Friday, March 06, 2009

If at first,

You cannot sleep,




You might remember that Kendrie got headgear from our local sadist orthodontist in the American ritualistic pursuit of straight teeth. In her case, maybe "straight" isn't even as important as teeth that do not include a cross-bite or an under-bite. (Yes! She has both! Yay for overachievers!)

To say she despised that headgear would be an understatement. The primary problem (besides the fact it was uncomfortable and ugly as hell) were the two metal pieces running down the sides of her face. She was supposed to wear the headgear all night, but she is a tummy/side sleeper, so you can about imagine how good that worked out. The orthodontist's reassurance that she could be "trained" to sleep on her back? In my opinion, that's a load, and unreasonable to expect. *I* am a tummy/side sleeper and if someone told me I had no choice but to sleep on my back for the next few years, night in and night out ..... well, I'd cut them, man. So no way was I going to ask my daughter to do something I wouldn't be willing to do myself.

We went back for a check up and when I explained the problem, he suggested a different headgear, with the metal piece running right down the middle of her face --- sleeping problem solved. Now, of course, the problem is that she'll need corrective eye surgery because the entire time she has it on she goes cross-eyed, looking at the metal, but oh well. At least her teeth will look good.

However, she still hates it. She complains that it pulls on her top teeth. When we explain to her that yeah, that's pretty much the point, she insists it hurts too much to wear. We insist that it cost too much NOT to wear.

It has been a battle since she got it, worsening each night. One which I am tired of fighting. Tonight, amidst the tears and frustration and anger, she hurled the following comments at me:

1. "This is worse than when I had cancer!!"

2. "Why do all the bad things happen to me and nobody else?"

3. "You are the meanest mother in the whole world for making me wear this!"

My replies:

1. "Oh dear Lord, you've got to be kidding me. Clearly, you are a drama queen and have amnesia."

2. "You are not the only person in the whole world that has bad things happen to them. Kellen has had surgery for tonsils and adenoids and he'll probably get a shot next week at the doctor .... that should make you feel better. No? It doesn't? You know what? On second thought, I know just how you feel lately."

3. "Yeah, well, get in line. Now put on the damn headgear."


M said...

...I can't imagine....and I am sooo not a belly sleeper myself I could not wear that. Making my kid wear it would be...well, again, no jealousy there either.

Frozen Star said...

Poor Kendrie! Those things really do hurt to wear. And braces... even worse.

Julie said...

Stay Strong Kristie, you can relax because clearly I am the meanest Mom in the world.

That headgear is horrendous, but remind her maybe she'll have perfect teeth by High School when it's really important. As opposed to my children who don't even loose their baby teeth until they are 14 and then begin the braces nightmare. Zack is 11 - he's lost 5 teeth. Brenna is 16 and she lost another (maybe her last) about a month ago. Beauty!

Renee' said...

Tell Kendrie that Miss Renee wore a headgear at night, a backbrace at night for scoleosis, and a patch/glasses for lazy eye. My sister had NONE of those!

Jacqueline said...

Awwww! Poor Kendrie! I got called a mean butt by a 1st grader yesterday...does that count for anything?

Kim said...

As a parent of 4 kids who have all had braces and numerous scary looking devices, I know just what you are going through Kristie. Child #4 is finally in phase 2, which when you total up all the phases of the 4 kids combined is really phase 8 for me!!! I am so ready to be done with the orthodontist after 20 combined years. Why did all 4 of mine inherit all the worst from my husbands mouth and mine?

Stay strong! This too will pass and someday she WILL thank you. (I keep trying not to see what could be in my retirement fund each time one of my kids smile)


Heather said...

I too am a belly sleeper and empathize. It was the thing I looked forward to the most after my three pregnancies, getting back on the tummy.

Just keep telling yourself that she will thank you later on when she has a beautiful smile.

And just in case you think you are the only one who gets the meanest mom speech, I got it this morning from my nine year old along with the You don't care about me at all.

DeLynn said...

Wow---that is really something---for both of you to deal with!

