The new normal

I have no idea when the last time I wrote was, but here I am again – the new me.

I have teeth of my own now. And for the first time in many, many years – OK: 46 – they are all working how they should.

I am currently getting used to having so many in my mouth. Beforehand, when ne’er the twain shall meet, I just had a cavern into which I threw my food and hoped that I could somehow digest it.

A bit of ripping here, some sucking there and if you’re lucky today, a little mastication.

Now I have a full set of gnashers which are resting on top of each other and making me feel like a real grown-up. It is a bizarre and surprising feeling.

As I sit here, head tilted to the left, I feel as though I am finally inhabiting my body and not just taking refuge there.

The brace was removed on Monday morning and today I had Mundhygiene at my regular dentist. Unfortunately, there will be some root canal work being done next week – an amalgam filling from England in my youth has given up the ghost.

Additionally, I’ll be visiting my surgeon in 2 weeks as well as being checked up on by my orthodontist again in a couple of weeks.

Of course I have both fixed and removable retainers, so my mouth is not entirely my own; however… I’ve never had a real mouth, so actually it’s about as good as it gets!

When I get around to it, I think I shall alter my profile picture to one with my new mouth. But there are many more fun things to do before doing that.

Like – biting biscuits. And bread crusts. And chewing – yes, chewing – some Schnitzel. Forgive me for leaving now, but I want to go and enjoy my teeth :-).

Hard to write

There are so many reasons why it is more difficult to write right now.

The main one is that I have no time. The second one is that I am really tired (again). The third one is that I want to spend every waking moment with my family, while I can still talk to them, eat with them, play with them, laugh with them.

I think that my last post was just after the appointment on Wednesday at the hospital. Since then I have had more advice on what is coming and how to deal with it. I have also had time to cogitate a little and to have some (more) bad dreams.

Hmmm – now I feel ready to say that I believe it is pointless to anticipate too much: the operation will probably be completely different from what I am (overfeverishly) imagining – when I can’t keep my thoughts under control. Also, the time afterwards, when I am still on the ward, will probably also be the opposite of what I am expecting.

So, I shall attempt not to imagine. (Tough one, that.)

Thank God, life at home has been great since the last hospital visit, so I feel quite well equipped to deal with tomorrow (GP to get an Überweisung /referral to an internist and also to get a thorough blood check before the operation) and then with Tuesday and Wednesday as well. (Tuesday is school stuff for Little Miss BD and Wednesday, I am back at the hospital:)

The energy I get from home is worth more than something very valuable – it is self-propelling energy which comes right back at me. Pow! Like a Batman punch. It wakes me up again and reminds me to exude and enjoy. If I didn’t have my kids and my man, there would only be the hole that is my soul.

Poisonous green liqueur
Poisonous-looking green walnut liqueur many months too early (Nocino)

Look at this! Hubby is on his mission to make an even better evil-looking green walnut liqueur than last year! I don’t really mind how this one turns out – it’ll be good even without all his anxiety about the correct day to harvest, the correct place to store, the correct length of time to stand and mature and and and…

As long as he carries on experimenting, there’ll be some gems for me amongst his inventions (Apple Strudel liqueur and Spiced Plum Compote with Chocolate Gingerbread liqueur being two of his notable successes) – yum yum!

Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Where was Mr Surgeon?

Yesterday was my long-awaited pre-op check-up ‘have you got enough gaps in your mouth?’ appointment at the hospital. I had a slot at 10am, but my first staff contact was at 10:40 with a radiologist, who gleefully informed me that I was only the second person she had ever seen in her many years of service who had such an open bite (of course, I couldn’t bite onto the grips of the X-ray machines). ‘How can you manage?’ ‘Well, I’m 44 and I’ve managed so far…’

Finally I got into the consulting room and – Mr Surgeon was nowhere to be seen! Only his crack team of (all-female) doctors. Oh!

It unnerved me slightly, but they are all very clued-up with my case and got started on me straightaway. I had current casts done as well as some impressions of my bite.

Due to my extremely poor occlusion, when I was supposed to bite down on the wax to make the impression, there were not enough impressions for the surgical team’s liking. We tried twice. After some confabulation, they came at me with a huge gun (looked like the ones you use to squirt the grouting in between the tiles when you are DIYing) and deposited large amounts of silicone in my mouth. Then we waited (me with trepidation, them with small talk abounding) and luckily that seemed to work.

The last step was to measure my skull with a scary-looking metal instrument which poked at me all over my head and measured distances between my ears, nose, forehead and chin. I felt like a specimen in a museum of natural history.

(As it is getting too late, I shall break off tonight and continue tomorrow…)

Picture of the day is ripening blueberries in our garden:

Blueberries

Big day tomorrow…

I do want to tell you about my physio session last night as it was particularly memorable.

Due to my having drunk a smoothie shortly before the session started (otherwise I would have not had anything to eat or drink for a good few hours), I ended up making those terribly loud stomach-gurgling noises for almost the entire 50 minutes. Barefoot physio guru didn’t say anything, of course, and continued kneading and tweaking at me, but I was inwardly cringing.

People like physios and pedicurists get to do quite intimate things to your body, and yet you don’t know them from Larry sometimes. That means that if your body behaves in a natural manner and expels air when you are relaxed, it can lead to a peculiar scenario where you are revealing your private foibles to an almost stranger.

Luckily, when I went to my orthodontic Frau Doktor this morning – for the BIG check-up – no awful grumbles issues from any part of me.

She was looking at The Gap and wanted to see if it was large enough for Mr Surgeon to get his saw through. After having been ogled manually, I was X-rayed as well and she seemed satisfied with the result. To my eyes, it looks quite narrow, so I am hoping that Mr Surgeon has lots of experience and a steady hand. (Mind you, I would hope that all surgeons have steady hands…)

Mouth 5 June

I must admit that I want to get started with the operative procedure now.

It is nearly exactly a year (21st June 2017) since I first visited the hospital and met Mr Surgeon and his team.

After that appointment, I went home and rang Mum.

I was scared of the thought of such a big op and she reassured me, and also promised that she would come over to stay with us, so that she could visit me in the hospital.

Little did we know that 16 weeks later I would be visiting her in hospital; not once, not twice, but four times between the beginning of November and Christmas.

She passed away on 27th December.

So much has changed since my first trip to the Jaw Institute and I feel like my brain is playing catch-up with my body.

People are continually commenting on my mouth and my teeth, yet fewer people think about the changes inside of me. No-one has said that I’ve changed since I have no mother anymore. No-one has congratulated me on managing to cope with becoming an orphan.

I don’t actually expect anyone to – that would be a script or a screenplay. In real life, I cannot expect anything from anyone, yet a tiny part of me would love an acknowledgement from someone, anywhere, that I am managing well. Motivating yourself constantly is draining and my body needs all my energy right now to cope with the physical.

Aaargh – I fell into the pit of self-pity again there, didn’t I?

Let’s be blunt: I miss my Mum; I wish that I had had a dad, so that at least there would have been some emotional groundwork; I feel scared and I am tired of coping.

But I’ve got Hubby and my kids. I am blessed with some good friends and I am very happy and content with my life as it is. In fact, I very much love this life and that is why it is great that I have the chance to make it better and get repaired before my jaw goes on strike forever and I cannot eat or talk anymore!

A life with no opportunity to enjoy food and to communicate using my mouth would be a dull one indeed…