I debated writing this (I had another column drafted in case I was unable to write) today, or any day.
Yet too significant in my life to not acknowledge.
I’m not 100%.
Worst is over.
You see, I had a dental event yesterday …
Thirty years of dodgy behavior on my part – deferred maintenance, sporadic cleanings and failure to floss was labeled five years ago as advanced periodontal disease – which is to say lots of bone loss. Gum disease. Irreversible. Five years behaving myself extended me until yesterday.
I’ve had some work done – some lost-cause rear teeth removed. Recent failures of forward (visible) teeth foretold the inevitable – full dentures time. No cheap solution, but better in terms of overall health and less costly by far than keeping bad-old limping along with crowns and bridges to finally reach the same point. Take them out.
Top. Bottom. The works …
Several visits to my new best friend – my denturist. Impressions. Advice. Fears. Delays (mine). Did I mention fear? Temporary bridge repairs so I could smile and chew over the holidays. Still, January 13th loomed.
My whining has been minimal – but I must say that yesterday, as freezing came out Tylenol 3 had not yet kicked in, I appreciated pain in three dimensions (front to back, side to side and top to bottom – as if my head was bursting apart in three directions at once).
From sitting in that chair – to leaving with all my teeth removed, many sutures and dentures install in place amid mountains of gagging gauze, just two hours. Nearly an hour of that was spent waiting afterward while they checked on me.
While that excavation was happening yesterday, my mind had to go somewhere.
I found my thoughts bouncing from three areas of thought (watching Maui surf pounding, the ‘real’ medical problems of people in my life, and recollections of the experience and the view of walking that ridge, only mountain I’ve ever climbed, with Dale and Andre … one sunny July Saturday so long ago, and before I knew it, dentist was done …).
All my life I’ve admired folks with pearly white factory-perfect smiles.
Now I have one.
Learning to speak properly again, and relearning to each, will be creative amusement during the next few weeks as I heal, as swelling goes down, when dentures fit better.
My new diet of soft foods, luke-warm fluids and diminished appetite will, I expect, impact my waistline. Moreover, loss of all those unhealthy teeth will contribute to better heart health (and less risk) so my doctor should be happy about that, as am I.
In retrospect – my advice: floss, floss, floss.
If I had been flossing for the past thirty years I probably would have needed far simpler remedies, and I wouldn’t have been doing what I did yesterday for many years to come …
column written/ published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 6C/43F, overcast, mild Chinook breeze, Gusta’s soggy paws mushed through the mush – great morning!
Re: Go Giver …I read this book and have passed on to my 23 year old son for him to reference for the rest of his life!!! The fact that resonated with me is the scientific notion that for every giving act there is a resultant recipient. The difficult part, of course, is the implementation. Tough for us old farts to change. However, most of us are good people – we just need to do it more often!! In any event, thanks again for the book – it is “in circulation”. I hope 2015 is good to you, AB, Calgary, AB