Avoidance is the Best Policy
March 3, 2006, 5:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of my priorities this year is to buck up and face things head on. I have a tendancy towards ostrich like avoidance and, if given the opportunity, will bury my head in the warm comfort of any sand-like substance until any sort of drama passes. To that end I have been attending to some immediate needs, namely my mouth. I am a religious tooth brusher and a dedicated flosser, but it doesn’t really matter. Genetics have screwed me heartily in this arena. I could walk around with a toothbrush in my mouth all day and I would still have corroding teeth. By the time all my adult teeth came in, I had a number of cavities. Then a fall from atop a closet straight on my head head left me with not only a nasty ass concussion, but also with cracks in most of my molars. Add 20 years to that, three pregnancies (during which my only obsessive need was to chew on ice all day, every day) and an ever growing fear of the dentist and 2006 has brought dental hell to my mouth. It comes as no big surprise to me. I had actually begun this journey a few years ago. I found a lovely female dentist who would gas me up for about 30 minutes while she assured me of how couragous and noble I was to tackle my fears and battle the evils of genetics festering in my mouth. But then she got married and wanted to breed, so she and her dentist husband left our valley in search of a more normal life. Bitch.

So a few weeks ago when I was skiing I began to feel the most hideous pain in my mouth. It was the sort of pain that makes you realize, “Oh fuck, shit really does happen.” Not only did it hurt to holy hell, but I had taken the day off, put Devon in the nursery and actually stolen a few hours for myself. But when the pain became unbearable, I hauled ass down the mountain, scooped up Devon and called Matt so that he could make an appointment for me with whatever dentist was on our new health plan. I figured I was in for a root canal, already having had four, I knew the jig. But no. He took an x-ray, sighed and said,”Yep, it’s gotta go. We could do a root canal, but the teeth on either side need caps. And on the other side of your mouth you have the same situation. And then there is this and this and this and…” When he saw me convulsing and sobbing, he said, “Oh,my. All right then. I’ll let you take a few minutes and decide.”

A few years ago I found myself in a somewhat similar situation and ended up paying over 3K for a rootcanal and platinum/porcelain cap. It’s a lovely tooth, the favorite one in my mouth. But I don’t have 35K for a whole round of those babies, writing for The Cancer Blog just doesn’t support that sort of fancy dental work. So the good doctor numbed me up and pulled it. I left the office feeling as though I were the Queen of all Trailer Trash with my gaping hole to prove it, the only saving grace being that the hole is actually far back out of viewing range. Yesterday I had to go back for step two. It took two valiums to get me in the door, but tridge in I did.  Another extraction. Another hole. Another round of Trailer Royalty. Only this time the removal wasn’t so smooth. Two hours of tugging, digging and that god awful drill. My face is completely swollen on one side, in a lovely battered Trailer Queen sort of way. Next week I return for two fillings and the the fittings for my bridge work. I can’t believe I am only 35 and talking about brigde work in mouth.

My mother, bless her evil soul, has taken pity on me and has been making me soup and giving me shots of high grade tequila. And tonight at the dinner table my father pulled back his lip and showed me his trailer hole. It was the same tooth I had removed yesterday. The bad teeth are from his side of the family.  He laughed and said, “That’s nothing, really. Your Aunt Mary (his sister) had full dentures by the time she was 25.” And here I was feeling sorry for myself.


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I must have gotten your father’s teeth too. I have had the same experiences, but maybe not quite to the extent because I didn’t fall on my head from a closet. But still, that makes it worse, because I have no excuse.

Comment by jen

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