2004 to January 2005
still can't believe that these braces are coming off my teeth
in 19 days! Although they have been annoying at times, in
almost three years they have become a strange fixture in my
life. I will NOT miss the huge mess that some foods make in my
brackets, the difficult time I have cleaning up afterwards, or
the moratorium on curry.
need to get in touch with my regular dentist for a post-braces
cleaning, and consult with him about bonding on a couple of
teeth (one for aesthetics, one for function). And then the
whitening. Oooh, I just can't wait to see my new bracket-free
will be interesting to transition into life with retainers. At
that point, I can personally try out all the retainer-oriented
stuff I've heard about or have sold at DentaKit. For example,
there's a really nifty portable sonic cleaner -- and I don't
want to sell it to anybody until I know for sure that it
actually works well (I'm not into selling junky stuff to
I will chronicle my de-banding experience here in this
journal. I expect to have that page written soon after
December 20, so check back here a few days before Christmas.
And to answer the question that might be rolling around in
your mind, yes, this site will continue as usual after my
braces are off.
month, I decided to push the envelope a bit, here at
ArchWired. A reader on Metal Mouth Forum raised an interesting
question last month regarding braces and oral sex. What a hot
topic that was! So I got to thinking...maybe I should create a
web page on the
subject. After all, we are all adults (I created a warning
lead-in page for minors to bale from if they stumble across it
-- but of course I can't really stop anyone from reading what
they are determined to read). Anyway, I tried my best to keep
it tasteful and fun while still getting the information
across. I know that people have all sorts of opinions on these
types of matters, so I apologize if the web page offends
anyone with different sensibilities. Please don't flame me or
get the impression that I'm looking for lewd emails because
(she says rolling her eyes) pulll-eeeze!
therapy on the shoulder continues to evolve. Now we're working
on "releasing the shoulder blade area." Apparently,
the main reason I can't make certain movements with my left
arm involves those muscles being "locked down" from
the surgery and its aftermath. Slowly, slowly I'm making
progress. I still wake up several times per night in some
amount of pain. I truly can't wait for that to stop --
that is the most annoying part of this whole process!
get this: my main therapist, Tim, had the exact same surgery
as me last week! Unfortunately, I don't get to inflict that
post-surgery PT pain on HIM! Seriously, I wish him a speedy
recovery....because I need him to continue working on me, LOL!
to a happy, healthy holiday season and new year to
more days! Four more days!
my younger daughter and I went in for our impressions. My
daughter -- for her expander. And me -- for my retainers!
(Last week, I took my daughter in for her spacers. She got 3
rubber spacers between some of her upper molars. They haven't
bothered her at all. Kids, sheesh!!!)
wasn't sure whether they'd take off my ligs and wires to make
the impressions, but (DUH) of course they needed to! Dr.
Ellerhorst did the honors. The first tray he used for the top
turned out to be too small. He had to take a larger tray and
shorten it with clippers (so it wouldn't gag me). A few clips
later it was the right size and -- thwick-- shoved into my
mouth -- bleck! (The upper seems to be worse than the lower,
chose orange flavor. It tasted like orange candy that had gone
bad, with some vodka mixed in. Needless to say, I was glad to
get it all over with. Yeah, I'm smiling in the photo, but it's
only for you guys!
of course I had to choose the retainer color. I wimped out and
chose pale pink -- no sparkles or anything. I figured
that this retainer thing is a new experience and I don't
know how much it's going to show when I talk -- so I didn't
really want something like bright purple. Considering that I'll wear it
virtually 24/7 for almost a year, I think it was a good (albeit
Friday is DB Day! (DB of course for De-Banding!) Originally it
had been Monday the 20th, but then I realized -- my husband's
company holiday party is the evening of the 17th, and I really
wanted to go without braces on my teeth! So I re-scheduled
(fortunately they did have an opening on Friday). I also
picked up an inexpensive whitening kit (made by Rembrandt). I
don't plan on doing any extensive whitening by myself, but I
thought it would be good to give my teeth a little boost for
the evening. Hopefully they won't get sensitive from it -- but
the OTC stuff is so weak, I doubt it will be a major problem.
as luck would have it, my regular dentist had a cancellation
on Monday the 20th. So I'm going in for a cleaning on Monday
-- and also for a consult about eventually getting some
bonding done to fix a couple of those pesky gaps.
