Thursday, December 27, 2007

Relaxing Christmas / Chaotic Week

Christmas day turned out to be quite lovely and relaxing. I went down to my cousin's house in Hollis, NH and had a really great day. It was my cousin and his wife (and their two, teen aged kids floating in and out from time to time) and my other NH cousin and his wife and me and that was it. We had a great time just hanging out all day and socializing and drinking wine and even watching some very old home movies from when we were all incredibly young. It was a hoot to see their parents and mine hanging out in the movies when they couldn't have been much older than 30! I don't remember them ever being that young. For a change, my cousins' step-sister did not show (with her four children). She's okay, but I've always had a rather uneasy relationship with her and four brooding teenagers tend to add a real chaotic element to the day, so I found the day much more fun without her and her brood. I didn't want to bring all the dogs with me because I thought it would be too much, so I selected Fitz because he's been such a good boy lately and I thought he would get along well with the other dogs (cousin Peter has an enormous English Bulldog and cousin Greg has an Italian Spinoni, which is a type of large, shaggy sporting dog). Also, Peter's daughter, Viv loved Fitz as a puppy, so I thought she might like to see how nicely he has grown up. I'm proud to say that Fitz behaved beautifully and had a very good time himself, sinking into the passenger side car seat and snoozing deeply the entire ride home, he was that tired from the visit. So, all in all it was a very great day.

The mystery of the Hunk of Orange Salt continues. I received a perfume bottle (!) in the mail from my father on Christmas Eve. This is a somewhat odd gift too as I don't wear perfume and am not too sure where to put this either, but it's not nearly on a par of strangeness with the salt thing. I spoke to my sister at length yesterday and while I did not bring up the salt rock, neither did she mention having sent something. I guess I'll just come out and ask her once she gets home from her vacation in Salt Lake City.

So, the rest of the week is taken up with appointments, ugh. Yesterday was a consultation with the oral surgeon for my dental implants. My original surgeon ended up leaving the area, so I have to start new with someone else. And of course, since he has his own requirements, I have some other prep stuff I have to do (and pay for) -- impressions and labs and such. But I've made the appointment and am having two dental implants done on January 11th. Then that has to heal for three months and I have to go back to my original dentist for crowns, etc. Which will be a few thousand more, of course. I wasn't aware that the crown part wasn't part of the whole implant cost and process, so the costs just continue to grow.

I have an appointment this morning to put some cargo netting in the back of my car (to hold packages so that they don't roll all over the car) and then it's back to the regular dentist for yet more work for other issues that are plaguing me. Basically, I've been in more or less constant pain as the teeth on side opposite of where the implants are going bear the entire pressure of all chewing activity. One tooth with a huge filling literally cracked under pressure last month and has since been further broken open by the dental work and root canal (last week) to eliminate decay. I'll eventually have a crown done for this tooth too, but in the meantime the sharp edges of the broken tooth cut into my check without relief. And now the newest development is the tooth underneath that one is flaring up -- there seems to be a pocket that's opened up between two teeth and underneath the gum line that packs with food immediately (which also causes immediate pain) as soon as I eat anything at all. So, I'm getting all of that looked at this afternoon. Ugh. Just UGH.

The expense of all this is literally making me shake, but I really don't know what else to do. Except, that is, to curse my former NYC dentist whose incompetence caused most of these issues. The tooth that cracked, for instance, was mostly made up of filling and thus was very fragile. I've been told recently that most dentists would have put a cap/crown on it to protect it. The dental implants are necessary because of this ill-conceived canter-levered bridge that same dentist had talked me into years ago which never worked well. He then added insult to injury by jamming a huge screw post into a tooth under the bridge after a root canal -- a result of the bad bridge -- which completely fractured the root, finally making that tooth not viable. I am just depressed and livid and trying to find the positive in all of this. But in the meantime, it's endless ongoing dentist appointments, constant pain and discomfort and a diminishing bank account for me. And I don't even get a new kitchen or bathrooms once it's all done. But there is nothing else to be done really, the alternative is losing teeth and it's also not something you can sit on and wait about either. So I just have to suck it up and deal. It doesn't make for a very relaxing vacation week, but it's easier to try and do it all now than to run around on work lunch hours or something. Sheesh.

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