to March 2005
it seems that some small gaps are opening up among several top
teeth. Fortunately, you can't really see them. But I notice
them when I floss and when I look closely. I have an
appointment with Dr. Vogt later this week, and it will be
interesting to see his reaction to this new development. I do
wear my retainer most of every day and all night every night.
I think that he may need to make me yet another upper retainer
to prevent anything else from shifting. I am willing to
postpone the bonding if he can close these new gaps. Deep
down, I'm worried that I may need braces again for a short
period of time to close them up. He assured me on the last
visit that that won't need to happen. However, I would
hate to get bonding and then see more gaps afterward.
than that, on the dental front things are OK; relatively
uneventful. Still really enjoying being brace-free. Gleefully
eating lots and lots of nuts! I still need to make an
appointment with that Periodontist regarding my lower gums.
I've been so busy with other things that I haven't been able
to take the time to make the appointment!
shoulder is healing up really nicely. In fact, most days now I
tend to forget about the surgery, and it has only been three
months! I am very close to attaining 100% mobility, although
as I've said in previous journal entries, I have worked very
hard at it. I still do the exercises every day and go to
physical therapy twice a week for almost 2 hours each time
(that may finally be reduced to one weekly visit soon, yea).
I'm sore from doing the weight machines (the muscles aren't
used to it), but the results are terrific: barely any pain, I
can sleep on my left side again, etc. Soon I hope to truly
reap the results of this whole experience.
only complaint is that 2-inch scar at the top of my shoulder.
It often stings, itches, or hurts, and it's bright pink. It
seems to be turning semi-keloid. I need to see my
dermatologist and see what can be done about it, if anything.
Last time she offered to inject it with cortisone. But at the
time, I couldn't stomach the thought...
complexion is finally back to normal. I am so grateful for
those antibiotics. I feel like my face has been to hell and
back in the last 8 weeks. It's great to look in the mirror and
see "the old me" again. I mean...the former
me. Oh hell, you know what I mean...
may have noticed last month that the January Braces Poll
suddenly disappeared. Turns out, the company that hosts the
polling software had a major hardware failure and data was
lost. That's really too bad, because that poll had over 600
votes! Next month I plan to re-state the same question. Sorry
about that; it's beyond my control!
had toyed with the idea of moving this journal to either
MySpace.com or hosting it myself with Moveable Type. Blogger is another venue, but I
wouldn't own the files, and if they had a glitch, it would be
beyond my control. So I downloaded Moveable Type, but at the
moment I don't have time to do all the techie steps needed to
properly install it on ArchWired's host (I saw the word PERL
and immediately got a splitting headache, LOL). So I'll
continue the journal in this format until April, and then I
hope to cut over to Moveable Type, where you will be able to
comment on the entries like most modern blogs. For an example
of a good Moveable Type blog, visit my favorite one, written
by none other than former Star Trek actor Wil
Wheaton -- it's usually a fun read!
speaking of acting, I've been having such a blast in my Scene
and Improv acting class! I haven't acted since college and
I never did much improv. Let me tell you folks, it ain't as
easy as it looks...
Vogt adjusted my retainer to help close up some of those small
gaps, but it seems like the bonding will do a majority of the
work. As I wrote in the ArchWired "blog" on MySpace,
I had an unpleasant surprise a couple of weeks ago when two
soldered-on pieces broke off of my retainer after I had accidentally
left it soaking too long. However, Dr. Vogt said that those
pieces were just for extra retention and were not really
needed. I was afraid that I'd need to endure another upper
mold for yet another retainer! Fortunately, everything was OK.
let that be a warning to you if you have any soldered parts on
your retainer. Don't soak it more than a few minutes. In fact,
it might be better for you not to soak it at all, just clean
it with a toothbrush and a little toothpaste!
dermatologist injected the scar from my shoulder surgery with
cortisone today. OUCH!!!!!!! But she said that the injection
should help flatten it and make it less sensitive. Which it
isn't right now; it hurts like hell!
will be the last journal entry for February, because I'm going
out of town! We're going to Europe, accompanying my husband on
a business trip (the kids have a week off from school later
this month). This time we're going to London and Stockholm.
Before we get to London, we're spending the first weekend up
Cotswolds (a very cute area with quaint towns and thatched
cottages near where Shakespeare was born). I'm psyched to show
The Cotswolds to my kids, and also about seeing Stockholm
(this is our first time in Sweden or anywhere in Scandinavia
for that matter)! We are bringing lots of WARM clothes!
may remember, we accompanied my husband to London/Dublin/Paris
on business two years ago (see the journal from May 2003).
