food · random stuff · Teeth · whatever · writing

Toothless Wonder

In my last post, I talked about the horrible tooth infection that was causing me so much pain, and the dentist that didn’t help me at all. (Yes, I realize that I posted that WAAAAY back at the beginning of February. What can I say–I’m a slacker.) Well, later that month, I had a seizure while standing in front of a Dollar Tree store waiting for my Uber to arrive, and ended up in the ER. Four stitches in my right eyebrow, a slight concussion, and as the topper, the impact with the sidewalk knocked that bridge so loose that I’ve had to have it removed. After much searching, I was given an appointment at the OHSU Dental School, and had high hopes of getting things fixed there, but it was not to be. My insurance wouldn’t cooperate with all of the other things that needed to be done, and I was getting desperate. So, I returned to the same dental office I’d been to before, fearful of running into Dr. Idiot again. My luck had changed! He is no longer there, and the staff I’ve dealt with since is truly FABULOUS– and, I will say, all quite good-looking, as well.

Decisions had to be made about how to fix things, and I chose to have them remove the few upper teeth I had left, and make an upper denture– all things that my insurance will pay for. This involved quite a bit more pain, since that tooth that had been infected was a bitch to get pulled. I swear, the root on that thing went all the way up my head and wrapped around a time or two. After the doctor finished with that side of my mouth, I went home and was ready to curl up and die for a few days. And here is why I like these guys so much: because we’d had so much trouble & pain with the left side of my mouth, they gave me the option to use laughing gas for the right side, which is apparently not done very much anymore. I jumped at the chance, and ended up sleeping through most of the extractions. While there was still some residual pain, it was much less, because the spot where those shots were given hurt! Two weeks ago I had my first impressions made for the denture, and later this week, I go back for a second one. I was hoping to have teeth in time for Halloween, but Mr Ji (the denture wizard) says that the first or second week of November is more likely. So at least I’ll be able to actually eat Thanksgiving dinner, and let me tell you, I will be incredibly thankful for that! I am so sick of soft foods and gumming foods into submission that I could cry. My stomach is calling out for a plate of crunchy tacos with green chile and lots of cheese, or a bunch of spiral-sliced with a side of green beans. Maybe a big thick steak, nice and rare, dipped in A-1. Okay, I have to stop now, I’m starting to drool.  Soup just isn’t a substitute for any of this stuff. My toothless days cannot end too soon!

pain

Pain & Pages

It’s been a heck of a month for me, filled with pain and stupidity, almost all mine. A tooth that my dental bridge is attached to developed an infection behind it. The front of my mouth was so sore I couldn’t eat anything harder than a popsicle. Within a day, the right side of my face was swollen, and I was going through an ice pack every hour. While I waited to get in to see the dentist, I sucked on ice cubes, popsicles, and even tried a teething ring (that didn’t help at all). I used OraJel on my gums, and Aspercreme on my face, trying to relieve some of the pain. Tell you what, that OraJel stuff is a godsend! It numbs everything, at least for a while…  I finally got in to see the dentist, Dr Idiot. After taking x rays, all he could tell me was what I already knew. Infection. And that he couldn’t do anything to fix it, because the tooth is attached to the bridge, and they’d have to remove the entire bridge. He kept repeating the “Six grand” until I was on the brink of tears.

Until the late 90’s I had perfect teeth. Then, one Friday, working at a YMCA Before-and-After-School program, I had a seizure while on the playground with the kids. I fell face forward onto the blacktop, knocking out my top four front teeth. I had to have the stumps pulled, and for several years, wore a little flipper–fake teeth that I could take out. Then I finally was able to get this bridge put in, thanks to the folks at the OHSU Dental School, and until a few years ago, it was perfect, too. Then the front two teeth got chipped, and I look like a hillbilly meth addict. It’s gone downhill from there, with pain and some more chips. My insurance won’t pay to replace it, because it’s considered a cosmetic procedure. So if I want to fix the bridge, the teeth that are causing me pain, any of it, I have to figure out a way to come up with at least $6000. Which means I’m stuck with this damn broken bridge and pain forever–unless some fairy godparent sends me a check.

