Last Thursday, I officially joined the ranks (young and old) of brave souls who willingly allow a trained professional to glue metal brackets on your teeth that are guaranteed to inflict pain, usually when you least expect it. We even pay lots of money to let these people do this to us. And we curse them again and again, as we bite down on something as innocent as a toasted English muffin and wince in pain. The knowledge that you can't remove these darn things is somewhat akin to how The Man in The Iron Mask must have felt. At least that's my opinion. I'm at the end of Day 4 and still, it hurts. Advil has been my friend. I've even lost a pound because it just seemed easier not to eat, although today is better. At the table, my family shows sympathy whenever I wince, which is embarrassing to me but sweet of them. I have learned to eat nearly everything cut up in small bites, including sandwiches.
Last week, I told my mother (by phone) that I was getting braces. She was silent. Then she said, " I didn't think you could get braces when you are so old." Good ol' Mom.
When I walked into the orthodontist's office, all the workers (they are called "the girls", believe it or not) were standing there and they turned and stared at me. I stared back until I finally said, "Stop looking at me like that!" Todd told me later that they were all surprised that I kept my appointment, they figured I wouldn't show up. I guess I showed them. Apparently, I have a reputation in this office, as the orthodontist has been after me for a year to get braces. I've always given my excuses for not wanting them. He and my husband chat when Todd takes Chad in for his monthly adjustments. This was all Todd's idea, completely. I would not have dreamed of doing this, due to the expense and the inconvenience, not to mention the pain. I hate, hate, hate the "chair" - in ANY dental office. And now I am committed to "monthly" adjustments for 6-12 months - these people belong in a medieval torture chamber!!!
There ... now I've gotten my rant out of the way.
I really hate having my mouth propped open but that's what they have to do. I laid there for an hour, getting pumiced and glued. Wire inserted. Lovely shade of pink rubber bands wrapped around each brace. Todd came in and stood by the chair. Tears started to flow down my cheeks and into my ears (the chair was tilted into a near headstand position). As he looked down at me, I waited for Todd to say something comforting ... "You look like Wallace and Gromit*, you know, the way they smile?" Not what I expected. More tears. He held my hand and Chad came in, stood on the other side of me and held my other hand. That helped. The tech (or whatever her name or title is) finally removed the darn plastic mouth-prop thing and I felt my lips go over the braces for the first time. What did I feel? Panic! Oh, my gosh! This is me for many months to come! At least it's only the top row of teeth. Sigh.
Fortunately, the pain didn't begin right away. It hurt but I got through it. It's better now but there are times I still feel bummed. Everyone keeps saying how glad I'll be when it's done. I look forward to that time.
About the bonding with my son: Chad has been my support and my coach through this whole thing. I asked him a ton of questions before and after and he's been a doll. Very comforting. I love this kid. Now we have more in common than acne and the gift of gab.
*"Wallace and Gromit" is a British clay-mation series of short, silly movies - and not a complement to be compared to.