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Author Topic: Jennifer  (Read 11782 times)

Offline mr_90proof

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Jennifer
« on: 19. February 2022, 09:45:34 AM »
Chapter 1.

It hurt.  Jennifer awoke slightly, shifted stiffly a few inches and adjusted the pillow she had wedged under her side before she fell asleep. She then adjusted the pillow under her head.  Instinctively with her other hand, without even realizing she had done it, she reached up and touched the metal on her face.  If she could have turned her head she might have twisted a bit in the pillow to try to get more comfortable.  But as she couldn’t, she adjusted the pillows the best she could and fell back into a uneasy slumber.

It had started five years earlier as she approached 40.  Things just started to hurt more.  At first she thought little of it; getting older brings a few more pains.  Getting ready in the morning took a few more minutes.  There where a few more wrinkles in the mirror as she did her makeup.  But she was a beautiful, independent women with two teenagers, so a little backache or a stiff muscle was not something to worry with.  She was too busy, between work and kids, to let a little ache and a pain slow her down.  But then her back really started to hurt.

It was towards the end of her oldest son’s senior year that her back really started bothering her.  The occasional ache and pain had progressed to the point that she had back pain much of each day.  It was not a debilitating pain, but it was persistent.  It bothered her every day; and it had begun to impact her work life.  At work, she had purchased a lumbar support to put in her chair.  It did not help much.  But it was tolerable.

Jennifer was the accounts payment specialist for a small privately owned manufacturing company.  She had worked there for over ten years, had a good relationship with the owners and her coworkers, and generally enjoyed her job. One of the reasons she enjoyed it was the atmosphere in the office.   Most of her job entailed handling invoices that came in for raw materials, shipping, and all the other 101 things that a manufacturer received bills for.  So it was pretty bland.  But she liked her coworkers and the camaraderie in the office.  However as her kids had gotten older, and as she could do much of her job from her home laptop, she had a lot of flexibility.  She could work from home or from the office.  As long as she got the job done, her boss did not care too much whether she was in the office or at home. 

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #1 on: 19. February 2022, 10:25:16 AM »
Chapter 2.

For months, Jennifer bit her lip anytime her back bothered her.  Again, surely this was just part of getting older.  However, at one of the monthly finance meetings her coworker Carla, who was sitting beside her, dropped a pen on the floor. Politely enough Jennifer reached down to pick it up.  As her hand got near the pen, her back objected to this. As she was leaning forward and reaching down to the floor her muscles in her back spasmed.  Perched as she was on the edge of the chair and with most of her weight reaching out awkwardly from the chair, once her back gave out she found herself unceremoniously dumped on the floor of the meeting room.

It happened fast, and several of the seven people in the room rushed out of their seats to see if they could help.  The rest just looked on in shock. 

As Jennifer lay on the floor, her first reaction was embarrassment.  She had basically just fallen out of a chair in the middle of a meeting.  But she was also scared.  She had been having aches and pains in her back for several months and had basically ignored them.   But now that same back had just deposited her face first on the floor in front of a number of her coworkers.  This wasn’t just an uncomfortable inconvenience anymore.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #2 on: 19. February 2022, 10:43:35 AM »
Chapter 3.

As soon as she hit the floor, Jennifer was aware of movement around her.  As she got her bearings she looked up to see Carla and Pete, the owner of the company, at her side peering down on her. Pete told her not to move.  For some reason, this made Jennifer think back to the cpr and first aid class she had taken to become a lifeguard in college.  But that thought quickly went out of her mind, and she told them she was fine.  She sat up against their disapproval.  Between the endorphines and the embarrassment, she was not aware of any pain.  Mainly she did not want to be laying on the floor, the center of attention in a board meeting, because she was a clutz that fell out of a chair.

After repeated admonishments that she was ok, and after threats from Pete to call an ambulance, they all arranged back around the desk and completed the meeting.  However, after the meeting wrapped up and everyone was gathering their laptops, pens and pads Pete discretely asked Jennifer to come into his office.


Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #3 on: 19. February 2022, 11:15:56 AM »
Chapter 4.

As the others left the meeting room, Jennifer tried to hide in the corner, still embarrassed about what had happened.  Pete, as was customary after all their meetings, was the last one in the room.  He approached Jennifer and asked her if she was really ok.  She insisted she was.  Nonetheless he asked her to follow him into his office.

As they entered his office, Pete asked Jennifer to please sit.  While Jennifer had been in the office many times before and had no reason to be nervous, she was.  Pete closed the door and sat in his chair behind his desk.

“First of all, are you ok Jennifer?  That could have been a nasty spill if you had hit the desk.  My first concern is you”

“Yes, I am fine.  I am just a klutz I guess”.

“No, i don’t believe that.  You have worked here too long for me to think that.  You are sharp.  You are smart.  You didn’t just fall out of a chair.  I have seen you the last few months, I have seen the lumbar support in your chair, i have seen you standing up and stretching, I have seen the grimace you make when you pick something up or just move the wrong way.  Something is wrong.  And while I wanted to say something earlier, I did not want to intrude on your personal space.  But after today, you have to see a doctor.  My first instinct as the owner of this company, and looking out for its best interests from a liability standpoint, was to call an ambulance to check you out today.  But I did not want to embarrass you in front of everyone.  But something is wrong.  You have to see a doctor.  Not today, but soon.  I want you to do this because I care about you.  You are a great person with two great boys.  But also because you are a valuable member of our team.  We need you here, and it would just take too long to train somebody new to replace you”.  And with this Pete gave a nervous chuckle.  “I won’t tell you what doctor to see, but I can recommend a great orthopedist.  When I slipped a disk in my back a few years ago overswinging on a drive at the golf course, he was a life saver.  Would it be ok if I called to see if I could make an appointment for my most valuable employee?”

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #4 on: 19. February 2022, 11:22:00 AM »
Quite the different start from "normal", I guess.  ;D But I like it quite a lot.
I'm more than thrilled to see, where you are leading this story. Please DO continue!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #5 on: 19. February 2022, 11:38:18 AM »
The end.

I will continue; excuse switches between first/second/third person; and all the other rules I don’t remember on writing “correctly”.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #6 on: 19. February 2022, 11:54:37 AM »
Chapter 5.

As Jennifer sat there, she heard the boss talking.  But she was still mortified by what had happened.  She heard what he was saying but was not really comprehending it.  But when she heard him ask her if he could make her a doctor’s appointment she snapped back to attention.

Jennifer hated doctors.  She had no real reason to hate them.  And she had much experience with them.  But they made her nervous at best, and flat out scared the rest of the time.  But when Pete asked her if he could make an appointment with “his” orthopedist she agreed to it.  She knew something was wrong with her, and she knew she should see a specialist about it.   

Once she agreed, Pete told her he would make the call and let her know the day and time.  And obviously it would be work related and there would be no question of missed work.  With this Jennifer got up and left his office and went back to her desk.  Over the next hour, several people stopped by to check on her and see if she was alright.  She assured everyone she was just fine.

Towards the end of the day Pete came by her desk personally and asked Jennifer if 2 pm the following Thursday would work for her to meet with the orthopedist.  Of course it would she thought to herself, I will just be here at work.  But with that thought in her head she forced a smile and said “Sure!”.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #7 on: 19. February 2022, 17:38:16 PM »
It is nice to have another writer join us. You are off to a good start,

I always try to ask the new writers if it would be okay if I added their stories to TheArchive. TheArchive is my personal collection of braces stories, some of them dating back to the beginning of the internet when dial-up connections and newsgroups were prevalent. In the last couple of years, I have been sharing my collection with other people who like stories and have kept adding more stories to it.

As for the composition of your story, there is nothing wrong with it. Your spelling is good, you have a good flow through the story and it is easy to follow as it moves along. My suggestion is that rather than post small sections the way that you are, write more of the story using another program such as Word, OpenOffice, Google Docs or whatever program you prefer and then copy and paste it to the Forum.

Numbering each part of it also helps so that when we read your story, we don't miss parts of it.


Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #8 on: 19. February 2022, 19:51:59 PM »
I like thith new appwoach to youw thowy. Maketh me cuwious ath to what happenth netht. Thank you fow wwiting.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #9 on: 20. February 2022, 19:12:19 PM »
Chapter 6.

In the week leading up to her appointment, Jennifer did everything she could not to dwell on it.  On the morning of her appointment, she was filled with a sense of dread.  She wasn’t exactly sure why she dreaded medical appointments so much.  As she got ready, applying her makeup and dressing in her customary white blouse, black knee length skirt and sensible 2” pumps, she wondered why she so dreaded the doctor and dentist.  She thought maybe it was the result of her experience when she was an impressionable teenager with braces. 

In junior high, her parents had insisted she get braces.  In truth, she needed them.  She had an obvious overbite and crowding, even if she didn’t know what that meant at the time.  Being in a small town, there were few treatment options.  Dr. Murphy was her orthodontist.  He was a stern man, ex-military, and the kids undergoing treatment had a secret nickname for him; Sargeant Grump.  In hindsight, her junior high years seemed to have been dominated by orthodontic appointments.  She had received braces when she was thirteen.  To correct her crowding she had had two premolars extracted.  To tame her tongue thrusting she had a large tongue crib installed, which she wore for the first two years of her nearly three year treatment.  She had hated this tongue crib.  It was visible every time she spoke; and even worse it caused her a horrible lisp.  Some of the meaner kids made fun of her, calling her Jennither.  But the crowning indignity was the headgear she had to wear.  Sargeant Grump had fitted Jennifer with a combination headgear that she was supposed to wear twelve hours per day during the week, and 18 hours on the weekends and school breaks.  While she did not have to wear it at school all the time; her mother was very strict with her wear schedule.  She monitored it like a hawk, and several times her mom had insisted she wear it to school to make up for missed time. Of course, as soon as her mom was out of sight she would remove it and stash it in her bookbag.  But as her mom also picked her up after school she had to put it back on as she waited to be picked up.  She did her best to hide, but of course some of the bullies had seen her.  This led to them adding to her nickname; she now was Robot Jennither.  However, this had only occurred a few times.  The worst was the weekends and summer break.  Having to get in her 18 hours, she hid at home much of the time.  That is not to say she didn’t have any social life.  She did.  She had her first boyfriend, she had her first kiss, she went to her first dance all during this time.  But her headgear wear had definitely impacted her social life and schedule.  She thought back to the time her family went to Florida on vacation.  On the agenda were days on the beach, with the highlight being a day at Disney.  Jennifer knew her mom would make her wear her headgear, which would have mortified her 14 year old psyche and ruined her vacation.  With tears in her eyes, she had begged her dad to let her go without it.  After a discussion between her parents, her parents came to a compromise.  Jennifer would bring her headgear on the trip and would have to wear it on the 9 hour car trip down and back, and whenever they were at the condo in private.  But she wouldn’t have to wear it out in public.  She had a great vacation and fell in love with the beach.  In fact, she thought that one week is what led her to take her first job out of college in Florida, where she had been ever since.

Despite her nearly three years in braces, and the pain and embarrassment it had caused her at times. right before she turned 16 she had her braces removed.  She had a gorgeous new smile.  When she turned 16, she passed her drivers test and received her license.  Right before they took her picture, she had removed her retainers and stashed them in her retainer case.  While most drivers license photos are “bad”, Jennifers had not been.  It featured her pretty face and brand new pearly white smile.  High school had been great for her.  She had a car, she was a popular cheerleader, and she was usually dating one handsome boy or another.  As a senior she had made the homecoming court and even been voted best smile. So while her junior high years may have been a little rocky, her high school days had been great.  And she couldn’t help but think that just a little of her high school experience was because of her smile.

Snapping back to the present from her reminiscing, she looked at the clock, grabbed her keys and purse and headed to work.  As she left for lunch, she went by her bosses’ office and knocked on the door.  She received a reply to come in and have a seat.  She told Pete she had her doctor’s appointment at 2 pm and was not sure how long it would take.  He told her to take the rest of the day off and go take care of herself. He repeated how much he had been helped by Dr. Andrews, and that he was sure she would be glad she went.  With that she got up and headed to get lunch before her appointment.  She went around the corner and ordered a salad for lunch.  For thirty minutes she mainly poked around at it.  The butterflies in her stomach had killed her appetite.  At 1 oclock she dumped her salad in the trash can and headed out for the 35 minute drive to Andrews Sports Medicine clinic.


Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #10 on: 20. February 2022, 20:25:40 PM »
Tho faw, tho good! Intewething chawactew development. I’ll be watching fow mowe of thith thtowy!

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #11 on: 20. February 2022, 21:28:44 PM »
Thank you for adding the chapter numbers. And thank you for the longer chapter.

I'm enjoying the story so far, and am looking forward to more of it.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #12 on: 21. February 2022, 17:24:06 PM »
Nice job!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #13 on: 22. February 2022, 03:27:05 AM »
Chapter 7.

Jennifer pulled into the parking lot of the large modern looking glass and brick clinic at 1:37.  By the time she found a parking space and made it into the lobby she had about 15 minutes until her appointment.  She had arrived early on purpose, anticipating a good bit of paperwork.  She approached the front window in the waiting area, told the receptionist who she was, and received her expected stack of paperwork.  She retreated to a corner chair with a desk, filled out everything, and returned it to the receptionist.  The receptionist thanked her and asked her to wait in the waiting area until her name was called.  As she did she checked her emails, trying to take her mind off the fact she was in a doctor’s office, all the while fidgeting nervously.

After a 15 minute wait, a nurse emerged from the side door and called her name.  She got up, waiving her hand and followed the nurse back.  They stopped at an alcove with a tape measure on the wall and a scale.  The nurse asked Jennifer to remove her shoes and stand against the wall where she measured her height at 5’ 5”.  She told Jennifer to keep her shoes off and set them on a small table and then stepped onto the scale; which read 131 pounds.  The nurse noted both on the chart she was holding, and asked Jennifer to grab her shoes and follow her into the adjacent examination room.  Once in the room and seated on the examination table, the nurse checked Jennifer’s temperature and then her blood pressure, noting those as well.  With the baseline information done, the nurse handed Jennifer a hospital style gown and asked her to change into it once she left, telling her she could keep her underwear on.   She said the doctor would be with her shortly and left the room.

After what seemed like a lifetime to Jennifer, but was actually only 10 minutes, the doctor entered the room.  Jennifer felt very anxious and vulnerable in the thin open backed hospital gown as Dr. Andrews introduced himself and told her he understood her back was bothering her.  He then asked her to tell him what was going on.  Over a few minutes Jennifer explained that her back had been bothering her, and then about her fall that had been the reason for her visit.  He asked her if there were any other issues she had recently noticed, and she noted that she had been tired lately and had been having a few headaches in the mornings when she woke up, something she attributed to her back.  He then asked her what she did for a living, if she could think of an incident or accident that could have caused it, and how often she exercised.  Dr. Andrews nodded, and then asked her if she minded if he took a look at her back.  Of course she agreed, that was the whole reason she was here.  He asked her to stand and pulled the gown back from her shoulders exposing her back.  Over the next few minutes he poked and prodded her back, asking “does this hurt” several times.  Once when he was pushing on the muscle towards the back and under her collarbone she noted some pain.  He then asked Jennifer to do some bending; telling her again to tell him if something hurt.  If it hurt too bad to continue she was to stop and let him know.  Several times she did note pain, but never to the point she quit.  Just as she was wondering when this would end, the doctor asked her to put her gown back on and sit back on the table.  He told her he did want to have some x-rays taken of her back; and once that was done he would be back to talk with her.  He told her a nurse would be in shortly, and got up to leave the room.  Jennifer’s anxiety couldn’t handle this, so she asked Dr. Andrews if he thought anything was severely wrong.  He turned and told her he didn’t think so; but he did want to look at the x-rays.

A few minutes later a radiology tech entered the room and asked Jennifer to follow her to the radiology department. Once there, several x-rays where taken from several different perspectives.  Once complete, the tech took Jennifer back to the original exam room, asked her to get dressed back up and to wait in the waiting area.  Once back in the waiting room, Jennifer could not help herself from googling spine surgery.  What she saw terrified her.  She was fighting the urge to just get up and leave when the initial nurse opened the side door and called her name. 

Jennifer followed the nurse back to the initial exam room, and when she entered she saw Dr. Andrews was already there.  He politely asked her to sit in the chair adjacent to him, not the exam table.  First off, he told her he had almost all good news.  He could not find any injury to her back.  She had no disk or vertebra impairment, and he noted no issues with ligaments, tendons, or muscles.  He did note that he had found some of the muscles in her back very tense.  He continued that he thought the root cause of Jennifer’s back pain was sitting in an office chair all day.  He said he could not tell her exactly why her back had spasmed and locked up, but he said it was most likely simply a cramp caused by dehydration.  He then laid out his treatment plan.  He was going to schedule her an appointment with one of their physical therapy techs to go over some stretching and exercises she would need to do.  He said you don’t need surgery or immobilization, you need activity.  He also told her he was going to, for the short term, prescribe her a muscle relaxant to take if she woke up in the morning and her back was stiff.  Again he noted how bad it was for the back to sit for hours at a time staring at a computer screen. He said one thing he did in his office was have his staff use standing desks.  He continued on, telling her “that is the mostly good news, I do have a little bad news”.  He said when he reviewed her x-rays he had noticed a small amount of curvature of her spine, but it was almost imperceptible in the x-ray.  He asked her if she had ever been diagnosed with scoliosis, and after she said no he told her it was probably something she had had her whole life.  He said it was possible it was late onset idiopathic adult scoliosis, but his gut instinct told him otherwise.  He said he was going to schedule a followup appointment for six months just to take more x-rays.  He said in such mild cases as hers, monitoring was all they did.  He continued on, saying there is one more thing that concerns me.  He noted that she had been tired, and having some headaches in the morning.  He told her he did not think this was related to her back at all.  He wanted her to take a sleep test.  He told her she had borderline high blood pressure, which along with being tired and having headaches in the morning hinted towards her having sleep apnea.  He explained that there was a great sleep medicine doctor in the same medical park they were in now.  He explained that he himself was not some new age holistic doctor, he was basically a back mechanic. But he said, any doctor should know that the building block of health is diet and adequate rest.  He went on, saying her height and weight were squarely in the healthy range, so unlike many patients he wasn’t going to recommend she lose weight.  Just eat lots of fruits and vegetables and lay off the donuts he laughed.  He said he was however worried about the rest she was receiving.   He noted that sleep is when the body repairs itself.  In conclusion he stated, I want to schedule you a sleep test if you will agree.  Jennifer agreed.  He smiled broadly and stood.  He thanked her for putting her trust in him, and said there would be an assistant in immediately to take her by the discharge coordinators desk to get everything wrapped up and get those additional appointments made. 

