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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Are you ready for a good laugh

Before. Not a natural smile.

I know. I took my own before pictures and I didn't really capture the true essence of what it was like having all the missing teeth. I was so used to never opening my mouth that I just couldn't get it right. And smiling was no longer natural for me because it meant showing the above pictures. Even with the partials in I was just not comfortable. So I was pretty serious all the time unless I threw reservation to the wind and allowed my comedy to come out and celebrated laughter at the price of my embarrassment.

So, this is how it is now. Can you believe it? And I just love the scarf. When I went out for my birthday dinner with Denise and Caroline they were both wearing wonderful scarves. I thought, how lovely and why not me? The very next day at the store, out president, Trudy, had made a major buy in NY, and they were draping at least 50 styles of scarves on the conference table in the Vendor's Room. What. Providence!! So I bought two. Yeah - 40% discount. Then I bought two pieces of 3 yards each of bamboo knit which I just love to wear. They are heavy and so ample and I just look and feel fabulous in those. I chain-stitched the cut ends with special threads. Unfortunately the knit is limited in colors. I plan to pick up black next. I think that will be fine for this winter.

Now for the fun.

So my appointment for the surgery to remove my teeth was last Thursday. Denise, my patient lovely sister, picked me up and spent the entire travel time to the dentist allaying my anxiety. Then, in the end, walking into the room at Dr. Holland's office, I looked at the chair and all of the anxiety lifted. What could go wrong? Bad things don't happen to me.

It took a lot of drug to numb the mouth. Teeth breaking. Lots of pressure. Lots of noise. Everything was so fragile. Holland was trying to explain what was happening as he was going along but at times it was difficult because he was so intent in his work. This was not an easy case for him. On some teeth he had to cut them in sections in order to remove them.

I think it took longer than he had expected. First he pulled the top ones and put in the upper denture right off. Then he did the lower and set in that denture. He explained a few things and rushed out. I was not very clear on the instructions. I waited in the hallway till he was through with a patient to clarify a few things.

Rinse. Leave the dentures in for several days. Post op on Monday. Take a pain med as soon as I get home, before the numbing medication wears off. Take a pain med as soon as i get home before the numbing medication wears off.

Do you see where I am headed? Denise is kind enough to go to the pharmacist for the pain medication. Then we come home and I have to rinse because there is still a lot of blood. It is quite ugly and she leaves. I will be fine and she really doesn't need to hang out. I am just going to lay down. Next, to take the pain med. I get the pill on my tongue, fill the glass with warm water, but I can't tell if the glass is at my mouth. I am soaking wet by the time I find my mouth and by then, the glass is empty. So I refill the glass. I decide to put my left hand where my lips are and am successful at getting the glass to my lips but am not successful at getting water into my mouth as I can't seem to suck the water into my mouth. I finally get a tiny amount in and realize the pill is melting, because I can taste in at the back of my mouth. I tip my head back and keep trying to get the water in.

If he said to try to take the medication before the pain set in, what exactly did he mean? Did he know this would happen? Or did he mean that I should not forget? Surely someone must have a trick for this and should have published a perfect technique for this ordeal.There was water all over my clothes, all over the sink, the floor. And exactly what did happen to that damn pill? Did it really go down my throat or did it slide down between my cheek and teeth?

I gave up and took my bed pillows and the down comforter and layed down on the sofa. The pain came and went, was light and heavy. It was constant for several days. I have been wearing
the dentures constantly for five days. D- and I went to the market on Sunday. I bought two kinds of pastes that hold dentures in place. Two kinds of denture cleaners. A tube of ointment that is supposed to keep your mouth moist, invented for people who suffer from dry mouth. It only works for very short periods of time. I spent a fortune of product in search of the "right stuff".

The teeth are beautiful. I need to learn to open my mouth again. To smile, to speak fully. To be more expressive. It is still sore. I also need to learn to eat. I have not been able to eat much. I have managed to eat once a day and that was tomato soup, scrambled egg, or mashed potato. And very small amounts. I am now allowed to remove the dentures to clean them. I get hungry a little but am afraid to eat. I am afraid it will hurt and so I put it off. Dental therapy. Is there such a thing?

I managed to put in a full day at work on Monday. Beth cam back. She has been out since January 9th. She went to the doctor because she had a pain. That issue led to another and another and another. She used to have this lovely barroom voice and a disposition in the like. She came back to us with a voice that sounds like Martha Stewart and she is thin and fragile. I made a "Welcome Back" lemon cheesecake for her that lasted all of a half hour in the lunchroom. Beth loved it so much that I ended up wrapping the last three pieces so she could bring it home. After all, I made it for her. Everyone was in tears to have her back. She is just one of those special women - real.

So, what do you all think of the scarf look?

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