Lower mRNA Appliance Update – One Month

 
It’s been at least a month since I received the bottom part of the mRNA appliance. Not a lot has happened with my mouth since then that is visibly apparent. It appears my teeth are starting to straighten a bit, but the real evidence of them shifting is that most of my teeth feel loose.

Sleeping with both appliances AND the CPAP is indeed a challenging experience. Heaven for bid if I desperately need a drink at night or feel the sudden urge to cough, sneeze, or vomit. The lower appliance essentially locks the jaw forward and together with the upper maxilla. My ritual at night now includes adding wax to the front bumper wire, otherwise, I feel as though my bottom lip will be severed when I awake in the morning. Sleepy time routine: put both appliances in, wax on, apply lip balm, tape mouth shut, don CPAP mask and eye mask.

I’ve mostly just soldiered on and put my mind to the task of getting this whole experience over with as quickly as possible.  Because I’m sleeping all night and sleeping better than I ever have, oh and I can function all day without feeling as if I will collapse, soldiering on has not been a terrible thing. I’m up at 5:30 this morning writing this after all. Rising before seven was essentially unheard of in my previous life. 

Emotionally and psychologically, I’m holding up well and have seen great improvements in my overall well being. I did have a small breakdown while on vacation. I think the reality of my situation was brought into focus and for a moment I felt weak, vulnerable, and insecure about my health. That passed, of course, and I’m back to soldiering on with the end goal of diminished sleep apnea events and discontinued use of CPAP.

Physically, I don’t notice any improvement in my nighttime ability to breath. I have expanded both appliances multiple times now and the top appliance has become somewhat unsteady. I’m sure they will sort that out at my next visit. My maxilla arch feels a wee bit wider and though I still haven’t found the natural resting place for my mandible, my bite is starting to come together. There is definitely more space between my teeth for flossing.

I feel as though the novelty of this whole process has dissolved and I’m now in for the long haul of grinding it out. I don’t wish the next 18 months of my existence to fly by, though I welcome my next big break through in this palate expansion experiment. FWIW, I experimented one night with sleeping without my mask, just the appliance and my mouth taped shut. It was an epic fail. I tossed and turned until I simply had to put the mask on to breath. 

And the sun is coming up. I’ve witnessed more sunrises in the last two months than my whole life combined. Arising early has meant I have to rearrange my day. I now get up and make the coffee, instead of my husband. I do something every morning before I get ready for work, either write, garden, walk, something. I’m almost sorry now that I didn’t do something about this sooner, if only for having more life to live.

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