Brandy's Braces, SARPE, Jaw Surgery Journal

This is my daily journal to my eventual perfect smile and Apnea free life. It logs my surgeries, and daily progress.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Day 91/ Very Subtle Bite Changes, Powerchain Working Afterall?

Not much to report today...I'm starting to notice some subtle bite changes though. My lower left central and lateral incisors, and canine seem to be slightly hitting underneath my upper incisor and upper canine. It is just enough to notice a difference, but pretty much imperceptible in pics (ask me how I know.) I can't really see visibly an movement, but figure that my powerchain must be doing something or my bite wouldn't be moving around. I do know for sure that it is not bringing my teeth together at all!

I had some burning going on in my palate behind my front teeth today. It was rather intense for awhile and I had to take some advil to relieve it. I think by tomorrow I will have full feeling back. It is so close, but just not 100%. I find myself knocking my uppers a lot with my lower teeth just to see if the feeling has come back fully yet. It is still ever so slightly numb though. Soon though.....I can feel it in my palate bones! LOL....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Day 90/ My Ortho Thinks I'm Funny! LOL I called my ortho's office this morning about my slipping archwire. They told me to come right in, and since I only live 5 minutes away that was great. I walk in and my ortho says "So Brandy, hows that new TPA working out for you?" I gave him a very emphatic two thumbs up and said "It's AWESOME! I can actually forget this one is in my mouth, it is soooo much better than the RPE" He starts laughing at me and says...."that is how we increase patient satisfaction around here, we put them in a torture device for a few months and then anything we do is better!" I laughed and said "hey it worked for me" The assistant then proceeded to fix my archwire. She first pulled it over to line it up properly, then took her special little crimping tool, and pinched the wire stoppers that were sliding around my wire. She snugged them up really close to the front tooth, and pinched them til they were very tight and there was no movement. She did the same on the other side, then took the pliers and tried to tug on my wire to see if it was going to move at all. It didn't so we were all done. My ortho appologized that I had to come back, and explained that that is one of the disadvantages to self ligating brackets. That sometimes the wires want to slide since they don't have ligs holding them in place. It was all good and I left a happy camper with no problems for the rest of the day.

The rest of the day was good, my left incisors have almost full feeling now. I would say about 98% worth. Still about 2% left to gain though. It is so close to almost being there though. Feels great to almost be back to normal and able to feel every bite. Things appear to be much more stable now. I have noticed in my daily picture taking that I have not seen any real changes to speak of since the TPA was installed last Monday. That is a first since surgery!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Day 89/ Nothing New

Today was just a repeat of yesterday. I'm going to call my ortho in the morning and try and get in very early to get my archwire fixed. Other than that it was just the same stuff. I was really looking at my teeth today though, especially on the left side. Seems that that whole side is messed up. Tipping, gaps, rotations. The right side looks pretty good. I hope he gets them straightened out soon. I have one tooth I want to ask him about. The bracket is so high it is almost touching my gums, and I cannot get behind it to brush or clean my tooth. I have to use a proxy brush to clean it out. It hurts when I use the water pik on it also. Just seems like it is a little high, I know its because the tooth is tipped but I'm worried about getting a cavity if I can't clean behind it adequately. Just want to ask him about it. I will keep you all posted.....

Day 88/ Almost Back To Normal

Not much to report today. I have a bit more feeling in my teeth, so very close to normal, but not quite there just yet. When I run my tongue along the edge of my gums, behind my incisors there is still the slightest bit of numbness. In the last day it has decreased a bit, but is still not totally gone. I think I will have full feeling back within the next week though, at least that is what I'm thinking anyway. We will be right at 3 months post op on June 3rd, which is next Saturday. I hope to be back to my normal self by then.

Other than my upper arch wire sliding around constantly today it was a pretty boring day.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Day 87/ Powerless Powerchain and Whacko Wires!

Ok..Today was rather aggravating, and I have decided to give my ortho a call on Monday. My top wire keeps sliding. I had to move it back 3 or 4 times today. I'm not going to do that every day for the next 8 weeks! The assistant put these two little thingies on the wire to keep them from slipping, however, they are not tight enough and all they are doing is sliding over the wire itself. It needs to be fixed!

As if this wasn't enough, my powerchain is not bringing my spaces together, but pulling them apart. They are getting bigger instead of smaller! Which totally sucks! I hate these gaps on the bottom and was thrilled to get the powerchain on in hopes it would close the gaps quickly and efficiently. Instead the powerchain appears to be powerless and is working in reverse, creating bigger gaps instead of making them smaller. I will post a pic of this later tomorrow.

Now here is my question. Do you suppose that treatment for some people goes on for so long because (unlike me) they are not obsessed with their teeth and do not notice what is taking place in their mouth. So if the ortho messes things up, he just does what needs to be done next time to try and fix it? However since they aren't really paying all that much attention they really don't notice? I feel like I"m like the nag of the century to my ortho. Mind you he is always polite and goes out of his way to take care of me, but I just wonder if maybe some of this under correction/over correction is going on in my sons mouth. Personally I think his whole orthodontics should have been done way before now. His teeth were practically straight when we began this journey, he only had canines that hadn't descended all the way. Just wondering....And being the super impatient person that I am I don't think it is right to wear a powerchain for 8 weeks that is clearly not achieving the purpose it is supposed to, but doing the opposite. In my mind that is just more work to fix, and more time I have to wait til he gets it right.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Day 86/ Pokey Archwires and Slippage!

