Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Shoot!

Hooray! I am no longer being mistaken for a common woodland creature! I love my Orthodontist by the way. The office called me back Saturday evening to tell me I was doing everything right, but that Dr. Kaller was willing to see me the next day....Um....on SUNDAY?!?! I said thank you very much, but let's see what happens over night. It wasn't getting any bigger and there were no red streaks running down my neck, so I figured it wouldn't hurt salt-water swishing the night away (Pshhhhh...and some people think dancing on a Saturday night is exciting!) and wait for the morning reveal. The Tech said okay, but to call her cell in the a.m. to give her the scoop.

When I woke the goose egg wasn't any worse, but it hadn't gone down any, either, so I dutifully called in this report. She called back to say Dr.K would meet me at the office at 1:15 if I was willing. Sheesh, the last thing I want to do is foul up my OD's weekend with his family. I figure they're going to be seeing a lot of me in the future the LAST thing I want to do is be a royal pain in his keester now....I'd rather bank those kind of favours for a rainy day! But he insisted, and I must admit it was a huge relief to be getting his opinion.

He opened up the office and had a bit of a time finding all the necessary tools & joked that the tech's hid things on him as a means of job security! He was between his son's Science project and a hockey game....Are you getting the picture that I'm really loving my Ortho?!
He bent a particularly nasty hook on my very rear band and ground off the residual cement from when they installed the bands. INSTANT RELIEF- The swelling was 90% gone by bedtime. Between the marathon appointment I whined about earlier this week and the latest flesh wounds, my mouth was just severely annoyed with me. He did reassure that I wasn't an idiot & that I was to call him, weekend or not, if anything else goes awry at any time in this process.

I'll stop gushing now, but really.....I love my Orthodontist!!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Can YOU see the difference?

I don't know WHAT the heck is going on but it's rather strange. Obviously, your cheeks ripped up following installation of new hardware is to be expected and this has most certainly been the case, however the left side is toughening up quite nicely. The strange part comes in with the right side. Yesterday afternoon I noticed that my lower right jaw bone is quite bruised feeling and that I seemed to be swelling up on this side as well. (Heck, I'm a female thus the notion of water retention crossed my mind, but that tends to settle lower down & with remarkable symmetry.) Not really painful...the inside is definitely still tender and not healing over, but overall just achy throbbing sort of stuff. I look like I have the half-mumps! I'm trying to smile evenly but it won't move the same.

I'm a little leery of just going to the hospital clinic as they are never fans of anything mouth or tooth related. They'll either just hand me a script for antibiotics to (they assume) make me feel like the issue has been addressed, or they say,"you probably have a bad tooth, go see your Dentist", who says ,"your teeth are fine, go to the clinic"....and so the circle goes. This was the trend when first trying to figure out what was going on with my crazy jaw-TMJ- stuff when it first started becoming a hassle.

So, here I wait for a call-back from my Ortho's office. If this is normal I'm quite happy to keep salt-water rinsing and wait it out. Or if this is strange, and a sore has become infected, I'd rather kick it out before it gets worse. I'm just not a fan of antibiotics unless it's absolutely necessary. Hmmmm. Anybody else have this happen?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Next Great American Novel?

Oh the stories a mouth can tell.....if only the mouth can open far enough to reveal the juicy tidbits of knowledge gleaned through it's vast experiences. And my mouth could give you the next Pulitzer but, due to situations beyond it's control -lock down- you're stuck with the drugstore dime novel version, courtesy of yours truely's fingertips (and a healthy tipple added to my Tim's coffee). Think of it as the Cole's Notes of FINALLY being fully braced.

*Ummm, you don't get any visual accompaniment this time either due to the aforementioned handicap*

As most who might have stumbled across this will already have experienced, banding is a wee bit different from brackets. Bear with me as this was very illuminating for me, though feel free to nod and smile along with that knowing "Ah....yes..." purr in the back of your throat. Misery loves company after all :)

My 1 hour banding/wire change appointment ended up being a 2 1/2 hour marathon. On the way out the receptionist asked if she should be getting me lunch. Apparently each of the 8 molars to receive it's ring of 'promise' was a different size and none of which fell on an obvious marker; unlike shoes, my ortho's bands didn't come in half sizes. As each tooth was re-re-& re-fitted, I was envious of Goldilocks and the comparative ease with which she found her bed,chair and porridge to be declared "...Just Right!" By the time Dr. K approved final selection of bands, the old jaw was already on the verge of spasm, but No, he had to recheck one last time at which time the Bear trap sprang shut on his errant finger. Apologies aside, he was quick to note that I probably wasn't all that sorry. I commended him for his keen observational skills. HA!

Step one accomplished. Now to do the old lip extender assisted cementing of the bands. The 6's went on with nary a hitch - just the usual grunt-shove-bite-shove-bite again- to ensure proper fit, when it came time to cement the 7's. *SCHREECH!!!* (That's the sound of progress grinding to a halt, by the way) Oh, what do you's too tight now. The banded 6's are ensuring that the 7's go halfway and that's it. Let's take it off and try again! And Again.....Oh surely the third times a charm... Well perhaps Dr. Kaller can make it go on through his superhuman strength not yet displayed? (Nope, turns out he's a mere mortal as well.) Time to reveal plan 'J' with a choose your own adventure type ending: Let's put spacers back in and a) if you've had enough, come back next week and we'll band the 7's at that time or b) wait 5 minutes and try all over again. I chose option 'b' for two reasons:

  1. It was approaching lunch time & if I couldn't eat, NOBODY eats! and
  2. I knew by this point my jaw would be clamped shut for the duration of the week irregardless, I wasn't about to subject myself to the same all over again next week.

