Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Tooth, and Everything Else With It!

I still say that I'm healthy. However, my teeth are not. Why? Because I have avoided going to the dentist. And I have two sort-of-good reasons why I haven't. One, because I couldn't afford it, and two, so the dentist wouldn't yell at me whenever I did decide to show up.

I checked my calendar and it appears as if I didn't go for the past decade. So shoot me. With a lot of Novocaine, please.

I won't get into why I stopped going- it's a long story. But now I'm going to a different dentist, and that's all that matters. The problem is, because I waited so long, I have severe periodontal disease. Yay.

I should've known better than to skip the dentist in the first place, because gum disease runs rampant in my family. And now I have loose teeth to go along with the bad gums, much like Bonnie and Clyde. The plaque built up so badly I'd started losing bone. In fact, I'd lost enough bone that I could never get crowns- there just isn't enough bone there to attach them to. I knew I had lost some bone, but i didn't think it was that bad.

To be honest, I was about to give up hope of ever finding a dentist that would work with what I could afford, then God sent me a really good one. And yes, she did reprimand me, but she didn't yell. People with sharp tools don't really need to yell.

After some x-rays and a bit of my history, I found that there are some things that simply must be done if I want to keep most of my teeth. I need at least three teeth extracted, some major scaling, and a set of upper and lower partial dentures.

Yes, dentures. At the young age of forty-three. Either that, or I dedicate my life to eating pudding and soup. Actually, that sounds like a really cool recipe book- The Pudding and Soup Cookbook. But no, I'd really rather have some teeth to chew with, thank you very much. And not sounding like Sylvester the Cat would be nice too. (or is that nyth? Thorry for thpittin'.)

Stage One is complete as of Tuesday. They scaled the left side of my mouth, and removed one molar. She did a fantastic job too- I didn't feel a thing! She was even gentle with the needle, much to my surprise. Needles scare me to death. Seriously- I'd make a really lousy drug addict if I had to use needles. She must have poked me in ten different places just to make sure I was totally numb- and all I felt was a slight pinch each time. In fact, I'm actually looking forward to going back!
She really helped me with my Needlephobia. I still think I'd make a lousy drug addict though, because I still had to close my eyes when she did it. I'm such a weenieburger.

Stage Two is the same thing on the right side- scaling, and this time two teeth need to come out. By the time I'm done with this procedure, I'll look like a jack o'lantern carved by candy-hyper kids during an earthquake. Wait until you see my head shot then. Well, maybe not. I don't want to scare you off.

That will happen in six weeks, because I want to get it all done at the same time. At least I did one thing smart this time around. Sheesh.

After all that heals, then I get fitted for new choppers. Partial ones, so they'll probably look like those fake teeth they sell at the costume shop, only straighter and a lot more expensive. I might just get a pair of those cheap fake teeth and stroll into her office one day announcing "I been a'comin' to her for years!" then sit down all sprawled out and comfy-like, just to see how people react.

But then I remember the dentist has sharp tools and a drill, so maybe I'll hold off until I get my new teeth first. Maybe. Heh.

All in all, it was a lot better experience than I expected. And even though I have to go back every three months for a cleaning after all this is over (which is common with gum-diseased people like myself), I won't mind a bit. At least I'll be able to eat crunchy apples and raw carrots again- That alone is worth it!

The one thing I regret is that they wouldn't let me keep the tooth they pulled- it would have been a great prop for one of my 'Mommy Lessons on Dental Care' lectures when I want to scare the kids into brushing properly. But apparently they no longer allow that. Probably for the prevention of child torture, or germ warfare....we'll never know. They had taken the tooth to this 'clean room' when there was someone dressed like a surgeon picking up my tooth as if it was radioactive waste. Maybe it was, and I was just unaware of the effect while it resided in my head. Remember that, folks. Dentistry is dangerous!

So here I am with my partially toothless self, avoiding all those yummy crunchy foods until the hole in my mouth heals a bit more. And of course now is when I want all that crunchy stuff- and I don't just mean apples either. Chips are my downfall, and I want them really bad! Just to feel and hear that crunch when I bite down...ahh, that's the stuff. But I have to wait a few more days, just to make sure I don't wound myself. Doritos can pack a mean punch if you crunch 'em wrong!

I'll keep you posted on my progress. God bless you and yours, and may your teeth and gums stay healthy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Trouble With Being Multi-Talented

God has bestowed me with many gifts. Don't take that as a brag, because it truly isn't. People have told me many times (without my asking, mind you), that I'm so talented at (fill in the blank with whatever I just did), that I should:

1) start my own business,
2) go to a publisher, or
3) Get on stage/TV show.

Though I have a myriad of talents, I feel I'm not even close to being expert enough to do any of these things.

I am the poster child for Jacqueline of All Trades, Mistress of None.

In fact, I sometimes wish I had less talent, just so I could focus more on what's left! It's like tossing a dog 5 different balls at the same time- he's so busy trying to get all of them, he doesn't get any of them. That's me. It would be a lot easier to have one talent and at least know where God wants me to be. In my case, the Lord and I are going to have a long talk- I'm going to ask for a definite answer as to what He wants me to do, because I can't seem to catch any of those balls I've been tossed.