Vogt believes that the retainer might actually close the gaps. Well, who knows. The only gap anyone can see
isn't extremely noticeable, so I suppose I could live with it
for three to six months -- or however long he suggests.
post again over the weekend so you can see my bracket-free
therapy on the shoulder has once again become painful. One
muscle in my upper arm is very tight and holding back my
progress. The therapist wants me to hold a 2-lb weight in that
arm several times per day and do a VERY painful stretch on
that muscle. OK, I'm doing it. It's not pleasant, but I'm
doing it. It's the only way to get this recovery moving to the
next level. God, I hate this! I wish I was in Kauai
laying on a beach instead!
17 - I'm De-banded!
braces are off! Yippee!
they came off yesterday afternoon, quite by surprise! Around 2
p.m., Dr. Vogt's office called to see if I could come in later
that day instead of this morning. The retainer had come in,
and since they anticipated a very busy Friday morning, they
were trying to re-arrange things. It meant dragging my kids
along, but I happily complied! Dr. Ellerhorst did the honors.
visit began as usual -- they took the ligs and wires out of my
braces. They gave me a pair of goggles to wear (to prevent
pieces of bracket harming my eyes). Then the real fun began --
the clippers! Dr. Ellerhorst placed the clipper at the base of
each bracket, and with a loud CLICK, each bracket came
off. When fellow ArchWired readers say that ceramic brackets
are harder to de-band, they aren't kidding. The metal ones
pretty much popped right off with a little pressure (it did
hurt a bit on a couple of teeth, but nothing I'd really
complain about). But the ceramic ones -- wow, it felt like
they were clipping off my teeth, I'm not kidding! In fact, two
of the brackets wouldn't de-band and broke, leaving half a
bracket still attached to each tooth. They had to be
file-drilled off (that sounds worse than it was).
taking off the ceramic brackets, Dr. Ellerhorst also had me
bite down on a pad (as you can see in the photo) to dampen the
pain. Pain? you ask. Yeah, well those top teeth tend to
be more sensitive to that sort of stuff, so it hurts more to
de-band them. Biting on the pad really helped. On a scale of 1
to 10, I'd give that pain a 3. No biggie.
teeth tend to be cold-sensitive, so the drill file instrument
(which emits cold air) made me jump a number of times. That
wasn't pleasant. Aside from that, it was no big deal. I'd say
that the worst part was clipping off the ceramic brackets.
my teeth were totally bracket-free. And boy, were they yellow!
Uugh! They still had a fair amount of dried adhesive on them.
After a bunch of rinsing and spitting, Dr. Ellerhorst used a
drill/polishing instrument to sand away the remaining
adhesive. This helped my teeth look a lot less yellow.
However, they were rather stained before the braces, so
although the polishing helped a lot, they need to be whitened
to look better.
polishing, Dr. Ellerhorst and Dr. Vogt shaped a few of the
teeth. One of my top front teeth has always been longer than
the other. It had been shaped down a few months ago but still
needed some finishing touches. We also got rid of some of the
extra ridges on my bottom teeth and shaped them up a bit.
Nothing radical, as you can see from the photos. After all, I
still want them to look natural.
ran my tongue across my de-braced teeth. Wow, they felt so
SMOOTH and so SOFT and also, as everyone always says, a bit slimy!
It was SO WEIRD not feeling those big lumps under my lips
now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you.....my de-banded smile!
took this picture this morning, after a couple of sessions
with a Rembrandt 2-hour home whitening kit I got at the
drugstore (which is pretty good, IMO, but more about that
first of all I want to admit that my teeth are NOT perfect. My
midline is off, and I know that. There are a couple of small
gaps (not noticeable in this photo) that need to be closed
(either from the retainer or with bonding). I want all the
residual stains off my teeth, and I plan to have those (now
very visible) lower fillings changed to tooth-colored
composite. BUT, aside from all that -- I am very happy with my
results. How happy? Well, see for yourself, in this
"side-by-side" comparison. This is what my teeth
looked like three years ago:
this metamorphosis is a miracle for me. I went through the
first 40 years of my life with those teeth, and I'm
thrilled to go through the rest of my life with my
"new" straight teeth! I never have to hide my
crooked smile again! And just in time for my first big
social event tonight: my husband's company holiday party!
back to my de-banding visit....the next step was fitting the
retainers. When I first saw my retainers, I was surprised at
how small they were. I dunno, for some reason I expected them
to be bigger. They are both Hawley-type. Here they are:
here they are on my teeth:
brings me to the next subject: how they feel in my mouth.
