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Author Topic: Double Braced  (Read 62524 times)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #75 on: 30. December 2023, 08:32:52 AM »
I’m walking! Ok, more like hobbling, but the point being is that I can finally put both feet on the ground. It’s not graceful by any means, but it’s a good start. I got my cast off the Monday before Christmas for a new boot. I also had the cast mold taken for a more sturdy ankle brace for my right foot. The best part of getting my cast off was being able to soak in the bathtub, shave both my legs, and do some serious exfoliating on my left leg and foot. Showering on a chair, while helpful, was not my favorite pastime. I had to promise to not attempt any weight bearing until after Christmas. So I impatiently waited. Tuesday morning I slid my foot out of bed (in the boot) and for the first time in 8 weeks put pressure on it. I was pleasantly surprised to not have any pins and needles sensations. I was also pleasantly surprised to not have pain in any of the places that were reconstructed. My only pain was in my heel, and I think it’s more from the stiffness and swelling than anything else. I intentionally haven’t taken any pain meds so that I don’t overdo anything. I can get around the house without any assistance for a few minutes at a time, but have been using crutches and sometimes still my scooter when out and about. I still am not allowed to move my ankle around or do any range of motion until cleared, hopefully at my appointment next week.
I’ve done an amazing job in the last week and a half of getting all my back brace hours in. I’m able to sit for long periods finally without discomfort. I can also drive without my arms getting numb. I really only notice the brace when I’m changing positions like sitting to standing, standing to sitting, laying down, or turning over in bed- even then it’s not a crazy inconvenience. My neck definitely gets more use since it’s the only thing I can turn. The part that has been the most difficult is getting dressed everyday. I’ve had to rethink the order in which I put everything on. For example, I put my pants on but not all the way because I have to put my shoe and brace on after my pants. Yet, I can’t put my brace on until I put my shoe and boot on because I can’t bend over far enough to do this in my brace. Then I can finally pull my pants up all the way and button and zip them. Then lastly, I can put on whatever shirt or sweater I’m going to wear over my brace. Sometimes it’s exhausting, especially if I forget and do something out of order.
I had my routine dental appointment and cleaning this week. Nothing like entering the new year with metal sparkling pearly whites. I did ask to speak with my orthodontist while I was getting my wires put back on. I expressed my concern about the tongue tamers not working. I went a lot deeper into my history of severe allergies that resulted in me becoming a mouth breather, sinus issues (concha bullosa and deviated septum) that included surgery, and my grade 3 tongue tie that was released earlier this year before becoming her patient. It’s the trifecta of tongue thrusting, not to mention lip incompetence and a gummy smile. My focus had been on my bite and jaw alignment, but I’ve realized that there are so many factors affecting it, that it’s difficult to sort through them and know what to address first. I use my tongue to create suction to keep my mouth closed, so fixing the tongue thrust puts me back at breathing through my mouth because of the lip incompetence mostly due to my gummy smile. There are a few ways to fix the lip incompetence, one is Botox- two shots just about on each bottom corner of my nose to bring my lips down, but this is temporary and may or may not be enough to allow my lips to close naturally. The second options is using tads to raise my teeth. My orthodontist’s concern is that my teeth might come up too high which would cause them to not be seen when smiling. There is a 3rd option that involves surgery and removing bone, but I don’t want to think about that. My ortho is pushing to try the Botox to see if it helps since it’s the least invasive. We circled back to the tongue thrust and I showed her how the tongue tamers aren’t effective. I flat out asked if I could have a tongue crib, pointing out that I have literally had this habit for more than 50 years. It’s not about reminding myself how to swallow properly, but learning how to do so, even if by force. All the mints and lifesavers in the world have not been helpful. I know where my tongue needs to be, but inevitably every time  I try to swallow it slides forward over my back teeth and tongue tamers. The few times (and I really mean only about two times) that I have been successful in swallowing properly, I couldn’t get all my spit swallowing. I immediately swallowed a second time the wrong way to get everything down. She is hesitant because of how much they interfere with speech. I reminded her that I was retired and a stay at home mom so I’m not really concerned about that. The worst part is that I live in an area that has no myofunctional therapists as an alternative. We finished the discussion with both of us left to to think about things and mull everything over. My next regular appt is in the beginning of February. In the meantime, I’ll be sucking on my mints trying to learn how to swallow properly and eat without pushing my food forward. Whatever goes on while I’m sleeping that was causing my elastics to snap is out of my control for now.
I hope everyone has a very happy New Year, and that any resolutions you may make come to fruition. May 2024 be a better year for all of us!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #76 on: 30. December 2023, 13:36:02 PM »
This is a great update!  Thank you!  So glad your ankle is doing so well and your scolibrace has become just an inconvenience at times, and not something that is a constant irritation.

