This is me, not worrying

I am not worrying. Nope. Not me.

I mean, I’m sure it’s PERFECTLY FINE that my son has had his new appliances in for three days and is still basically refusing to eat or drink. The fact that I’ve spent the last three days in the kitchen making smoothies, special yogurts, the smoothest mashed potatoes known to man, and turning cornbread into a beverage only to watch two sips/bites turn into an hour-long odyssey of fury and exhaustion—after which the food I spent so long preparing ends up in the trash—is no big deal. And even though the child doesn’t have a spare ounce of body fat on him, I’m confident he can’t ACTUALLY waste away to nothing, because that never really happens.

He has to eat eventually. Right? Right. Not worried. Nope.

And the fact that cramming all of that metal into the mouth of a kid with sensory issues basically causes him to revert to being a tantrum-throwing, bewildered three-year-old is not making me feel guilty at all, because you know, his jaw is screwed up and must be fixed and how was I supposed to know that this stuff was going to make his brain short-circuit this way? This too shall pass.

This too MUST pass, or someone is going to end up in the hospital, and at this point the odds on whether it’s him or me are running pretty even.

But I’m not worrying. Because it’s only been three days and he’s going to be FINE. Plus he’ll have a BRILLIANT SMILE, you know, once he actually feels like smiling again. Which will be SOON. Because I’m not worried.

So instead of worrying I am going to spend my day today stalking the DHL guy.


  1. Deb

    Sending big hugs to you. Your post the other day really scared me, my son will probably need the same thing and he has low oral muscle tone in his mouth, sensory issues with his mouth and a nasty gag reflex. I can only imagine what you are going through and I wish the best to both of you. Give monkey SUPER big hugs from us today.

  2. Andrea

    Jello? Fruit bars or popsicles? (Okay, all of those have no real nutritional value, but you just want calories to be consumed at this point, eh?) You may need to call in the Ensure or Carnation Instant Breakfast reinforcements.

    I remember the soreness after just getting my braces tightened…I cannot imagine what poor Monkey is enduring now. :(

    THIS SOON SHALL PASS…I agree! Hang in there.

  3. Mama Bear

    He will get used to having a mouth full of metal, and so will you. It takes time for someone without sensory issues to become used to a new feeling in their mouth, and the pain it causes. It will just take Monkey a little longer; and you as well. Chin up! In the meantime try some of the juices with extra vitamins, minerals, etc. Plus, just think of the money you are saving on food bills. When he’s back to normal, he’ll make up for the calories he’s lacking now.

  4. BooMom

    If Monkey can tolerate them, I’d call the Ortho and ask for a mild painkiller.

  5. StephLove

    Poor Monkey! Poor Mir!

    I couldn’t eat for days after each tightening when I had braces. My son has SPD, too and I think I have a touch of what he has so I sympathize. But he will eat again. I promise.

  6. Gem

    Hi there, don’t normally comment but Tertia, over at So Close, has a current entry about getting an orthodontic appliance as an adult with sensory issues which, if you have not read it may be helpful as it probably describes how he is feeling right now. Good Luck

  7. Colleen

    {{hugs}} to Monkey and {{hugs}} to momma.

  8. Leandra

    Ay yi yi. I’m with the Ensure/Instant Breakfast recommender. I had some, um, issues in college that made eating difficult for me and I pretty much lived for a while off Chocolate Flavored Instant Breakfast. It tastes MUCH better than Ensure.


  9. All Adither

    Arrrrggh. I’m so sorry for both of you.

  10. jennielynn

    I am praying for y’all. Especially you.

  11. Patricia

    Get yourself a stiff drink and then give yourself a break. Far better for him to have even a full week of this stuff (and truly, it will pass) than ignore it and make him be an adult with screwed up teeth. (thus, you are good mommy and it will be ok.)
    I’d also put in a little call to his pediatrician (unless you have an OT in your new place) and see if there are some things you can do to help a bit — maybe more brushing or joint pressure too. I think a mild pain killer will help, but I’m betting the new reaction is less about the pain and more about the overload on his system.
    And I’m going to be forced to give you the advice you gave me LONG ago when I was dealing with a child who didn’t eat — it will pass, promise. (And the advice from my mom — calories are calories — so some days don’t worry about ‘good’ foods and give the boy what he asks for.
    (oh, and I’m giving you long distance love and prayer — should I send you food from the west coast? Maybe that will appeal?)

  12. rose

    I hate to tell you, but these suckers hurt my son’s mouth the whole 5 months he had them in. Their job is to move things around, and it’s an ongoing process. There were certain foods he couldn’t/wouldn’t eat the whole time. I gave him choices, but eventually stepped back and when he got hungry enough, he figured out things to eat.

  13. Caz

    eugh, I had all thoes different orthodontic devices in my mouth over a period of time. They hurt initially for about the 1st week. And then whenever they tighten/adjust/expand/whatever they hurt again for a few days. I basically lived off soup.

  14. Jennifer

    Your iPhone will make it all better. . . I swear. While monkey is staring slackjawed at videos on youTube, cram something nutritious down his throat.

  15. Jamie AZ

    Hugs to you both! I hope the irritation to Monkey is short-lived and you’re both not worrying about it soon. Wouldn’t milkshakes for dinner be fun?! :)

  16. elizabeth

    good that you are not worrying. so I won’t even mention that an otherwise healthy child will not starve himself to death. or that he will get hungry enough to swallow something … eventually. but you are smart enough to not be worried. you know all that.
    still, big hugs, I’ve been there with a boy in braces. actually we’re there again but now he is old enough to find his own food if he wants it.

