I’ve had 3 adjustments since my last post. I’ve grown apathetic to this whole process. It seems like months go by with little or no progress, or worse… As you can see, I did not have popcorn for Christmas dinner. Actually, Popcorn Day remains a mystery, not only to me, but to my doctor it seems. I want so much to be positive, but have very little faith, at this time, that my braces will be off before their third year. This is one painfully long relationship.
My 21st appointment, which promised to bring good news, only helped rekindle the disappointment I’d felt after my original debracing day came and went without even a hint of acknowledgement or explanation from my orthodontist. It was either during that adjustment or the following that I got a knob on the last bottom-left molar (#7 for any ortho freaks out there). This knob would allow me to connect the bottom-left and top-left molars together with elastics. Now doesn’t that sound like fun ? I have to do the same on the right, but I already have brackets on those molars – very handy. In exchange, I no longer have to wear the other elastics. Hoo-rah.
Yesterday’s adjustment was a bit more dramatic. The orthodontist brought out a measuring device and, after measuring my top teeth, declared that there’s too much room on one side and not enough on the other. Well, I think 6 months after I was told my braces would come off is a good time to arrive at this conclusion, don’t you ? So, off came the top wire which was filthy and the orthodontist was not shy about letting me know it. I don’t know why he’d be surprised. After all, I’ve been wearing the thing for OVER A YEAR. He then added a spring to the wire which eventually fit between my right front tooth and its neighbor. I’m not sure what this is supposed to do, but I’m trusting my doctor because at this point dentures are starting to sound good which means I’ve hit rock bottom as far as giving a hoot.
I will try to post an update after my next adjustment on January 27th, but I wouldn’t count on it. Bah, humbug.
Again, I failed to post anything after my July adjustment. It was too depressing. I’m SO tired of wearing braces. I actually stopped wearing my elastics during the day. Shocking, I know. I just totally lost motivation. I felt like the song End by The Cure – "I think I’ve reached that point where giving up and going on are both the same dead end to me." Granted, Robert Smith was talking about a relationship but I honestly feel like I’m in a relationship with these braces, an abusive one at that. And I want out.
Now that I’ve gotten all of that off my chest, let me tell you about yesterday’s adjustment. But first I have to take you on a trip down memory lane. A long, long time ago, when I was a child, my cousin and I were playing around and I fell mouth first onto a very unforgiving marble floor. I lost a piece of one of my front teeth and a ton of self esteem. Eventually, I got the tooth fixed. I’m still working on the self esteem part. Fast forward about 20 years to this Sunday when the composite filling finally decided it was time to divorce my tooth. Bad timing as my NZ trip was only a couple of days away.
I had a 12pm ortho appointment. Although my dentist is a friend of mine, I called the office first to see if they could fit me in before using the "friend card." They were able to squeeze me in at 2pm. When I told the ortho about this, he said he’d leave the wire out while I went to the dentist. My friend did a great job !
Back at the ortho’s office, he had the wire I’ve come to know so well ready for me. He added some more bends to it and said I could stop wearing the elastic that goes across my mouth. This is great news ! He also said that things were looking really good and that the braces might be able to come off this fall. WHAT ? I know, we’ve all heard these promises before and I’m skeptical at this point, but I couldn’t help but fantasize about the possibility of having popcorn for Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, this is not a finish line I can sprint to but this visit gave me some motivation to get back to being militant with my elastics which will undoubtably help speed things up.
Today’s adjustment (#18 for those keeping track) was downright disappointing. Normally, the doctor and his helpers use orthodontic jargon around me and my neurosis soars as I try to figure out what they’re trying to say in plain English. Today, the doctor was quite obviously less than pleased with the latest panoramic xray and for once I didn’t have to know what he was saying to understand why. Thereon the computer screen were my top outermost molars pointing in opposite directions and not at all where they are supposed to be more than two years into this ordeal. The “helper” kept flipping back and forth between the current and previous xrays and mumbling “what happened ?” So, out comes the top wire which can pass for a miniature model of some scary roller coaster at this point though apparently not scary enough since the ortho then added even more bends to it. He also did something to a couple of brackets and added not one but two (TWO) power chains over a few of the outside molars. It’s painful and he didn’t even give me a “popcorn day” estimate. Color me frustrated. At least I got one of the good “helpers.” She was very nice and offered some really nice words of encouragement, so at least there’s that.
I was hoping for a de-bracing day before Geoffrey’s birthday trip to NZ in August, but with my next appointment scheduled at the end of July, I have to admit that might be a lot unrealistic. Le sigh.
I didn’t post anything after my 16th adjustment because I was feeling disappointed with my progress and worried that my treatment would end with my bite being in worse shape than when I started this ordeal. Here’s a shocker: I tend to worry a lot. Fortunately, I am feeling much more hopeful after my latest adjustment. My target date "on paper" is June 9th, but the ortho quickly burst that bubble last Thursday. However, he did say "next time (June 28th) we’ll analyze midline for completion." Music to my ears. He hasn’t given me a new target date, but I’m assuming I have a few more months to go. My midline is pretty centered right now and the elastics seem to be working. YAY !
Adjustment 16 was pretty basic. Just got a new chain on top and had to start using new elastics that go across my mouth. Fortunately, I only have to wear them at night because I can hardly speak when I’m wearing them.
This time, the ortho removed the top wire and made some bends in it to bring up my left eye tooth which was significantly lower than the rest of my teeth. He also added a bend to the right side of the wire, but I can’t tell what that was for. He also gave me stronger nighttime elastics because I told him the ones I had weren’t strong enough. No pain, no gain, right ? Speaking of pain, this adjustment was VERY painful. It reminded me of those first adjustments when I wanted to bash my head against a wall. On the plus side, the new elastics seem to be working nicely and I’m more confident that I’ll have a good bite after all this is over.
Today’s adjustment was a replica of the last (new chain on top and some more indentations on the bottom wire) but not as painful. Win !
I had an adjustment a couple of days before leaving for NZ. Naturally, I had to have one a couple of days after returning. Fortunately, it was a piece of cake this time. They just changed my powerchain on the uppers and made some crazy indentations on the lower wire. Nothing major, but I’m still sore enough for “just soup.” Almost there !
Today’s adjustment turned on the light at the end of the tunnel. I got a powerchain on top which means we’re in the home stretch. Also had another pan xray taken which the orthodontist seemed very pleased with. Although I don’t share his enthusiasm, I do trust he knows what he’s doing and I’d be lying if I said his confidence didn’t rub off a little. I’ve been wearing these torture devices for 1.5 years now and they couldn’t come off soon enough.
Unfortunately, today was apparently de-bracing day at the ortho’s office and I was the only one without an invite. There was a big popcorn machine and a table full of goodies for the lucky ones. I walked out of the office sans popcorn, but with not only one, but three scheduled appointments. Powerchains appear to be high-maintenance !
I am very much looking forward to the day all of this is over and happy to know I’m almost there !
Today’s adjustment was just cruel. I figured that with 7 months to my "target date" the orthodontist couldn’t pull any new tricks on me. I am a little naive. He changed both wires today. He added some "indentations" to the lower because one rebel tooth is still out of alignment. Then he changed the top wire to one he referred to as an inverted curve wire (or something like that). Sounds fun, huh ? It’s painful ! He also sent me off with new, stronger elastics. Oh what fun. I think it’s going to be a painkiller kind of night. On the plus side, my Spinning class was canceled, so I don’t have to teach. Yay ! And I don’t get to be tortured again until January 4th, two days before we leave for NZ. Fourteen hours in a plane with no food is not the way I want to start my vacation, so I hope he’ll be kind to me next time.