}

Friday, October 21, 2016

Tooth tales: It all links up

Yesterday I had a routine appointment with the hygienist at the periodontist’s office. Everything went well—better than I expected, in fact—but it turns out it’s an example of how everything I’ve been through this year is all connected.

On Wednesday, I received an email from the orthodontist, pointing out it had been nearly six months since I was last there, and suggesting I ring an book an appointment if I want to continue. I stopped all progress after the unfortunate incident that resulted in me getting a crown. Around the same time all that was going on, I also had two periodontal treatments. In other words, KACHING!

Dental care is VERY expensive, especially with a crown and two periodontal treatments all very close to each other. When it was done, I needed a break. Then, the next month, Bella got sick. The month after that and it was me getting the medical intervention. Not all of that was expensive, necessarily, but it was draining emotionally. I again needed a break.

So, this week I got that email, and pondered what I should do. Should I continue, or should I just give up and accept things as they are? I thought to myself that if I do go back to the orthodontist, I should see the hygienist first, because after all my health issues over the past few months, I know I haven’t been as diligent as I could have been.

Then, Wednesday afternoon, I got a phone call reminding me of my appointment with the hygienist. I told them I was on a blood thinner, in case that made a difference, but planned on going unless I heard otherwise.

Without going into too much detail, I did, in fact, bleed a bit more than would be normal for such a thing, but I made sure to warn the hygienist in advance, so she was prepared. She and I agreed that I should put off my appointment with the periodontist until February, after I go off the drug. There are two reasons: One of the things the periodontist checks is the amount of bleeding, if any, as he probes the pockets around the teeth. Second, if he needs to do anything—and he probably will—that’s usually rather invasive, so it would be best to do that after the drug is done.

All of which means that these Tooth Tales have come full circle: When this whole journey began, the periodontist recommended that I see my doctor for a check-up. I did, and that began the related and parallel journey to better health. My health journey, however, is also affecting the Tooth Tales journey, so it all links up in both directions.

Still, trying as all this has often been, it at least feels good to be taking care of things that needed to be taken care of: I’d like to be around to find out how these stories turn out. Precisely because I am taking care of all these things, I’m likely to see where these journeys go.

These are things that make me smile, in so many ways.

The image above is a reproduction from the 20th US edition of Gray's Anatomy, and is in the public domain. It is available from Wikimedia Commons.

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