to September 2003
have been pretty quiet regarding my braces. No poking wires,
no brackets popping off. I had an adjustment recently and Dr.
Vogt put the power chains back onto the molars. He agreed that
my lower gaps are very stubborn, but he was confident that the
spaces would close up. And yes, the braces will stay on until
the gaps are closed.
Vogt didn't futz with the arch wires this time, so the
adjustment was relatively pain-free; within 3 days I was
eating regular food again.
the home improvement scene, I have been a busy bee. I painted
the entire hallway, the entryway, and various doors and
doorways inside my house. Now, except for a couple of very
small touch-ups, I'm done with the painting for a long time.
Here are a few photos of my finished kitchen. As you may
recall, we had new countertops (Dupont Zodiac in Astral
Pearl), new backsplash (antiqued limestone with custom-color
highlight tiles), refaced cabinets (in maple), a new Pergo-type
floor, new vertical blinds, new valance, new decorations,
brought in a gas line and a new gas stove, an Advantium
Halogen Light oven, and a little bookcase for my cookbooks.
The plates on the wall are La Toscana design by artist Pamela
Gidding, the art print in the middle of them is by artist Chiu
Tak Hak, and the accessories were purchased at Bed Bath and
Beyond and are pattern Sonoma.
you might notice, I added a bunch of new pages to the site
this month and put the News block into sections to make it
easier to read. I hope you enjoy the new features!
Braces Poll had interesting results last month. As I had
suspected, most people find their orthodontist through word of
mouth (how's that for a pun?!) This month's poll was inspired
by readers who complain about their brackets popping off. I'm
curious to see how common this is. Perhaps it's more common
than we think...
got another cleaning the other day. Very uneventful. As usual,
the hygienist used a metal pick and the Cavitron. She said that
I had a very light build-up of plaque and no problems. Phew!
has been getting stuck in a couple of specific areas lately.
These are areas on top where the gaps haven't completely
closed. Although I go around all the teeth with my
rubber-tipped pick, rinse a lot, and brush with the Sonicare,
food invariably stays lodged in these areas. The only way to
get out the food particles is to floss. It always surprises me
how much gunk hides in these gaps, even when I'd swear that my
teeth are perfectly clean. So nowadays, I'm flossing those
particular teeth after every meal to ensure that nothing is
stuck up there.
of gaps, it may be wishful thinking, but I think my stubborn
bottom gap has closed just a tiny bit more. Go baby, go!!!
off on our summer family vacation next week to the beautiful
island of Aruba -- chosen mainly because that's where our
frequent flier miles can take us! Someone on the forum
commented that our family takes "a lot of holidays."
I suppose we do. We love to travel, and that trip to Europe a
few months ago was the chance of a lifetime for our kids (it
was partly a business trip for my husband). This one is purely
pleasure. I plan to do nothing but enjoy the sun, sand, and
water for a week and indulge in my favorite beach activity,
which is snorkeling!
thought I'd give you guys a scoop on DentaKit. I'm planning to
branch out the product line to include a DentaKit for people
with bridge work. If you have any thoughts on what you'd like
to see in such a kit, please drop me a line.
like to welcome Dr. Richard DePaul, Jr., DDS, to our website.
Dr. DePaul hails from Ohio and specializes in a treatment that
straightens teeth with braces in about six months. Dr. DePaul
has written an essay on his six month braces technique which
will be included in ArchWired next month. He frequently drops
into our Metal Mouth Forum to answer questions under the
moniker "drrick." His website is: http://www.sixmonthbraces.com/.
there are other dental professionals (dentists or hygienists)
who are interested in contributing to ArchWired, please
contact me. Your input is always welcomed.
was not fun, relaxing, or the least bit enjoyable, at
least for me, because I got very sick. My family, at
least, salvaged a bit of beach and pool time and got to
snorkel. I, on the other hand, spent most of the week cooped
up in the hotel room with a fever, watching mindless TV, and
wishing I was home.
started out fine. I spent the first two days relaxing at the
beach and the pool with my family. I made a list of all the
fun things we were going to do in the coming days. But at the
end of the second day, I started to feel sick. Sure enough, I
had a fever. The fever came out of the blue. It was literally
-- one minute I was fine, the next minute I was sick!