To wrap up the rambling and spare you even more repetition, they were finally successful with this rather important part of the process. Getting the wires in was a breeze and quite a relief as it doesn't require the equivalent of oral ashtanga yoga- no deep sustained stretching- YEAH! My lips and cheeks are now suffering post traumatic stress as not a millimeter was spared being rubbed raw from the struggle that ensued yesterday. It was a match that went all rounds and was touch & go by times - but guess who was declared the winner?

(Gotta love a surprise ending....)

No! ME, silly!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Witty Retorts

Question: (voiced with condescending semi-sneer) "Why do you have braces? Must be nice...I always wanted them but couldn't afford it..."

Response: (must be said in sincere, yet off-the-cuff manner)"Meh, my husband has a school girl fetish, so..."

This has proven most effective so far. I have another one, but due to crude content it shouldn't really be shared in such a public forum - you have to be more careful to whom it's expressed as well. :)

Well, I awoke this morning to, um, nothing going on in my mouth. I actually felt guilt over the lack of discomfort the spacers are causing as they seem to be such a nuisance to so many others. (I was kind of looking forward to a good rant concerning this, if I must be honest. I could bond with other agonizers: They GET me!!!) I hope this doesn't mean that they aren't working. How pathetic is that, eh? We get so used to embracing the "no pain no gain" in numerous aspects of our lives that I can't just be relieved at how smooth the sailing thus far; my first reactions are guilt and worry that they can't be doing their job?! Pooey on that!

Woo-Hoo! Spacers are a Breeze! This is great!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's official...

I am one lousy photo taker. I've devoted a lifetime to fouling up every shot that might possibly contain myself within the frame which has resulted in three progressive findings.

1. Curbing the urge to pull a 'face'~or finger~just isn't natural and denies (what I believe to be) my hard earned talent.

2. Due to this gift there just aren't many decent photos out there (though a few hilarious ones are locked in the vault!)

3. Avoidance leads to indifference. Don't like being snapped so never bothered to become the snapper. Though now that I think of it, that would have been a clever solution producing an entirely different opening statement for this post. Hmmmmm...

Let's play a little word association shall we? You know how the game goes. I say a word and you shout out the first word that comes to your mind. I'll even get you warmed up! ..... HOT ...... BATHTUB ...... SCHOOL ..... ICE CREAM ..... SPACERS ......!

Ha! What I wouldn't give to have heard your replies to that last one! I have to be honest in that I was expecting a lot worse and can only say that 'a-stinkin-noying' would have to be my word. Either that or 'Zoodles' as that's the consistency of nourishment I've been reduced to eating once again. I'm staring to sense a pattern. Granted it's only day 2 and I've enjoyed much better oral stimulation on nearly ANY other given day (hee-hee!), but I'm functioning fairly normally. Keeping busy and thus distracted seems to be working okay. I'm rather amazed at the power a few teeny-tiny rubber disks can hold over the entirety of one's mouth. Gross, but want to see?

Nothing like a before & after at 2 months...sheesh! Ah, the baby steps that keep one focused. Works for me. The Ortho tech had quite a time wedging them in there and said she hopes they'll make enough room by Monday when they plan on banding and stringing the whole shebang together. She HOPES!!! I leave for a week in the Bahama's on February 2 - those bands are going on Jan.21 come heck or high water.....I'll take my vice grips and give her a hand if she needs....but I really want that week+ to get used to everything before taking off. Would rather toast the good times than end up moaning with Kenny Rogers.

Cheers to that?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

Trust everyone enjoyed pleasant times with family & friends over the Holiday Season! I know I did and if my sluggish disposition is any indicator, it may take just a wee bit to get back to routine. So worth it :)

I'm not really a 'resolution' kind of gal: much build up trying to accomplish too many things which ultimately ends in let down and self-recriminations. HOWEVER...I'm going to try weekly goals starting in little things and building to more that might matter in the grand scheme of things. Due to taking a bit of a hiatus on the teeth documentation front, this week it will be to get a pic up of present alignment. Isn't that lofty? Meh, Not much is going on right now anyways so keeping reference points up-to-date is rather where I'm at. But just wait 'till I get my spacers for rear brackets on the 14th - the weeping and wailing to come have me positively crackling with anticipation.....

OOOh! Kinda funny braces moment during the reveries of New Year's Eve. Apparently a sizable chunk of a Gherkin pickle I'd consumed previously had lodged itself somewhere among my oral bling and become a projectile during a moment of later merriment, landing on the table before me. Imagine the reactions of those around as I calmly proclaimed "Mmmm! I was looking for that!" and popped it back in my mouth. Ha! Embarrassment just makes others uncomfortable (0r triumphant) and who wants that? Hey, it was an accomplishment just to bite into that thing, period.