Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pre-surgery Thoughts & Too-Close Teeth Pictures

I woke up this morning with my mouth extremely sore from the super-thick wires that were put on yesterday.  I feel like my bite got so much worse in the space of a day!  My jaw's poppin' like never before.  Despite the fear of recovery, I'm getting excited to have my teeth finally fit together!  Prior to orthodontics, I was accustomed to my underbite- my lower teeth compensated for the bite discrepancy by shifting backward so that they fit under my upper teeth.  I knew that my teeth were far from perfect, but the functional issues I experienced were easily ignorable.  Now that they're perfectly straight, I am always aware of the abnormality in my bite.  It makes me feel abnormal.  I feel as though I'm in a transitional state (which I am) in which I don't really want others to see me. 

Up until now, despite all braces-related concerns, I've ignored all insecurities and enjoyed a normal summer.  I've been working, caught up with old friends, met new ones, revisited my favorite places, experienced unfamiliar ones, been wild, relaxed- everything a good summer needs!  And all the wonderful friends I have spoken to about my surgery have met me with nothing but love- they are my biggest support system(besides my family)!  My work has been extremely generous and accommodating as well, having given me this week off and the opportunity to work from home while I am recovering.

Still, I am reluctant to leave the house in these last few days before surgery- I'm taking it as mental preparation.  I've spent a lot of time worrying about how this surgery will affect others: Will my parents be able to accept the risks they are about to subject their daughter to?  Will this change how others treat me?  Will my friends who have known me my entire life be unnerved by the sudden change in appearance?  Will people talk about what I look like given that everyone knows me at my small liberal-arts school?  Though these are valid concerns, it is my life, and my life only, that will evolve as a result of this surgery.  Therefore, I need these few days to spend a little time with me.  For though I cherish every encouraging word given to me by a friend or family member, I am the last one to convince me that I can handle this.  I can do this.  I will push through.  I am no stranger to adversity. 

My best friend and I spoke briefly last night about David Foster Wallace's "This Is Water" speech. (If you haven't read it, please do!)  The crux of the speech is recognizing one's mental power when experiencing a situation.  Any one scenario in life can be perceived in a number of different ways- a disaster, a monotony, an opportunity.  I choose to see this surgery as an opportunity to improve myself, for I intend to glean the most out of life.

Anyway, here's some (kind of gross) pictures of my teeth before and after braces that my orthodontist took!

After Invisalign braces, before metal braces.

After three months in braces (perfect arches!)

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