Dr. Grimm, Mowing, Gas Lines, Golf, Painting, Cats, etc …

I want to thank all three of you who check in every day and see if I’m still ticking. I appreciate it. Knowing you do gives me an incentive to honor your quest for useless information. The last few days have been difficult which is why I haven’t been around much.

It started with the tooth Dr. Grimm ripped out of my head. At the time, it didn’t hurt at all. It didn’t even hurt bad the next day, but as the week progressed it hurt more and more until I was on the verge of a migraine all the time. Not quite there, mind you, but close, and I knew it was coming from the area of the tooth I gave up for adoption.

Actually, I didn’t do that. The tooth is laying calmly on my computer desk inside a sandwich bag. One of these days I’ll hide it under my pillow and see if there really is a tooth fairy. That would be a dumb thing to do, however, because I’d only get a quarter, or maybe a $1 and, with its gold crown, that thing cost me about $900. Maybe I’ll put it up for sale on eBay so some person, who has a tooth fetish, can get me my money back.

Anyway, the pain was getting worse each day and finally Diane’d had enough and forced me to call Dr. Grimm so he could check it out. Being a good husband, I did as she ‘suggested’, and got an appointment for the same day. That was yesterday. We had a nice visit during which he told me the extraction site looked excellent, and everything was healing nicely. As for the pain, he suggested face and neck massage to relax the muscles in my jaw, which he could see were clenching and unclenching, something I wasn’t aware of. And, he gave me a script for cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer. Since I had a vague memory of taking this before, for back spasms, I thought, “Why not?”

I related all of this to Diane upon my return and she asked if I had the prescription. I didn’t. It was folded neatly inside my iPad, which I take everywhere with me, except golfing. I don’t take it golfing. Perhaps I should. It might like it.

So, she sent me back to town to do four things …

  1. Drop my script at Rite Aid
  2. Go to Safeway and get bananas
  3. Go to Taco Bell and get us lunch
  4. Go back to Rite Aid and pick up my drugs
  5. Go home

OK – that’s five things. I added #5 because I think it should be included on all lists for trips as an indication that one is actually allowed to do that. Go home, that is. Sometimes people are allowed to do that and it would be nice to know. It’s not a given, you know.

When I got home, Diane immediately made me eat something so I could take one, which I did. I waited for a few minutes for something to happen, but it didn’t, so I got some wrenches, went outside, and climbed under the ’79 Winnebago to see if I could determine if the fuel tank switch functioned. Now you’re shaking your heads, I know, wondering what I was thinking, and how could Diane allow me to do that while under the influence. Well, after I took the pill, she left, so I mowed the yard. All of it.

OK – now I’m getting confused. I know I did both of those things yesterday, but don’t recall the sequence. Now I think I mowed first, THEN worked under the Winnebago. No, it was the Winnebago, first, then the lawn. That’s because she returned from a trip to ‘someplace’ while I was working under the RV, and asked me how it was going. I was almost finished putting the fuel line all back together, knowing the fuel transfer switch was working properly, and that gas was coming down the line from the aux tank. I know the latter because I blew into the line and gas came spurting back at me, soaking my jeans. But the electric fuel pump still wouldn’t pump the gas, so I’ve got to figure something else out. I figure the electric pump is better at pushing gas than pulling it when it isn’t primed.

After that, I started mowing the yard, at Diane’s request, then she left to take her Mom, Jean, to the store. When she returned the lawn was done and I watched her make an attempt to back the Buick into the garage so it would be easier to empty the goods …

No … I think the store trip was today. Yesterday, after the pill took effect, I just kinda layed around doing nothing, and the pain subsided a great deal. Then I went to bed.

Yes, the store was today. I think. No, I golfed this morning. Had to’ve been yesterday. Diane will clear this up, I’m sure. We also applied another coat of paint to our hall, and the cats started migrating back to their proper place in the display cabinet.

