Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chipmunk Cheeks & Brace Face

The boy is doing fabulously! Though his cheeks puffed up to enormous proportions 24 hrs. after the removal of his wisdom teeth, he's now pretty much back to normal. AND I'm happy to report, he has developed a thicker skin thanks to all the chipmunk jokes he had to endure. Unfortunately I never decided which he resembled more... Chip or Dale... Oh well!

On the braces front... Well, they're still there and I'm finally at a point where I don't wake up every morning with the first thought that enters my head sounding something like this:
"SHIT! I have braces!... What the HELL was I thinking?"

I also confronted my worst braces fear, when the 14 yr. old daughter
(who also happens to have braces) of a friend of mine said, "YOU got braces?" with a squinched up face and a look like she'd just bitten into moldy cheese. Ironically, that same night I had a dream about my orthodontist being upset with me because I left a large antique cabinet in his waiting room. He wanted it removed because it was cluttering up the place.

Now, I know I'm really not an antique AND I'm also quite positive my orthodontist is thrilled with the extra five grand my mouth full of pain has allotted him, but apparently my subconscious likes to mess with me.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Yesterday 'Computer Boy' had all four of his impacted wisdom teeth removed. Something I've been dreading since the day his hygienist pointed out to me on an x-ray back in November. Why should it bother ME so greatly that HE should need his wisdom teeth extracted? Because I feared the experience might be equally as horrific for him as it was for me. Let's just say that I'd happily go through the pain of child birth two, three even four more times before I'd EVER subject myself to the pain of wisdom tooth extraction. Being the good mom that I am though, I spoke not a word of my experience to my son, so as not to frighten him. However, just as we pulled up to the oral surgeons office yesterday my son turned to me and asked, "How was it for you when you had your wisdom teeth removed." I didn't want to lie to him so I simply said, "Well, at least we know from your history of anesthesia with the lung surgery that you don't get violently ill from it and all you need to know about my experience is I DO."

So we went into the office and waited.....
As we waited I could tell my son was doing his best to fight off nervousness but you know, it didn't help matters when a woman leaving the office stopped and looked at my son and with a mouth full of gauze mumbled, "DON'T DO IT!" and then laughed. Yeah, that REALLY helped.

Eventually we were asked to come back. I was taken to a room to watch a video detailing how to care for the patient who has had the wisdom teeth extracted and my son was off to get high on laughing gas and anesthesia. The procedure took longer than I thought, roughly 45 min. (when my daughter had her 4 first molars removed it only took about 15 min.) and I was asked to come back to the room where my son was all looped out in the dental chair. As the nurse began going over instructions for me my son reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a pen and began waving it around. I looked at him and said, "Hey bud, what're you doing with the pen?... You want me to take the pen?" He shook his head back and forth with a look of frustration. So I said, "Here bud, I'll take the pen for you." He again shook his head and began grunting in a Frankenstein fashion. Then he removed the cap from the pen and I said, "No bud, what are you doing, put the cap back on the pen." To which he shook his head and grunted again. Both the nurse and I stood there sort of laughing at how goofy he was acting and then got really concerned when my son started writing on his hand. I thought, oh man this kid is really gone! I was trying to explain that he should give me the pen when I realized that what he'd written was:


He was trying to communicate with us but with all that gauze in his mouth it was impossible. Once he realized he was too loopy to even form a question he gave up on writing anything more on his hands. I carefully led him out of the office and to the car and once he was seated I handed him the folder from the doctors office to write on. What was the first thing he wrote?

Zak's train of thought has left the station.

Gee, thanks bud... Like I couldn't have figured that one out. He wrote a few other notes which I tried to carefully decipher as I drove home. I realized after we were half-way home that he didn't even have his seat belt on, which meant even I wasn't thinking clearly.

After we got home and set up on the couch in the family room, in front of the t.v. I finally understood why he had set up his computer and monitor on the coffee table. Before I could even get water poured for him he had the screen up and was typing questions and requests from his keyboard. Gotta hand it to the kid, he was really thinking ahead, knowing it would be difficult to communicate.

So here we are the day after... It's after 11 am and he's still asleep and that kind of makes it seem like any other day except for the fact that I'm not the least bit agitated about it. He seems to have weathered this experience without any trouble and that makes me more relieved than I can say.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

'Cause this made me laugh...

And laughing with braces isn't easy... My lips get caught on the wires.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Food doesn't taste as good when it ends up all smashed up in your braces.

Hmmm? Straight teeth and a diet plan, that's a WIN/WIN!


Monday, March 09, 2009

Brace Face

When I was 9 yrs. old I went to live with my mom. My mom always hated my teeth. As soon as I lost those cute, straight, tiny, little baby teeth, what I like to refer to as 'The Big Ugly's' came in. My mother (the loving woman that she is) would look at me and say "Ugh, those teeth, you know you got those from your Uncle Tom!" My Uncle Tom is my dad's brother and after my mom & dad's divorce it was no secret that ANYTHING associated with my 'Father' (as she liked to refer to him... "Your Father!" she'd say with a venomous tone.) was either terrible, awful, disgusting or downright hated, my teeth were no exception.

So at 9 yrs. old, when I went to live with my mom (because life with the new step-mother was unbearable) the first thing my mother did was take me to an orthodontist.

I'd like to interject into my tale a moment here and ask if any of you, ever wished they could have braces and put a band of foil across your top teeth while hanging out with your friends who also wanted braces. Together you and your friends would grin at each other with big foil grins and say, "My mom says I'm going to need braces." as though it were something to be proud of. Though for the life of me I can't imagine putting foild on my teeth today. Just the thought of foil in my mouth gives me the same shivers of repulsion, nails on a chalkboard induce. Anyway, back to my story...