WEIRD!! VERY WEIRD! As in "Ick, get these nasty things
out of my mouth!" The bottom one isn't so bad. But the
top one, because it sits across my palate, is really
uncomfortable. Dr. Ellerhorst shortened it so it wouldn't gag
me as much. However, I can't speak very well with the
retainers in my mouth. Hubby says, "You sound like a Connecticut
WASP with a speak impediment! Say I had a fabulous time....ha
ha ha, yeah!" And kiddos say, "Hey Mom, you sound
like Sylvester! Say Sufferin Succatash...ha ha ha,
nice to know my family is getting a good laugh at my expense!
But seriously, this will take a LOT of getting used to! Any
words that require the "S" or "TH" sound
are screwed up. However, I am taking stock in advice from my
fellow ArchWired readers: that after some practice, I will
sound fairly normal speaking with the retainers in my mouth. Right,
from the speech issues, the upper retainer continues to make
me vaguely feel like I'm gagging at times...especially when I
try to speak. Wearing these in public is going to be such a
joy...I'll just try to nod a lot and keep my mouth closed,
surprise, Dr. Vogt is not recommending that I wear the
retainers around the clock. He suggests I wear them as much as
possible -- at least 12 hours per day. If my teeth appear to
be moving or any gaps begin to form, then I should wear them
longer. Obviously, I'll wear them to sleep and when I'm at
home. I had the retainers off for a few hours yesterday
evening while I did some whitening, and was shocked that a
small gap began to appear between my top front teeth! That got
me running for the retainer! I can just imagine a situation
where I say to someone, "Exchushe me, I need to take out
my retainersh so I can scpheak to you!"
I can see why some folks opt for Essix retainers and bonder
lowers. At least with the Essix type, there is nothing sitting
on your palate. But at the moment, I need these Hawleys to
help keep everything in place. Dr. Vogt hopes that the upper
retainer will push closed my two gaps. Perhaps in the future
I'll be able to change over to the other types...
you may be wondering about my first meal de-braced. I had
planned to go to the local BBQ joint and chow down on ribs.
But since everything took place in the late afternoon (and it
was dinner time when we finally got home), my first choice was
crunchy tacos and a big salad!
a treat -- to eat crunchy stuffed tacos with no shards of
tortilla torturing my teeth! No bits of onion struck in my
brackets, no shreds of lettuce wrapped around my bands! Wow,
it sure was a great feeling. And if some food was caught in my
cheek, one swipe of the tongue whisked it away!
dinner, I did something I haven't been able to do in three
years: I chewed gum! I have really missed chewing gum! Hooray!
for breakfast this morning: my old favorite -- chunky peanut
butter. As for the ribs -- I plan to go to there for lunch
today. And afterward, I might treat myself to ice cream with
lots and lots of nuts and pieces of candy. What the hell!
now about the whitening. I hadn't planned to jump into
whitening immediately after the brackets were taken off, but
like I said, tonight is my husband's company party. I figured
that I'd have decent results with something from the drugstore
-- something that wasn't too strong, but would just take the
yellow tinge off my teeth. If I want more than that, I might
have it done by my dentist or at Brite Smile or something.
was going to get the Crest Whitestrips, but then I saw this
Rembrandt 2-Hour Whitening kit. It was only $19.99. It comes
with three syringes of whitening gel, plus a couple of
silicone mouth trays, which you can heat and shape to your
teeth. So far, I'm really happy with the results this kit has
delivered. I have spent about five 20-minute whitening
sessions on each arch, and now my teeth are barely yellow at
all. The results aren't "dazzling," but it is a big
improvement. And I didn't even use a full syringe, so there
are plenty of treatments left. I'd say that's a good value for
do have issues with sensitivity, and this Rembrandt kit has
not given me any problems. My gums got a little sensitive (a
stinging feeling), but that wore off after an hour or two.
