This is why I love my doctor

August 6th, 2010

The numbered questions are me. The -response is Dr. Li.
I needed a laugh.
Now I’m trying to figure out how to grow huge sideburns.

> Last set of questions before I Plath…(don’t worry, I have an AEK)
> 1. Do I get braces 1st?-yes

> 2. If so (I am assuming so) how soon after do you surge?-up to Dr.
Inouye to align the teeth

> 3. What is the recovery time for upper jaw surgery?-back to work in 4 weeks

> 4. Is it the same eat through a syringe recovery? not through straw and
no wiring teeth, but liquids

> 5. Can I get my jaw made of adamantium like Wolverine?
you need the hair to go with it.

Hyperventilating panic attack– Oh look! Shiny things! What was I talking about?

August 5th, 2010

The two Dr’s have conferred.
The two Dr’s have agreed.
Upper jaw surgery. What that actually means, I do not know. Will I look like a primate after? Will someone start a primate face fan site? Will I get royalties? Maybe a movie gig? Hey, there’s gotta be an upside here, right?
Currently my jaw juts forward so I am a little like the Godfather. We could remake it and I could be Godmother.

Godmother profile

Godmother profile

I also have that “wedge” in my mouth 24/7 (Ok really more like 23.5/7 since I clean it once a day in Efferdent and brush it after meals) which is not doing much for my look.
I look like a vampire. Scary!

I look like a vampire. Scary!

So there it is.
I’m actually going to hopefully slide back into the lovely river of denial for a while, so I hope this finds you happy, healthy, and pain free!
PS Please grab the biggest apple you can find right now and take a biiig bite for me! Let me know it is! I live vicariously!

Quick update

July 23rd, 2010

Dr. Li has not seen the x-rays yet but he did see my bite…and he did say something about upper jaw surgery. So…after the two Drs knock heads together, I suppose I’ll be updating this here blog again with more gory details. Maybe this time I’ll video blog the recovery. Threats: yes, I make them.

The end in sight is someone mooning me.

July 22nd, 2010

It’s been that time for a while. What time? Blog update time. Especially since I told Julie I’d write more and then…didn’t! Boo hiss.

I just got back from Dr. I the new ortho who is getting my jaw to settle down so that I can (dreams dreams dreams) eat without pain. When he first started working with me he said he could fix my jaw issue then make my teeth touch, if I didn’t mind braces again. Of course I don’t mind braces again…if it means someday I will be a normal kid. Okay, maybe I MIND a little…but I won’t give anyone a hard time if it accomplishes my end goal, right? Dr. Li and Dr. I have spoken about my case and everyone thought all this was do-able withOUT another jaw surgery. Have you noticed yet that I am conveying what everyone thought in the past tense?

Zut alors!

Dr. I took a look at my new million dollar x-rays (okay just $300, but how many of these am I going to get this year?) and saw that my lower jaw is still sitting too far back, especially on the right where the bone has changed from all this abuse. So we played around with jaw placement and I’m pretty much going to look like Ms. Sling Blade when they get things all settled. And that’s when Dr. I started talking about making “spaces” in the upper teeth and augmenting this or that to do some “aesthetic dentistry” and I said, “Are you saying all this because really what I need is surgery?” And he kind of sighed and said maybe yes. Then talked a little about moving upper jaw forward (which means I would look like a monkey) or shortening the lower jaw…yeah, so surgery. Guess I’ll go bug Dr. Li to get those two pow-wow-ing about me.

So what did I do in reaction to all this news (which I have been fearfully suspecting but telling myself I was being paranoid for a while now)? I bought myself a double iced latte and 2 bags of sourdough snacks, sat down here and shared with you. The end. NOT!

Allergies? Allergies? You don’t have no stinking allergies.

June 5th, 2010

I have a very very bad habit of starting things and not finishing them — oh look!  Something shiny!  Where was I?  Right.  Unfinished tasks.  I also have a motivation problem.  I can think about something so much that I am exhausted before I’ve even moved and it never even gets started.

Why start my post this way?  Well, for years I have suspected I have allergies.  I don’t get sneezy (except this year) and I haven’t noticed a consistant “seasonal” onset, but I have post nasal drip.  ALL THE TIME.  And after I eat (not every meal, but MOST) I get very phlegmy and have to clear my throat for about 30 minutes.  In addition to these minor things I SWEAR I can tell when I have eaten a walnut because my mouth hurts and sometimes I throw up.

So…  A few years ago I had a nasty experience at my favorite Indian restaurant where I ordered something new that didn’t have walnuts in it, my mouth exploded as if I had had walnuts, and I threw up in our parking lot when I got home.  When I spoke to the owner he said there were only cashews in the dish, and only cashew powder for that matter.  No matter…because I used to snack on cashews by the pound so I’m pretty sure I am not allergic to cashews.  To this day they insist there was nothing other than cashew dust in the dish, but my mouth is usually pretty specific with the walnuts so…who the heck knows.

