Friday, September 18, 2015

Lingual Braces. AKA the mini metal army of misery

It is only day 5 of having lingual braces and I am already regretting it. My mouth hurts. I have a weird lisp. I can't chew anything. My tongue is about to report me to OSHA for hazardous working conditions because every time it tries to move it smashes up against sharp metal objects and it's becoming quite irritated by the whole ordeal. And this is just the start. So far, I only have the braces on the back of my bottom teeth. In a couple weeks I have to go back to get the top ones installed. Happy Happy Joy Joy (sarcasm explosion).

I must point out that my annoyance is only at myself and not at the architects of the metal misery mechanisms in my mouth. Comella Orthodontics is the friendliest, most welcoming office I've ever been to. And I've been around the orthodontia block before. If you're going to let anyone poke around in your mouth and cement tiny metal torture devices there, they're the ones you want to do it. They even sent Pete and I a congratulations card after the wedding. And getting the braces installed was one of the more, shall we say, interesting experiences of my life. I was originally supposed to go in on the 23rd but they called and asked if I could go in on the 14th instead and offered me a $200 discount. My desire to procrastinate at getting braces indefinitely was trumped by my desire to save $200 so I agreed. I did sort of wonder why they were giving me $200 but I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. (I have never really understood that expression but it seems appropriate here). When I arrived, I filled out the paperwork, forked over far more than $200 and then the receptionist said "Go on back, they're all waiting for you!" Um, all?! What? Who? Apparently, this was some kind of teaching exercise and dental professionals had flown in from as far away as Colorado to stare at my mouth as it was invaded by a miniature metal army that would destroy my dreams of eating bagels and pizza. So the braces got put on. Everyone was very excited by the whole process. Except me. I was just like what is happening here? Sand is in my mouth, they are shining lights on my teeth, everyone wants to be the one who takes off the plastic holder once the braces are put in place, it's all very confusing. But evidently I was a model patient because they were all like "You're doing great, I hope my first patient is as good as you are." The things I will do for $200, man.

So anyway, nothing against the orthodontists, they are great. My sense of regret comes from wondering if I made the wrong choice or made the choice for the wrong reasons. My teeth were not straight, but they were functional. Now they are becoming straighter but they are not very functional. And I know eventually they will be both straight and functional. But am I subjecting my mouth to a year and half of suffering because someone else pointed out a flaw I hadn't noticed but then felt compelled to fix for fear that it would only get worse? Am I allowing myself to be confined by other peoples' opinions, however professional, instead of choosing the path of authenticity and freedom? I am torn between wanting self-improvement and wanting to just be happy with who I am and how I look. I still want to be the best possible version of me. The key word being me. Not others' expectations or opinions of how I should be. I don't know. All I know is that I just really, really want to eat a bagel right now. And pizza. All the pizza. And I can't. And that is making me sad. Pizza, I pine for you.

Lyric of the moment: "It's ok, it's alright, nothing's wrong. Tell Mr. Man with impossible plans to just leave me alone. In the place where I make no mistakes. In the place where I have what it takes..." ~Elliott Smith "Waltz #2 (XO)"

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