There were a couple of white spots, but those disappeared,
too. My teeth are no more sensitive to hot and cold than
usual. I used the following method: 20 minutes on one arch,
then 20 minutes on the other arch, alternating (the kit
recommends 10 minutes between arches, but I wanted to be more
the way, I called the company that makes this product. The
strength of the gel is 18.5% Carbamide peroxide. The strongest
products on the market are about 22%. However, many dentists
say that a higher strength isn't necessarily better -- a lower
strength used over a longer period of time will also do a good
job and cause less sensitivity to the teeth.
OK folks, I think that's it! Soon I plan to post a nice
"head shot" of myself sans-braces. Why didn't I do
it today? (She rolls her eyes and takes a deep breath).
Well.....because my face is kinda broken out at the moment.
(Why oh why did this happen right before a party? I'm 44
fercrissake, I'm too old for this!) So bear with my
vanity...I'm waiting for my skin to clear up a little. It has
been giving me a lot of trouble this month...as if some higher
power is saying, "OK Lynn, your teeth look great and your
figure is OK, but your skin....bwahaha!" I blame my
stupid 40-something hormones. Ladies who are my age -- you
know where I'm coming from! C'est la vie. I keep telling
myself that tonight is just a little party, not the Academy
Awards, and with a little makeup nobody will be able to tell.
It's a real bummer, but I'm going to have a good time in spite
of it. After all, I can eat all the food I want, give a big
smile, and not worry about crap being stuck to my brackets!
yeah, one more thing. Yes, I will continue this journal. Life
in retainers certainly deserves some commentary. I am
considering, however, switching to a "real" blog
format (e.g., Blogger or similar). More on that later...
OK, it's after midnight and we just got back from the party.
Let me tell you, it was a braces wearer's nightmare. The salad
had pieces of candied walnuts and blue cheese, and the steak
was really chewy. There was hard crusty bread and really
stringy cooked spinach. All things I would have avoided in
braces. It was really nice to be able to eat all this stuff
without worrying about anything getting stuck in my brackets!
Dessert was molten chocolate cake -- yum, my favorite! Anyway,
I had a really nice time.
yes, the lighting was very dim, so I don't think anyone
noticed my covered-up-with-makeup awful skin. Which reminds me
that I need to make an appointment with my dermatologist. I
think I need to go on tetracycline to clear this up (I did
that in my early 20s and it worked like a charm). Ironically,
my skin is worse this month than it has been in probably 20
years (I'm not kidding) -- despite regularly (i.e., for
several years now) using the stuff my dermatologist
prescribed. Where is that "dry middle-aged skin" you
read about in those cosmetic ads? Doesn't my skin realize I'm
not a teenager anymore?! Sheesh!
in retainers had been -- for the most part -- pretty good so
far. My number one complaint is my inability to speak normally
when I'm wearing the upper retainer. A couple of new small
gaps have also appeared between some upper teeth, which has me
rather alarmed! (More on that later).
been wearing the retainers about 14 hours per day on average.
I would wear them more, but I just can't deal with the speech
impediment when I'm out and facing people. I don't think the
retainer is sitting flush enough to my upper palate. It is
also rather thick. These two factors contribute greatly to my
also have to get over the "yuck" factor: when you
take out the retainers, saliva is, of course, stuck to them.
Sometimes, a big strand of it comes out, too! YUCK!!!! I
immediately want to rinse the retainers under some water. But
if I'm out and about, and I take them out in the car, for
example, I'd have to put them away yucky (which really makes
me cringe). One way around this might be to simply leave them
in until I get to a restaurant, and take them out in the
restroom to rinse them off.
suppose it will take a while to get the hang of all this. I'm
used to the braces -- they stayed in all the time! Even the
elastics were no big deal to pop in and out. Retainers are
much more conspicuous. And the last thing I ever want to do is
gross out other people with my yucky retainers!
anyway, today my younger daughter got her expander, and Dr.
Vogt took at look at my retainer. He agreed that the new gaps
are not a desired outcome. We took another impression of my
upper teeth (this time I choose strawberry flavor, which
tasted much better). And I opted for blue with sparkles
instead of plain pink. Dr. Vogt is going to add a wire near
one tooth to encourage that new little gap to close. And this
retainer will be made as thin as possible. Hopefully, if it
sits more flush to my palate and is thinner, I will be able to
speak more normally when I wear it. And if that's the case,
I'll be glad to wear it around the clock if necessary.
new retainer will be ready after Jan. 1. In the mean time, Dr.
