Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dental Drama Part Deux

I went to bed on Wed. night fully expecting to wake up in the morning with my face looking like, well, my face, not a warped Cabbage Patch Kid. Much to my disappointment, these sorts of dastardly infections don't respond immediately to antibiotics. The pain had grudgingly diminished by the time I awoke Thurs. morning, but the face was still ballooned out as if a cheek implant had been inserted, but in the wrong cheek if you get my drift. I felt so much better that I almost didn't care about my bizarre countenance, except we'd been invited to attend a private viewing of Jonathan's Uncle Joe's newest art collection at the Dickinson gallery in Manhattan that evening. This was something I'd been looking forward to attending for weeks, but I really couldn't fathom going looking the Elephant Woman. I hate to think of myself as vain, but I guess on some level I am, because I told Jonathan I would not go, no way, no how. Period. I even tried to cry, but I think all the excess moisture in my system had gone into my face so all I did was sputter and whine. Jonathan got the hint and dropped the subject.
Around 10 a.m. on Thurs. I felt something "popping" out of my gum. Curiousity made me get a flashlight so I could check it out. Gingerly pulling my lip upwards I aimed the beam of light at the gum and lo and behold, there was the opening for the abscess. EEEEEWWWWWW. Horrified I ran into the living room to show Jonathan. "Yep" he said barely taking his eyes from the TV. "That's an abscess". Thank heavens for the internet, because I immediately googled "gum abscess" and got all kinds of valuable information, along with disgusting images that resembled what I had just seen in my own mouth. The info stated that I could pierce the abscess with a straight pin that had been held under a flame for 20 seconds and that would totally relieve the pressure. Well, I could do one better than that. I had sterile 1 cc syringes leftover from Miss Girl's bout with diabetes last year. I decided to give piercing a try. Willing myself to stay calm, I pulled up my lip, aimed the flashlight and with my right hand and went in with the needle. Ever so carefully I "pierced" the nasty spot until I felt a little pain. I did it one more time just to make sure that I'd accomplished what I'd set out to do because I didn't think I had it in me to steel my nerves to perform this act a second time. I can't say there was immediate relief, but it was draining. The bad news is that it was my mouth. Lots of rinsing with Listerine, salt water and hydrogen peroxide made me feel slightly less disgusting, but it was still pretty gross. However, hour by hour my face began to reduce in size. Finally by 1 o'clock I deemed it small enough to be seen in public and Jonathan and I sprang into action so we could dress and make it to NYC on time for the show. I still had a large pocket of swelling on my lower jawline, but fortunately I have long hair and I could strategically position it to hide the offensive remaining puffiness. I nearly clicked my high heels together as we raced out the door to the car, all perfumed and coiffed for a night out in the big city.

We made it to NYC in the nick of time and we enjoyed the private viewing immensely. Joe's work is amazing, you can check it out at The show was absolutely a success for Joe, as the place was packed with people. Later at the very, very late after party, as we were saying our goodbyes in the wee hours, Joe thanked us profusely for coming to support him. He made it clear that having part of his family there meant a lot to him. I have to say that comment alone made poking the needle in my gum all the more worth the effort.

p.s. the saga of this tooth isn't over. Next week after the infection is cleared up, I get to have the bloody thing yanked out. Two crowns, a bridge and thousands of dollars later my mouth will be servicably sound again. No wonder why Dr. Chaeng drives a purty white BMW. He might be in a Lamborghini by the time my teeth are under control.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dental Drama

Ever have one of those moments where you feel like you really have a handle on things in your life? And then out of the blue Fate slaps you across the face and says, "ha ha" in a tone like Bart's jack ass friend on the Simpsons. Fate came to my house on Tues. morning and I tried to slap her back (I say her because sometimes Fate can be a real bitch), but I missed. And thus commenced the throbbing pain in my mouth, more commonly known as "toothache". Except this was no ordinary toothache. As a victim of generally awful teeth I've got experience with all kinds of tooth issues. I could tell from the deep, dull throbbing that this was going to be a bumpy ride and I'd better get myself to the dentist right quick.

