}

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Tooth Tales: Well, then…

This week was another round of the Tooth Tales saga. It wasn’t good, exactly, but wasn’t totally bad, either. It is, as so many things in this healthcare journey have been, “a journey”.

On Tuesday, I went to the periodontist for a routine checkup, my first in a year. He found that the areas that were trouble before still are—though not as bad as when this all started. That’s something, I guess. Still, they needed (expensive) treatment. I had that treatment today.

The worst thing about the treatment was getting there. The weather was horrible as New Zealand was hit with the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Fehi today. Rain and wind were terrible, but the inability of drivers to cope seemed to be the main problem. On parts of the motorway, I went no faster that 25kph (15.5mph). It took me an hour and a half to get to my appointment, something that “should” take maybe an hour.

The treatments themselves weren’t too bad—lots of grinding at the root of certain back molars. But what’s remarkable about that is that I was totally relaxed—where once I was terrified of any dental procedure, now I don’t care. The thanks, if that’s the word, goes to the periodontist whose needle never causes pain as he injects the anaesthetic. And, of course, repetition of exposure to a thing feared makes that thing less feared over time. And I’ve now had a LOT of practice.

Joking about things as I always do, I said to a friend recently that “now I just lay back and think of England (mainly because some David Attenborough DVD is usually playing on the TV on the ceiling. The pain I feel is mainly when I pay for it…” All of which is true. Apart from the England part, maybe, especially in this context. Which is why I thought it was funny.

The gist of the story is that I must once again redouble my efforts to use the teeny tiny brushes on my lower back teeth. Interestingly, he said I should use floss on my my lower front teeth, not the teeny tiny brushes. This is funny to me because that was one area I never had any problem using the brushes. Still, I’ve made a lot of progress over the past few months, so that bodes well for the next six.

I left the appointment numbed to the max and headed off to pick up my mother-in-law because she’s staying with us for the holiday weekend. What is normally a two hour drive from the periodontist’s office ended up being nearly three hours. The trip back home was a bit quicker than I expected, though we were slowed at the very end—the last 15 minutes—by extremely heavy rain and surface flooding. All up, I spent the better part of six hours driving, the most since my university years (except then it was sometimes that long without break, which this wasn’t; I couldn’t go that long without a break nowadays).

So today I endured more periodontal treatment in the same areas that keep causing me problems, which is bad. But other areas are okay, which is good. And, I managed many hours driving in terrible weather. All up, a good report on all fronts, I think. I’ll take it.

Now, I just need to get control of the other health issues, too. One day at a time.

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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