Last Friday I had to drive Ladybug, our face-eating pitbull, to a dental appointment where she was to have two canine teeth extracted. "Aren't they ALL canine teeth?" I asked in that fun-loving way I have. The veterinary assistant stared at me and assured me that not all of them are canine teeth. Even Ladybug failed to see the humor in my bon mot, preferring to express her opinion by taking a truly massive dump on the linoleum floor.
She survived the procedure just fine and didn't even hold a grudge very long, no doubt because she had an inkling that hard justice was in the air. Because Monday I went to the human dentist where they popped off a couple of ancient crowns (Mesopotamian, I believe) and drilled extravagantly before deciding that one tooth was pining for the fjords and had to go. At which point I took a massive dump on their linoleum floor.
No, no, I didn't do that - because the dentist preferred that I see a dental surgeon for the actual excavation. And so I found myself in a dental chair yet again on Tuesday looking at a tray full of disturbing, pewter-colored hardware which made me wish with all my heart that I had important state secrets to reveal.
I was asked to sign a few "informed consent" forms which noted that the dental firm was in no way liable if my jaw happened to snap like dry wood when things got violent. But fortunately, that didn't happen. The snapping, that is. Because they sure as Hell got violent in pretty short order.
After about 5 really deep shots of anesthetic, the nice lady dental surgeon fiddle-diddled my lower lip up and down to check if it was numb, then went in guns a-blazin'. I remember large-bore drills, a hammer and chisel, and a lot of unbelievably hard pulling that truly had me wondering about the tensile strength of my jaw bone. The entire process took about 40 minutes, which even the dentist noted was an unusually long time.
But now that tooth is gone and, because it was all the way in the back, it's being replaced by nothing at all. So I've got a stitched-up hole back there, prescription painkillers, anti-microbial mouthwash, a "soft foods only" diet for about 5 more days, and a smug pitbull whose every look says "Not so funny now, is it a**hole?"
In other general updates, Daughter J and I keep plugging along, doing our best to heal and reinvent ourselves (spoiler alert: there's a long way to go). I've finally been able to move a nice framed photo of Kathy to my desktop for frequent, loving looks. Until now, it was too painful to do anything but steal a quick glance and then look away. So that's probably a degree of healing in progress. Or so I hope.
Despite wearing an ice bag on my jaw (no, really) I managed to plant daffodil bulbs in Kathy's little memorial garden at the side of our house, so hopefully, we'll be enjoying some Spring blooms from those if the critters don't dig them up and eat them.
Work on my fun Kathy-related writing project proceeds apace as I continue taking delivery of commissioned artwork, and I'm pretty confident that it's going to end up being a pretty nice final product. And of course, I'll let you know when it debuts and how to get it cheaply and/or free.
Just to have something new and different to try out, beginning Monday I'll be taking an online course in stand-up comedy. And do I want to be a 70-year-old stand-up comic? Well no, not particularly. But it seems like a fun thing to try and will also be a nice social event that I can enjoy without fretting about Covid, monkeypox, or drunken hecklers. Theoretically, I'll have my very own 5-minute stand-up comedy routine in about 10 weeks. Whether or not I inflict it on the world remains to be seen.
And finally, here's something (no longer very timely) that I posted on Facebook...
See you in the comments section!
C'mon! You can do way better than that level of cynicism in this kind of environment! Stilton!!! Get your groove back on, please, we love you.c
I read your first comment and am amazed! I thought it was fantastic. But then, I've had so many harrowing experiences with dentists that I was hoping you weren't joking about the massive dump on the linoleum floor.
So glad you're able to move Kathy's picture to your desk. Small steps. You'll get there.
Oh, and stand up? My word, you're brave!
@Stilt said, "...pewter-colored hardware which made me wish with all my heart that I had important state secrets to reveal." Lawrence Olivier wasn't there, was he?