Thank goodness the dentist was available for me (of course he was, he sees dollar signs when I walk thru the door) and he gave me the news that I already knew. Big abcess brewing in your upper molar's root. He deduced that it was the molar by tapping each tooth on the left side of my mouth with the handle of his picker. When he tapped the bad molar it was like a sledge hammer across my cheek. "Do you think that is the tooth?" he asked me gently. "Yes," I said weakly as I pryed myself off the ceiling. We made a tentative plan of action for when the infection got under control and he set me up with a prescription for antibiotics and vicodan. Now I'm no junkie, but I couldn't wait to get my hands on that vicodan and get the pain under control. On top of being in pain my face was starting to swell across my cheek. Time was of the essence here. I've had vicodan before for tooth pain and it is a sweet little blessing, erasing pain and making one feel mellow and lovely, to boot. I took my pills and felt a bit smug about the situation, like I'd nipped the whole thing in the bud. However, this pain would not be thwarted. In fact, it intensified and I felt completely miserable by the time I went to bed. "Just give the antibiotics time to kick in," my sensible husband said to me, barely taking his eyes off the football game as I slumped off to bed. That sounded reasonable to me and I drifted off to sleep, holding my sore cheek in my palm.
When I awoke at 4 a.m. I knew something was drastically wrong. I could FEEL my cheekbone pulsing. Putting my hand to my face made me jump up with alarm. The entire side of my face was hugely swollen and the throbbing made it feel like my heart had relocated to my cheekbone. I decided that I'd better check it out in the mirror, because maybe it felt worse than it looked. Flicking on the bathroom light, I winced and made my way toward the mirror. Holy Hell. I stared blankly at the mishapen face before me in the mirror. Wow, that face looks so sad and bloated, I thought. I felt oddly detached from it, like it couldn't be me in that bloated image. (Iguess the vicodan was having some effect on me aside from failing to kill the pain.) Having no choice but to go back to bed, I nestled back into position between Miss Girl and Jonathan, whimpering softly and drooling ever so slightly.
When we got up that morning Jonathan tried to play it cool, but I could see in his eyes that my additional freakish swelling was more than a little disturbing. He kept assuring me that I'd be fine, the swelling would go away, the antibiotics would kick in, blah, blah, blah. The pain was really getting to me by this point and I was losing patience with his glib reassurances. As is common with married couples, I shifted some of my angry, violent thoughts to him. It's not fair, of course, but it's understood that this is how marriage works at times. Remember the in good times and bad part of the wedding vows? Here goes some bad; "Do you see how fucking huge my face is?", I screamed at him. "It's killing me and I can't take much more!" "When will the fucking antibiotics kick in? WHEN!" The yelling caused my face to pulse with more intensity and I had to sit down and rock back and forth to get it to relax. Now Jonathan knows me well, because we've been together for a long time. He knew it was the pain talking, so he narrowed his eyes, muttered that I should ice my cheek and ducked outside choosing to do barn chores over listening to any more tirades.
The day crept by at a snail's pace. I read, sipped tea, dozed and ate yogurt. By five o'clock there was no relief from this pressure in my face. I was ready to lance my gumline and just get it over with, but instead a miracle happened. Like a switch, the pain went from super intense, to just intense. I was almost drunk with relief (again, probably the vicodan), because I knew I was on the downhill run of this roller coaster climb to pus bursting hell. To be continued...

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Day Off

It's Monday. For most folks that means the start of their work week, but not for me and Jonathan. It's our one blissful day of rest when we're not expected to be in the stable, do stalls, make phone calls, etc. I consider Monday a magical window of hours available to me for pursuing other hobbies, or ideas that I've had during the week, but haven't been able to fit into the busy work days. It's a free pass to do whatever the hell it is that I want to do. I usually have some sort of unrealistic amount of things planned that I'd like to do on my day off. For instance, today's list includes bake an apple cake, make cookies, buy and plant spring bulbs, go shopping for something cool to wear to art opening in NYC on Thurs. night, mail belated b-day gift to my Dad, grocery shop, etc., etc. My favorite part of my day off is the morning when I get all jazzed up on caffeine and the list of things to do is swirling around in my brain in a tantalizing cyclonic fashion. "All of these "things" for me to do and I could do them ALL", I'll say to myself, smugly giddy with a pre-sense of accomplishment about getting all my "things" done. Unfortunately, sometimes the amount of coffee I allow myself to drink can sabotage getting anything on my list checked off. I get so deliriously jacked up that I end up spinning in senseless circles and then suddenly it's four o'clock and I've blown it. I'll come down off that caffeine jag and hit the wall of resignation that I've gotten nothing on my "to do" list done on my one day of freedom. THAT sucks. Whenever that happens, I will lamely try to get one item checked off, or throw myself into a project like re organizing my closet, or cleaning the fridge. Some kind of household purging activity will sometimes offset my disappointment at letting the day slip through my fingers. It doesn't always work, but by that time it's almost cocktail hour and a martini does wonders for rearranging priorities.
Jonathan's idea of his day off is the complete polar opposite of mine. Instead of having a list of things to do, he goal for the day is to be horizontal for as many hours in a row as he can. He'll get out of bed, take a shower, then retire to the sofa for the remainder of the day, totally content with his aimless lack of responsibility to do a damned thing. The most exercise he gets on Monday is changing the channel on the TV with the remote. It kind of freaks me out that he can be inert for so many hours in a row. I think he could hibernate like a bear if he really tried. I should set up a Jonathan-cam for his day off. I could set up a website that people could check periodically throughout the day and make comments like, "oh, I think he moved his arm since I checked in two hours ago!" or "going on his sixth nap of the day, guys!". I find his ability to relax almost Guinness book worthy. It's a skill I don't possess and sometimes I wonder if I'm missing out. It seems that I'm just not happy unless I'm stacking up an impossible list of things to do and then spending the day fretting about getting it all done. Shit, it's 10:30 and I'm still in my pajamas. Time to get cracking, because I have THINGS to do!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Invisble Fence "Training"

