Sunday, May 26, 2013

extracting the canine

This is a tale in two parts.

And this is the first part.

A week ago I told you about my trip to Manzanillo, where I saw a dentist, who examined my infected molar and cleaned my teeth.  Unlike the first dentist who examined me, she was not certain anything but conservative care would be needed to restore the gums around the tooth.

Her son is in the final stage of getting his periodontist specialty.  She sat an appointment for me to see him in her office on the 25th --  bones on the cliff.

That was yesterday.  And I was there a full half hour early -- in true retired expatriate fashion.

I almost started to write he looked very young to me.  But most medical personnel are starting to look a bit young to me these days.  And that is good.  I am not certain I want someone my age poking around in my mouth with sharp objects.

And poke he did.  But he needed an x-ray.

I was ready to get the full northern x-ray treatment.  Flat in the chair covered with a lead vest while the technician hides behind a blast shield.  As if we were embarking on a cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

But not here.  The dentist sat me in his chair, and asked me to open my mouth.  I instinctively put my finger in my mouth to hold the film.  He told me he would do it.  Because he was sitting right next to me when he blasted us both with x-rays.

The x-ray turned out to be a good idea.  Even though I had a root canal on that molar years ago, it appears that a renegade nerve is still there --keeping company with a black dot of infection right at the tip of the root.

And we all know what that means.  A root canal.  Maybe.  The root canal specialist will see me next week.  In the same office.  At least, the appointments are going to be convenient.

I have now had three diagnoses.  A pocket has formed under my gum line and I may need a bone graft.  There may be a pocket, but conservative care may be sufficient.  There is no pocket, but there is an infection at the tip of the root. 

I guess I will have my definitive answer later in the week.

And that brings e to the second part of my tale.

When I returned home, my foster dog, Gomez (dogging my dreams), was gone.  I knew that was going to happen.  Christine, my land lady, told me she had found a long-term foster home for him.

I know some of you would like me to say that Gomez and I made at least a bit of attachment during his short visit.  But that would not be true.

However, I can say I admired the old guy's flexibility and tenacity.  The first two days, I had to build escape-proof barriers to keep him from squeezing through the bars of my gates.  He did not want to stay here.

Then he learned this place would provide him with lots of food, constantly fresh water, and someone who would pet and talk with him.  And my reward was an ancient dog who turned himself into a watch dog -- guarding me from the evils of the outside world.

He gained some muscle strength.  And loved to go for walks in the morning and evening -- reminding me a lot of Professor Jiggs in his final days.

I was happy to offer him a home for a brief period.  But the experience convinced me my current lifestyle is not yet ready for the steady rigors of dog ownership.

For the moment, I would be happy to be the continued owner of a healthy molar.

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