As for the tongue crib, I have every conflicting thoughts.  On one hand I would hate for you to have to go through the discomfort and aggravation of having one.  On the other hand, you do need to train your tongue.  Maybe your orthodontist will agree.  I mean, what is the point of having braces if your tongue is just going to ruin all that hard work afterwards?

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #77 on: 31. December 2023, 11:41:42 AM »
This was for sure a great update. And a very good one to finish 2023.

I wish you a very successfull treatment in 2024 and all the best!

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #78 on: 31. December 2023, 17:11:41 PM »
Best wishes for 2024!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #79 on: 06. January 2024, 06:12:28 AM »
Ugh!!  My teeth are killing me!!! I’ve been taping my mouth at night to keep it shut and wake up with two dents on the tip of my tongue from thrusting against the tongue tamers in my sleep. My teeth hurt every morning, then I put my elastics in and they hurt even more as they work to undo the previous night’s thrusting. It’s a viscous cycle. I’m seriously leaning toward trying the Botox to at least be able to keep my lips together, but am concerned my tongue isn’t abandoning its habit anytime soon. I try to work on my thrusting during the day, but can’t control what happens at night. I think it’s time to call my orthodontist sooner than later.
On a happier note, I’m spending the weekend in the Eastern Sierras with my daughter and a few of her friends. Getting around in the snow has been a bit challenging, but I’m being super cautious. The best part is that I was able to make the 5 hour drive in my back brace without my arms going numb! That was huge for me. I hope you all make the most of your weekend and enjoy yourselves. I’ll let you know what happens.

Offline metalfriend

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #80 on: 06. January 2024, 13:47:34 PM »
Hope your ortho can help you with a tongue crib. Have a nice weekend!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #81 on: 12. January 2024, 07:24:32 AM »
I had a meeting tonight, so I put on some semi casual business attire. Is my back brace hardly noticeable now or is it that I’m use to it? https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/rYBJ1G7
I spoke to my orthodontist yesterday. My next appointment was changed to allow more time to try Botox for my lip incompetence and to troubleshoot my nighttime tongue thrusting. She discussed using super strong elastics to keep my jaws together while I sleep. Not sure what that entails, but it’s clear she is not a tongue crib proponent for adults. I’ll see what she has to say at my next appointment. She wants me to really stay on top of my current elastic use, and push through the TMD flare they cause even considering full time wear to get my bite aligned to be able to proceed with that elastic pattern. I’m intrigued, but not sure it will help given I just caught myself thrusting my tongue beneath my tongue tamers with my jaw closed. Sigh.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #82 on: 12. January 2024, 15:46:37 PM »
The photo is impressive, because I could not see anything about your back brace.

And conceerning your orthodontist you may try her way with the elastics, if they do not help, you may try a tongue crip.

Alll the best to you and your family in 2024!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #83 on: 13. January 2024, 05:19:20 AM »
Looking at your picture, I would have no idea you are wearing a brace.  Kudos to you.