There was a report on the evening news about two fans who wrote a letter to the editor of a (the?) San Francisco newspaper complaining about the noise level at the Seahawks home game against the 49ers, and various ways NFL management could deal with excessive noise. There’s speculation that the letter may have been submitted as satire, giving the 49ers (Jean’s favorite team, by the way – not Diane’s Mom, Jean, but the other one) another reason for losing the game 29-3.

I figure it was a good way to get people’s minds off all the flooding, misery, killings, and wrecks going on in other parts of the country.

Since it was San Francisco, it also made me think of Kathie’s impending trip to that fine city to search for a new elbow. We hope she finds a good one.

l took another pill about 1/2 hour ago and itsssß staringot make me wooosie. Did you knøw thæt if ÿøü hołd dowń a lėttęr on your keeybord you get some îńtëréštïñg čhøīçêś fõr åłtérñātę łëttèrś?????????????

My Dentist

It’s 0850 when I open the door to enter the office. There are 4 people already there which isn’t a surprise since the office opens at 0700. One of the staff members was talking with one of the ‘waiters’, and everyone in the place seemed to be joining in, making it a happy place to be. However, as soon as I stepped through the door, all talking stopped. I’m sure they were all talking about me before I got there, and hadn’t expected me to be 10 minutes early, so felt confident they could get there ‘digs’ in before I arrived.

That isn’t true, of course. I’m sure the merriment ceased upon my arrival because they didn’t know me and were a little concerned about how I might react to a waiting room half full of laughing people. So, to defuse the situation, I accused them of all of talking about me and that they could continue with no concern for me. And, they did. I didn’t know any of them, and my delivery was accepted the way I intended, that they needn’t stop just because a new stranger walked into their midst. I’m not shy that way.

I also talk to people in elevators which makes most of them uncomfortable. On a good elevator trip, I’ll be the last one aboard a loaded car. I’ll step in and remain facing the back of the car, making eye contact with anyone willing to look at me, then smile. Sometimes I attempt to get them all to sing “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands … CLAP CLAP,” or I might simply start humming “It’s A Small World”. There’s generally no response to the former, but the latter creates a light-hearted atmosphere that causes people to thank me for planting that song in their heads for the remainder of the day as they leave the car. Most of the time they all get off at the first stop whether it’s their floor or not.

Things in the waiting room returned to normal and I assumed my waiting position and … waited. My appointment was for 0900. My dentists name is Dr. Grimm. That’s not a joke. It’s really his name. He’s a nice guy and very good at what he does. I like him because he’s not a pretentious person.

I’ve visited this office a number of times, and have been placed in different work stations, so I know he’s not a Lutheran. If he was, I would be assigned the same operatory every time. No moving around. No sir. Just like church. His assistant today was Tyra, a very nice young lady with excellent teeth … a pre-requisite for anyone working in a dental office. In my experience, all dental assistants and chairside people are adorable young ladies. In all the years I’ve been going to the dentist, I’ve known of one male assistant, and he was gay. The gay part isn’t significant, just fact. Could be some of the female assistants are also gay, but it’s not so evident with them, and I don’t particularly care, or mind. They are all adorable. Even the gay guy assistant was adorable.

Tyra taped a large napkin to my chest, and had me sign something that gave them permission to pull a tooth. The choice of which tooth was mine to make, but they had a suggestion. Considering that I was dealing with experts swayed my decision in favor of their choice which made them happy. Dr. Grimm, however, was open for also pulling the other tooth I was sure I didn’t need. Clearer heads prevailed, however, and we settled on the one they chose. It was in sad shape and just had to be put down.

I was reclined back so far I couldn’t relax because my tongue kinda slid back and prevented me from breathing unless I sent it a continuous stream of commands to remain firm, which it did. Then Dr. Grimm took hold of my right cheek and started wiggling it as a diversion then stealthily slid his syringe full of numbing agent into the area, on the outer part of the top right tooth, and slid it slowly, oh so slowly, into my flesh. Because he did it slowly, and was also wiggling my cheek, I didn’t feel a thing.

