Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Changing fast

 Elena Ray image purchased from Canstock

It is amazing how fast the mornings and evenings are changing with shorter and shorter days. Summer went by way too fast. This has to be one of the best for my part of the Pacific Northwest with a lot of delightful warm days, sometimes hot but always cool by evening. The skies have mostly been an intense blue that means there is little haze, almost the color I'd more expect to see at higher elevations. The last long week-end of the summer is here with the last chance for most families to get a three or four day break somewhere other than their homes. 

Once someone no longer has children in school and is retired, these 'official' breaks are less significant. We can go anytime not just on long-week-ends. 

Because of our operating a cattle and sheep operation, because of having two kid-cats, because of working around vacationing crowds, because of managing our own projects (his consulting work and my writing), it's not as though we don't also have to plan for breaks, but they aren't limited to long week-ends.

We are limited to some degree by the business of life. This month there are a couple of dental type appointments to work around, one of us is using a new hearing aid with appointments to be sure it is properly fitted. They have improved a lot what a hearing aid can do. Then we are debating whether we want to do something special for our 50th wedding anniversary which comes in mid-September.

I think I have mentioned before that I am not a celebrator of birthdays or commemorative dates. I note them and try to be sure that the appropriate things are done when they involve others (except when I forget), but it's not really my thing. I know those who celebrate a birthday for a week, and they have great fun doing it. That's not for me although I don't object to birthdays. They don't depress me, but they seem more of a so-what kind of thing. To do any kind of life evaluation, I am more prone to use a full or new moon, a Celtic celebration, an Equinox, or Solstice. And it's not like I do a lot for them either.

Maybe this comes out of being an in the moment type of person. My goal is to be right where I am, not anticipating a moment yet to come-- nor congratulating myself on those in the past. Of course, there are times scheduling cannot be avoided. I am not sure if I miss something by not planning further ahead, but we are what we are.

This month, one thing I am doing is evaluating how the Botox worked. After years of saying I'd never ever do Botox, when I was going through the complicated root canal, the orthodontist told me he saw evidence that I grind my teeth. He suggested Botox as one solution to that. I told him all the reasons I didn't like that idea, but he explained this is a different use of it. It doesn't impact the face itself, but is injected into the muscles along the hairline and jaw. The theory is you weaken those muscles a bit by a low dose of Botox-- then they quit bringing the jaw together at times that serves no purpose except to break off teeth. 

Now, I had known for years I clench my jaw. I had earlier tried a night guard, which was not good for its results, but would not solve this problem anyway because I do much of it during the day-- or at least am very aware of it when awake. 

Why the gnashing of teeth? I have no idea, but it does not seem to relate to being unhappy, upset, or anything other than-- I do it. When I asked my husband if he brings his teeth together frequently, he doesn't; so it isn't necessary and sure not good for the teeth or jaw.

Earlier this summer, I worked for a month to see if I could stop myself from grinding. Wasn't happening. That led to a decision to try the Botox with a doctor I trusted. The theory is that you repeat it every three months and in a year, you will form new habits and quit gritting. Some people swear by how effective it is and great for tension headaches-- which I don't get (I get migraines which come from the neck). 

Anyway, I felt this was worth a try. Once I became fully aware of how often I bring my teeth together, I saw the value of stopping it. September is for checking on how this is going as well as my usual cleaning and dental exam. There is also the need for one more crown and root canal. I know I am lucky to have my own teeth, but it is an age where they are seeming to wear out! That is not fun.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

I have not heard of using Botox to assist in stopping the grinding of one's teeth....It sounds very interesting, though I must admit I didn't really understand how it works....wishing you all the best with this---and do let us know if it is actually doing what it is supposed to.....I'll keep good thoughts for you, my dear.

Rain Trueax said...

Thank you, Naomi. I had no idea how it would work either. What he did was press here and there on the side of the face to figure out where it hurt and at what level of discomfort which enabled him to figure out the needed injection points. They were well above and below the jaw joint (3 or 4" guessing). They are the muscles that make it happen and are needed but just a little less. Two of the women in his office had had it and it solved tension headaches for them.

In telling my regular dentist's receptionist, she was very interested as she says she brings her teeth together with such a bang that she breaks them including breaking a temporary crown.

I will definitely let readers here know how my results are. I do feel I am grinding less and this has been 8 days. It takes 3 to 10 days for Botox to begin to take effect.

Linda Kay said...

I suffered with TMJ for some time because of grinding my teeth, but my dentist made an appliance for me that I can wear at night that prevents this. I don't need it anymore, as I"m not under as much stress, but it's another possibility. Good luck!

Tabor said...

Yes, I have a prosthetic that I am supposed to wear for my teeth grinding, and I don't. Like you I tend to ignore important dates but will go along is someone else plans something.

Tara Crowley said...

I have a form fitting soft mouth guard my dentist made for me while I sleep. I often forget to use it, which is silly. My molars really are taking a beating, and that's not good for 57 year old enamel. I'll ask about Botox, as I do grind a lot. Never was a problem until the teeth started to get serious wear and tear. Hope yours is doing some good!

robin andrea said...

Interesting about the botox treatment. I'm looking forward to hearing how that works out for you. I feel the same way about birthdays and anniversaries. I like the celestial celebrations. Although, a 50th anniversary is something grand like a sky full of awesome light that only happens once in the lifetime a beautiful marriage.