplished.