Dental and medical -- 12/08/10

This is my 3rd entry in my 5th year of taking part in Holidailies. If you have wandered in from Holidailies, you can scroll down to read a brief introduction.

This has been my year for dental and medical stuff.

By stuff I mean "procedures." (And when did "We're going to perform a procedure" replace "We're going to operate" anyhow?)

In May I had surgery on my right heel to fix my Achilles tendon (and to remove a broken bone spur). In July I had hernia repair surgery. That was a major jump in my lifetime surgery count (three prior experiences: tonsillectomy in 1949, vasectomy in 1986, hernia repair in 1989).

My mouth has had many more interventions: fillings, yes fillings beyond counting, wisdom teeth extraction, gum surgery (not fun), root canal work (also not fun), and a total of four dental implants. This year brought the number of implants up to six. We had our front porch rebuilt this fall. My mouth cost more. (Oh, okay, so dental insurance paid for more than a third of it -- that still left huge hole in our budget for the year.)

And I did get those two crowns installed last week. They didn't arrive in time for me to have them for Thanksgiving, but they were delivered to my dentist just after that, and on Thursday he put them in. My brother told me that I needed to take a picture... so here it is. (Only an after picture -- no way am I going to paste a before shot.)

The green arrow points to the more important one -- i.e., the one whose absence was apparent every time I smiled (or talked or ate) -- the "upper right lateral" -- tooth 7 to U.S. dentists (and I think tooth 12 outside the U.S.)

The other crown was replacing my lower left second bicuspid (tooth 20 in the U.S. and I believe tooth 35 elsewhere). Yeah, you can't see it in that photo but it's not one that is normally visible anyway.

My dentist installed them last Thursday and my periodontist had asked me to stop by so that he could see them. (These two take a lot of pride in their work.) So I stopped at the periodontist's office Tuesday morning. I had expected him to take a quick look but he had one of his assistants take x-rays and he took photographs. Oh... and the reason I happened to be out and about and near his office Tuesday morning is that I was coming from an appointment with my pulmonologist (remember that photograph I showed in August when I spent the night in the sleep study clinic at our local hospital. The findings were that I do have sleep apnea, falling somewhere between mild and moderate. My first reaction was that all I had to do was get myself back into shape, do lots of workouts and running and such and also loose twenty pounds or so... Yeah. Okay. What I really found is that I am too tired, too lacking in energy to get back into a serious workout program. I did lose a few pounds... and then gained them right back... along with a couple more to keep them company.

So... trying to live in the real world rather than in some imaginary realm, I decided that I probably should do something about it -- so I am going to try a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and in a week or so I will be spending another night all wired up in the sleep lap, this time to calibrate a CPAP machine (that is, determine how much air pressure is needed to eliminate sleep apnea events).

(Wasn't it Bette Davis who said "Getting old ain't for sissies!")

I snagged a photograph from Facebook (taken by a sister-in-law) and snipped out this part of it. (Note to Holidailies visitors: This was at our Thanksgiving dinner -- Jeremy, me, Nancy, and Jill. My wife is from a large family so we rent a parish hall for Thanksgiving.)

A brief introduction.... (edited to update it from 2006)
A brief introduction for anyone who wanders in here from the Holidailies site -- I'm a middle-aged (*cough* okay, 63 67 , but I don't look a day over 62 66 ) guy who lives in Rhode Island with my wife Nancy (a middle-school math teacher), daughter Gillian ("Jill" -- 24
28 yr old college student), son Jeremy (21 25 yr old college student restaurant manager), and Tiger (senior citizen cat). Eldest child Adam lives in New York City with his wife Leah and our grandson s Sam and Milo . I'm a former programmer/systems analyst who got into doing software training and currently works from home doing quality assurance and editing on course material for both classroom courses and Web-based training courses. I've been writing this online journal since 1996.

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