Thursday, May 29, 2008

My dental history

I am 24 years old, have had 2 root canals and as many crowns. I have a fair share of fillings and my jaw pops when I open my mouth wide enough.

When I was in grade school, it was decided that I needed braces. At the time I didn't think that my teeth were that bad, and I guess that it's up for debate as to if they were. I was in fifth grade, probably my most heious year in school, period. Not only did I think that it was a good idea to wear pajama pants (which my mother encouraged by making some for me), but my class of 20 all thought I was a lesbian and I had head and neck gear (which I did wear to school).

In more recent years I'm fairly convinced that my orthodontist was a bit on the sketchy side. I believe that he fairly took my parents' money and left my teeth straight, but my mouth and jaw in shambles. My dentist is on my side. He maintains that there the most likely reason why I had to get my first root canal was because my bite wasn't realigned after all my teeth were. Because of this, my teeth hit each other unevenly, and eventually a nerve in my number 2 molar became inflamed and was hell-bent on dying.

We decided to try and save the tooth.

This meant that I would go to the dentist every 4 weeks to get my bite re-adjusted and take the pressure off the tooth that was doing the best it could to let me know that it was not going to be saved. It did this by reacting to everything I ate on the left side of my face. It didn't like pressure. Or cold liquid. Or hot liquid. Basically I could eat wonder bread that was room temperature and not get a reaction.

Eventually I decided that a root canal was what needed to happen.


I went in, expecting the worst. My dentist even prescribed some anti-anxiety meds for me. I have a weird thing about surgery. The idea of opening up someone's body (yes, even if it's just a tooth), extracting or fixing something, closing you up and sending you on your way is sort of messed up in my mind. It's certainly become a lot safer and normalized, but if you really think about it, it's bizarre.

The root canal was fine. some opening up of the enamel, digging out the pulp, cauterizing the nerve, and filling it up with putty.

Then I got a gold crown- which just happened to be cheaper than ceramic. It's sort of a comforting thought that if I'm ever in dire straights that I will be able to pull one (or two) little chunks of gold out of their little hiding place and sell them to the highest bidder (or nearest pawn shop).

Besides having bling in my mouth, a perk of having a root canal when you are in somewhat chronic pain, is that only when it is gone do you realize how much pain you were in before, and especially how you body compensates to avoid said pain.

Lastly, a big hurrah to health care, without which, I would be in a great deal of debt.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Getting Old.

I would like to think of myself as someone who will age gracefully.

I have had wrinkles for years (yes years. Some people tell me they are simply 'laugh lines' but that's just a nicer way of putting it). It's just one of those things that everyone has to deal with as they age- no one is immune. I think I'm doing a pretty good job. I certainly don't freak out about them too much, however, I do wonder what I will look like when I am 40... that is, if I make it that far.

I have demanded a lot from my body in the past. A varsity athlete, I also participated in some fairly rough sports in college; there was lacrosse, and, of course, roller derby.

Roller derby was what made me rethink my immortality- notably, the famed posterior cruciate ligament tear of '07. I was under the impression that my body would be eternally resilient up until that point. The first thing that happened was denial. Then there was the anger- you know, the typical stages of grief (the other three being bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance). What made me think of my knee, and then remember its anniversary, was the impending arrival of summer (though some doubt if it will ever arrive) and how I felt robbed last year of bike rides and summer strolls and tossin' the 'ol pigskin and everything that is summer to me (I actually don't play football all that often... but somehow I associate football with summer... even though it really should be fall).

I refuse to let this summer go by idly, as it did last year. I am bound and determined to make up for last years afternoons that were spent in my knee brace and crutches on the porch or patio. While my friends and roommates went on bike rides,I tried desperately not to take as a personal offence.

While I have made these resolutions in my head, I am constantly reminded that my knee did suffer an injury that has not been 'fixed,' but has merely been compensated for by my muscles and physical therapy. I am broken.

I suppose that the moral of the story is that the human body is incredibly resilient. My knee still bothers me on occasion, and I'm pretty sure that well before I hit 40 I shall be predicting changing weather patterns. However, one year and 2 days after a personal tragedy, I hiked 7.3-ish miles up and down a mountain- something of a personal victory.

New Beginings.

A reassessment of what blogging not only has the potential to mean to me, but the people who just seem to keep leaving this state and becoming more difficult to keep in touch with. I propose this as an open letter to friends, family and everyone on the spectrum in between.

I am (recently) constantly reminded of just how good I have it. I not only live in a beautiful house in a really great part of a pretty rad city, but I live there with amazing and beautiful women. I have a wonderful boyfriend who, conveniently, lives 2 doors down. I have family who I am trying to be more in communication with, because after people raise you, I feel that I owe them more than a phone call every other week. I have my health and my sanity. I am very fortunate to have really, really great friends.

Last summer our house was the home base for many fabulously raucous, festive and fun parties. In looking forward to this summer, I have noticed that many of our 'old standbys' have pack up and jumped ship to new adventures, greener pastures and exciting endeavors. While my phone list of 'people to call' for dinner party invites has shrunk, I sometimes forget that my social network has not shrunk in size, it has simply increased in area. So.

In case anyone ever wonders what I'm up to, I shall try to keep up with my adventures, which shall soon include the mysteries and wonder of Beaverton.


I quit. I quit my job. 1.5 years is an eternity as far as employment goes when you're me, and don't want anything tying you down, especially not some lousy job that you're too smart for- but that's the majority of jobs you get when you're in your twenties, right?

I will disclose more about my job description when I find out more myself, but as it stands, I'm pretty focused on my impromptu vacation. Being unemployeed can be enjoyable... for about a week. Then the stress of finding a source of stable income really sets in. However, jumping from job to job without taking even a little time for relaxation and reflection is also pretty silly. I was under the impression that I was in the latter group... Until I read my contract.

A whole week to myself! Stress-free! I'll sleep in and maybe even lounge around and read. Who knows?! After that I shall work for two days, and then fly to Montana for 5 days!

I think June is shaping up to be a really good month.