When I was a young adult, i was one of the lucky few who did not have my wisdom teeth extracted because my dentist said my jaw had room. My jaw did sort of have room. But not really. Later one in life, my dental hygienist started removing particles of food from pockets within my wisdom teeth. She was having great fun. Comments included such gems as "oh, T-Bone steak last week, huh"? and "I wonder how long this broccoli has been in there?" After 15 minutes or so, she brought my periodontist in. He looked at the pile of stuff she had already extracted and sighed. From his expression, I could see that he was somewhat amazed that that much masticated food could hide inside a single tooth. The hygienist cheerfully chimed in "I can dig a lot more out of the other three." She was right. A few days later, I had all 4 wisdom teeth extracted in a single afternoon. My periodontist talked me in to Local anesthetic only. "It will be easier that way." The good news, local anesthetic covered most of the nerves in the area. The bad news, most is not all :-(. Some parts of my wisdom teeth did not want to leave easily. That was easily one the worst life experiences I have ever been through. But I would eagerly go through that every day of my life if I could have been spared going though the life of a loved one (In my case, my daughter).
All those instruments?
They're really useful for gunsmithing
and a lot cheaper in gunsmithingstuff catalogs.
IS IT SAFE?
Many mango seasons ago I had my wisdom teeth extracted. The roots were so long I believe I saw Alex Haley’s autograph on them. Bah-dum, tish! Good to see you and Daughter J are making progress.
I am well shut of that cussed bicuspid. ;D
Take solace in the fact that daffodils are toxic and if those critters eat even the bulbs there's a chance they croak.
It's the reason I gave up my tulips for them years ago.
I hate having dental work done too. Always expensive as hell and several people wearing gloves have their hands in my mouth. Takes all my strength to not bite down. A bright light burning my retinas out, while dental assistant or dentist is having a casual conversation with me.
I too am glad to hear of healing for your family and your loss. Moving on is always hard is because you think doing that make you forget. You don't forget, you just learn to appreciate the Good Times which were had. The trick is making more of those.
MMM: That looks terrifying.
Stilt: Would love to see a stand-up routine!
Have to say canine dentistry is new to me. Wife unit too had major oral surgery as step one towards implants and was given the same post-op medicine you, Stilton were given.
the blowback after the Martha's Vineyard masterstroke tells me the arrow hit true to the mark. Its a pity many won't see the barefaced hypocrisy in action.
Good to see you back, Stilt. Your episode at the dentist sounds like one I had a few years ago. That one ended up with the inside of my cheek sown to my gum.
Recovery takes time; just keep working on it. In my retirement I enroll in the local community college (gunsmithing, before that, welding.) It gives me a schedule and I learn new things. Also gives me access to a great shop, cheap. Standup sounds like a great idea. Get someone to record it for us to enjoy as well! (I know you prefer incognito, so maybe wear a bag like the unknown comic!)
Sounds like you are back Stilt. I also had the joy of wisdom tooth extraction years ago. I told the surgeon I wanted to see the teeth. One came out in pieces via hammer and chisel ( like yours). Fortunately I was sedated during the process. Stitched up gum holes, wax to seal the jawbone, and tea bag compresses topped off the glorious event....so I understand.
Our dog had teeth extracted several times. It got to the point where we had to brush her teeth every night (really!). Neither of us enjoyed that.
And FWIW, I was referred to an oral surgeon for removal of some, root canal and capping of others. My experience mirrors yours. The good news is that several months later all is well and I'm back to my regular diet - which is mostly liquid, but that's by choice...
Only you can make me laugh at your pain in such a fashion! You have a gift for finding the right phrase.
Stilt: In the interest of taking a bite out of humor, we're pleased that you only had time to install one molar panel.
I had 4 wisdoms removed as a young teen. I was one miserable kid and the surgery didn’t change any of that.
Small steps, that's what it takes. Great article, can't wait to see your stand-up. All the best to you and daughter. Keep on, brother !
You'd been quiet for some time and was a bit concerned and tempted to poke you, but good to hear you're busy. (with non-dental related activities)
Martha's 90% White Vineyard: What wasn't there to love about the DeSantis stunt? It was brilliant. It got the crisis regarding our insecure "secure" border back on the front page. Even the MSM now has to admit that literally over a million illegals are entering the country every year. Small border towns have been overwhelmed by this for years, but literally only a couple of hundred of these people sent to the megalopolises of Chicago & NYC pose an existential crisis? Then it forces the MSM to admit that the Biden Administration has been sending planeloads of people all over the country to unprepared locales.