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #14 on: 22. February 2022, 20:07:15 PM »
 Chapter 8.

The next day back at work, Jennifer’s boss came by her desk a little after 8 and asked if she could meet with him after he finished up with his meetings at 2.  At 2, Jennifer went down the hall and asked his secretary Maggie if Mr. Masters was done with his meetings.  She replied with a smile that he was and he was expecting her.  As Jennifer stepped into his office Mr. Masters, or Pete as he preferred to be called, welcomed her in and invited her to sit down.  Pete told her the reason he asked to meet with her was simply to find out how her doctor’s appointment went.  She said it went great, then briefly ran through it.  He told her it was great that it had been so positive, and he was really glad she had everything checked out.  She did mention she had a couple of additional appointments coming up, and Pete told her the company would do whatever it could to accommodate her.

The next week Jennifer had her appointment with the physical therapist.  Over the previous week, she had made it a point to get up from her desk every hour or two and walk around a few minutes.  In addition, she had watched some Youtube videos on back pain and stretching, and had been trying a few of the stretching exercises she had watched each morning.  On the day of her physical therapy appointment, her back felt better than it had in months.  In fact, she felt no pain.  Nontheless, she went to the appointment and was shown a regiment of stretching and back strengthening exercises.  Much of it was very similar to what she had already started doing.  She didn’t think it would be a big deal, it was only a few minutes each morning.  She vowed to herself she would be diligent and do them every morning.  She left the appointment feeling better about the situation than she had in some time.  She did have her sleep study scheduled for the following week, and she was a bit nervous about it.  She had been doing a little research on sleep apnea, and after checking off several of the signs and symptoms as things she had been experiencing, she worried she might have sleep apnea.  She knew that a cpap was the most common treatment for sleep apnea, and she really didn’t want to have to sleep with a mask every night.  But it was so common, she didn’t think it could be that bad.  If they recommended it, she had resigned herself to at least try it.

The following Wednesday after work she headed to the sleep clinic.  She knew she would be early, but she didn’t want to have to drive home, then have to get right back in her car an hour later to backtrack 30 minutes to the clinic. She had a night gown she normally slept in, as well as an overnight toiletries bag, a change of clothes for the next day, and the book she had been reading.  They had explained the procedure, what to expect and what to bring on the phone.  Once she was there and checked in she met with her sleep tech Emily.  She went over everything, took a few measurements of her face and had her try on a couple of cpap masks.  She knew she most look ridiculous in them, but she tried to keep a smile on her face as they went through the process.  Once finished she was escorted to her sleep study room.  It was set up similar to a hotel room, with a bed, a TV, a corner chair and a bathroom.  The tech told her it would be a few hours until they started, so she could relax and watch tv or read while she waited.  She asked her to be ready for bed by 9 o’clock.  Emily also told her there was an intercom beside the bed, and if she needed anything to just call her.  She told her she didn’t have to mash any buttons or anything, she could just talk and they would hear her.  For the next two hours she read, trying to take her mind off of things.  She then got up, brushed her teeth, took her makeup off, cleaned her face, and slipped into her nightgown. 

Promptly at nine the intercom beeped, and a scratchy voice asked her if she was ready to start.  She replied “not really, but we might as well do this”.  A few moments later the door opened and Emily pushed a cart with several machines on it through the door.  If took about 30 minutes to hook up everything up to Jennifer as she sat on the edge of the bed.  She had several different sensors placed on her head, a strap with some kind of box attached to her chest, and finally a little splint like thing went on her index finger.  Jennifer thought she must look like a cyborg with all the wires running off of her.  Emily pulled back the sheets and helped Jennifer into bed.  She explained if might take a few extra minutes to fall asleep wearing everything, but most patients were able to nod off eventually.  She explained they might be in during the middle of the night, and if she needed to get up to use the bathroom, use the intercom and they would come in and unhook everything.  Jennifer told Emily she would do her best to hold it, she didn’t want to have to go through the process of becoming a Transformer again.  At this Emily laughed, wished a good night, and turned off the light as she left the room.

It did take an extra half hour or so for Jennifer to fall asleep.  It wasn’t that anything was uncomfortable, just different and she was very aware of it all.  However, after laying in bed for about 30 minutes she did drift off to sleep. The next thing she was aware of was a voice coming out of the intercom.  Once she came to, she responded.  The intercom voice, who Jennifer now recognized as Emily’s voice, told her she was going to enter the room.  Emily entered the room holding a cpap mask.  She asked Jennifer to sit up and she quickly fitted the mask to Jennifer, hooked a hose to it, and made a few adjustments to some buttons on one of the boxes on the cart.  Emily told Jennifer she wanted her to sleep the rest of the night with the cpap mask.  She told her to expect to feel air on her face once she turned on the machine, and with that hit the button turning on the cpap machine.  She told Jennifer to lay back and go back to sleep.  The mask on her face felt very foreign to Jennifer, but as she was not really fully awake she was able to go back to sleep surprisingly quickly.  Once again, at 6 am, Jennifer was woken by the intercom voice.  It was Emily again, and she said she would be in shortly to unhook everything.  As she undid her earlier handy work, she asked Jennifer how she felt and if she felt rested.  Jennifer responded yes, she had actually slept pretty good despite being dressed up like an astronaut.  She also said she felt well rested, which was not the case every morning when she woke up.  Emily wrapped up and stowed everything on the cart and asked Jennifer to go ahead and get ready for the day and get all of her things packed up as it was time for check out.  She told her there were towels, soap and shampoo in the bathroom, and once she was ready to give them a call on the intercom.  Jennifer showered and got dressed for her work day.  Once ready she called on the intercom.  A foreign voice responded that someone would be there shortly to escort her out.

Shortly thereafter a knock came on the door and a male orderly entered.  He offered to carry her backpack, and Jennifer followed him back into the office where the appointment started.  Behind the desk was Emily, studying some charts and graphs on the table in front of her.  She got up, thanked John for bringing Jennifer in, and asked Jennifer to sit.  She wrapped up the appointment, explaining that one of the center’s sleep doctors would review her results, which usually took 3-5 days.  She went ahead and scheduled a follow up appointment for the following Friday.  As they finished up Jennifer couldn’t resist asking Emily what the study showed.  Emily stated she was not a doctor, and that the doctor would go over the results with her when they met next week.  Jennifer told Emily of her anxiety with doctor’s, and how the wait might kill her.  Emily said she understood, and everything she was about to tell her was off the record.  But based on her experience, she told Jennifer it was clear she had moderate sleep apnea.  She went on that at the followup appointment, the doctor would review her results with her, and and almost certainly prescribe her a cpap machine.  Emily noted that after she had put the cpap mask on her, her snoring had stopped.  Snoring Jennifer thought?  She hadn’t even realized she snored.  Emily continued that she had already sized her face, and the following Friday she would almost certainly be leaving with a shiny new cpap mask and machine.  She said that was one reason she had scheduled the follow up for Friday, so she could get used to it over the weekend. Emily told her not worry though, a cpap was not a big deal at all.  In fact she herself had been wearing one to sleep for the last three years, and it had really improved her quality of sleep and she considered it life changing.  She then repeated however that everything she just said was unofficial, and it would be up to the doctor to determine her treatment.  With that she thanked Jennifer for her time and told her she would see her next Friday.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #15 on: 23. February 2022, 05:57:40 AM »
Chapter 9.

The followup appointment the following Friday afternoon went much as Emily had predicted.  The sleep doctor went over her results, throwing out terms Jennifer didn’t completely understand as she just nodded in agreement.  He was prescribing her a cpap, and would have Emily finish up her mask fitting and instructions on how to set up and use everything correctly.  Jennifer was ok with this, she had made peace with the idea of the cpap before the appointment.  After the doctor finished, he had Jennifer taken to the lab where Emily was waiting. As she sat down, Jennifer said to her “Well, you called it”.  Emily smiled, held up a mask, and told Jennifer “and here is your shiny new mask”.  Emily told her the brand and explained this was a full face mask, which meant it covered both her mouth and nose.  She then fitted it on her face, attaching the straps around her head and adjusting them until they fit correctly.  She removed the mask, and had Jennifer move so she was facing towards a mirror.  She instructed Jennifer to watch what she was doing, and again put the mask on, explaining the order to fit the straps as she went.  She explained the mask should fit snug, but shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight.   She took a piece of hose, and showed Jennifer how to attach the hose to the front of the mask, then removed everything, again noting the order of the steps involved.  Once she had the mask off, she handed it to Jennifer and told her to try it.  She had Jennifer try it several times until both were confident she could do it.  She told Jennifer the first few times she might want to put her mask on in the mirror.  But she told her after a few nights she would be able to do it in her sleep and laughed.  She moved on to showing her how to set up and use the machine.  She told Jennifer to watch as she adjusted things on the machine, setting everything as prescribed by the doctor.  She said the machine was smart, and should remember those settings.  But, at least the first few nights she should check the settings before bed.  Finally, she had Jennifer put the mask on again, connect it to the hose, and turned it on.  As the machine whirred and the air flowed, Emily told her this is how it should feel.  She let Jennifer experience it for a minute or so, then turned the machine off and asked her to take the mask off.  It all seemed pretty straight forward to Jennifer.  Emily handed her a manilla envelope, which included instructions on everything they went over in case she needed to review it once she got back home, as well as the instructions and settings for her machine.  She also noted that there was a good youtube video available on the clinic’s youtube channel that showed how to put on and remove her exact mask if she needed a visual.   When asked if she had any questions, Jennifer replied “No, you did a great job”. Emily said the last thing to do is schedule a follow up in 6 weeks.  She said they just wanted to check a few things to make sure everything was working, and if there were any slight adjustments that needed to be made.  She explained they were usually able to get everything right the first time, but sometimes there were a few slight adjustments that needed to be made to get things dialed in perfectly.  She boxed everything up, and then gave Jennifer a few parting words.  She warned her that the first few nights would be strange.  She also warned that she might have some red marks on her face in the mornings, but there should not be pain.  She said the red mark would lessen or disappear completely as her body got used to it.  She gave her a few tips; she handed Jennifer a sleep mask to cover her eyes if she didn’t already have one.  Jennifer said she didn’t.  Emily told her to try it out the first few nights when she got ready to go to sleep.  Emily said it seemed to help a lot of patients adjust to falling asleep more quickly. She also recommended she put chapstick on each night before she put her mask on.  And finally, she said for at least the first few nights, starting tonight, she should wear the mask a few hours before bed.   She said obviously don’t hook the hose up, but wear it around the house a few hours just to get used to the feeling of it.  She said to stick with it a week, and she said by the following Friday she would be wanting to put her mask on before she went to bed.  She gave Jennifer her card with her cell number on it and told her to call or text if she had any issues or questions.  Jennifer pulled her phone out, and entered her number.  She told Emily she was liable to lose the card before she made it out of the building  Emily laughed and said she was the same way; that is why she had also included her card in the manilla envelope.  She told her she would see her in six weeks, and said goodbye.

Once home, Jennifer got the machine inside and set up beside her bed. She plugged it in and made sure all the settings matched those on the spec sheet she had been given and then powered it on. It whirred to life.  She flipped it off, and then went to the mirror and put the mask on as she had been instructed.  She went back and set on the edge of the bed, hooked the hose up, and turned the machine on.  She felt the air hit her face.  Feeling like everything was correct, she turned the machine off, removed the mask, and layed it on the nightstand beside her shiny new cpap machine.  She then started dinner for her and her boys.  As they ate dinner they filled each other in on their day, and plans for the weekends.  Jennifer told them she had gotten a cpap that afternoon and wanted to show it to them.  But she jokingly told them they better not laugh.  After dinner she went into the bedroom, and came back out wearing her cpap mask.  Despite her admonishment to them earlier, they both did laugh.  She told them to knock it, but it came out sounding like Darth Vader had said it.  This just made the boys laugh more.  Her oldest hugged her, and told her they still loved her, even if she was Darth Vader.  This made her laugh, which also sounded strange through her mask, causing them all to laugh again.  She explained she had been instructed to wear it a few hours before bed the next few nights.  Again she told them no to laugh, and then told them she better not hear them snoring or she had one for them too.

She wore her cpap a few hours as she did a load of laundry and read her book, At around 10 she headed to bed and sat down on the edge of the bed.  She then hooked up the hose, turned the machine on, got under the covers and finally pulled the eye mask down over her eyes. She fell asleep surprisingly quickly.  The next morning she woke up feeling good.  She sat up, took both her masks off, and went into the bathroom.  Again Emily had been correct in her prediction.  There were red marks on her nose and cheeks, but they weren’t painful.  Over the next few nights, Jennifer adjusted quickly to her new sleeping arrangement.  By the middle of the week, as she got ready for bed, she thought about how anti climatic it all had been.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as she had anticipated, and again realized Emily was correct when she said it was no big deal.  On Friday she got a text from Emily.  It asked her how things were going.  Jennifer replied back that things were going great, that Emily had been correct about everything.  Emily asked her if she had more energy, and it was then that Jennifer realized she did have more energy.  And she had not had the urge  to take an afternoon nap one day that week.  She replied back to Emily that she did have more energy, and was very appreciative of all her help.  Emily replied back that was her job, but thanked her anyway.  She wished Jennifer a good weekend, and said she would see her in 5 weeks.

That followup appointment went smoothly.  Her followup appointment for her back did as well.  The x-rays showed no changes.  Dr. Andrews did transfer her case over to the scoliosis clinic, but it was just for her annual x-rays and scoliosis screening.  Over the next few years, everything seemed to go great.  Both her boys had graduated and were off at college; one was on track to graduate soon and her youngest was doing well.  They both were in school out of state, but they still visited on their breaks.  Things were great at work, she had gotten a promotion to vice president of finance, and now had her own office and her own personal assistant.  Everything was wonderful.  A couple of her friends had thrown her a big 40th birthday party, and she even had a date here and there but nothing too serious.  She visited both the sleep center and the scoliosis center for her annual checkups.  There were no real changes.  She was happy, enjoyed her job, and other than a few “getting older issues” her health was great.  Over the four years she had noticed she was straining to see her computer screen.  She ended up with glasses, and another annual checkup to add to the sleep center, scoliosis center, and her annual dentist appointment.  She had also started to have some mild carpal tunnel issues, which see had self diagnosed and was treating herself.  She had picked herself up a couple of wrist braces which she wore at night and around the house if her wrists were bothering her.  But overall, things were great as Jennifer approached her mid forties.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #16 on: 23. February 2022, 11:20:21 AM »
Chapter 10.

Over the previous 4 years, Jennifer had worried little about her back.  She visited The Scoliclinic once a year for her x-rays and checkup.  And she still did her morning exercises, though not has diligently as she had when she first started.  In fact she had become pretty lax over the last year, often only doing them once or twice a week.  However, she woke up one morning with stiffness and soreness in her back, so she committed to do them every morning that week.  However, at the end of the week, despite her stretching and exercises she still felt a twinge in her back. She had just had her annual checkup a few months earlier and everything was fine.  Surely it wasn’t something serious.  But she figured she better call and make an appointment to have it checked out.

A week later she sat in Dr. Wellington’s office after she had gotten x-rays taken.  He started off by telling her he had bad news.  He said her spinal curvature had progressed an alarming amount since her last appointment several months earlier.  He talked several minutes describing her condition, mentioning terms like thoracic scoliosis, cervical kyphosis, cobb angle, and more.  It was a lot for Jennifer to take in.  He said there were a couple of options.  He motioned towards the screen on the wall mounted above his desk between the two of them, and started talking about options as he went through slides up on the screen.  He really got down in some details, talking about the history of scoliosis braces and of spinal fusion to treat scoliosis.  Once he was done, he turned to Jennifer and asked her what she thought.

The first thing she said was “Wow, this is terrifying.  So what you are telling me is I have three options.  One, do nothing, let my spine continue to do what it is doing and end up crippled, with surgery being the only option at that point.  Two, go ahead and have spinal fusion now despite all the risks and drawbacks.  Or three, get a scoliosis brace and try to stop or even correct my curve to avoid surgery.  And if this doesn’t work then surgery is still an option”. 

