Me again. I haven’t written in some time because I’ve been recovering from major oral surgery about 2 weeks ago. I’m still in pain, but it’s much better than what it was earlier. I’m excited and yet depressed. It feels as if that every step taken by the doctors to make me look more ‘normal’ also make me uglier in the process.

So what happened? I had all of the remaining teeth in my upper jaw (all five and a half of them) extracted. I then had four dental implants placed, two to a side,  in the places vacated by the teeth. I’m toothless on top, basically. I wanted to cry when I looked at myself in the mirror once I was feeling better. I thought I looked like a monster. I was in tremendous pain, my face was swollen all over, and I could barely eat anything. All I could think of at the time was ‘how could I let them do this to me?’

When you come down to it, this was for the best. It was the best option available for me. I am praying that the implants take  and prove to be viable. I am presently wearing a denture as an intermediary step before the final procedure, and that has been a sobering experience. I’m learning to chew properly for the first time. I’m learning how to speak with it in my mouth. It’s awkward for me and uncomfortable, but it’s what I have to deal with right now. I feel embarrassed. I am so scared that somehow it will come loose when I’m talking or eating, and I would just die of shame if it did. I’m not even forty, and I’m in dentures.

Oh, I should be grateful, yes. I should be damned glad I could get this covered, that the insurance decided not to screw me over and cover this. I have spent my whole life aching to be normal and fit in. I don’t have to wear that ancient, broken retainer anymore, a retainer that was easily over 10 years old and not supposed to last that long. I had no choice, though. I’m glad this is done, though. I’m closer to my goal. In a few months I’ll go back to the oral surgeon and he’ll screw in the implants, and I’ll have a solid, removable bridge that won’t fall apart like that sorry retainer.

There are upsides to all of this. I can smile without feeling like a moron anymore.