This prompted me to finally go to an allergist.  He was a nice guy.  He listened to my story.  He got his assistant to bring in a few huge trays of pokey allergens that they smooshed into my back, and afterwards, after NOTHING happened on my back (aside from me feeling like someone had turned me into a pin cushion) said, “I’ll bet you think you’re done.”  Well, actually I didn’t…but I was wondering what the next step would be.  Turns out it’s blood.  They take your blood and test it for all the things they just stuck into your back.  Good times.  Unfortunately, that blood work required me to find a place to take my blood, make a time to go (with no end time since you know how long you can end up waiting at those walk-in blood places!) and *sigh* actually go.  That never happened.

Fast forward a year or so (sad how I used to be so specific with my timeline memory) and put me in front of my favorite steak house/fancy drink restaurant with a couple vendors.  Business meeting.  Talking shop.  Had some garlic bread, a couple drinks, and all three of us split a shrimp cocktail – but they were huge so that means it was a prawn cocktail, right?  Anyhow, one vendor left and I was sitting with Rick whom I have worked with for a decade when suddenly my blood pressure took a large dive and it was all I could do to keep from fainting.  As I fought the darkness shoving its way forward from my periphery, I managed to say something like “I think I’m going to pass out” before VIOLENTLY THROWING UP…TWICE…on the table.   Mmmmm.  Good times.  This led me to believe I am allergic to shrimp, or prawns, a theory which I have not tested since (repeat? no thank you!) since immediately after “the incident” I felt better.  But did I get around to that blood test?  Did I follow up with the allergist?  Of course not.  Fast forward a couple of years to, oh, say, 2 weeks ago.

This allergy season was killing me!  Feeling like I had to sneeze for hours at a time.  Watering eyes (accompanying the feeling that I was just about to sneeze), runny nose, and that darned post nasal drip!  I was getting tired during the day again, so of course suspected my sleep apnea was rearing it’s Supposed-to-be-gone-now hideous head and began to despair.  For some, their hours of darkness find them calling out to the heavens.  I cry out (on email, so he doesn’t have to hear my sniffly whine) to Dr. Li.  And Dr. Li always answers.  This time he said, “Get thee to an allergist.” (I may have paraphrased a little).

Made the appointment.  Since it’s a new doctor and I didn’t  have records transferred (I did think about it!  But you know how that goes)  she didn’t take my word that someone else’s 3 trays of needles smooshed into my epidermis had no reaction and so she ordered her own.  I think her tech was way too into making each one hurt.  Whereas the 1st allergist had been able to smoosh one tray at a time (each tray housing some couple dozen allergen stick points) for a total of 3 moments of discomfort, this one had each allergen administered individually underneath my skin…and she had ordered many many allergens tested.  Unfortunately the burning I felt was not a reaction anywhere on my back and so the tech came back with the big guns.  Real needles.  None of these little prick your skin things.  These 8 needles had larger doses of certain allergens that were then INJECTED under my skin.  Those burned too, but according to whatever chart they had, none of them reacted (though it sure did look red and welty when I got home and stung until I got up in the middle of the night and exfoliated my back in the shower).

Turns out, the only thing you can do with the sticking and the pricking and the injecting of allergens into someone’s body is the existence of an allergy.  You cannot prove one doesn’t exist this way.  So what next?  Yes.  Blood.  I now have another blood work form to take to some blood work center.  I’m pretty sure I’ll do this one since my post nasal drip has turned into the feeling that something is caught in the mucus that has taken up residence at the back of my throat and I am tired during the day, especially while driving in traffic.  Boo Hoo.

I am going to stop writing now to go take an allerclear, drink a gallon of water, and forage for a salty snack that I hope doesn’t turn me into more of a phlegm monster than I am presently.  Hasta!

Oh…here’s a picture of my back that night.  Yes.  I have a lot of dots.  I know this.  What I am trying to show you are the “non-reactive” needle sticks.  Primarily I’m talking about the ones on the left that look like flea bites, though you can still see the writing on my back where she labeled the ones on the right.

Yes, I know I have lots of dots.

Yes, I know I have lots of dots.

What do May Showers Bring? (Hint: Sniffling and Breakups)

May 20th, 2010

Allergies!  That’s what May Showers Bring!

I have never had such a time of allergies before!  I’m even doing the sneezing thing!  Anyone else been hit with all this sun, no–rain, no–sun, no–rain the world is my histamine way of things?  *sniffle*  On the up side, one would think, based on my history that my sleep would suffer immensely with all this upper respiratory aggravation, but it seems Dr. Li’s UPPP (leaving the U of course) is still working on keeping that airway open.  Hooray!  Now on to the non-hooray-type things you love so much.

I’ve been dumped.  The short story is I’m a people pleaser and I guess I didn’t communicate enough that I was not happy…or that I was actually in physical pain…  Alas, when it finally got to the point where I could not bear it anymore and I didn’t feel heard or even genuinely cared about, I went to the only man who has been able to help in the past…Dr. Li.  I didn’t even run to him in person.  I ran to him on email…and he wrote back with a solution.  But that solution had consequences.  And so I give you, the not-as-long-as-it-could-be (but most likely longer than it should be) version of my breakup — with my orthodontist.