What about floating the idea of a removable tongue crib by her?  She obviously has concerns about your speech. But what if it was removable and wouldn’t impact your speech when you need to speak, but was there in your down time and when you sleep?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #84 on: 13. January 2024, 06:39:58 AM »
That’s a good idea. I’ll ask at my next appointment. Thanks!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #85 on: 25. January 2024, 08:07:35 AM »
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, so I thought I would give you an update. Yesterday was the first day out of my boot! My day started off good and it felt great to put my foot in a real shoe for the first time in seven months, even though I have to wear ankle braces (https://dereferer.me/?https://i.imgur.com/RrsWTa2.jpg). The euphoria was short lived when a couple of hours later, the outside of my ankle really started to hurt from my brace. Both of my current ankle braces were made prior to my injury because I noticed an increase of instability in both ankles and wanted to avoid further damage. The irony is there was a delay in getting them and my scheduled appointment to finally pick them up was literally the day after I hurt my ankle. I don’t know if getting them on time would have changed anything. I could Monday morning quarterback the events forever, and nothing would come of it. It’s unlikely that I would have been wearing the Richie braces the day of my injury because I was hosing off my back patio and intentionally wore waterproof sandals to avoid getting my tennis shoes wet, and my ankle braces were mainly to be worn when I would be on my feet for long periods or for walking on uneven surfaces-but I digress. Having the ankle braces made before my injury and now having an extra plate and screws has changed the contour of my ankle inside the custom brace, which became very painful yesterday (and today). The location of the brace hinge is directly over my plate, so it isn’t smooth beneath the padding ( https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/lfCXteI ). I had PT yesterday afternoon and brought it up to my therapist. They were able to add a small piece of foam to offer some relief, but not completely. To add insult to injury, a wind storm kicked up and the change in barometric pressure became unbearable. I wasn’t home at the time, as I was waiting for my son at his soccer practice. Every few minutes my ankle would have excruciating intense pain that brought tears to my eyes and profanity from my lips. It was all I could do to finally get home, take off my shoes and braces, and put my foot up with some ice and pain meds. I know I have a lot of rehab remaining to get back to some sense of normalcy with my ankle, but yesterday, with the amount of pain I had, was very discouraging for me- especially since it wasn’t because of anything I had control over.
Last week my doctor texted me with the style of the new ankle brace he wants me to have for my right ankle and my left ankle once all my swelling subsides ( https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/xonVB92 https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/IgKOdZJ). It’s somewhat sobering to realize my ankles will never be 100%. I had a heart to heart with my doc at my last appointment where we discussed what my rehab goals should be to avoid a 4th reconstruction on the left or a 3rd on the right. I’ve known for years that I will never be able to do the same things I did 20 years ago, but finding that limit without pushing too far is difficult mentally and physically- as clearly demonstrated by having had 3 and 2 reconstructions respectively. Seeing the new ankle brace(s) was disheartening. I think they will definitely provide the support I need, but short of wearing pants the rest of my life there’s no hiding them. It was one thing when my ankle braces had been for certain activities, it’s a whole new ballgame to learn they will need to be a permanent fixture. It also really limits my choices in shoes. I should be thankful that the new braces are still hinged and not fixed, as that would be a whole different level but it doesn’t remove the current dread I feel. Who’s to say a very occasional day in something other than a tennis shoe won’t be ok, right?
In regards to my orthodontic braces, I’m still fighting with my tongue thrust. I’ve developed a gap in my teeth again in spite of the tongue tamers (https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/eRDK2fR). I still have two dents on the top of my tongue every morning from thrusting in my sleep. I continue to tape my lips at night and have been wearing my elastics full time. Most mornings, I wake up to at least one of the elastics broken, and have several more break throughout the day. I don’t recall this happening before, but I haven’t used non latex ones previously. Here’s how things currently look: https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/FwVXYTe . You can see how my upper teeth are now tipped out to try to address my crossbite by widening the arch wire. I’m not certain it’s been very effective. My next appt is in two weeks.
I have a follow up with my oral surgeon next week for my TMJ/TMD. Full time elastic wear has definitely made it worse, even with all the meds I’ve taken for my ankle. I’m hoping if I can power through this, I can get relief sooner instead of dragging out my jaw pain.
I also have an appointment with my back doctor next week. It’s finally time to have in brace X-rays taken to see if it is correcting my scoliosis properly. Then the following week, I’ll have out of brace X-rays taken to see if any progress in correction has been made. I have to be out of brace for at least four hours before that x-ray. That’s really the longest I can tolerate being out of my brace without my back starting to hurt lately, though I rarely if ever go that long on any given day. Most days I only spend an hour or two out of my brace now, and it’s usually for my physical therapy.
While I will always tell you that I know things could be worse, it doesn’t mean that sometimes in the moment my situation doesn’t stink. I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to share my journey with all of you, and am always surprised to see how many people have taken the time to read my posts. It’s been very cathartic for me, and all your words of encouragement have been uplifting during the times when I’m frustrated with the events of my life and struggling through them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ll update again soon.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #86 on: 25. January 2024, 15:34:17 PM »
Damn, all of that sucks. I tore my Achilles tendon (again) in November, and the last two and a half months have been chaotic. I just started (very light) PT, and it is very difficult and painful. It is difficult enough for me with just the ankle, but for you to have the ankle, and the teeth, and the back is crazy and a testament to your strength.