He agreed with her that was correct.  He said he would recommend bracing to start.  He said if she needed more information or time, she was welcome to let him know.  Also, if she wanted to get another opinion or two that was understandable.  She asked him what bracing would involve.  He told her, noting that the brace was a new design he had actually come up with.  He said he had basically stolen all of the best ideas from several different existing braces, and incorporated them into one brace.  He then motioned for her to watch a quick video up on the screen.  When it was done he told her that was one of his actual patients that had undergone treatment several years earlier, and that she was now doing well, had corrected her curve some, and now only wore her brace at night to maintain it.  The doctor continued that there would be a period of adjustment wearing the brace, and it would impact her day to day life some, especially at the beginning.  But he said, it wouldn’t impact her as negatively as a failed spinal surgery.

After a few minutes of thinking and trying to untwist the thoughts racing through her mind, Jennifer looked up at him and said “well, I only see one option, to try the brace”.  Dr. Wellington said great, lets get you scanned and measured.  After about an hour she was back in his office.  He explained that it would be one to two weeks before her brace was fabricated and delivered.  Once it was ready she could come in and get fitted in it.  In the meantime, he said he wanted her to get fitted for a nightguard and handed her a list of dentists.  He said as there was going to be a cervical component to her bracing regiment, he wanted her to get fitted with a dental appliance to avoid clenching, grinding, or even shifting of teeth.  He said she would only need to wear it at night. Further, he said he had collaborated with each of the dentists on the list, so they would know what she needed.  She nodded, still in a daze and asked if that was everything for today.  The doctor replied back that it was, and then assured her she had made the right decision.  He said they would contact her when her brace was ready, but to go ahead and get the appointment for her dental appliance made as soon as she could.  He said it might also take a few days, and he wanted her to bring it with her to her fitting appointment.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #17 on: 23. February 2022, 11:47:13 AM »
It's great to have a new author and this is a really well written story.  The description of symptoms and attempts to diagnose was very realistic.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #18 on: 23. February 2022, 13:35:43 PM »
Chapter 11.

Once she got home, Jennifer sent Emily a text, asking if she could recommend a good dentist.  Emily replied back, asking her what she was looking to get done.  Jennifer replied that her back doctor had told her to get a mouthguard to help with her clenching, and she wasn't sure if her general dentist really did such things.  He said he had given her a list of names, but she didn't know anything about them.  She wanted to find out if Emily knew anything or had any recommendations.  She added on that so far, Emily had been right on everything she had ever told her, and really valued her opinion.  Emily asked her to send her the names of the doctors on her list, which Jennifer did.  A few minutes later Emily replied back "Dr. Cooper, he is great.  We collaborate with him often".   Jennifer thanked her, and said she was about to give his office a call.  She had not mentioned she was going to be getting a full blown scoliosis brace; she was more than a little embarrassed by the whole thing and was still working out how to tell people.

Jennifer made an appointment at Dr. Cooper's office for the day after tomorrow.  When she had made the appointment, she had told the receptionist she was referred by Dr. Wellington to get a mouthguard or something made and he had said the dentist would know what she needed.  As she pulled up to the office that morning, she was surprised to see it was an actual orthodontist office, more specifically a Neuromuscular Airway Orthodontist according to the signage.  After she had the impressions made of her teeth, she sat down with Dr. Cooper and asked what kind of bite guard she was getting.  He explained she would actually be getting two, one for her top teeth and one for her bottom.  Basically they were hawley retainers, with the addition of occlusional pads to help with grinding and to provide a little cushioning for her jaw.  He explained he had worked with some of Dr. Wellington's previous patients and there was often a period of adjustment that was hard on the teeth and jaw.  Great she thought, more stuff I have to wear at night.  He then said something that surprised her a little.  He asked if she had considered orthodontic treatment, he thought he could really help her.  Taken off guard she said no, I had braces as a kid and my teeth are straight.  He agreed they were, and then asked if she had sleep apnea.  She told him she did, and wore a cpap.  He told her he could get her off that cpap.  He said without even doing an exam that he guessed she had extractions and headgear when she previously received treatment.  She agreed that she had.  He continued on, noting that she was suffering from Extraction Retraction Syndrome, and it was pretty common to find in many people that had worn headgear and had teeth extracted.  He explained that the common protocol in orthodontics for many years was to focus on aesthetics and straight teeth.  This often led to people having retracted jaws, narrow arches, and obstructed airways.  Thus sleep apnea, and the need to wear a cpap mask for life.  He told her he could get her examined and have a treatment plan and cost budget together for her ASAP.  She thanked him, politely declined and stated she had enough medical things going on at the moment.  He said he understood, but if she wanted to explore it, please contact the office.  He then told her the appliances would be ready in a few days.  He scheduled her an appointment for the following week and told her it should be quick.  All they were going to do was make sure the appliances fit, and then show her how to take them in and out and care for them.

The next two weeks were emotional for Jennifer.  She picked up her two new retainers.  Dr. Cooper fit the retainers in Jennifer's mouth, showing her the correct way to seat them, and asked her if they felt ok.  She replied "yeth, jushth bulky" and her face reddened as she heard her lisp. Dr. Cooper said it looked like they fit perfectly but told her to wear them at night for the next week and see if she noticed any sore or raw spots in her mouth.   If not, then everything was good and they would see her annually for her fit check.  He then showed Jennifer how to remove the retainers and placed them in a retainer case.  He said it was important not to try to "bite" them in place, or remove them with her tongue, but with two fingers on each side.  He went over care and cleaning.  He then pulled out a clear bag with a sample bottle of Retainer Brite, a tooth brush and a sheet of instructions and placed her retainer case in the bag.  He did warn her she would have a lisp, as she had already noticed, but reminded her they were just for night time wear at home.  He said it shouldn't be a big deal, but that if she wanted to work on speaking better she should try reading out loud.  The week went smoothly with the retainers, other than the lisp and the fact that Jennifer felt ridiculous going to bed wearing two retainers, two wrist braces, a cpap mask, and an eye mask.  But she knew it would get worse when she picked up the scoliosis brace in three days. She wasn't yet ready to call it her scoliosis brace. They had called her the day before and made an appointment for her to come in on Friday.  She guessed it was done on purpose so she would have time over the weekend to begin getting used to the brace.

The day of her brace fitting appointment Jennifer arrived wearing a sundress.  The Scoliclinic had recommended she wear something loose and easy to take on an off.  She asked them if a sundress would be good, and they said that would be perfect as long as it was cut loose.  Once she arrived she was ushered back into the fitting room.  She entered to find Dr. Wellington and one of his nurses already there.  On the table beside them was a huge back brace, and beside it was something that looked like a neck brace.  Jennifer swallowed hard, knowing that it was hers.  She had seen pictures and video of one like it but seeing it in person and knowing it was hers made her stomach roll. After introductions were made between Jennifer and the nurse Melissa, they began the fitting.  As they had introduced themselves to each other, Jennifer had noticed that Melissa was wearing metal braces on her teeth, along with a bright lime green rubberband that was in a square configuration across the front of her mouth.

They had Jennifer remove her dress and put on a long white tight fitting tank top style undershirt.  They then put the brace on her, adjusting straps and checking the fit.  Once they were satisfied the back brace fit properly, they told Jennifer they were going to leave her wearing the brace for about thirty minutes to see if she noticed any pressure spots that really bothered her.  He explained that it would feel strange, and she would feel pressure as this was an asymmetrical active brace and it was normal to feel pressure.  They just wanted to check for real pain.  They asked her to put her sundress back on and wait out in the lobby until she was called.  This was brace fitting day they said, and they had another patient to see in this room.  After she put her dress back on she checked herself in the floor length mirror and noted you couldn't really tell she was wearing a brace underneath.  She felt like a robot though as she walked down the hall, and really hoped no one in the waiting room would notice she was wearing a brace as she entered and took her seat.  She immediately noticed how much taller and straighter she seemed to sit up.  Slouching was not an option.  When she tried to lean back, she found out quickly how awkward her new body was. She tried to lean back in the chair but realized that wasn't going to work well. She next tried to scoot back across the seat on her butt, getting her back near the backrest and slowly leaned back.  This worked better.  She pulled out her phone to try to occupy her mind.  She willed herself to please not drop her phone.  She knew if she did, it was going to be an adventure trying to pick it up off the floor, and she didn't want to try it for the first time in front of a half full room of strangers.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the nurse called her back in.

Jennifer was led back into the fitting room.  The doctor asked her how her brace felt.  She said it felt so strange.  He asked her if she noticed any real pain, and she replied she did not but it was really tight.  He stated it had to be to work.  He asked her once again to remove her dress and picked up what Jennifer thought looked like a neck brace on a stick.  The doctor explained a little about her back brace, explaining that this brace had outriggers that went under each arm stopping just below her shoulder blade.  This was to help correct her kyphosis and would also give her killer posture.  He then showed her how the brace was asymmetrical from side to side, this was to correct her thoracic curve and rotation.  Finally he held up the neck brace he was holding and said this is to correct your cervical kyphosis.  He showed her the threaded holes on the thin aluminum bar that was fit flush into the front of her brace and also the three small knob type bolts that fit into them.  He threaded one in, then removed it.  He did tell her to be careful though, the bar was aluminum and she should be careful she had it threaded correctly before she tightened it down.  He then showed her how due to a tongue and groove type of design the neck brace strut would only mate onto the brace so that the holes were aligned.  He said this would make it much easier for her.  He then asked Jennifer if she had brought her dental appliance.  She nodded and got the case out of her purse.  He asked her to go ahead and insert it into her mouth.  When she pulled out two appliances, he asked her who she had used, and she said " Dr. Cooper".  He nodded and said that explained why she had two separate appliances instead of one big bulky one as she inserted each retainer into her mouth.  He noted that different dentists used different devices, but they all did the same thing.  Dr. Cooper just preferred to use the two individual appliances.  He asked her if it had been a good experience.  She nodded affirmatively, not wanting to speak afraid she would lisp.  He positioned Jennifer in front of the mirror and told her to watch what he was doing in the mirror as she would not be able to look down.  With that, he opened the neck brace via hinges on the side of the brace, put the chinpad up under her chin and mated the assembly to her brace.  As he inserted and tightened the three bolts that held the assembly on her brace, Jennifer felt like she was looking up at the ceiling.  But as she had a pad under her chin, she could not look down.  She had to cut her eyes down sharply to see what he was doing.  Once the doctor was done with that he showed her how to close the brace around her neck and then tighten it via two hook and loop straps.  He told Jennifer that with both the back and neck brace on, her spine was now where it needed to be. He then made a couple of lines on the straps of the back brace and removed the neckbrace, then the back brace.  He asked Jennifer to put it all back on, telling her he had marked the straps so she knew how much to tighten them.  It was awkward, and she took a lot longer than the doctor did, but with the help of the mirror she finally got it back on.  Dr. Wellington pantomimed clapping and told her she did great; a lot of patients had more trouble the first time.  He said in a couple of weeks she would be able to do it blindfolded.  He told her it might seem like a lot right now, but again reassured her she made the right decision. He then told Jennifer they were done and to please slip her dress back on and follow the nurse to the office next door for some care instructions and her wear schedule.  He thanked her for being a great patient, then said he would see her at her one week follow up visit. 

As Jennifer followed the nurse down the hall, she felt like she was in some else's body.  She couldn't move from the hips up, and she could barely see the ground in front of her.  It all felt so alien.  She followed Melissa into the office, and awkwardly sat down on the chair, only perching on the front edge and leaning forward so she could see her.  Melissa pulled out a few pieces of paper and went over them.  The instructions included the care instructions for how to clean the brace as well as how to fit and remove the brace herself.  Also included was her wear schedule.  The wear schedule included a graduating schedule, increasing wear time each day.  It started this evening. She needed to be up to 12 hours by her one week follow up, and up to the full 20-22 hours by her two week follow up.  She explained the neck brace was only to be worn at home and when sleeping.  As long as she got in 10 hours a day with it she would be fine.  She encouraged her to go ahead and try to be to the 10 hours by next week.  She also explained that both the neck and back brace had thermal sensors in them, so they could monitor wear time.  Melissa then had Jennifer stand up, remove her dress, then remove the brace and sit in on the desk.    As Jennifer was slipping her dress back on, the nurse picked up the neck brace.  Once she had Jennifer's attention again, she showed her how to remove and reinstall the pads on the brace.  She said she would give her an extra set, and if they got dirty or wet they could be changed out.  They should be washed by hand and allowed to air dry.  She said she was also including an extra set of bolts for attaching the neck brace to the back brace in case she dropped or lost one. With that, she asked if Jennifer had any questions.  She replied "no", and realized she was still wearing her retainers.  She fumbled for her purse, removed them, and then placed them into her retainer case and back into her purse.  Melissa told Jennifer not to be embarrassed by a retainer, and then gave her a big smile really showing off her braces and rubberband.  Jennifer also noticed a set of hooks on her top teeth and some big steel rods on each side of her mouth that she had missed seeing before.  The hooks seemed like they started back around her molars, ran about half way down each side of her top teeth, and ended in an upturned hook.  The two steel rods ran from around Melissa's top back molars and ended at what looked like a bolt head beside her canines.  As she watched the nurse close her mouth Jennifer realized the bolts made her bottom lip stick out a little on each side.  She thought wow, that poor girl has a lot of metal in her mouth.  The nurse bagged everything up in a cloth bag with 'Welllington Brace' emblazoned on it, pulled the cord shut and handed it to Jennifer.  She got up, hugged Jennifer and wished her luck with her first week of wear.  When they did so, Jennifer felt something hard around Melissa's waist as she put her arms around her and felt something dig into her when Melissa squeezed her.  Jennifer realized Melissa was also wearing a hard, rigid back brace.  As they embraced, Melissa told Jennifer the first two weeks were the hardest, but she knew she would do great. Melissa then released her hold of Jennifer and told her to stop by the desk on the way out to make her two follow up appointments each of the next two Thursdays.


 

Offline Nameless

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #19 on: 23. February 2022, 19:52:59 PM »
Wow! You are very descriptive and detail oriented, which is making this story really stand out. I love that I can visualize what you're writing. I'm definitely curious about where you're gonna take this story next

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #20 on: 23. February 2022, 22:23:13 PM »
Chapter 12.

That evening, as soon as she got home, she went ahead and put the back brace on.  She figured there was no time like the present to start.  Luckily she had a full length mirror in the bedroom, and used it to help her put the brace on.  Putting the back brace on really wasn't too hard.  It simply wrapped around her and closed with three velcro straps.  She lined the marks up on the straps to get the correct tightness.  She went ahead and put the neckbrace, extra parts, and instructions on her dresser.  She also marked her start time for the back brace on her wear schedule as she had been told to do.  She went ahead and hung the bag it had all come in inside her closet. She didn't foresee herself needing a travel bag for the brace.  She then headed to the kitchen and heated up a microwave dinner which she ate at the kitchen table.  She noticed that the straight back kitchen chair was the easiest and most comfortable chair she had sat in today.  After dinner, she went back into her bedroom, inserted her retainers, and put her neckbrace on.  She marked the start time in the column for her neck brace. She was determined to try to make this work, and her goal was to wear everything until her bedtime around 10.  She went into the living room with a book to read until then.  She then attempted to sit on the couch.  In reality, it was more falling backwards onto the couch.  Once there, she realized she was looking at the ceiling fan.  She struggled to get up, finally rolling over sideways off the couch.  This was going to take some getting used to she thought.  She went back into her bedroom and grabbed two pillows to prop behind her back.  This worked much better.  She was very, very aware of the brace as she read, but it was mostly just a strange feeling, not an uncomfortable one.  At one point she had heard a loud noise outside on the street and instinctively tried to turn her head and look.  She realized quickly there was no turning of the head while in her full brace; if she wanted to turn she would have to turn her whole body. As the clock approached 10, Jennifer again awkwardly got up off the couch, grabbed her two pillows and made her way back to her bedroom.  Once there, she used the mirror to take the neck and back brace off and then marked her time sheet.  She smiled, feeling a bit proud, when she saw she had worn the back brace for nearly 4 hours, and the neck brace for over two.  Her schedule only called for two hours with the back brace, and one hour with the neck brace. She then thought about taking her retainers out, put she decided just to leave them in.  She had gotten used to wearing them at night over the previous week, and they didn't bother her so she just left them in.  Plus, she thought she had noticed that since she had started wearing the retainers her teeth and jaw felt great when she woke up in the mornings.  Overall she thought it wasn't as bad as she had feared, but she did wonder how she was going to sleep in it.  She then got ready for bed, putting on her wrist braces, then her cpap and eye mask, and quickly fell asleep. 

As Jennifer had no plans for the weekend, she decided to try to wear her new brace as much as she could.  The nurse Melissa had told her that the wear schedule was just the bare minimum and she could wear it more.  In fact, she had told her the more she wore it, the faster she would get used to everything and the faster it would start helping her spine.  In addition, she told her if she got some extra hours over the course of the week, she could bank them in case she had a situation that caused her to be lax on her wear a day or two.  She had explained they weren't sticklers on the number of hours per day that she wore the brace, just the total number of hours for the week and month.  She calculated that the first week she needed to wear her back brace a total of 42 hours, and the neck brace a total of 18 hours.  By the time she got ready for bed on Sunday, she had already gotten in 20 hours with the back brace and 13 with the neck brace.  She had worn the back brace almost all day Saturday, only removing it for a one hour break for lunch. She had even worn it outside an hour as she worked in her little garden, though she had removed the neck brace before she went outside and kept it off the rest of the day.  On Sunday she had worn the full brace for the first half of the day, then taken it off to go to the beach.  She realized that once she got to full time wear, her sunbathing was going to be curtailed a little.  On Monday morning she awoke feeling rested and feeling good about her progress.  She thought maybe this first week isn't going to be so tough.  She had calculated the total hours she needed to wear the back brace the second week though, and realized it was going to be a lot harder at 102 hours total.  She realized soon she was going to be wearing her brace to work, but it wouldn't be today.

