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Author Topic: Jennifer  (Read 11785 times)

Offline bpenfold83

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #45 on: 04. March 2022, 12:12:56 PM »
Fantastic story!!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #46 on: 07. March 2022, 05:16:46 AM »
I am going to at least finish this story out; I like it and I feel I have something invested in the characters.

Chapter 20.

Jen felt like she had made a mistake.  As much as she wanted to be supportive for Mel, she didn’t know if she could do this.  It was just so much.  When she got to her car, she opened the door and sat in the driver’s seat.  Even with everything going on in her mouth, she still noticed the constriction of her brace as she settled into her seat.  She had largely become accustomed to wearing her back brace over the last several weeks.  She rarely noticed it; it had just become a part of her like Mel said it would.  But with so much feeling foreign to the body that she had inhabited for over 40 years, she noticed.  She noticed it all.  She noticed the back brace, the braces, the herbst, the expander.  And she broke down.  She started crying.  Why was this happening to her; and why had she agreed to this?  It wasn’t the pain; she didn’t feel any real pain yet.  It was just the foreign feel of everything in her mouth.  And her back brace.  And the neck brace she knew she had to wear for 12 hours a day.  And the cpap she slept with.  At least she thought as a result of this, she had scheduled an appointment to be fitted for a nasal mask instead of the full face mask she had been wearing.  She had to do so to accommodate the face mask; she had been lip taping the last few nights since she got it to keep her mouth closed.  But despite all this, she knew the real pain was coming.  Dr. Cooper had explained it would take a week or two for her mouth to become acclimated to the braces and herbst.  He had given her wax for this.  He had also explained that the palate expander, and specifically the tads, would likely be painful over the next two to three days.  It was just so much.  The braces; the herbst, the expander, the face mask, the back brace, the neck brace… she didn’t know if she could do it.  And she cried.

After a good cry, she sat up and took a deep breath.  She was doing this for Mel, and to some extent for herself.  She knew she needed to.  She didn’t want to live on a CPAP every night for the rest of her life.  And she hoped what Dr. Wellington and Mel told her was true; that if she was diligent in her back and neck brace wear she could transition to a maintenance schedule of just a few hours; or even a best case scenario of none at all and just monitor it again. But right now, in her car, she felt overwhelmed.

After she had composed herself she thought how happy she thought this would make Mel.  And she smiled.  And it felt so foreign.  Just like she thought when she got her Wellington Brace, she thought “this is a whole new world”.  She was glad she had talked with her boss the day before and taken tomorrow off.  She had told Pete she was getting braces, it was related to her back and her sleep apnea.   She told him it might be a shock to see, and she would have a lisp. As always, he was supportive and told her to do what she needed and he would be there if she needed anything, anything at all.  She did not think she would be able to work tomorrow with everything going on.  She had also told her assistant Jasmine that she would be out.  She told her she was getting braces.  Jasmine surprised her when her eyes lit up.  Jasmine told her “wow, that is so cool.  You are so lucky.  I have always wanted braces.  My parents couldn’t afford them, and I really need them” and she smiled big at Jen, showing off her teeth.  Jen had never noticed Jasmine’s crowding and overbite. Jen thought she did need braces.  Jasmine continued “i wish our insurance covered braces.  I am so jealous.  Promise me you will show them to me when you come back to work”.

As Jen sat in her car, she thought “I bet Jasmine wouldn’t be jealous of this”.  Jen had taken a look at her mouth and the new companions she had picked up during the installation.  But her heart was racing so much at the time she had not really studied the new skyscraper she felt was in her mouth. She took a deep breath and flipped the visor down and flipped the mirror open.  Oh. My. God. She thought.  There is so much metal.  She opened her jaw as far as she could, it was sore from being open for 2 hours, and looked at her expander.  Wow she thought; and I have to turn that once a day for the next two weeks until my follow up, and then it may go up to twice a day. This is just so much she thought.  With nothing left to do, she cranked her car.  At least Mel would be home in three hours.  She really needed her shoulder to cry on.  But first she wanted to surprise her with what she had done.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #47 on: 07. March 2022, 05:59:49 AM »
Chapter 21.

When Jen pulled into the driveway, she turned off the car and got the bag out of the back seat.  It was a plastic bag with handles, not like a grocery store bag, but more like a Christmas gift bag; and inside were her new facemask and rubberbands, as well as the assorted brushes and cleaning supplies she had left Dr. Copper’s office with.  When she picked up the bag, it hit her again, she would be wearing the facemask in the bag for 12 hours a day very soon.  The “it is just so much” feeling hit her again.  She took a breath and told herself she would get through it.  She unlocked the door and looked at the clock. She had 2 and a half hours until Mel got “home”.  The past several weeks had found Mel and Jen together most nights.  Watching TV or movies, cooking dinner and eating together, talking; or even just reading a book but knowing the other was there.  It was comforting to Jen to have such a close friend; maybe even a companion she thought.  Since her divorce she had not had anyone around much; just her boys and all the non stop races to get them to the next practice, game, dinner, school function, and the list went on.  And even once they had both gone off to college, it hadn’t changed Jen’s routine much.  She was just so invested in her job, and it had become habit to come home in the evenings and watch the TV or read a book.  But since she had met Mel she found herself with someone to spend a little of her time with.  And it was nice; she really enjoyed it.  As she walked into her house, she thought it meant enough for her to agree to get this scaffolding installed in her mouth.  But she thought, during much of that time Mel had been wearing her face mask.  And it didn’t seem like that big a deal between them.  Since that first night, Jan and Mel had not stayed together.  So Jen didn’t know how Mel really slept with the mask on her face.  Mel had told her that you got used to it and never complained about it.  But it was easier to think about someone else getting “used to it” than yourself.

Once Jen came inside and closed the door behind her she headed for her bathroom.  This would be where she kept her new orthodontic supplies.  As she walked in, she looked over at her neckbrace and thought “soon, like tonight, I am going to try to make it all work”.  Once in the bathroom, she stowed all of her supplies in the cabinet and laid her face mask and rubberbands on the vanity; she then had an idea.  She would go ahead and try to brush her teeth.  She knew it would become very common soon, so she decided she would try it before her mouth really hurt, or before she had food stuck in them.  She took the toothbrush they had given her and put the toothpaste they had given her on it.  And she tried to brush her teeth like they showed her.  It felt so foreign.  And she made a mess.  Her lips didn’t operate like she was used to, and she couldn’t swallow normally.  She stopped and took a breath.  “It will get easier” she told herself.  Once the humiliation of not being able to do something as simple as brush her own teeth passed, she headed to the kitchen.  The next chore was to rinse her mouth with a saltwater rinse.  Dr. Cooper had told her to do this three times a day for the next week to help healing of the tad sites and avoid possible infection.  He had stressed how important it was to keep her mouth clean for the next week.  The rinsing went better than the brushing.  And since alcohol is a disinfectant and a pain killer she thought, why not have a glass of wine.   Even if was 3:30 in the afternoon.


Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #48 on: 07. March 2022, 06:42:39 AM »
Chapter 22.

After Jen’s third glass of wine, the bottle was well over half way gone.  She felt much better she though.  And she poured herself a fourth glass.  For the past hour and half she had not really done anything.  She was just in the kitchen drinking wine and thinking about everything that had happened over the past two months.  It was a lot to digest; the full body brace and the braces from hell.  But the wine helped.  As the clock ticked closer to Mel’s arrival, Jen took a sheet of paper and made her note to Mel.  It said “The door is open.  Come into the bedroom and close your eyes.  i have a surprise for you.  P.S. just go with it, please”.  She opened the junk drawer in the kitchen, took out a roll of Scotch tape, and tore off a piece a couple of inches long.  She went to the front door and taped the note to the front door.  She then sent a text to Mel.

J: “What you up to?  Hope your day has been great  :)”.

M: “Just finishing up here, about to head your way.  I will stop and get some lettuce for a salad”.

 J: “Don’t worry about the lettuce, I have something I want to show you!”

M:  “What is it?  What do you want to show me.”

J:  “Everything is great, I Just have a surprise for you.  Just go with it, please”.

M: “You have me worried, I am on my way.”

With that part of the plan completed she walked into her bedroom and cracked her blinds open so she could see the driveway.  Jen realized then that she hadn’t thought about whether she should put on her neck brace first, and then the facemask; or vice versa.  Since she was so used to putting the neck brace on, she decided to put it on first.  At least she was used to the feeling of being immobilized from the hips up.  She thought to herself “at least I don’t have to wear those retainers anymore; instead I just have a battleship in my mouth…”. Once she had her neckbrace on she went into the bathroom.  She took the bag of rubberbands and shook a few out on the counter.  Despite her head being immobilized and unable to open her mouth very far, she managed to get a rubberband hooked onto each of her hooks so they were protruding from her mouth.  Using her lips to hold them, she reached down and picked up the facemask.  She placed it against her face and using the mirror affixed each rubberband to the posts om her facemask.  For the grand finale she managed to snap the strap around the back of her head, feeling grateFul they had adjusted it to fit her at her installation.  She then went and sat on the bed looking out through the blinds.  When Mel’s car pulled up she went into the bathroom and closed the door about 2/3 of the way.

As soon as Mel entered the house, after reading the note, she half jogged to the bedroom and said “what is goin on?”

Jen answered “Ya don fahla direszions.  Closh your eyhesh”.  Mel had grown accustomed to Jen’s lisp with her bite guards, and wondered why it was worse then normal.  Nontheless feeling that there wasn’t some huge emergency she closed her eyes.  Jen walked in front of Mel. Mel could sense her there.  Jen said “Open ya eyhesh!”

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #49 on: 07. March 2022, 07:13:00 AM »
Chapter 23.

Mel opened her eyes and was stunned. Her mouth dropped open, showing her own braces. What was going on here?  Did Jen “steal” her facemask when she wasn’t looking?  Then Jen smiled and said “wha do ya shink?”.  Mel looked at her best friend in her full brace; and now with braces and a facemask like her own; and then hugged her.  Mel pulled back and said “you did it, why didn’t you tell me?”.  Jen replied “I wanned to shurprish you.  You have done sho musch for me gettin ushed to my braysh, I wanned you to have shomeone to go through brayshes with.  I got my eshpander today jush sho you wohd na have to do ey alone”. Mel looked at Jen and hugged her again.  She whispered in her ear “thank you.  But you poor baby.  Does it hurt”.  Jen said “itsh ish from tawkin sho muchsh”.  Mel pulled back and looked at her friend.  She said “I know you don’t have to wear your facemask fulltime right now”.  She reached over and unsnapped the facemask’s strap from the back of Jen’s head.  She then held the facemask and gently removed the rubberbands from it.  She followed by sticking her fingers into Jen’s mouth and removing the bands from her mouth. . She laid the facemask on the bed, dropped the wet rubberbands to the floor,  and told Jen “let me see if I can kiss it and make it better”.  She  gently laid her lips upon Jen’s, tasting the wine, and pulled her close in a loving embrace.

Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #50 on: 08. March 2022, 02:02:59 AM »
Poow Jennifew! Thhe and Mel have fowged a gweat fwiendthip and they need each othew mowe now than evew. I can’t wait fow the netht thaptew!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #51 on: 10. March 2022, 07:44:27 AM »
Chapter 24.

Mel pulled her lips back from Jen’s mouth thinking she might have gone too far.  She was surprised when Jen awkwardly leaned forward and continued the kiss.  They enjoyed the moment, neither thinking about what it meant, each just lost in the moment.  After several moments Jen pulled back.  Both were flush and short of breath.

Mel looked at Jen and then hugged her tightly again.  “You poor baby, the first thing we are going to do is get you as comfortable as possible”.  Mel reached over and unstrapped Jen’s cervical extension from around her neck, and then unscrewed it from her back brace.  She then led Jen over to the side of the bed and threw the covers back.  By this point the lidocaine in Jen’s mouth was wearing off and her mouth was starting to throb.  Mel arranged the pillows and gently helped Jen down onto the bed so she was propped up slightly.  She asked Jen if she had taken any pain medicine yet, and Jen shook her head no.  Mel told her “i will be right back”. 

