Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thanksgiving time

I am thankful for many things.

  • I am thankful for the lack of migraines since my last one (still! hurray!)
  • I am thankful for my rapidly moving teeth, despite the discomfort it causes.
  • I am thankful for my wonderful husband that takes the brunt of all of this jaw pain and headache pain and everything else.
  • I am thankful for the means to get braces and jaw surgery. There are families at my school that have trouble putting food on the table, but I can afford 10k for braces and probably that much more for surgery.
  • I am thankful for heath insurance and dental insurance.
  • I am thankful for a steady job.
  • I am thankful for all of my friends and family.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I just found out my orthodontist puts our pictures in a database online. Look at the difference in my x-rays from the first initial appointment (prior to braces and extractions) versus the x-rays that he took last week.

I know they're small (can't make them bigger), but look at the difference!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I hate to get ahead of myself....

... but my jaw was not especially sore today, nor did I have a headache! Usually Tuesdays are my worst days for jaw pain and headaches due to my 2 hour rehearsals on my clarinet on Monday nights.

The funny thing now? I don't know what is actually giving me relief. I didn't play as much as usual last night (nightmares of migraines), I am trying acupuncture, I have those new muscle relaxers AND new day-time pain medications (sodium naproxen).

Still, I have a glimmer of hope [again]. Hopefully it's not a fluke this time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

more mirgaine fun!

I ended up in the Urgent Care on Thursday because the migraine had surpassed all migraines before it. It actually ran out of room to inflict pain on my [normal] left side, and began aching and pulling on the right. I couldn't hold food down, I couldn't see straight, I was sleeping for the entire day (we're talking, I'd wake up, moan, turn, cry a little bit, and finally fall asleep because the pain was so bad I couldn't see myself getting out of bed).

At the urgent care, they gave me an anti-nausea shot in the hip and a hardcore painkiller shot in the hip, along with some prescriptions to try for the jaw (a muscle relaxant for at night, a painkiller for the day, and a super-pain-killer for days like the last few). Hopefully something works!

I missed 3 days of school. Unheard of.

Acupuncture today with a crazy needle configuration on my left side (the ouchy migraine jaw pain side).... I again feel less tension already. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be pain free for a while!

He says that a week between visits is optimal. I'm seeing him again next Friday. Hopefully no record-breaking migraines before then.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

acupuncture and adjustment

Acupuncture was this past Friday. I had needles. In my FACE (and neck, shoulders, hands, and feet). It was a bit scary. The acupuncturist was very good - he made me feel very relaxed, asked me a lot of questions, told me he thought acupuncture would help (and he can also fix my I'm-suddenly-getting-old-or-something weird stuff going on like my hip being weird). The needles stung a little bit going in on my face, but nothing more than a pinch and a sting and it was over. He left Nick and I in a nice warm room to hang out for maybe 20-25 minutes with the needles in (good picture time). I didn't feel any immediate relief, which was a bummer because I was coming off of a doozy of a migraine, but the next day I woke up to no pain. Not even a little. In fact, I didn't really notice anything was different until I went to yawn and I winced and grabbed for my jaw joints like I usually do and realized it didn't hurt. It didn't last long, maybe an hour, but I now have confidence that it can work. He says that the relief will be more immediate and more long lasting as treatment progresses.

Then the next day I got the worst migraine I've had in a long time. Hopefully not connected... I still have it now and I'm contemplating missing school tomorrow it hurts so bad.

Adjustment was today. They x-rayed my teeth and took off a maybe 7-8 brackets on my lowers and 1 on my uppers for replacement. She put the same wire back in and I was originally disappointed (no pain no gain!) but immediately I felt the results.... and 8 hours later my teeth are singing Wagner. Whoo-eee! I was sad, he made a comment on my teeth getting a little discolored. I drink coffee. I LOVE coffee. I'm not sure how I'm going to give coffee up, but he's right. My teeth aren't as lovely as they once were. Any ideas?

Oh, and progress pictures. The gums keep swelling (the splints make it worse, I think), the overbite keeps growing, and the gaps keep closing. On and on.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

great news! (maybe)

Over the past few months Nick (the husband) has been getting lots of conflicting information about his school dates for the Natl Guard. At first it looked like he would leave in January and not really come back until both schools were finished (which would total a bit over a year).

NOW, we have a tentative date from early February to July 2nd! If I scheduled my surgery for the 5th or 6th, I could have Nick take care of me instead of my mom! I hate having to make my mom take time off of work - plus it's a hassle for my brother Jake at home, who'd have to take care of things while Mom is gone. (Did I mention how grateful I am to have people to take care of me?)

I'm REALLY crossing my fingers. The problem is, is it's the army. And the army is full of schedule changes and setbacks. Since I'm not scheduling my surgery until March, we'll know whether or not he is gone and when he'll be back.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Even though my district is now offering a "basic" plan, it will still be financially wise for me to chose the more expensive plan. This coming year, it is $267.00 a month for health and $20.00 a month for dental.

Now, it's looking like
Health Insurance Total: $3204
Hospital Co-pay: $300
Out-of-Pocket Max: $500-$2000 (depending on in-network status)
Surgery Downpayment: $1000
Genioplasty: $500.00

My husband and I just got out from under 4.5 years of major credit card debt. As of yesterday, we are debt free (well, except for my student loans)! But now, looking at all this money I'm going to spend in the next year, things are looking down. Because this doesn't include co-payments for visits ($20 each), co-payments for prescriptions ($10-$30 each), or the stuff I'll need to buy - blender, zip-n-squeeze bags, etc.

I know I need this surgery (after two more days of migraines while teaching band and orchestra, believe me I know), but at the same time I can't stand that it's so expensive. And I don't know that I'll even be covered when it comes down to it.

This is all so frustrating. I was really hoping the basic plan would help me out.