Woke up early this morning and went to the ortho to get my upper archwire clipped. It was getting quite long on the right and really stabbing me. I didn't want to suffer all weekend so it was now or never. When I got there she said my wire had slid (this is a phenomena that only happens with self ligating brackets) the wires sometimes slides in the brackets since they are held in by the bracket doors and no ligs. She simply took a pair of pliers and from the middle of the wire slid it to the left. It moved with no problem and things were then all good. She told me if it happens again to check the small groove in between my front teeth and if its not lined up in the center to use a pair of tweezers to re-center it. It is pretty simple, the same thing happened to my son last month and I had to do it for him a couple time. It is rather annoying though. I'm hoping it doesn't happen too often since I still have another 7 weeks in this wire.

Today was a good day teeth wise. Feeling is still working on coming back. It is not all the way yet but is getting very close! The closest is has been to normal since pre-surgery. I'm trying to use my healing time with the SARPE to kinda gage how fast my jaw surgery recovery will be. I wonder in terms of severity and trauma just how similar in nature these two surgeries are? I mean they literally have to break the bones for the SARPE so I would thing healing time could be relatively similar for both procedures. I'm thinking if I"m feeling pretty good and almost back to normal at 3 months maybe it will be close to the same time frame for my advancement. I think I will ask the doctor this when I get a chance.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Day 85/ Light At The End of The Tunnel!

Here is my new 3 month post SARPE smile.

Today was the best day I have had in a very long time...well in at least 3 months that is. My teeth are feeling SOOOOOOO much better! No more achey molars! woo hooo, and I actually ate a 6 inch subway sandwich today with little or no difficulty. Now mind you I certainly cannot chew really hard stuff, but steak and pototo chips are back on the edible list so that is a big plus.

Changes are still happening in my mouth though. My teeth (especially in front feel tighter) and I now have a new archwire poking me in the cheek that I need to go get clipped tomorrow. This tells me things have been a moving, just wish my lowers would get with the program! LOL... As mentioned earlier in the week, nerves are still regenerating behind my left incisors. Up until yesterday, when I tapped them with my lower teeth they felt rather loose, and didn't have much feeling. Now they seem to be much more stationary and feeling has increased dramatically. They still have a ways to go before they are completely back to normal but they are making progress for sure. The TPA is better too! My tongue has pretty much adjusted to the inside clips now and does not feel so sore. I can actually go about my day and almost forget I have junk in my mouth which is so wonderful after that 8 weeks of horror with the RPE. The TPA is most definitely a huge improvement for us SARPE survivors! I'm so glad my ortho wanted to put it in!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Day 84/ TPA Getting Better and Better was a much better day then yesterday. My mouth is adjusting to the TPA and my molars are not near as sore as they have been. chewing is getting much easier and I think that my tongue might even adapt at some point to this thing which is a huge thrill for me!!

I'm feeling impatient with my movement today as my lowers are doing absolutely nothing, even with the "devil chain" on them. In fact I don't even feel it and my gaps are not doing much of anything. I love the way my silver powerchain looks but I would like it a lot more if it would do what it was supposed to and do it quickly! LOL... Patience never has been one of my virtues can you tell?? :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Day 83/ I Hate Adjustments! OH...and New Appliances!

Today sorta sucked! My teeth are sore from the TPA. The molars it is attached to are just plain achey, and my front teeth were all hurting today also. Nerve regeneration pain mostly. my lower molars are sore from the powerchain yanking on them, and my tongue is sore AGAIN! from rubbing on the appliance. It is not the top of my tongue that really hurts, but the edges now. It is the same spot on the TPA were the RPE welds were. Now it is the inside loops and the hooks from the TPA! I'm still using a ton of wax as now I have to cover these spots as well as the outside bracket hooks. Everyday I have to cover all four of these spots, and take it off everytime I eat, then put it back on. I'm back to eating virtually nothing as it is just too uncomfortable or aggravating to bother with. Today it feels like this oral aggravation is just never going to end. Sometimes I just so want my old mouth back!

I'm sure the lack of food and sleep are making things seem a lot worse today then they really are, but whatever the reason today is just not one of my better days.

I will say though, even with all the new aggravation from the appliance changes the TPA is way better then the RPE. So much easier to talk, my mouth isn't constantly salivating, and eating is greatly improved (or at least I think it will be) LOL... I can see however, that there is a definite trick to eating with this thing. I think the difference is that with the RPE you would have to stop and get stuff out of the appliance as you would sorta risk choking if you didn't. With the TPA you can (if you can stand it) almost not worry about it til you are done eating. Then you can work the food out of the loop. I think once I get used to it that there could actually be days where I forget that I'm wearing it. That would've never happened with the RPE! This is what I'm hoping for anyway, as if not it is going to be a long two months!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Day 82/ TPA Heaven!

