Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Lazy Days of Summer...

The lazy days of summer are quickly approaching an end for the members of the Knutson household, although we did not have the best summer weather around here. Last night, the kid's school had an ice cream social/come meet your new teacher/drop off your $100 worth of school supplies, function (school starts for them on 9/2). We already knew that Katie would have Mrs. L, because Eric had her for first and second grade, and I requested that Katie get her also, but Eric's teacher was still a surprise. I had a particular teacher in mind-I heard that she taught similar to Mrs. L-and luckily Eric was placed in her class, along with two of his good pals.

Once they start school, I have one week to get prepared for my classes, so I will have yet more running around to do. I logged on and checked out my text books for this semester, and used, they are going to run me about $550!!!! Can you believe it??!! I can't! Oh well...what can I do? Usually, beats PLU's (my school) used book prices, but not so this semester. I think that college bookstores are figuring out that students can get their text books at a discounted price elsewhere, so they are making their prices more comparable....grrrr...!!!!

Do any of you know recognize the torture..I mean..orthodontic device that is in the picture above? It is known as a rapid palatal expander, and poor Eric has had one in his mouth since last March. It's a nasty little contraption that essentially tears apart your child's upper palate, expanding it to make more room for the adult teeth to fit, and to correct any "bite" problems. When he first had it placed, I had to stick a "key" into the middle area of it, and turn the crank nightly. It was very barbaric, and I had a hard time doing it, but it only had to be done for five weeks, so I managed. Still...knowing that I was spreading his bones apart really grossed me out...and I am a nurse!!!

After five weeks, he had to start wearing headgear, but not the kind that resembles what usually comes to mind when you think of me!!! It has two hooks that fit into his palate expander (in his mouth) and then wraps around his head. He rather looks like a horse with a bit in his mouth and very tight draw reins! Eric says that he now has a new appreciation, and respect, for what horses go through by having bits in their mouths...I say "good!" It will only make him a kinder, gentler horseman. :)

Anywho...Eric did great with the headgear, until the ortho also placed a spacer, another spring-like device that is used to push his permanent molar back into place, thus ridding him of his cross bite. The constant pressure that the spacer exerted on his mouth/tooth/jaw, made the placement of his headgear very painful, and he would literally cry for over an hour. I took him back to the ortho and told her what was going on, because she said that the headgear/spacer combo was essential in getting rid of his cross bite, and she said that Eric needed to toughen up and just deal with it (this makes her sound mean, but she isn't, and she said that some of the little guys, like Eric, just cannot handle the pain and discomfort), and that she would check him again in two weeks to re-assess.

So...Monday was our recheck, and she said that because he continued to refuse to wear the headgear-don't get me wrong...we tried it every night, but he would scream and cry, and I am not going to deliberately torture my child!-Eric was going to have another palate expander made for him, and that I would have to turn it again for at least two weeks. Poor Eric! He said that the key turning was less painful and that he would rather have that than the headgear. The ortho was surprised, and she said that the headgear must have really been pretty painful for him, because most kids prefer the headgear to the key. Do you think???? We are now home, with the new expander in place, and I have already turned the expander once today. Eric has to follow up in two weeks, and then we will see how this new one is working. The lengths our culture goes to for a perfect mouth!! I tell you...

...Which brings me to the Nacirema. Have any of you heard of them? Click on the link, read the article, and let me know what you think...teeheehee!!! I have learned about, and studied this culture in different sociology and anthropology classes.


20 meter circle of life said...

wow, I had no idea school stuff was so expensive now!! Did Hillbilly help?? the menu did not sounds fancy but it sound filling and healthy!!

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Oh OUCH my mouth hurts just thinking about Eric's :-x. Before I had braces I had to have those little blue rubber spacers put in to make room for the brackets- minimal compared to what Eric has 8-o -and those spacers made my face ache so bad and I couldn't eat anything and it really sucked because I had them at my brother's wedding and didn't get to enjoy any of the food.

Melanie said...

Jewel- That was just for the supplies! I had to dish out a lot more for their clothes and shoes! :( and yes, Hillbilly looked like it had some good info.

Denise-I know...Eric has had to have those in too. They are pretty awful!

Twinville said...

School book cost is such a rip off. I truly believe they take advantage of folks ebcause they know you have to buy those books for the classes. BTW, what are you taking?

I'm so sorry for the pain that Eric is having to go through. Do they give him some pain meds to get through the tougher moments?
I bet the key technique is also better for him because you are there doing it and he probably feels your love and caring. Kind of softens the pain.

One of my sons is going to need some Ortho work in the future. I'm dreading it.

Twinville said...