Vogt made a few bends and adjustments in my current upper
retainer to tighten things up. He also attempted to thin it
out a little, which helps my speech a small degree.
had my teeth cleaned on Monday at my regular dentist. We did
x-rays, as well. No new cavities to report (that's a relief!) Unfortunately,
there is some gum recession on four teeth: the two front
bottom teeth, and (to a lesser extent), two of the top teeth.
I'm not happy about the recession on the lower front teeth. It
doesn't look very good, and I think I'm going to need a tissue
graft to restore it. This comes as some surprise. Truthfully,
I hadn't noticed that level of recession on those teeth until
the braces came off. Dr. Vogt said that they have looked like
that for over a year (in other words, the recession has been
"stable.") It was caused by the stress from the
first six month of braces (pre-extraction). I suppose I just
never noticed how "recessed" the gums were on those
teeth. I am going to make an appointment with a Periodontist
to discuss the matter. I don't know if I'll need a graft now,
or if it could wait until later. Uugh, I'm not looking
forward to it.
also discussed the bonding and new lower composite fillings
with my dentist. The fillings would be covered by insurance;
the bonding probably would not. However, it's not as expensive
as I'd feared: only about $160 per "surface," and I
expect to have 3 or 4 surfaces done on my upper teeth (one
functional gap, 1 to 3 aesthetic gaps -- depending on how the
teeth settle in after the retainers do their job). I had originally
thought that I'd need to wait 5 or 6 months before getting
this work done, but today Dr. Vogt said 2 or 3 months is fine.
I'm pretty excited about that, because it means that my teeth
will be completely "finished" before the summer!
I happy about spending extra money for gum grafting and
bonding? Of course not. But I'm realistic. I never expected to
come out of this experience with totally perfect teeth and no
those gaps weren't closing after months of power chains and
tie wires, I knew I'd need bonding. The recession/grafting is
an unpleasant surprise. But I hope that's the end of it. I'm
getting pretty tired of having all this work done in my mouth.
My husband asked me if I have "buyer's remorse." No,
I don't. I really wanted straight teeth, and now I have them.
It's just going to take a little more time and work to get
things the way I want. Then, I'm leaving it alone.
The new frontier. Trays or strips? 22%, 18%, 16%? Carbamide
peroxide or hydrogen peroxide? It can be really confusing. I
used about half of the Rembrandt 2-hour Whitening Kit and so
far I like the results. However, the 18.5% solution was
burning my gums. I decided to take a break from whitening for
a few days.
dentist said that his patients have gotten really nice results
with the Crest Whitestrips. He had a kit (I've seen it in
dental supply catalogues -- it contains a higher concentration
of solution on the strip than the one you get in the drugstore
-- plus a spinbrush and some toothpaste). It was actually
cheaper for me to buy one from him than to buy a case from the
dental supplier (especially with a $10 consumer rebate).
Besides, I didn't want to buy a case -- I just wanted one!
Whitestrips use a 6.5% hydrogen peroxide solution (the tray
whiteners are usually carbamide peroxide). I have used the
Whitestrips for 3 days now and I can see some gradual changes,
but have suffered no gum or tooth sensitivity. My teeth
already have white spots from Fluoridosis, and the Whitestrips
seem to be evening things out. I plan to continue using the
Whitestrips for the full 21 days. At some point, I'll probably
use the rest of the Rembrandt kit, as well. I'm really happy
that the yellow band at the middle of my teeth has faded --
and my teeth are getting whiter!
Whitestrips are really easy to use. They come individually
packaged. You peel off the membrane-thin clear plastic sheet
and place it on your top and bottom teeth. The sheet wraps
around the tops and bottoms to make a rather custom fit. You
can go about your business while they're on. The instructions
recommend wearing them twice a day for 30 minutes per
saga of the bad skin continues. Yes, I saw my dermatologist,
and she agreed that it's time to take some oral medication to
clear it up. Place the blame on my 40-something hormones going
haywire. I'm on Minocycline, a type of Tetracycline. My skin
is dry as sandpaper from all the topical stuff (uugh, I HATE
that), but I take solace in the knowledge that it is all
temporary, and my skin will be back to looking -- at least
passable -- in a few weeks! In the mean time...no photos for
you guys! Sorry, I guess I'm just too vain. I promise to take
a nice picture when my face is more presentable!