And most of these recent immigrants are coming from, of all places, Venezuela. What? I thought Venezuela was the place Bernie Sanders told us that "...the American dream is more apt to be realized...". What gives?
But the best part had to be Martha's Vineyard, spiritual home of many of America's wealthiest & cultural elite with nearly every yard with a sign espousing how they "...stand with refugees..." and "All Are Welcome Here". Well, welcome for 44 hours anyway before the national guard can show up to whisk them away.
The only thing missing was long-time Martha's Vineyard resident James Taylor there to sing them "You've got a friend" as they boarded the busses off the island to be dumped somewhere else.
But it wasn't as though the residents of Martha's Vineyard weren't touched:
'They enriched us.' Migrants' 44-hour visit leaves indelible mark on Martha's Vineyard
The Marie Antoinette Left: You enrich us so much! Now get off my lawn!
You see, just like Chicago & NYC, the good and more moral than you denizens of Martha's Vineyard say they just don't have the resources to house and care for 50 people. That seems kinda incongruent to me considering that Martha's Vineyard almost exclusively exists to accommodate out-of-towners, as the population drops from 200,000 during peak summer season to a mere 17,000 after Labor Day. I guess what they meant was that they didn't have the resources to house and care for 50 poor people. That makes sense.
Someone ran an ad in the Providence Journal that sums it up nicely:
"We strongly support and encourage all forms of migration, especially illegal migration. Indeed, we donate to Joe Biden and his party for this exact reason. However, our beautiful island home of Martha's Vineyard is very small and the mansions have very expensive artwork, Persian rugs, and unchlorinated saltwater swimming pools that are very difficult to clean. For these reasons, we cannot accept any documented Americans at this time and respectfully ask they be sent to a working class community they can enrich with their global diversity and romantic poverty. Thank you for your understanding."
So since the Progressives who inhabit and run Chicago, NYC, and Martha's Vineyard have determined that they don't have the resources or responsibility to deal with the border invasion the Democrats have engendered, it's clearly up to your community that didn't vote for Democrats to host them. Perhaps exposure to more "global diversity and romantic poverty" will entice you to vote more properly come November.
My last experience with the dentist, I couldn't help but notice how much the dental surgeon looked like Hulk Hogan. After she filled me up with painkillers, like she was fracking, I thought I could hear what seemed like the sound of plantation work songs over the sound of the drills and pumps.
I hope you heal quickly from your trouble.
It seems that you are healing nicely; both from your dental experience and the loss of your dear Kathy. Humor lends itself greatly to the healing process, and it is evident that you are definitely back on track. Although, I cannot hear it in your voice, I can see it in your writing. I think that you would make a terrific stand-up comedian.
@MiamiSean- Oh, I'm still plenty cynical, I just lack the energy to really show it. (grin)
@Hyzenthlay- I'm not sure it's very brave doing a stand-up course via Zoom, but at least it's an effort. Many decades ago I did stand-up as performance art rather than just telling jokes - and it was terrifying. I'm pretty sure I never got on a stage cold sober!
@JustaJeepGuy- He certainly crossed my mind more than once.
@Anonymous- When I had my wisdom teeth pulled I developed a "dry socket," which is WAY past 10 on the pain scale. And I'm so very sorry about your daughter. Emotional/spiritual pain is way worse than anything the body can offer up.
@DougM- Well that explains why the office walls were covered with stuffed animal trophies.
@Fritz Brohn- It turns out the answer is decidedly "no."
@Bobo the Hobo- My wisdom teeth came in sideways so that the roots were sticking up out of my gums. The removal process was more or less like giving birth.
@M. Mitchell Marmel- Oh, great. Now I have a taste for candy corn.
@Empress of Engineering- Well I don't want any critters actually croaking. A little stomach upset is enough.
@Anonymous- This year I'm in the process of having about $10,000 in dental work, NOT counting the pulled tooth or the $2500 I've recently spent in doggy dental bills. And thanks for the wisdom about the journey I'm on.