Well, okay- that's not entirely true. I did ask God what he wants me to focus on a while back (I asked God to show me a cardinal if He wanted me to write, and He did- two days later!), so I know writing is supposed to be my main focus, but good grief- do you know how much stuff I have to write about? I have about ten children's books partially written, at least two fantasy novels (one is written, one is a series of notes), two cookbooks, many short stories, a woman's lit book (much like Erma Bombeck's stuff, but more blunt), quilting books, crafting books, and Lord knows what else that's up in my file folders. And I have notes everywhere for more book ideas.

So now I need to narrow that down. A lot. I'm a dog with twenty tennis balls being tossed at him...uh...her. And right now I'm working on all of them, a bit at a time. You'd think being a writer would be easy!

Things I don't have time to do, I could write about at least- but writing takes longer. Much longer. I'm better off just doing the crafts and selling them at shows than to write a book about how to make them! My kids will be grown (and have already grown out of some) by the time I'm finished writing all those children's stories. They might even be in college by then.

You'd think children's books would be easier because they're shorter, but the opposite is true. Basically, you have to introduce a character, have a problem, then solve it, all within about 200 words. And no big words, please- that's a no-no. I'm good at poetry, so I thought I could do a Dr. Suess type rhyming book, but he was a super genius when it came to topics (like the Lorax- saving the environment- the star-bellied Sneeches, about racism), so that would be a challenge. A pretty cool challenge though- One I could definitely have fun with!

Let's just say there's more to write about than I will ever have time for- and that's if I have no more ideas in the meantime. We all know my brain never shuts off (even at night), so I'll need to live to be about 400 or so. That's another thing I'll be putting on the 'Requests to God' list.

Can you see why I'm having so much trouble? So please don't envy those that have more than one talent when you 'only have one'- at least you know where to focus all your creative energy!

Think of it this way...It's a lot easier to juggle one ball than twenty! Right?

Now I need to take my list to God and have that talk before school let's out. God bless, and have a great day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exploring the Levels of Illness

I have the flu. I'm miserable. But my mind (when not in a fevered state) still functions quite well, and when you're body decides to park itself on the couch with a bazillion blankets, there's not much more one can do than think about things.

I began thinking about what it takes to keep a person like me down. In fact, what would keep any mother and wife down- and out. There had to be some point when things were just too much- even for us moms.

I came up with 'The Levels of Illness' stages.

Level 1- otherwise known as the 'Not Feeling Right' stage. You're not officially sick, but something just isn't right. You can't even pinpoint just what it is that feels odd. This is usually the precursor to actually getting sick.

Level 2 - the 'Ugh', or 'Functionally Ill' stage. You're sick, but mildly so. You can still function on a fairly normal scope; only you do things a little slower than usual.

Level 3 - the 'Sick But Still Moving' stage. This basically means that you can minimally care for others as well as yourself. That means the kids get toast for breakfast, and you get some hot tea with lemon. Dinner is ordered out if there are no leftovers to eat, and the only chores that are done are the immediate ones, like laundry and dishes.

Level 4 - the 'Too Sick To Move' stage. You probably can move, but only to the bathroom and back. Blinking hurts, and even using the remote causes major fatigue. This is usually when the family notices that you're not feeling good, but they still ask you to help them with things anyway. You do help with some of their needs- as long as you don't have to get off of the couch. But whether you helped them get the right answer for their homework or helped them spell something properly is yet to be seen. And frankly, at this point you just don't care.

Level 5 - "Near Death' stage. You can't get out of bed, and even the pets begin to wonder where you've been all day. The phones are shut off and buried under the mattress so you can't hear them, but they are within reach if you need to call the morgue. Motor skills are practically non- existent, and it takes all your strength to turn off nightstand light. You're torn between needing the family around to help feed you and get you to the bathroom, and having an empty house where no one can bother you. You consider writing a will, but no longer have the energy to hold a pencil. The only thing getting you through this stage is that you know no one will do any laundry, dishes or cooking, so if you do die, your family will be naked and starving. And you can't with yourself if that happened.

The other day I went to bed at Level 4. Yesterday, I was Level 3. Now I'm Level 2, and managed to do some laundry this morning. My mother (now retired!) brought over some orange juice yesterday, so I'll be sipping on that, as well as planning some kind of soup or stew involving chicken for dinner. My brain wants my body to hurry up, and my body is telling my brain to blow it out it's cerebellum. That's why I'm typing this post- just to trick my brain into thinking I'm doing something useful. Maybe I am, in my own literary way.

I still have to get the kids to school, and consider eating something healthy, but I can't even think of food at the moment. Yesterday I was up before the crack of dawn, crashed just after dawn, and didn't eat until almost noon; and it looks like that might be the issue today as well. But watch this- I bet I gain weight. I never seem to lose weight when I'm sick!

God Bless, and may you and yours stay happy and healthy!