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January 7, 2002
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Dental Check and Small Fears

5:19 pm: I'm at the Dr. Davis's, and I'm very impressed. They did the thorough gum check and it didn't *hurt* the way it usually does, but I don't doubt that they got as accurate a reading. I was able to say that the teeth on the left side were sensitive, and not have to elaborate too much more. I am very sure that if there are problems they have the techniques to spot the real problems instead of the phantoms in my brain.

That's a very comforting thought.

They have a machine that actually does an x-ray of the entire jaw, all around, so they can have a good look at the bone under the teeth as well as the usual x-rays. I might ask my old dentist to send a full set of records to Dr. Davis, if they still have them. I'll have to look up my old dentist in Bellevue and see what can be done about giving these guys a history.

8:30 pm: So I'd actually forgotten about my appointment this morning, and even got the time wrong when I did remember it and tried to plan dinner and stuff with John about it. I thought it was at nearly six when it was actually nearly five. They have their appointment times so well planned that when I arrived two minutes early, they only had me wait those two minutes before they brought me in. I think only Dr. Snyder managed to have late in the day appointments be just as on time as early in the day appointments.

The results of the examination show that the filling that Dr. Macri did might not have been that good, and, in fact, a portion of it was interfering with the next tooth and the next tooth was showing signs of a cavity on the surface that was occluded. So I'm going in next week to get it refilled, as that tooth also has a huge filling that is old, and if we're going to do anything to that tooth that filling has to be redone.

So the good of all that is that there is a physical reason for the pain I was feeling and it's actually possible to fix the problem. So there is the possibility that I won't be in pain after doing something about it. The bad thing is that the one refill might not do it, we might have to also redo the filling that Dr. Macri put in to really get everything to work out okay. The crown on the bottom now has a dent in it, too, so it might have been chipped, which might explain why that crown isn't feeling so good either, but that isn't going to be an easy fix.

So we're going to do the refilling first, see if that fixes it, if not, then we'll go for the new filling, and then if that still doesn't fix everything we might have to do something about the crown. It's all work I suspected, but it's good to know that that is the extent of it all and that my insurance and my medical flexible spending account for this year hasn't even been touched yet and I planned for all this. That's good.

Of course, I'm afraid it's all going to go wrong, but, logically, it all lines up, and while I hate going under the drill again, at least Dr. Davis lets me pick videos to watch, or see what's going on with what he's doing. They have cool TV's set up and a little cam that they can put in my mouth while they work, and show me every little detail. I think I'd like that.

Work was good today. I got lots done. I didn't get too distracted, and having the time where Joan had Jet was really, really good.. Both of my meetings evaporated, which was nice, and it really felt good to have accomplished one major milestone and I got a lot done with a bunch of small ones bundled together. I was very happy with that.

Jet had a great day. He had fun at Joan's, fighting with Haley. Joan was laughing about it, so I didn't feel bad about it. Jet chased Haley around, trying to touch or take whatever toy she was playing with. She'd get mad and run away and play with something else, and Jet went after her again. It eerily reminded me of Fezzik chasing another dog at the off-leash areas. Still, they had fun with it, eventhough Jet had to work on his 'nice hands' a few times.

I asked Joan her technique for correcting Jet, so that John and I could do it the same way. If we do it consistently, then Jet'll have a better chance at learning it. And I am getting tired of Jet banging on my face or pulling on my lip or ears every once in a while. It's time he learned and I think he can. It would help, probably, with him mauling Haley or even beating Alex up. I think it kind of goes with the 'if you bite too hard you don't get played with' of all young mammals.

Lunch was baked stuff from the freezer. Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs and garlic toast. Jet actually ate chopped up spaghetti and chopped up meatball. He's eating real food. At a year old he should be able to eat just about anything we do, so that should make life even easier. He was really hungry before dinner was done, so John just sat him down in his seat with a cracker and he was very content to feed himself. Yes, there are some marks of independence that are very, very welcome indeed.

Jet had a blast playing with John and I after dinner while we watched Monday Night Football. He was just very happy, and it was just very cool to hold him, talk with him, play with him and enjoy being with him. I think that was the most important lesson Fezzik taught me at the end, that it's good to just be with a loved one and really savor the moment in every way. It won't be like this for long, and it is very good to enjoy it fully.

I liked that.

9:39 pm: So Jet's asleep now. My teeth ache from the gum check, a little. I am afraid of the whole thought of more work on my teeth, but I can't do anything more about it. I've taken my nightly Motrin, I am probably going to take a bath and drink plenty of water and turn the humidifier on high. My nose has been suffering the last few nights, but the coming week is supposed to be unseasonably warm, 50's and 60's in the day and 20's and even 30's at night. That may help the overall humidity to everyone's comfort.

I'm a little scared of Wednesday, a little scared of the dental work, and starting to stress a little over work again. So it's back to the old grind for a few weeks. Then we'll get to go to San Diego for a week and hopefully that'll be restful or at least not as stressful as all this. If Kathy and I get as far as I think we can get with the conversational email, I think it'll actually be more comfortable all around, not just with her but with my parents as well. So that is something to work towards.

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