Monday, August 2, 2010

14 Hour Countdown

Well, about 14 more hours to go. Actually, a little more than that, but I'm waiting.

Truth be told, I'm just wanting to get the damned spacers out from between my teeth. I'm getting tired of the feeling of constantly chewing on rubber! What's happening is the elastic bands are sticking out over the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, so they're making contact with the biting surfaces of the teeth below and above them. The right side of my mouth is okay, but this feeling only encourages me to unconciously clench my teeth, so I don't know if it's the movement of my teeth or my teeth clenching together that's causing the soreness in my jaws. Either way, IT'S GOT TO FUCKING GO! :(

Regardless, this just means I'm one more month closer to getting this surgery done and over with and I can't wait. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

Well, it's been 3 days since I've gotten my spacers. They're not painful when they're sitting there, but the ones in my upper left quadrant are sticking out a bit so it feels like I'm chewing on rubber when I close my mouth. Very weird feeling.

The only time I do have problems is when I try to eat. Chewing is not my favorite thing right now because that's when I really feel the movement of my teeth. It also feels like the molars on my right side are higher on the bottom or lower on the top arch. But, it looks like I'm just going to have to stick it out.

Four more days to go and then I'll be getting braced. Check back again soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


So, soon after I posted the previous blog entry, I walked to the Downtown area of Huntington Beach to go catch the route 1. While on board, I resumed playing Sudoku on my nook.

This was not a good idea, because I ended up missing my stop and had to walk back to the previous stop, about a good mile away. I called up OCTA to find out when the next route 35 was leaving so I could get to Dr. Graham's office and found that it was leaving the next minute. "Run, Forrest! Run!"

So, I ran and got to the bus about a minute after it was supposed to leave, but the driver saw me running and waited. I hopped on board and grabbed a seat in the back and the driver doesn't have the air conditioning running. When I got to my stop, I had to yell at him to stop or else he would have driven right past it.

Now, irritated, I walk into Dr. Graham's office. Soon, the waiting room is full of patients for their 10:30 appointments. We all got herded into a 2nd waiting area, then get called in and assigned different seats.

Soon, one of the dental assistants joined me and asked if I was getting all my spacers put in. I didn't think about this at first and said "Yes" before I remembered that Dr. Graham was going to brace me on the bottom first to make room for the upper brackets. The assistant came back with the spacers and I told her what was going on. She inspected my bite, then went and got my chart. She then made a quick consultation with Dr. Graham and started placing the spacers between my molars and 2nd bicuspids.

I think the spacers are blue elastic bands that they use for braces. When they place them in, they stretch them out so that they're like a slightly thicker piece of dental floss. They then spring into their normal shape and move the teeth apart form each other so there is space to place the metal bands.

When the assistant was finished, she told me that she's looking forward to the finished results of my surgery. She related the story of her ex-husband and told me that his underbite was even more severe than my own. The results were, in her words, fantastic. Of course, dopey me, I forgot to ask her name or look at her nametag. Oh well, I'll be in next week.

Next week, I go in for braces and the whole thing really begins in earnest. Forward, ever forward. Check back here next week.

Back On Track

Well, less than an hour and a half to go. In about 90 minutes, I'll be in Dr. Graham's office to finally get my spacers for my braces.

This appointment was reset after news came that the Judge Malette threw Emperor Schwarzenegger's case out of court. When word came on that Friday, I called the following Monday to make my appointment.

This procedure involves placing pieces between the molars to make room for the application of metal bands that will be used as anchors around the molars. Next week, I will be getting said bands around my teeth and be getting braces placed on my bottom teeth so they can be moved into their position and also so I won't be breaking off my upper brackets when they're applied.

This reminds me, I also have to ask Dr. Graham to refer me to the x-ray clinic so I can get another encephalographic radiogram to show that my jaw is no longer growing and that the jaw distance is being caused by the bone and not the braces.

Time to go! Check back later.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hosed, again

Well, I was supposed to go in and get spacers put on today, but being that I'm an employee of the State of California, I now have to worry about whether or not I am even going to be able to make my rent, as minimal as it is, for the next couple of months thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to reduce all employees to Federal Minimum Wage until the budget is passed.

