Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tooth gloom

So this week was a little trying.

I'd been having some pain in the upper right side of my jaw every time I chewed and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on.

On Tuesday, it was so excruciating, I couldn't wait for Wednesday morning to come. Yeah, that bad. First thing I call my dentist. An appointment is made. Problem solved.

Fifteen minutes later, dentist's office calls back and says he's had to go home.

Doesn't want to see me, huh?"

"He's very ill."

So they arrange for me to go to a specialist and have an examination. I get there and first thing I'm asked to do--screw that I'm in pain--is fill out a bunch of forms.

All about payment of account and limiting liability. What a load of bullshit! Pain was so bad now I'd have bartered a first born. This is the good old USA. Roll on Obama and hopefully reform.

After forms were signed, I'm X-rayed and then told I have an infection that won't ever clear up (teeth infections don't as the white blood cells can't get up there to do their job) and the choice is a root canal at $1500.00 or extraction. No price on that because they only do root canals.

"A root canal is preferable because you'll still have your tooth." Subtext. We get the $1500."

"Do something. I'll have the root canal with a strawberry topping."

"Very wise. Just one thing. I can't guarantee complete success because the back molars have four roots. Sometimes the pain returns and extraction is the next option."

"Let me get my mind around this. You are a specialist, yes?"


And you charge $1500.00"


"And you can't say it'll be a success?"


"I want a second opinion. I'll see my dentist tomorrow as they said he'll likely be in then."

"That's fine."

Next morning, there is no pain and I'm chomping breakfast like a horse in a field of fresh grass. Amazing how $1500.00 and no guarantee of success focuses the mind.

I go to my dentist. Yes, it's an infection. And the pain goes away often, but it will return at some point and sometimes with a vengeance."

"Can you do the root canal?"


"There's no guarantee of success, you know? Not with back molars."

"Oh, just pull the damned thing. Enough already."

And then the huge injection looms. I close my eyes and think of the Queen. (Joke.)

So I'm now almost recovered. And pain free. Did mourn the loss of my tooth, though.
He was a faithful little bugger, loved a good juicy steak and a thick hamburger. Now he's gone. Into the medical waste bin. Next, off to the landfill with a bunch of other stranger's teeth. Nothing in common with them. And no more steak.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Happy Cows

I don't often comment on commercials, but one that's really made me laugh out loud is the latest California Cheese Board commercial.

It features two Fresians sitting in the barn discussing what they're going to do after they get up. In the background we hear a rooster crow.
"Shall we get an early start on the alfalfa field in the back?" one of the cows says.
The other cow is still not keen to rise yet and looks annoyed at the rooster.
The rooster struts into the barn and crows.
The relaxed cow says to her mate it's too early to get up yet. "Hit the snooze button."

Immediately we see the rooster shoot out the barn door and crash into the mail box. He picks himself up with as much dignity as he can and walks away.
The two cows go back to dozing as the slogan states.

"Great cheese comes from happy cows
Happy cows come from California."

Very funny. It's on You Tube, I think.

Monday, June 02, 2008

With Family

View of whinbush-pocked hills near my late grandparents old farm

Had a wonderful time in Ireland catching up with nephews and nieces and brothers and sisters.

My youngest brother Dermot and I and his kids Dierbhle (my Goddaughter), Jermaid (Irish For Dermot), Fergal and Callum (fraternal twins) and their cousin Ryan went up to a place called Rock Ess in the mountains. It's a wonderful waterfall with a deep swimming hole where my father and his siblings used to play as kids.

Photo of me at Rock Ess with niece and nephews
--see primroses on bottom right hand side

How wonderful it was to see (and smell) the primroses sprouting near the moss-covered rocks and hear the kids running noisily around. It was also great to chat and catch up with my brother.

My other brother Seamus lives in his house near my parents (as does my sister Siobhan)--I joke about it being a compound a la Kennedy's in Hyannisport. I stayed with Seamus and we had good evenings of wine and chat. He's having trouble with his back--had an accident as a kid that left him with a bad limp--and his discs are runbbing together badly. He's due to have some kind of injection in a few weeks--so slow is the National health Service--which we're hoping will alleviate it greatly.

Siobhan and her hubby Micheal had Larry , Mum, Dad and I in for a good old-fashioned Sunday lunch on the Sunday. It was mega yummy--roast beef, Yorkshire Puds, roast potatoes and all the trimmings.

And my sister Deirdre and hubby Micheal (a lot of Micheal's) had us over after my parent's 50th Anniversary for drinks--lots of vino, chat and laughter. It was a hoot. Deirdre didn't want the night to end, but we managed to drag our butts home at two in the morning.

All in all it was a wonderful week seeing my parents very happy, and it sure made me appreciate the importance of family and unreserved love.