Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Today was the day She Who Must Be Obeyed had been dreading for the past two years.

Back then, the news from the first doctor was grim. SWMBO was so distraught when she first heard it, she called me at the office and had me meet her for coffee, whereupon she divulged, with teary eyes, the harrowing course of treatment that lay ahead.

Maybe it’s our cultural heritage, our people having been slaves in Egypt once upon a time, but this was the trigger for a Long Sojourn on a Well-Known Egyptian River. Yes: for the next 18 months, SWMBO was in De Nile. But you can’t stay in De Nile forever, not when your physical well-being is at stake.

So the Missus did something she had never done. She sought out a second opinion. For her trouble, she got the choice of two - count ’em! - two difficult and expensive courses of treatment. Finally, after seeing yet a third medical practitioner, she decided to proceed with pretty much the same course of treatment that had originally been proposed more than a year ago...but with Practitioners 2 and 3.

And so, today, She Who Must Be Obeyed got her braces.

It’s not a life-threatening condition she suffers from (keyn ayin hora), but it’s something that has been in need of attention for several years. While her teeth look straight at first glance, her congenital overbite and natural jaw structure have been causing her front top and bottom teeth to clash. The resulting wear has accelerated in recent years and will eventually cause massive problems if unchecked. While some men may look at toothlessness in a wife as an advantage (oh, behave!), I do not - and neither does SWMBO, who enjoys her solid food.

She Who Must Be Obeyed does have a beautiful smile, though, and we’d both like her to keep it.

If it were just braces, that would be bad enough - SWMBO deals with middle-school kids all day and does not care to look like them, metalmouths and all. But after 18 months of braces will come the jaw surgery. Then another 6 months of braces. Yowch.

But it was the oral surgeon - Practitioner 3 - that tipped the balance and convinced the Missus to go ahead and begin treatment. He reassured her concerning the jaw surgery - it’s done from inside the mouth and in 99% of cases does not require wiring the jaw shut (!) And in the process of doing the surgery, why, a few other little tweaks could be made around the neck and jawline.

And thus it was, on the way home from the consultation with Dr. Oralsurgeon, that I put the question to SWMBO: “Are you going to go ahead with this, or what?”

And her answer: “He had me at liposuction.”

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