Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dental Update

Ok, I had to go off of the pain pills so I guess my head is back together.  It used to be that Codeine gave me migraines.  It looks like I can now add Vicodin to that list of things I can't take.  What a wicked headache.  No fair.

Yesterday, Phil took me to the dentist and waited for me.  Then he had the task of watching over me yesterday as I had little to no idea where I was for awhile.  Based on my pain level today, that was probably a good thing!

I'm not blaming any of this on the dentist.  He did what he had to do and this is all my fault for putting this work off for so long.  I have to give kudos so far though to the dentist, Dr. Scott Nagy of Elyria.  I'm really glad he was recommended to me.

I got there yesterday and had to sign the release form.  THAT is enough to scare anyone one off of ANY surgery.  You should never have to sign those the day OF your procedure.  Keep in mind, this is a form letter than you have to initial each line stating that you understand the possible side effects or dangers of your procedure.  I was ok until I got to the line that said something like "the possibility of a broken jaw if they are extracting a tooth on the bottom".  Yikes!  I initialed it and moved on.  What the heck else are you going to do!

As soon as I had the forms signed, Alicia came and took me back to the procedure room.  I was hooked up to the pulse meter, the blood pressure cuff (by the way, it was through the roof!) and the nasal cannula with oxygen.  So far, so good.  As a side note, this is the first time I've been to a dentist's office where they actually had something to look at on the ceiling!  Once you're laid back in that chair, you should have something to look at other than the ceiling light.  Each room I've been in had something different, but each had something good to look at.  This office gets points for that!

Then, Dr. Nagy came in to start the IV.   The actual IV seemed to go in very easily.  The three of us were talking a bit and suddenly, I started to get a little dizzy.  I mentioned that to Dr. Nagy thinking I'm just REALLY nervous.  He said he had started the relaxation meds and that was what I was starting to feel.  Ok, that calmed me that it wasn't just me.  I started to enjoy the buzz.  Then, he said that he was starting the second medication and this one will come on me slowly then I should be VERY relaxed.  For real, I could feel it come over me just like he said.  THAT was almost worth the $377 I paid for it!   As I was going under, I felt both Dr. Nagy and Alicia each had a hand on my shoulder and both of them took turns telling me that I was going to be ok and that they were going to take care of me.  It was very calming and I slipped to sleep peacefully.  That was pretty much all I remember. 

I woke a few times during the procedure but I never felt any pain.  I felt them moving, or pressure or little things like that, but I was in no way in pain or uncomfortable.  The next thing I knew, Alicia was there talking to me, telling me we were all done and asking me to try to keep my eyes open!  So much for my nap!  Once I could hold my eyes open, she said that Phil was ready to take me home.  Alicia helped me right out to Phil's car and home we came.

Honestly, I don't remember much about yesterday.  Phil got me into the house and on to the couch then went to get my prescriptions filled.  He came home, medicated me, then kept track of when I was do what meds.  I remained clueless while Phil had me changing my gauze and taking my meds!  It was not my day to be in charge, for sure.  Thanks, brother!  I sincerely appreciate your help yesterday.

As the sedation wore off, the pain pills helped but the pain set in last night around dinner time.  I stocked up on soft foods and meal replacement drinks which was all I could handle yesterday and today.  Dr. Nagy did call me last night around 10:00 to check on me.  I told him where my jaw hurt, and he said that was to be expected.  He answered the few questions I had, reiterated my instructions for the next few days and that was that.  I was to continue what I was doing and take it easy this weekend.  That was the easy part!

Now that I've stopped the Vicodin, the migraine has gone away.  My jaw still hurts like hell, but as my sister Cathie reminded me, the day after my back surgery was the worst so hopefully that means that today will be the worst.  Here's hoping tomorrow makes everything all better.