To add to the indignity, Dr Idiot refused to give me any good pain meds, but prescribed me something called Tramadol, which caused an allergic reaction that scared the hell out of me. Sent me into a huge panic attack, constricted breathing, and itching as well. When I called the office the next day to ask for a different pain med, he told me “if you’d just get over this, you’d be fine”  and “we don’t normally prescribe narcotics.” At this point I was crying and close to yelling at him, saying I didn’t want narcotics, just something that wouldn’t kill me, and that I was pretty sure we were no longer in a normal situation. He finally agreed to give me a new med. Of course, I didn’t get it until three days later. The antibiotic has helped a lot, and my face is no longer swollen, most of the pain is gone. I’ve four more days of antibiotics, and then we’ll see what happens.

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But that couldn’t possibly be the only pain the universe inflicted on me, right? I’m convinced that somewhere there’s a demon with a voodoo doll of me, and they’re randomly poking, prodding & pinching that doll all the fucking time. As soon as my face started feeling better, my sciatica started acting up, causing my left leg some serious pain. Also making me walk like Elmo’s friend Mr Noodle, which is just ridiculous.  Standing & walking hurt so bad that I just gave up and spent most the last two weeks in bed. From my spot here among the pillows I’ve done half a dozen small craft projects (crafting soothes me — I’ll do a post about these phone cases I’m decorating soon), read a ton, watched way too many beauty bloggers on YouTube, and binge watched huge amounts of Netflix. I’m on Season 6 of “Once Upon A Time” and frankly, I’m a bit annoyed, but I will save that for another day as well.

There was more stupidity, and that was mine involving the other side of my face. Just as one side is feeling & looking better, I managed to give myself a shiner. Yep. Yesterday morning I was sitting on the bed, dropped my phone, ad in reaching for it, slid off the bed onto the floor. Landed face first on the edge on a hard container sitting nearby, bruising my right brow bone. Last night when I went to bed it was tender but not bruised; this morning I looked in the mirror and damn! That whole area around my eye is pink and purple. I’ve never been so glad to have so much makeup at my disposal– in just a few minutes I covered the entire thing up, and I look fantastic! #iwokeuplikethis

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On a different note, I can’t post any book reviews because, well, the only stuff I seem to be reading these days is fanfiction. My tablet is full of all sorts of reading material: Oscar Wilde & Dorothy Parker. Bram Stoker & Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Joe Hill & Owen King. Alton Brown & Julia Childs. Jane Austen & Elizabeth Berg & Maya Angelou & Oprah.  Self-help, mysteries, thrillers, erotica, poetry, memoirs, true crime, classics, biography, fantasy, young adult, and even some odd non-fiction. Yet I keep going back to the fanfiction, like a junkie goes back to the needle. One of my goals for 2018 was to read actual books. Maybe I should try it.

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pain · seizures

Hip Hip Hooray.

Today I trekked all the way across town and back to see the doctor and get an x-ray so he could send me an email and tell me there’s nothing wrong with my hip. I must be imagining this excruciating pain, I guess. If I could move my leg that far, I’d be tempted to kick something.  Wait, I already did that! Yeah, seems as if everytime I walk the last two days, I manage to jam my poor toes into something hard, including a couple of doorframes,   a metal trunk, the freezer, and more than once, Brandon’s steel-toed boots! My toes hurt almost as badly as my hip.

The hip has been giving me trouble on and off for the last year– I sleep on my left side, and apparently, that hip is tired of being at the bottom of the heap. Every few days I’d wake up in the night with it aching, roll over onto the other side, or my back, and things would mostly be okay. Then, on Monday night, I had a seizure sometime during the night, and that just aggravated everything. All day Tuesday I was in major pain– and not just the usual after a brain party kind of pain! Sure, I had a headache, I’d bitten my tongue, and the muscles in my calves are stretched to the breaking point. But this pain in my hip is something new–something bigger. I spent most of the day in tears, in med, with beneath ice packs. Big fun. And, of course, now Dr Jeff has said the x-ray shows nothing wrong. ARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!!