New Year, everyone!
I launch into a report about life in retainers, I want to ask
you to please consider donating (even a small amount of money)
to one of the relief
organizations helping the victims of last month's horrible
earthquake/tsunami disaster. Most of the people affected are
the poorest of the poor -- they didn't have much to begin
with, and now they have lost everything, including so many
innocent loved ones. My heart goes out to everyone who
is struggling with this terrible tragedy. Please begin your
new year with a much-needed act of charity. Thank you.
week I'm getting a new upper retainer, which I hope will be thinner
and easier to speak with. Actually, I have been getting used
to wearing my "old" one, and have even ventured out
in public with it. My speech is still a bit "off"
when I wear it, but I suppose my tongue has adapted, so I
don't sound too abnormal. I'm getting to the point
where it doesn't bother me anymore....THANK GOD!!!
challenge of retainer wear is remembering to put the darned
thing back in your mouth. I find that, despite my good
intentions, I go many more hours without the retainer than I
had planned. I just plain forget to put it back in -- and then
it's almost time for another meal, so it doesn't make sense to
put it back in for a half hour and then remove it again. So
I'm trying harder to remember to replace it after
far, it doesn't look like the retainer is cinching up those
final gaps in my teeth (particularly the upper molar gap where
food gets caught). My teeth are so darned stubborn! We'll see
if the new upper retainer does any good in that realm. I'm
still figuring on getting bonding done on those teeth in a
couple of months.
My skin is finally clearing up. Phew! I tell ya,
people...it's bad enough being 44 and looking
"older" than you used to...but dealing with wrinkles
and acne at the same time really sucks.
The creams that the
dermatologist gave me continue to leave my face looking
sand-blasted in spots -- but that actually has an
advantage, believe it or not -- it makes the wrinkles go away,
too! (It's the same highly acidic stuff they prescribe for
my skin is so dry, it's like a huge desert where my eyes are
the only oasis. I'm so thankful for oil-free moisturizer! The antibiotic seems to
be doing its job pretty well and finally isn't upsetting my
stomach anymore. So all in all, it's getting better --
but I still hate having to take drugs for this. Half the
time I feel totally unpresentable and dread going out to face
people. Some days, makeup doesn't really hide it very well.
Needless to say, I'm still pretty upset about these breakouts,
but now I'm hopeful because my skin seems to be making some
has been two months since my surgery, and I have regained a
lot of mobility in my left arm and shoulder. Of course, I have
been working hard at it, going to physical therapy twice a
week and doing the exercises at home (including that really
painful one with the 2-lb weight). So all my hard work is
paying off. At this point, I have about 85% total mobility
restored. We are still working on my left arm's "outward
rotation" and the last 10% of overhead reach and
behind-the-back reach. We're now moving toward strengthening
exercises with the Therabands and I think in a couple of weeks
I'll be on the weightlifting machines. This all makes me very
happy, because of course I was worried that wouldn't fully
sleeping better, although I still do wake up with some amount
of pain or aches in my left arm/shoulder several times per
night. Instead of an "ouch, that really hurts" sort
of pain, it has faded into a "gee, that feels stiff and
achy" sort of pain. Hopefully the pain will
completely go away as the months pass. I can now sleep on my
left side for short periods, which is a big improvement!
while things have been improving, I have felt well enough
to do regular workouts. I haven't done much aerobic
exercise at all since my surgery in late October. When you're
in pain, you just don't feel like doing aerobics! A couple of
weeks ago, I began sporadically riding the exercise bike. Last
week I felt well enough to be energetic on the bike, so I
decided to get back to my usual every-other-day aerobic
routine. This is a routine where I do strengthening exercises
one day and aerobic exercise the next. Of course, the
strengthening is all lower-body stuff for now (legs, abs,
week I finally got back outside and started jogging again. I'm
doing the "walk-jog" routine and slowly trying to
build back my endurance (at this point, the most I jog in one
shot is 3 minutes, with a total of about 18 minutes of jogging
broken down into 1,2, and 3 minute blocks with walking in
between). I put on my MP3 player, which is loaded with great
songs, and get out there in the cool fresh air....it feels SO
New Year's Resolutions
I'll be able to keep these!
