My Airway Expansion Journey- Compliance Issues- Getting Back on Track after Covid 19.

Updated: Apr 4

Happy New Year! I am about 1/2 way through my ideal treatment time. I wanted to share with you some bumps I've had along the road since my last visit with Dr. Miraglia.

The picture below was taken by Dr. Miraglia at my last visit. The good news is you can see first hand how I am getting palatal expansion, evidenced by the gap in the appliance as well as spacing in my front teeth.

My plan was to slow down the turning to every 2 weeks from 1 week to reduce the rate of spacing over the holidays. During the holidays, I found myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the "most wonderful time of the year." I did take some much needed time off. With that though, I fell out of my routine of working at my desk, taking my appliances in and out all day long. In fact, I was forgetting to wear them most of the time during the day. "Tomorrow, I'll be better" was my mantra. I was able to turn the key one time over 4 weeks time, but then I was diagnosed with Covid 19 shortly after the New Year. Luckily I only had congestion, fatigue and headache, but the last thing I felt like doing was wearing my appliances during the day! I didn't digress for I was able to wear at night, after my nightly dose of NyQuil. Currently, I am basically in a holding pattern. My goal is to turn the key next week after I am hopefully feeling better.

The reason I am sharing this with you is because there are teachable moments here.

My (2) take-aways are:

1- "Sh*t Happens! - Colds happen, allergies, happen. It's okay to fall off the wagon and then get back on again. The good news is these appliances are designed for slow expansion and can be adjusted by your pace. ( You can even" dial back" if you weren't able to wear at night a couple of night) It's okay to be stagnant as long as you don't keep turning the expander, trying to "make it fit." Slow and steady win the race!

2- We're human-Be Kind! When I first started, I was so excited to finish my case in 9 months. I am disappointed that I wasn't as compliant as I could have been these last 6 weeks but I also need to be kinder to myself and it serves as a reminder for us to be empathetic to our patients. So maybe I'll finish in 10 month or even a year. The important factor is that we are on this expansion journey to create healthier airways. Let's embrace that we'll be better for it! So whether it takes 9 months or 12 months we will reach our goal of better breathing, sleeping and thriving!

My goals is to ease back into biweekly turning and see how the spacing goes over the next month. I will share my progress with you! Stay tuned.

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