She returned with 2 ibuprofen and a glass of water.  She had been doing research about her own MSE installation and knew that the first few days could be very painful and it would take a week to two for healing to occur.  And then there was the turning of the expander.  She took the pills and put them into Jens open mouth and then handed her the glass of water.  Jen took a sip of water and tried to swallow.  It was so foreign to her she didn’t get the pills down on the first try.  Mel could see she was struggling.  She didn’t say a word, but layed her hand on Jen’s shoulder.  On the second try Jen got one of the pills down.  On the third try she got the second pill down.  And a tear formed and ran down Jen’s cheek.

Mel wanted more than anything to take the pain away from her friend.  But she knew she couldn’t.  She went around to the other side of the bed and crawled across it and then wrapped herself around Jen.  She said “don’t try to talk, I know it will hurt.  But I am here for you.  Just know how much this means to me.  And I am going to take care of you.”

Jen said, despite Mel telling her not to, “thank you.  I did thish so I could help you, and you are taking care if me again.  How bad ish thish going to be?”.  Mel hugged her tighter and said “you are going to do fine.  I have been scouring the internet, and Facebook, to see what the MSE process was like.  The next few days are going to be uncomfortable. But I will be here for you.  I can’t tell you what having the expander is like, but your lips will get used to the braces pretty quickly.  The herbst will take a little longer, but you will also get used to it.  Did they give wax?”  Jen nodded her head yes.  Mel asked her if she had put any on, and Jen shook her head no.  Mel said “let me put some on for you.”  She got up and went into the living room, removing a small container of wax from her purse.  She returned to her position beside Jen and pinched out some wax.  She rolled it around between her fingers until it got warm and soft.  She asked Jen to open her mouth.  She placed the first flattened ball of wax over one of the hooks on Jens molars.  She told her “I know when I first got my braces, the hooks for my facemask where one of the most painful things in my mouth.  Let me get them covered up.”  She took a second ball of wax, and once warm, placed it on the other hook.  She then placed two larger mounds of wax over the bottom of Jen’s herbst. She looked at Jen and asked her if the book on the nightstand was any good and what page she was on, she wanted to read to her.  Jen answered “it ish, I am on page 87”.  Mel reached across Jen, reaching for the book.  As she did, her face was inches from Jen’s.  As Mel leaned across her, Jen reached up and put her hand behind Mel’s head and gently pulled her in for another kiss.  This time she let her tongue venture out and explore Mel’s. Mel reciprocated. Once they came up for air, Mel said “I can’t make the pain go away, but I can try to take your mind off it”.

Mel did not get her wear time in with her facemask and neither did Jen get her time in with her neckbrace that night.

The next morning, Jen awoke first as her mouth was hurting.  As she became alert she realized that Mel was snuggled up against her and she remembered what had happened the night before.  Mel was snoring lightly; it sounded like a purr to Jen; and she thought “this is a whole new world indeed”.

Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #52 on: 10. March 2022, 15:32:37 PM »
I jutht love thith thtowy, thank you tho muth fow thhawing!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #53 on: 11. March 2022, 04:09:47 AM »
Chapter 25.

Jen tried to slip out of bed without waking Mel. It was early, a few minutes before 6, but Jen’s mouth was really hurting.  She slipped out of the bedroom and pushed the door shut silently.  In the kitchen the first thing she did was shake out a couple of ibuprofen and poured herself some water.  Swallowing the pills was once again a struggle.  The metal expander felt huge in the roof of her mouth.  The four screws holding it in place dug into her tongue every time she tried to swallow.  She really hoped she got used to it and did so quickly.  While she had taken the day off, and would have loved nothing more than to curl back up beside Mel, she knew she would struggle to fall asleep with the pain plus Mel had to go to work. 

