Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Amazing Canine Vacuum

It's Feb. 29....and it only comes around once every 4 years.  I'm taking a break from the tooth drama to celebrate the fact that we might have our own little Leap Year baby in the family today.  My nephew and his wife are at the hospital now working at bringing that little one into the world.  Yay!

In the meantime, I thought I'd do some celebrating closer to home.  You see, this morning as I was up in our bedroom dressing, I noticed Fresca, the Wonder Dog going around the bedroom with her snout to the floor.  She seemed to be working away quite industriously at something.  Yup, she was "vacuuming" our rug by meticulously eating all the little flecks of fiber/dirt that show up on a bone-colored rug.  No wonder my rug always looks so good.  I often find myself wondering why it looks like it doesn't need vacuuming.  Apparently Fresca is my "maid du jour."

While I was marveling at my good fortune, Fresca disappeared from the bedroom and went into the Master Bathroom.  I could hear her snuffling around in there so I went in to check out what was going on.  By golly, she was doing the same thing to our two throw rugs in the bathroom.

How cool is this?  I have a dog who cleans for me?  Now if I could just train her to pick up a dust cloth and polish the furniture, I could have more time to knit.  Happy Leap Year!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stupid Tooth

Can you tell what is in MY future?  I'll give you a clue.  It doesn't involve EATING veggies. I'll probably be "wearing" them, though, on the side of my face next week.

Today I headed on over to the oral surgeon to have my consult for my upcoming dental surgery.  My cracked and infected molar has to come out and then I'm facing a dental implant.  I'll be honest with you.  I was terrified as I headed over there and it was only the consult, not even the surgery.

The nurse looked over my completed paperwork, took some xrays, and then started to go over the procedure for the first surgery.  Oh, first she had me sign and initial the waiver with all the things that can go wrong with surgeries like this.

"You can go ahead and read all of that," she said, "but seeing how nervous you are about this, you might not want to."

I couldn't have agreed more.  In fact, I told her she could just give me the abbreviated version of the surgery.....the REALLY abbreviated version, like....they put you out, remove the tooth, and wake you up.  That was good enough for me.  I'm really squeamish about hearing details.

The doctor came in and we chatted a bit.

"I understand that you're a bit anxious," he said.

"I'm terrified," I replied.  "I'm particularly terrified of the IV.  I don't want to feel any anxiety when they insert that IV.  You've got to give me something to take before they do it so that I am really relaxed, OK?  The last person who tried to put an IV in my arm screwed it up and I ended up curled in a fetal position trying not to be sick to my stomach.  They had to grab the anesthetist from the surgical suite to come and get it inserted."

"That's not a problem," he reassured me.  "I can prescribe some Valium for you to take before you come in that day."

"Listen, " I said. "They used to give me Ativan before my chemotherapy and my adrenalin was pumping so hard that it didn't even phase me."

He looked at me.  "I'll have you take some Valium before you go to bed, too," he amended.  "I'll even have them give you a whiff of........before they insert the IV.  We'll pull out all of our tricks."

"That's exactly what I need," I said.  "Hit me with everything you've got."

"Normally we only have the patient put under for the first operation," they told me, "but we think we'll recommend that you go under for the second surgery, too, hearing how anxious you are.  The numbing injections into the upper palate tend to be rather painful.  That way, you won't feel anything."

"You aren't going to get any argument from me," I agreed.

And the kicker is that this whole thing is going to be drawn out over a six-month period.  They do the first surgery to extract the tooth and then I have to wait three months for it to heal.  Then they go in again and insert a screw thing into my jaw and that has to heal for another three months.  Finally my dentist makes a tooth that is screwed onto the thingy that is implanted in my jaw.

Oh, but wait, there's more.  For my first surgery, they'll have to pack some bone graft stuff into my jaw and it comes from cadaver bones.  If I can remember my vocabulary correctly, we're talking dead people's bones.  Oy!  They also will be doing a "sinus lift" or something like that.  I have a very enlarged sinus cavity and they don't want it to droop down when they pull out the tooth.  I should have asked them to throw in a facelift while they're at it.

I guess I shouldn't be complaining.  While I'm worrying over one tooth coming out, little Spud is working on getting a whole set of teeth to come IN.  Little guy, don't be in such a hurry.  At some point in your life, those teeth are going to turn on you.  And THAT'S a real bite in the ......well, it's not a happy time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Long in the Tooth?

Sometimes life just isn't fair.  Take today for instance.  I have faithfully practiced good dental hygiene all of my life.  I brush my teeth throughout the day.  I get my teeth cleaned every six months.  I even suffered through braces twice, donating a total of 8 teeth to the cause just to make room for everything because I've been cursed with such a tiny mouth.   And yet.....the darn things are letting me down.

I noticed last week that my gums were swollen above the biggest offender in my mouth.....the tooth that had given me all the trouble over the summer.  I had finally reneged and gone to the dentist when the aching had gotten really bad and they discovered I had a cracked tooth.  The dentist put a temporary fix over everything and told me it might hold for years or maybe just a few months.  Darn tooth!  Looks like this wasn't going to turn out to be a long-term fix.

