Friday, January 4
The plumbers came and ran the new gas line for my new stove. I was impressed with their work. They didn’t leave a mess and did a very professional job. It took about 4 hours. I’m psyched to get those new appliances into my kitchen next week! They’ve been sitting in my garage for almost a month.
Monday, January 7
Today I had the tooth molds made. It was really no big deal. It’s kind of like having a big hunk of silly putty pressed into your teeth for about 30 seconds. First they did the top, then the bottom. You can even choose a flavor (I chose raspberry). The whole thing was over in less than a half hour. Luckily, the cough from that cold is almost gone, so I didn’t have a coughing fit during the appointment. I called the oral surgeon and made an appointment for the extractions. I’ve come to terms with it. I want straight teeth. This is the only way to get them. I WILL NOT chicken out this time (I keep repeating that to myself). Those bicuspids will come out next Thursday.
Tuesday, January 8
I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. It’s ironic that I set this appointment up six months ago, without a clue that I’d be seriously considering braces again. The dental hygienist did an extra good job to prep my teeth for the braces. I appreciated that.
Wednesday, January 9
Wow, the appliance guys installed my new GE gas convection range and Advantium oven! I can’t believe that I finally got rid of the yucky green two-in-one stove! I just sat in the kitchen later in the afternoon and stared at them. The installers need a different part for the Advantium oven and will be back tomorrow to finish hooking it up. In the mean time, I have a gas stove! I’m so psyched to cook with gas again after all these years! And no more green stove!
Thursday, January 10
Today the roofers came and tore off our old roof. What a noisy proposition that was. All day long, thumping and crashing. Tomorrow they put on the new roof. Thank God it has finally stopped raining long enough for this work to commence.
The installers came back and finished hooking up the Advantium. Wow, it does everything it says it will do. I actually roasted a whole chicken in 24 minutes, and it was terrific and juicy, and cooked all the way through. Absolutely amazing. It wasn’t as good with cookies as I’d hoped, but they were still ok. I think I’ll do most of my baking in the convection oven of the gas range, anyway. I love my new appliances!
Friday, January 11
Thump, crash, buzzzzzz. All day long. But the roof is now 95 percent done. It’s amazing how quickly these guys work. I’m relieved that we won’t have any more leaks this winter.
Saturday, January 12
More banging and crashing. Today the new gutters went on.
Monday, January 14
I had a pleasant surprise today at my consultation. Dr. Vogt told me that I probably would NOT need to have those bicuspids removed! He said that he thought it might change my lip line too much and mess up my profile. He wants to put on the braces and see how things progress in about four months. He thinks he can straighten out my teeth without pulling any (although my bite will still be a bit off, but I don’t really care about that). Wow! I’m ecstatic! I had agonized over getting those teeth pulled, and now I may not need to do it! I feel like I’ve passed some sort of karmic test. It was like a leap of faith.
I will get “regular” braces on all the teeth except two molars on the bottom. Because those have fillings that continue to the outside of the tooth, those teeth must be encircled entirely with metal braces (regular braces won’t adhere to fillings). Since my molars are very tight, Dr. Vogt said he would put temporary spacers between them, to make room for those circular braces.
The top braces will go on next week, on Tuesday. The bottom ones will go on about 10 days later. I can hardly wait!
I joyfully called the dental surgeon and cancelled the extractions. Now I want to go out and eat all the foods I’ll probably miss for the next two years.
Tuesday, January 15
We’re waiting and waiting for that new circuit board to come from the spa company. Finally, I got fed up and called the customer service manager at the factory. He told me he was going to put an owner’s manual in the mail to me that day, and he’d look into the problems we’d been having.
Friday, January 18
I finally got to Armadillo Willy’s for ribs, but wound up eating them at home. I wanted to be sure to work out today, and by the time I finished with that, and showered, I had just enough time to run to the restaurant before picking up my daughter. Ah, and what a feeding frenzy it was. I’ve probably had enough protein to last me the entire week.
The spa repair guy (who is the owner’s son), came over to install the new circuit board in our spa, but only resulted in frustrating himself. For whatever reason, he can’t get it working correctly. I’m worried that I have some sort of lemon here and am preparing to get into a fight with the spa manufacturer, if necessary. It’s ironic how quickly that new circuit board came after I called the customer service manager at the factory.
Saturday, January 19
We got together with Hubby’s Mom today and ate pizza. Then we went for ice cream. I ordered “nutty coconut” with hot fudge. It occurred to me that I might not want to eat ice cream with nuts for a while. Then I felt stupid that I hadn’t gone to my favorite ice cream shop and gotten my favorite coconut-macadamia nut-fudge. Darn it.