So instead she started a pot of coffee and pulled out a skillet.  She wanted to cook breakfast for Mel.  And even though her mouth was hurting, she thought she might be able to manage a few bites of scrambled eggs and yogurt herself.  As she cooked the 4 eggs, she took a bowl of cantaloupe and honeydew out of the fridge and laid it on the counter.  She then pulled out a tub of greek yogurt and some shredded cheese.  She had just sprinkled some cheese on the eggs when she jumped.  She had been so invested in the eggs she had not noticed Mel slip up behind her.  When Mel wrapped her arms around her waist it startled her.  Mel softly spoke into her ear “Good morning beautiful, I didn’t mean to scare you.  Did you sleep ok?”

Jen turned around and looked at Mel. Even without any makeup on and her hair a mess she thought she looked gorgeous.  Jen said “I did, musch better than I tthought I would.  Thank you for lash night.  Thank you for everysthing.  It ishn’t enough, but the leasht I can do is fix you breakfast.  I am jusht about done”.  Mel leaned over, gave Jen a quick kiss and said “I will help”.

They sat across from each other at the kitchen table, each with their scrambled eggs, yogurt and coffee.  Mel had gotten some of the cut fruit, but Jen refrained from any, thinking her mouth was not up to it.  Before they started to eat Jen said “I want to apoloshize in advansh, I am afraid that I am going to look and sound like a train wreck trying to eat.”  Mel reached across and took Jen’s hand and told her “do not apologize for that.  First, you are going to get the hang of it in no time.  And second, did you forget how much I have going on in my mouth?  I know exactly what it is like”.  Jen was able to eat a little.  It was not fun, but by taking small bites and taking her time she was able to manage the eggs and yogurt.  Once they were done, Mel told Jen not to try to do a thing, she was going to clean up.  Jen got up and made herself comfortable on the couch while Mel quickly got everything put up and the dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher.  She then came over and curled up beside Jen.  Mel looked at Jen and said “I wish I had taken today off too, I would love to stay curled up beside you.  But I have to get ready.  Do you mind if I take a shower here?  I have a change of cloths with me”.  Of course Jen agreed.  Mel continued, “Thank you.  Will you come with me to the bathroom?  I need to clean my braces.  And you need to as well, I want to help you.  Plus I want to take a closer look at them if that is ok”.  Jen got up and took Mel’s hand and led her to the bathroom.  Once there they brushed.  Again it was awkward for Jen, but Mel was a pro.  Once they were done brushing, Mel asked Jen to turn and face her.  She had Jen open her mouth, and very gently used a proxy brush to clean between the brackets and wires of Jen’s braces.  She then took a braces flosser and flossed Jen’s teeth.  As she worked she was also examining the expander in Jen’s mouth.  She told her friend “that is an impressive device.  And don’t we make the pair, you will be used to yours in two weeks, and I will be getting mine.  We are going to have to get creative with our soft food, between the two of us we will be eating it for a month.  And there, you have shiny clean braces”.  Mel then turned her attention to her own braces, making quicker work on herself than on Jen.  Jen just watched what she was doing.  Once Mel was done, she asked Jen “do you need to turn your expander?”  Jen said she needed turn it sometime today, she might as well do it now.  She opened the medicine cabinet and got the blue key out.  Mel stopped her as she turned towards the mirror and asked her “do you mind if I turn it for you?  I have watched enough Youtube video trying to prepare for my own.”  Jen handed Mel the key, sat down on the closed toilet lid, opened her mouth as wide as she could and tilted her head back.  Mel told her “I am going to be as gentle as I can, if I am hurting you just hit me and I will stop”.  As Mel carefully inserted the key into the hole, Jen felt a tingle in her body.  Not from pain or discomfort, but from the intimacy between the two of them.  As Mel turned the key, she felt a different kind of tingle.  This one was in her face, radiating out from her sinuses to her cheek bones.  Once she was done Mel gently removed the key from the hole and removed the key from her mouth.  Mel hugged Jen and said “you did great.  Does it hurt?”  Jen answered “it hurtsh a little, moshtly just a lot of preshhzure.” 

Mel looked at her and said “while we are here, I think I need to also examine the patient for any pressure spots from her brace”.  She slipped the robe off of Jen’s shoulders, and then unstrapped the brace from Jen’s body.