@Jerryskids- I know I can be funny. The question for me is what would my stand-up persona be if I had one? That's one of the things I'd like to discover with this course. Alternately, it might help me to learn how to have an actual personality.
@Fish Out of Water- Both of my brothers are full of dental implants, and have told me tales about having cadaver bone grafted into their heads so the fake teeth can be screwed into something solid. No thank you.
And the Martha's Vineyard story was and is a sheer delight. It's fun when you force Progressives to actually live by their words and see the resulting panic and chaos.
@Snark- I don't know for a fact that my cheek isn't sewn to my gums...I'm afraid to mess with anything in there!
And I definitely think I need to be learning and trying new things and having exposure to human beings even if only by Zoom calls. As far as sharing a routine incognito, maybe I can do a deepfake of Rodney Dangerfield.
@Stogman- Oh, I'm not "back" but I'm "here" and that's hopefully something. I must admit that the hammer and chisel were unexpected and a special affront. And the place did send me home with a teabag to put on the wound, though I didn't use it.
@CenTexTim- Dogs actually should get their teeth brushed regularly but we've only had one dog who put up with it. The others have been given "Greenies" which claim to clean teeth and gums but seem suspiciously like ordinary treats. Theoretically, by the end of the year my teeth will be "all caught up" and I won't need more major dental work. I sure hope that's the case.
@Uchuck the Tuchuck- Glad you enjoyed my pain, you sadistic bastard (grin).
@Mike aka Proof- So THAT'S what the dentist meant when she said my teeth were very green!
@Anonymous- Never mind the teeth, I know a lot of people who had all their wisdom removed as teens and never got it back.
@Joe Drypowda- Small steps is what I can do, and they're not always in the right direction. But I'm trying!
@John the Econ- Always feel free to poke! Time moves differently for me these days and I lose track of how long I've been away from this blog. Or what day it is. Or how old I am. Or what season we're in. My brain fog is so thick that even my train of thought has been grounded.
And everything about the Martha's Vineyard exploit was epic. When I first heard the story that "they enriched us" before being dragged away by the military, I genuinely had to look it up to make sure it wasn't a perfect Babylon Bee satire. And I wasn't aware of those off-season housing stats. Sure sounds like a LOT of Venezuelans could be accommodated up there for those colder months.
@Murphy(AZ)- The nice Asian lady who did my extraction didn't look strong, but when she started singing "16 Tons" you could tell she meant business.
@jayjay- At various times I can approach humor at almost a pure craft level, or as art, or simply as personal expression. And I think I could have been a decent stand-up back in the day. Today I may be too old and outdated to be able to relate to a contemporary audience. Although if I can learn a couple of country songs, maybe I could get a gig performing for seniors (and senioritas) in Branson, Missouri...
I could write a novel about dental work. After a lifetime of dental work and the accompanying loss of income that went with it, I finally had to get full dental implants. Seven hours in the chair, not put under, but merely sedated with something that didn't sedate. I knew everything that was happening. Plus it cost what I used to make in salary for a year, 40+ hours a week for 52 weeks. However, it was worth it. The money and pain are fading memories but the great "teeth" are here to stay!
Also, after bragging how I'm probably immune from Covid, guess what? I got Covid. I think I'll forego that fourth shot now. As for the virus, I've had bronchitis and the real flu which were a hundred times worse. However, the only symptom that's dragging me down is the fatigue. I can't go from the kitchen to the living room without being worn out. It better be over before next Friday, because I'm going to see Elton John if they have to wheel me in on a stretcher.
anyone offer you endodontics? to retain the tooth and build new crowns there.
Just for the record: the move of Kathy's photo to your desk *IS* a big step, as is being able to cast loving glances rather than being stabbed by emotional pain. Congratulations! You're not moving on because that is impossible. But you have moved forward.
Love ya, man!
@Shelly -- as costly as the implants are, can it be arranged to leave them to a friend or relative upon your demise?
@boron -- Wasn't there an ad campaign a while back, "Hooked on Endodontics worked for me?"
@Stilt -- glad to see a new entry. Also glad that you keep Johnny O going even when the main blog is quiet.
