Friday, August 15, 2014


The past 48 hours have been all about teeth. Mine and Max's.

Yesterday, coincidently, we both had appointments to get check ups and cleaning done. The hygienist who scraped and poked inside my mouth did so with much enthusiasm and elbow grease. My face throbbed for 12 hours afterward. I used to fall asleep while work was being done, I was just that relaxed, but oh not, not yesterday.

Max's experience was less traumatic. Or maybe he's less of a whiner.

This morning, early, I picked him up and drove him over to the surgeon's to get his impacted lower wisdom teeth extracted. Two hours later, I picked up a very groggy,slow-walking, mumble-ish-talking middle-son.

I got him comfortable in the basement at my mom's house (the only floor where there's a full-sized couch to stretch out on) and went to the pharmacy to pick up his prescriptions. (Can I just mention something here, for those wondering about a recovering drug addict needing pain meds post surgery? He had talked this through, days in advance, with other guys who've needed to do the same thing. And they'd devised a plan. He only wanted enough T3's for 2 days; I was to keep them today and hand them out as prescribed. And then when he went back home, tonight, his roommates would take over. "We've got each other's backs ...")

(Do you have friends who have your back? Who'll make a plan with you? Who are committed to walking alongside? Seriously in awe of Max and his friends.)

Wanting to provide him with healthy (ish) food while he was on my watch, I prepared home-made chicken noodle soup. And red jello. And had an assortment of clear fluids on hand to keep him hydrated. Plus, seeing his brothers were coming over for dinner, I made another meal for them; ham, scalloped potatoes and a cake with berries for dessert. I was being all domestic, in other words. Plus I did laundry. And cleaned my room.

At 2 pm, I left to go to my specialist appointment.
I thought I was going because of receding gums.
Turns out my farthest bottom left molar is troubled.
I've spent about $3000 on it over the years, with a couple of root canals and a crown.
And while it hasn't been causing me any discomfort, it's driving my dentist mental, because something just isn't right. "Aren't you in pain? Isn't the swelling bothering you?"
Ha. Who knew? I must have a ridiculously high pain threshold in my mouth, because pffft. Nothing.
(Nothing, that is, until a crazed hygienist pokes me with her wee pointy tool.)

Anyway, if I want to have a tooth remain in that spot, I'm looking at another $5000.
(Extract whatever is left of the tooth and root; get a bone graft; add an implant; then top it off with another crown.)


I can't.

I will leave that parking spot in my mouth empty. And will do my hard chewing on the other side. Which is going to have me leaning to the right, because I'm not used to eating over there. Everything's going to be thrown off kilter. I will fall over.

Sadly, I have a feeling this is my future.
From a lifetime of bad teeth to an old age with no teeth.
I will be gumming it.
And will, like my dad, ask to be fed only pink puree'd thickened mush.

ANYWAY, Max ate his soup and jello, and then moved on to eating the cake. And some potatoes. And some ham. So much for me managing his recovery from surgery today. We did just about everything wrong.

And after supper? Instead of taking it easy and lying on the couch, Clint suggested we see Guardians of the Galaxy, and ten minutes later, we were on our way.

If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. (I'd suggest you arrive on time, though, not ten minutes late. And, for the record, I don't think you need to see it in 3D.) I loved the soundtrack (Hooked on a Feeling, by Blue Suede!) and the dialogue and the relationships and the writing and the special effects were probably great, but I don't usually care.

When we got home, I checked Max's mouth to make sure the stitches were still stitched. That, while under my care, despite us doing nothing they recommended, he was OK.

Stitches were beautiful.
He's going to be OK.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. The other day I was reading 33 Under 33 (33 people under 33 years of age) (These are the Millenials. They were born in 1981 and later...) who are doing great things. One of them who caught my attention is this guy: Dale Partridge from Bend Oregon. He started Sevenly:

 "It sells apparel to raise awareness and funds for charities. Each week, the company creates a T-shirt or hoodie with a design inspired by the work of a different nonprofit. For seven days, Sevenly promotes and sells the gear, mostly through Facebook, giving $7 of each purchase straight to a cause—orphan care, autism research, and clean water, among others. Since launching in 2011, they've given away $3.6 million."

(So many links in that paragraph. Check out the article in CT, check out Sevenly's website, Dale's Twitter account and their facebook page. All the links are bolded above.)

I love that. So hard. 
I am thankful for folks born in 1981. And 1982. And so on. 
I am thankful that they are being creative. And bold. And showing leadership. 

2. Last week, when I first noticed the Sevenly facebook page, their charity of the week was Mercy Ships. (Mercy Ships are floating hospitals. I am humbled by what they do. Seriously. What an inspiring organization.) Thankful for Don and his wife, Deyon Stephens, who started this whole thing back in 1978, when they were young. What a vision. What a legacy. 

Thankful for people who dream big.

3. I am thankful for days like today. 


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