Then he went away to let things go numb, and I read my iPad for a while. When he returned he reported that he needed to give me shots on the inside of the tooth also, in the roof of my mouth. He needlessly warned me that such shots are normally pretty uncomfortable for most people, but it had to be done or the sound of my shrieking, as he removed the tooth, would bother his other patients. I already knew this, of course, so relaxed as much as I could, and opened wide.

The shot itself isn’t really all that bad. It’s the sensation of him moving the syringe all over the place that concerns me the most because I know he’s moving it around without taking the needle all the way out. He just punched through the crunchy part in the roof of my mouth, causing a considerable level of pain, maybe a 6, squirted some of the contents in, pulled the needle back out a little ways, then moved it to a new angle and pushed it in again. Thankfully, the numbing agent acted quickly so the level 6 was as bad as it got.

Thinking he was going to depart and let the last shots go to work, I was surprised when he rattled some tools and went right to work. Memories of the last tooth I had pulled, many, many, many years ago, caused a brief moment of panic because it wasn’t a pleasant experience. During that operation, after deadening the area, the dentist simply clamped a set of pliers to the offending tooth, and yanked it around until he got it out. There was nothing gentle about it. Dr. Grimm, however, took one of his tools and just started pushing on the tooth, one way, then the other, loosening it very gently. Once he had it wiggling, he got his pliers and gently twisted it until the tendons broke, then pulled it free. When tooth tendons break, by the way, it sounds like the crack of a whip all over inside your head and it kinda makes your eyes open a little wider, to see things more clearly. It’s brief, and he explained it, so I felt no need to panic.

Once it was removed I was asked if I wanted to keep it. Of course I did. I keep all my teeth. Besides, if I didn’t keep it, someone else would give it to the tooth fairy and cheat me out of money I had rightfully earned.

I was retained in the chair for a pre-determined amount of time, to allow the first wad of gauze to absorb the blood seeping out of the new hole that was created in my mouth. Tyra called time, and took the gauze out, and replaced it with another wad. The first one had surprisingly little blood on it because I, being familiar with bleeding injuries, intentional or otherwise, know that pressure on the wound is the key. So, I was biting down hard the entire time. Also, I clot up quickly, which helps.

After paying my bill, $300 and change, I was given a schedule for my next appointment that will cost almost $1000. It’s supposed to be a crown, but I’m thinking that we might just yank that one out, too. It’s a lot cheaper and, let’s face it, I’m OK with soft food. I don’t need all those fancy teeth to eat a banana. I can just chew on stuff until it gets soft then swallow, or, if it’s something that absolutely must be masticated a great deal, I can use the other side of my mouth. Ya, I think I’ll just skip the new crown and go for the extraction.

Now I’m home, resting. I told Diane I was given three days bed rest, but she didn’t believe me. She’s worked for a number of dentists during our travels and knows how it works so it was foolish of me to try to trick her. She did, however, concede that I could have one day off to rest before taking on the projects already started, or new ones making themselves known.

Now I must change my gauze and rest.

Dog Bites, Rugs, Dentists, & All My Children

Diane’s had enough of Panzee biting on her tail, and said she’s getting to smell pretty bad. I suggested that it would be OK to take her to the dog groomer because Ozzie gets to go about once a month. Panzee has never been so I think it’s about time. Now, however, we need to wait for her tail to heal where she’s removed all of the hair from about a 4-inch patch. In an attempt to help her out a little, before we realized she’d ripped all the hair out, we gave her Benadryl because the vet said we could. That was information for Ziva, but it works for Panzee, too. That seemed to help a little with the incessant biting and chewing. Then came the odor of blood, which Diane can smell, but I can’t. Luckily, Jeff and his friend, Marc, came by so we had extra hands to find out what was going on. I tried to look, by myself, but Panzee reminded me that she’s got really big teeth and she’s not afraid to use them. There was no touching the tail. No way. It took 220 lbs of Jeff laying on her to keep her from biting me. Instead she nipped at Jeff’s cheek a few times which was just fine with me. She didn’t break the skin so we know it was just warning nips.