@john the Econ:. In my youth, I was an avid reader of American Heritage books on U.S. and world history. In one of the books, on the French Revolution, which I wish I could remember in it's entirety to quote on the situation in this country- a distant mirror so to speak.
The quote dealt with the backbreaking burden imposed on the peasants and the Third Estate (commoners) and that due to this burden, life for these people had barely moved out of Feudalism.
@Shelly- Sorry you needed the epic dental work but I'm glad your chompers are working now. Celebrate with corn on the cob! And I'm sorry about the Covid infection. I still haven't gotten it, still mask up, and probably still seem paranoid to many. I don't like the stats on long covid, brain problems, heart problems, and clotting disorders. Although Biden said the pandemic is over, so we've got that going for us. Enjoy that concert!
@boron- In talking with my dentist about options, it seemed like considering the cost to save the tooth (and it's subsequent utility) when divided by the number of years I'd probably use it, the numbers just didn't add up. So I've just got a semi-stitched hole back there now.
@Patrick- Yeah, moving Kathy's picture feels very significant. I'm glad I can look to her for strength and comfort (and just did) because this has been a hard day.
@Dan- It DOES seem like a waste not to just unscrew the implanted teeth when the time comes. Granted they won't fit anyone else, but think of the gifting potential! And sure, "Hooked on Endodontics" is easy for you to say.
Regarding Johnny O, I'd feel like a real hypocrite NOT posting new material at this rotten-but-still-trying time in my life.
@Fish Out of Water- Currently I feel like our overlords have imposed a state of futilism on us.
You're gonna have to do the same as me when you make amusing or smartarse comments.You have to work out first if the other person shares your sense of humour or like most now has NON at all.The depth I get myself into with an ageing sense of humour amazes even me.Good luck amusing and not offending your stand up crowd.A sense of humour is a good thing,don't ever lose it.
@Bones- Out of lifelong habit and without much conscious thought, I float a few test jokes (not jokes, really, but laugh lines) when meeting people to get an idea if they're receptive or not. I guess the same would apply to a crowd although I don't currently expect to actually find myself in front of one. This class will be a bit of a busman's holiday allowing me to learn some technical aspects of the humor business that I've always wondered about...and from the safety of my own home!
Apparently the Martha's Vineyard crowd doesn't remember JFK's 1961 statement: https://onesplinteratatime.blogspot.com/2010/06/to-whom-much-is-given-much-is-required.html
I push mothballs into the soil around newly planted bulbs, the smell keeps curious critters from finding your buried treasure. In the spring use Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellant spray to keep wascally wabbits from nibbling at the new growth. Once the flowers poke their head above ground level spray every day until the shoots are 2-3" high and you can actually remember that you sprayed them yesterday, then ease off to every few days.
And if your teeth ache, be sure to schedule a dental visit for 2:30...
Just wait until you get the implant to replace the extracted tooth. It gets threaded into a hole drilled into your jawbone, then packed with corpse bone powder and Platelet-rich plasma made from your own blood, and they tighten it down with an honest to God socket wrench. Ok, it's a tiny one, but it's still a socket wrench. 6 months later you get the porcelain crown installed, which is bolted into the socket, again with the ratchet wrench.
@Fish Out of Water, if anything can be said of this era, it's that there's a shameless no holds barred rush by the economically useless to seize the wealth of the economically productive with the enthusiastic help of the state. I've long since argued that this nation crossed the Rubicon a decade or two ago when the number of people receiving one or more form of government benefits exceeded the number of people working to create the wealth that funds those benefits.
Since that time, I've tried to warn Progressives that if they think they hate "capitalism" now, just wait until the economy/dollar truly collapses and the wealth transfer mechanisms no longer function. They'll then learn in the most painful way just how "ruthless" capitalism can be. Workers will have absolutely no patience left for those who've become deliberately economically useless.
@Anonymous, the Democratic Party has come a long way since "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country" to "Ask now what you can do for your country but self-righteously demand that your country steal from the productive for your comfort and political vanity".
＠John the Econ: " I've tried to warn Progressives that if they think they hate "capitalism" now, just wait until the economy/dollar truly collapses and the wealth transfer mechanisms no longer function. They'll then learn in the most painful way just how "ruthless" capitalism can be. Workers will have absolutely no patience left for those who've become deliberately economically useless."
