DOH! Elastics drama

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babyduck
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:24 am

DOH! Elastics drama

#1 Post by babyduck »

So, about a week ago, I developed a sore throat. That sore throat turned into a massively swollen throat. I told me husband that it was like I had an elephant in my throat. Soon after that, I got this headache that wouldn't go away despite my best efforts. After a couple days of the swollen throat, of course, my ears started aching from the pressure. Eventually, white patches formed at the back of my throat, too. And I was feeling incredibly fatigued. Not to mention the cold sweats that kept me up all night. And don't forget that unstoppable headache. The scariest part, I was just getting progressively worse as the days went on. I was thisclose to making a trip to the ER last night when it hit me like a ton of bricks! "Do you think it could be the elastics?" I asked my husband. We had a conversation a couple days after I was braced that went something like this:

ME: "Hey, I was reading on the message board where this girl developed a latex allergy after wearing elastics for several months. It caused her cheeks to swell. She mentioned having to use non-latex elastics, now."

HIM: "Well, do you think you should call out the ortho's office and ask them if they have any since you're allergic to latex?"

ME: "Nah...I'll just wait and see if I have a bad reaction, first. I'm afraid of the non-latex being too different and less elastic and that might hurt my teeth more." (Yeah, I was being a total baby...my teeth were so sore from the pressure of the elastics and I was afraid the non-latex stuff would be stiffer and give more pressure.)

Fast forward to last night - "Do you think it could be the elastics?" I asked my husband. "Uuuuh, yeah...take them out and see what happens." So, I wake up this morning and *poof* the swelling is gone. No cold sweats last night. I'm still slightly fatigued and, of course, the white patches are still haunting my throat. I had a slight headache, which went away with Ibuprofin and a bit of cappucino. I feel like the biggest moron. I guess I was keeping my eye out for a more "swollen face" type reaction. My lips and cheeks (which have actual contact with the elastics) have been fine. But I guess I carried the residue from them back to my throat when I would swallow. At least I figured it out before making a trip to the ER. But I called the ortho office first thing this morning and they gave me some non-latex elastics...which my husband forgot to drop off to me so I still haven't found out the difference in how they feel. So, I'll be going without until he gets home from work because I'll definitely not be putting the latex back in my mouth.

Stacy
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Lisa65
Posts: 3469
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:12 pm

#2 Post by Lisa65 »

Oh my goodness Stacy :shock: you poor thing! I'm glad you managed to work out the link between the elastics and feeling ill before it got to a real emergency situation.
Hope you soon feel better :rose:

SandraJones
Posts: 333
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:23 am
Location: Chicago

#3 Post by SandraJones »

It actually doesn't sound like a latex allergy, it sounds like an upper respiratory viral infection. But it won't hurt to use latex-free elastics. Your orthodontist should also wear latex-free gloves.
Nov 1960: born
1973 ?: palate expander
1973-1977: braces
Aug 1981: Le Fort I, posterior impaction to correct anterior open bite and class II malocclusion
Aug 2007: braces again to correct various alignment issues and class II malocclusion

babyduck
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:24 am

#4 Post by babyduck »

Yeah, I always doublecheck that they've got blue gloves on at the ortho...otherwise, they're not latex free. I don't know why dr's offices don't make it a point to alert everybody to a patient's latex allergy on his or her file. I always have to remind and re-remind every doctor, nurse, DA, or whoever I see not to wear latex. They take that info down, but then it gets lost in the paperwork. I do believe that it had to have been an allergic reaction, though, because everything cleared up (except for the sores, which understandably will need time to heal) within a couple hours of taking them out. I never had any chest or nasal congestion. As I think about it, the swelling was probably caused by the elastics and the sores may have developed after I drank some OJ with breakfast. I'm pretty sensitive to the acid in OJ and tomatoes, but a girl gave me one with my breakfast at Hardee's so I drank it. Since my throat was already swollen, it probably was more susceptible to the acid.
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babyduck
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#5 Post by babyduck »

PS...I already knew I have a latex allergy...I just didn't think I was that sensitive to it. I used to work in a veterinary hospital and that's where I learned that I had the allergy. Figuring that out made a huge difference at home, too :oops: .
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babyduck
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:24 am

#6 Post by babyduck »

Karen, I thought it was the flu, too, or maybe allergies (you know, the regular kind). As I had mentioned, my little boy was sick last week, which I chalked up to teething. But then I thought maybe he had a bug that he passed onto me. That's probably why it took me so long to put two and two together. That, and I'm dingbat.

I just put my non-latex elastics in and, just as I feared, they're not nearly as stretchy as the latex ones. I've learned that non-latex counterparts are usually much less elastic. But I don't really give a flying frog's green behind at this point lol. I'd wear chains as long as I wasn't allergic to them. On the bright side, these are way clear and really can't be seen even when I open my mouth. A friend made a comment yesterday that I looked like I had vampire teeth because my elastics go from canine to canine. I had considered getting some colored elastics at my next appt (since I don't have ligs to brighten up the place), but they don't have them in non-latex lol. So, it looks like my days in braces will be color-free.

I'm gradually getting better. I think these stupid sores are the only issue, now, and those will just have to heal. It's giving me a killer earache and swallowing smarts, but this is my first headache-free day since Sunday...so here's to a speedy recovery. It's GOTTA be speedy...I'm going to a concert tomorrow and I've just gotta sing along!
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babyduck
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:24 am

#7 Post by babyduck »

Thanks for the reminder on the salt water...I've been using a throat spray, but the soothing effects of that only last a few minutes :( . I'll try a saltwater gargle before dinner and maybe that'll make it more tolerable to swallow.
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discomom
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:12 am

#8 Post by discomom »

babyduck--it almost sounded like you had strep throat! I am glad that you seem to be getting better! I have a latex allergy as well. When I had my first ortho visit last week, he told me to always make sure he has blue gloves on! Have fun at the concert!!!! :) Lori

babyduck
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:24 am

#9 Post by babyduck »

Hey, discomom. I know those white patches are a symptom of strep, but I looked it up thinking I may have it and I didn't have a lot of the classic signs of strep, like a yellow discoloration of the back of the mouth or a white coating in the mouth. Those lesions were all I had...plus the swelling, of course. I've had those white patches before and even had them cultured and it came back negative for strep. With the speedy healing, I think I can safely rule out strep. Doesn't it hang around for quite a while? I should've known better than to drink that OJ...I think that's what did me in with the lesions.
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