Well here is my new TPA! Wooo Hoo! While not 100% it is certainly better than that horrible RPE. is how my morning started:
Arrived at the Orth 7:15am
Assitant took me back, removed my upper and lower archwires and in the process she popped off one of my brackets. She removed the wire tires on my canines (these were for the sleep rubberbands that I haven't been using) Next the ortho comes over. This is were it gets ugly! He glued my bracket back on first. I was pretty sure he was going to have to take off my molar bands with the RPE since the RPE was welded to them, and that is exactly what he did. This was not fun at all....highly unpleasant for sure! He took what looked like giant wire cutters and got in there with them. It felt like he was literally cutting through the thick metal bars of the RPE on each corner of the V's where they connect. I would totally be lying if I said it didn't hurt because it did! The pliers or whatever he was using kept sliding off the last cut and was really uncomfortable. My Dr. said "are you doing ok? not really huh? I was like uhh uh." So the tugging and cutting motion was very uncomfortable. The only good thing is that it didn't last to long. Once it was out things were much better. I was rather surprised whenit came out in once piece with the bands attached to it. He removed the RPE from the bands, cleaned them, and told the assistant they needed to be sand blasted. She went and did that and then the Dr. glued them back on again. My molars were sore giving all the tugging on them, and biting down to secure the bands was rather uncomfortable. The Dr. then had the assistant put the same tension wire back on top, and a new one on the bottom. I also got a new silver powerchain to pull those lower teeth together. It's silver and I think it makes my braces look cool. SEE!

After all of this was done the Dr. came back and did my TPA. He bent and fitted the wire while I sat in the chair right there. It was pretty fast and short of a quick little uncomfortable push on the inside of the bracket tubes (to lock the TPA in place) it was a piece of cake. Definitely much better than the rest of the things they did.

The TPA definitely feels much better than the RPE, at first it was a little weird as the loop extends back very close to where your gag reflex would be. It took a couple seconds to get used to, but having the extra space in my mouth, being able to talk like a normal person, and feeling my teeth touch for the first time in 3 months made it all worth while.

Now....eating, that is a whole new set of challenges. My molars are sore from all the trauma this morning so anything hard is still pretty much out. While I don't have stuff getting stuck up in my appliance anymore, I now have stuff that gets lodged underneath the little loop of the TPA. It is sorta easier to ignore while eating and then get out once done, but it is aggravating too, and I can tell that my tongue is going to be sore the next few days til it gets used to the bend, and the whole new mouth feel. I actually feel like little has changed in the chewing department. I'm hoping this will get better in a few days when my teeth adjust. This is the first day and they are tender, so chewing anything is rough. Nothing lines up either so as things start to change more my teeth are banging against one another again, which pretty much stinks!

At the moment I'm a little disheartened. My tongue is sore from rubbing against the inside loops where the TPA connects to my brackets, as well as further back from rubbing against the TPA loop. I was hoping this tongue aggravation would be over with the removal of the RPE, but I suppose it to will have its own adjustment curve. :(

My ortho says I need to wear the TPA for 2 months, and then we can take it out and begin increasing my top archwires and rearranging things. So...I have an appointment in 8 weeks! :(

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Day 81/ Nine Hours Til Permanent RPE Removal!

The last day with my RPE was relatively uneventful. Didn't really eat too much as I just didn't feel like dealing with it, and what I did eat was mostly very soft stuff. I figured I would save my appetite for tomorrow! LOL... I'm sure I will be sore from new archwires but I don't care, I'm going to eat anyway.

I'm going to go floss, waterpik, and do my whole nightly brushing ritual. The one I have been doing for the last 3 months! This is the last time I will have to try and maneuver around those little V shaped holes! Woo Hooo!

I will post my experiences tomorrow when I get back from the Ortho with my new TPA, I will of course include new pics too!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Day 80/ Memories......

I was sitting in the Italian restaurant tonight eating my seafood linguine, forcing my way through a salad that had great blue cheese dressing, but was truly distasteful due to the amount of agony required to chew it with any amount of normalcy. I was thinking that some how, I should be savoring this moment, looking at how far I have come, and perhaps waxing poetic or something. I mean after tomorrow this RPE will be history, just a thing of the past, and my experience with it nothing more than a bitter memory...whats that song by Barbara Streisand? (ok I'm really showing my age here) "Memories.... may be beautiful and yet....whats to painful to remember... we simply choose just to forget" While this RPE journey has been anything but beautiful(other than the results it has produced), the part about being painful, and forgetting...well those lyrics where right on and that is exactly what I plan to do!

I wish I could find something redeeming to say about this torture device, other than it works and works well! Truth be told though I'm truly impressed with myself that I survived it! That I have almost made it to the end. I mean while the RPE in and of itself was not particularly painful, I can honestly say that my "fun meter" has been pegged. In my mind I have truly exceeded the lifetime limits one should have to endure on the aggravation and frustration scale. I mean it SUCKED! totally, truly, completely, absolutely, unquestionably, and without a doubt! The worst part about all of this suffering is that you must do most of it in silence. Others will not understand nor will they care what you are going through (unless they themselves have worn one of these things) In fact they may even tell you to shut up about it and quit your whining! LOL... So you will be forced to deal with the trials and tribulations of your RPE largely on your own.