On Monday morning, she asked her assistant Jasmine to see if her boss was free and could meet with her.  A few minutes later she buzzed in and told her he was available, and to go on in as soon as she was ready.  Once in Pete's office, Jennifer explained she had been having issues with her back again.  She told him about her appointments, and her new brace.  Then he asked her if she could get a new desk and chair for her office, the one she had just was not going to work for her once she started wearing her back brace in the office the following week.  He enthusiastically said he would do whatever he could to help.  He asked her what kind of desk and chair she needed.  She told him she needed an adjustable height desk and extended height straight back office chair and pulled out some information she had printed from her briefcase.  She handed them to Pete and warned him to prepare himself when he saw the cost.  She continued on, saying she didn't expect Pete or the company to pay for them; she just wanted to ask if it was alright if she got them on order today with expedited shipping to the office, and have one of the maintenance guys help her get them moved into her office and set up.  Pete looked at her with a frown on his face, and said absolutely not, you cannot order these.  With a stunned look on Jennifer's face he continued, I will have Maggie put the order in right now and the company is paying for it.  He then picked up his phone and asked Maggie to come into his office.  He handed her the information Jennifer had given him.  He told Maggie to get this exact desk and chair on order immediately and have it shipped second day.  He then picked up the phone and called maintenance and asked to speak with their head maintenance man Bob.  Pete told Bob they were having an office desk and chair delivered Wednesday, and when it came in he was to drop what he was doing and have it moved into and assembled in Ms. Collins office.  He then asked her what else he could do. She thanked him for what he had already done and said she couldn't think of anything right then.  Then she thought a moment and told him actually, she might need him to give her a little moral support next week when she started wearing her brace at work.  Pete looked at her smiling, and assured her it was going to be fine, and that he would do anything he could to make it easier for her.

The rest of Jennifer's day was uneventful until her phone buzzed around 3 pm, and a text from a number she didn't have saved popped up.  She unlocked her phone and read the message; "Ms. Collins, this is Melissa Saunders from Scolicare.  I am just texting you to check in and see how you are doing with your brace.  I forgot to give you my card; please save this number, it is my cell phone.  Please call or text if there are any issues or you have any questions".  Jennifer quickly saved the number.  She then realized she did have a question.  She picked up her office line and dialed Melissa's number.  Melissa answered on the third ring.  After pleasantries and thanking Melissa for checking on her she said she did have a question.  She asked Melissa where she could get a couple more of the white undershirts she had been wearing under her brace; the one she had was due to be washed.  Melissa replied "oh my God, I forgot to give you extras. I was supposed to give you three additional and tell you to rotate through them.  You got me sidetracked when you were putting your retainer away and I showed you my new braces.  I completely forgot to put them in the bag.  I apologize so much; please let me make it up to you.  If you are going to be home this evening after six, I will bring them by and drop them off to you". Jennifer responded she didn't have to do that, but Melissa insisted.  She asked Jennifer if the address listed on her paperwork was her home address.   Jennifer confirmed it was.  Melissa told her when she left work at 5:30, she was going to head straight over; she should be there around 6. 

As soon as Jennifer arrived home around 5:30, she put her full brace on immediately.  For some reason, she felt like she should be wearing it when Melissa arrived. She didn't even worry about putting anything on over it; the white plastic and metal brace and undershirt was a top of sorts. Promptly at 6 the doorbell rang.  Jennifer went to the door, awkwardly turned her body so she could see through the peep hole to confirm it was Melissa standing there holding a brown sack, then opened the door.  Once the door opened, Melissa squealed "Yay! You are wearing your brace."  She then dropped the bag she was holding and again gave Jennifer a big hug.  She pulled back and then asked Jennifer how her weekend went and how she was adjusting.  Jennifer told her "if you haf time, pleash come in and I will tell you".  Melissa smiled back at her, exposing her braces, and said of course.  Jennifer led her into the dining room, had Melissa take a seat and then joined her across the table.  Melissa sat the bag and her purse on the table and told Jennifer the undershirts were in the bag and that she had thrown in a couple extra to try to make up for her mistake.  Then Melissa remarked that kitchen chairs were usually one of the most comfortable chairs to sit in when wearing a back brace.  Jennifer responded "shpeaking of whichth, and I don't mean to probe, are you wearing a back braysh?  If ith ish none of my bishunesh just tell me; I won't be offended".  Melissa replied "I am wearing a Wellington brace, though it is a little less intense than yours; no I am not offended by your queston; and yes I will tell you all about it.  But first, tell me how your first weekend went".  Jennifer then realized she had been lithping all over the place, probably spitting some too; and apologized to Melissa for it.  Melissa playfully slapped her hand and told her to quit that; her lisp was not bad at all.  She told Jennifer she was clearly able to understand her.  Then Melissa noted she herself had more metal in her mouth than an erector set and once again smiled broadly for Jennifer.  She then continued "even though I have more metal in my mouth than an aircraft carrier, I am scheduled to get even more metal added in here soon".  She tilted her head back, opened her mouth and pointed towards the roof of her mouth, where Jennifer saw there was already a shiny metal wire running across her new friend's palate.  "Dr. Cooper warned me that once I get my expander in, I Melisha, will have my very own lispth".  Jennifer grabbed Melissa's hand and said "you poor thing" then went through the highlights of her weekend, noting she thought she was making good progress.  Melissa agreed she was.  Then Melissa asked her that since she was there, did she mind if she had Jennifer take off her brace so she could take a look at her skin under the brace.  She wanted to check for bruising or a rash.  She explained she would be doing this on Thursday anyway, and if something was developing it was better to address it now than wait for it to become a big deal.  Jennifer agreed and took off her brace and then her undershirt.  She was glad she had left her underwear on.  As Melissa examined her, paying special attention to under her armpits and on her sides where the brace dug in, Jennifer thought how strange it was that she was receiving a scoliosis examination at her kitchen table.  Melissa finished up, saying everything looked good.  She did warn that as she started wearing her brace for more extended periods of time she would probably notice red marks when she took off her brace.  As long as they went away after an hour or two and didn't turn into bruising or a rash everything was normal.  Once done, she kind of nodded towards Jennifer's brace sitting on the table.  Melissa asked her to try putting it on without a mirror.  Surprisingly to Jennifer, she was able to get everything on fairly quickly without a mirror, even the neck brace, or "cervical extension" as Melissa called it, mainly by feel.  Once she had her brace back on Jennifer set back down.  Melissa remained standing and pulled off her scrub top, revealing the light green, yellow and orange flower print brace she was wearing.  Melissa exclaimed "now, let me tell you about my brace".  Jennifer held her hand up, cutting Melissa off.  Jennifer was really interested in Melissa's braces, especially when she had remarked Dr. Cooper was her orthodontist; the same orthodontist that had told Jennifer he could cure her sleep apnea.  Jennifer said "I'm shorry for cuthng you off; and thish may be prezsha, prezhump, inappropriate to ask, but could you also tell me about your braces and Dr. Cooper?  He ish tha ortodonshist that made my rethainers and he recommended I undergo threatment.  Could you thell me about yours?".  "Of course" Melissa said, "in fact my back brace and orthodontic braces are related."  With that she got ready to launch into an explanation of her situation.



Offline bracesfanza

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #21 on: 24. February 2022, 02:53:13 AM »
Fantastic story. Cannot wait for each new chapter.
Thank you very much.

Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #22 on: 24. February 2022, 03:52:06 AM »
I agwee, thith ith a gweat thtowy! Pleathe don’t thtop.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #23 on: 24. February 2022, 04:37:06 AM »
Thank you for the kind words.  I have a pretty good idea where this story is going, but as I write sometimes I have to change the radio station or take a scenic detour.  I have a few more ideas for stories, but I have bit off as much as I can handle with the current two.  I do hate to put them off however.  Whether it is a story, a song/chord progression, or song lyrics; it seems like often if I ignore an idea or push it off until later I lose it forever.  And no amount of trying to get it back works.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #24 on: 24. February 2022, 05:44:46 AM »
Chapter 13.

Before Melissa started Jennifer asked "do you wahn shumthing to drink.  It is sho rude of me, I should have offered you shumthing earlier.  I have water, diet coke, sshweet tea, and shum merlot in the fridge.  I am going to get myshelf a glass of wine.  Do you want shumthing?"

Melissa said "you know, I wouldn't mind a glass of wine myself" and started to stand.

Jennifer told her "you sshtay put, you are my guesht.  I will get them.  I need practish navigating around in thish thing anyway".  She came back a minute or two later and handed Melissa her wine and sat back down across from her.  "I would like to proposh a toast; to my new fren that ish helping me sho much with this whole situaszun, and to my firsht of what will be many glasshes of wine drunk while wearing my braysh".  Melissa laughed and clinked Jennifer's glass.

Melissa said "I would like to add, since I didn't hear any glass breaking, you must have had success pouring wine in your brace for the first time as well".

Jennifer replied "I did, didn't shpill a drop, buth I'm not quite ready to call thish whole mission a success yet, I shtill have to figure out how to drink in thish thing.  I have not tried it yet."  When she tried to drink, she realized not being able to move her head posed quite the predicament.  She tried leaning her whole body back, and this didn't seem like it was going to work either. 

Melissa said "hold on", dug around in her purse and pulled out a ziplock bag with a few flexible straws in it.  She pulled one out and handed it to Jennifer saying "try this".  Jennifer put the straw into her glass and took a sip.  She looked up and said "I guessh I am going to have to invest in shome straws, and probably an eshtra bottle of wine sho I can get ushed to drinking wine through a straw" and laughed.

Melissa said "I bet you get the hang of it pretty quick.  I know I did".  Jennifer looked at her quizzically while Melissa continued on. "Thank you for the wine.  Now, how should I start this?  Well, first, I have been with the Scolicare clinic for the last 15 years.  I started with them right after I graduated nursing school.  I guess I am fascinated by the human spine; it is the core building block of the whole human body.  I also enjoy helping people". 

She went quiet a moment, gathering her thoughts.  As she did, Jennifer did the math in her head.  She didn't see how Melissa could have graduated nursing school before she was 20-22 years old.  That plus 15 meant that Melissa was somewhere in her mid to late thirties. She was a lot closer in age to Jennifer than she had thought; she had pegged Melissa to be around 30 years old.  She looked young.  At that time Melissa started back.

"About 8 years ago, Dr. Wellington started developing the brace we now call the Wellington Brace.  I guess it isn't the most original name.  But it fits in among the other older more traditional braces, such as the Milwaukee, Charleston, Cheneau, and Boston.  I suspect that Dr. Wellington named it after himself, but you know Wellington, FL is just on the other side of the state.  So he covered both bases."  She stopped for a moment, then started back. "I am sorry, I am rambling a bit.  I will try to get back on course.  So, I have been around the whole time he has been developing it and was involved with helping on some of his early research.  In addition, since he started using it on patients about 4 years ago I have been the lead nurse to help him on his bracing cases; both adult and adolescent.  I have seen the brace do some wonderful things for patients.  I am not just saying this because I work there and in fact am wearing one now; but I believe the Wellington brace is the most versatile and effective scoliosis brace on the market.  Me getting my own brace was a bit of an accident; and I don't mean like an injury accident.  About 6 months ago the clinic hired a new radiological tech fresh out of school.  Dr. Wellington asked him to take some practice x-rays.  This was so the tech could get some experience on the equipment we have, and so that Dr. Wellington could review his work.  I volunteered to be the guinea pig.  As Dr. Wellington was reviewing the quality of the x-rays, he noticed there was something amiss about the object in it - my spine.  He noticed I had a right thoracic curve with a little rotation.  It wasn't much, about 20 degrees, right on the border between monitor and brace.   It is considered normal for people to have a little curvature in the thoracic; it is only when it gets to 10 degrees it is considered scoliosis.  Between 10 and 20 degrees we usually just monitor it.  It isn't visible in a person's posture, bearing or stance; and it usually doesn't cause any pain.  And if there is pain we can treat it and alleviate it with physical therapy".

Jennifer stopped her and said "thish all shounds very familiar".

Melissa replied "I thought it might.  So, I had a curve of 20 degrees.  I never even realized it; it caused me no discomfort and it was not noticeable with a visual exam.  My gut instinct was just to go into a monitor protocol.  I met with Dr. Wellington, and he really wanted to put me in a brace.  He thought it would be great if he had someone that worked here that was also a patient here, and he told me I would be better able to relate to patients.  I told him for now, I wanted to monitor.  He asked me several times over the next few weeks if I was ready to get my brace, and I told him 'No, I am going to monitor'.  One day as I was looking at the files of another patient that was coming in for her annual monitoring appointment I noticed she was around my age and her xrays looked about the same as mine.  When she came in for her x-rays her curve had progressed 10 degrees.  That scared me and that was when I told Dr. Wellington I was ready to be fitted for a brace.  That was three months ago.  I went through the very same process you are going through.  That I why I hugged you after our appointment and told you the first two weeks are the toughest.  It really is the second week.  It is hard.  And if you notice, I do not have the kyphosis outriggers running up to my shoulders, nor the cervical extension you have.  I knew you were going to face a challenging two weeks.  And it is why I wanted to make myself available, so you knew someone that was going through the same thing and could empathize.  So, I have now been in my brace for about 3 months, I wear it 20 hours a day, sometimes an hour or two more and it has become pretty easy. It just feels like a part of me now.  That is not to say I won't be happy if I can just get to wearing it part time for maintenance instead of correction.  It just means it gets better, and once it does it isn't bad.  Now, back to my story and my braces."

Melissa stopped and took a sip of wine. "Like you, prior to my brace fitting Dr. Wellington had me visit Dr. Cooper.  Dr. Wellington wanted me to get fitted for a mouthguard, and then get fitted for the cervical extension just so I could experience it so I could explain to patients what the process entailed, what was involved, what it felt like, and what emotions I felt.  At my appointment, Dr. Cooper told me I had sleep apnea; he could tell just by looking at my mouth, as well as slight TMJ.  He also said I had some slight crowding, which he said could be fixed along the way.  He said he could fix every issue I had with treatment.  In addition, he said as a member of a referring practice, I would only be charged for the cost of hardware, there would be no charge for labor.  So i was getting offered a huge discount, and I am a sucker for a deal.  So I agreed to start treatment.  I guess I didn't exactly know what I was signing up for, but I am finding out.  Come sit beside me so you can get a better look at things.". Jennifer moved over to the seat beside Melissa.  "So, the first thing that happened was that Dr. Cooper did a thorough exam including x-rays, and a few other things.  I think he said one was called a CBCT; it showed my airway, which was severely obstructed.  He came up with a treatment plan quickly while I was there, and he went over it with me.  I didn't understand all of it, and I didn't ask any questions.  I knew I needed to do this, and to some degree I wanted to do this.  I mean who doesn't want a pretty smile?  I think maybe the reason I didn't ask questions is I figured the less I knew the less likely I was to get cold feet and run away.  So, the next thing I knew I was getting spacers put in my mouth.  I had the spacers a week, and they did suck.  The next week, I went in and had all this fitted in my mouth.  The first thing he did was remove the spacers.  Next, he installed the upper part of my herbst appliance.  It is all one piece, with two silver crowns, a holding arch between them, two telescoping rods; and because I am extra lucky, two hooks to connect my facemask to."  Melissa removed the rubberband from the front of her mouth and then she opened her mouth wide and gave Jennifer a close look, trying to point to the different pieces. "Next, he installed the lower part of my herbst appliance.  It also has two metal crowns, two arms for a lack of a better word that the rods from the upper piece attach to, and another arch, this time lingual."  She opened her mouth again and pointed out the parts.  "Next he installed my brackets and my archwire.  Then he attached the arms from the upper herbst section to the lower and connected them, literally with little bolts." She opened her mouth and showed them to her.  "I do not like the bolts, they rub on my cheeks and you can see that they make my lip poke out some like two matching pimples. I also have to wear a rubberband, which you have already seen pretty clearly, in a box in the front of my mouth all the time. Finally he finished with what may be the coup de grace.  He fitted me with my protraction facemask.  I don't have it with me, but rubberbands hook from those hooks I showed you to the facemask.   I have to wear it 12 hours a day.  Like our braces, Dr. Cooper's facemask has a way to track wear time, so I can't cheat or lie.  That is why I happened to have that straw in my purse, I have to use one to drink 12 hours out of every day.   In addition, I am going to get fitted for a MARPE expander either at my next appointment or the one after.  Not only is it a palate expander that is going to give me a lisp, it will be screwed into the roof of my mouth.  Yay me.  In summation, I love my braces.  And I hate my braces, sometimes.  But it is already helping me breath and sleep better so I am thankful for that.  If he recommended a treatment consult, you should do it.  If nothing else, I would love to have somebody to go through this with.  And with that, I have to go.  I have to get home and put on that facemask." She fished a fresh rubberband out of her purse and put it back on her braces.  She then stood, leaned over, and gave Jennifer a peck on the cheek.  "I will see myself out.  Thank you for tonight, I enjoyed our talk".  Jennifer stood up and it was her who initiated the hug this time.  Jennifer said "No, thank you.  You have been a lifeshaver.  Lesh do thish again", and finally released Melissa from her embrace.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #25 on: 24. February 2022, 05:55:03 AM »
Did all of chapter 13 get posted or was part of it lost?