So off I trundled today to the dentist----AGAIN!

"We're ready,"  the nurse said, sticking her head out into the reception area.

I looked around but seeing no one else in the waiting room, I couldn't find anyone else to palm off on her so I had no choice but to follow her down to the examining room.

To make a long story short, turns out bacteria has made its way into the crack and up into the root area and now I have an infection brewing in the tooth's roots.  My dentist was more than willing to go into greater detail but I told him I got the picture and I was feeling woozy.

Bottom line is that I need to get the tooth out and then pick from several options:
1.  Go for a partial plate. (NOT a good choice since I have a very prominent ridge in my upper mouth which would make it uncomfortable.)

2.  Go for a bridge.  (An "ok" choice but one he wouldn't recommend since it would involve filing down the healthy teeth on either side to make room for the fake tooth plus it would need to be anchored to those teeth.  It would be harder to keep clean and would involve several hours sitting with my mouth open while he works away on it (also not a good option given the exceptionally tiny size of my mouth - THANKS, Mom!)

3.  Get a tooth implant after the extraction.  (His recommended choice - the "gold standard", as he called it.  After seeing the price just from his end of things, I can see why "gold" is in the description.)

I mentioned that there was a fourth option.  Why not just pull the darn thing and leave a blank space?  OK, maybe not such a good idea.  He went on and on about how my teeth would start shifting until it sounded like the darn Continental Plates with some "Bucky Beaver" thrown in there for good measure.

We've reached a compromise.  I'm on antibiotics this week so I can attend my 3-day scrapbooking retreat this weekend and enjoy the food and festivities.  Next week I see the oral surgeon to set up my extraction and consult to get the ball rolling for the implant.  I told my dental crew that I have one stipulation or I'm NOT opening my mouth.  I want to have NO anxiety when they start this thing.  That means they need to either shoot me up with drugs or give me pills to take before they begin working.  And if they mean to put an IV in my arm?  Uh-uh.....I have to be feeling no pain before they ever try to get that IV in.  As I told my dentist, my last tooth extraction was in college when I had my wisdom teeth out.  They gave me a shot and I felt nothing during the entire procedure.  I was awake the whole time, heard all the crunching, etc. and couldn't have cared less.  Surely they've got even better drugs now after all these years, right?  I want them! 'Nuff said!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Skyping with Mr. Wiggleworm

We had the fun of Skyping with the kids tonight and, as usual, little Spud was a bundle of energy.  Miss Mika, our little "Sweet Pea," was preoccupied with getting her "cuppy" filled with Chai and evading her brother's grasping hands.  Here is how the conversation went, according to Mr. Spud:

Hey, Nana and PawPaw!  Whatta day....whatta day.  You wouldn't believe all the things I tried to get into!

What's that?  You WOULD?  Gee, who's been talking behind my back?

Do I look like someone who would get into any mischief, I ask you?  Have you ever seen such an angelic face?

Aw, nuts!  Can't keep this act up for long.  Let me go, Pops.  I've got things to get into.

Hmph!  Passed off to Mommy!  Oh, the shame of it all.  Hey, Sis!  I'll trade you this lid for your cuppy.

Oh, come tastes good.  I've already sucked all the dirt off of it.  You know you want to trade with me.

Let me go, Mommy!  I want to play with my sister's pigtails.  That should make her drop that cup.

Oh, boy....come on....just a little bit closer and I think I can make it to Daddy's chair while they are listening to Sis's story.

Yeah!  Look at me!  I'm walking.  (Let go of me, Mommy.  You're embarrassing me.)

Boing, Boing!   I'm bouncing just like Tigger!  Hey, look everybody.

Huh, you want me to stand still so you can get a good picture?  Are you nuts, Nana and PawPaw?  I'm a boy.  We never stand still.

Isn't that right, Pops?  Betcha did the same stuff when you were my age.

Hey, you want to pick my nose?  Cool.  That sounds like fun.

Oh, COME ON!  Do we have to listen to another story from Sis?  Doesn't she ever run out of them?
At least she could give me her cup.

Yeah!  A new toy.  I'm going to play drums on Daddy's head.  Ah-one, Ah-two......  Oh, bye-bye, Nana and PawPaw.  I love you!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

In a Parallel Universe Fog

One of my favorite shows is "Dr. Who."  I love the idea of being able to pop back and forth in have that freedom to be able to go wherever whimsy (and the Doctor) want to take me.  Truth be told though, I probably don't even need a time lord to find myself wandering through universes and time.  As a writer, I find myself constantly existing on two different planes of existence.   There is the "Reality Universe" where most of my fellow travelers reside and then there is the "Dee Universe" where I am usually in the midst of creating a story in my mind OR caught up as an actor in an adventure or scenario.  I suspect I'm not alone in this and that many other creative people do the same.