As you know (or can pretend to have known going forward), I have been kind of unhappy with the whole non-touching of my back left teeth phenomenon and have been trying to get my ortho to fix it.  As I may or may not have mentioned previously, my jaw, post surgery, has not returned to pre-surgery opening-ability, but I figured that was a small sacrifice for the whole ability to breathe thing I gained.  I also figured that over time my jaw would stop hurting when I tried to bite high-resistance food…  At one point in time my ortho recommended physical therapy, which I went to once and was given home exercises that made things even worse.  That was a couple years ago.  I eat Naproxen like mints (sorry, future ulcerated digestive tract) and had been managing under this CRAZY theory I had that once my teeth touched in the back, the pain would go away.

Every 3 months I would dutifully drive to my ortho exam, happily chat with the lovely people who work there, and mention that I was experiencing discomfort biting and chewing and ask if anything was going to be done about the teeth touching thing, and I’d be told one of these things: 1.  Your dentist should deal with this.  2.  Maybe he can cap your teeth.  3.  Maybe he’ll file down the teeth that are touching soon.  4.  I think you need PT.  And every 6 months I would talk to my dentist who would say: 1. No way.  We wouldn’t add THAT much height to a tooth.  2.  No way,  We won’t file down your teeth.  3.  Maybe in a few years when you need to replace that filling we could do something back there.  Honestly?  Nothing ever sounded good so I just didn’t press it, and dealt with the pain…WHICH I SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE.  Here are my words of wisdom to you who may be afraid to say to your doctor, “I don’t think what you did (or are doing) works”:  SAY IT.  By the end of November I could no longer chew.  I was back to baby food and mashed potatoes.  It was too much to bear.  Was I really never going to be able to eat pain-free?  This time I was adamant that things were not right when I saw my ortho.  Response?  PT.  I wanted to cry.  I asked, “Don’t you think this would go away if my teeth touched in the back on the left? ”  Got the usual response.  So I emailed Dr. Li.  I asked, do you know any good PT’s?  Because I figured he must have dealt with this before.  He wrote back immediately and told me to come in.

This post is already too long so I’ll nutshell the rest:

Dr Li sent me to a guy he thought could help me.  The guy ordered XRays (3-D x-rays that cost about $100 per dimension).  I went in to see him and he made me a splint for my teeth that basically looks like invisalign but is actually a wedge on the left giving my back teeth contact.  I have to eat with this thing in and it sucks…but within 2 days I COULD EAT NORMAL FOOD.  This guy happens to be an orthodontist but he wasn’t working on  my teeth, he was working on my jaw.

I went to my next 3 month appointment where I let my ortho know I was working with this other guy for my jaw.  She repeated she thought it was just that the disc in my jaw had slipped and I thought to myself “yeah, and how did that happen?  Could it be because my back teeth on the left weren’t touching?”  I’m being snarky now, but that’s just because I didn’t think there would be a problem since she was still working on my teeth (though she had told me she thought we were just in “maintenance mode” which was about when I flipped and wrote Dr. Li)…and last time I went to see the guy taking care of my jaw, he had to tell me I’d been dumped and that if it was okay with me, he would be my new orthodontist…oh, and could he put braces on me?

So there it is.

And my new ortho had to build my teeth up even more last week since my jaw started to calm down and we have started to see what my real bite looks like.  So here is what I look like now.

This is the bite wedge I wear 24/7.  Can't eat without it.

This is the bite wedge I wear 24/7. Can't eat without it! That's my bite. Good times.

TAD – Last Day! Day 28 Watermelon Tourmaline with Magnetic Clasp bracelet by smac

February 28th, 2010
Okay! So, things I learned about magnetic clasps…they’re really difficult to work with if your tools and/or findings are metal! :)
I was going to make this a two-stranded bracelet, but I think in the future I should string the beads before dealing with the clasp.
Thank you everyone for your awesome creations and comments. As usual, TAD has rocked!

Posted via email from Shelby’s Posterous Adventures

TAD Day 22 that I forgot to post on Day 22 doh! Cat’s Eye and Lab Opal earrings by smac

February 28th, 2010
Here it is, the last official TAD Day and I just realised I hadn’t posted this particular day…Day 22. So I am posting now. I’ll post my last creation after I create it. :)

Posted via email from Shelby’s Posterous Adventures

TAD-Day 26 Faceted Labradorite Discs with Freshwater Pearls Knotted Necklace by smac

February 26th, 2010
This is a semi-replica of a necklace I made years ago that a friend of mine really liked. I tried for months to find the same pearls I used in the first one, but to no avail. The hardest part is knotting between each pearl. How do people do this for a living? Hand cramp!!!
I hope you can see the awesome opalescence in the labradorite discs. So beautiful!

Posted via email from thing-a-day 2010

TAD Day 21 – Opalite and crystal cubes with square sterling silver wire earrings by smac

February 21st, 2010
Don’t be such a SQUARE…okay so they’re cubes, but it is square wire.
This square wire looks so cool…in theory, but is rather difficult to work with as far as repeating a look is concerned.
Instead of twisting, I just bent. Next thing to learn: silver soldering. It’s been on my list for eons.

Posted via email from Shelby’s Posterous Adventures