The Nearly-Two-Week Point (and Many Parenthetical Statements)

Between house/dog/catsitting and the largest stack of proposal assignments that I’ve seen in the past three years (February’s submittal madness comes close but is beaten out by, like, five), life has been a little crazy. So crazy, in fact, that I didn’t even have time to register that I’ve had my top row of braces for very nearly two weeks until today. That means it’s only three-ish weeks ’til I get my bottom row! Huzzah! (No, really. I’m actually excited about this.)

The things I’ve learned in these past two weeks have been mostly food-related. For example:

  • Sneezing with a mouth full of half-gummed donut and braces makes for an interesting experience. For that matter, sneezing with a mouth full of just braces makes for an interesting experience. They sort of lend themselves to the sensation that they’re gonna be launched outta my mouth and land around the silhouette of the nearest person, knife-throwing-contest-style.
  • It is truly amazing how many things get wedged in my braces—and the size of said things, too. I think I extracted an entire stir-fried broccoli floret from my archwire this morning (I heart Asian takeout). The middle right antenna’d bracket just loves squirreling away food for later. I’ve gotta keep an eye on that one.

By and large, I’m still pretty timid about eating. We went out to a local burger joint for my mom’s birthday (hi, Mom!), and I took one look at the menu and ordered french fries and fried pickles. The pickles (which were battered like pieces of catfish—yum!) were slow going, but I was able to chew up the fries pretty well. I had a tiny bite of Niko’s chili burger (if you know me, this is an excellent example of food bravery), and I finished the fries and pickles (I shared the pickles with the fam). This was followed up by a kiddie-size wedding cake-flavored sno cone (I’m trying to avoid fierce food dyes (but apparently not parentheses!)).

Indeed, the biggest obstacle I’ve found to carrying on as usual has been eating. I’ve taken to slamming back a cup of rice milk while I’m getting ready for work in order to stave off the stomach unhappiness that results from not eating breakfast immediately and waiting ’til I arrive at work to eat a legitimate breakfast (I’m one of those people who is sorta useless unless I’ve had breakfast). Why? Because even eating a cup of yogurt takes longer than it used to, and the idea of sacrificing sleep in the name of eating is horrifying to me (chipper I can be, but morning person I am not). Bleh.

If you know me in real life, you know how slowly I eat sans braces (you’ve probably even commented on it, too :P). This extra slowdown had led to me stretching out a single order of Chinese takeout into three legitimate meals—or one really, really long workday snack. It’s also led to the loss of a couple of pounds, which was sorta surprising, given my ability to only gain weight over the past nine-ish months. I’m OK with that, since I’ve also been a little more physically active recently (huzzah, housesitting with a pool!), but that was… quite unexpected. (Ya get used to something for any number of months, and a change—even a welcome one—is surprising. Go figure.)

I have many “food cheerleaders,” and for them I am thankful. (I have a lot of people in my life who cheer for me / encourage me in a myriad of areas, period, which means ever so much to me.) I’m getting braver, foodwise. I mean, if you’d told me a week ago that I’d be eating stir-fry, I would’ve clutched at my braces in shock and given you a super-skeptical fisheye.

Of note: Those little mini pipe cleaner things they give you to fish food out of your braces? Lifesavers. When I go back, I’m gonna just open up my purse and tell ’em to load me up on those.

The Rundown

  • What’re your orthodontia accessories? Braces. The top row.
  • Any pain today? By and large, pain hasn’t been an issue. If I manage to place pressure on the two teeth on either side of my front teeth (note to self: look up proper tooth terminology), they’re a li’l sore, but just a li’l.
  • What sort, would you say? Pretty much none? Nothing unbearable?
  • Do you miss anything? Eating at the speed of hyperactive sloth. Valium sloth is as fast as I can go these days.
  • Looking forward to anything? Floss mastery. I’m still developing my skills as a floss ninja.
  • On the bright side… I’m getting braver with food!

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