Until then, ALL appointments regarding an orthodontist are now indefinitely on hold until I get my full paycheck. I simply don't know if I'll even have the ability to pay my regular bills.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Light Head

Last week, as I said, I scheduled my appointment to have teeth #6 and #12 removed in order to prepare for braces. After arranging final transportation arrangements with my friend Erik, I waited for Monday.

On the day, I had woken up early, but went back to sleep after an hour and a half out of boredom. Eventually, I came back around a little after 8, took a shower, brushed my teeth and got dressed. Erik called to get the directions and we took off down the street.

I checked into the clinic and eventually was given my paperwork after giving the x-rays and extraction order to the ladies at the front desk. After filling out the health history and consent form, they had me come back for panorex x-rays and periapical shots of the teeth they were removing. Soon, I was in the operatory meeting Dr. John Choi, the oral surgeon. Dr. Choi gave me a little background on himself and I was relieved to find that he's been doing oral surgery for 15 years. After a final check on my health history and forms, I was taken back to another operatory.

There, I was hooked up to a heart and respiration monitor. After a few minutes, I was given an intravenous bag of saline while the operating crew got ready. Everyone came in and they started the oxygen mask on me, and eventually started the nitrous oxide mix. The surgical assistant, whose name I didn't get - damn shame too, she was cute - then put a mask over my eyes to keep any fluids from going into them. The last thing I remember is looking up into grayish blue from the mask over my eyes.

The next thing I remember is getting into Erik's car with some assistance. Another gap of time passed and I am already upstairs opening the door to my apartment. Erik made sure I had everything I needed and I went inside and realized that my mouth was full of gauze. I didn't care about that because I knew why it was there and I proceeded to my room and promptly fell asleep for about an hour and a half.

When I woke back up, I got back out of bed and walked (yes, I'm out of my fucking mind!) to the bus stop to go to the pharmacy and then the Albertsons. I got my prescriptions filled (amoxicillin, 800 mgs of Motrin and my favorite, vicodin) and walked to Albertsons to get some soft foods and protein shakes to maintain some semblance of nutrition. By the time I got back to the bus stop to make my way home, I was feeling a bit more normal and spent the rest of the day recuperating by watching "Batman Begins."

Upon awakening the next morning, I was greeted by the taste of blood. My own. I think I became a self-parasitic vampire. This was nothing that couldn't be taken care of as I brushed my teeth and did a mild salt water rinse.

Yesterday, I called Dr. Graham's office to schedule my appointments. I was offered an appointment for next week but, due to financial constraints, I asked to be scheduled after the first of July. My first appointment is Tuesday, July 6th for spacers between my molars, then another appointment on Tuesday, July 13th in the afternoon to have braces put on.

So, this is it! It's all coming together at last. If I don't post another blog before then, check back on the 7th day of July. That's all for now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back Again

Well, it has been quite a while, hasn't it. A lot of things have changed, some went back the way they were and some new things have come into play, but most of this has nothing to do with the surgery. I'm sure I could have posted more stuff on here about it, but there really hasn't been anything to report in the way of what's been going on with this topic, so I hadn't felt much inclination to report on nothing. The other stuff that was happening, many of my friends already know about, but that wasn't related to this. So, time for an update.

After cancelling my appointment with Dr. Punim due to the cost factor, I went back to Dr. Graham's office. I received my surgery order and found that the treatment plan had changed so that he was going to extrude my right upper canine to bring it into place with the other teeth. This is not what he and I had previously discussed, so I called them back. Yesterday, I went in for another consultation and he issued me out a new extraction order, this time to remove the canine, as well as the first bicuspid in my upper left quadrant.

Today, I scheduled, or tried to schedule, an appointment to get the teeth extracted. Being that my dental office already has an oral surgeon, I decided to go through them since they already have all my records and they're going to be following me through this whole procedure. Tentatively, I'm schedule to have my teeth extracted on Monday morning, assuming that I can find a ride to get there and get back out of there since they're going to be sedating me. Probably a good thing since they're going to have to go into the hard palate to get the canine tooth pulled out.

So far, my main struggle is finding someone available to give me a ride so I can get there and back since they won't do the surgery without it. This is still pending, but I'm going to go ahead and schedule the appointment.

More to come.