After they had finished showering together, Jen dressed in some comfortable sweats and took her book into the living room as Mel finished getting ready for work in the bathroom and bedroom.  Jen was reading out loud as Dr. Cooper had recommended when Mel came out of the bedroom wearing her facemask.  She settled on the couch and said “I am in trouble.  I didn’t wear my facemask at all last night.  I am going to have to figure out how to make it up.  I have never worn it outside of a closed door, but I am at least going to wear it on the way to and from work today.  That is at least an extra hour.  And not to be a nag, but you might want to try to catch up with your neckbrace today.  And try to wear your facemask to get used to it.  The more you wear it the faster you will get used to it.  I will bring some moleskin from work and I will put a little extra cushion on your’s this evening.  It really helps, especially on your chin.  I wish I could stay, but I have to run.  If you need anything, just text me.”  She hugged Jen, and headed out the door.  With her head down, she made her way quickly to her car.  Once she got in and got her seatbelt on, she had a realization.  She didn’t really care what anyone else thought.  The only person she really cared about was inside where she had just left, and she had already seen her wearing the mask.  Not only that, she had a facemask of her own.  Feeling a little more confident, she cranked the car, backed down the driveway and began her drive to work.


Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #54 on: 11. March 2022, 06:32:57 AM »
I love the welationthhip development between Jen and Mel! Maybe we could all leawn to wethpect and love one anothew ath these two ladieth do. Gweat thtowy, thank you fow wwighting and thhawing it with uth.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #55 on: 14. March 2022, 03:48:25 AM »
Chapter 26.

Jennifer continued reading out loud, relearning how to talk with everything going on in her mouth.  The inside of her lips and cheeks were not yet accustomed to the brackets, wires, and rods in her mouth. After about 30 minutes her mouth felt sore and raw, so she decided to take a little break.  Knowing she did need to catch up on her neckbrace she got up and went into the bed room and put it on.  She then went into the bathroom and put on her facemask.  She was going to wear it as long as she could stand.  She looked at herself in the mirror and thought she looked ridiculous and then thought “I hope this is all worth it”.

Jen returned to the living room and got as comfortable as she could on the couch.  She began scouring the internet for information on MARPE/MSE procedures, looking for other’s actual first hand experiences.  There was not a ton of information out there.  But she did find the blog of another woman who had a similar treatment to her own; braces, and MSE and a Petit facemask.  She also found a pediatric dentist who was documenting her own treatment on her Instagram page.  She too had braces, and MSE, and had experimented with several different designs of reverse pull pull masks.  It was reassuring to see that these woman had survived, and that it did get better.  She also found information on the DNA/Vivos appliance.  It seemed pretty common for patients to incorporate extraoral protraction in many of these cases.  She found the blog of one young woman who had also worn a facemask, and then tried the Crane appliance.  Jen looked at it and realized it was simply a neck brace with an added articulating arm to which the elastics could be attached.  By this point Jen was definitely feeling the pressure of the mask on her face.  It was especially bothersome on her chin, just like Mel had said it would be.  Jen reached up and felt her own neck brace and wondered if it could be modified like the Crane.  She thought unlike the other lady, she already had to wear it every night.  If she could modify it to take the place of the facemask, it would be an improvement. 

She continued searching.  She realized there really was not that much information to be found, but what she did find was helpful in boosting her spirits.  And she realized that the most valuable information had come from those people that were brave enough to share their journey with the world.  Jen decided she was going to do the same.  She had never done any such thing, so she started searching.  She found some good resources on starting a blog, one such site went through the process step by step.  She moved to the kitchen table and opened her laptop.  With the neckbrace on, it was awkward but she managed.

After reading up on the process, she decided to jump in with both feet.  Using Wordpress and BlueHost she soon had the beginnings of her own blog.  She decided to title her blog “Adult Orthodontics - TMJ and Sleep Apnea Treatment - Everything But the Kitchen Sink”.  She worked at it for awhile.  She tried taking pictures of the appliances in her mouth, but it was awkward and they did not turn out to her satisfaction.  She decided she was going to recruit Mel to take some better ones when she arrived home.  She also had another idea.  She was going to try to convince Mel to document her treatment on the blog as well.  The time went by quickly, and before she knew it the time was approaching noon.  Jen was definitely feeling the facemask on her chin.  She decided to remove it.  When she did she noticed how sore her chin was.  She decided to take a picture of it, it was clearly red in the picture.  This mask was going to take some getting used to.