It's nice to have you writing for us, and you are getting quite a lot posted in a very short time. I'm having a hard time keeping up with what you are writing as I add each chapter to TheArchive.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #26 on: 24. February 2022, 06:44:10 AM »
No, I accidentally hit post instead of preview about halfway through when I tried to do some proofreading.  I have updated it now, it should be complete but probably has some typos and misspellings for me to fix.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #27 on: 24. February 2022, 07:03:39 AM »
I put each chapter through Grammarly before I proofread it, then read through it thoroughly before I add it to the file in TheArchive. Grammarly isn't always accurate, but it is a good tool to use. I find that writing my stories in a different program, such as OpenOffice or Google Docs, is much easier. It allows me to have a copy of what I have written stored on my computer. All I do is copy and paste each chapter to the Forum when I am finished with it.

With Google Docs, I use the spellchecker to catch spelling mistakes as I am writing, and Grammarly catches some of the other things as well.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #28 on: 24. February 2022, 07:21:37 AM »
I have posted over half the chapters from the two stories from an old iphone 7. 

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #29 on: 24. February 2022, 07:32:33 AM »
If you have an internet connection, Google Docs will work. And Grammarly can be added if you have enough storage space.

Offline anton08

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #30 on: 24. February 2022, 16:20:32 PM »
Well, this is one of the best stories in my humble opinion. It is well written, the content is logical, the characters are convincing, very well done! :) Thanks a lot to the author!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #31 on: 24. February 2022, 22:14:13 PM »
Chapter 14.

After Melissa left, Jennifer realized she was hungry and had not eaten dinner yet.  She went into the kitchen and made herself a sandwich.  Jennifer was not brave enough yet to try cooking in the brace.  It felt so weird trying to do things in the brace; her vision and movements were so constricted.  So though it was a little more complicated than she was used to, she was successful in making herself a turkey sandwich.  Though it had been a challenge just drinking with the neck brace on, she decided to try to eat in it too.  She poured herself a second glass of wine, pouring around her straw, and carried her glass and plate back to the kitchen table.  It was doable, but barely.  She could barely open her mouth.  She was not able to take a bite from the sandwich, it was too thick, but with a knife a fork she was able to cut tiny bites and get them in her mouth.  While it felt like it took forever, she finally finished the sandwich.  She realized this would be a good diet plan.  But, not wanting to lose any weight lest the brace not fit, she made a mental note to pick up some nutrition drinks so she could get some calories if she was in a hurry.  She realized this was a whole new world, and she really hoped she could get used to it like Melissa said she would.  The rest of the evening she watched TV on the couch, again using two pillows off the bed to prop behind her.  She made another mental note to pick up some extra pillows so she could just leave them on the couch.

Jennifer was determined to get her daily hours of wear time in, even though she had banked those extra hours over the weekend.  It was a challenge to herself, and she hated to lose.  She stayed up watching TV till 10:30, a little past her normal bedtime, just so she could get her 5 hours in.  She realized her life was now an arithmetic problem, doing the math each day to see if she got her wear time in, and doing the math to figure out how she would get the wear time in the next day.  She realized the next day, Tuesday, called for 7 hours.  She was not ready to try sleeping in the brace yet, so she decided to take off from work a little early the next day.  Tuesday she again got in her time, 7 hours.  After she took everything off that evening and marked her sheet, she realized tomorrow called for 9 hours.  She would have to wear the brace to work, stay up half the night, or try to sleep in it.  She wasn't ready to wear it out in public yet, and she didn't want to stay up all night, so she made up her mind to wear it to bed the next night.  The next evening, Wednesday, she sat on the couch reading.  Her phone buzzed, and she picked it up.  She saw it was a text from Melissa.  It said:

M:  Jen, you have your follow up appointment at 2 tomorrow.  Just a heads up, wear your back brace into the appointment, even if you just put it on in the parking lot.  Even though it is the first week, Dr. Wellington will scold you if you aren't wearing it.  You don't need to wear the cervical extension but do bring it and your mouthguard with you along with your timesheet.

J:  Thanks for the heads up, I will do that.  I was actually not planning to wear it; just bring it with me.

M:  Well then, good thing I text you.  Also, I have an orthodontist appointment tomorrow morning at 8.  I am dreading it; I might get my expander installed.  I spoke with Dr. Cooper and he said it would be ok for you to come back to the back with me and observe my appointment.  You seemed pretty interested in the whole process the other night, and this would be a chance for you to see it first hand.  And maybe you could even talk to him about booking a consultation yourself?

J:  Thank you for the offer.  I would love too, but I have an important meeting in the morning I can't miss.

M:  I understand.  Sweet dreams, I will see you tomorrow afternoon.

In fact, Jennifer had told Melissa a couple of white lies.  First, while she did have a meeting in the morning, it was not one that she couldn't have rescheduled.  Second, Jennifer would not love to.   She was scared of the orthodontist and the prospect of wearing braces again.

She went back to reading; once for whatever reason she thought back to her time with braces as a teen and shuddered. At 10, she got up off the couch and went to the bedroom.  It was the first time she had layed down in her brace, and she realized her normal pillow arrangement was not going to work.  After several minutes of trying different things, she realized she was most comfortable with just the corner of one pillow under the back of her head.  She made a note to not just buy some pillows for the couch, but an assortment for the bed as well so she could try some different things.  She awkwardly rolled over, swung her legs off the side of the bed, and managed to sit up.  She put her CPAP mask on, pulled her sleep mask onto the top of her head, and positioned the hose of her machine on the edge of the bedside table.  She realized she wouldn't be able to turn her head and look over to get it like she was used to but would have to blindly grope for it with her arm.  She laid back down and got as comfortable as she could then attached her hose.  She then realized she also couldn't see her cpap machine.  It was within reach, so she extended her hand out and felt around on the top of it.  She found what she thought was the on/off button and pressed it.  The machine came on.  Yay for small victories she thought.  She reached over, found the bedside lamp, and switched it off.  She then pulled her sleep mask over her eyes.  And immediately felt panic.  She felt claustrophobic, like she was locked in a box.  She was stiff as a board, her face and head were covered by her cpap mask and the associated straps, and her sleep mask put her in total darkness.  Her heart raced and she concentrated on breathing deeply to avoid a full on panic attack.  After what seemed like an eternity she calmed down.  She layed there and layed there.  She could not fall asleep.  Finally after what felt like all night, Jennifer gave up on wearing the brace.  She slipped her eye mask off, disconnected her hose, and rolled up to sitting position.  She saw the clock said it was midnight.  She had layed there two hours without sleeping.  She thought that she could have layed there all night and not fallen asleep.  She took her brace off and marked her time sheet for 7 hours.  She was disappointed in herself, she was supposed to get 9 in.  But she needed to get some sleep.  She went back to bed, hooked up her cpap, and fell right to sleep.

The next day at her appointment, Jennifer put her backbrace on over her clothes in the parking lot, and carrying her cervical extension went in for her appointment.  It wasn't a long wait before she was sitting in Dr. Wellington's office, with Melissa sitting in a chair beside the doctor.  They said their hellos and then the doctor started talking. He congratulated her on wearing her brace to her appointment, he said that was the attitude he loved to see in patients.  He then asked to see her time sheet.  He added up the time and smiled.  He told her "you have done great for your first week, you were at 39 hours this morning.  You are going to get to 41 easily, heck you may be there already but since you didn't put down your start time today I have no idea how long you have worn your brace today.  He told her it was really important she mark the sheet when she put her brace on so she could track her wear time.  He said he had his own ways to tell how much she had worn her brace.  He asked her when she put the brace on that morning, and she sheepishly admitted she had just put it on in the parking lot.  He looked over at Melissa and said "I wonder who gave you that idea" and smiled.  Melissa however did not.  Jen had already noticed her friend had just been sitting there looking dejected and miserable the whole time the doctor had been talking, and Jen realized she had not said one word the entire time.  She worried if everything was ok.  But the doctor just looked back at her and continued on, saying "I see you did not hit your daily goal yesterday for the first time, did something happen?"  Jennifer explained she had tried to go to bed with her brace for the first time, and she just couldn't fall asleep so she took it off after two hours.  Dr. Wellington told her he would write her a prescription for 2 weeks of Ambian.  He said she should then be able to fall asleep; and after a few weeks her body would be adjusted to the brace and she should be able to fall asleep easily without drugs.  He said your time sheet looks good, let's check it.  He then typed a few things on his computer and looked up and smiled.  He said "you are at 39.6 hours with your back brace, and a whopping 33 hours with the cervical extension.  Great job.  It matches almost exactly what your time sheet says.  Some patients try to fudge their numbers, but the bluetooth sensors in your brace don't lie."  He then instructed her to put on the cervical extension so he could check the fit of her brace.  After he was done, he said everything looked great, but he didn't volunteer for her to remove the neck brace so she kept it on.  He concluded by telling her she was doing great.  And even though she was easily going to hit her weekly hour goal this week, he asked her to try to wear it the entire 12 hours today that her schedule called for.  He said with the Ambian, she would be able to do, he was confident in her.  With that, he said that Melissa would wrap the appointment up with some X-rays both in and out of the brace, take a look at her for bruising or rashes, and then next week they would look at some progress x-rays together.  With that he thanked her, said he would see her next week, and left leaving only her and Melissa in the office.

As soon as he was out of the office, Jen looked at her friend and asked "Are you ok?  You don't seem yourself".  Melissa replied "Yes, but my mouth is killing me.  I told you I had an ortho appointment this morning.  I got good news and bad.  The good news is I don't get my expander till my next appointment.  The bad news is he put powerchains on both my upper and lower teeth and adjusted my herbst appliance.  I took some ibuprofen, but it didn't help".  Jen got up and went around the desk and gave Melissa an awkward hug around the shoulders and said "oh you poor thing".  Melissa said "let's go get your x-rays, and excuse me if I don't talk much".  The rest of the appointment went fine, taking x-rays both in and out of her brace, and examining her skin with a clean bill of health.  Melissa asked Jen to put her back brace back on until she was at least back at her car.  She said if the doctor caught her without it they would both be in trouble.  So looking out for both herself and her friend, she but her back brace back on and then got dressed.

Jennifer got to her car wearing her back brace and carrying the neck brace.  She realized she had her brace on under her clothes and would have to strip down in the parking lot to take it off.  Well she told herself, I am going to have to get used to driving in it eventually.  She put her brace bag in the back seat, then sat down in the front seat.  And then realized her seat was adjusted all wrong for driving in the brace.  After a few minutes of adjusting the seat this way and that she settled on a comfortable position.  She was sitting much more straight up than she was used to; and she had removed all her lumbar support from the seat; the brace was now her lumbar support.  She headed to the pharmacy to pick up her prescription.  Driving felt awkward, but not dangerous.  She was very careful though, as she noticed she had to move a little differently.  When she pulled into the parking lot, the line through the drivethru pharmacy window was a mile long.  She made up the decision that, even wearing her brace, she was going to go inside.  She figured she was going to have to be wearing it public eventually.  She steeled herself for possible embarrassment and managed to get out of the car.  When she returned to the car, she realized it was a piece of cake.  Not one single person seemed like they noticed she was wearing a back brace.  And she then realized she had been wearing her brace in public.  Sure it was wading into shallow end; but she had worn it into and out of a spine center and a pharmacy.  Now she admitted in her mind, at both of those places it was common to see injured people in braces, casts, crutches or wheelchairs so a woman in a backbrace might not draw any attention.  But still she thought, it had gone smoothly and she had even forgotten she was wearing the brace much of the time.  Feeling brave and confident, she decided to go do a little shopping.  She stopped at first at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond and got a whole shopping cart full of pillows.  Her next stop was the grocery store.  As she parked, she had an idea.  After she turned off the car she googled "soft food braces" on her phone.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #32 on: 25. February 2022, 00:23:03 AM »
Chapter 15.

That afternoon back home, as Jen was making the several trips to and from her car to unload her pillows and groceries and still wearing her brace, she felt like a champion. She was winning this battle.  She had managed a whole afternoon in public in her brace, and she decided she was going to treat herself by foregoing the cervical extension that evening, at least until bedtime, and enjoy a nice dinner.  Without it on, she cooked herself a nice dinner of pork chops and brussel sprouts along with a side salad.  After she ate and cleaned up she sent Melissa a text.

J:  Hey love, how is your mouth feeling?

M:  It feels like it got hit by a baseball bat then run over by a dump truck.

J.  Aww, I am sorry. :( What plans do you have for tomorrow night?

M:  Nothing, wear my facemask and watch TV like usual I guess.

J:  Well, you have new plans for you and your facemask.  I am going to make you dinner and try to cheer you up.  I will not take no for an answer because I have already been to the grocery store.  And I am not going to even ask what you like, cause I got everything soft in the store.  Whatever we don't eat, you can take home with you so you don't have to fool with cooking or ordering out for a few nights.  What time do you like to eat dinner?

M:  I usually try to eat around 6, as soon as I get home from work, and be done by 7.

J:  Well then, you are going to have to come straight over here after work then.  And don’t forget your facemask, I don’t want you to have to rush off like the other evening.  I was hoping we could eat, and then watch a movie and have a girls night in. 

M:  Aww, you are so sweet.  I will warn you I might not be the best company until my mouth stops hurting so much.

J:  Remember when you scolded me for apologizing for my lisp?  Well, now it is my turn.  Stop it.  You will be wonderful company.

M:  In that case, I would absolutely love too.

J:  YAY! YAY!  HAPPY DANCE!!!  On a less happy note, I am going to try to sleep in my full brace again tonight.  I hope it goes better than last night. 

M:  Take the ambian, if should work.  I am about to take one myself so it will knock me out and I can quit thinking about my mouth.

J:  In that case, I will leave you alone so you can go to bed.  I look so forward to seeing you tomorrow night!

With that, Jen put her phone down.  She had a huge smile on her face.  She was happy and looking so forward to the next night.  She looked at the clock and saw it was already 8 pm.  She sat down on the couch with her new pillows and spent the next hour googling recipes on her phone for the soft foods she had gotten, saving the ones that looked good to her favorites.  At around 9, she took an Ambian and headed to the bedroom.  She went through the same process she had the night before, the only difference being she had a few new pillows to try out.  She got comfy, or as comfy as she could, after about 5 minutes, turned off the lamp and slipped down her eye mask.  She braced herself for the panic to hit, but it didn’t.  She wasn’t exactly comfortable, but after about 20 minutes she fell asleep. 

The next morning she awoke at 6:15 to the sound of her alarm, and out of habit tried to sit up.  She had a jolt of panic run through her when she couldn’t, then she remembered she was wearing her brace.  She processed that in her head again, I am wearing my brace… and it is the next morning.  YAY! She slipped off her eye mask, then her cpap mask, and managed to sit up.  She rubbed her eyes, and again looked at the clock to make sure it really was 6:15.  It was.  She got up and took her brace off and hopped in the shower.  She showered, did her hair and makeup, then emerged to get dressed.  When she entered the bedroom she looked over at her back brace and thought, what the heck.  She put it on, got dressed up, and headed for the office.

About 9, she text Melissa.

J:  Good morning, I hope you are having a wonderful day!  :)  Were you able to sleep ok?  And how does your mouth feel?

It was about 15 minutes before she got a response.

M:  Good morning to you too!  Sorry for the delay, it is brace fitting day and I was with a patient.  My mouth is still sore, but I think it is better.  At least I am telling myself that.  And yes I was able to sleep, that Ambian is for real.  How about you?

J:  I was able to sleep through the night! Wearing my complete brace!  And I feel pretty good today.  So good, I decided to wear my back brace to work.  And so far, so good.

With that, Jen looked up to make sure her door was closed, pulled up her sweater to expose her brace, and took a selfie.  She sent it to Melissa.

M:  :P :P :P❤❤❤ :D :D :D I am so, so proud of you.  I would love to talk with you all day, but I have to run.  I have more patients to lock into their torture devices.  >:D

J:  Haha!  Have a great day!  And I will see you tonight!

Right before lunch time, she stopped by her bosses Pete’s office.  She went in and sat.  She thanked him so much for her new desk and chair, and for getting maintenance to put it together so fast.  She said she loved it, it was perfect, and again thanked him.  He said it was his pleasure and asked how the brace acclimation was going.  With that she looked at him and said “what do you think?”  Pete responded “I have no idea, that is why I asked you”.  With that she stood up and did a spin in front of him, then bent over like she was trying to touch her toes, her whole torso as stiff as a board.  He asked “Are you wearing it right now”.  “Yep” she said, “and to answer how it is going, it is going much better than I was afraid it would.”  Pete said “That is great, I can’t see it at all.  It wasn’t till you bent over did I have a clue.  And by the way, you have killer posture.  I slouch so bad, I might have to get me one of those” and laughed.  He continued smiling and said “and this isn’t sexual harassment but you really do look great.  And remember what I said, anything I can do let me know.”  Jennifer said “well, I was hoping I could leave a little early today, I brought my lunch with me so I can spend it at my desk”.  He looked at her, “Seriously Jennifer, what ever you need to do, you do.  You don’t have to ask me to leave early, unless it is the day of our annual shareholders meeting” and laughed again.

Jen thanked him and headed back to her desk.  As she walked, she thought about what a great guy and boss Pete was and she felt fortunate to work for him.  The next 3 hours went smoothly, the desk and chair were lifesavers.  Jen marveled at how much of a nothing burger her first day at work with the brace had really been.  She had worked it up in her mind that it was going to be horrible.  Maybe Melissa was right, this wasn’t the end of the world. As she was getting ready to finish up for the day around 3, her phone buzzed.