Ain't that the truth. The French, Russian and Chinese revolutions are replete with horror narratives of the productive class turning on the economically useless class.
I was once referred to a particularly barbaric dental surgeon for a root canal.
That evil bastard kept asking me with this strange foreign accent, "Is it SAFE?" over and over again.
Since I think we could all enjoy a smile, here's something that made me laugh out loud yesterday; a 16-year-old New Zealand Greta wanna-be who organizes high school "Climate Strikes" is getting interviewed on a live radio program. Even a sympathetic MSM interviewer can't swallow the rank hypocrisy of another "do what I say, not what I do" activist and loses it on-air.
Interviewer: So we would have to apply to have approved permits to be able to fly.
Izzy: Well, that's one thing you could look at doing.
Interviewer: So am I allowed to go to Fiji? Is that necessary?
Izzy: In the current climate crisis I don't think that's necessary.
Interviewer: When was the last time you were on a plane?
Izzy: Hmmmm, not sure. Maybe a few months ago.
Interviewer: Where did you go?
Interviewer: Izzy? (unrestrained laughter)
But it gets funnier, if that's even possible. Izzy's Fiji-travelling mom doubles-down on the stupid by writing op-eds about how her daughter was bullied by an interviewer who couldn't swallow her hypocritical crap.
Heather du Plessis-Allan should be ashamed of how she bullied my daughter
"Commentators like du Plessis-Allan don’t give a shit about climate change. They don’t care that Arctic ice is melting at four times the expected rate, or that we are seeing more and more extreme weather events killing and displacing people across the globe. No, as du Plessis-Allan is fond of reminding us, it’s the economy that matters, not our planet."
Says the mom who takes her family on trips to Fiji!
Another fine exemplar of the "climate change" movement. These people have absolutely no intention of surrendering any measurable degree of inconvenience or making any sacrifice in their personal lives that reflects their crisis rhetoric, but wholly expect the rest of the world to unwind the economies that make their unprecedentedly luxurious lives possible. Even if it means other people freezing or starving to death.
Sorry, hon. I can't possibly take "climate change" any more seriously than you and your family obviously does.
Hubris, Level 11.
Just what the world needs, another climate princess. Maybe she could get together with Gretta Knottedknickers and form a wrassling tag-team in their later years.
"Maybe she could get together with Gretta..."
I doubt it. Have you noticed that Greta has largely fallen off the radar in the last year? For one thing, she started taking shots at the elites who used to cheer her on for being the hypocrites they are. And as ordinary Europeans are now reaping the real consequences of their "green new deal" and "energy poverty" is now a thing for millions of people with winter on the horizon, they've lost all patience for her kind of scolding.
I have little doubt that she's back in Sweden ensconced in her comfortable home in one of Europe's most affluent countries contemplating what she's going to do with the rest of her life now that pretty much everyone is sick and tired of her.
When I was sixteen, I had to have all of my wisdom teeth extracted. Six long needles of novacain, 3 in each gum. They couldn’t understand why my jaw wouldn’t numb up all the way. (Today I know that it’s because redheads like myself have more nerves than non-redheads. Lucky us.)The right side was done first. The sound of the roots cracking, the pressure exerted, and the straining and grunting of the dentist, sweat running in rivulets down his face as he gripped a tooth a pulled with all his might, was so bad, that when I was told to come back in two weeks to do the left side, I told my mom it would never happen. Two weeks later I was forced to repeat the torture. Two years later, when all my friends underwent the procedure, they all were put under with gas. Why didn’t I get gas? Because my parents refused to pay for it, ignoring the dentist’s recommendation. They felt it was a rip off. I would have preferred to be knocked out. Needless to say, the movie Matathon Man, with the sadistic dental torture, was not my favorite. I can laugh at Steve Martin playing a sadistic dentist in Little Shop of Horrors. I hope you and your canine friend heal quickly and painlessly.
Once when taking one of our dogs to the vet, I made the same bon mot about canine teeth and got the same reaction and response. Either the vet tech's humor had been extracted or she had heard the statement so many times that she had tuned it out automatically.
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