~oral and moral characteristics???
*Interesting Anthropological read, Melanie! What have you got me into to? hehe

~Magical materials are put into these holes. If there are no naturally occurring holes in the teeth, large sections of one or more teeth are gouged out so that the supernatural substance can be applied. In the client's view, the purpose of these ministrations is to arrest decay and to draw friends.

**Oh yes stuffing magical hog hairs, dirt, bark, and frog eyes will surely bring many friends. haha!

~One has but to watch the gleam in the eye of a holy-mouth-man, as he jabs an awl into an exposed nerve, to suspect that a certain amount of sadism is involved.

*Sounds like a modern day dentist! haha

~Female clients, on the other hand, find their naked bodies are subjected to the scrutiny, manipulation and prodding of the medicine men.

*Hmmm...Sounds like a perverted Gynecologist! Ewww.

~The patient simply tells the "listener" all his troubles and fears, beginning with the earliest difficulties he can remember. The memory displayed by the Nacirema in these exorcism sessions is truly remarkable. It is not uncommon for the patient to bemoan the rejection he felt upon being weaned as a babe, and a few individuals even see their troubles going back to the traumatic effects of their own birth.

**Of course!! A Psycho-therapist! Yes, go on. Sit down on the sofa and tell me all about it. hahaaha!

~A few women afflicted with almost inhuman hypermammary development are so idolized that they make a handsome living by simply going from village to village and permitting the natives to stare at them for a fee.

**Sounds like a modern day stripper.

~the majority of women do not nurse their infants.

**Ok, so I don't get this at all. What do they feed their babies? Do they just drive over to walmart and pick up some formula?


Andrea said...

Your son and I must have the same kind of mouth. I had one of those in my mouth and I had to wear head gear. I cried with the head gear too. But I was wearing it too low on my head and it was slowly pulling out my teeth. Fun right? Not so much.

I do remember the key thing not being that painful. If he is crying in pain I would not put the head gear on. Really when you do the key it feels like some pressure on the top of your mouth and then after a day it goes away. There was never really any pain.

I worked as a dental assistant for a long time. So, I can relate to you from both sides of the dental chair. I worked with kid with those and I had one myself.

Heidi said...

I had braces, and honestly the pain was TOTALLY worth it in the end! I'm so thankful my parents had me get them even though it took 3 YEARS!!! I have had them off since 7th grade, and I still wear my retainer at night (I'm 26!). My husband makes fun of me, but I don't want to have to get them a 2nd time like many adults I know. Go Eric, you can make it!!!

And I totally agree that textbooks rip students off. How on earth can those books be worth $100-200 each? It makes no sense!

Train Wreck said...

Please tell me your orthodontist told you to give your son Ibuprofen before and after his appt! I know all about what you are going through! I worked for a orthodontist, and I have had braces and a "fred" It is like hinges! I had an over bite. My oldest son had the expander. If you ever have any questions I am here for you!! You can give him 400 to 600 mg of ibrofen every 4 to 6 hours. Definatley give it to him prior to his appt, so it can get in his system. It does help. I promise. It is worth it in the long run. Good job Heidi! Wearing the retainer!! I have braces on again, long story,but I wear my ret also!!

Melanie said...

Twinville- Ughhhh...I am taking classes for social work, psychology, and a darn calculus class, and yes, I give Eric ibuprofen before and after for a few days, or when ever he feels sore.

Isn't the Nacirema thing funny??? Did you notice that Nacirema is "America" spelled backwards? It is supposed to be a spoof on some of the widely accepted things that go on in our culture. We tend to think that other culture's are "strange," but what do/would they really think of us???

Melanie said...

Andrea, Heidi, and TrainWreck- Thanks for your is not fun to watch him go through all of this. I think that it is because of his age. If he were older, he might handle it a bit better. I do make sure that he gets lots of ibuprofen before and after...and any other time that he feels discomfort :)

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

OMG!! All I can say is Thank Goodness, I never had to wear braces and that Megan doesn't. Poor Eric!!

Twinville said...

Nacirema=American.....Ahhhhhh! Ok it totally makes sense now. And wow, how eye opening, too.

Thanks for exposing me to this fascinating bit of information. :)

Maia said...

Wow - that article was interesting but what they described sounds quite painful. (Reads other comments.) Oh - I get it! How funny!

I do remember the agony of having such a device as Eric's in my mouth - I didn't think it was worth it at the time but I am glad to have enough room for all of my teeth now.

And textbooks - I am so glad I am out of school! It's ridiculous how expensive they are.

Momma / Cowgirl said...

Poor Eric, such torture. I hope he gets past all this soon. None of my 6 kids had to have braces thank goodness.