Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This Stupid Oral Surgery I Have to Have

Meters swum today: None.
Playing in the background: The iron whine of the train horn as it seems to rumble through my very back yard, rattling the windows

Roundabouts April of 2007, when I was semi-employed by Legal Network and one of my time-traveling neocraftsperson friends, Tammy, was my boss, I started getting a toothache. Owing to the messed-up nerves in my face (sinus surgery; another long story) I couldn't tell if it was a top tooth or a bottom tooth. Whatever it was, was seriously pissed off, and drinking hot coffee didn't help matters. I called my dentist, who called in a course of antibiotics, and saw me at his office as soon as he could squeeze me in. Turned out to be a top tooth. An emergency root canal followed, during which I found out that nitrous oxide makes me sick as hell, and being upside down messes with my equilibrium. Being upside down and on nitrous oxide - my dentist deserves combat pay. I hope he has a good carpet cleaning service.

About a month later, I was peacefully munching on a bagel when the tooth in front of the troublesome tooth suddenly came away with the bagel. Whether the root canal destabilized it or whether it was just its time to go, we aren't sure, but in any case, this tooth had a frick'n peg stuck out of it. It wasn't a real tooth. Boy, was I ever surprised. I didn't even know I had false teeth. It must have been very old.

The same dentist told me that the crown - for it was, after all, a crown - was so degraded that there wasn't any way he could put it back in. I'd need oral surgery to yank out the old root and replace it with a dental implant. He quoted me a price and I about threw up on him again. (You gotta remember, this is very soon after the first debacle, which had to be paid for with Lady Visa and Master Card, and it wasn't exactly cheap. And I was unemployed at the time. When it rains, it really effing pours, at least when I'm around.)

So I did what an unemployed and broke person would normally do under these circumstances; nothing. The root was still there, after all. The other teeth weren't jockeying for position. Yeah, I had this great gaping hole in my gum (and a missing tooth, just incidentally) but that was no biggie; I've chewed on the left for years. I mean that politically. Metaphorically, too.

That was, hmm, a year and a half ago. Since then my dentist has been bugging me to get it fixed every time I see him. Something about having a great gaping hole in your gum not being the best thing for your immune system. Something about possible abcesses and brain cancer and heart disease and terrible messy ways to die. I've been stubborn, though. Something about having to come up with five figures to get it fixed. I'm cheap that way.

Well, recently I went and got a second opinion. The second guy is quite adamant (you ever wonder if that's where Adam Ant got his name? Adamant, Adam Ant, get it?) that I need to have it fixed, and as soon as possible, but he gave me a much better price. Only four figures. I mean, four figures is better than five figures but geez Louise, it's still a lot of money. Though not, as Joan has pointed out, near as much as it would be if the stupid thing abcesses and has to be fixed on an emergency basis. That would probably be five figures and then some.

So sometime in December I'm going to have oral surgery. About which I am powerfully not happy. I'd talk myself out of it again but Joan would kill me, if the great gaping hole didn't get me first. Which is metaphorical of something or another, I guess. Let's ask Adam Ant.

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