The owner of the spa store came out and was able to install the circuit board and get the spa working properly. Apparently a few of the switches were thrown wrong or something (Vern has a little more experience with this stuff than his son). What a relief! Now the only thing I need is the owner’s manual.
Sunday, January 20
I worked out, then went to a smokehouse restaurant and had ribs and corn on the cob. I want to get my fill of “in your face” food while I can. The ribs actually weren’t as good as I’d have hoped, but they still hit the spot. Now I can’t imagine eating ribs for a long time. I’ve kind of “ribbed out.”
Monday, January 21
The kids were home for Martin Luther King Day, and I didn’t feel like doing anything ambitious. The painter came over to prep the fireplace for painting, and a neighborhood boy, who is my daughter’s class, came over to play for a while. Later in the afternoon, the guy from the countertop place came over to take exact measurements and give me a real bid. I was actually a little less than I expected. I’m going to go ahead with that part of the project, especially since their references were so glowing.
After I picked up my kids from school, I went to the supermarket to hunt for “soft foods” for tomorrow and later this week. I chose canned tuna, some chopped meat for meatloaf, turkey deli meat, yogurt, and wheat bread without seeds.
Tomorrow is the day! I can’t believe I’m getting braces put on!
Tuesday, January 22 – THE DAY I GOT MY UPPER BRACES ON
Well, today was the day. I would lie if I didn’t admit being a bit apprehensive about getting these braces put on. But I want straight teeth, and this is the only way to get them. I made sure to eat a really hearty breakfast, because who knows how I’ll feel by lunchtime.
First, they dried off my teeth with gauze and air. Then they put nasty stuff called “etchant” on them. This attaches the brace to your teeth. It’s kind of like Krazy Glue for teeth, and it tastes like it, too. Bleck, I couldn’t wait to rinse my mouth! You’d think they’d find a way to make that stuff taste good, like the stuff they use for the molds. Now there’s a niche market!
It was over in about 45 minutes, and suddenly, I looked like a teenager with a few wrinkles. After putting on all the braces and running the wire through them, they put spacers between two bottom molars. This was necessary to make room for the wrap-around braces those teeth will need. The dental assistant put a comfortable rubber spacer between two of the teeth, but couldn’t get it between any of the other three. So Dr. Vogt put some sort of hinged metal spacer between them. I was afraid that they would hurt, but truthfully, they didn’t really. In fact, the entire procedure didn’t hurt at all. Well, it was a little uncomfortable when he first put in the metal spacers, but only for a minute or two. The entire process, including spacers, took a little over an hour. My braces are the “clear” type. You still see some metal, but not as much as all-metal braces.
Jeez, it feels so weird. So far, it doesn’t hurt very much. It just feels like I’ve got stuff in and on my teeth – which I do. It’s the weirdest feeling, having “stuff” under your lips and sorta in your cheeks. I keep wanting to run my tongue into my cheeks to get the stuff out. I suppose I’ll get used to it. Everyone tells me that you do; that you forget about it after a while. I kept looking in the mirror and smiling all day. I actually think it makes me look cuter. I’m glad I’m married, though. I bet some guys would be really turned off by a single woman my age having braces. Who knows. I suppose a woman could always lie to a guy she met, tell him they’re coming off in a few months, and then say the dentist changed his mind. Oh, enough of that!
I actually felt so good after my dental appointment that I went shopping for sheets for my daughter’s room. I popped some more Ibuprofen just in case.
Eating. Now that’s a subject I can sink my teeth into (NOT!) I was starving by 3 p.m. and finally decided to venture into the wild world of eating with braces. I had some turkey deli meat and cheese, and found that I could eat saltine crackers, if I broke them in half. I could chew the food just fine, but I couldn’t voraciously bite into anything. I took delicate, deliberate bites. No problem.
For dinner, I made myself some tuna salad. That was fine. Fortunately, Hubby did not expect me to cook dinner for him tonight (I think he had some leftover pizza).
As if by strange coincidence, my older daughter’s front tooth decided to come out today, after months of being loose, and days of hanging on by a thread. Dr. Vogt told me to just pull it out, downward, but she wouldn’t let me touch her. At 4 p.m. she swallowed the tooth. I thought: “How ironic, my teeth are being held in place by super glue and metal, and hers are falling down her throat.” Of course, she wailed uncontrollably, partly from fear of swallowing the tooth, and partly from fear that the tooth fairy wouldn’t come. It took a good 15 minutes for me to calm her down on both accounts.
The day got even weirder around 6 p.m., when the power suddenly went out. At first I was afraid that it had something to do with the new spa we put in and that bum electrician, but a quick call to PG&E informed me that about 4,000 people in my neighborhood were without power, too. It was out for four hours! So Hubby first saw his metal mouth wife by candle light. There must be something romantic about that.