Our Invisble Fence was installed today! Joy! The white flags are placed all around the perimeter of our property and they will "teach" the dogs to stay in the yard. Of course, there is work to be done to get the point of the flags across to the dogs before we set them loose. The work involves walking the dogs, individually, around the yard on a leash, heading to the flags and when we hear the beeping of the collar we pull them back and gasp. The beeping preempts the shock, which is actually neutralized during the training phase by a piece of rubber fitted over the prongs on the collar. This must be done three times in a row at each point we choose. Walk toward the flag, beep beep, then GASP and pull them back. Three times in a row, at each point. Guess who is doing the training? Jonathan? Nope. It's me. I'm about gasped out after one day of training. I feel like a bad method actor who is practicing seeing a ghost, or a predator, or a monster. I'm using all the visuals I can to keep it real. The dogs think it's fun. I'm not so amused. Apparently, the fence company recommends two more days of this training before removing the safety device on the collars and allowing the electricity to shock the dogs. I'm going to give it the ole college try and do my best to follow the rules. Aussies are smart dogs. I believe that they'll get the idea quickly, but after investing a fair amount of money in this fancy fence I want to do it right, follow the rules and leave nothing to chance. Two more days of walk to the flag, beep beep, GASP and RETREAT! Stay tuned and I'll let y'all know if it works. My best guess is that walk toward the flag, beep beep, ZAP is going to be the best training tool. But what do I know? I'm a slightly simple horse trainer. Stay tuned for the next step of Doggie Invisible Fence training 101.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stay home BOYZ!!!

Oh Hello Blog! It's been a while (again). Life continues to get in the way of my blogging. It's the way of the working gal. Though, I'm not really a gal these days, more like a forty something hag. A working hag. Actually, it's not that bad. Really. Truly. I'm a pretty happy, lucky hag. Honest.

A few new developments in my life. My wayward dogs have forced us to invest a large chunk of change into buying Invisible Fence for our yard. Invisible Fence is a nice of saying, "Stay in the F'ing yard, or you'll be zapped back on your ass if you try to leave again!". Our two dogs are lovely, and gorgeous, but they escape into the wilderness the minute our backs are turned and show up an hour, or so later panting incessantly and reeking of wildlife, dead and otherwise. Last month, they brought us mange. We've got a lot of fox on this property and fox carry mange. Therefore, our dogs got mange. Remy became an itchy, smelly mess. Plus, he got Lyme again. An itchy, smelly, achy dog, who could barely move, except to itch...incessantly. Becks was less itchy, but still managed to itch in his sleep, while on our bed causing it bounce in an irritating manner and wake both of us up and yell, "Becks! Knock it off!" He would groan, rather dramatically and then settle in for a few minutes before resuming his itching. It was maddening for all of us. Some expensive shampoo and topical treatments resolved the mange, but then there was still the wandering to deal with and this shit was serious. The last straw happened on Monday of this week. The dogs went on a walkabout and finally returned about an hour later, panting and repentant. Our neighbor suddenly appeared and informed us that our beloved dogs had killed all of his chickens. I repeat, all of his chickens. Well, that was just the last straw. I rang the Invisible Fence folks that night and the rest is history. It's being installed next Wed. Frankly, I can't wait. Until then, the dogs are on total lockdown. Harsh, you say? Yes, but it's the only option. The next step is the neighbor popping a cap in their proverbial fluffy asses. Oh, Invisble Fence, you and I are going to be such friends! I can't wait. Becks and Remy, you brought this electrocution upon yourselves. And you deserve it!! Our perimeter will be vast, they'll have a couple of acres to roam, complete with house, barn and indoor ring. It's enough for any dogs, even our wanderlusting Aussies. The training will be harsh, but these dogs are super smart and I'm sure they'll get it quick. One zap and that will tell the story. Stay home, or face the powers of electrocution. No brainer. Ready, set, ZAP!!