2 weeks with expander and feeling awful

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junkee
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:42 pm
Location: Toronto

2 weeks with expander and feeling awful

#1 Post by junkee »

Sorry to be such a downer... but this is the only place i can vent.
I've had my RPE expander in for 2 weeks now and i still can't talk or eat properly. It's really affecting the quality of my life. I really expected to be accustomed to it by now. Although, i practice reading out loud.... it doesn't seem to be helping. I start off the day at work sort of ok... not my normal speech but still understandable... but 2 hours into it and especially after lunch my speech is absolutly horrible. It almost feels like my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I had a meeting with someone who has a very important role in my company. I was soo embarrased. The words just don't come out properly. I'm sure he thought... "whats up with her?"I also get tired... i just seems like it soo much effort to talk... even my face muscles feel strained. I don't know how much longer i can do this. According to my ortho he said 1 day and according to others on this board it seems about 1- 2 weeks i'd be back to normal speech. Well its been 2 weeks and i see no sign of improvement. I've been trying to stay positive but its sooo hard. A few days ago i had a complete emotional meltdown.
Also, how will i ever eat out with my friends? Food gets stuck in the expander and i can't speak at ALL when that happens and it takes me at least 4 times as long to eat a meal. Another major issue... which is totally embarrasing, but maybe someone can relate, I have not been going to the washroom regularly. I don't know if its because i'm not chewing my food properly or maybe not eating as much vegetables. Sorry to be gross but i don't know how my intestines are holding in that much. I used to eat lots of veggies and fruits at work but apples,carrots, celery just seem like a nightmare to eat... even it i cut them up. Any suggestions?

Please tell me it will get better! How much longer should i wait for my speech to improve? or should i just expect it to be like this for the whole six months the expander is in?

59fifty
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:11 pm

#2 Post by 59fifty »

speech definately improves within a month tops
i had a removeable one (retainer like) and i cud never ever pronounce S words it made me sound like i had something stuck at the roof of my mouth which i did

so it improves but its definately possible to tell i had a retainer cuz it was a big portion of my roof

Ice runner
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe :)

#3 Post by Ice runner »

hey, there!
dont worry, you will get used on that. In a month max your speech will be just fine. the hardest part is already behind you, just keep in there ! ;)

Wish you all the best

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amandad09
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:19 pm
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#4 Post by amandad09 »

It does get better. I've had mine for over a month & my speech has greatly improved. As far as taking a while to eat and digestion issues, I think it is because of the reasons you've stated. Not enough fiber/veggies/fruits and because things aren't being properly chewed. I am definately in that same boat!

My teeth still hurt, feel odd while chewing and sometimes I feel like I just need to hurry up, chew a little and push the rest to the back of my throat with my tongue and swallow. I am working on trying to just take my time. You may find you can't eat as much as normal because you should become fuller faster! :D

If you can stand it, you can try to cook and or mash/puree your veggies and eat them that way. Still getting the fiber/nutrients but not causing your mouth pain.

Also, try grapes, watermelon, cantelope, bananas, strawberries, kiwi if any of those appeal to you. Those would be easier to eat than apples. Bananas should help in the digestion department too.

I know it is hard to stay positive, it can be quite overwhelming. I try to just look at the big picture, that it will all be worth it. And what heaven it will be when the expander does come off! Braces alone will be a BREEZE compared to it! :D

Good luck and just know that everyone here is here to support each other!
My Journey with Braces: http://bracingit.blogspot.com/
(updated: 11/9/10)


Image


1/15/09: Lower Braces, Upper 4 brackets
1/27/09: Upper Palate Expander
2/25/09: 3 Teeth Extracted
6/22/09: EXPANDER WAS REMOVED!!!! =]
11/9/10: Cross Elastic Started
10/19/11: Next Adjustment

sauerkraut
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:57 pm
Location: Germany

#5 Post by sauerkraut »

Sorry to hear you're having such a tough time. It's a lot for your mouth and digestion to get used to but hang on in there and you WILL get through it and be glad you did!

My tip: DRINK! Loads. All the time! If you're struggling with fruit then blend it and drink it as a smoothie. You'll still be getting the fibre from it, and you'll avoid problems like bits of peel getting stuck in the expander. You also need plenty of fluid to keep the fibre moving through (so to speak!) and just plain water can help with that, as well as keeping the mouth lubricated.

All the best to you :)

sauerkraut
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:57 pm
Location: Germany

#6 Post by sauerkraut »

Sorry to hear you're having such a tough time. It's a lot for your mouth and digestion to get used to but hang on in there and you WILL get through it and be glad you did!

My tip: DRINK! Loads. All the time! If you're struggling with fruit then blend it and drink it as a smoothie. You'll still be getting the fibre from it, and you'll avoid problems like bits of peel getting stuck in the expander. You also need plenty of fluid to keep the fibre moving through (so to speak!) and just plain water can help with that, as well as keeping the mouth lubricated.

All the best to you :)

junkee
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:42 pm
Location: Toronto

#7 Post by junkee »

thanks guys for responding. I'm still not seeing any improvement in my speech. i actually think its worse than the first week. I was thinking that everytime you turn the key of the expander the top part spreads open a bit more which means the expander is taking up more space... maybe thats whats adding to it.
Since i've had the expander in, i've been drinking about 1.5 litres of water a day... and thats just at work so i don't think dehydration is my issue although sometimes my tongue still feels dry... i don't get it.
I have my follow-up appointment on Monday which will be the 3 week mark. I try to tell myself that things will improve but i'm gonna have to talk to the ortho about alternative options and maybe getting it removed. I just got promoted and i have to say this really affecting my job performance... its like whatever confidence i had was ripped out of me. I'm hoping i'll make it through to at least the one month mark and by then i'll be able to speak. I'm really really hoping for that. I want straight teeth but i'm just feeling down in the dumps right now.

sauerkraut
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:57 pm
Location: Germany

#8 Post by sauerkraut »

Yes, I can understand what you mean about feeling you have to re-adjust every time you turn the key. How long before you've finished expanding, do you know? Perhaps things might settle down more then.

As for drinking, to be honest 1.5 litres doesn't sound like all that much to me, especially if you have to do quite a lot of talking. I've never properly measured it but I'm sure I must drink a good 3 litres of water a day, and that's now I only have brackets and no expander any more. I don't go anywhere without a bottle of water at my side :)

In any case, I'm really sorry you're suffering so much with this and I hope your ortho comes up with some acceptable answers for you on Monday.

retainerjoe
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:38 am
Location: nashville tenn
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#9 Post by retainerjoe »

it took about a week for me to get use to mine , after that i found that a dry mouth was my prob , so i just keep water close by , now that was for me
http://community.webshots.com/user/head ... =community this link also has my video of me getting my braces

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