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ORTHODONTIC JAW WIRING AS EXPERIENCED BY AN OJW PATIENT THE FIRST TWO MONTHS
the nitty gritty as written by A.T. who lost 25 pounds in 10 weeks

My first day after I met Dr. Ted and had my jaws wired. I left his office and left so proud of myself. I had committed myself. The first thing that was odd was speaking-I first mumbled then found that by using my lips to form words more, people could understand me better. By the end of the week my speech problems were nil just as Dr. Ted had predicted.

People are very curious as to why you are wired shut. I never gave an excuse to strangers, if they were rude enough to ask I let them assume anything they wanted. I told my close friends and family. And yes, they gave me the speech about why I should not have it done. I was not that BIG. Oh really, its not the last thing they said about my weight, it was something more along the lines of you are putting on a few pounds but as you get older you will, or you have really changed since the last time I saw you. Of course that last statement never ended with you look prettier or better or wonderful.

The first three days I couldnít believe how hungry and miserable I wasóI starved. It was odd to be able to eat only liquids. One night I even sat down with a bag of chips and was astonished I couldnít open my mouth to chew. Sounds funny I know but after eating for your whole life, past being a baby, even though you know your mouth is wired shut. It still doesnít completely register you cant eat. I tried to cram the chips between my teethónope wouldnít fit. Ok, Iíll try to just put them to my teeth and suck the salt off of them. All I ended up with was chips stuck to the front of my teeth and feeling incredibly stupid to think it would work in the first place.

Next, I canít brush the inside of my mouth. This is a horrible part, it becomes like your teeth are wearing little sweaters. I buy lots of mouthwash and know it still doesnít do the job completely. Next I realize that I can drink high fat drinks and not lose weight. At first I thought I canít chew food so that in itself will make me loss weightówrong! I can drink malts and two to three Ensure drinks and milk and not lose a pound.

It took me two to three days of getting on the scales and when I saw my weight wasnít dropping to step back and figure out why. I once again felt stupid to realize when I drink food rich in fat; I will be just that fat. If it doesnít say fat free, thatís exactly what Iíll be if I eat it, not fat free. I use to think the taste of fat free and 2%, skim just didnít taste good, but when I'm starving it taste wonderful. So I put my choose of foods on a diet, if I cant resist milk, I didnít buy it. I eliminated from my diet- milk and yogurt and 100% whole anything, 2% or fat free taste fine.

I was greatly happy each morning when the scales weighted me a pound less. I saw my body shape coming back. I remember the first time I looked in the mirror and my face was slim enough I recognized myself as I had once been. I said to myself "there you are, I missed you". Sounds corny I know.

As my diet goes along I realized I have no energy. I take very good care of myself. I do not want to get sick and I must keep up on my studies and work. So some things had to go. My social life was too draining so I have stopped it for a while. I am in bed early. I really donít have the strength for long days any way. I replaced it with phone calls and apologies. I will socialize when the wires come off.

Dr. Ted has been worried about my jaw not having enough exercise. He told one of his jaw wiring patients panicked and had the wire removed on the way home. I never once experienced panic when I had this done. I flew into new your to see Dr. Ted and flew out leaving Dr. Ted in another city. None of it bothered me, I had made up my mind before I made my appointment that I was committed to this. I never focused on the procedure I focused on the end result. Yes the waiting is long.

Yes Iím ready for this to end, yes Iím hungry and cranky but in my mind all I see is the end result. I had planned out how long it would take to reach my goal weight before I had my jaws wired shut. My jaws have never gotten stiff or sore, I donít feel the slightest bit of discomfort. The discomfort is in my stomach, it tells me every day IíM HUNGRY!

I have also gone through times of anger and not feeling well. The anger was how did I let myself get this way to where I would have to have my jaws wired to stay on a diet. The wires for me are self-control, nothing more. If I canít do what I want (have self control) Iíll buy it. Problem solved. I went though a couple of days of anger. It passed and was replaced with other stages of emotion, they all passed. About one month into the diet I did not feel well the whole week. I was extremely cold all the time, I couldnít seep well, and I had a constant headache. And of course I was hungry,

I looked bad and felt bad. I decided to not loss any weight that week and eat plenty of soups and yogurts. I bought milk and concentrated on keeping myself from getting sick. I know my body and something was going on to the point I had to focus on staying well. After that one week I felt fine and back to the diet. I am now almost to goal weight. I lose on an average of two pounds a week. Some weeks only one pound. The first week will surprise you, I lost six pounds but Dr Ted had told me to expect that it, is water weight. He was right. After the first week, I only lost two pounds per week.

As a women I have noticed my body go through changes. Being on this diet, honestly I donít look great. I would have thought I would, but I donít.. My clothes hang on me, not attractive, Iíll have them altered after I have reached my goal weight. My complexion at first looked bad. Now it has cleared up and has a glow to it. My hair-- I still donít know whats going on there -- it looks like hell. Oh well I needed a new hair style any way.

Again as far as my body, I've noticed during this time I must put in extra effort to stay well. Sleep, paying attention to what it is saying tome. I am light headed a lot so eat three times a day. No hard exercising, I even pace myself cleaning my tiny home. I know I do not have a lot of energy. I donít waste it all at once.

I do have a pay off, every morning when I get up and I see my body in the mirror. I can hardly believe how beautiful my shape is getting. I just stare and smile. Each morning I realize that this is worth it. My decision was a good one. I am proud of myself, and of course I am human,

I will be glad when this is overÖ  (It will be on March 15 when A. has her OJW removed :-))   

A.T. March 1, 2000   How to apply to be a patient

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