There you go.  I made it through one of the worst things we all have to go through - the dentist!  Again, thanks to brother Phil for all of the help and a huge thank you to Dr. Nagy and his staff.  I felt like I was in great hands from beginning to end.  The tooth is out, the bone graft is in and I have two new fillings.  I know I need some more work done and that will have to wait until I build my bank account back up.  But, once I have some money aside, I will go back and see Dr. Nagy and his staff.  I'm still afraid of dentists, but if you have to go to one, he's a great one to go to!

Here's hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

And I Made It

What a day.

I have been sitting here trying to type more than that first line for at least a half hour now.  When they tell you not to drive or make any legal decisions for 24 hours after sedation, they mean it.  They should add "don't blog" to that list!

I am feeling more awake but between the sedation and the much needed pain pills, I'm still out of it.  I will tell you about the dentist appointment tomorrow.

For now, know I made it through.  I have one less tooth, one new bone graft and two new fillings.  I am broke but for now my teeth are fixed.  My jaw hurts like hell but I guess that will pass eventually.

Phil has been watching over me all day and making sure I take my meds on time.  I have one more dose due in less than an hour and my happy ass is going to bed.

This is just to let y'all know I came through ok.  Details tomorrow.

My Kingdom for a Dentist

Oh how I hate the dentist.

My whole family has had dentist issues from when we were kids.  I don't know if the problem was that we were poor and the dentist we had was all my parents could afford, or if our dentist really was the sadistic son of a bitch I remember him to be.  Either way, it wasn't a happy memory, going to the dentist.

Now as an adult, I wait way too long to go to the dentist.  When I do go, something is usually past the point of an easy repair.  I am now in to the arena of both expensive and painful.  About 15 years ago, I plopped a fortune into capping most of my teeth.  I thought that would help me help them last longer.  Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever.

Let's go back to close to where it all began.  The sadistic SOB that I am referring to started me on this life long hatred of dentists.  I remember when I was about 10 years old, I had a tooth that grew into the roof of my mouth, behind my front teeth.  Obviously, that was not a good place for that tooth and leaving it there would hurt the continued development of my front teeth, so the extra tooth had to go.  Here is what I remember about that dental appointment.  I had this asshole's knee on my chest holding me down while he yelled at me to sit still while he yanked that tooth out of my head.   That was pretty traumatic for a 10 year old!  Anyway, that brings us to today.

One of my caps has broken in two.  I've had caps come out before and it usually requires a little glue or whatever they use to stick it back in.  I knew this one was going to be different because of the way the dang thing broke in two.  The last dentist I saw in Ohio was not much better than Mr. Sadist from my youth, so I was NOT going back to him.  Someone recommended another dentist, who was good with chicken shit patients.  I put my big girl panties on and made an appointment.

In case you don't know me, I am a wreck most days of my life.  I hold my life together in bits and pieces but to be honest, it's mostly a ruse.  I'm falling apart at the seams over here.  Life is scary and being a grown up ain't easy.  I went to the dentist for a consultation ONLY.  Me shaking and crying as I walked in kinda gave credence to my story that I do NOT like dentists.  I'm not naming him yet as I want to see how tomorrow goes first.  Anyway, I went in for that first appointment, and all that happened was that a few digital pictures were taken of my teeth.  All this was done with a dental assistant, not the dentist.  Ok, I made it through that.

The dentist came in and he sat across the room from me and we just talked.  Ok, that was a good sign.  I told him about the dentist I grew up with, and my resulting fear of the profession.  I was not comfortable in the chair and I was fighting the urge not to run.  The fact that I sat there and cried through the entire appointment made sure he understood how terrified I was to be there.   He said he would work with me, go as slowly as I needed to go, and we would get me back to good dental health.  I only had one caveat.  I have no dental insurance, so my dental health was also going to be based on what I could afford.  That is sure going to limit my options.

Since I lived through the first appointment, I made a second appointment.  The second appointment would include a cleaning, full x-rays including a panoramic x-ray and a complete exam with the dentist himself.  This was a little more difficult to walk into willingly.  But, I had to do something, this broken cap was killing me.

I made it through x-rays and the cleaning.  Now the true test was coming, the dentist actually poking around in my mouth.  Ok, the poking around wasn't as bad as the results from the x-rays and exam.