With that being said it has been one of the most difficult, yet rewarding experiences of my life. Yes, I know this doesn't make any sense! I probably sound like I've completely lost my mind! However, I'm a firm believer that we only appreciate the things in life that we really have to work at, and lord knows I have had to work at this one. Every single day with this appliance was a trial that I wasn't sure I would get through. Some days were much better than others, but none were ever without their issues. So with that being said, even though it has been tough, I highly recommend this procedure! Not only will the results truly shock and amaze you, but the experience, the daily struggle to survive (ok I'm exaggerating a little), will make you a better person. You will know upon completion that you have accomplished something really great! Something really worthy of praise! You will have a new found appreciation for suffering, know that you are far stronger than you realized, and that you can do anything you set your mind to. Not only that you will have gained a totally new mouth and your RPE will leave your smile forever transformed!

I have no idea what is to come with the TPA on Monday or with my continued braces/jaw surgery journey in the next few months. Honestly I'm sorta glad at this point that I don't know what to expect. What I know for sure is that it can go nowhere but up from here BABY! I'M A SURVIVOR! I LIVED THROUGH THE RPE! WOOO HOOO!


Friday, May 19, 2006


Nothing to really report today. Teeth are a bit achey, still feel like they are healing. Other than a sore tongue, and wear marks on the inside of my lower lip everything is fine.

Only TWO More Days til my RPE comes out! WEll really almost one day as its almost tomorrow! I SO CAN'T WAIT!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Day 77/ I Think My Palate is too Big for My Mouth Now!

LOL...but I"m sorta serious! I'm sure it will improve when I get my braces off, but I have noticed considerable aggravation from the molar bands on my teeth since my mouth grew 9mm. When I first got them I never even realized the molar bands had tubes or hooks on them. I just never felt them. Since expanding...OMG they poke my cheeks constantly. If I talk too much or smile too much I get sores in my mouth. The hooks will catch on my cheeks and take a chunk out of them. I seriously have to cover them with wax everyday just to get through the day or I come home with puncture wounds! It sucks! I don't see this getting better once my RPE appliance is out since the bands will be staying in to accomodate future tooth movement.

We had a volunteer luncheon at school today and I told my principal that I couldn't smile or talk too much or else it starts to hurt. He thought it was funny but I was totally serious!

This is my Smile last week/ and now this week. They have really straightened out a lot. You can tell in the expansion pics below also.

Day 70 palate view/ Today's view (See how my incisors have straightened out a bit?) It surprises me that even after almost 3 months my palate pics change in some way almost weekly.

My upper left quadrant (starting at my front incisors) were a bit annoying today. Difficult to explain the actual sensation. Not pain, not really aching, not pressure, just something not right! I don't know how you detail the specifics of what nerve regeneration feels like, but I can tell you that I know how it feels. I can now differentiate between tooth pain, pressure pain, movement pain, and nerve regeneration sensations, with amazing accuracy. I have been getting more feeling in my upper left quadrant for about a week now. I can sometimes feel my gum area just pulsing/throbbing. It's not painful, but just feels like things are healing and repairing, like some work is going on in there ! I lay down in bed at night and feel my heartbeat in the gums behind my incisors. It's a weird feeling, however, while they are still a bit numb, there is definitely more feeling in them today then yesterday, so I know that those nerve connections are becoming reestablished. They seem to be healing pretty rapidly now too! I still have quite a bit of numbness in my upper gums, but I'm confident that it will be better within the next month.

Something that is really strange is that sometimes when I sorta suck on my front incisor, like to maybe get something off of it, or when I put my tongue over the top to collect excess saliva that has accumulated, I will feel it in my left sinus! It's so bizarre! I think maybe this is because the sinus cavity is right above the palatal suture and mine is still filling in, so when I create suction I feel it into my sinus area. Whatever the reason it sorta freaks me out, but I keep trying it out to see if it has gone away. One thing I definitely have to say about all this surgery and healing stuff is I swear there is never a dull moment in my mouth now! LOL... It seems like there is some change, or something new going on to report everyday, especially if one is really paying attention to the little stuff.

I hope all these details are helpful to those of you going through this procedure or contemplating it. Personally my family thinks I'm a bit obsessed with my teeth right now, but honestly I find it all sorta facinating to follow, and since it's my mouth it sorta helps me to get through it and focus on the healing instead of the negative aspects of it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Day 76/ I Think People Don't take me Seriously with this RPE Thing in my Mouth

I have noticed that since I got my RPE in that people don't seem to take me seriously. Could it be that the lisp makes me sound like I've got some kind of disability or something? I think so.....
Our school principal is leaving us (not his own choice) and we had a tea last night to meet the candidates we are to consider for our school. I work very closely with the principal in my position so its very important that we have a good working relationship and get along well. I didn't care for any of the candidates but how the heck do you carry on a conversation with someone when you can't enunciate and you are spitting on them every few sentences. I was completely frustrated with the whole experience and made a point of telling them that I'm not normally this hard to understand. I told them I had a big appliance in my mouth that makes it hard to talk but that its coming out on Monday, so the next time I meet them things will be much better.