  17. mama speak

    Having a toddler we recently finished the baby food phase. I never made anything special for my kids, just pureed whatever we were having, so perhaps you can do the same for some of his foods? You can get anything to a liquid consistancy w/a blender & water/milk. While the texture may seem odd w/the taste he might be more inclinde to eat something if it was something he specifically requested. Just a thought.

    Good luck, it will be ok.

  18. Randi

    oooh the poor baby! Toad will be going to the Orthodontist for the first time in a few weeks, so I may be headed down the road you’re on. I don’t know if this will work, but the one thing I could ALWAYS drink when I was sick and young was a freeze – it’s basically sherbert ice cream (orange is best), and lime soda – a recipe is here:

    Seriously – only thing I would ever drink when I didn’t feel good because it’s COOOLLLD and tastes so good

  19. JayMonster

    Yes, it will pass. Not completely (until it is all done), but surely it will get better.

  20. Taryn

    I’m a first time poster, but, since I had a palette expander when I was 11, I felt like maybe I’d have something to offer. I hope so anyway.

    Frankly, palette expansion sucks. I had braces too and spacers (for three years) and the expander is much, much more painful. You can tell him that braces will be a cake-walk after the expander. And having the bar at the roof of your mouth, making it hard to swallow, drink, and eat is a very claustrophobic feeling.

    But, you are absolutely right; it will get better. I got used to having the bar in my mouth, and (unbelievable now, I know) I got to where I didn’t notice it much. He will learn to “talk around” it with a lot of practice.

    I found that, when people made fun of the way I talked, I could show them the expander as a kind of battle wound and talk about how it was actually stretching my mouth (Disgusting! Fascinating!) to shut them up. This especially worked with boys. The pain will subside too. For now, give him whatever pain killer you use. Icy-Hot type patches that he can put on his throat will help too (for me, it made the pressure better). Don’t worry about over-using a pain killer; I don’t think he’ll want to use them every day after the first couple of weeks.

    I know you are letting him talk about how much the expander hurts, and this is a huge help. It hurts and feels awful all the time, and it’s important that your family let you vent. I didn’t eat anything but mashed potatoes for the first week, and not much at that from what I remember. He’ll start eating again. Really. My mom was worried about this too. I ate a lot of easy to eat food for a long time, and I don’t think I ate many things like steak, apples, etc. You can. It just usually isn’t worth the effort and mess.

    I always felt better when I put some ice on or above the expander. It was soothing and filled the gap. Ice cream is a winner. He’ll find things like this too. Going to sleep is the worst. The expander makes your mouth and head (and,for me, my ears) hurt constantly. I liked to go to sleep with a heating pad to cut down on this. Also (again this will sounds weird), I liked to have a seizure stick (these padded, ice-cream bar looking sticks they use for patients who are seizing; you can get them from a hospital) in my mouth sometimes. This made my mouth feel “normal” and full, instead of half-full of metal and half empty. It helped with pressure too.

    The biggest thing for me was that I had a hard time swallowing so I developed a sort of “sucking” sound when I swallowed and talked. Kind of gross, but it does go away the minute the expander is out. Also, I had a pretty severe speech impediment and the expander cleared that up (after four years of speech therapy that did nothing).

    Sorry for the length, but I hope there was something worthwhile in all that. I wish you guys luck, and I’ll be sending out positive thoughts to Monkey!

  21. Flea

    Hugs hugs hugs!!!

  22. Lisa- Domestic Accident

    Mir, that is worrisome. Also, now I’m not worrying about my sensory kid getting his expander next year when he can’t even tolerate the stiff paper for xrays.

    Hope this passes quickly. Does he have to have it for long?

  23. saucygrrl

    When I first got braces (because I blessedly did not need to have the palate expander) my mouth hurt so bad I barely ate for a week. It’ll get better. Slowly. Very slowly.

  24. Zee

    Ohhh lord. I remember getting the braces and how much pain I was in. My mother, who NEVER took time off work for me to stay home sick (I got shipped off to the babysitter ont hose occasions) actually stayed home one of those days to take care of me because I was so miserable. I had also something in the roof of my mouth (though I don’t if it was an expander? Maybe? It cut my tongue all to shreds, is pretty much what I remember.), which they put in at the same time they put on the braces. Gahhh, those people were masochists!

    Anyway, as I recall, it took about a week for it all to subside and to be able to start eating “real” food again.

  25. TC

    How long is it going to be in? My nephew had his for only a couple of weeks. Not that not eating for two or three weeks is OK…just that if you were talking months, I’d consider yanking them if things don’t get better soon. But that’s just me, the wuss mom who hasn’t been to a dentist in something approaching 30 years. :-)

  26. mar

    Ugh. Just ugh. One of mine might be headed there – not looking forward to it. Poor Monkey!

    Quick assvice – protein powder in the shakes/smoothies/etc. They make great ones now, with no taste or grittiness. Ask at your local health food store, or Whole Paycheck (Foods) if you have one local. If he’s only going to have a few sips, at least you can make them count a little more.

  27. Cele

    My best thoughts for Monkey and his suffering, I mean loving family. I remember that pain like it was yesterday, not forty five years ago.

  28. Lisa C.

    Ugh. Braces are so painful. I would totally investigate the painkiller (especially for bedtime!) if you think it would be good for him. I never had a palette expander, but I did have braces as an adult and yowza it did hurt! I called my ortho’s office in tears more than once, and he always offered sympathy and Tylenol 3.

  29. Michelle

    Aw, that poor kid. You should tell him, the more he tries to eat, the easier it will get. His mouth just needs to get used to having things constantly shifting inside of it.

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