The tooth with the broken cap is beyond repair and has to come out.  My  jaw by where this tooth is coming out has so much bone loss from the bone deteriorating over the years that he wants to try to save what he can in my jaw.  So, once the tooth is out, a bone graft is going in.  Is this crazy or what?  Bone graft.  He's throwing terms like this around like it's nothing.  Sure, it's not HIS jaw that's disintegrating.  Whatever.

As cheap as I am with the penny, I am paying the extra $377 to be put OUT for this procedure.  Some days you can't skimp on money.  I NEED to be unconscious for this.  Am I a big baby about this?  You betcha.  Am I going to spend an extra $377 to get through it?  Yep.  Will it be worth the extra cost?  You BETCHA.

As long as I'm under, if I tolerate the anesthesia, he will also work on two fillings I need.  Hopefully, we can get it all done in one appointment.  Heaven help me, I don't want to have to go back for fillings.

This isn't the end.  The last dentist I went to did a panoramic x-ray as well.  He told me that I had another extra tooth that didn't come in where it was supposed to.  Unfortunately, THIS extra tooth is a wisdom tooth and it's up behind my left eye.  I asked him then if I needed to do something about this tooth and he told me that it would be more trouble than it's worth going through sinus surgery to get this tooth out.  He said to just leave it there and forget about it.  I did that for eight years or so until this guy took another x-ray and found that damn tooth again.

Now THIS guy is worried about the tooth.  He wants a CAT scan done sooner rather than later to find out exactly where the is.  He believes I could be in for big problems, depending on where the tooth is.  Why he can't tell where from the x-ray where it is, I don't know.  Whatever.  I did balk a little at the CAT scan.  I asked if my medical insurance would cover it.  He said that since it's still dental related, he wasn't sure.  Besides, he had a new CT scanner right there in his office he just got a couple of months ago.  Seriously.  Did he not hear the part about me not having dental insurance and paying for this out of MY pocket?  Do I really NEED a freakin' CAT scan now?  Or does he just need to make a payment on that new CT scanner of his?

Now he has me a bit freaked about this extra tooth.  Then again, it's been up there for probably 30 years or so, a little longer won't matter.  I'm paying a fortune for tomorrow's extraction, bone graft and fillings that I don't need an additional expense on top of that.  

Ugh, keep happy thoughts for me tomorrow.  Phil is going to be nice enough to drive me to the dentist tomorrow and wait for me.  I am going to owe him big time for this one!

The only good news is that I actually made a buck on this deal!  The tooth fairy (my brother Mike) already gave me a dollar for the missing tooth!  Bonus!!   Thanks, Mike, but I'm going to need to find me a much richer tooth fairy though! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

It Was a Party!

Last night, we went to celebrate with our friends, Nick and Sally.  Nick and Sally are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend!  That is truly a milestone, and I was honored to be celebrating with them last night.

Nick, Sally, their daughter Edna in from San Diego, Ron and I went to dinner last night to Steak on a Stone.  I've blogged about this place before and it is always a great time to go there and the great food is worth the drive over to North Olmsted.

First, the happy couple.

The rest of the party last night included Edna and me,

 of course, Ron and me (hey, my camera, I get to be in more pictures!)

And the whole crazy lot of us.  Our server was nice enough to take a group shot of us and my favorite part is another server photobombing us in the back ground!  SCORE!  I never saw it until I got home and downloaded the pictures from my camera!

But, back to Nick and Sally.  Theirs is a love story like the ones you hear in fairy tales.  They "courted" for five years via letters as they were in two different countries at the time.  Not two cities, two counties or even two states.  Two different COUNTRIES.  And yet, they wrote, they fell in love and they waited for the day when they could be together.  It is truly a heart warming story.

After dinner, we went back to Nick and Sally's and they brought out their wedding album for us all to look through.  What a treat!  Of course, Sally was a gorgeous bride and Nick was a handsome, beaming groom.  They still have the same twinkle in their eyes when they look at each other.   

