All I need is a pocket protector and I'm set.
In pursuit of attempting to cobble this semi broken and usually complaining thing I call a body together while running its regular maintenance, I noticed that my front teeth had shifted ever so slightly in the 17 years since I've had braces. I have a permanent metal bar cemented to the inside of my bottom teeth which keeps them from crowding or trying to make a break for it, but the top teeth have only had the benefit of a nighttime retainer to hold them in place and my most recent retainer died quite some time ago. Time to find a new orthodontist.
Now, before I tell you about the retainer I need to remind you of several things. I have tenosinvitis in both arms that flares up if I am not careful with my computer use and requires that I wear two large black wrist guards. The guards start mid-forearm and end below my knuckles. If it is winter I can hide them well enough in sleeves but during any other season I get many questions and looks. I've grown accustomed to this. If I can handle driving and sleeping in them I don't care about work, I'm already a computer technician, people expect us to look odd, yes?
I wear glasses to see close. 75% of my work is up close. I chose thick square frame tortoise shell glasses because, why not?
I wear a regular plastic badge for work which I loop pens and an unbent paperclip (great tech tool) on.
I'm very, very overweight right now so the few pairs of pants that I can still barely button fit me high-water style, which I stubbornly refused to believe until I saw my full reflection across a courtyard in the windows and realized that it isn't just noticeable; it's bad.
My skin has never quite liked me and shows this by frequently turning out "blind" blemishes, rather, those large, deep, painful cysts that last for weeks, along with the blackheads I'm still trying to control (more on my progress in another post) and various smaller deals that pop up and hang around for a day or two. I am by no means acne bound and still get compliments on my skin occasionally, which I think is because I'm pale like a porcelain doll and this is very noticeable when you have a huge, painful, red knob growing between your eyebrows. My skin is also so oily that by 8AM I can soak a piece of paper clear. Blemishes and oil and wrinkles? Oh yes.
My hair is almost always pulled back in some kind of bun which I stick pens in. I can never carry enough pens, and besides, my hands are for carrying random bits of electronics and my good screwdriver.
So, as if being clad in high water pants, glasses, a bun, a badge covered in pens, hair adorned with pens, and wrist braces all day at work weren't already sexy enough I went and decided to get a new retainer to add into the mix. The retainer is of the clear plastic variety and makes me spit when I talk and gives me an awesome lisp. Since some teeth need to be gently nudged back in place I get to wear this thing all day, every day, for 8 weeks, except for when I eat or drink.
It is odd how certain things humiliate me or make me fear people will notice me whereas others don't even phase me. I usually give the above items little passing thought except when I add something new in the mix, like the retainer. I'd currently put my appearance somewhere just above Quasimodo, save for the stiffness in my neck and shoulders which limits my movement, but far far below that of, say, a supermodel. Or a regular model. Or even someone who owns clothes that fit. I'm shy one pocket protector from being the nerdiest mess in this hemisphere.
On the bright side, maybe, I can't chew my cuticles at all with the retainer in (I'd cut back 90% but some still sneaks in) and my teeth and jaw promise to ache for weeks, so I'll be on a liquid diet. Maybe I'll lose some weight and my nails will look even better! I hope.
Just hope nothing else needs upkeep in the meantime. I'm already quite a sight.
quick mention if you care:
My neck and shoulder are very yucky, always with the pain, so excuse major misspellings and typos for the time being. I am going to therapeutic massage after the trigger point injections healed and it is helping but JEBUS I am SORE. My original neck injury from years ago is apparently a mass of scar tissue and the new neck injury is made worse by the fact that my shoulder injury is far more extensive than they realized. In between regular doctor, physiatrist, chiropractor, light physical therapy, and now massage therapy I also have an at home electric muscle stim (look it up) thing I have to use and major pain meds and I still wake up every morning feeling like a football team used my neck and back for field practice.