gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Yesterday I had my first dental appointment in a few years. Yes, people with no teeth are supposed to still see a dentist. This was to address my denture issues.

I got dentures back in 2008, and due to the massive amount of bone loss from my chemo, the lower plates never had nothing to grab onto. As a result, eating almost anything with my teeth in was impossible. I wore the teeth mainly for show, and for comfort when I was still driving for a living.

But after my stroke, and going nearly month without them between hospitals and rehab, I just stopped wearing my dentures. There was no need. I can manage most foods by carefully cutting and using my tongue to mash them up before swallowing. Also, i let my facial hair grow over my lip, which hides the lack of teeth most of the time. I've not worn my dentures in nearly three years. (I do keep them clean, just in case.

But in the last several months, I've been told by multiple doctors that I really need to chew properly to get all the nutritional value from my food. I also discovered that there is in fact a dental version of MediCal, called Denti-Cal which covers many things, including dentures. But not implants as a rule.

Which brings us back to yesterday's appointment. We went back to the same dentist who had done my extractions. They remembered us, which was nice. Got really cool X-rays (there's a machine that circles your head like a scanner; no more film shoved in your mouth!) a quick exam, and a discussion.

Turns out that getting what I need is going to cost close to what the Istanbul trip cost. But there is hope! I'm going to call my doctor to see about getting a consult with a dietician. See if we can't get my medical team to sign off on my getting teeth as a medical necessity to cover at least some of the cost. Also, there are payment plans. We looked at the brochure briefly and [personal profile] kshandra said we'd be making car payments on my teeth. I have an appointment to see an oral surgeon in a few weeks to get his take.

One way or another, we'll make this work.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Wobble)
Coming home from work my dentures were killing me. Wanting them out of my head, I walked in and said to Kirsten as I strode to the bathroom:

"Be right back. Teeth bad, Fire pretty, Tree went 2 for 4 with a walk."
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  Wobble)
I still need to pick up a new card holder for my wallet.

Also need to find new silencers for my dog tags. Yes, I still wear my tags. If for no other reason, they have my blood type printed on them.

But I'm not going anywhere. I'm trying to get back into the habit of wearing my teeth, and to help suppress my gag reflex I've taken a Vicodin.

OK, here's a question for the non-veterans on my friends' list. A standard set of US dog tags have five lines of information stamped into them. Without looking it up, can you tell me what those lines contain? I've already told you what's on line 4.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • I need to go to Kaiser and drop off paperwork with the Medical Secretaries, pick up a form from my doctor, and then pick up new medication.

  • Because my thyroid is evidently running ultra-marathons while chugging pure caffeine.

  • Then off to the DMV to apply for a disabled tag.

  • Trust me, these days I need it.

  • After that, I'm off to [livejournal.com profile] baka49er's place to give her a quick course in using Flickr.

  • Assuming I survive that, I have an old dollar bill from World War II I want to sell. It's stamped "HAWAII" on the back and was one of the bills issued only in the colony. The idea was that if the Japanese invaded, the entire run of currency could be declared worthless.

  • Depending on condition and which series it is, it's worth $10-$50.

  • That works for me!

  • Just need to find a coin shop along my route of march.

  • Also need to find a new card holder for my wallet.

  • My Niners are now 3-1.

  • I made several trades (next year's draft is going to be bad) but picked up a much better right tackle, left outside linebacker, and a new #1 wide receiver.

  • Also discovered that the practice sessions really help. Especially those "key plays" identified by the coaching staff.

  • Now playing the game with a pen and note pad next to me.

  • Finally found the bloody GPS. It was inside a folder from when I had home healthcare.

  • It will be useful on the drive up to Reno.

  • Which is next Tuesday. Yikes!

  • [livejournal.com profile] kshandra is picking up our suitcases from [livejournal.com profile] murphymom. I'm going to start setting aside what I want to take up later this week.

  • Need to start wearing teeth again, I suppose.

  • Go Giants!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Smiling)
Had my teeth in for ten hours.

Doesn't sound like much, but with all the health problems and being home all the time it has been literally months since I wore my choppers on a daily basis. It takes time to acclimate to having big chunks of plastic in your mouth. Took vicodin to help with the transition.. not so much pain as keeping me mellow so I didn't start to gag on them.

Also tonight is the last Lovenox shot. I've had to use this instead of Warfarin due to the drug I was taken for the infection in my throat. I'm certain [livejournal.com profile] kshandra is just as happy about this as I am. Back on the Warfarin as of tomorrow, and I go in for a blood draw Monday morning. Yes, go in. Since I'm off oxygen and able to get around, I've canceled the home care nurse.

