Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Long time no blog...

Hey, it's 2014! Happy New Year, everyone!

Rick has been reprimanding me lately for neglecting my blog... and he definitely has a point -- I have been ignoring my poor little corner of cyberspace for far too long. Last night, he asked if I was planning a New Year's blog post, and I said that I wasn't sure what to write about.

"I feel like I've already said everything," I lamented.

"Okay, so write about THAT," he responded.

Hmmm... a post about how I've already written everything I can possibly write about? I suppose I could attempt to tackle that...

On the other hand, there's always SOMEthing to write about, isn't there?

Today, for instance, I have one thing on my mind: my teeth. (What, you're not thinking about YOUR teeth right now?? Weird... :)) I've always been a little too obsessed with my teeth -- I brush as often as I can and floss at LEAST once a day, if not two or three times a day. (And if I run out of floss, it's like a major crisis in my house... I've learned to stock emergency containers of dental floss to guard against such an event...) And the ONLY recurring theme in my nightmares is tooth loss -- I never have that "common" dream where you show up naked to a big event... but I dream about losing my teeth ALL the time. And it freaks me out -- I'll wake up, in a panic, and hurriedly run my tongue over my teeth to reassure myself that they're all still in place...

Several years ago, my dentist in Austin informed me that I was an apparent tooth grinder -- when I'm sleeping and having all of those horrible dreams about losing my teeth, I'm also GRINDING my teeth (or at least clenching my jaw much too tightly) -- and that is NOT a good thing. Over the years, all of that tooth grinding has resulted in cracked molars, and my cracked molars have required crowns... one after another...

I've never really had any issues with my crowns -- I've always eaten whatever I want, and I've tried not to think about how several of my teeth are covered with porcelain. As long as those awful teeth-falling-out nightmares don't come true, I'm fine.

So imagine me, sitting on a plane the day after Christmas, about a half hour from landing in Chicago, deciding to pull out some leftover holiday candy from my carry-on bag so Rick and I could finish it off. We each had two pieces -- the first was a lovely vanilla-cream-filled chocolate, which melted in my mouth in smooth chocolately-vanilla deliciousness. That left one more... one last piece of Christmas candy before returning to Chicago and attempting to get my diet back on track after a week of holiday over-indulgence. I took a generous bite of the chocolate-covered confection, which turned out to be caramel.

Now, I love caramel -- I've eaten many caramels in my life, and not only love the flavor, but the texture, as well. But THIS caramel was different... it was crazy sticky and chewy... the candy enveloped my teeth in a merciless tomb of semi-viscous sugar, trapping parts of my mouth like a saber-toothed tiger in the La Brea Tar Pits...

And then, as I slogged my way through the candy, I felt something that no tooth-obsessed person who has nightmares of losing teeth ever wants to feel -- I felt one of my teeth come loose...

Okay, not an ACTUAL tooth -- but one of my crowns was definitely NOT in the place it was supposed to be. I immediately bit down on the wayward tooth, setting it back into place... but the damage was done. I held back the instinct to completely freak out, since I was in a public place and didn't want to start screaming, "it's falling off!!" on a plane. (What's falling off? The wing?!?)

In fact, I managed to stay relatively calm for the rest of the evening, and the next morning got a dentist appointment made for January 2 (almost a week away, which seemed like an eternity). Since the crown hadn't seemed to move all night, I decided to take a chance and eat a little something for breakfast... but as soon as I started chewing, the crown popped right off and I had to bite down to keep it on again. Fortunately, drug stores sell temporary cement to hold on loose crowns, so Rick bought some and brought it home to me. I actually had to wait until I was eating and felt the crown come loose again to try to use it, because I couldn't bring myself to reach into my mouth and yank out a tooth (even though it isn't TECHNICALLY a tooth... but just the very IDEA freaks me out...).

For two days, the temporary stuff seemed to be working. And I was sticking to eating things like soup and pasta and scrambled eggs -- anything that was soft and didn't require a lot of chewing -- so as not to tax the fragile tooth. But my incessant need to floss finally got the best of me, and the night before New Year's Eve, the crown popped off as I was (carefully, I swear!) flossing. This resulted in a bit of a meltdown, which Rick can attest to -- I was crying and freaking out and feeling like all of my tooth-loss nightmares were coming to fruition... I put MORE temporary cement on the tooth and stuck it back on, but this only made it feel totally wrong and awkward in my mouth, since it now had two or three layers of bulky cement. The idea of waiting two ENTIRE days before my dental appointment was stressing me out...

So Rick, probably feeling helpless to comfort his crazy, weird wife, promised to call the dentist in the morning and see if they could squeeze me in. The only problem was, when he called on New Year's Eve morning, the dentist was closed. And so was just about every other dentist in the city. We finally found one that was available for emergencies, but they only promised to "temporarily" fix the crown. And their advice to me was actually to just wait for my appointment on Thursday... since I couldn't stand the idea of going to a dentist just for a "band-aid," I finally decided to tough it out and wait until my original appointment. But I also decided to stop eating any kind of solid food -- so for the last couple days, all I've eaten is brothy soups and smoothies... and I'm so, so hungry... (But on a positive note, I easily lost the few pounds I gained over the Christmas holiday -- this has been a great forced diet. :))

But it's now Wednesday evening, and in 12 hours, I'll be getting ready to walk over to the dentist's office and get my nightmare tooth fixed, and hopefully then I can eat with abandon once more. (But not TOO much abandon, because I don't want to gain back those holiday pounds...) And I'm definitely steering clear of super-sticky caramel from now on...

And hopefully I can make an effort to update my blog more often this year -- even if I'm writing about how I've already said everything I have to say... :)

5 comments:

Mom said...

I feel so bad! It's probably because of me that you have those dreams. If it helps at all, I love my teeth! (For anyone reading this who doesn't know what I'm talking about, I have dental implants. Many.) Your teeth will last you a lifetime, I'm sure, Lisa! You can get a nighttime guard if you grind your teeth. I do too. So the dentist made one for me. It does protect your teeth, and the one I have is very easy to wear.

G. B. Miller said...

Great way to lose weight, eh?

Lisa said...

Mom -- That's Rick's theory, too -- he wonders if I worry about my teeth so much because of your teeth. But I'm not convinced... I think I'm just weird. :)

George -- it was! :) Although probably not the best way to do it... But it's funny, because the week of Christmas I kept thinking about how I was eating WAY too much, and how I'd really need to get back on track once the holidays were over. And then I was pretty much forced to eat less... :)

Kellin Smith said...

Hey! :)

We just launched Chicago bookoo - it's a massive online yard sale for Chicago and surrounding areas.- Thousands of people buying and selling used stuff from each other, in a fun, family-friendly way! :)

We're getting the word out to some local bloggers, and would like to send you a free bookoo t-shirt (no strings attached!). If you would like a free t-shirt, will you send me an email at kellin@bookoo.com with your address and shirt size? I'll get it out to you right away!

Check out the website:

http://chicago.bookoo.com/


Thanks!

Jairo Chavez said...

How's your teeth now? I hope everything went better than expected, Lisa. Oral health is most of the time taken for granted, whic results in unfortunate conditions. Grinding your teeth during sleep is a common thing, but it's not your fault. Just make sure to still frequent the dentist for maintenance. Take care!

Jairo Chavez