So, to Nick and Sally, congratulations on the first 50 years of marriage.  May the next 50 be filled with health and happiness!  You are an inspiration to us all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

He Fixed It

While I don't think I'm very materialistic, I do own a few items that I do NOT want to live without.  My little Black and Decker rice steamer?  If it broke now, I'd be at Walmart tonight replacing it.  I love my steamer for my veggies.  I do NOT want to live without it.

My other must have item is my Shark Steam Mop.  Hmm, so I have a thing for steam?  It didn't hit me until I was typing this up!  But, I love my Shark Steam Mop!  I bought one of the first ones out, so it's just a basic steam mop.  I know the newer versions have more attachments and more bells and whistles.  Mine just steam cleans my floors.  All of my floors.  Hard wood floors?  Cleans like a champ.  Vinyl floors?   I've never had them cleaner.  I know I've blogged about this before but now especially with the cats, I love the fact that I am not putting chemicals on my floor.  It cleans with only steam and my floors feel great when I'm done.  I think a lot of cleaners you just still feel on your floor when you're done.  Not with this.  Easy, peasy.

If you google the Shark steam mop, I think a common problem with the mops is the design of the handle.  If it's going to break, that's where it's going to happen.  The handle is just too flimsy to handle the pressure.  You have to bear down on the mop to release the steam and you do that repeatedly over your floor.  The last time I was cleaning my kitchen floor, the handle gave way.  The handle thingie itself came off of the pole that goes to the mop head part.  (Too technical for you?  Sorry!)

I yelled upstairs to Ron asking him for his smallest Phillips head screwdriver.  I can FIX this!  And, Ron has screwdrivers in every shape and size, and most of them live in his pockets.  He gave me the perfect size for the job and I went downstairs thinking I had this one licked.  I thought that one of the screws just came loose and that I could fix it just with a little tightening.  That did NOT work.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that one of the screws was broken off completely, so no amount of screwing was going to help.

On to Plan B.  I grabbed a few industrial strength rubber bands and tried to hold it together that way to finish my floor.  NOT.  I finally gave up, threw the handle and swore like a Marine while I finished my kitchen floor.  Luckily, I only had about a four foot square to finish so at least I got through most of it without breaking my back.

Ron can't stand a woman in distress and man was I distressed.  I was distressed at the thought of spending another $50 to $70 bucks on another Shark Steam Mop!  But I did NOT want to live without it and I DID want to run right to WalMart to make me whole again.

But Ron came to my rescue.  He asked to see the mop, and he thought he could put it back together to be better and stronger than it was before!  Hey, I was all about it!  Anything to save me a trip to the store to replace it.  I heard noise coming from the basement.  He was serious about this repair.  I heard banging, I heard a drill and then I heard more banging.

Suddenly, he hands me my trusted friend, my Shark steam mop.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  And best of all, it was FIXED!!  Yes, Ron can fix anything!

I immediately grabbed my camera telling him that this was a blog worthy story.  He felt terrible since he said he did not have the right sized bolts and that he didn't do a good job in fixing it.  Are you kidding me?  Read up higher about what I said about this repair job.  My mop is BEAUTIFUL!!! 

And, my mop is FIXED!  Life is good in the mop department.  I think I can clean my floors from now until the cows come home and this baby should stay together.

Thank you honey.  You did a GREAT job!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bird's Eye View

On Tuesdays, our uniform guy comes in with the clean uniforms for our guys along with clean shop rags.  We get the same delivery driver every week, so he's almost part of the family by now.

He brings in the clean rags and I take them out to the shop.  Then, I take the bag of dirty rags and I usually throw them in his truck for him as he is counting up the dirty uniforms.  This week, I was walking out to his truck and I hear geese honking.  That's not too unusual as we are out in the country and there is a large pond behind us. 

I look up to the sky, looking for the familiar V shape flying pattern for the geese.  I didn't see a flock flying but here is what I did see!