M:  Hey girl, how’s your day been?

J:  It has been great, I can’t believe it.

M:  It is because you are rockstar.  I meant to mention earlier, we knock off at 4 here on Fridays.  I guess you will still be at work, so I will go home and then see you at 6. 

J:  Actually, I am leaving here in a few minutes.  My plan was to have dinner cooked and ready when you got over.   But, it might be even more fun if we cooked together.  How about when you get off, you just come on over.  I have a couple of bottles of wine.  And a fresh new pack of straws.  :) We can cook, drink, and just have us a big time.

M:  That sounds awesome.  Do you need me to bring anything?

J:  Nope, just yourself.  And I guess your facemask  ;D ;D ;D ;D

M:   ;D ;D ;D  ;D

Jen had a huge smile on her face as she finished tidying up her desk.  As she got up and left, she didn’t notice that she had knocked the trifold pamphlet from Dr. Cooper’s office off her desk and onto the floor.  She turned off the lights and closed her door for the weekend.

After she left, her assistant Jasmine opened her door and flipped on the lights.  She was carrying some financial reports she needed to leave on Ms. Collins desk.  As she turned to leave, she noticed the pamphlet on the floor.  She picked it up, saw what it was, and carried it back to her own desk.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #33 on: 25. February 2022, 01:12:48 AM »
Thanks for the idea.  I have tried the note pad by the bed idea.  It just doesn't work for me.  If I don't flesh something out, it just doesn't work to come back to it.  It is just me.  Music is easier, you can just record it.  But written is harder for me.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #34 on: 25. February 2022, 01:18:59 AM »
Also I would like to add, I had planned to get to the conclusion of chapter 15 much, much earlier; but like I said sometimes between way points I end up getting off the interstate and wandering through the country for a while before I get back where I planned to be.  As I type my brain is usually screaming "recalculating route" most of the time.  And sometimes I change my route up completely, skipping planned waypoints and/or adding new ones.  I have a few more major waypoints for this story and a final destination; even a couple ideas on a prologue.  I just don't know how long it will take to get there.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #35 on: 25. February 2022, 05:28:42 AM »
Chapter 16.

Jen was eager to get home.  But driving with the brace still felt very different than what she was used to.   But, she thought to herself, I bet I will get used to it.  After her cautious drive home, she entered her house around 3:30.  First she changed out of her work clothes and into some a little more comfortable, sweat pants a comfy T-shirt and some flip flops.   She wasn't worried if her brace showed through her clothes in front of Mel.   She went in the kitchen and prepped a few things for dinner but didn’t start cooking.  She wanted to wait until Mel arrived before they started.  She did go ahead and mix up two bowls of jell-o, one strawberry and the other mango, and put them in the fridge to congeal.  She also made up two bowls of pudding, one vanilla and one chocolate, and put them in the fridge so they could keep the jello company.  In addition to this, she had gotten three flavors of ice cream; the standbys of chocolate and vanilla.  She had also gotten a tub of rainbow sherbet.  She was very mindful when shopping to avoid any that had nuts, cookie or candy pieces, or caramel in them.  Until now, she had never noticed how many ice creams would be off limits to someone with braces.  Her favorite ice cream was cashew caramel, but she didn’t want to eat anything in from of Mel that she couldn’t have too so she had left it in the freezer at the grocery store.  She went ahead and got a bottle of wine out of the pantry and put it and two wine glasses on the counter.  She then went into the living room and started tidying up.  Not long after that her doorbell rang.  She looked through the peep and saw Mel standing there with a bottle of wine in each hand and a duffle bag awkwardly slung over her shoulder.

Jen quickly opened the door and exclaimed “let me get some of that” and took the two bottles of wine from her.  “It is great to see you, please come on in.”  As Jen led Mel into the kitchen she told her “I told you not to bring anything, but thank you.”  Mel answered “it would be a great tragedy to run out of wine on girls night” and laughed.  As soon as Jen had put the bottles down on the counter beside the one already there, Mel poked Jen in the back.  Jen turned and exclaimed “Hey, what was that for?”  Mel said “just checking patient compliance.  There is another method of checking I guess” and gave her a friendly hug. 

Mel pulled back and said “I have been in these scrubs all week, do you mind if I change?” She patted her bag and said “I brought a change of clothes”.  Jen responded “of course not, follow me” and led her into her bedroom.  “Go ahead and freshen up, the bathroom is over there” as she pointed to the door “get changed and come join me in the kitchen.  I am going to put you to work.  But I will have a glass of wine waiting on you”.  Mel had noticed Jen’s cervical extension on the dresser when she entered.  She looked at it and said “so I assume that is your extension’s home when it isn’t around your neck?”  Jen replied “Yes it is” then pointed to the night stand with her cpap machine, cpap mask, and both her wrist braces. “and there is the rest of my scarlet letter outfit.  I am quite the specimen when I go to bed.”  Mel said “it doesn’t look too bad, certainly better than this” then unzipped her bag, dug around, pulled out her facemask and held it to her face.  She then bared her teeth and braces to her friend and said “now this, this is sexy”.  Jen looked at her and said “ah, so there is the infamous facemask.  And by the way, you are beautiful AND sexy regardless of what you have on your face.  Now get to changing so we can get to cooking and drinking” and walked out of the bedroom.

Jen went into the kitchen, opened the bottle of wine, poured two glasses and carried them into the living room.  She placed the glasses onto coasters on the coffee table and sat down on the couch.  A few minutes later, the bedroom door opened and Mel emerged.  She was wearing a pink floral print casual dress with a little bit of a plunge and sandals.  But the first thing that Jen noticed was the facemask on Mel’s face. 

Jen stood up and said “you look beautiful, but you didn’t have to dress up for me”.  Mel replied “Ha, I am pretty sure this facemask clashes with this dress.  But I wear scrubs all week, so I like to dress up a little on occasion, even if we are just having a girls night in.  I don’t go out too many nights anymore” pointing to her facemask “so I look for any excuse to wear some of my ‘cute clothes’.  Jen picked up the two glasses of wine, looked at Mel, and said “let’s go in the kitchen.  I got some straws, and we can start working on dinner”.

Once in the kitchen, Jen told Mel all the possible choices they had for dinner, and showed her some of the recipes she had favorited on her phone.  They settled on a ground turkey and pea pasta recipe that looked pretty good.  Jen got out the pasta and a big pasta pot as well as the turkey and a skillet to brown it.  Jen made a deal with Mel, she would be on turkey duty if Mel would be on pasta duty.  As they cooked they talked and drank their wine.

Jen made it a point not to mention anything about Mel’s facemask, even if the initial sight of it had shocked her a bit.  As they cooked side by side though, Jen was trying to discreetly take a closer look at the mask on her friends face without embarrassing her.  Jen thought it kind of resembled a catcher’s mask like her son used to wear, just missing a few of the bars.  There were blue pads on Mel’s forehead and chin with vertical bars running down and somewhat following the outside of each side of her face that connected the two pads, then in front of Mel’s mouth there was a horizontal bar with two posts that connected to each of the two vertical bars.  Then there were rubberbands on each of those posts that ran into Mel’s mouth, and finally a black nylon strap that ran around the back of her head.  She could obviously drink with it, at least with a straw, as she had seen her taken several drinks of wine.  She wondered if she had to eat with it on, and if so how?  Mel had noticed Jen sneaking a few looks at her and asked “are you not even going to say anything about this albatross on my face?”  Jen replied “well, I figured if you wanted to talk about it, you would bring it up.”  Mel said “thank you, but it’s ok, I’m sure you have some questions, and it is probably a bit of a shock seeing if for the first time.  I know I was shocked the first time I saw it.”  Jen replied “I will be honest, I certainly did notice it when you came out of the bedroom.  And it has certainly intrigued me.  Do you mind if I take a closer look?” 

Mel turned and presented her face to her friend for inspection.  Mel said “this is a delaire adjustable facemask.  Dr. Cooper said this is the best kind, as it is completely adjustable for face size and angle of pull.  You can adjust it for height here” and pointed to the two screws on each end of the forehead pad, “you can adjust it for width here” and pointed to two screws on the chin cup, and “you can adjust this middle bar up and down to adjust what Dr. Cooper calls angle of pull.”  And about that time the pasta pot boiled over a little.
 
Mel said “oh crap” and turned back to the stove and slid the pot back to the back eye of the stove which was off.  The boiling water in the pot receded.  Mel swatted Jen on the arm playfully and said “see what you made me do.  And you better get back to your job, we don’t want to burn the turkey.  I can finish showing you everything before we eat.  But you can ask me any questions you have while we finish up in here”.

Jen asked “Does it hurt?”.  Mel replied “No, it doesn’t hurt. Everything else in my mouth seems to hurt, but the mask really doesn't. It can be a little uncomfortable on my face after wearing it all night, it sometimes makes my teeth a little tender, and it is annoying as can be, but it doesn’t really hurt.  It is embarrassing as can be though.  I have never left the house with this thing on, and I don’t plan to.  I was even embarrassed, maybe even dying inside a little, when I walked out of your bedroom just a few minutes ago.  I always try to wear this every moment I am home alone.  On Fridays, that means I put it on around 4: 30, take it off for an hour or so to eat dinner, and then put it back on till the next morning.  That way I get about 14 hours in, 2 extra I can bank for later.  During the week, I get home around 6, eat, then put it on at 7 and wear it till 7 the next morning, getting in my 12.  I will also try to wear it during the day on the weekends if I am home, but I also like to go out and enjoy my weekends.  It is tough, almost impossible, to get in all the hours if I want to do something one or two nights during the week and something on the weekends, so I try to get as many hours in as I can when I can.  When I was in there changing, I realized if I wanted to stay over a while tonight, and I do, I was going to have to wear it in front of you to get my hours.  So I figured I might as well get in as many hours as I can.  Even if it is so embarrassing.”

Jen grabbed her friend’s hands, looked her in the eyes, and said “you don’t have to feel embarrassed or self-conscious around me, ever”.  Mel held her gaze and said “thank you, that means a lot.” After a few moments Mel broke off their gaze, feeling just a little flush inside, and said “Now, lets get this food finished up and eat!”  She then finished off her glass of wine, sucking greedily on the straw until the glass was empty.  She filled her glass back up, and without asking topped Jen’s off too.  Jen said, “Hey, it looks like I am falling behind, I better try to catch up.”

The two finished up cooking dinner; then set the big bowl of pasta in the middle of the table and then set out two place settings on opposite sides of the table.  They were into their second bottle of wine, which Jen also placed on the table.  After they sat down to eat they both fixed their plates.  Mel was still wearing her facemask.  Just after Jen got done wondering if she was going to eat with it on, Mel said “what I am about to do is probably considered very bad table manners”, and pulled the rubberbands up off the posts on her facemask.  She then held the mask with one hand while she unsnapped the strap from around her head.  She placed the mask on the table.  She then removed the rubberband that was in the front of her mouth and deposited it beside the mask.  Finally she removed the rubberbands from the hooks on either side of her mouth, laying them in a little pile with the other rubberband.   When she was finished, she noticed Jen staring at the facemask and rubberbands.  Mel said, “if those rubberbands gross you out, I can throw them away, I have more with me.”  Jen snapped back from her daydream state and said “no, it doesn’t gross me out.  Honestly, I was wondering what it felt like to wear it”.  Mel grabbed the mask and handed it to her friend.  She said “go ahead, hold it up to your face.” Mel then got up, and walked around behind Jen, and after a little adjusting, snapped the strap on.  “Now, let go of it, the strap will hold it.  You don’t have hooks in your mouth; lucky you; so you can’t attach the rubberbands and get the full effect.   But that should give you an idea.”   Jen reached up and felt the foreign object on her face and looked at her friend “and you wear this 12 hours every day?”  Mel replied “yep, you get used to it, sorta.”  Mel then unsnapped the strap, moved back to her seat placing the facemask beside the rubberbands and said “but enough about that mask, let’s eat.  I am starving.  I haven’t eaten hardly anything in two days, and my teeth feel good enough for me to dig in.  This wine might be the best pain killer I have had in a while.”

For nearly an hour, they ate and chatted, telling each other about growing up, their likes and dislikes; the kind of things new friends talk about,  As they were each finishing up their plates of pasta, and the second bottle of wine, Jen mentioned she had all kinds of desserts that should be “sore braces friendly”. Mel said not to be offended, but she was rather partial to the wine.  Could they just have another bottle of it for dessert, even though it would mean an uber ride for her home.  Jen laughed, then said “there is no need for an uber unless you just want to.  You can certainly stay in one of my boys' rooms, either would make a fine guest bedroom if you don’t mind a sports motif.  Mel answered “well, if you don’t mind…. I sure am feeling pretty good and would like another glass, and uber makes me nervous; I have had a few sketchy rides before”.  Jen said “then it is settled, you are staying, there is no room for discussion. Let’s get the dishes put in the sink, get us another bottle of wine, and find a movie we can agree on”.

They got the dishes stowed, opened another bottle of wine, then settled onto the couch and found a movie they both wanted to watch.  Before they started the movie Mel said “well, playtime is over I guess; I need to clean my braces.  Another joy of braces is getting to clean them after every meal, then put my mask back on”.  She disappeared into the bedroom, and came out a few minutes later.  As she walked in front of the couch towards the kitchen table she flashed Jen a big smile showing off the herbst and the fresh pink rubberband she had put in after brushing and said "fresh and clean".  She then grabbed her facemask off the kitchen table and returned to the couch.  Jen said “I know this is weird, but can I try and put it on you, like you did me?”  Mel looked at her and replied “ yes, that is a little weird, but yes you can” and handed the facemask to Jen.  “Let me hook my rubberbands onto my braces first , they then will be sticking out of my mouth.  Then take the mask and put it against my face, then hook each rubberband to the corresponding post.  Then snap the strap around my head; you will have to adjust it a little as I sized it to your head”.  She then turned towards Jen, opened her mouth and put a rubberband on each hook, then closed her mouth with two rubberbands sticking out.  Jen placed the mask gently up to her face, and carefully placed one rubberband over each corresponding post.  Mel thought there was something sensual about the care that Jen was taking to be gentle.  She felt a little shiver go through her when Jen inadvertently brushed her fingertip against her cheek. Mel turned her head the other way, and after a little tinkering, Jen got the strap to snap shut.  Mel turned back to Jen and said “you are a natural”.  She leaned over, shoulder to shoulder against Jen and turned her attention back towards the TV.  Jen hit play on the movie.  Once it was over, as they searched for another, Mel brought up Jen’s neck brace.  “How are you doing with the cervical extension?  You wore it the other night when I was here, but not tonight.  Are you doing ok with it”.  Jen said, “ I am, I am going to put it on when I go to bed.  But I have gotten all the hours I need this week.“ Mel replied “yes, but this is the first week.  In another week, you are going to have to wear it 10 hours a day on AVERAGE, have you worn it for 10 hours in a day yet?”  Jen thought and realized the longest she had worn it was last night, 7. 5 hours.  She hung her head a bit and mumbled no.  Mel continued “you know what would make me reall happy, if you would go put your extension on and try to get 10 hours in.  If you put it on now and wear it untill 6:30 in the morning, you will do it.”  Jen looked over at Mel and said “Ma, do I have to” and got up and went into her bedroom.  She came out a minute later wearing her neckbrace, performed an awkward curtsy in front of Mel, then lowered herself down stiffly onto the couch.  Mel scooted over on the couch, and leaned over resting her head on Jen’s shoulder, being careful not to dislodge her facemask.  She whispered “thank you for putting that on, and thank you for tonight”.   Jen reached over and blindly found Mel’s hand “You are sho welcome, I jush wish I could lean over and resht my head againsht you”. 

The two of them had been watching their second movie of the night when Jen heard the softest, sweetest snoring noise coming from beside her.  She couldn't turn her head to look, but she realized that Mel had fallen asleep.  Jen sat there for a while just enjoying the warmth and comfort of having someone that she cared about nuzzled up beside her, and she listened to her friend sleep.  It made her feel warm inside.   After a while she got to worrying that Mel might get a crick in her neck from sleeping too long in such an awkward position, so she gently shook her friend and woke her up.  “Hey” she said, “you can schleep in my shun’s bed.”

She hesitated a moment weighing the consequences of what she was about to say, then added.

“Or if you want, you can shtay in mine”. 

Mel lay there in silence for several moments, looking into Jen's eyes, while Jen's heart thundered in her chest.   Mel replied “I would like that”.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #36 on: 25. February 2022, 06:39:19 AM »
And now ladies and gentlemen, it is time for intermission.

I am not done with these two ladies by a long shot, but I need to spend some more time with the gals over in Nashvegas.

By the way, why did Jazmine pick up the pamphlet on orthodontics off the floor and carry it to her desk instead of just placing it back on Ms. Collins/Jennifer's desk?

Also, what do you need to do to get access to the stories board?

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #37 on: 25. February 2022, 07:00:52 AM »
If ya'll have any ideas on where this story might go next, let me know.  I think I already know the destination, and how I am going to get there.  But I am always up for trying a new route.

BTW, I have an idea and rough draft for the prologue in my head.  It might get me kicked off here though.  Not for breaking any rules on vulgarity, cursing, etc.  But because ya'll all might hate me so much for what I did, al la Sopranos cut to black.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #38 on: 25. February 2022, 08:23:54 AM »
I never tell a writer what to write. Each writer has their own idea of where a story should go and it is up to them how it gets there.

Sparky and I write very different stories, though we have worked together on stories before.

You need to be satisfied with what you write. Don't try and write to please everyone, it doesn't work. There are just too many different interests to try and satisfy them all.