Immediately I assumed that I was just dehydrated and started
drinking more water and juice. This made me feel a speck
better for a while, but then things only got worse.
next day, the fever got higher and I had horrible body aches.
I noticed that my chest felt heavy, and soon I began coughing.
Before I knew it, I had what seemed to be a bronchial
infection. I usually get asthma after a cough and use a
variety of asthma inhalers. Unfortunately, all my inhalers
were at home -- because who expected to get sick with a
lung infection on vacation to a tropical island?! At
this point, my "vacation" felt more like my
nightmare. Sometimes I closed my eyes and prayed that when I
opened them, I'd be home in bed, the entire scenario just a
days after getting sick, we went to see a doctor, who said I
had a bronchial infection and prescribed antibiotics. At first
it seemed that things were getting better. My fever seemed to
be going away and I felt more energetic. The next day, my
husband asked if I wanted to do a bit of shopping, since I
couldn't spend any time at the beach or in the sun. Two hours
of leisurely shopping (mainly in air-conditioned stores), and
I was done for. I returned home with a fever of 102 and felt
like I'd been run over by a truck. My glands were getting
swollen and my ears hurt. By this point, it was clear that I'd
better stay in bed, period, if I wanted to get over this --
and be able to fly home. I gave up on the idea of going to the
beach, snorkeling, or doing anything other than laying around.
The fever, although lower than before, persisted. This really
worried me. Usually after a few days of antibiotics, a fever
will go away. But this one was sticking around.
day before our flight, I saw another doctor to examine my ears
and ensure that it was OK to fly.
it was time to go home. The trip was pure hell. Because of the
East Coast blackouts, the airlines were packed and we didn't
have a prayer of getting a better (or more direct) flight. Our
flights were somewhat messy because they were on frequent
flier miles, and you usually don't have a very good choice
with that. My husband had hoped that we'd be able to get a
better flight, but no luck -- everything was oversold. We flew
from Aruba to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Salt Lake City, and
then home to San Francisco. Our journey began at 5 a.m.
Eastern time and ended at midnight West Coast time. Hours and
hours of recycled airplane air, trudging around freezing
airports, and me with a fever of 101, a violent cough, and
absolutely no appetite. I coaxed myself along with hot tea and
honey, cough drops, gulps of bottled water, and loads of
Ibuprofen. When I got home, I felt like kissing the ground.
Home had never felt so good. I immediately ran to the medicine
cabinet for my asthma inhalers.
next day I went to see my doctor. After examining me and
getting a chest x-ray, he diagnosed me with pneumonia in my
left lower lung. He gave me an antibiotic shot, prescribed
some very strong (different) antibiotic pills, and some very
strong cough medicine with codeine. I also had my inhalers to
help calm down my lungs.
here I am, at the end the week, still coughing, but the fever
is gone. My lungs feel very strange and I'm so tired it's
unbelievable. All I've done this week is rest and see the
doctor. The suitcases, still fully packed, are scattered
on the living room floor, where they were tossed the moment we
returned home. My husband has had to pick up all the slack,
get the kids to and from camp, etc. This weekend I hope that my husband will be
able to start washing some of those clothes, because I sure
don't have the energy.
week, there is no camp and the kids will be home (school
starts the first week of Sept). I had planned to take them to
the movies, museums, play dates with friends, and other fun
stuff. I have already told them that IF I feel better by the
END of next week, I'll take them to see Freaky Friday -- and
don't expect any more from me at all. My doctor made it clear
that I need to get as much rest as possible.
never had pneumonia before, and I sure hope I never get it
again. How did this happen to me? I really don't know. I felt
absolutely fine before we left on this trip. In fact, I had
gone jogging the afternoon before our flight! My older
daughter had a slight cough and ear infection a week before we
went on this trip, and she had been on antibiotics. She never
developed anything more serious and she recovered fully.
Perhaps I picked up her germs and my body wasn't able to fight
them off very well. Or perhaps I caught this on the airplane.