I don't know if he was watching out over these two or if he was trying to muscle into their turf by playing king of the hill.

Large and in charge.  That would be the goose, not me.  I dropped the bag of rags in the parking lot and high tailed it back into the building!  I'm not an idiot, you know.  I know these things will attack and I wasn't in the mood to get bit!

When our uniform guy was done and ready to head back to his truck, I told him I'd have his back.  From inside of the building, but I'd scream REALLY loudly if the goose started to attack him!  See?  Just like family.  I told you!

Goose on a truck.  If you see him driving through town, honk!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Moron Alert, Ohio Plate # FBX 9545

 It was an eventful drive to work this morning.

While driving south on Elyria Avenue, a white car is ahead of me.  I am the last in line of a bunch of cars.  Keep in mind, where we were, Elyria Avenue is 35 mph and a double yellow no passing line all the way.  This white car in front of me suddenly zooms into the oncoming traffic lane,  This moron took being a moron to new levels.  She wasn't passing one car, she was passing FOUR cars.  Really? 

Being a moron is one thing but putting unsuspecting strangers in danger is another thing.  A mini van was coming out of a side street and turning left (to go north).  I'm sure she saw our line of cars traveling south but she never saw this moron in the passing lane trying to zoom around FOUR cars.  The mini van made her turn safely but was blindsided by the car coming straight at her in the wrong lane.  It was some quick thinking on the mini van's part to swerve into someone's front yard/driveway.  That was the closest almost head on collision I ever had to see.  All because of this moron.

This wasn't her only act of being a moron.  That was the first one, the second one was just before the curve where you come to the stop sign before Elyria Avenue turns into Lake Avenue.  I think that was only a one car pass.  Then, one more time, passing THREE cars between Griswold and Route 113 causing almost another head on collision because this moron is the QUEEN of morons.

That's when I couldn't take it any longer.  We are stopped at the light at Route 113 when I finally called 911.  I thought I was being a responsible citizen.  Unfortunately, today was moron day all around.

When I called 911, the phone rang twice then I got a sound that reminded me of when we had dial up internet.  For real?  What the hell.  So I hung up.  At least a minute later, 911 called ME back.  So, I started to tell my story of this moron driver who was southbound on Elyria and Lake Avenue but just turned west on Route 113.  The dispatcher asked me to hold while he transferred me to the police.

The Elyria police got on the line and I started my story again.  Before I could get anything out past we were southbound on Elyria Avenue, Elyria police asked me WHY I was calling them!  This wasn't in Elyria so why was I calling THEM.  Well, as I told her, I had called 911 and ASSUMED they'd know what they were doing.  Suddenly, she was singing a different tune.  Oh, you called 911!  Well, let's start again.

You know what?  Forget it.  By the time 911 called me back and I had to go through the story again, I'm sure she was gone.  I told the Elyria police I'm sorry I called and hung up.  Another moron.

So it was a bad driving to work day.  As a public service announcement though, if anyone knows this girl driving this car, take her keys.  She has NO business being on the road. 


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Going Home

Last Saturday, I took a trip to Erie PA.  One of my best friends in life, Ruth, was in the hospital.  If you're serious enough to be admitted to the hospital for days, you definitely should have visitors.  Especially your good friend from Ohio needs to go in and see you!

So, last Saturday I headed in by myself.  With my back, I have a hard time sitting in the car for two hours.  So, I make a lot of stops, walk around a little and start going again.  It takes me awhile, but I get there, eventually!

One place between here and there that I always like to stop at is the Flying J truck stop.  They have very clean bathrooms, and there are always a lot of people around.  It's one place that a girl can go by herself to take a break.  Bonus!  I pee here on every trip home.  TMI??

When I pulled into the parking lot, the roof of the Flying J was like something out of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds!  The seagulls were everywhere!  I was in too much of a hurry to pee when I got there so I had to go in and take care of business first.  By the time I got done and came out, most of the birds were in the air or gone.  But, I thought it was a cool shot.

Now that I look at it, maybe they were just mugging for the cameras!