This time we plan to visit other London attractions we missed
the first time, such as the Millennium Wheel, Westminster
Abbey, the Museum of London, and maybe the Tate Museum of
Modern Art. I'd love to swing by the Globe Theater again, too.
The Shakespearean theater up at Stratford-Upon-Avon is
presenting Julius Caesar, and wow, I would really love to see
that -- but apparently it is already sold out. Send some
"day-of performance ticket release" vibes my way,
sure do wish the dollar wasn't so weak. In England we're
really going to take a beating. I don't think we're going to
buy anything aside from meals and a few small knickknacks. The
kids want to go to Harrods and I'm happy to oblige, but it
will strictly be window shopping, with each British Pound
costing us $1.87! Yikes!
am looking forward to eating some good curry in London. And
now that my braces are off, I don't have to worry about my
ligs turning yellow!
will be a challenge to wear my retainer the requisite number
of hours while I'm traveling. I don't want to keep taking it
in and out of my mouth. I'll just have to see how it
might be able to get an internet connection a few times while
I'm abroad. If possible, I'll send greetings from Europe to
Metal Mouth Forum and/or the MySpace blog. Skor!
it sure is great to be back home in semi-sunny California.
London and Stockholm were both very cold. Although we brought
plenty of the right clothing and outerwear, it was still
difficult to deal with the weather, because we just weren't
used to walking around in that sort of cold and wind. Yeah, it
gets cold in Northern California, but not like that! In
Stockholm it snowed almost every day. And it even flurried in
was working most of this time (except weekends), so it was me
and the two kids. And we lived to tell the tale. But let me
tell you, two weeks abroad without the support of a spouse 80%
of the time was more family togetherness than I'd bargained
for. I think it will be a while before we accompany him on any
other business trips. Needless to say, I am happy to be back
in my quiet home office in front of my own computer.
began our trip in the Cotswolds, about 2 hours north of
London. This is a charming area filled with stone houses,
thatch-roofed cottages, and more "quaint" in one
geographic area than one person can shake a stick at. If the
Cotswolds and Vermont had a contest, I wonder which would win,
LOL? They had just banned the traditional fox hunt in England
and the people of the Cotswolds were not happy about that. We
saw many on horseback illegally having their fun, anyway. That
really drove home a few of the cultural differences.
course we toured Shakespeare's birthplace at
Stratford-upon-Avon and I was overjoyed to get one of the last
remaining tickets for the Royal Shakespeare Company's fabulous
production of Julius Caeser! We also visited the Rollright
Stones (no, not Mick Jagger's new band). This is an ancient
stone circle, similar to Stonehenge, but on a much smaller
scale. The kids were fascinated.
London I placated the kids by shelling out a small fortune for
Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Now I know for a fact that John
Travolta is pretty darned tall, and that Penelope Cruz and I
are the same height (unfortunately, I'm not a size zero, so
alas we could never swap jeans). When I say a "small
fortune," I mean it: double price, because of the
lousy exchange rate. So a simple dinner that cost 30 Pounds
translated to $60. Ouch.
balanced the silly tourist attractions with the classic ones:
a visit to Westminster Abbey, and a ride on the London Eye. Oh
yes, and we did get to have some great curry at Bombay
Brasserie. But sadly I never got over to the Tate or to
the Victoria and Albert Museums. Perhaps next time.
visited Harrods, where I made an amazing discovery: The Hot
Chocolate Bar. This is a small restaurant where you can get a
couple dozen different types of hot chocolate and various
chocolate desserts. And I don't mean that awful powered mix,
either. This is made fresh from melted chocolate. Oh be still
my ultra-caffeinated heart! The kids and I REALLY enjoyed that
part of our trip. In fact, we loved it so much, we
insisted that Hubby meet us there after work one day. So we
went twice! The chocolate you see in this cup is as thick as
hot pudding. I get a buzz just thinking about it. Although I
can't take home any cups of hot chocolate, I shouted "Oh
My God!" as I discovered an outlet for Paris' Maison du
Chocolat in Harrods' food court. Two large chocolate bars and
a bag of truffles later, I had my bounty. Which Hubby and I
will eat judiciously over the next six months, lest I get big
as a house.
was a really interesting old European city, but entirely
frozen. I would love to go back there in the summer, when
everything really is green and all the ferries are running. We
schlepped around via the Tunnelbana (underground) to various
museums and sights. We learned a lot about the Vikings.
we visited the famed Absolut Ice Bar at the Nordic Sea Hotel!
Yes, it is a bar housed in a "meat locker" and is
made entirely of ice: the bar, the barstools, the tables, and
even the drinking glasses! We really lucked out: we had no
idea that you needed a reservation. Fortunately, shortly after
we showed up, someone cancelled, so the four of us went in.