Soon after, her phone buzzed at her.  Mel had sent her a text.

M: How are you doing babe?

J:  I am managing.  My mouth is sore, but I am speaking a little better.  I did manage to wear the facemask for over three hours.  But it is really uncomfortable on my chin. 

She sent Mel a picture of her sore red chin.

M:  I promise it gets easier.  I am going to add some padding for you tonight.  It will help.  Guess what I did today?

J:  Do I get any kind of clue?

Mel took a selfie of herself and sent it to Jen.  Jen looked at it: there was Mel in her scrubs, wearing a blue medical mask on her face.  But the blue orthodontic mask also on her face was unmistakable:

J:  Wow! You wore your facemask to work.  You are such a badass.  Has it gone ok? 

M:  Yes it has.  I was terrified walking through the parking lot and into the building this morning.  I just knew people were going to be pointing and laughing.  But that didn’t happen.  I had built it up to be a lot worse than what it really is.  Dr. Wellington has been the only one to say anything.  And it surprised me.  He said it was great that I was being so diligent in my own care.  And while orthodontic and orthopedic braces aren’t exactly the same, he thought it was great I was wearing it.  He said I could be roll model to patients, especially new patients struggling with their new scoliosis braces.

J:  That is great.  I am so proud of you. I can’t wait to see you tonight.  I have a job for you though.  I have started a blog to document my process and I need a photographer.  I was hoping you would agree to it.

M:  Of course.  It sounds interesting.  I would love to help.  I have to run, but I will be thinking of you.

J:  You are so sweet.  I can’t wait to see you.


Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #56 on: 14. March 2022, 18:15:09 PM »
Jutht love love love thith thtowy! Both thethe ladieth awe badath!! Can hawdly wait fow the netht chaptew!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #57 on: 18. March 2022, 05:20:32 AM »
Chapter 27.

Jen smiled, she couldn’t help it.  Even with everything going on texting with Mel made her happy.  She also realized she was due for some pain medicine. Her mouth was hurting, it had been hurting since her appointment the day before.  So, she went into the kitchen and took two Tylenol out and managed to swallow them.  The idea of alternating between ibuprofen and acetaminophen was actually something that she had picked up off the internet that day.  Dr. Copper had offered to write her a prescription for a codeine based drug if she wanted, but Jen hated opium based pills.  They just made her feel like a blob and tried to avoid them.  She had told him that she wanted to try to manage the pain with over the counter pills.  He had told her he understood.  But he also told her there was no shame in taking oxy for a couple of days if the pain from the mse got too extreme.  She took the Tylenol and returned to the kitchen table.  Whether her blog ever amounted to anything she didn’t know, but it was engrossing her she realized and keeping her from thinking about her mouth as much.  After about 30 more minutes; this was all new to Jen and she was going slowly; her cell phone rang. 

It was a local number she didn’t recognize, and despite her often not answering unknown numbers because they ended up being an offer for an extended warranty on a vehicle she hadn’t owned for 5 years, she did answer.

J: “Hello, Jennifer Collinsh, may I help you?”

Unknown Number: “Hello Msh. Collinsh, this is Diane Shorter, I am the treatment coordinator from Dr. Cooper’sh, we met briefly at your appointment yeshterday.  We wanted to call and check on you.  How are you doing and how ish the pain?  Do you need us to phone in a prescription?”

J: “I am hurting.  But I am managing.  I am trying to keep busy to keep my mind off of it.  At this time, I would prefer not to take a prescription pain pill.”

D: “That is exshellent.  Are you having any other issues?  Have you been able to turn your eshpander?  Have you been able to begin your break in period on your fashmashk?  Do you have any questions or consherns I might could addresh?”

J:  “Issues other than having 8 pounds of metal screwed into my mouth and having to wear a catcher’s mask half the day?  No, not really.”