I hope my mouth doesn’t hurt too much overnight or tomorrow. Dr. Vogt said that the next day, you usually feel it more. Overall, I am in happy disbelief that I FINALLY DID IT! I HAVE BRACES! I didn’t chicken out!
Wednesday, January 23
Well, today my teeth are definitely achier than yesterday. But it’s not a headache sort-of pain, or an unbearable “get this stuff out of my mouth” pain; it’s more like somebody punched me in the mouth and hit my teeth. A couple of Ibuprofen takes care of it. I slept last night with no problem. It only becomes a problem when I eat, so I’m eating very soft foods. For breakfast I had yogurt, a scrambled egg and some saltine crackers. For lunch, the rest of that tuna salad and some turkey deli meat. For dinner, I made meatloaf; with garlic mashed potatoes and some sautéed greens. I ate it with no problem. But then again, meatloaf isn’t difficult to eat.
One curious thing is sudden tooth sensitivity on a couple of the top bicuspids. I can brush my other teeth with no problem. When I get to those bicuspids, on either side of the top, yowza, what horrible nerve sensitivity! I figured maybe it was the strong pulses from my Sonicare toothbrush. So the next time I brushed my teeth, I used a regular toothbrush for the top sides. Same thing. In fact, just touching those teeth with anything gives me a nerve pain. I decided to go back to brushing with Sensodyne toothpaste. I think if I just don’t rinse with Plax, it will not make my tongue feel weird. Dr. Vogt said that these sorts of sensitivities could come and go, as the root of the tooth is disturbed. Since my teeth are cold sensitive, I hope I’m not more prone to it than normal. That would really suck. I can’t imagine feeling those nerve zings every time I brush my teeth for the next two years!
The painter came back and finished painting the fireplace, so I stuck around and did the complete domestic thing, and cleaned the house all day. Wow, the fireplace looks incredible! Why didn’t we have it painted years ago?
Thursday, January 24
Wow, things are so much better today. I actually ate some cookies! Even yesterday I couldn’t have imagined biting into anything even remotely crunchy. I can’t bite directly in front; my front teeth are still kind of sore. But biting on the side is no problem. No pain at all. I’m amazed how quickly my teeth are recovering. I had expected at least a week of pain and discomfort. I was even afraid of headaches. But none of that has occurred.
Today I roasted a chicken for dinner, and included some potatoes and carrots. Although the chicken wasn’t quite as soft as tuna salad, it was ok. I just made sure to choose pieces that were rather soft, and cut them into small pieces.
Tomorrow they’re taking those metal spacers out of my lower teeth. It will be nice to have the more comfortable rubber ones.
Friday, January 25
I finally got those metal spacers out of my mouth. It’s interesting how much easier the rubber ones fit in today. I had no idea that teeth could move so much in such a short period of time. The dental assistant got the rubber spacers in with very little trouble. They are much more comfortable than the metal ones, but the one on the bottom right sticks up a bit, and feels weird, like I’m chewing on something.
The nerve pain is starting to go away on one of those top bicuspids. Thank God for that! The other one still zings me, but is a bit better. I can use my Sonicare all the time now.
Today I realized that I didn’t take any Ibuprofen at all. That’s amazing. It has only been three days!
I went to the Countertop Store and ordered those Zodiaq countertops and the limestone tiles for the backsplash. I’m still confused about what kind of sink to get, but it will all work out. I’ve narrowed it down to two faucets, and I think I’ll wind up buying them online.
I also went to Organized Living for the first time and fell in love with that store. They have anything and everything for closets and organization! I sat down with one of their planners, and decided to buy some bracket shelving as a solution for my daughter’s closet. It was on sale at 25 percent off, and didn’t cost that much. It is so rewarding to get in there with a tape measure, get some measurements, and then DO SOMETHING!
The guy from the window/door company came back and drew up the contract. He was here for almost three hours. I was itching to install those shelves in my daughter’s closet, so after he left (at 5:30 p.m.), I started that project. Being so basically inept at home-improvement, I was able to do it by myself, so I’m gloating. I even used a drill properly and put the brackets up straight. By 10 p.m., the shelves were not only up, but the toys were re-organized in them, and I’d re-arranged some of her furniture. Tomorrow, to Target!
Saturday, January 26
Not much to report today, except that my lower right molar seems to hurt. I’m not sure why. It could be the spacers they put in. Or the way my teeth are hitting. I notice that I clench my jaw more than I’d ever imagined. I need to make a conscious effort to keep my jaw relaxed and my teeth apart.
