Sunday, January 20, 2008

Teeth and Vinegar

This is for Thursday, January 17th, (posted Sunday)

Dear Mom,

Today I went to the dentist to have a comprehensive exam, all the x-rays, etc.. As predicted, he sat down with me and outlined a "care plan". I've been babying the back molar because it was cracked and had a large cavity under the filling. He tried to get me to go to a specialist in Austin to get checked out and perhaps get a root canal, I told him that was not within my financial ability. We settled on grinding it down in preparation for a crown, putting in a build-up filling, placing a temporary crown and waiting for 4 weeks. If there's an infection in the root, it will hurt by then and I'll have it pulled. If not I'll end up with a new tooth. He had a cancellation so he was able to do it today, which saved me a trip and possibly the tooth, as waiting would have given it an opportunity to crack some more.

Now, all I need is another crown and a filling. Years ago, a very good dentist "made" me half a tooth with filling material and it's held up well, but it's about to give it up. I'm sure I'll end up taking care of the rent for the dentist this month. He sort of danced around the subject, but the advice he gave me boiled down to, "We did a lot in there, it's really going to hurt". So I'll be careful to take my ibuprofen/acetaminafen cocktail with due diligence. It really works.

I do place a high priority on my teeth. It's just impractical for me to get the root canals the dentist recommended. I have $1000 to pay for a tooth, I don't have $2000 (each). It's just too much, and my earning capability is limited. I'm hoping this 2nd cap works out. And then I have to go for a third. And a filling, and a cleaning. This will go down in LisaHistory as the Year of the Teeth.

As far as I can see, there are definite family attitudes about teeth. Don-and his daughter Lily (who is 27)-recommended that if your teeth are bad "just pull them!". Lily's mother let her teeth go and had them all pulled at a young age, early 40's, popped in dentures and never looked back. Don will let a bad tooth go and then have it pulled. His mother did the same thing and so did his dad. I don't understand it, but that doesn't mean it's wrong, I guess. Lately I've been wondering if I should invest some of my mouth just made that decision for me. My mouth really doesn't feel too bad this morning, maybe there won't be as much aggravation from this one. I know you have all your teeth but one and grandma did too. That's pretty impressive. I'm surprised that I'm needing so much work but I am a self-confessed "power chewer" so that may be a factor. I love hard, crunchy food and my teeth probably weren't up to it. It's interesting your teeth broke too, and just a bit earlier than mine.

I think also that because of my sensitivities I was probably malnourished at a very young age, I avoided a lot of things as a child and as a teenager lived mostly on coffee and cigarettes for years, not a healthy diet by any means. For most of my life eating resulted in intestinal pain, landing me in the hospital a couple of time for a full GI series. I only ate what didn't hurt, and that wasn't much. Now that I know what bothers me, a whole world of food is nutritious and great-tasting and the battle-of-the-bulge is on. And mostly, I feel good, really good.

At the Llano Master Gardeners meeting, we had a talk by a guy who is an apple grower and he was touting the benefits of the theories of a physician, Dr. D.C. Jarvis, in his book, "Folk Medicine", who advocated taking a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and a couple of teaspoons of honey in a glass of water two or three times a day with meals. It makes your system more acidic, which helps your system fight infection, metabolize your food better, and discourages disease. It provides a lot of micronutrients, supposed to make your body achieve it's ideal weight and fight the effects of stress. I tried it once but got the solution too acid and it bothered my stomach. I'll try it again and see if I like the results, the solution is very pleasant to drink so there's no downside. The four pairs of jeans I tried on before work this morning were too tight. This is very annoying.

I love you,


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