Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bad Mediocre Day at Black Rock

Well... to begin with... we find ourselves kinda-sorta upside down again where our sleeping habits are concerned. We arose around 1000 hrs this morning, fired off the coffee pot and retreated to our bed, ostensibly for just enough time to allow the coffee pot to finish its magic. An hour later we awakened yet again to semi-fresh-brewed coffee. After pouring our first cup we began to make the rounds of our Daily Reads.... which we did NOT finish, on account of because we had an appointment at 1400 hrs today for our periodic cleaning and dental check-up. Which is the source of today's not-inconsiderable angst.

Before we get too deep into the whining... it helps to know the edge was taken off by the fact that we launched Happy Hour directly upon our return from Dr. Thompson's Dental Palace, after spending nearly two hours therein. And this prompts a minor digression... about which: I'm thinking I (a) should have stayed in school and (b) pursued a career path that involved dentistry, rather than the profession of arms and information technology, as a follow-on career. Why? Regard:

The above is an illustration blatantly purloined from the Good Doctor's web site. In what other career field would one be able to surround himself with visions of beauty such as depicted above? I can't think of another example, but I AM open to suggestion. Which, of course, is not to say that I didn't have the opportunity to associate myself with beautiful women in MY chosen fields... it's just that said opportunities were rare. And to top it all off, Dr. Thmpson's distaff staff are truly great people, aside from being classic "lookers." End of digression.

Back to the whining. I got the usual and customary dose of "good news, bad news" during today's visit. The bad news? I'm in danger of losing yet another tooth, this time one of the teeth that anchors a bridge I've had for about eight years or so. This is bad news, indeed, as said bridge contains our three front teeth, which are critical for doing things like eating apples or gnawing on barbecued ribs. The good news is that tooth may yet be saved, albeit at "a certain cost." Further bad news is that although the tooth may be saved in the short run the longer term prognosis is not good... which means I'll have to pop for more implants three or four years down the road. Aiiieeee...

But. We remain accepting and philosophical about our fate after four beers. We 're also grateful that (a) we have the wherewithal to defray these sorts of expenses (even after absorbing significant hits to the 401(k) during the latest economic crisis, which has left us listing significantly to port yet still afloat) and (b) we live in America, where there are solutions to such problems beyond yanking all your teeth out and forcing one to subsist on gruel forever thereafter. Further... I find comfort in the fact that although I have the "bad teeth" gene (or I lack the "good teeth" gene), things could be worse. I could have the "fall over dead from a heart attack at age 53" gene. Or I could face the constant struggle with the "I'm too fat" gene and its fall-out. One must count one's blessings, no?

On the other hand... we had plans to spend our retirement money in other pursuits, such as opportunities to contract exotic social diseases in equally exotic climes while destroying our liver with indigenous alcohol (mmm... Singha! and Mekong!). Thailand comes to mind (see the foregoing), as do certain Central American destinations (mmm... tequila! and pulque!). We also had envisioned passing on what was left after said peccadilloes were done to our offspring upon our demise, making them instant hundredaires... or, best case, thousandaires. But, Hey! "The best laid plans..." and all that.

On the other, other hand, I'm gratified to learn that one can, indeed, "take it with you" when one leaves this mortal coil... if only in the form of really cool dental prostheses. Ya takes what ya gets...


  1. MissBirdlegs in AL23 July, 2009 20:56

    I don't think you could pay me enough money to get implants, and I sure as heck wouldn't spend my money on 'em! I'll just make do with a partial, thank you very much. ;-)

  2. Wow, Buck. Having met you I really want you to have a steak and/or gnaw on some ribs. But I want you to go to get some Singha, too! Sigh.

  3. Or tiger beer with calamari.

    I am with you on the bad teeth thing, I need to get two implants but I am too cheap. And I am afraid of the pain.

    Now I need to find a dentist that accepts my insurance, I need to get some work in to rescue what's left.

    Good luck on your implants. Check out the system where they put in six posts and then plug in a permanent set of choppers on the posts. I hear from someone near that it works really good.

  4. I used to have anxiety dreams where my teeth just fell out. Your predicament is a nightmare in my book. With modern denistry as it is, hopefully this will all be okay.

  5. You're such a star. Hope Happy Hour goes well - cheers to you Buck from over here in France on a happy hour of my own at last! (and smilin' all nice teeth!)

  6. As you know, Buck, I seriously empathize. The bit about taking it with you, though, that's something I hadn't really considered. Both of our mouths will make really interesting artifacts for future archeologists :-)

  7. MissBL: I did quite a bot of research into the implant thing before I put my money down. It remains to be seen whether or not my hopes will be realized, but the satisfaction ratio is very high among those parties I polled. I have high expectations.

    Bob: Thanks! Much appreciated. The only Singha I'm gonna be getting will be had right here in the US of A, tho. More's the pity.

    Darryl sez: I am with you on the bad teeth thing, I need to get two implants but I am too cheap. And I am afraid of the pain.

    Now I need to find a dentist that accepts my insurance, I need to get some work in to rescue what's left.

    The pain CAN be considerable... but like most pain it's transitory and can be managed effectively with good drugs. As for dentists and insurance... you need to be VERY careful in this space! A guy with a good track record and the appropriate in-house equipment is absolutely ESSENTIAL. Caveat emptor is the watchword here.

    Lou: I'm thinking all we be well... thanks for your support!

    Alison: Ah... to be where you are! And thanks for the compliment!

    Jim: Yeah... we'll really be a find for future archeologists, eh?

  8. I'll be thinking really good thoughts about Tricare for you! We're thinking about transferring over to it from my husband's civvy policy. You can really give it a good recommendation? Tricare For Life? We have a few more years before being eligible for that, but my dad's very satisfied with it.

  9. My philosophy is - leave enough behind for your loved ones to bury you and throw a great party in your honor. Otherwise - have at it with gusto while you are here.

  10. Moogie: Tri-Care doesn't provide dental coverage... which is a serious shortcoming. That said, I can provide a positive Tri_Care recommendation, based on my limited experience. I've been blessed with good health so far in life (dental issues aside) and I've only had two encounters with Tri-Care, once for a CT scan before my first dental surgery, and once again for a colonoscopy. Both bills were paid without question or hassle. I think the trick is finding providers who accept Tri-Care's payment schedule(s)... and that's not much of an issue around military bases. N'Awlins might be another story, tho.

    Kris: I like your philosophy!

  11. OUCH! I hope all is well in P-ville this evening, Buck.

    Take care of those gotta be able to gnaw on yummy stuff, right?


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