Saturday, June 24, 2017

Where Can I Sign up for the Extended Warranty?

Sometimes I feel like a used car whose warranty just expired and all the parts now need replacing.

Especially lately. Because in the past couple years I’ve been diagnosed with two bone spurs in my left foot, arthritis in my right knee and in the last week I found out my formerly pretty darn good teeth are now all shot to hell and need dental work to the tune of thousands (and thousands) of dollars.

Too bad we don’t come with an extended warranty. I would’ve signed right up for that.

I’m also a glutton for punishment. Last week, when we were preparing for 15 guests for our Father’s Day celebration, I was busy chopping and cutting and mixing and baking like a mad woman. I was determined to be well prepared ahead of time. And mostly I was. I had containers with all manner of food that merely needed to be mixed together or put out on plates and platters. And all those containers were labeled.  So I was pretty proud of myself for not procrastinating this time.

But it all came to a screeching halt late Friday night when I decided it was time to bring some of the containers of freshly chopped veggies and a big bowl of pasta salad to the downstairs fridge.

Vince, who was in charge of the meat, was soaking and tenderizing and marinating like a mad man. When he heard me say I was going downstairs and saw me loaded down with food, he asked me to take a plate of half-frozen steaks down to the fridge. And he proceeded to set the plate on top of the big bowl of pasta salad.

I said I didn’t think I could carry it all.

And this, folks, right here is when I should have put my foot down and said “No!”  Because I couldn’t carry it all. I got about ten steps into the hallway and that plate of half frozen steaks slid right off the container of pasta salad – and landed sideways on my second toe right behind the nail bed.

The good news is that the plate didn’t break. The bad news is that my toe did.

I yowled. I think there were actual tears. And I may have even said a couple bad words.

Vince, to my dismay, thought it was funny. He chuckled and said, “Hunh. I guess you couldn’t carry it all!”

But when I took my sock off and we watched my toe swell and turn purple before our eyes, his laughter dried up. He truly didn’t know I’d hurt myself. 

I guess that maybe I’m a bit of a drama queen when it comes to stubbing my toe or running into walls and bashing my elbow. And because I do that sort of thing all the time, he has gotten used to me not really hurting myself. But complaining about it. Loudly and with colorful words.

Except this time. Oh, man – did my toe hurt! There was no more party prep that night. Instead, I elevated my foot and applied an ice pack to my throbbing and swollen toe.

The next morning, I woke up to find my toe a lovely purplish-black color all the way to the base. It was pretty clear I was going to lose the toenail. And I could barely walk on it.

I certainly couldn’t put any pressure on it – so I limped my way through the day. Sadly, I couldn’t stop working because I still had a list of things to get done before our party on Sunday.

Because it was so swollen, the skin split and now there was blood. Oh joy. But I have good friends and family who were willing to help – and they’ve played nurse with the gauze and tape and Neosporin. I'm not saying they are experts at wrapping...but they've done a better job than I could.

At least it's wrapped.
And it’s getting better. But I still can’t walk normally on it. And I look a little silly with two toes taped together and a big white bandage on my foot. Plus, I need a pedicure. But that’s not happening anytime soon.

Fast forward a few days and I’m at the dentist’s office. I’m there to get a tooth removed. Why? Because it had cracked below my gum line and couldn’t be saved.

I’d been having some pain in my jaw in recent weeks and went to a dentist to have my tooth looked at. He said I needed a root canal and he proceeded to drill away. But then he stopped because he said my tooth was cracked too far down. This was my first root canal and I wasn’t happy about joining the club. And the worst thing was that it didn’t fix the problem.

Figures. Mine is the non-treatable one.
So he sent me to another dentist. This one took X-rays of my entire mouth and gave me the bad news that most of the teeth that had those old amalgam fillings needed some repair work. Some major repair work. And she agreed with the first guy that the tooth I was complaining about needed to come out.

So she sent me to a THIRD guy. Who knew that dentists nowadays were so specialized that one only does root canals and another does the tooth pulling? Not me, that’s for sure.

Back in the day, we went to our family dentist and Dr. Kelleher did it all. Cleaned teeth. Pulled teeth. Filled teeth. I’m sure he did root canals and crowns, but back then the worst thing my teeth needed were fillings.

The last filling I had was when I was about 12. And then when I was in college, I had to have four teeth pulled to prepare my mouth for braces. Two years of braces, and that was pretty much the end of my extensive dental work.

For years and years afterwards, I would go to the dentist who would clean my teeth and tell me I was good to go. I didn’t need root canals. I didn’t need crowns. Or implants. Or any of that stuff. So I thought I had pretty good teeth.

But throughout all those years, I would ask various dentists, “Shouldn’t I have these old fillings replaced? They’ve been in my mouth since I was 12.”

The response I invariably heard was, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I THOUGHT they were good teeth. Bad ones were lurking in the back!
So I thought Dr. Kelleher must have done an ah-mazing job on those fillings that they’ve lasted this many decades.

Well, I’m sure he DID do an ah-mazing job – but no filling is going to last forever.

As I recently found out.

The teeth have cracked around those fillings and they all need some sort of repair work. Fortunately, only the one tooth is cracked below the gum and needed to be removed.

But lemme just tell you – I don’t like going to the dentist and I did NOT want to have this procedure done.

When I had those four teeth removed before I got braces, it was an awful experience. Four strong, healthy teeth in a teenager’s mouth do NOT want to come out easily. So Dr. Kelleher pulled and yanked and those teeth cracked and crunched before finally giving up and coming out. While it didn’t hurt because I was shot full of Novocaine, the sound was so extreme, I was in tears.
And to this day, I vividly recall the sound.

So when I had to go in this week to have my tooth removed, I brought an ear plug. And while it wasn’t fun, it was not as traumatic as it was back in the day.

But now I’m literally hurting from my head down to my toe.

And I’m wondering where I can sign up for an extended warranty. 

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