As far as the pain goes, would some Ibuprofen help?

It is so hard to learn those "you will thank me for this someday" lessons!

JoAnn said...

I so feel for you because I cannot EVEN imagine what the backlash would be if my kids had to wear that. It was the end of the world for them when they just had to get regular old braces!! I do feel for her, and you though. That just is not fun:( But the end result will be so worth it. I tell my kids just to be thankful that they are doing it now while they are young so they don't have to pay for it as an adult.

Anonymous said...

My son had ALL also. He has an underbite and crossbite also. He also has a speech impediment that is getting better with therapy. He also has large motor skill problems. He also has thrown the "This is worse than cancer," and "Why do I have all the bad things happen to me?" He thinks his sisters have it so much easier. Although he is a little bit accurate with that assessment. They don't have quite as many things to deal with.
Poor Kendrie. My son and I feel for her.

krueth said...

Oh I do feel for poor Kendrie. My daughter started her stuff at 8 years old with a cemented in tongue guard which she tried over and over to pull out cause it hurt soo much...then we had to get the palate splitter, and now she has a flat she had all kinds of applliances, so I feel so bad for Kendrie, and they can't see beyond the pain and hurt of right now with there headgears, and appliances, etc. Sure hope she can adjust soon to it, it will eventually be good again and think how beautiful her teeth will be then.... Wendy

Jeanette in Ga said...

Poor Kendrie. It sure looks like it sucks to me.

Anonymous said...

When my daughter wore that same piece we would hear bumps in the night only to wake up and find that she had thrown the thing halfway across the room all while still asleep....I couldn't blame her. I did so we did make it through and probably wore it a few more months than planned but it worked awesome! Jennifer from NC

Karalyn said...

Poor kid. That thing is effing ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

After lurking and sending good thoughts mentally for quite some time, I feel the need to chime in on this middle son wore braces for 3.5 yrs. Got them on right after 8th grade graduation and off just before high school sentior portraits were taken - whew! Had the horrid headgear, which we had many fights over. He wore it probably a total of 4 hours before we moved to a new house and he told me he had misplaced it. With everything happening at that time (plus the deep down anger I had over the stress caused by the stupid headgear), the subject was forgotten. About 6 months before his braces were removed, the orthodontist mentioned to me that the headgear had done it's job and everything was on target. OMG - I was horrified to realize that I'd actually truly forgotten about the headgear and that my son had not been wearing it. I was too embarrassed to tell the orthodontist, so let it be. That was last summer - the braces have since come off, my son has a beautiful smile and has told me that he never really lost the headgear - just told me that and hoped I'd forget about it, which I did. : ) We've had many laughs about it now, but for awhile it was a low point in our lives...hang in there!

Dianna in Louisiana said...

Ooooh that does look uncomfortable and pretty creepy. Poor Kendrie!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Luann said...

I can still feel the pain from my own headgear a zillion years ago. Have you tried Advil before bed maybe? Not that I'm advocating drugging a kid to make them sleep..ok well maybe I am.

Anonymous said...

Our orthodontist uses a different piece of equipment called a "Herps" it is put in the mouth. My daughter has worn it now for a year. It work the same way as a head gear, you might ask yours about it.


Damn I wish I had one of those things to threaten to put on my (adult, living at home) children's heads right now. Maybe then they'd help clean up around here. ;)

pam said...

We have had a lot of bad things happen in our family in the past 3 years. Ie, Alex's back surgery that was botched which basically crippled an athletic child. Spending 5 weeks @ Egleston - next to the helicopter landing pad (stressful). 4 weeks at Scottish Rite. Alex's surgery last year in St. Louis to fix the previous botched surgery. My husband losing his job. House foreclosure, etc.
When I tell people what has happened, I say, "I don't want it to sound like I am feeling sorry for myself, but..." The responses -are basically, "You know what, its okay to feel sorry for yourself for a while. Then you pick up the pieces and move forward."
That is one thing that I had told Alex when she pulls the Why me routine.

I am so sorry that Kendrie is having to go through even more.