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General, Health, Life

Healthy changes

07.28.09 | 6 Comments

So I finally got braces. I figured now was better than later when I’m out practicing. My super nice orthodontist expects it to take about 18 months. 18 months ago, Zoe was almost 11 months old, and that seems like yesterday, so perhaps this will go by as quickly. I kind of wish I had waited until after our upcoming 10 year high school reunion, but whatever. We all saw each other at various stages of idiocy and awkwardness, so it’s cool.

Though I look like an utter goof, so far it doesn’t hurt too badly – I haven’t had to take any ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It only hurts a little in my actual teeth. I read online that it takes 72 hours for the tension to break down the bone and 90 days to build it back up. We’re taking a picture every few days so we can see the progress over time. The first couple of days I had this claustrophobic, cagey feeling, but that’s lessening.

One side effect is that eating is no longer fun. At all. Not that I ate for sport before, but the inconvenience of actually chewing and then cleaning my teeth afterward has severely curtailed my snacking. And of course, I have eliminated the foods and behaviors that could cause a bracket to break, which ultimately benefits my long term health. No nail biting or ice chewing. White flour is gone. Sugar is ALMOST gone. Flavored, unsweetened tea has become my very, very good friend. Cold soy milk. Baked fish. Tofu. Soup. Pureed beans. Pureed hot brown rice cereal. Mashed plantains. I have returned to eating only enough to make me not hungry anymore, which before required willpower, and now is a pain-saving mechanism.

After discussions with Jenna about gluten and dairy, I ditched gluten and am limiting dairy to my Greek yogurt, which doesn’t seem to bother me. I’m also mammal-meat-free, and I don’t miss it. My skin has cleared up, my fatigue is considerably less, and my abdomen is flattening. In fact, today my belly saw the light of day for the first time since Zoe entered our lives. I spent some time in the pool swimming laps, floating, and generally acting like a kid for about a half hour, and it felt phenomenal. I could spend my whole life in water. I’m probably half mermaid. I guess that would be the top half. I wore my favorite vintage two-piece – Mom’s bikini from the 1960s. I’m not ready to don that in more public than there was today (the girl who was frying her skin while reading a book), but given a little more time… Perhaps.

Some of these improvements could be attributed to the fact that Sophie has a new home in Brenham. I am getting good reports from her new family that she is doing very well, and they love her. Zoe’s nose runs less, and I’m breathing easily, completely off my Zyrtec and Flonase. And I rage less.

I kind of wish I had been more scientific about these things so I could figure out which made the biggest improvement, but then I might be obnoxious about it. My family has always said I have infomercial potential. So I’ll just say that they’re all very good changes, and it’s nice to feel more normal.

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