As soon as Jennifer heard what she said, she regretted it.  She was being snarky to this woman who was trying to help her.  It surprised her when she heard laughing on the other end of the line.

D:  “I completely undershtand.  It might not help your pain, but I undershtand.  I am alsho undergoing airway orthodontic treatment.  Sho I completely undershtand.  There are actually three of us here in the offish that are undergoing a similar treatment ash you.  So just know you aren’t alone in thish, and it doesh get better”.

J:  “Thank you; and I am shorry for snapping at you”.

D: “No apoloszhee needed.  Is this your cell phone?  If so I am going to text you my cell phone number in cash you have any issues over the weekend”.

J:  “Yes, this is my cell phone.  And again I apologize for snapping at you”.

D:  “Again, no apologzee needed.  I completely undershtand.  I will text you my number.  If you have any questionsh or issues when the offish ish closed pleash let me know.  By the way, for only being 24 out from your inshtallation, you are shpeaking great.  Again, let me know if there ish anything I can help you with.”






Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #58 on: 18. March 2022, 06:40:11 AM »
Chapter 28.

Jen still had her phone in her hand when a text popped up.

D: Ms. Collins, this is my cell phone number.  Please feel free to save it and text me with any issues or questions you have. - Diane Shorter

J: Thank you so much.  And I am so, so sorry for snapping at you.  I feel awful.  Please, please, please accept my apology.

D:  No apology needed, but it is accepted.  I know you are hurting.  And I know this is a big change.  I well understand; I remember the pain from my own MSE installation.  And again, you really are speaking well.  I am three months into treatment and still have trouble.  But don’t be too alarmed; I also have a lower Wilson expander.  I think it impacts my speech more than my upper expander.  Our other patients that only have an upper MSE like you are almost all back to speaking at 95-99% within 2 weeks.  And I also understand what a pain the facemask is.  Extra padding will help.  I don’t know why we don’t just provide it for the patient, but if you want to swing by the office this week I can help you with that.

J:  Thank you.  But I have a friend that is actually helping me with that.  She is going to bring me some sheep’s wool to put on the pads tonight.  Do you know Melanie Saunders?  She is also a patient there.

D:  Of course, Mel is a sweet heart.  She is doing so well with her treatment.  It is great you have a friend to go through this with.

That made Jen think again.  What where people that didn’t have someone to go through this experiencing?  She had Mel to hold her hand last night.  But what had Mel gone through with no one to hold her?  But what about others that were going through this scary and painful process alone?  She had an idea.

J: You asked me if I had any questions.  I do.  I am starting a blog to document my process.  Mainly to try to help others, because there is so little information out there on what this process is like other than on provider’s pages.  And they obviously gloss over the bad and ugly parts.  Since you are going through the process, would you share your experience and tips to put online?  And also, have you ever heard of the Crane appliance?

D:  Well, I certainly would share with you my experience and tips/tricks with you.  I am not sure I feel comfortable with putting myself out there though.  And no, I am not familiar with the Crane.  Christy, our hygienist and myofunctional therapist might.  She is all into this.  I am going through this to help with my breathing and sleep.  I swear she is going through this process just so she can go through the process.  She is up to date on everything, and I mean everything, in regards to this.  Do you have any information you can send me and I will ask Christy and Dr. Cooper?

J:  Of course, I will send you a couple of pictures and links.  But basically the Crane is a neck brace that takes the place of a facemask.  It has a rod that you attach the elastics to.  I already wear a neckbrace at night as part of my scoliosis brace; I wondered if I could use something similar so I don’t have to wear a body brace and a facemask.

D:  Oh please send the info to me. You poor thing, having to go through this orthodontic process and having to wear a body brace.  As for your blog, I bet Christy would be all over it.  And I will also mention it to Jocelyn, or Josie, our scheduling coordinator.  You didn’t meet her.  She just started treatment this week and is having a tough time with it.


Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #59 on: 18. March 2022, 15:58:08 PM »
Thankth fow continuing thith gweat thtowy! Lookng fowawd to the netht chaptew.