I have noticed what seems like mild discrimination since wearing my appliance. Certainly I have not intentionally been looking for it as I'm really not into that sort of thing. I can't lie however, and say that I haven't felt it, or noticed it to a small degree. Especially from those who don't know what is going on. Just one more reason that I'm so thrilled that this thing is coming out on Monday!

Had to read a story to a child full of S's and all the Th stuff that is so hard for me to say. It was so funny listening to myself. I had to just laugh as I sounded like Elmer Fudd!

Teeth are pretty ok real complaints.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Day 75/ Its True! Its Really Coming Out on Monday

Ok..I couldn't stand it. I emailed the ortho asking about my procedure on Monday. I had to be sure that this thing was really coming out of my mouth for good. I asked if there was anything special I needed to do before hand, like impressios etc here is a copy of their reply;

Hello there Brandy!! will be
in heaven having the roof of your mouth back!! don't have
to do anything. The Dr. removes the RPE with the handpiece and then
bends the TPA chairside!! (he's so talented!!) The bands you have on your
back molars have tubes that the TPA slides into once he has shaped it to
fit your palate. Now doesn't that sound like a party!! See you Monday!!

I or course (being the overeducated women that I am) had to reply back since my RPE is welded to the insides of my bands, and there are no tubes on them. This was their reply the second time:

You're almost too smart for your own good!! ;) He cuts the welds then should not be getting new bands...even though it's
welded...the bands still have the lingual sheaths (tubes)....if not I'll
let you know. Dr. is at lunch right now! I'll ask him when he gets back!
I had to laugh about the "you're almost too smart for your own good" part as they are really nice but I know they have to think that about me. I swear I know more most of the time than the girls that work there do. I research everything, I know the names of the brackets, the tubes, the hooks, the anacronyms for the procedures and appliances, I'm like a closet wannabe ortho now! LOL.... I haven't heard back from them yet but I'm pretty sure they will be replacing the bands, and since I know the RPE is really coming out I see no reason to bother them anymore. I will just wait til Monday and be surprised. this point I'm fine either way just as long as this thing gets gone! :)

So its official! It's really coming out! 4 days left and my mouth will be free! I cannot tell you how happy I am. I think this ranks right up there with the birth of my son in terms of euphoria! LOL... As expected feeling is still coming back in my front left incisors and while I can still tell that it is not completely back to normal, it is getting very close so hopefully by Monday I will have full feeling back.

Monday, May 15, 2006

2.5 Months Post Op/ I Can Feel My Uppers (well mostly)

Today was pretty much just a repeat of yesterday. My right side is still sore, however, feeling is really coming back into my upper left side palate (I can already feel the right side.) Things actually feel almost back to normal today for the first time since my SARPE. I'm hoping that by the time I go into the ortho on Monday I will have full feeling back. If things continue like they have been then I think that is a very good possibility.

I'm starting to get a little stressed about my appt. Worried that I'm getting myself all psyched up only to have the ortho tell me that he isn't going to take this RPE out yet. I wonder if you need impressions for an TPA? I mean I had to get them for my RPE so I would think I might need them for the TPA...unless they can just use the same one. Anyway, it is going to totally suck if I get there and he is like "ummm lets just wait a couple more weeks!" I think I might start crying right then and there! Oh well..guess I'm going to try and not think about it and just see what happens. Maybe I will email them and ask how long my appt is going to run so I will know if I'm going to be late for work. That way I can find out. I can say "I'm supposed to get my RPE changed out, and I'm assuming new archwires on top and bottom on Monday. Can you tell me about how long this appointment will run? I just need to know so I can let my boss know if I will be a little late" I think I will do that and keep you all posted.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Day 73/ Teeth Are Moving

I don't really have a lot to report on my teeth today other than the fact that feeling is continuing to come back. I can feel more on my upper teeth as compared to yesterday today. I took some pics to try and figure out why my right side seems to be so sore the last couple of days, but I can't really see a lot of changes. My right side is really uncomfortable again though with the appliance prong all out of whack again. and my first molar (the one the band is attached to) is really sore. My archwire on the right side is also poking through and out the back of my buccol tube (the tubey thing on the outside of my band) I can feel the sharpness from it, which means my teeth are moving again! Not sure if that is good or bad....probably bad though since my teeth are sore. At least I don't have too much longer to suffer with it though! Thank goodness!

I will be very curious to see what my ortho says on Monday. I have so many questions to ask him. Like how long I have to wear the TPA? Will we be able to start increasing the tension on my upper archwires and move my uppers some now? What is the plan for my lowers? I mean can you take out this rectangular stabilizing wire and close these horrible gaps that you made with the springs? Since I'm not using the rubberbands to sleep with can you take these wire ties off of my canines? And last but not least would it be possible to have me ready for surgery by December?
I'm not sure if I would want to actually have my surgery then, but I would like to be ready then, just in case I decide to go that route. Hopefully he will not be swamped with patients so I can actually have time to ask all of this. Sometimes he is more free to talk with me than others. Just depends on his case load that day.