Exercise regularly (both strengthening and aerobic). See how
long I can jog without killing my knees.
Try to lose about 10 lbs with exercise and watching my food
intake (lay off the junk calories). Eat more veggies.
Carve out a block of time each day to meditate. (This one is
really tough...30 minutes of sitting still seems almost
impossible on some days....this one will take a lot of
Get back to playing my guitar and bass. Review various scales,
learn some new stuff, improve speed and accuracy.
Continue connecting with the local poetry scene, get out there
and get further published.
Spend more quality time with my husband and kids.
Continue learning the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy.
Get enough sleep every night.
Drink more water.
Try harder not to be late for appointments (I'm chronically 15
minutes late and I really hate that!)
is off to a pretty good start. I've actually been able to keep
a bunch of my resolutions. Hopefully I'll be able to keep it
up for the entire year!
week I got a new upper retainer, pictured to the left here.
This one has a couple of extra wires. The wires push a couple
of the teeth to the side, and ultimately help close some
little gaps. And guess what? It's working! One gap used to be
about 2 mm, and now it's almost closed! Three cheers for the
Hawley Retainer! I don't know how much tweaking Dr. Vogt plans
to do with the retainers in the next few months. I still have
a few other gaps and have resigned that they will be fixed
with bonding in a couple of months.
been a very good girl and have worn my retainers about 18
hours per day on most days. I suppose I've gotten used to
them, because I don't lisp quite as much when I speak, and
sometimes I forget that I'm wearing them. At first I really
hated the Hawley retainers; particularly the upper. It made my
upper palate feel claustrophobic. (I know that sound strange,
but it's true). It really did take a while to get used to it.
my advice to the newly retained is: give it a month; it will
have taken a break from the tooth whitening because, after a
bunch of sessions, one tooth got really sensitive. Yeah, only
one tooth. Go figure. It's not unbearable, just a little
annoying. So I'm brushing with Sensodyne for a couple of weeks
before I resume.
trying to decide if I should get my teeth professionally
whitened before doing the bonding. And I don't mean the tray
method -- I'm thinking of something like Brite Smile, mostly
because of the white Fluoridosis marks on many teeth. It's
rather expensive (around $500), but I look at it this way:
once I get the bonding done, I won't have an opportunity to
change my mind. The bonding material is usually matched to the
color of the teeth. So if I do further whitening in the
future, the bonding won't match. See my dilemma? I don't want
a blinding white "fake-looking" smile, but I would
like my teeth to be a little whiter than they are now, to make
the Fluoridosis stains less noticeable. Is it worth $500? I'm
still not sure. I'm still thinking about it. I might go
to a local place for a consultation.
you think I get a discount anyplace because I do this website,
think again. It will be $500 out of my pocket. So I have to
discuss this with my husband...
regular physical therapist, Tim, returned last week. The poor
guy had shoulder surgery similar to mine (actually his was
more complicated). He's suffering with a lack of mobility, but
he can still do his job, which amazes me. Anyway, the other PTs in the office are
good, but somehow Tim has a way of working magic. After two
sessions last week, I'm up from 85% to 95% mobility restored.
Way to go, Tim!
even better: I started doing the weight machines! I did the
bench press and three others. Wahoo! Of course, wow did I pay
for it later -- really sore. Those muscles haven't been worked
in months. Before the surgery they weren't very strong, so I
have a long way to go before I'm totally toned in my upper
body. And an even longer time before I'm totally healed and
done with physical therapy. I hate to bitch and moan, but I'm
really tired of going twice a week. Yeah, I know that I have
to go -- it's just hard to schedule those two 2-hour sessions
into my week when I have so many other things to do. At least
I'm making progress -- that motivates me to go and get through
complexion is getting much better. I've been on the
Minocycline for a month, and I think my dermatologist will
keep me on it for a while. I'm actually looking decent enough
to pose for a photo, so I think I'll finally post a new one
for next month's update. Depending on what topical product I
use, my skin can get very dry. But the breakouts seem to have
stopped, and I can see visible signs of deep clearing. What a
I don't know if I'm truly out of the woods. This acne was
caused by the hormonal rollercoaster in my
semi-middle-aged-body. And that won't be changing any time