The dental diet
One of my biggest dreads is going to the dentist and it’s for good reason.
First off the Lido- or Xylocaine never seems to work for me with the first shot. I have an unusual physiology, I’ve been told, and the nerve they are trying to numb is elusive. While most patients get by with one or maybe two shots at most, I rarely get by with less than three. Besides the pain of the first shot– you’ll just feel a slight pinch, my aspirin– I hate the numb, puffed-up feeling that lingers for hours after. And as if being outright uncomfortable is not enough, it also screws up eating for the better part of day.
It’s a serious problem.
I’ve also been told several times by the professionals that I have a variegated and unusually deep root system under my teeth. It’s often found in especially handsome and intelligent men.
Once during a root canal being performed on me at an Army dispensary, the dentist could not get the standard length reamer to the bottom of the root so he had to go searching for longer one. Gone for a half hour, he returned with the XXL tool, which looked like a three-inch long stickpin, and half the staff who wanted to see “the deepest root” ever. It was part of my 15 minutes of fame. I think they would have taken a “selfie” with me, except it hadn’t been invented.
Another time, Solon’s old Doc Crossley nearly passed out from exhaustion trying to pull a molar from my jaw that had gone bad. The usual dental tools were too flimsy so he sent his assistant to get what looked like a rusty channel-lock out of a toolbox and sterilize it in some bleach. Even with the heavy-duty pliers he had no luck. At one point, he climbed up in the chair, straddled me with his knees and stuck his elbows into my chest to get more leverage.
Then he decided the tooth needed to be cracked in half so he asked for a chisel and hammer. Again, the flimsy tools on hand weren’t doing the job, so he sent the assistant out, this time for what looked like a carpenter’s hammer and something you might use to change a tire. Finally, success, the tooth cracked and he pulled each half out without more fanfare.
I was sore from my waist up for three days and lost 10 pounds.
But with the way things are going in our state and country right now, I thought it might be a good time for some dental work.
The latest move on the federal front to defund social welfare programs like Meals on Wheels, and then spin the cuts as somehow being compassionate makes me steaming mad. I’m a volunteer driver for the program and see up close the good that comes from a quick visit with a hot meal. How we take care of elderly in this country is shocking and disgusting. Go ahead and cut the program, but don’t call yourself a Christian, and I hope you rot in a hell where you sit for eternity in a chair watching Fox News and nobody ever rings your doorbell.
Meanwhile, in Iowa, it’s been revealed that what appears to be a clerical error has allowed our state legislators to purchase premium health care for pennies on the dollar. No one, Republicans or Democrats, noticed that they’ve been getting insurance for about a hundred bucks a month while everyone else is paying up to ten times as much. Nevertheless, they are busy cutting back worker benefits, trimming health care service and even reducing the minimum wage. For them, I hope the doorbell does ring and it’s a dentist making house calls.
So I volunteered to have some teeth pulled to cheer me up.
Well, actually, a filling popped out of a wisdom tooth recently, and my current dentist referred me to an oral surgeon to have it pulled.
On the bright side, maybe I can lose some weight.