One small victory

Here we are, friends: 6 weeks into Stanford’s autumn quarter; 9 days until the election, so many weeks into the pandemic…we are all looking for bright points right now. I had a lovely zoom call with HumBio students during one of my tea events this past week (shout-out to the awesome students who swung by!) and it was clear that we were all on the same page about this.

Now, I was fortunate enough to have a small but important victory of sorts this past week, which is that I GOT MY BRACES OFF!!

Let’s not dwell overly long on why exactly I had braces put on…again. This was actually my third tango with orthodontists. You may ask – why do this at this stage of my life (50 is coming up fast)? Suffice to say there was a coalescence of bite problems, retainers that no longer fit, and flex health account dollars about to expire. That latter point was especially galling given that I hadn’t even meant to select a flex health account during open enrollment.

In any case, Dr. Wu promised me that (a) it would take no more than 9 months and (b) that if we went with ceramic brackets they would hardly be noticeable. To the second point – and you can be honest here – would you describe the braces on the woman in the image below as hardly noticeable? Well, no. No way. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how they could have been more noticeable.

Me in my braces (see Jack’s swishing tail right behind me).

In any case, the braces stayed on for 10 months (not bad, given the pandemic). Even if Dr. Wu had not been ready to take them off, I was absolutely ready, as was my family. I had moaned and groaned around the house for the whole 10 months, complaining multiple times/day about them to whoever would listen. A million times more than both kids combined when they had their braces, which they noticed and remarked upon regularly. The hubby and kids had had it.

Lucy: You don’t have to leave those little elastics on the counter, you know, you can throw them right out when you’re done.

Simon: Same with those little lumps of wax, Mom – do not leave them on your plate, just throw them out!

Jonathan: You tell Dr. Wu that we are DONE with those braces. Done!

Happily, the end of my family’s patience coincided with the end of my treatment – here are my newly straightened teeth. Phew! One life issue resolved.

In other news, as we find ourselves in this particularly liminal state, in our family we have been relying heavily on humor. Here are two recommendations:

Podcast – Oh, Hello: the P’dcast – my kids and I have listened to the whole season twice in two successive long drives and loved it both times (I skipped some of the bits where they got into advanced topics, otherwise it’s generally suitable for my 13 year old):

TV series – Schitt’s Creek – we have just started watching this one, but have already stared quoting it and giggling to each other. A solid addition!

Now just one final happiness boost for you. Lucy and I went down the panda rabbit hole (so to speak) last night as a remedy to the general world situation. To remind you how uplifting this can be, here is what Mei Xiang are up as I write this :).

Published by Lianne Kurina

I am an epidemiologist, the proud director of the Program in Human Biology at Stanford University, and a very keen horsewoman.

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