Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thish Ish Shuper!

In my opinion, the expander isn't as bad as people say. Yesh itsh hilarious to hear me shpeak, but I find it funny too so I don't mind. It's tricky to keep all the saliva down because 1)there's a lot of it, and 2)you have to relearn how to swallow. The roof of my mouth dries out a bit which is weird but there's enough room up there to lick it with my tongue. I wonder if my roof is high enough that food won't get too stuck in there. Maybe I'm dreaming.

Kira, my tech, made me try to say "spaghetti" and "green grass" before she let me go and I'm not sure if there was any medical practice to it or if it was solely for her enjoyment. Fringe benefit of the job I guess. I don't blame her :)

I was curious how much expanding he'd like to do and the measurements look like 6mm. Dr.Styrt said this would be about 24 turns. So one week after surgery (which is an IMPOSSIBLE word to say right now) I'll start cranking twice a day and go back in after one week to check my progress at 14 turns.

Good thing I bought all this saltwater taffy to enjoy for Halloween tonight. (jk)

As Per Request

What are Orthodontic Spacers?
...and why do you need them?
Your orthodontist may have told you that you need to have spacers before your braces go on. What does this mean?
Some of your teeth may need brackets that are attached to metal bands that go all the way around the tooth.* Usually, the bands are used only on molars. If the space between your molars is very tight, it will be difficult for the orthodontist to put the bands on the teeth. Therefore, space must be opened up to fit the bands in. This is where spacers come in.
Spacers are little rubber nodules that fit between the teeth. In some cases, your orthodontist may use a metal spacer, which looks like a tiny metal hinge. The spacers stay between your teeth for several days and move the teeth apart slightly. You wear the spacers 24/7 until your orthodontist removes them. Do not floss teeth that have spacers between them (it will be impossible)!
Are spacers uncomfortable? Yes, they usually are. It feels like you have something stuck between your teeth -- and you do! In some cases it may be more than just uncomfortable; it may ache. If so, take pain reliever (such as ibuprofen) as needed.
Spacers usually stay between your teeth for several days; sometimes for as long as 10 days. The spacers are taken out before your braces are put on. The braces don't hurt like the spacers; in fact, when the spacers are removed, it feels so much better, even after the braces are put on!
Many people on Metal Mouth Forum have remarked that spacers were the worst part of the entire process. Perhaps that's not very encouraging, but remember, they're only in your mouth for a short period of time. You can deal with it. They'll be in, then they'll be out, and you'll be done with it. Hang in there, you're on your way to a better smile! And if those spacers really bug you, drop in to the Metal Mouth Forum and spill your guts. We love to commiserate! :-)
*Why do some teeth need metal bands instead of regular brackets? Fillings. If you have a filling that protrudes to the outside of your tooth, brackets cannot be glued to these fillings. Therefore, a metal band must be wrapped around the tooth instead. The bracket is attached to the metal band.

The Last Supper

After some prodding from a friend of mine I decided at the last minute to have a celebratory last supper before surgery. I guess I knew I would do something like this but hadn't been nailed down and it's been a busy week. When pressed I realised that last night would be the best time for it as I get my expander put in later this morning. So I had a small dinner with close friends at a little place called Fleming's Prime Steakhouse.

I ate 24 oz. of unadulterated Porterhouse fury.

It. Was. Amazing. They certainly give Ruth's Chris a run for their money. I brought my two favorite wines from Chile, a vanilla-y Cabernet Sauvignon and a leathery Malbec. They worked very well with the slabs of heaven upon our plates. I meant to take pictures of the event but forgot my camera. Shoot. Anyway it was a great time. I love a nice dining experience with good friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hitting the Bag

For someone who gets pretty squirmy around dentists I've gotten pretty good at regular cleanings. Sure it hurts sometimes but I can usually grit through it. And now that I've become very intimate with the spacer situation I can grind down a burger or two for the good of the cause despite the tenderness. But let me tell you, having a cleaning the day after getting spacers in is no picnic. I felt like Rocky's side of meat as he's giving it the business. Do yourself the favor and make sure your last pre-op or pre-brace cleaning is either a few days after the spacers, or the day before. That's a nickels worth of free advice my friends.

In other news, the fires are dying down and my family got to go back to their respective homes yesterday. I don't think I'll have to be postponed afterall (knock on wood). Makes for dramatic reading though, ¿quĂ© no? Thanks again for the thoughts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chug Chug

Well no sense in giving up just yet. I had my spacers put back in today and will keep on with my appointments until I hear for sure that I'll be pushed back. The good news is the winds have changed today and it's getting cooler everyday. My spidey senses tell me things will be calmed down by the end of the weekend. (Any takers on a friendly pool?) If I'm right, I think I'll be ok to go next Saturday. I asked Dr.Styrt what the timeline would be for brackets and he said 6 weeks after surgery. So we got that scheduled while we were at it. It's nice when pieces of the puzzle start to solidify, even if only in a small way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Things Could Be Worse...

You guys would not believe the October I've had so far.

To start off, I got called in to Jury Duty. Yes, I was actually on a jury. Well better to get it over with I guess. I was there for the better part of a week deliberating over a Battery Against a Dating Partner. They were both shady characters and honestly none of us really knew how a case like it could have made it to trial. (Not to make light of domestic violence.) But we didn't trust either of them and it ended up being a hung jury. Not so bad, a good week before surgery taken up in an interesting way.

Then I go play hockey and decide to block a puck with my hand. Slapshot right to the palm where there's no padding to speak of. When I get home I figure it's better to check into the ER at 12am than it is the next morning so I cruise over there for an x-ray. They send me home with some Vicodin and tell me it's not broken, just needs some rest and deswelling. The next morning I take a sick day to enjoy my Vicodin on the couch and get a phone call from the radiologist. He sees a fracture and I need to go to an orthopedic. Great. I've broken my hand before and it's not super painful but being in a cast for 6 weeks is more annoying than a little brother. So I go to the ortho(pedic) and he squeezes my palm near the wrist and says, "Is this tender?" "No"I say, "it's up here by the fingers." "Have you ever injured your hand before?" he queries. "Yeah about 6 years ago I punched a wall" quoth I. (This story deserves its own telling over a couple drinks.) You guessed it. The radiologist saw the old fracture. So I'm fine and on my way.

Well whew, I made it through the week and it's Monday morning, 6am. Imagine the contentedness on my face in the middle of a cozy slumber after a busy weekend. Now imagine my heart palpitating and lungs gasping when I become jarringly awoken by my phone. My family got evacuated for the fires. They're staying with me now. Everyone is fine and the houses are ok so far but god damn if I can't get a break. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. We're native San Diegans. This ain't our first barbeque.

Oh yeah, if the fires keep going there's a chance my "elective" surgery will be postponed again.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Two-Thirds of the Way There

I weighed in at a palpable 195 today.

I wish I was more interesting today but you'll have to deal with what I give you :)