I'm just going to focus on getting through this week. As excited as I am about getting this RPE off, I'm also sortof nervous. I mean I'm not exactly sure how they go about getting it out and I'm really not much into the pain thing if you know what I mean. Will it be cut off? pryed off? Will I get new molar bands for the TPA? The whole process is a bit unnerving to me.

Anyway I'm going to bed, don't want to think too much about it all!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Day 72/ 8 More Days, 8 More Days, 8 MORE DAYS!!!!!

Can you tell I'm counting! LOl... I swear that time is passing so slow now that we are getting near my RPE removal date!

Feeling is gradually coming back in my teeth. I notice a tiny bit more everyday now. It actually seems like the nerves are regenerating pretty quickly at this point, faster than they have been. I can feel more sensation in the gums and teeth, and throughout the day I can feel the areas sorta pulsing or throbbing. I guess that is a good sign as the bone comes first, then the blood supply, then the nerve regeneration. So that means things are reaching completion or full healing in those areas.

It has taken roughly about 2 months to get to this point. It has had its moments for sure, but not too bad. I wonder what it will be like when I have my actual jaw surgery. Will the numbness last for months on end? Will I be feeling mostly back to normal within a couple weeks? So many things to think about, although I'm sure by the time surgery time comes around next year all of this SARPE stuff (other than the appliance torture) will all be a distant memory. Yeah, right! Keep telling yourself that Brandy...maybe you will start to believe it! :)

I realized this evening that I have not reported on my sleeping issues for quite awhile now. I have been sleeping better than I was. I'm not using the rubberbands the doctor gave me, and just sleeping on my own. I know that I'm still snoring but it is no where near what it used to be, and I awake feeling rested for the most part. So, it would appear that the expansion and increased space in my mouth and through my sinuses has helped to relieve my apnea a bit. At least enough that I should be able to make it until my surgery next year without any special devices or splints to help me sleep. This is a good thing as I really hated the rubberbands! I returned the C-Flex machine I got, as I just could not adjust to it and gave up trying. It is too noisy and quite frankly I just can't get used to sleeping with air blowing down my nose at night. I would rather be tired and deal with the rubberbands if that is the case. Anyway...that is where I"m at on the sleep issues.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Day 71/ Have I Told You How Much I Hate this RPE? Only about 1000 times eh??

Nine more days til this hunk of junk comes out of my mouth! Went to dinner tonight and the stabilizing wire came loose. Of course never having wax when I need it, I was helpless to do anything about it. I had to be very careful and still nicked my tongue really good! SEE! Man that hurts! Its amazing how something so small can be so sore!

It feels like my RPE has moved a bit on my right side. It is not sitting so comfortably now and when I bite down it is tender. Perhaps I overdid it trying to chem my mongolian beef at dinner :(
I noticed this afternoon that my left incisor, instead of being completely numb is starting to get some feeling back in it. That is a very good thing as it has been quite strange having one incisor that has feeling and one that doesn't. Behind my teeth it doesn't seem to be so tender either which is nice for a change.

Other than this there is not much else to report. Today was relatively uneventful for my teeth! he he they didn't really do too much.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Day 70/Look How Far I've Come???

Wow check this out! I loaded my pre surgery pic (this is three days before my SARPE) and then the second pic of my teeth as of today. My gap has been gradually closing over the past 7 weeks. Check out how my incisors have literally returned to almost the exact presurgery location! Isn't that crazy! They don't seem to be moving anymore so its like they just had to get back to that exact comfort zone! I was pretty amazed at that! Look how much difference there is pre vs now. Huge huh? Sometimes I look at all these pics and I can't believe that all of this has been done in less than 3 months.
You can really see the changes that have taken place if you look at the enlarged views below.

Current view of my teeth as of today.

Pre SARPE Pic (3 days before)
I get so excited when I can really see my progress. Makes all the aggravation totally worthwhile! I'm really looking forward to getting the RPE out though. Then things will be much better! Only 10 more days! I'm going to take lots of pictures as I'm curious to see if we lose any space once the RPE comes out. My ortho says we will probably lose 1/2 - 1mm but we shall see. I'm looking most forward to seeing what my teeth feel like when they touch. Right now I can't really close properly as my teeth just hit the prongs on the appliance. It will be the first time in my life that my teeth have actually met on the outsides edges like they are supposed to!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Day 69/ Just Stop Already!

My gap is continuing to close, and is starting to overlap. I wish I could just make it stop but unfortunately I can't so I guess I will just have to wait til the 22nd and hope that my ortho can fix it pretty quickly with new archwires.

Other than this today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday. Sore teeth, sore tongue, but now only 11 days til this RPE comes out! Woo hoo...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Day 68/ Gap Closure on Overdrive!

Today my teeth have been aching all day! Especially in my front incisors. Now it is not the same kindof ache as before, well it sorta is, but is also different at the same time. It feels like pressure from the sides now, instead of pressure all over. Like my teeth are trying to run over one another and fighting to see who is going to win the race. It is very annoying! I had to take some advil this evening as I just needed a break from the pressure pain. Not much else has changed in my mouth otherwise. I swear that I can feel behind my incisors (when I push up on my palate) some new bone growth. I know that sounds crazy but I tell you I can feel it. Also, I'm getting a lot of nerve regeneration in that area now also.