As long as I was in Erie, I HAD to make a stop and see Aunt Mary.  I lived upstairs from Aunt Mary growing up and she is like a second mother to me.  I think it's against the law to go into Erie and not stop and see Aunt Mary.  For real.  You will be offered bad coffee (sorry, Aunt Mary!) and whatever she has on hand.  Luckily, I walked in with my own coffee, so I was off the hook for some of Aunt Mary's coffee.

We had a lovely visit!  And, I even got her to agree to a picture.  I thought she looked better than she's looked in awhile.  She's the cute as a button one on the right.

When I left Aunt Mary's, I had to do a walk around the old homestead.  I grew up in this house, remember.  First, the house itself. 

We were on the second floor while Aunt Mary lives on the first floor.  The enclosed porch in the foreground brings back a lot of memories.  More than a few dates ended in that porch!  Aside from those memories, I had to walk around the house and check out all of Aunt Mary's flowers.  She may  not work on them like she used to, there are still a ton of blooms all around the property.

One of the memories of this house and blooms are the lilac bushes on the side of the house.  There were two huge bushes on the side.  They grew so high that I could reach out of my bedroom window on the second floor and pick lilacs off of that bush!  In the springtime, my bedroom always smelled of lilacs.  That was one thing I asked for when I bought my house.  I wanted a lilac bush of my own.  Thank you to Mike and Mary Jane for planting one here for me!

But, back to my story.  This is a shot of where my bedroom window was.  While the bush had been cut back a few times since I've lived there, you get the idea.  You like my superior photo editing capabilities?  I put an arrow in there to show you my window!  Go me!!

These lilac bushes have to be over 40 years old.  They are changing from what they were when I was a kid.  They used to be a beautiful purple color but they now look more pink to me.  Granted, I'm color blind, so what do I know.

I finally left home and headed back across town to the hospital.  Another walk down memory lane. 

This tavern here used to be named something else.  I celebrated my 19th birthday in here!  Everyone in there knew I was under 21 except for the owners.  Someone (my sister Barb!) finally turned me in to the owners and I got kicked out.  Damn, that was harsh!  I think I was a few months short of my 21st birthday by then though.  It was only two blocks from home so it was very convenient.  Oh well, easy come, easy go. 

From here I drove by another favorite place in town.  Damn the diabetes and the diet!  PULAKOS CANDY!!  Sorry, Malley's, but you can't hold a candle to Pulakos.  This is truly pieces of heaven for your mouth.  They make the BEST chocolate covered strawberries.  When I lived in Houston, it used to cost $40 to get a dozen of the chocolate covered strawberries overnighted to me.  Yeah, once in awhile, I just had to fork over the money and make it happen.  It was worth every penny.  Great memories here!

I finally made it to St. Vincent's Hospital and let me tell you, it's changed!  This is where I went to Nursing School and let me tell you, nothing looks like it used to some 30 years ago.  There are parking ramps and offshoot buildings where houses used to be.  I could barely find the ER!  Lucky for me I DID find the ER and took full advantage of their valet parking.  I had no doubt I'd never find my car again if I parked it.

I had a great visit with Ruth and her husband Jeff.  I respected Ruth's request that I not take any pictures of her in her hospital bed.  But, I did take a picture out her window!  She had a great view up on the 8th floor.

It's hard to see in this picture, but if you look at the horizon on the left of the building in the middle, you can see a sliver of Lake Erie!  Hey, a room with a view!  You can't beat that!!

On a happy note, Ruth was finally released from St. V's last Sunday, a day after I went to visit her.  She is home, continuing her treatment and getting better and stronger every day.  Keep up the good work, Ruth!   Hugs from Ohio!

So it was a great day.  I got to visit with Aunt Mary and with my brother Jim, and I got to spend the afternoon with Ruth and Jeff, catching up, goofing off, cracking jokes and just getting some great face to face time.

I made it home in one piece and I consider that a successful trip.  Once in awhile, you just have to make a trip home.