It DOES have its drawbacks, though.  I tend to lose track of time.  I get so caught up in what's going on in my creative endeavors that I am often amazed to discover, at some point, that I'm still back in south-central Pennsylvania and it is past time to start supper.  I can even be having a conversation with you (well, it might LOOK like I'm having a conversation with you) and yet mentally be off doing battle with the Fey or looking for clues in a Gothic mansion or on an archaeological dig in Egypt in the late 1800's.  Sometimes I discover, to my horror, that I've agreed to do something or go somewhere and I don't have a clue what we were talking about.  Dang!

This week, I was excited to prepare for a 3-day scrapbooking retreat coming up on the weekend.  I had gathered all of my scrapbooking supplies and packed them into my carrier.  I unhooked my laptop and had that packed away and ready to go.  My suitcase was in the car.

Thursday evening I baked four dozen cookies to take with me.  Everyone who attends this retreat always brings some type of snack so that we have plenty of goodies to nosh on when we're working into the wee hours of the night/morning.

I packed up the car and set off Friday afternoon for the retreat.  I was supposed to be meeting up with my daughter at the hotel where the retreat would be held.  While I was driving down there, I decided to stop at a grocery store and pick up a few more items to snack on.  In a rare moment of generosity (clarity?), I decided to call Laura to see if she wanted me to pick up anything for her.

"Hi, Honey.  I'm on my way.  Do you want me to pick up anything for you?" I asked.

"Why," she asked.

"For the retreat," I answered.

"Oh, my gosh," she gasped.  "That's not THIS weekend, is it?  I thought it was NEXT weekend.  It better not be this weekend.  I don't have any of my pictures ready or anything."

"Uh.....let me check my email and I'll call you right back," I replied.

I checked through my old emails and sure enough, I was a week early.  Oh, for Pete's sake.  If I hadn't called my daughter, I would have driven 45 minutes down the road to the hotel and waltzed into the lobby with my bags, looking like an idiot.  I called her back and we had a good laugh.

I decided to swing by Wendy's and get some pop for the drive back to the house.  I ordered my cola, drove up to the pick-up window, and paid the attendant.  The young man took my money, handed me my drink, and shut the window.  Ummm, where was the straw?  I waved at the fellow.  He looked at me and finally opened the window.

"Where is the straw," I asked him.

"It will be in the bag," he answered, and he shut the window.

I waved at him and he looked at me again.  Finally he opened the window.

"I didn't order any food," I explained.

"Whoops, sorry about that," he said, as he handed me a straw.  He shut the window.

I waved at him again.  He looked at me and opened the window.

"How much was the drink?," I asked him.

"$1.90," he told me.

"I gave you $2.00," I said.

"Oh, for goodness sakes," he laughed.  "I'd better get my head in gear."  He handed me my change and shut the window.

This time I drove away.  It felt good to know that someone else was not quite "with it" either.  I wasn't going to tell him, though, that I had skipped ahead a whole week.  Let's just keep that between you and me, shall we?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Househunting From a Baby's Viewpoint

                          Really, Nana and have NO idea what it's been like!

Househunting can take a toll on a family, especially in today's market where it is a buyer's market and often buyers are competing with each other for a house they like.  Our son and his family have been going through quite the ordeal in trying to find the right house.  We Skyped about it last night and little Luke, who is a big 7-month-old now, had some thoughts on the subject.

Oh, my....we have had SOME adventures looking for a home for our family.

Button it, Mom, it's my turn to talk here.  They want to know MY perspective on our house hunt.

I just can not believe all the places we've had to go see.

Holy Cow....some of these places I wouldn't put my rattle down in.  But other houses that I've really liked have had other people snap them right up from under us.

I've thought...."Man, are you pulling my leg?  We've lost another one to another buyer?" and yup, back we go, having to look at more houses."

Come ON, guys!  Gag me with a spoon, for cryin' out loud!

Who knew that this house-buying stuff would be such a knuckle-biting experience?

When I hear some of the offers those other people have made, I want to say to them, "Yeah, yeah...just talk to the hand, man."

Mommy and Daddy are getting frustrated and I'm pulling my hair out here.

It's been absolutely disgusting, I tell ya, just disgusting!

Oh, you thought this LAST house was going to be the one, did you?  Well, think again.

Go ahead, Mommy, tell them the latest development.....not that I'm complaining, mind you.

I KNOW, Nana and's unbelievable, isn't it?  We could end up so close to Gammy and Grandpa.

Hey, wait a minute.  Who invited Grandpa in here?  This is MY story.  Everybody wants to add their two cents!

Whoa....who knew having a conversation was such hard work?  Of course, when you only know one takes a lot of effort to get your point across.

So anyway....we were back looking at houses ......What?  What did you say?  Oh, you think YOU can do better finding us a house, do you?  Well, then why don't you two come down here and help us?

Pssst, it's ok, Mommy.....I got this!  I know what I'm doing here!

See, I KNEW if I tricked them, maybe they'd fly down here and visit us.

Yeah....THAT'S what I'm talkin' about.  We need Nana and PawPaw to fly down here and be "closers" and get the job done.

Besides, with a smile like this, do you REALLY need an excuse to come down to see me?