Today I really ripped my tongue up too! The stablizing wire they put into my appliance has sorta worked its way lose. It won't stay tucked in like it used to, and the only way to really keep it out of my way is jamming a bunch of wax up on it. Now as all of you probably know, it is next to impossible to eat anything without wax coming off, and if you drink anything hot like coffee or tea, just melts. I was eating a cup of pudding today and the wire some how came loose without me noticing. As I was trying to swish the pudding off the top of my mouth and the appliance, the wire caught my tongue and I got a nice big nick taken out of it! Man that hurt! Needless to say it has been tender ever since!

I was so irritated with this RPE that I really almost called the ortho this afternoon to see if I could come in earlier like next week, instead of waiting til the 22nd. Then I decided I needed to not be a wimp and tough it out so I didn't call, but man I wanted to, and I'm totally counting the days til they take this sucker out! Twelve days and counting!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Day 67/ My Gap is Officially Closed!

Wooo Hooo....No more gap! We have closure two days short of 7 weeks. This is today, compared to last weeks pic.

I woke up today and my diastema was officially gone! It is actually now starting to look like it could begin overlapping by my next appointment. Guess that explains all that pressure I have been feeling against these two teeth. I'm not really happy about that though as I still have 2 weeks left til my next appointment!

My teeth have been a bit tender today, not achey, but I can feel them for sure! The right side of my uppers seem to have a good amount of feeling back in them, however, from my left incisor over is still pretty numb. It is really weird having half of your upper palate be numb and half have feeling. I'm so excited that I only have 13 more days til my RPE comes out though that I have scarcely noticed anything else. I know I haven't had to wear this torture device near as long as some others but I still hate it and can't wait for it to be gone!

Other than this life is good! Now if we could just get our house sold, I would be totally ecstatic!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Day 66/ 14 Days Til RPE Freedom

Not much to report today. No real pain or irritation, other than my teeth just feel like they are pushing against one another. Pressure I guess would be a better way to describe it.

Only 14 days til I get this monstrous appliance out of my mouth! I can't wait!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Day 65/ Sad Sore Mouth :(

My mouth is pretty sore today. All that burning, aching, and tingling has been doing something. My gap is pretty much closed, all except a tiny bit at the top. My teeth are definitely moving though. The brackets have been tearing up my lips all day, and eating is more of a nightmare than usual just because they hurt. I have been wearing strips of wax across my upper teeth pretty much all day long the past two days. Mostly it is bugging me on my right side. I looked at some pics and I can see some changes.

Do any of you (who are like me and obsessing over your teeth) sometimes see changes in them and get mad? Especially if it looks like it is not a good change? Some of my upper teeth are starting to shift downward a bit (thus the brackets relocating.) They have been looking so good and now I feel like they are starting to look bad. I have an adjustment on the 22nd but man that feels like an eternity away. Funny how when I got the self ligating brackets one of the selling points for me was longer time between adjustments, and now that is one of the things that I hate the most about them! Eight weeks between appointments is just to long! I'm so having a hard time with this whole patience thing! I want them to get done not so much super fast, but as quickly as they can safely be done....However, not just when my ortho can fit me into the ortho mill lineup! I mean doesn't he know how high maintenance I am? It really is ALL ABOUT ME! LOL... Maybe I need to tell him next appt. :)

Anyway...I'm frustrated tonight because my mouth hurts! and my teeth are moving in directions that I don't think they should be moving. Everytime I see this I think..Ughhh! That's another 8 weeks of adjustment to move them back or into a new location! Sometimes it feels like we are wasting so much time, doing stuff over again. Again, its not so much the 8 week time frame as it is me feeling like we are redoing stuff that was at one point, pretty recently, just fine. I hate wasting time fixing stuff twice, as that just takes away time we could be working on other issues in my mouth that need addressing. I hope my ortho puts on a "real" archwire next time and starts moving stuff around on top. It will be almost 3 months since my surgery by then and it seems like that is sufficient enough time, and that he should be able to begin moving my teeth into proper alignment now instead of just loosening them with this wimpy wire I'm wearing.

Other than this not much else is going on. WE put our house on the market and had our first nibble the other day with an appointment. She seemed very interested, asked if she could bring her husband back to see it today, and seemed like she was worried that she might lose it if she didn't act fast, however, then we never heard back from her. Funny how that works.....

Well I'm going to begin my nightly cleaning ritual, then hit the sack. I will gab somemore tomorrow.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Day 64/ More of the Same and Then Some

Not much new to report, I sorta feel like a broken record these past few days. Tongue is sore, front incisors have been aching daily, teeth and upper palate are getting some feeling back, little by little, but still mostly numb. I feel a lot of pressure on my front incisors lately. I have been wondering if my incisors are actually pushing against each other now as the top portion of my gap continues to close. Not really sure about that but something is definitely going on.

