I wish I had been better prepared for today’s appointment with “Dr. T”. Perhaps then I wouldn’t have been so disappointed by his news that I will not progress to mushables until Jan. 4th at the earliest. Oh, and in order to make that appointment, I need to travel to a hospital in a faraway land. Technically, I think it’s still in Boston proper, but not accessible via public transportation for me. Not that my adventure on the 66 to Brigham Circle was super fun (boy that line gets sketchy pretty quickly, and also do you know what it feels like for your teeth to chatter with a broken jaw?).
Anyway. The bone still needs a couple of weeks to heal. Dr. T promised to take a few of the bands off today, then was going to show me how to do the bands myself (I didn’t really understand what he was talking about at the time). He had me lay down and attempted to insert this torture device (mouth-holder-opener that you see in horror films involving dentists?) into my mouth. His comment was, “Huh. you have a really small mouth. I don’t know if this will work. Eh, let’s just try to make it work.” Not only did it KILL to get that thing in (pulling apart my already dry lips – please santa, bring me Fresh Sugar lip care! – also pushing against the wires already cutting into my gums), he made me look at myself in the mirror. If you’ve ever seen any of the “Hellraiser” films, you can give a pretty good guess at how grotesque I looked! The best part is that while I was in this contortion, he asked me, “so, how are the kids?”
Then came the super confusing part. He took off some bands, but it didn’t feel like all of them came off. He said, ok, open your mouth as wide as you can. Was he kidding? Was it a trick? I tried to open my mouth and couldn’t. He looked disappointed. I could, however, move my jaw from side to side although I suspected that wasn’t allowed (and it hurt). He started putting the bands back on, telling me that it was quick work for him since he’s done this before (!), but that I should expect it to take me 30-45 minutes to change the bands.
Change the what now?
He explained that now I am required to change all of my bands once a day and once they are off, I am to practice opening my mouth for a couple of minutes. He tells me this will prevent lockjaw. And I am relieved to know that I finally have a way to kill an hour a day – what on EARTH would I do with that spare time otherwise?
Then he makes me watch him put the bands on in the mirror. It’s awkward helping someone put bands in your mouth. Can you imagine your dentist asking you to hold the drill?
He also gave me two tools – one plastic hook that is mine to keep (I received one of these at the hospital, and have been foolishly using it to cut up the dental wax), and then he gave me a tool that looks like a really big tweezer – the girls have a plastic version in their doctor kit. Oddly, I need to return this tool to him? It costs about $200? Dude, why are you giving me this? My house is where expensive things go to die…and don’t you NEED this thing for other patients? Then I vaguely remember he’s not a “jaw” guy – I think he normally works on random body parts and he does always seem to mention my deviated septum. Plastic surgery, whatta racket!
He asks me if I want to practice putting bands on in front of him. What kind of doctor asks this? I should give this guy some tips before he becomes a dad. Of course I opted out of this embarrassment.
Then I ask him about mushables. He said that I have to stay on a pure liquid diet as the bone is still healing. After the next appointment, I should be able to move onto mushables. Until then, Boost Glucose Control on Christmas morning. No Chinese food on New Years Eve (other than the broth from wonton soup). No French Toast Casserole on New Years Day. We have three families to see for the holidays, for crying out loud. That’s a gazillion meals to miss. I don’t envision myself sitting at the table, watching everyone eat while I slurp on my syringe. I think I’ll sneak off for private slurping in front of the TV or while reading my Nook. Who am I kidding? If I can’t eat, I’m on baby duty for sure! You wanna know what I’m most worried about smelling? Bacon! If only all of my families could substitute corn beef hash or the like. It’s time like these when you truly are alone with the misery.
Somebody at least please buy me a bottle of champagne and a straw. I promise not to mix with the painkillers!