We are back to the rain, and this time it is a cold rain. The temperature was two degrees this morning, outside the window. Attila will need his raincoat today, and a bit of extra comfort food for his coffee break.
On Sunday, while eating a piece of fresh, commercially baked bread, I bit down on something hard. When I removed the piece of grit from my mouth, I said to Attila “This looks like a piece of tooth! Ewwwwww!”
I had immediately assumed this piece of tooth belonged to someone at the bread factory. But Attila, always the “lets consider the options” kind of fellow, suggested that it might be a chip from my own tooth. Sure enough, a quick feel round with my tongue confirmed that a whole section of my own tooth had chipped off. This tooth experienced a root canal a few years ago, after a very nasty infection. What is left of the tooth is now very, very sharp and the core of the root canal is visible. Luckily I am not experiencing any pain. There are no more root canals in my future.
Fearing another major infection, I began to look for a dentist on Monday. Of the four I called, only one answered the telephone. The receptionist informed me that they could assess the tooth in two weeks time, for almost one hundred dollars, and then make another appointment for next January at the earliest for appropriate treatment, for an unknown additional cost. The whole interaction was distressing, despite the young woman’s best efforts to present an unsatisfactory level of service as normal business practise.
The business of dentistry seems incompatible with the concept of “health care”, in my opinion and experience.
My next question was about emergency dental care, which is touted on their telephone directory ad. Oh, she said, “You just go into the hospital emergency department for emergency dental care.” Been there, done that. Not a straightforward process, I am sorry to say, and VERY EXPENSIVE, as premium rates are charged for “on-demand” dental services, even in life threatening situations.
After talking things over with Attila, I came to a decision. My teeth need a level of health care that I cannot afford, in order to keep me safe from infection. With my allergy, an infection has the potential to be lethal, as I cannot use many modern medications that are preserved with my allergen. I have decided that each tooth, that requires anything more serious than a filling, will have to be removed. Eventually I will probably have them all removed and replaced with a plate. Until such time I will carry on without a full set of operational teeth. It is a sad decision, but the only sensible one, considering my genetically weak enamel, the cost and access issues of dental work and the dangers of an infection.
The first call was a success. The gentleman who answered the telephone remembered me, as I had visited that office years ago, before my root canals were performed. He was friendly, not officious about “office policy”, and flexible, which is extremely important for those of us who have to exist outside the box. The upshot is that I will have an assessment by the end of the week. If the tooth needs immediate attention, I am assured it will get it. If there is little likelihood of infection or pain, I will wait for an available appointment.
My last loaf of bread was a big hit with Attila. Bread always tastes better when sweetened with honey rather than white sugar, so that is a factor. But Attila pointed out another important factor that had passed me by, because I seldom eat the bread that I bake. The loaf had baked with an even density, from top to bottom. This is a result, he felt, of letting it rise on the masonry fireplace mantle, where the heat rises gently up from the bottom of the pan which rests on the warm concrete.
Attila’s compliments on the bread led me to consider sourdough bread. I think Attila would like it very much. So, after a search and some reading I decided to give this method a try, it starts with pineapple juice. So, I mixed it up in a 1.5 liter canning jar, set it on the fireplace mantle and covered it with a clean dishcloth. It is just an experiment, and will need attention for a few days. We will see what happens.
Since last March, when I left that terrible job, I have been eating sensibly and walking daily; all this towards improving my cholesterol levels, which were over 800 at that time. It is difficult to change one’s lifestyle so drastically. For example, I seldom eat bread, which I love, my snacks are always fresh fruit or a small helping of granola with 1% milk and I hardly ever eat high fat foods. This is not a diet I am talking about; it is a lifestyle change. I will maintain these eating habits, and walk daily, for the rest of my life. As of this morning I am only ten pounds overweight. No news yet as to my cholesterol levels, but I do have a doctor’s appointment in a few weeks and he will allow me to know the results of the August blood test when I visit.
If I were losing weight for the purposes of vanity or aesthetics, I would be a very unhappy woman. At the top end of my normal weight range, I am not a thin person. That means that when these last ten pounds disappear I do not expect to look slim, just a smaller version of the me I see now. I will look good. I will recognize myself in the mirror again, plus a few sags and wrinkles, that weren’t with me a decade ago. The point to my weight loss is to benefit my overall health, and I do feel better, move better and rest better now than I have for over a decade. It requires a lot of discipline to resist inappropriate food choices. It is worth the effort because it improves the quality of my life.
|RECIPES :: Cast
The Day Shift
Mist has taken to sitting at the foot of the bed each morning, watching and waiting for me to move out of her favorite spot to sleep, my side of the bed!
"One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways."
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), Conquest of Happiness (1930)
Press 101.5 kPa / rising
Visibility 15 km
Dew Point 6.5°C
Wind Speed NW 8 km/h
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