Offline kelly-Marie

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #39 on: 25. February 2022, 18:46:58 PM »
Amazingly detailed story I'm loving it it reminds  me of some stories I used to read on the beck brace appreciation website now defunct. I wonder if you've ever read any stuff on there?

Offline MikeB

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #40 on: 25. February 2022, 20:15:20 PM »
I think you need to email Marty

Yup. You have 32 posts, so just DM Marty a request here.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #41 on: 28. February 2022, 05:17:25 AM »
Chapter 17.

Jen concentrated on breathing deeply as her heart pounded in her chest and Dr. Cooper reclined the chair.  She was nervous, to the point of being scared.  But she made herself think about why she was really doing this.  A number of thoughts ran through her head.  First, she thought about how much had changed over the past three weeks since Mel had stayed over that first night, and how happy that time had been.  She then thought that she really did need this to treat the root cause of her sleep apnea.  But mostly she thought about how happy she thought this would make Mel when she surprised her tonight.  Once she was reclined, Dr. Copper asked her “Ready?”.  She took a deep breath and said “yes”.  She closed her eyes and tried to relax, wondering what Mel’s kiss tasted like and wondering if her body felt as warm and soft as she thought it would as Dr. Cooper’s assistant began to install the metal into her mouth.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #42 on: 01. March 2022, 08:07:43 AM »
Chapter 18.

The past three weeks had been a confusing and painful time for Jen.  She was not a lesbian, or she didn't think she was.  She had never been attracted to a woman before.  But there was something about Mel.  Nothing had happened that night sexually when Mel slept in her bed; they had lay nestled together and talked.  Mel was so considerate and carrying.  It seemed it was more of a case of two people that each needed someone to hold.  And they had found each other that night. But over the past three weeks they had spent more and more time together, and Jen had found herself becoming more attracted to Mel.  Mel did everything she could for Jen to make her second week in her new shell as pleasant as possible.  Because, just like Mel had told her, that second week was hard, very hard.  But Mel had been there the entire time to offer encouragement, wisdom gained from her own personal experience, and a shoulder to cry on.  They definitely shared a bond; and it went beyond each wearing a back brace; but neither knew exactly where that bond ended.  And both were afraid to push the boundary, because they didn't want to push the other away.

That back half of that second week was the hardest thing Jen had ever done. All her confidence from the first week disappeared when faced with wearing her brace all day, every day, with no choice but to do it or fall short of her required time.  Jen did not think she would have been able to make it through without her friend. Mel was selfless; she made sure that she always available for Jen every day; she brought her dinner or cooked for her every night; she was there for her. To hold her hand, to offer her encouragement; one night she had literally been a shoulder to cry on when Jen broke down and didn't think she could do it.  But during that time, during the hours they spent together, it was clear to Jen that Mel was herself terrified of her upcoming expander installation.  More than the pain she knew it would bring, she dreaded the humiliation she knew she was going to feel having a lisp and having trouble communicating with patients.  Jen thought about what Mel had told her about her braces when they had first met - that she wished she had someone to go through the process with her.  To have someone to commiserate with; to have someone to cry to when things were tough; to be her guide.  And Jen decided she was going to be that person; to try at least in some part to repay Mel for everything she had done for her..  So 10 days ago, Jen had called and scheduled a follow up at Dr. Coopers. 

She was going to get braces.  At the visit a week ago she told him simply "I am ready".  After a more thorough exam and measurements, he told Jen his treatment plan for her, and then inserted spacers in her mouth.  As they had discussed her plan and what to expect she had an unusual request for the doctor.  One, Dr. Cooper had not included a herbst appliance in her treatment plan.  She asked him if she could benefit from one.  He said yes, but he thought he could use rubberbands to accomplish the same thing.  He said the herbst appliance is very effective, but it so intrusive he tried to avoid the herbst if at all possible.  She said if it would help, she wanted to try it.  She said her friend seemed to have benefitted so much from one, she wanted to give it a try if he thought it would help at all.  In fact, she just wanted to get the same thing in her mouth that Mel had.  Not because she wanted the metal in her mouth, but because she wanted for Mel to feel like she had a partner. She also had another unusual request.  She wanted to get the marpe expander, which was a part of her treatment plan, installed at the same time as her braces; not wait a few appointments like was his standard procedure.  He said it would be a lot to handle at once; he liked to give patients time to become acclimated to the braces and facemask before he started that phase of treatment.  She told him she just wanted to get it over with; that she thought she would be able to handle it better if she just "ripped the bandaid off at once".  He agreed to do what she wanted; he told her he wished more of his patients had her attitude.  She didn't tell him the real reason; she was doing this for her friend.  The week of having spacers was a little stressful for Jen.  First, they really hurt and she had to bite her lip and not show any sign of it around Mel.  Second, she had to be conscious around Mel not to open her mouth too wide and reveal the blue rubber stuck between her teeth.  She was most worried about those on her lower arch that surrounded her bicuspids where the crowns of the herbst would go.  She wanted to keep this a secret from Mel; she hoped that her friend's reaction was worth the hell she thought she was about to go through.  She had an idea for how she wanted to surprise Mel, and she didn't want it ruined by a glimpse of a blue rubber spacer.

 


Offline bracessd

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #43 on: 02. March 2022, 17:16:43 PM »
Great story so far!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #44 on: 03. March 2022, 05:42:15 AM »
Chapter 19.

The first order of business was removing her spacers.  It was an easy process.  And as soon as they were removed Jen felt a sense of relief.  They were finally gone.  But the relief would not last long.  Dr. Cooper had some local anesthetic that he injected into Jen’s palate.  He explained that this would numb her for the installation of the tads for her expander, and while it took effect they would install her braces.  The assistant said it appeared the spacers had done their job.  She then began fitting her herbst appliance.   Because Jen had asked to have her expander installed at the same time as her braces, her herbst did not have a palatal arch as Mel’s did.  Jen’s expander would accomplish the task of distalizing her rear molars.  So instead, which was a little different than Mel’s, the upper portion of Jen’s herbst had a marpe expander stretching between each crown.  Dr. Copper said they would install the herbst and her braces, and then insert the tads in her palate, then connect the herbst appliance rods.  Like Mel though, each crown had  an integrated hook for her face mask and the sliding rod to connect to her lower crowns.  Once the assistant had checked the fit, she applied the cement to each crown and she then placed her expander/upper herbst over each molar.  She then had Jen bite down on something she thought looked like a square stick as the assistant monitored and checked the progress.  Once the rear crowns were positioned where the assistant wanted, the assistant did the same with the lower portion of her herbst.  With the herbst appliance installed but not yet connected, the assistant moved onto her brackets.  Each metal bracket was installed to her top arch, she then followed with the same on the lower arch.  Once that was done, the assistant asked her what color she wanted for her ligatures.  Jen had remembered that Jen had told her that her favorite color was green, and Jen picked the closest shade that matched the predominate color of Mel’s back brace.  Once the assistant was done installing the arch wire, Dr. Cooper said they should take a little break so Jen could relax and see what they had done.

Dr. Cooper raised Jen’s chair and asked her if she wanted to see her braces before they finished the installation.  Jen thought to herself not really. I just want to get through this.  But she accepted the doctor’s mirror and held it up to her face.  She then smiled.  And her other hand shot up to her face and covered her mouth.  It looked so foreign.  Dr. Copper assured her she looked great.  With that, he asked if she was ready to finish.  In a state of shock she simply nodded yes.  He then reclined her chair.

Dr. Cooper said he would finish up the rest of the installation. He inserted the lip spreader and bite blocks under her rear molars to keep her mouth open.  He took a pick, and put it in her mouth.  She couldn’t feel what he was doing, but when he asked if she could feel what he was doing, she answered “na”.  He told her they were ready to install her tads.  He told her there would be four of them, and she might feel some pressure and feel some vibration in her head.  Jen cut her eyes down and watched as he placed a silver screw into her mouth, then took something that looked like a miniature socket wrench and screwed it into her mouth.  It didn’t hurt her, but she felt it.  More than just feel pain, she could feel it through her head as it was screwed into her bone.  Once Dr. Cooper finished with the first, he asked Jen if she was ok?  She nodded yes, and he continued with the process.  After about 20 minutes, Dr. Cooper announced he was done with the installation of the tads and they were almost done.  He took another tool that looked like a small screw driving and told her he would install the rods of her herbst.  It went quickly, and after all that had been inflicted on Jen’s mouth she hardly noticed.  Once the doctor was done, he announced they were almost done and raised Jen’s chair back to a sitting position.

Dr. Copper informed Jen they were almost done with the appointment.  He told her she had done great.  He told her that all that was left was to show her how to put on her facemask, turn her expander, and then go over care and cleaning of her braces and post opp instructions for her tads.  With the mention of the face mask, the assistant had picked it up off the counter and handed it to Dr. Cooper.  He held it to her face and with an allen wrench made several adjustments to the height and width so it fit her face.  He explained that this was a Delaire face mask, and it would help protract her upper jaw.  Than he went into why it was the best, and Jen zoned out.  She had heard this already from Mel. Then the doctor placed the mask on her face while the assistant held the mirror so Jen could see what he was doing.  Once he had placed the elastics on her teeth and then connected them to the face mask and snapped the strap around her head, he removed it all and said he wanted her to try.  She it did it quickly the first try, and Dr. Cooper proclaimed that she was a natural.  She didn’t mention she had put one on before, just on someone else’s face.  Dr. Cooper then announced he needed to show her how to turn her expander.  He first took a model with an expander in it, and showed her how to insert the key into the hole and make a turn on the expander.  He then said he was going to make two turns on Jen’s expander.  He had her tilt her head back and open her mouth as wide as she could.  She couldn’t exactly see what he was doing.  But she could feel the scraping sensation as he inserted the key into the hole in her expander, and could certainly feel the pressure as he turned it.  On the second turn the sensation was even stronger, bordering on discomfort, as she felt the pressure in her sinuses and above her nose.  It was a completely new feeling for Jen.  She asked the doctor “will ish alwaysh feel like thatch”.  That was when she discovered her lisp.  She knew she would have one, but to hear it for the first time was a shock.

Dr. Cooper told her she would likely feel pressure at times when she turned it.  But that she would become accustomed to it, and that pressure was normal.  Only sharp pain would be an indicator that something was wrong.  Dr. Cooper sensed or saw the look on Jen’s face when she spoke, and assured her that the lisp would improve.  He patted her arm and told her again she was doing great; she had a lot of new things in her mouth but it would begin to feel normal over the next two weeks.  He then went over the care of her expander, telling her to take 800 mg of ibuprofen if it bothered her over the next few days, and to perform a salt water rinse three times a day for the next week while the tads healed up.  He instructed her to turn her expander once per day until her follow up in two weeks. He told her that her upper suture would likely split in the next 8-10 days and it would be an odd sensation of cracking and she would feel it.  He told her this is what they wanted, don’t be alarmed. He then discussed face mask wear.  He said normally he would give a patient a schedule to acclimate to it.  But because she had seemed so enthusiastic he was not going to do so for her.  He told her to wear it as much as possible.  He told her to go ahead and try to sleep with it as soon as possible, as becoming accustomed to sleeping with it was the most difficult for most patients.  He told her she needed to be wearing it 12 hours per day by the time of their appointment in two weeks, and more was better.  He told her that there was a sensor in the face mask that would monitor wear time, so it was important she wear it as instructed.  He said it was possible to install springs for 24 hour wear if a patient needed help becoming acclimated to it, but he preferred to avoid that.  Finally he went over the general care and cleaning of braces, and told her that if she did not already have one, he would recommend investing in a waterpic snd gave her a few suggestions.  With that, Dr. Cooper proclaimed they were done.  He told Jen he was proud of her and she had done the right thing.  He told her he would see her in two weeks, but if she felt acute pain to contact the office.  In a bit of a daze, Jen made her way out to her car, trying to come to terms with a mouth that felt completely foreign to her.

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.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #60 on: 18. March 2022, 16:30:37 PM »
Nice job!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #61 on: 25. March 2022, 00:56:40 AM »
Chapter 29.

Jen got up from the table and headed into the kitchen.  First, she fixed herself a glass of salt water and rinsed her mouth as she had been instructed.  She was supposed to rinse three times a day; morning, mid day, and in the evening.  She then got a vanilla protein drink out of the fridge.  She didn't want to deal with the hassle of trying to eat anything.  While not in agony, her mouth did hurt.  And she didn't really want to have to go through the process of cleaning her braces and expander again.  Again she thought of all the adjustments that having braces was going to mean.  After finishing the drink, she returned to the couch.  She got comfortable and started reading out loud again.  She realized that while she still had a long way to go to sound "normal", she was speaking much clearer than she had been just the evening before.  It was a Thursday, and she was planning on going into work tomorrow.  She was dreading it.  She was afraid she would feel embarrassment, not just from having such visible braces, but also from her lisp.  After about 30 minutes, she took another break.  While wax did help, the inside of her mouth was in no way used to all the new sharp edges.  She thought of Mel again, and thought she seemed fine with her braces.  They really didn't seem to bother her.  She hoped she would get to the same point, and the sooner the better.  She then realized she had not emailed the information on the Crane device over to Diane.  She got up and went back to the kitchen table.  She opened her emails and started one addressed to Diane.  She started her email by thanking her for checking on her.  Then she explained she was including the information on the Crane device.  She copied the link to the manufacturer's website, as well as the link to the blogger that had experimented with one.  In her searching, she had also found a youtube video with a guy that was undergoing MSE that demonstrated how it worked.  She copied and pasted that link as well.  Finally, she decided she would take a picture of her own neckbrace and attach it as well.  She took out her phone, and as she tried to get a clear shot of her wearing it, she realized she might should put on her facemask.  After just a little struggling, she managed to get the rubberbands hooked in her mouth and then onto the mask.  She finished by snapping the strap around her head.  She did manage to take a decent picture of her neck brace.  You couldn't see her whole face, but you could see the chincup which would let Diane know she was wearing it and being a good, compliant patient.  She hit send.

Feeling a little stir crazy; Jen wasn't used to just relaxing and "doing nothing", she ventured out on her back deck with her book. It was a nice day, and the sunlight felt good. After about 30 minutes, she nodded off.

Jen woke about 2 hours later.  She realized she had gotten some sun. Then she remembered she was wearing the facemask.  Oh gosh she thought, I hope I don't have tan lines.  She ran inside and into the bathroom.  She removed her facemask, and with relief she saw she did not.  She did make a note though that she would have to be careful if she ventured outside with it on again.  She couldn't foresee herself doing so very often, but it was something to keep in mind.  She decided to leave the mask off until Mel got home, it really was bothering her chin.  She went to the kitchen and retrieved her phone.  She wanted to send Mel a text just to see how her day was going.  When she looked at the screen, she saw a message from a new number.

C:  Ms. Collins, this is Christy Thomas at Dr. Cooper's. Diane passed along the information on the Crane appliance.  I am very interested in it.  In fact, I have ordered one to try myself.  As well as being Dr. Cooper's hygienist and myofunctional therapist, I am also the office guinea pig.  Based on pictures of the device and your neckbrace, I do believe it might be possible.  But, Dr. Cooper would rather have me try it first before prescribing it to a patient.  Diane also mentioned you were starting a blog to chronicle your journey.  I would love to participate if you would have me. 

J:  First, thank you.  And second, please call me Jen.  I really appreciate you looking into this for me.  Would you be willing to get together sometime so I can pick your brain about this whole process, your experience, and any tips or tricks you could offer?

C:  Of course, I would be glad to.  Do you have any time in mind?

J:  I want to make it as convenient for you as possible.  I am free most any evening, and I have this whole upcoming weekend free as well.  This is quite an adjustment with everything going on in my mouth, and I don't see me going out for the next few days.

C.  I completely understand.  There is definitely a learning curve of sorts after getting braces.  And in our case, all the other goodies like expanders and protraction devices make it even steeper.  But it does get better.  What about Saturday afternoon?  I could meet you somewhere?

J:  If you would be comfortable with it, you could just come by my house.  And if it is ok, I will probably have Mel Saunders here too.  We are friends and she is going through the same process. 

Jen left off that Mel had become a little more than just a friend, and the two of them would have been together anyway.

C:  That would be great.  What about 2 pm?  Just send me your address and I will see you Saturday.

J:  Thank you so much.  I do look forward to it.

Jen finished by sending her the address.  She then sent a text to Mel.

J:  Just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you and hoping you have had a great day  :)

M:  Awww, you are too sweet.  My day has gone just fine.  In fact, I realize that by wearing my facemask all day here, it will free me up from wearing it this evening.  And I might can put this mouth to good use...

J:  You are bad, you are going to get me all excited.  I can't wait to see you this evening.  Kisses.

M:  Kisses back. 

Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #62 on: 25. March 2022, 04:16:46 AM »
Thank you fow thith latetht chaptew! Totally enjoying thith thtowy! Ooooh, kithing with bwatheth, thweet! Thith getth bettew and bettew, can’t wait fow the netht chaptew!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #63 on: 25. March 2022, 06:40:38 AM »
Chapter 30.

