Sunday, December 29, 2013

Taking life one tooth at a time

This morning I was lying on the dining room floor snuggling with the dog while two boys talked rapid-fire about football. The "boys" are Ben and Joe, all grown up, and I frankly had no idea what they were talking about, but it was pure happiness listening to their banter.

It was pure happiness too when about an hour earlier all three kids sat at the kitchen table for our annual Christmas get-together with our friends Jim and Jane, who are like aunt and uncle to the kids and to Maddie. The dog goes crazy when they come in. Last year I made the mistake of letting her go outside to greet them, and she knocked Jane's Christmas cookies out of her hand, so our visit consisted of wiping the snow off the ones we could salvage. This year they came in first and the dog merely ripped the shopping bag that contained her gifts, dog treats and a teddy bear. I've known Jane since she first started babysitting for us, and my instructions before I went to work were to watch out for 3-year-old Joe because he might try to turn on the burners on our old gas stove. Jane stayed on and has now along with Jim switched from babysitting to dog sitting. We ate muffins and drank coffee, part of the ongoing holiday festivities that will end Jan. 1 when everyone returns to the gym.

Ben was only here one night, but it was great to have all three kids under one roof.

I have to admit getting a little jealous seeing people post on Facebook about vacation trips while I have mostly still been preoccupied with my tooth, which caused us to cancel a New York trip we were planning for visiting cousins and friends and seeing the Christmas tree. People are probably getting as tired of the tooth story as I am of living it, but it still goes on. Ouch. That sounds whiny. I hate to whine, but still…

Having the tooth pulled was not the end of it. The place where it was has still been hurting. I went to see the surgeon about it on Friday and, like a switch, the pain caused me to burst into tears. He asked me if I had been brushing, and I said only gently with a mild prescription toothpaste. Then he removed a stitch that was covered with plaque and said that my latest pain is coming from plaque in the area resulting from not brushing hard enough. I was trying to do the right thing by avoiding the area, but it turns out I wasn't. So now I am supposed to rinse with salt water, brush more, and return to get it re-checked on Monday.

My new motto, instead of "one step at a time" is "one tooth at a time."

At least my legs feel better, which is a step in the right direction. I got new orthotics Friday, and my foot guru, Ken Holt, said some of my trouble might be coming from wearing a pair of orthotics that were worn down. So he made me a new bouncy pair. He said my pain is muscular and he doubts that my most recent MRI will turn up anything. I still haven't gotten results from that.

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