Coming into the home stretch!

I had an appointment with Dr. T yesterday. The good news is: there is an end in sight. The bad news is: I’m still fully banded through the 20th!

He was very impressed with my banding technique and deemed the way I had my teeth set “perfect.” He took pictures of my mouth (did I mention how I signed a release to allow these pictures to be potentially used in publications or textbooks???) and removed the bands to test how far I could open my mouth. It was about 15 mm. Interestingly, he stuck his hand in mouth to see if he could stretch it further. Ouch and EWWW! We took another picture with a ruler in front of my mouth. Fun cocktail party fact: a normal adult should be able to open his or her mouth between 30-45 mm. The 30 mm is normal for a small female like me, so I’m halfway there. He goes on to describe the follow-up therapy I’ll need when it’s all said and done. Apparently, an occupational therapist will need to teach me how to chew gum properly. No joke.  I hope the therapist also has a seminar for eating movie popcorn!

P was kind enough to drive me to the appointment.  Faulkner Hospital‘s tagline should be:  we’re technically in the city, but feel like a world away!  P asked the doctor about the final step of removing the arch bars and wires, and Dr. T confirmed that it will be an outpatient procedure to be performed in a little over two weeks.  Dr. T explained to me that there’s a good chance that I can be intubated normally, as opposed to through the nose.  If we have to go through the nose, it will be difficult because (say it with me!) of my deviated septum.  I had been considering asking Dr. T about fixing my nose someday, so I started to tell him about how I couldn’t understand where my nose went wrong.  We were watching home movies over Christmas that my sister had burned onto DVDs for my mom.  The year was 1988, and I was 12 going on 13.  My nose was so dead-on straight that you could’ve used it to set time.  Ok, you could’ve used it as a level.  I’ve never been hit in the nose – I’ve actually only been punched in the face once, by my junior high school boyfriend’s older sister, but that was in my eye.  And that’s a whole other story!

Ok, so I guess it does look like it’s starting to grow crooked!  And damn, I miss that skin – even the freckles!

Dr. T  believes faces just sometimes grow weird.  He thinks it may have to do with how different levels of blood flow through the sides of the body.  He told me that he has a patient with one  side of his face larger than the other (how on earth do they fix THAT?).  Then Dr. T sighed, probably out of exasperation, and said something unexpected.  He said that most people believe that beauty = symmetry, but that true beauty is often in the imperfections.  Now, I’ve never seen any data on that, but it was a nice thing for him to say.  And now that I think about it, Tyra and co often dismiss the “generically beautiful” people from Top Model, favoring those with a distinctive look.  So his comment put further plastic surgery out of my mind for the moment.   That, and looking at recent pictures of Rose McGowan!

I’m sure that P regretted his decision to come with me when I threw him under the bus telling Dr. T that P has the worst bite ever.  Dr. T took a look  in his mouth and almost fell off his stool.  My god that’s bad – he said.  Sorry, P.  I was just tired of focusing on how weird I looked.

Did you know that there are several types and sizes of bands used in jaw surgery and/or orthodontistry?  Dr. T informed us that we could tell the difference between the “adult” bands and the “youth” bands because the youth bands have helpful pictures on the packages of hang gliders or skateboarders.  The hang gliders are the heaviest bands, by the way.  Presumably because you can do more damage hang gliding than skateboarding.  He told me that he wanted me to start using the heaviest bands possible.  Even though I was doing fine with the bands that I was using.  And even though I’m in the home stretch.  I was disappointed, because I was expecting to lighten the load in my mouth.  He made me put five heavy bands in, which instantly made me feel like I had a mouth full of cement.  He did say that I am allowed to take the bands off to eat mushables.  Hooray!  But I am to keep the bands on at all other times.  Neither he nor I could get the heavy bands to fit in the back of my mouth, so then he said that I could actually continue to use the bands that I had if it worked better for me.  This was not my first indication that he may not know 100% what he is talking about.

I have since ditched the heavy hang gliding bands.  They compress my teeth too much, giving me a constant headache and making me feel that I am grinding my teeth at all times.  Also, I was having crazy jaw spasms in my sleep last night.

Oh, to be temporarily free and eat mushables is glorious!  So, what did I have for my first meal?  Two things that I have been absolutely obsessed with:  scrambled eggs with Frank’s Red Hot and sliced baked sweet potatoes with chili powder.  I think after weeks of mostly sweet stuff, my body is craving the spicy and savory.  I also tried overcooked Barilla Plus pasta with semi-homemade tomato sauce with just a touch of ground turkey.  Yum.  I must remember that I need to stick with South Beach!  After only one day of eating the aforementioned, I’ve found that my jeans are already tight.  They are skinny jeans, but still…

Only two weeks to go!

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