I hope you continue healing in all aspects of your treatments.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #87 on: 08. February 2024, 00:56:37 AM »
It’s been a busy few weeks. Between my ankle physical therapy, back brace follow up, jaw surgeon and orthodontist appointments, it’s a little crazy. PT is going well. My ankle range of motion is slowly returning, my strength is coming back and my swelling has greatly decreased. My pain is also well managed with only Motrin now. I see my ankle doctor next week to get my new right ankle brace and the mold taken for my new left ankle brace.
I had in back brace and out of back brace X-rays taken early last week. My doctor is not happy with the in brace correction that I am getting, so I’ll have to wait for him to confer with his colleagues to see if I will need a new brace. On a positive note, I have 3 degrees of correction on X-rays after being out of my back brace for 5 hours! I still have a ways to go. I didn’t realize until this last appointment that I not only have S curve scoliosis, but also kyphosis. Not that it matters much, just makes more work for the back brace to fix. It’s reassuring to see actual results no matter how small after putting so much effort into maintaining compliance of 20 plus hours of wear time a day.
My appointment with my jaw doctor wasn’t as exciting as my back doctor. The discussion of jaw surgery came up-not for the first time, but in a more definitive manner. I’ve been expecting it, so it wasn’t a surprise. It won’t be for at least a year, but I do think when the time comes, it will make a difference.
I had my orthodontist appointment today. My orthodontist noticed that my tongue tamers had no affect over the last two months. I specifically asked again if she would consider installing a tongue crib. After a lengthy discussion with me telling her that I understood it would not be easy and all the issues it will cause, she agreed. I go back in three weeks to have spacers put in, then return again to have my bands put on and have molds taken, then finally have the tongue crib installed. In the meantime, she will begin designing it. I asked for my tongue to not be able to get under it, and to not be able to create any suction with my tongue and front lips. She completely agreed those were important features. I had already had my ligatures changed with the same wire when she requested a different wire be put in. The ortho tech ended up popping one of my brackets off trying to get the wire in place, so they ended up putting a softer wire back in with a power chain on top. My teeth have been super sensitive, now they are on fire. I’m relieved the stronger wire couldn’t be used. She kept the same class 2 elastic pattern since my overbite/overjet did not improve. She also didn’t grind down any more if my bite blocks, which I have mixed feelings about. I’d like to be able to chew with all my back teeth, but the bite blocks do slightly still help with my TMJ. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/eGS9LV2  I’ll update again after I get my new ankle brace and/or spacers.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #88 on: 08. February 2024, 23:33:03 PM »
Thank you so much.  Sounds like you are making progress.  You have earned it.  I hope the ankle brace helps and that the spacers don't cause too much discomfort.  I am looking forward to your next update.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #89 on: 09. February 2024, 17:55:09 PM »
Thanks for the update @bracesx3 Your powerchains look great