I really don't know. I just want to get better. After it's all
cleared up, my doctor suggested I get a pneumonia shot (which
is good for 5 years).
feel like wearing a t-shirt that says:
family went to Aruba
all I got was this lousy lung infection
can't believe that it has been almost 3 weeks and I'm still
not better. But I'm getting there slowly. I'm starting on my
third antibiotic (4th if you count the shot the doctor gave me
a while back).
I was on Augmentin in Aruba. I had taken Augmentin when I had
Strep Throat a few years ago and it worked really well. But I
guess it wasn't the right drug for pneumonia, because after 5
days of taking it, I still had a fever and felt like
home, my own doctor gave me a shot of something and then
started me on Avelox, a quinilone antibiotic. I was very
hesitant to take it, because I had read that there can be
severe side effects from the quinilones (Cipro, Levoquin,
Tequin, etc). Sure enough, after 7 days on the drug, I started
to feel strange. My legs hurt and felt like they were filled
with lead. If you go to the Yahoo Groups forum for Quinilones,
what you read about this drug would make your hair stand on
end. People have wound up with permanent disabilities from
these drugs. Fortunately, my doctor is very open-minded and
took me off the Avelox. After a few days, the leg pain went
away (thank God!!)
I'm starting another antibiotic, Zithromax (which I've taken
before with no problems). My lungs are much better, but I'm
still coughing and it's evident that I'm not out of the woods
yet. The doctor wants to ensure that all the bacteria is
killed, and I agree. My energy is beginning to return. But on
the doctor's advice, I am taking it VERY easy. I haven't been
doing much of anything -- sweeping the kitchen floor is a big
kids have been home this week (school starts next week).
Fortunately, some friends have taken the kids out for me every
couple of days (to the park, etc), so at least they're getting
out of the house and seeing some of their friends and doing
things. Today, I do feel well enough to take them to the
movies (sitting in a movie theater is about my speed right
all this, I want to tell you that I won't be doing a site
update for a few weeks. I hope you understand that it takes at
least 4 hours of work (sometimes upwards to 8 hours) for me to
update stuff on ArchWired, and at the moment I just don't have
it in me, especially with school starting next week (which is
always a big adjustment).
do plan to hold the Orthodontic Haiku contest and put new
material on the site later this month (maybe around the middle
of the month). This includes an essay by Dr. Rick on his
6-month braces technique, plus some new photos in the photo
wholeheartedly apologize to you, my dear readers, for this
inconvenience. But considering how sick I've been, I need to
put my health first, my family second, and anything else next.
I hope you understand.
do have one positive thing to add. The gaps between my lower
teeth have closed up a bit. Maybe having a fever for so long
super-activated the arch wire, who knows. But that one
stubborn gap is definitely smaller! Yea!
it's been a while, but things are beginning to return to
normal. I'm happy to be able to finally do a site update! Lots
of you have submitted items for the Photo Gallery and I'm glad
to get them up on the site this month.
have lots of new stuff, so check out the main page, and be
sure to enter the Braces Haiku Contest!
know a lot of you have been complaining about Metal Mouth
Forum. I'm in touch with Voy (again...sigh) about this. I
promise that I'll do what I can to remedy the situation, even
if it means moving the forum to a faster site, or hosting a
forum myself -- although that is a bit involved and I'm not
sure if I have the time to do that at the moment. In the mean
time, please bear with it. I won't let this go on much longer
before I pull the plug on Voy. I like their "no
pop-ups" policy, but enough is enough...
was a little late in getting my adjustment this month, because
I didn't want my teeth to hurt when I was coughing and feeling
crummy. And it's a good thing I waited, because sure enough,
Dr. Vogt tweaked my arch wire, added a couple of tie wires,
and gave me new elastics! I was on a soft food diet again for
about 5 days. In fact, I didn't wear the new elastics for
about a week, because I just didn't feel like doing it yet.
had my adjustment in the middle of the week, and by Sunday
night a wire was poking me. Monday morning, I was back in Dr.
Vogt's office for a clipping. Those pesky extraction gaps are
finally beginning to close, and there is actually an end in
sight. There's a new picture on my Photos page if you want to
see my new elastics.
asked Dr. Vogt how long he thinks my treatment will continue.
He said maybe 8 or 9 more months. My attitude is,
"Whatever..." If it takes another year, so be it.
I've come this far and I can wait a bit longer if it means
having a better result.