My mouth is really sore today, my teeth are moving again and the pressure points and rubs are in new places now and causing my mouth to rebel. I have wax pretty much everywhere tonight on my teeth, as well as all over my appliance to protect my tongue. It is not pretty! LOl...

Well I'm tired, and I have a busy day of showing our house tomorrow so I'm going to sign off and hit the sack.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Day 63/ Wire Poking My Tongue

Today my tongue is very sore again. The wire tie in my RPE has come loose and I can't get it to go back where its suppose to. I plaster it with wax but it keeps coming off and catching my tongue. It really sucks!

My teeth were sorta achey today again...burning. Mostly my incisors as usual.

It's late and I'm tired so I will post more tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Day 62/ Six Weeks Post Expansion

I was going to post a pic of my official 6 week gap progress today, however, it is exactly the same as the one I posted I figured why bother.

Today was a weird day though, as my front incisors were sorta burny and achey all day. I had to take some advil to get rid of the irritation. Now this was a little unusual as my teeth haven't really been bothering me for about a week now. If I have learned anything through this whole process it is, when my teeth are achey...then something is happening! Nerve regeneration, gap closure, feeling coming back, whatever! Something is repairing! So...I will just wait and see what it is!

Today my tongue is very beat up. I noticed that the wire tie on my expander appliance is hanging down sorta loose and I can't make it go back up under the appliance edge. It keeps catching my tongue and really wearing on it. I'm thinking of calling the ortho to see if they can do anything to get it tucked back inside the appliance. Secretly I'm hoping that if I go in for this little fix my ortho will say.."Hey why don't we just take it out and put in your TPA" That would totally rock! One of my molar bands has really been bothering the gums also. I'm worried that it is digging up into them and could create an infection. It hurts really bad to water pik it or brush it. So I would really be going in for two things! LOL..

When I have my appt on the 22nd I want him to change out my RPE for the TPA, take off the wire tires on my top teeth, close my gap completely, put in a new archwire on top and start moving my uppers, remove the stablizing wire on my lowers and do whatever needs to get done to close these huge spaces and the front two incisors that are flaring out. (They are getting so bad that I sometimes hit them with my top incisors!) If I go in early for this other stuff then because he would be squeezing me in I would feel like I couldn't ask him to do all this stuff! I'm kinda one of those assertive patients that isn't afraid to talk to my ortho about what the heck he is doing, and where I want my treatment to be going. I also want to see if we can have me surgery ready by December of this year instead of May 2007. I'm ready to get on with this jaw surgery stuff and be done with it!

Well that is about it. Aside from waiting for my gap to completely close, the off again on again throbbing stuff, and my RPE irritation, life is good! Our house is officially up for sale now and things are just plugging right along. So....really can't complain too much these days.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Day 61/ The SARPE Saga Continues :)

I decided to post some pics of the progress we have made in the last couple of months. Here is a pic of my Post expansion smile, and my smile as of today (6 weeks post expansion.)

Next here is my newly expanded palate as it looks today, and below what it looked like the day we finished expanding. It appears to have actually widened a bit in the rear areas of my mouth. The prongs are no longer sitting on my teeth but have settled next to them, and the molars that my bands are attached to appear to not be quite so tipped now. You can also really see how my gap has come together. Overall I'm very pleased with my 2 month results, amazed in fact!

I posted a new post pic a couple days down, showing the changes in my face. I look a bit more human in that pic rather than "au natural" LOL... I also posted a new pic of my almost closed gap. I will take a 5 week...or is it 6 weeks? pic tomorrow of its progress. Hopefully it will be completely closed! I'm liking the way my teeth look though, and my new wider smile. Now if my ortho would just close these spaces on the bottom I would be thrilled! Darn springs! just did too good of a job at pulling those crowded teeth apart and making room for the others. Now they are all swimming in space and probably enjoying their new found freedom too, even if I'm hating it! LOL...

Today was a pretty easy day all in all. I had to talk a whole bunch, pretty much my entire day, so needless to say my tongue is feeling the affects of overuse. It is tolerable for the most part though and at least its not bleeding this time! Only 19 days til this thing comes out forever! I so can't wait

Monday, May 01, 2006

Day 60/ Two Months Post Op! Man Time Flies!

Today is my two month post op anniversary. Things are going well and as you can see my gap is just about closed. It needs to move in a bit at the top but it is doing quite well and I'm feeling much better about my teeth in general now.
I'm still quite numb in my upper teeth, gums, and palate area, however, feeling is gradually coming back little by little each day. I'm just trying to be patient and trudge on ahead with this whole journey.

The RPE is still annoying me and making my tongue sore daily, but I have developed a bit of resistance and can tolerate longer periods of talking with it now. Which is really good since my entire job is pretty much about talking! LOL... I'm still looking forward to having it replaced with the TPA, and counting the days. 20 days of torture left! :)

Other than this there is not much else to report. I'm getting better for sure, but it is incremental with bits here and there that are changing or improving, so its sorta hard to track on a daily basis. In case I forgot to mention it, I would totally go through all of this again! I'm really starting to like my newly emerging smile, and all the aggravation is totally worth it I think!