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Sunday, December 11, 2011

but I'll still have my teeth

Anybody ever heard of a gum graft? In case you are begging for enlightenment, let me tell you a bit about it. It is for anyone whose gums are excessively receding. If you lose too much gum, your teeth get loose and will eventually fall out. To correct this, they scrape skin off the roof of your mouth where it is more tough and elastic and then sew it to your gum wherever you need it. Then, in the healing process, your gums, who need the stuff, grab onto it and incorporate this new tissue as their own. Anyone want to sign up?

I had the privilege of paying for a gum graft two days ago. Now, my diet is restricted to soft foods for a week because of the stitches. The pain's actually not too bad but I am missing crunchy food. The dental hygentist suggested mashed potatos and mac and cheese. Doesn't sound too bad if I had the metabolism of a 20 year old. Instead, I'm turning 40 next week.

The age doesn't bother me so much. You could slap a 100 on my age and I wouldn't care EXCEPT, for the new aches and the health procedures. I had my first mammogram a couple of weeks ago which, in this digital age, was not nearly as bad as the torture I've heard can occur with the older machines. Even without the pain, there is the level of discomfort while someone handles your breast and shoves it into position. My coping strategy included not making eye contact and throwing out a lot of one liners. The radiologist probably sat behind her little shield, rolling her eyes. The thing I can say for it was it was over fast. 

Not so the gum graft, but it was accompanied by laughing gas. I am certain I had the most fantastic idea for a story while staring into the bright light that fuzzed at the edges. Not that I could tell you what that idea was now. I tried my best not to think of the abusive dentist in Horrible Bosses ( a very funny movie but I felt like I needed a shower after watching it) during the procedure.

I also know it's just a matter of time before someone suggests a  colonoscopy, which sounds to me like the fifth level of hell. That being said, I'll do them and probably whatever else the doctor suggests. I just heard on the radio last night that dancing can stave off Alzheimers, which runs in my family. A bit of waltzing may be in my immediate future.

So, as I dodder off into the nursing home, I'll be dancing. At least my partners will see me smiling at them with a full set of teeth.


  1. Yeuch, that sounds yucky. Still, ice cream is soft food right?

    And I'm older than you but have yet to experience the joys of a mommogram. Always something to look forward to :-)

  2. Getting older, well, it just sucks sometimes. Enjoy your soft foods and stay away from pretzels.

  3. The part of getting old that scares me is the getting old in mind AND body. We all know those seniors who act much older than their age: they're miserable, rude, and selfish. They aren't fun to be around. They've gotten "old." You've got the right idea laughing through the changes. When you stop laughing, you know you've gotten old. But by the sounds of it, you don't need to worry. : )

  4. The colonoscopy isn't the fifth circle of hell. Actually, with all the drugs they give you, I hear it's quite pleasant.

    It's the PREP that's the fifth circle of hell. Sorry!

  5. The gum thing, never heard of it. But then again, there's ton's of stuff I never heard of until it happened to me. So, I'm sure it's just a matter of time. My dentist has told me I will make some lucky oral surgeon a very wealthy man soon. Yea me.

  6. Yep - right there with you. Scheduling a root canal today, and getting a colonoscopy in January for my 40th birthday! Yay. Already did the mammogram a few years ago. Not due again for a while... Uugh. Old.

  7. yummy ice cream, Sarah, go get that mammogram-that is my public service announcement.

    Alex-at least it isn't jello

    E.R-I used to think it was the funniest thing when my grandfather took out his teeth. Maybe I shouldn't try so hard to hold onto mine.

    Christine-yeah it does

    Lydia-well at least I'll know what I'm getting into or what is getting into me as the case may be.

    Rusty-oral surgery might provide time off work-trying to find the bright side here.

    Christine T.- oh good so you can then tell me how terrible it all is. Hope the root canal went well.

  8. It felt nice to read this blog. The story about gum grafts is really explained well.