Around 6 pm there was knocking at the front door.  As Jen went to the door she saw Mel’s car in the driveway.  She opened the door to find Mel with her arms full.  She had a duffle bag in one hand, and several plastic bags in the other.  Jen grabbed the duffle from Mel, and followed her into the dining room where Mel put the bags down on the table.  Mel then turned and gave Jen a hug, asking her “how was my favorite person’s day?”  Jen replied “it went better than I feared.  The pain wash manageable.  I haven’t tried to eat shince thish morning, but I think I may give it a shot thish evening”.  Mel looked at her and said “good, because I brought dinner.  First though, there is something I have wanted to do all day”.  She leaned in and gave Jen a very gentle, caring kiss.  She continued “do you want to go ahead and eat, I didn’t have much of a lunch.”  Jen said she would give it a shot.  Mel told her to just have a seat, she would handle it.  She slid Jen’s computer down to the end of the table, and told her she wanted to check out her new blog when they got done eating.  A few minutes later, Mel returned with plates and silverware; and then made a second trip coming back with two glasses of wine.

Mel pulled the food containers out of the bags and then ran through the options. “They probably did think my order a little unusual, but I have the following: mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken noodle soup, grilled zucchini, baked lemon butter salmon, and some soft rolls.  Anything in particular sound good?”  Jen looked at Mel and answered “thank you for thish.  I guessh I will try a little of all of it and she what worksh”.

As they ate they discussed their day.  Mel talked about the butterflies she felt wearing her facemask into the office.  And while she had been aware of it all day, it had really not been a problem.  She then said “but I fear I made a mistake wearing it.  At the end of the day, Dr. Wellington again told me how great it was that I was wearing my facemask at work.  And he told me if it is something I need, that he hoped I would continue to do so.  So, I guess I will wear it again tomorrow.  Ugh.”  She added she had taken her facemask off before she went to pick up the carryout order; she wasn’t that brave yet.  Jen then told Mel about her blog, falling asleep on the lounger, and the communications she had with both Diane and Christy.  She then told Mel “I should have ashed you first, but it just sort of happened.  I invited Chrishty over on Saturday.  Do you have any plansh for Saturday afternoon?”  Mel replied “the only plans I made for this weekend were taking care of you.  So sure, I will be here”.

The two continued eating.  Then Jen panicked.  After eating a spoonful of chicken noodle soup; it was made with spaghetti noodles instead of the more traditional short flat noodles; she felt one hanging in her throat.  “Aghh” Jen gagged as she got up.  “There is a noodle caught in my throat.”  Mel got up too and hurried with Jen into the bathroom.  Mel had Jen open her mouth.  She saw there was a noodle wrapped around her expander and hanging into her throat.  She took a toothbrush and dislodged it from the expander.  She then told Jen to hang right there and quickly returned with the glass of wine.  She handed it to Jen to try to wash the noodle down.  It worked.  Jen looked at Mel and told her “that wash horrible.  Thank you for saving me”.  As they returned to the table Mel apologized “I am sorry that happened.  I feel like it is my fault.”  Jen stopped her and looked her in the eyes saying “it ish not your fault at all.  We are both learning ash we go.  I guessh we need to knock shpagetti noodles off the menu unlessh we cut them up small enough” and laughed.  They finished their meal without further issue.  Once done, Mel started cleaning the table.  She told Jen to get her computer ready, she wanted to see her handiwork. 

When Mel had finished cleaning up and putting the leftovers in the refrigerator, she sat down beside Jen. Jen ran through what she had done.  She also pointed out the pictures she needed help with.  She wanted a closeup of her braces; the hooks coming off her molar bands, the herbst, and the MSE screwed into her palate.  She also wanted a pic of her wearing her mask, as well as closeups of how the rubberbands attached.  Mel took her phone and took the closeup photos of Jen’s mouth.  Jen then got her facemask and attached it to her face.  Mel took several pics of this as well.  Jen reviewed them and then had Mel email them to her.  Once she received them and saved them on her computer, she added them to the blog post.  She then asked Mel if she would post about her experience.  Mel looked at Jen and asked her “would it make you happy?”  Jen told her it would.  Mel answered “well then, of course I will”.  After about an hour, they had Mel’s story posted, along with similar photos as Jen’s.  Then Jen remembered about adding the padding to her facemask.  As Mel went through the process of affixing the padding to the inside of the chin cup and forehead pad, Jen took pictures; a before and after of sorts.  Once Mel was done, Jen put the mask back on.  She looked at Mel and told her “wow, this does feel better.  I guess I will wear it the rest of the evening and try to sleep with it”. Mel told her she was doing great, and kissed her on the forehead.  She then got her own mask out of her bag and looked at Jen telling her “we are in this together” and attached her own facemask.



Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #64 on: 25. March 2022, 15:31:23 PM »
Thankth fow chaptew 30! I weally like the way thethe two women cawe fow each othew. Looking fowawd to chaptew 31!!!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #65 on: 28. March 2022, 19:40:29 PM »
Chapter 31.

Jen awoke the next morning and pulled her eye mask up and off her face.  She sensed Mel was not beside her.  As she could not turn her head, she reached over and felt with her arm to confirm it.  She rolled over, up and into a sitting position on the edge of the bed as she had become accustomed to and removed her face mask.  It was a huge relief, the pressure on her chin, even with the newly added padding, was intense.  She next removed her cpap mask, laying it on the nightstand beside her facemask.  She walked over to the dresser and took off her neck brace.  With all her night time devices off, she walked towards the kitchen.

She found Mel sitting at the kitchen table looking at her phone.  Mel had already made breakfast and had each of them a plate of food and a cup of coffee waiting. It was soft food, eggs again along with a couple of pancakes.  She also had placed a couple of ibuprofen on the napkin beside Jen's plate. As Jen walked over to the table, Mel looked up, smiling through her facemask, and told Jen "good morning babe".  Jen responded "you really didn't have to do all thish" gesturing towards the table.  Mel looked at her and replied "I know I didn't have to.  But I wanted to.  I want to make your day, and every day, as nice as I can.  Plus, you made it through your first night wearing your facemask.  That calls for a celebration."  She got up and went over and hugged Jen.

As the two ate, again Jen was able to manage even if it was very slowly and somewhat unpleasantly, they talked about their upcoming days.  Jen was very nervous about her first day back at work.  She thought that this was even scarier than the first day wearing her back brace to work.  At least with it, she was able to hide it under her clothes.  She was a mature, professional lady that did take some pride in her appearance.  And she now had massive visible metal braces and appliances, along with her new speech impediment.  And she couldn't just hide that under her clothes.  Mel assured her she would do great.  Mel also told her she wanted to take Jen out on a date at her favorite restaurant as soon as her mouth felt up to it.  Jen told her she would like that.

After breakfast they went into the bathroom and went through the ritual of cleaning their braces.  Again, Mel turned Jen's expander.  And again she immediately felt pressure in her sinuses.  After each finished in the bathroom, they got dressed.  Mel dressed in her customary scrubs.  She did her makeup and hair, and then put her facemask back on.  She looked over at Jen and said "I guess this is going to become a thing.  I still feel like a bit of a pariah wearing this at work though".  Jen looked at her and said "you are sho shtrong; and nothing you could wear could diminish your beauty" and reached over and kissed her on the cheek, managing to avoid the metal and plastic mask in the process.  Jen herself dressed a little more formally than was normal for a Friday.  She put on hose, a white blouse, and a black skirted business suit.  She slipped on some matching 2" black pumps, did her makeup, put her hair up, and finished with some gold jewelry.  She hoped that by dressing up, maybe it would distract others from her braces.  Mel told Jen she looked absolutely ravishing, good enough to eat.  She gave her a hug and went out the door wearing her facemask.  Jen was at the door watching her leave when halfway to her car Mel stopped and turned.  She told Jen "if you need anything, anything at all today, even if it is just a hug, let me know and I will be there".

As Jen made the drive in to work, she had butterflies in her stomach.  What would her coworkers think?  What would her boss Pete think?  She was the CFO of a company, and she had braces.  She made her mind up, that one way or the other, she would make it through the day.  As she entered the lobby, the front desk receptionist Melinda greeted her.  "Good morning Ms. Collins, you look really nice this morning".  Jen stopped and thanked her "Thank you Melinda, you look nish ash well."  She smiled at her with a closed mouth smile.  Melinda responded "You got braces! They look good."  Jen looked at her and smiled again, this time showing her new companions, and replied "thank you, they sure don't feel good."  Melinda looked at her and said sympathetically "I completely understand, I had braces all through high school.  If you need any tips, let me know".  Jen thanked her and headed back towards her office. 

There, she found Jasmine already at her desk.  As Jen approached, Jasmine was looking up at her expectantly.  Jen stopped at her desk as she said "Good morning Jashmine.  I guessh you can tell I did get my brayshes."  Jasmine looked up at her saying "you look so pretty.  I think they are so cool.  You have a wonderful smile already, but think about how gorgeous it is going to be.  Can I take a closer look at them?".  Despite it seeming a little weird, Jen figured she might as well get it over with.  She knew that Jasmine was wanting braces herself, so she figured this would eventually come up.  Might as well get it out of the way now.  She asked Jasmine into her office and had her sit in a chair in front of her desk.  Still standing, Jen leaned towards her and gave her a big smile.  After giving her a good look at them with her mouth closed, Jen opened her mouth showing the expander screwed into the roof of her mouth.  Jasmine seemed mesmerized.    After a few moments she said "wow, they look pretty complicated.  Is that an expander in your mouth?  And is it actually screwed into your mouth? What are those rods on the sides?  And what about those hooks?". 

Jen went and sat down behind her desk and started "yesh, that ish an expander.  And yesh, it is shcrewed into my mouth.  And yesh it hurtsh, and yesh it gives me thish lispth.  But it ish shopposed to get better.  The rods are my herbst appliance.  That little wire that goes along the inshide of my lower teeth ish part of it too.  It ish to hold my lower jaw forward, while they pull my face forward.  And that ish what the hooksh are for, they are my crowning achievement.  They connect to my reversh pull headgear that I have to wear at night.  It is horrible and sho embarrassing.  But I need to pull my whole maxilla forward, and this is the only way other than double jaw shurgery."  Jasmine looked at her and said "that is so cool.  You still look so pretty.  And I am so jealous.  I want braces so bad; I just wish they weren't so expensive.  I need them so bad" and smiled at Jen.  Jen had never been big on noticing peoples teeth, but she realized she probably was going to be talking to people about braces and teeth alot over the coming years.  She noticed that Jasmine had pretty severe crowding, an apparent overbite, and had an openbite.  When she talked, you could actually see her tongue pop out through the gap on occasion, even when her mouth was closed.  Jasmine looked at her and said "do you have a picture of the headgear?  I know it is weird, but I am just so interested in this".   Jen looked at her and said "I have even better" and sent Jasmine a text with the address of her brand new blog. "You can shee all about me and my new mouth acceshories on thish blog I started.  There is sho little info on what I am going through, I deshided to start a blog to chronicle it.  I have a friend going through the shame thing, and you can shee her shtory too."  Jasmine opened the link and seemed transfixed.  She read for several minutes, clicking on some of the pictures to enlarge them.  After she had skimmed through it all she looked up at Jen and said "wow, that is a lot you are going through.  But it is going to be so so worth it." 





Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #66 on: 29. March 2022, 06:04:48 AM »
Thith ith one of my favouwite thtowieth! I jutht love how thethe two ladieth cawe fow one anothew!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #67 on: 29. March 2022, 23:18:11 PM »
Chapter 32.

Jen spent the next few hours working on financial reports.  She hoped she could just stay locked away in her office most of the day.  She knew she was eventually going to have to unveil her braces in front of others in the office, but she hoped today wouldn’t be that day.  She was still very self conscious of her speech, as well as some of the strange movements and tics her mouth made as it became accustomed to all the new metal assaulting it.  She did expect things to get a little better, and she wanted to wait until then before she had to speak too much with others.

Around 10 am her office line rang.  She picked it up and answered “Hello, Jennifer Collinsh”.  As she heard herself, she cringed.  She really hoped she would eventually be able to at least say her own name clearly.  The person on the other end of the line was Melinda from the front desk.  She told Ms. Collins that there was a delivery for her, and asked her if she could come pick it up.  Jennifer asked her what it was, but Melinda told her that the outside of the note said it was a surprise.  Perplexed, Jennifer got up and made her way to the front desk.  There, on the front desk, was a very pretty floral arrangement.  Melinda apologized for not telling her what it was, and pointed to the envelope on the outside.  It did say “to be announced as a surprise”.  Jen was a little shocked, she couldn’t even remember the last time someone had given her flowers.  And who were they from?  She thanked Melinda and picked up the bouquet.  She took them back to her desk, shrugging when Jasmine asked her who they were from.  Once at her desk, she set them down and opened the envelope.  The note was short, but it melted her heart.  “I hope these flowers brighten your day as much as you brighten mine.  Love, Mel”.

Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #68 on: 30. March 2022, 05:03:55 AM »
Thith thtowy bwightenth my day! Eagewly looking fowawd to the netht chaptew!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #69 on: 11. April 2022, 21:59:40 PM »
Chapter 33.

Around 11:30, Jennifer got up from her desk and told Jasmine she was going out for lunch.  She told her it might be a little longer lunch than normal, but she would be back if anyone needed her.  While she had continued to try to work since she had retrieved the flowers, she was very distracted.  She couldn't help but look at them and think of Mel.  She desperately wanted to see her and let her know how much they meant.  As she sat there looking at the flowers she had an idea.

After she left work, she stopped by a deli around the corner and got some sandwiches.  She didn't really know if she would be able to eat one, but she didn't really care.  Food was not really what she was focused on during this lunch break.  After getting two sack lunches, she headed to Dr. Wellington's office. Once she was in the parking lot, it was nearly noon.  She sent Mel a text.

J: What are you planning on doing for lunch?

It was only a minute or so before she got a response.

M:  I don't know, I haven't really thought about it too much.  I guess I will go around the corner and grab a sandwich or something.

J:  Would you like to join me for a little picnic?  I am in the parking lot and picked up a couple of sandwiches on the way over.

M:  Of course, I will be out in a few minutes.

J:  I will meet you in the lobby  :)

As Jen sat in one of the chairs in the waiting area she fidgeted.  She didn't even realize she was doing it, but she was full of nervous energy.  After just a few minutes the door beside the reception desk opened and out stepped Mel.  She was wearing pink scrubs and her blue reverse pull headgear.  Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun, and she had on a bare minimum of makeup.  And Jen thought she was the most gorgeous thing she had ever seen.  Jen hopped up out of her seat and rushed over to Mel.  She gave her a hug, she couldn't help it, and whispered in her ear "I got the flowersh; they may be the shweetest thing that has ever happened to me".  She quickly released Mel; she didn't want to embarrass her at work, and asked her "can we go to the park a few blocks away?  It is a gorgeous day, and I brought us a little lunch".  Of course Mel agreed.  She then said "but first, let me take this stupid mask off" and removed her facemask and elastics, stowing them in her purse.

As they made their way across the parking lot; Jen had to retrieve the food from her car; she reached down to hold Mel's hand.  Mel accepted it.  Jen felt funny; like she was back in high school on a first date.  Once at her car, she turned towards Mel.  She said "again, thank you sho much for the flowersh.  I can't even deshcribe how shpecial they make me feel".  She then stepped forward and put her arm around Mel's waist, feeling the unyielding plastic of her scoliosis brace, and kissed her passionately.  It was the first time either of them had ever shown any real affection in public, and it was in front of Mel's place of work of all places.  Jen quickly stopped, and apologized "I'm shorry, I don't want to embarrash you at work".  Mel looked into her eyes and told her "you aren't embarrassing me at all", and put her lips back to Jen's.

After walking the few blocks to the park hand in hand, they found a nice shaded and secluded picnic table.  Jen pulled everything out of the bags and arranged it on the table.  She had gotten Mel a turkey and swiss and gotten herself a tuna salad sandwich, not because she loved tuna salad but she thought it might be easier to eat with her new mouth accessories.  Mel thanked her for lunch, and bit into her sandwich.  Jen stared at her's a moment, then tried to do the same.  She realized right then that eating a sandwich was just not going to work.  She said "well, so much for that.  Guess I will be drinking my lunch".  She put the sandwich down and Mel grabbed her hand.  Mel said "oh you poor baby.  I shouldn't have locked my purse in your car, I have a knife in there.  You could cut it up and try it.  Do you want me to run and get it?".  Jen looked at her and told her "no, I didn't come here for the food, I came here to be with you."

Offline giacc

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #70 on: 13. April 2022, 19:08:19 PM »
fantastic story...

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #71 on: 18. April 2022, 17:15:48 PM »
Hey everybody, I am taking a little break from this.  I posted a little explanation over in my other thread.  But I want to add that I am thankful for this outlet that allowed me to share some of my thoughts and ideas.  I think it may have contributed a little bit towards me having the courage to slay a couple of the monsters in my closet that had been scaring me and keeping me from getting out of bed.  Thank you all for reading.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #72 on: 20. May 2022, 19:03:44 PM »
Hey everybody, I am taking a little break from this.  I posted a little explanation over in my other thread.  But I want to add that I am thankful for this outlet that allowed me to share some of my thoughts and ideas.  I think it may have contributed a little bit towards me having the courage to slay a couple of the monsters in my closet that had been scaring me and keeping me from getting out of bed.  Thank you all for reading.

Writing stories, writing & playing music, painting, drawing - all good ways of helping express yourself, make you think about things happening in your life, help you work out what you want from life. Writing for an audience makes it much more interesting too. Good to hear it's helped you... maybe we'll see you back again... you know you'll be made welcome once more.

Offline ksmooth

  • Bronce Member
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  • Posts: 30
  • Gender: Male
Re: Jennifer
« Reply #73 on: 03. June 2022, 05:29:49 AM »
Awesome story! I'm a sucker for orthodontic and orthopedic combos. Thank you so much for the hard work!