Your $20 per adult ($10 per kid) entrance fee includes one
drink (choose from among about a dozen offered) featuring, of
course, Absolut vodka. Obviously the kids had juice. You wear
your coat inside, but they place a silver poncho on you for
added warmth (and cache'). In the photo I look large because
I'm wearing like 5 layers of clothing, including a bulky down
coat. Everything is very pastel and silver, like the first
Star Trek film. It was really cold in there, but a lot of fun!
If you're not getting to Stockholm anytime soon, take heart: a
new Ice Bar just opened somewhere in Milan, Italy. Why don't
they have one in Vegas? Sheesh, they'd make a fortune! Maybe
they could install an ice slot machine inside!
two weeks, I really was ready to come home. I love to travel
and see new places, but without Hubby's support it was quite
difficult, even though the kids aren't so small anymore. Now
they're old enough to fight and get moody and give me tons of
guilt (she rolls her eyes).
the retainer: OK, I made an earnest effort to wear it during
the day at first, but it just wasn't working out. We were here
and there and all over the place, and I was afraid I'd lose
it. So I just wore it at night. It was OK; nothing shifted, no
horror stories to report.
looking forward to finishing everything with the new fillings
and bonding during the next couple of months. Today I plan to
call my dentist and make the appointments. I'm not going to
worry about Spring Break -- because, believe me, we plan to be HOME!
And so my
friends, I offer you a toast. A choice of one of four drinks
in ice glasses. Cheers!
under the weather lately. I caught a little cold on the tail
end of that European trip, and it turned into a sinus
infection. Now I'm on antibiotics and starting to feel better.
I finally got my butt over to the periodontist. I'd been
putting it off (mainly because I was so busy with physical
therapy on my shoulder).
news is good -- and bad. The reason I went to the periodontist
is gum recession on my two lower front teeth. This was a
result of stress on the gums when I first got my braces on
(the extractions prevented further recession). I have about
2mm of recession on each of those two teeth. Yes, I will need
a gum graft -- that is the bad news.
good news is: I won't need a graft done immediately. The doc
wants to keep an eye on it and see me in 6 months. Chances
are, I'll need the graft done sometime in the next couple of
years. We talked extensively about how the graft is done, what
is involved, and how long it takes to heal and then look good.
He explained that the graft would not be able to totally
restore the gum up to its original line. Technically, that
would be impossible. But the gum line would look better than
it does now, and more importantly the extra tissue from the
graft would help protect the roots of those two teeth.
be honest: I'm not looking forward to this procedure. At least
I won't have to be knocked out for it (it's done under local
anesthetic). I am relieved, however, that I won't need it done
right away. After that shoulder surgery a few months ago, I
just can't go through another "surgery-recovery"
phase for anything right now -- it would just be too much.
of my shoulder, I'm finally done with the formal physical
therapy! Yea! Now I'm just doing exercises at home. In fact,
I'm doing a lot of exercising at home -- lots of aerobics, a
Pilates DVD, a little jogging, weight training again on our
Bowflex, and I intend to try out some kickboxing! My goal is
to lose 10 lbs and get back in shape. I'm making good on some
of my New Years Resolutions by eating a very healthy diet
including more fruits, veggies, and water, and limiting the
sweets and junk carbs. Hey, after all that chocolate in London
-- well, if you're gonna play, you're gonna pay, right?
younger daughter got her expander taken off earlier this week!
She only had to wear it three months. Her cross bite is
resolved. While we were at Dr. Vogt's office for her
appointment, they did final molds on my teeth. I was really
pleased to learn that the upper molar gap has closed. That's
one less place I'll need bonding. I still have a few small
gaps between the lower molars. Next month I see my regular
dentist, who will replace those amalgam molar fillings with
composite material and close up the lower gaps that way. Then
in May, I will go back and get a little bonding done on a
couple of the upper teeth. And then I'll be done, done, done!
been busy re-designing the home page of ArchWired. The new
home page will make its debut on April 1st (no, that's not an
April Fools joke). The first page has become too cluttered and
I have intended to clean it up for many months now. I think
you'll like the lighter new look, and I promise it will still
be easy to navigate.
from all this, I've been writing up a storm. Lots of new
poetry. I'm attending a writing seminar in early April, too.
And I'm gearing up for my second acting class -- which is
really just a continuation of the first one. I've been reading
Uta Hagen's Respect for Acting. And since I enjoyed
Julius Caeser in England so much last month, I've been renting
many of the Shakespeare plays on DVD through Netflix. Next up
on my agenda: Hamlet starring Patrick Stewart! "To engage
or not to engage: that is the question, number one!" Good
thing Easter is coming, because I'm reverting to my natural
state: a big ham.