Posts Tagged ‘Gum Disease’

Give It To Me!

March 3, 2017

I was just having a moment with my lip balm container.

I love it.

It’s the best that I have found since my favorite brand stopped making my lip balm about ten years ago.

It’s by Tokyo Milk.

And it is so good.

But damn it man, the packaging is so hard to open.

I was like.

My face is cracking, open up.

Ok.

Maybe not that dramatically.

But.

I can tell some things about me are changing.

My lips get chapped faster, my hands are dry (I mean, I’m a nanny, I do wash my hands a lot, especially when handling a new born, but still, I’m definetly getting the old lady hands, age spots and all), I have laugh lines around my eyes, even though I wear sunblock every day.

I’m getting older.

As though the gum disease and the having to wear bifocals, um, excuse me, let me get politically correct, my “progressives” glasses, weren’t enough, the grey hair at the roots of my crown, the aging, it is happening.

But.

I still wear them damn flowers in my hair and I still feel often oddly childish and silly and light-hearted, I may be getting older, but I still have a wonder about the world and a curiosity and a wish to see more things and have more experiences.

Once in a while my brain tries to launch an attack, oh my God, you’re 44, what’s next?

Death.

I suppose.

A cold, hard, lonely death, boohoo.

Can you hear the tiny violin playing.

It’s in concert with Jim Croce.

That’s not the way it feels.

I didn’t bother to watch that horror show though, today.

I just rather enjoyed the red rose in my hair and the lip gloss on my lips.

I had a nice day.

I even had a half hour by myself, sort of, my charge was napping, in which I was able to make a check in phone call with my person and confirm meeting with her on Saturday at Tart to Tart, look over some defects of character and get right with God.

And.

I got to sit outside on the back porch and enjoy the sun and a hot mug of tea.

It was pretty fucking spectacular.

Shit.

I even put my phone down for a while, got off the social media and just connected with the blue skies, the warm sun, the flowers blooming in the garden, the paper whites, narcissus, in a pot, the tiny buds of jasmine just turning pink, the whir and buzz of hummingbirds in the plum blossoms.

It was exquisite.

It is Spring and it is a little warmer.

Not a lot, but enough and yes, there’s more freaking rain this weekend, but the last couple of days the sunshine on my face makes all the wrinkles fine and acceptable, what am I going to do anyway, erase my life, rub away the laughs and the adventures and the experiences.

I like how I am, most of the time I’m in acceptance about my body, my health, my age, I’m pretty fucking lucky to have gotten to this age and have the health that I have.

Ridiculous the gratitude I have for that.

I have plans for these old bones, I’m not ready to roll over any time soon.

I was talking to my boss about going to Venice at some point and I think about all the places I write about in my morning pages.

I want to go to Burning Man.

Duh.

I have the time off but haven’t found out about the ticket yet.

I will be going to Paris, so that doesn’t count, I have already gotten the ticket and I have a place to stay.

All I have to do is show up with some money for food and museum entrances, and oh a couple of Claire Fontaine notebooks and maybe a tattoo and a flea market score or three, a souvenir or two from the Marais.

Paris is a done deal.

Other places I’m contemplating are Anchorage to see my dad, Portland to see my sister and Puerto Rico to see my roots, and because I have a friend that has contract work there, he’s invited me and I’m just waiting to find out when the family will be out and off to Europe for three weeks in July.

I don’t know what their dates are yet, so I’ve been holding off on getting any forward motion on buying a plane ticket.

I still have the voucher from this past Christmas too for an air plane ticket.

I am planning on using that for Puerto Rico and then buying a one way to Anchorage and doing three days there and then a one way to Portland, get a room in some hipster hotel and drink a lot of coffee and walk around and see what the scene is like, hang out with my sister, see what the deal is like.

I’m thinking one week in Puerto Rico, then one week split between Anchorage and Portland.

Then the third week the family is gone, just chill here in the city, do some yoga, hang out.

I get ahead of myself, but it is fun to contemplate.

Better travel plan contemplation then my brain trying to play some late night B movie horror show about being single and alone.

Frankly brain.

I’d rather watch Dirty Dancing again.

Go away.

I mean, for real.

I got better things to do.

Dear God help me see what you want me to see and help me to let go of what I can.

Thanks.

I mean it.

I need all the help I can get.

The weekend is nigh and I want to have fun.

Please show me the way.

I’m open to suggestions.

Bring it on.

I’m all ears.

Seriously.

 

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OW

February 26, 2017

Fuck that hurt.

That hurt more than I expected.

Hurt my face.

Face still hurts.

Hours later, my jaw is aching from having a weird rubber thingamabob in my mouth for too long.

No.

I was not at a sex play party.

I was at the dentist.

Yes.

I finally went.

Ten years later.

Pro tip.

When they say get a cleaning every six months.

Listen.

Walk through the fear, just go.

I am smacking myself for letting it lapse so long.

I can only beat myself up for so long though, I haven’t had dental insurance and it’s a pretty penny to get dental work done and you know, I have things to do, places to go, people to see, I’m busy.

