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November 3, 2001
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Unhappy Teeth and K-Pax

7:09 pm: I woke up last night with the entire left side of my jaw in complete agony. I guess I didn't really grind my teeth that much the night before, or something, and tonight I made up for it with a vengeance, and the damned fillings were making up for lost time and that whole side of my face and jaw and mouth were just on fire. I managed to feed Jet at 2 am and then went to bed just crying from the pain. I talked with John for a while, put the tooth guard on the bathroom counter, and tried to go to sleep.

It wasn't that much better in the morning because I'd been grinding the same teeth that were tender from the guard that night. So I called the pager number of the dentists and left our phone number in what appeared to be their voice mail for the pager. They didn't call back. John then called the number and when he got their message, he pushed the number of our phone number on the phone pad. They called back ten minutes later, and Anne tried to get me to come in on Monday for a little while, but then Chris, her husband, said that he might be able to do some errands in Erie along with seeing to me, and they said that they could get me in at 11.

Which was the oddest relief, in some ways. I mean... there is always a part of me that's going to say, okay... it isn't going to kill me. But, really it was going to destroy my sleep and it's not like I get that much sleep anyway, and between my teeth and John's need to get work done and the job I still have to do in folding in all the review material before our vacation, I really was going to kill myself if I didn't have the guard in some kind of shape where it wasn't going to cause me agony at night. I was also just really, really mad that they couldn't have gotten it right the first time and that with all the fucking around that's been happening it's quite possible that the nerves in the molar next to the one that got filled have gotten inflamed and are going to make it so that I am going to lose that tooth, too.

Sometimes I wonder if these kinds of incompetence are a kind of implicit method for getting more business. I think that if that molar really does blow up, I'm going to go to a completely different dentist. I'm not going to fuck around with these folks anymore.

Yes. Pain does change my normal demeanor and attitude.

The thing is that I know, also, that the above is an over reaction. They were very nice about coming in extra and doing what was necessary to 'fix' the guard properly this time, with contact paper and even molding gel to make absolutely sure there wasn't any hard contact anymore on the inside of the guard. He did it right this time, with physical evidence instead of asking me, "Does it feel okay?" I hate, "Does it feel okay?" because 'what is okay?' and in the thirty seconds that I have it in will that actually be a representative sample of what it'll be like at 3 am in the morning when my subconscious is trying to splinter my teeth on the problem of its choice? Fuck feel.

So we did it by evidence, and all the evidence points to it being an even bite, now, along the surfaces, not only of the appliance, but of my teeth as well. The real test will be when I put it on tonight, but in the meantime I'll give up hope and clutch the evidence of what I saw him fix and my bottle of Motrin to try and stop the nerve inflammation. It looks like it should be okay.

They were good enough, also, to get me in at 11 am, because at noon, Alexis came over to baby-sit Jet, and John and I went as quickly as we could to the movie theater and went in to see K-PAX. Kevin Spacey is very good in it, as usual. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and really loved how the story line went and how the characters were involved and all that went through it. I really enjoyed the plot and liked what went unanswered nearly as much as what was answered. It was sweet, funny, sad, terrible, and wise in turns. I'd recommend it.

We then went for ice cream, and I was unwise and got blueberries in my marble slab ice cream. Unwise because the blueberries froze solid, and I had small gravel to chew on with some really sensitive teeth. We did, however, stand out in the sunshine and eat our ice cream cones for about five minutes, soaking up the warmth, enjoying the cold creaminess, and then realized we would be home late. Oops. So we hopped into the car and sped home, just in time for Jet to wake up from an honest to goodness nap.

Alexis had brought him over to her house and he'd played with Sam and Ben and had such a good time that he wore himself out enough for a nap. She said that he'd been awesome and they'd had a great time. He'd eating a bit of formula, had a nap, got changed, and was a very content little guy when we got him. That was very good indeed. I nursed him and he went to sleep for about ten minutes, just enough time for me to think about taking a nap while he was sleeping and to be disappointed, a little, when he woke up.

John made dinner. My teeth were still hurting from the ice cream, and they ached after steamed bao, sticky rice, and hot tomato soup. Nothing in all that that was really hard to chew, in fact, Jet ate a huge mound of sticky rice before downing half a jar of cauliflower and broccoli. There will be a day when we'll point to this record and say, "Jet, you used to eat everything, what happened?" He loved the rice, and would take some of it out to look at it before putting it back, neatly, into his mouth and sucking on his hand until all the stickiness went away.

Afterwards, we started watching the series, and I finally gave up and went upstairs to post the last of October, and write up today. I think I'm going to be a bit better with at least some of November, i.e. not do half the month at a shot and then the other half of the month at a shot. Then again, having a whole week in the North West may not make that any easier... of course, I also discovered that OryCon has Child Care, and I'm terribly tempted to drop Jet off with them for something like a two or three hour nap instead of doing any Con-like things.

Won't that be weird. Going to a Con to get sleep instead of losing more of it.

8:41 pm: I decided to have a bath and John said that he'd take care of Jet while I did that. Jet had other plans. Instead of playing in the livingroom, he followed me through the kitchen, where I was getting a glass of water to take with me to the bath, and he crawled all along the hard wood floor, yelling at me the whole way, and then into the bedroom as I had walked through there to our bathroom. He was outside the bathroom door while I was filling the tub, and I heard him yelling at me.

So I went out and John came at that moment to pick him up and take him away, and I could hear Jet complaining the whole time. It wasn't really crying, more just loud, aggravated talking to anyone that might listen. Jet seems so happy to see everyone and nearly anyone, but I'm the only one he gets unhappy about NOT seeing. That is pretty interesting to see.

John managed to entertain him, and get him to play and play and play and then have a huge bowel moment and after that Jet just collapsed into sleep. He'll get his last nursing in a minute.

I got a long hot, salty, oiled bath. I like the bath salts because they pull all the aches out of my muscles and with all the jaw and shoulder muscles I've been clenching from pain I really needed something to loosen stuff up so that I'll be able to sleep tonight. Without some incentive to unknot I'd probably be tossing and turning tonight. The Motrin I took with my dinner kicked in during the bath as well and for the first time this evening my teeth stopped hurting. I could actually drink ice water without pain.

Water is good. Ever since the pregnancy I've been drinking a whole lot more water than I ever had before. I'm really glad, as it's a good habit to get into for my digestive system, my circulatory system, my eyes, any weight loss thing I might contemplate, and for my teeth. Much better than sugar drinks.

Jet was fast asleep in John's arms when I came out of my bath, and John held him cheerfully enough until it was time to feed him. I had to wake Jet up by holding him upright for a while until he opened his eyes and met mine with his for a little while. Then when I latched him on he went just fine.

Game Six is not suspenseful. I am glad. There have been enough close games recently, and I really do want Game Seven to be a good one. I am cheering for the Diamondbacks. Partially for Randy Johnson's sake, partially because I've always loved National League rules better, and finally because I have never liked the Yankees, for all that they're from New York and the whole dynasty thing. I just don't like them.

I do with that Kim had had better luck in the first times a Korean player showed up in the World Series. He had the odds with him, but it always is possible to flip five tails in a row. I'm glad the remaining games are in Arizona and not in New York. Several weeks ago I heard an article on NPR about how it's okay to not cheer for the Yankees, and I was very pleased by the article and that if people want things to be normal, the disparity of opinions, and who to cheer for in the World Series, is perfectly American.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.