Oh well. On with my life, I guess.

Family · moving · random stuff · seizures

It’s My Life…

My life is not really busy enough to warrant my being such an absentee blogger. I am the Queen of Procrastination, and that does justify it, I guess… Anyway, here I am, with an update.

As most of you know, I share a house with my extended family – my elderly parents, my younger sister and her two children, ages 13 & 23,  2 dogs & a cat. We rent this large house, and have for a few years, and mostly it works. Or it did. Things aren’t working so well anymore. My father has dementia, which is getting progressively worse, and he refuses to see a doctor. He’s gone from being a friendly, funny, loving man, to an angry, hateful unhappy stranger. He’s mad all the time, at everything, especially at the dog, and at me, for some reason. In all of my childhood, I have only one memory of my father yelling at me, and that was when I was about 4-years-old, and ran into the street after a ball. These days he yells at me all the time. I try to remind myself that it isn’t him, it’s the disease, but some days that’s difficult to remember. In January Mom fell at church and broke her hip. She spent two months in the rehab center, and had a mini-stroke while she was there. She’s recovering well, but not as fast as she’d like. Not being able to do all the things she’s accustomed to doing is frustrating to all of us. The biggest issue right now is money (isn’t it always?). While the folks wait for the settlement from the insurance company, bills are falling behind, and we’re all worried. Our landlord has informed us that in September our rent will be raised, so we are going to need to move. Mom has been looking at assisted living facilities, but the prices are insane. I’ve no idea where there rest of us are going to go. I have my disability income, but that’s not really enough to pay rent anywhere except a nice cardboard box.

As I type this, I’m becoming very discouraged. I keep telling my mother not to worry about me, but really, I have no idea what I’m going to do. There is no such thing as affordable housing, especially for someone in my situation. I need to be able to move in the next couple of months, and I don’t see that happening. It’s not as though I need something fancy–all I need is one bedroom, a bathroom, and a small kitchen, somewhere within walking distance of the bus line. I need internet access and decent water pressure, and a closet. Keep dreaming, Jonna.

So what else is going on? Umm…I went six months without a seizure, and then, boy did I have a doozy. Big time. I did change doctors–I am no longer seeing the folks up at OHSU for my neurological needs. I got tired of seeing a different doc every appointment, and that last doctor was just plain rude, so I have switched everything over to Providence. My new doctor is very nice, and seems on the ball.

I had blue hair for a month this summer. That was a mistake…But the blue was better that it’s aftermath! In trying to remove the blue, I damaged my hair so much I’ve had to cut it short, which isn’t the problem, not really. The cut is a bit odd, and needs some help, but the color at the moment, oh. my. gawd. My hair is this awful shade of ashy golden blonde, which just looks nasty on someone with my skint one. Looks as if I have scurvy! Blech. Fortunately, I know how to fix it, and will be doing so VERY soon. As soon as my sister arrives with my supplies, as a matter of fact! And then, I’ll be a beautiful brunette once again…pictures will follow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

book reviews · books · reading

Book Review: The Girl with All the Gifts

“Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

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Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. “ (from Goodreads)

What a surprise this novel turned out to be. I originally got ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’ as an audiobook download from Audible, and after listening to the first chapter, I decided I needed to actually read the book! (I tend to fall asleep during audiobooks, and podcasts, even those I like very much!) This story by M.R. Carey is a bit out of my wheelhouse, I admit. I don’t normally read what I’d categorize as “post-apocalyptic fiction, and this is definitely in that category. No spoilers–just read it.

book reviews · books · reading

Book Review: Everything I Never Told You

22916576by  Celeste Ng

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . .

So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

ebook, 304 pages
Published June 26th 2014 by Penguin 
(from Goodreads.com)
I read this in December 2016, and just now realized I had never posted a review for it. It’s a heartbreaking tale, beautifully told, that I read in one day. First time I’ve read a novel in that short a time in a while. This is a debut novel. I cannot wait to read her next.