I spent the better part of the day online searching for an appropriate desk for my daughter’s room. It’s so challenging. Her room is rather small and I don’t want to sacrifice floor space, but she needs more storage and a real desk. I had looked in a couple of local furniture stores, but the pickings are slim in my price range and color (white). I finally decided on a Sauder assemble-yourself desk and hutch that were in my price range. After all that, I took the kids to Target, to buy more organization stuff, including the alarm clock my daughter wants (the same type as her sister). Who would think a little kid would get so excited about a clock radio?
After the kids were in bed, I continued going through all the stuff I had taken out of the top of my daughter’s closet (mostly baby clothes I want to save). I put them into several large plastic storage containers and labeled them. I’ll move them to the storage place at some point. I’m also donating more stuff the kids have outgrown. I knew there was a reason to do this now: I now have a bunch of cardboard boxes for temporarily storing my kitchen stuff when the cabinets get re-done!
It has been 10 days, and I still haven’t received the owner’s manual for my spa. I called and left a voice mail with the customer service manager at the factory. I seriously don’t understand what their problem is. I believe that LA Spas is a good company and makes a really good spa; that’s why I chose that brand over others (after many hours of painstaking research). I swear, it’s always something!
Sunday, January 27
My right bottom molar still hurts, but it’s bearable. I just need to remember not to bite too hard on that side. Today I actually ate a few corn chips with salsa at a Mexican restaurant; albeit delicately. I can understand how some people might lose weight when they get braces: you can no longer stuff your face with wild abandon. You must be deliberate and careful about each bite, making sure pieces of meat aren’t too tough or too large. Making sure there are no little crunchy things (like nuts or seeds) hidden in foods.
After the meal, we went next door for ice cream. I really wanted Jamoca Fudge or Snicker Bar ice cream, but those nuts – I just didn’t want to take the chance. Instead I had coffee flavored ice cream, but I made the mistake of ordering my favorite hard sugar cone. This was my first attempt at eating an ice cream cone since the braces went on. I never realized how “front mouth” eating an ice cream cone is. I kept feeling as though I was dribbling ice cream on my chin. I finally gave up and got a spoon. Then came the cone. No way could I bite into it, so I broke it into small pieces. I ate about half before giving up. I suppose it will be ice cream cups, or soft wafer cones for the next two years. A small price to pay, I suppose, for straight teeth.
This was the first time I’ve eaten out since getting the braces. I’m so self-conscious about it. I have a toothbrush, etc, in my purse. Brushing after the meal is not the problem. I’m afraid of grossing out anyone I’m eating with during the meal. I know the day will come when I have some big piece of bleck stuck in my braces and don’t know it. I figure the best way around this is to surreptitiously swish water in my mouth when I’m eating. I usually only drink water with my meals, anyway. But it’s usually cold water, and my teeth are cold-sensitive. So swishing cold water is not pleasant. But I suppose it’s better than smiling and seeing a huge piece of black bean or chicken stuck to my bicuspids. Yuck! Maybe that Sensodyne toothpaste will make my teeth less cold-sensitive.
I’m definitely anxious about getting the lower braces put on next Friday. After what I’ve gone through this week, I’m not afraid they will hurt. I’m just wondering how it will be to eat with two sets of braces. Well, I suppose I will revert to tuna salad and yogurt for a while until I adjust. I keep reminding myself that lots of kids, teenagers, and adults go through this every year.
I also remind myself of the 10-year-old boy from my kids’ school who, last year, tragically choked on a chicken burrito and died shortly after getting his braces on. He apparently didn’t chew a large chunk of chicken, and it got caught in his throat. Incredibly sad but true. So, I suppose there’s only one way to eat with braces on your teeth: carefully and slowly.
Monday, January 28
While brushing my teeth this morning, I realized that the nerve sensitivity is almost completely gone from that upper tooth. Now I can use my Sonicare brush with very little trouble. I don’t know if the Sensodyne has helped, or if my tooth has just “recovered.” I suppose it doesn’t matter; I’m just glad it has stopped feeling sensitive.
I am gearing up to re-do my younger daughter’s room this coming weekend (if I feel up to it). I bought the wallpaper at Home Depot, and that border I bought online finally came.
Thursday, January 31
Recently it was Hubby’s birthday, but we couldn’t go out because he wanted to go to his Chinese language class. (You must understand something about my husband: he loves to learn new and challenging things. He’s studying Mandarin). Anyway, tonight we went to the theater and saw Evita. At intermission, I wanted a cup of decaf, and those biscotti sure looked good. Why hadn’t I ever noticed that biscotti have nuts? Probably because it never mattered before. I had assumed that nuts would be impossible to eat with braces, and now I found out the hard way. Fortunately, the biscotti itself became soft in the coffee. But the nuts didn’t. They got stuck in my braces. I spent the second half of the show trying to discreetly dislodge pieces of hazelnut from my upper teeth. I’ve got to get a traveling kit together and keep it in my purse.