I was THRILLED with the idea of getting braces until about 10 minutes after I had them on. Because they were painful, they didn't make me look grown up AND I had to wear a head-gear each night. As a stomach sleeper, this was complete torture! I remember ALWAYS getting yelled at by my mom for not wearing that blasted headgear. However, in the end it really didn't matter because two things happened.

  1. My step-dad got transferred to Chicago. I didn't want to live in Chicago. I didn't want to live 2500 miles away from my dad. I'd deal with the step-mother if I had to just please don't make me move to Chicago and be sent off to boarding school (that's what happened to my step-sisters.)
  2. After a bitter court battle I got my wish and went back to live with my dad. However, my mom decided that if I were going to live with my 'Father' then HE could pay for the orthodontia. Trouble is, dad had barely enough to take me to a dentist, let alone an orthodontist and my mother was well aware of that. I think she saw it as a fitting punishment for not moving cross country with her.
So the upshot is that I never went back to the orthodontist. Problem with that, I still had braces on my teeth and some of my baby teeth were still falling out and getting hung up on the braces and well, to put it mildly, it was just a mess. I went for 2 years with my mouth changing and my braces getting more and more embedded in my gums. Finally, one day my step-mother took me to a free clinic and I had the torturous metal in my mouth cut away and pulled out of my swolen bleeding gums. Yay me! So ya, all that torture and my teeth still looked like... well, like Uncle Tom's.

Years passed and in 1984 I went to work for dental x-ray lab. We used to work up x-rays and ortho packets for orthodontists all over the Los Angeles area. When I'd worked my way up to Office Manager, the technician I worked with convinced me I should get braces because I could get a great deal through one of the orthodontists we worked with. I saw the ortho and he recommended I have my wisdom teeth pulled before he'd put braces on me. Now I won't go into the horrors of having my wisdom teeth pulled in this post because my son is having his removed in 2 1/2 weeks and it just wouldn't be right to freak him out like that... So let's just say, having my wisdom teeth pulled? I'd rather give birth than go through THAT pain again.

Not long after I had my teeth pulled, my husband convinced me to leave the glorious field of dental x-ray and get a job at the company he worked for. With dollar signs in my eyes, I followed him blindly into the aerospace industry. This job change however, put quite a crimp in the whole orthodontia plan so I bagged the whole idea, making the excuse that it was now too great a distance from my new job. Fact of the matter was, I was scared shitless to go through that kind of pain again.

SO, fast forward to about a month ago. My daughter had an appointment with the orthodontist and I was sitting in the waiting room as she got worked on and the thought occurred to me, I've put both my kids through the torture of braces and they've both weathered it well. Sure my daughter feels some discomfort after an adjustment but she manages. Hell, I've had a breast reduction AND a hysterectomy, surely getting braces can't be any worse than that? Can it? Well, CAN IT?

So what I'm trying to say is, tomorrow at 9:45am I'll be having my braces put on. Sure, I'll be that totally goofy 45 yr. old ortho patient. People will look at me like I have a third eye,, they'll point and call me 'Ugly Betty' behind my back.... BUT DAMMIT, 20 months from now I'm gonna finally have straight teeth and I'm gonna smile until it hurts!

It's all part of my new campaign, 'Building a better ME'

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Dream Weaver

This morning I woke up very suddenly (and quite painfully) to the realization that I had thrown my hands up in the air with such force that I struck my thumb against the headboard directly on that tender spot at the base of the nail bed, so as to leave it tender and bruised.

I was either having that dream in which:

~The officer shouts for me to raise my hands in the air or prepare to die.

~I'm riding a giant roller coaster and after the long torturous clickity-clack ride to the top of the highest drop, I'm ready to experience the thrill of feeling my stomach in my throat.

~I'm an Olympic gymnast who just performed a perfect routine and achieved a flawless dismount from the balance beam.

~My team is down 2 points with 3 seconds left on the clock. I'm in the end zone and throw my body in the air to catch the perfect pass to win the Super Bowl.

Hmmmm? I wonder which one.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Spring... Glorious Spring!!!

The weather around here can give a person a serious case of whiplash. It's difficult to believe that last Sunday evening we were faced with a major snowstorm. Tonight my daughter and I walked the golf course in short sleeves and delighted in the feeling of a mild breeze against our cheeks. The dog enjoyed a merry romp and the spring peepers were nearly deafening as we walked along the marsh.

It's Spring... I'll gladly give up an extra hour of sleep for longer days and later nights. It's as if a tight knot in the base of my soul, which took form after all the trees had lost their leaves sometime in late November, has loosened itself and now the strands which held it together flutter freely in the soft spring breeze.*

*I know, such a difference from my last post but the mild weather has me feeling all poetic.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Smells Like Fear

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to serve our small downtown district as the chief organizer (heh!) of the 'Decorating Committee.' I scoff at the idea of me being the leader of anything and find it especially hilarious that I have one single person (my friend Lorie) to help with the project of beautifying our town. Oh, and did I mention the budget for this task is like butkus? Yes folks, though we lack an in house Rumplestiltskin, we WILL be trying to spin straw into gold.

So here's the thing. I've been kinda dragging my ass on getting anthing started. As a clever ruse I've been blaming it on the weather, which has been rather cooperative in that department (thanks, 6" of snow!) So for the last few days I've been kind of obsessing over what exactly I should do and how I should get the ball rolling. Then last night I had a dream and it went something like this:

I shit my pants... yes, that's right, filled 'em. Though I didn't realize it right away, I knew something just didn't 'feel' right. Eventually things started getting REAL messy and as I worked at cleaning up the trail of feces I had left behind, I noticed I was surrounded by people I didn't know, all grimacing at the mess I had made.... And then I woke up!

Now, if that's not foreboding? I don't know what is.

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