Too busy.

But when my teeth felt.

Well.

Achey.

I guess is the word.

Back in December I made the decision to go back to the dentist and I used part of my Christmas bonus to buy dental insurance for the year.

It became activated in February, so as soon as I had the card I made the appointment and my dentist has Saturday hours, and voila, there I am sitting in a chair at Sunset Premier Dental at 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon listening to a child screaming.

This does not bode well, I can see in hindsight.

AND.

I do not joke, I thought I was hearing things, I really did, I thought, ladybug you are just anxious, they are not talking about you.

They were talking in rapid fire Chinese, Mandarin I believe, and occasionally in between the crying and the screaming of the little girl I could swear I heard my name, “Carmen” being spoken.

Turns out the little girl was named Carmen.

I was hearing things right.

The dental assistant was very sweet and kind and did my ex-rays, then I sat for a while, looking at flower decals on the wall and owls and clouds and soft pastel paintings, listening with half an ear to the easy listening on the radio.

I now will have Huey Lewis and The News imprinted in my mental memory of the dentist visit.

The dentist was super kind Chinese man, Vincent Leung, D.D.S. who made many nice jokes and patted me on my shoulder a lot and also, yes, I am not joking, wiped tears, the continual stream of tears, off my face as I cried in the chair with the big rubber block thing holding open my jaw.

He did the initial exam and looked over the ex-rays and then went and consulted on another client while the nurse came back, or dental assistant, not sure what the difference is exactly, to inform me that yes, my insurance did cover a good amount of the necessary care, but, I would still need to cover some out-of-pocket costs and she explained that I had to have some fillings, Doctor Leung had joked that I had a smattering of “baby cavities” and also, fuck me.

Gum Disease.

I have heard of it but I did not know what it was really.

The doctor came back, showed me my ex-rays, pointed out the baby cavities then pointed out what was happening with my gums, why ten years of not getting my teeth regularly cleaned was not the best idea for me, even with brushing three times a day and flossing once a day, for real, that’s my routine, my gums were receding and if I let it go too long I was going to start losing teeth.

Fuck no.

Do the damn cleaning and scrape the teeth, underneath the gum line.

The sound it made.

Like tiny high-powered squirrel robots screaming in my mouth.

Getting to that point though I skip the worst part.

The part that was the hardest to bear, the part that had me crying and scared and shook up.

Yes, it was painful.

Even though I was numbed out.

It was the pain of the numbing out that shook me up.

First, the local anesthesia.

So much of it and the taste, and then I ended up swallowing some and oh my god, so grateful I had a decent lunch, if I had gone in on an empty stomach I would have thrown up on nice Doctor Vincent.

Second.

I have not been on anything, nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, since I got sober.

Nothing.

NOTHING.

No pain relievers, no prescribed meds, I have not had any surgeries, although I have had some challenges, hello severe ankle sprain two years ago that still bothers me, but nothing stronger than ibuprofen in twelve years.

I had a physical reaction to the anesthesia and it felt awful to have something in my body, intrusive and I shook a bit and I got super cold and shivery.

Then the injections of Novocaine, super long thin scary needles, had my eyes shut, but still, super long thin scary needles, and even with the local, it still hurt to get the injections, the needle had to hit bone before it could be pulled out.

Six times.

Six injections.

I was destroyed.

Tears rolling down my face.

The doctor kept patting my shoulder and gently dabbing my closed eyes with tissues.

Probably not the doctor now that I think of it, the assistant, but yes, much was made of me crying.

I just oozed and leaked tears the entire time.

And prayed.

I prayed a lot.

I said the Serenity Prayer over and over and over again.

So many times.

I had a cute thought in there at one point.

“God wants me to have sexy teeth.”

Yup.

I thought that.

Made me smile on the inside.

I couldn’t smile for hours after, it was so disconcerting.

I had so much Novocaine in my face my ears had numbed out.

I am not kidding.

Afterwards I was told I needed to come back, I am going to need to come back for a while on the regular and get the deep cleanings.

The good news is that the biggest part of it was dealt with today and the maintenance cleaning though frequent, I have another appointment in May, it will only be $70 and not $1350 as today’s visit was.

Thank fucking God.

And I had the money in my account.

Thank God for that too.

I paid rent yesterday and bought groceries and after that I still had a good lump in my account for whatever today was going to cost.

I have $350 left in my checking account.

But.

Hey.

My teeth are hella clean, sexy and super fucking white.

And soon available for making out.

As soon as my jaw stops hurting.

Grateful it wasn’t worse, I didn’t have any teeth extractions, I don’t need a root canal, I don’t need crowns.

It was scary and hard to sit through, but I made it through and although the Novocaine was wildly uncomfortable and the injection process was painful, I got through.

I lived to tell my tale.

I will be able to do it again and I will know going into it.

It wasn’t exactly the Saturday I had planned.

But.

I am grateful for getting through with it, for showing up, and for taking care of it.

It could have been so much worse.

Frankly I’m not sure I could have handled much worse.

Grateful beyond words that I didn’t have to.

Seriously.


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