With all the manhandling, the tail was accessible so Diane squeezed about half a tube of antibiotic salve on the wound then we put down some gauze and wrapped it up with paper tape. When it was all done it looked like Panzee had a scrunchie on her tail. She didn’t seem to mind, once we let her go, but last night, after everyone went to sleep, she slipped it off the wound so she could lick it. We switched from Benadryl to aspirin yesterday to help her with the pain. That’s OK, too. I checked. Since she relocated the scrunchie we decided to get her to the vet for a professional decision about how to proceed. I’m guessing she’s going to wind up with one of those Elizabethan collars. She’ll hate that.

Yesterday we unrolled the ‘new’ 9×12 carpet Diane got that I don’t think I’ve mentioned. It’s mostly purple and is for the living room. We unrolled it in the garage then she made me vacuum it 15 times – on each side! That’s true. With the good side down to start, I ran the vacuum over the back to knock as much dirt loose as I could. When I folded back one side there was an incredible amount of fine dust on the floor. I vacuumed that up, unfolded the part I’d originally folded, then folded over the other end and repeated the process. I did that 15 times before there was no evidence of dust. I did this in lieu of shampooing it which, it turns out, was a stellar idea because it would have just coalesced into mud, I’m sure. Before the last go round with the vac we replaced the bag. I’m here to tell you that it was super full and weighed more than any vacuum cleaner bag I’ve ever had the pleasure of changing. I bet it was 10 lbs, a testament to our eBay vacuum.

Now the rug is rolled up and stored in Lydia’s room until we decide if we want to move furniture around in the living room again. Right now there’s a large plastic matt on the floor, the kind people put outside their Winnebago’s to keep as much dirt out of the rig as possible. It’s mostly purple, too.

This morning I had my scheduled cleaning appointment at the dentist. After my hygienist, Cheryl, was done I talked with Dr. Grimm and arranged to have one of my teeth pulled. It’s one I never use so I decided to get rid of it. That’s going to happen in September. I figure by then I’ll be able to save enough money to have it done.

At lunch I read my book, on my iPad, like normal, and Diane was watching All My Children on Hulu, on her iPad. She uses headphones while watching All My Children so it won’t annoy me. Then all the sudden she started shouting out random letters, and various cast names which concerned me. I watched for a while and figured out that she was answering questions that were being shown on the screen. She finally realized that I was perplexed with her tourettes-like behavior and started answering the questions silently, occasionally pumping a fist in the air to indicate a correct answer. After that it was much easier to concentrate on my book. After she was done she removed her earphones and asked me a question. I shouted the answer. She smiled, an indication that I wasn’t in trouble for being rude, that she understood that I was merely replicating the manner in which she was spouting her answers to her quiz. Then all was quiet. Lunch was done and it was time for me to get back to work.

At the bathroom, on which I’ve been working forever, I managed to get the new valve installed and one of the four exits connected to the tub filler spout thing. Jennifer was my guiding light, keeping me focused to get that far. I’m using PEX to connect it instead of using copper tubing. PEX is much simpler. There’s no danger of getting burned and I already had the tubing. Just needed to get the connections. Right now I’m three connectors shy of success. ACE didn’t have the ones I thought I needed so I just purchased some that I randomly removed from the racks. Tomorrow I’ll take back the ones I didn’t use and see if they have the ones I really need. I’ll figure it out, one way or another.

Now dinner is done and I’m sitting in the Man Room with Lydia and Jeran who are watching Merlin on Netflix. Diane and Jennifer are at either Safeway or Fred Meyer, cruising the isles, shopping for things to eat.

It’s a good day to be me.