Have a phone interview for MediCal and food assistance on Monday. Hopefully we can get a quick resolution on those applications.

I should be OK for Baycon. I just need to sit and rest on a regular basis and be careful about potential falls and cuts. At least I won't be lugging around that bloody oxygen tank!

This has been your Doug Health Update.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Keep Calm)
Between not being able to breathe, lack of energy, not leaving the house, etc., etc. it's been some time since I wore my teeth. Like nearly four months. But since I do have social events looming, like the Reno trip for our anniversary and BayCon, I needed to start acclimating to them again. First day back went pretty well, 5.5 hours before my mouth said "enough of this." That was just sitting here, usually I do better when active since I don't have as much spare brain power to notice the big hunks of plastic in my mouth. Do it again tomorrow, and try for a full day.

Now, I eat!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Productive Saturday. We picked up some Cinnabon rolls last time we did a big shopping, and finally were awake enough (and had the right pan for them.) Great, if sticky, way to start a day. After some procrastination, we hit the road to do some errands. We had a ton of recycling to take in. Santa Clara does have curbside recycling, but there's a place only a few blocks away. Money is money, you know? We'll be back very soon, since they're doing a picnic for Tet. I had to laugh, because the menu was all over the place... Korean BBQ, Chow Mein... the Lunar New Year All-Stars.

From there we had to get gas for Kiri's car, and then onto Kaiser to pick up yet more meds for me. I swear, I could open a pharmacy. Nice thing is I now have a month's supply of everything. I'm having all my prescriptions transferred to the Kaiser Santa Clara facility. Not only does that hospital have four pharmacies, one of them is 24 hours and it is a lot closer to home. That was it for the things we actually had to do, but I've been good so we rolled over to Game Kastle so I could check out some Pathfinder books "in the flesh," so to speak. I need the Bestiary, of course, and I really like the stuff I saw in the GameMastery Guide. The GM Screen looks solid. While I prefer getting the books, I think I can deal with PDFs for most of these things. Looked miniatures, and nearly choked on the prices. Cardboard Heroes are going to be my solution. That and the associated products.

I swear, the +10 Game Store of Awesome is my first retail stop after we win the lottery.

Had a couple of reality moments. First of all, with all the crap going on with my breathing, I've been a bit loathe to put my teeth in... for almost two months. Tried it today. Lasted four minutes. I'll try again tomorrow. Also, it's appalling just how out of shape I am. Starting tomorrow, short walks, doing some stuff around the apartment, playing with the hand weights. I've got all this excess energy from the Prednisone, might as well get some use out of it.

Along with watching football, I'm going to try to get all my ideas for the religions of my campaign world in some sort of working order. Probably be very rough, but once I'm done, I'll be happy to share it for review (and cleaning up my atrocious grammar and formating.) After that, I start on the Gazetteer and history. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this, but hell, somebody might buy it. Or I might even actually run a game someday!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Work - Truck)

  • I'm getting good at triumphal returns to work.

  • Which isn't necessarily a good thing.

  • Everyone was glad to see me back.

  • Did the East Bay route, as that driver wasn't in today.

  • Even with a pile of stuff added to it from the LV1 route, it was still a pretty light day.

  • Only real headaches was having to go to Memorial Stadium at UC Berkeley and all the way up to Hercules.

  • Having my teeth in for an extended, active, period for the first time after a long lay off was its usual chore.

  • The new boots are great, but breaking them in is going to take a little while.

  • Also taking a while is going to be my ankles getting used to the new order of things.

  • Got out just after eight hours, and after much confusion about my pick-ups on route.

  • Came home, ate too much salsa, and decided to forgo my usual three hour news block (BBC America, Keith Olberman, and Rachael Maddow) in favor of sleep.

  • Up now just long enough to drink a Coke and post this, then back to bed.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Bosch)
I was supposed to go back in today. I was up, dressed, and pout the door on time. Then, more than half-way to work, semi-liquid Fixodent ran down my throat and triggered my gag reflex.

The good news I didn't crash while hurling all over myself. The bad news is I hurled all over myself.

I'm going to put the damn teeth back in after they've had a chance to soak in cleaner for a while. I need to get used to them again. Just as soon as my stomach stops convulsing.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
Finally feeling good enough to go out and do something, so this morning I put my teeth in for the first time in a while, went downstairs..

..and turned right around and came upstairs to take my teeth out. I keep forgetting that there's an adjustment period after having them out for so long (I rarely wear them at home.) After massive cleaning of my mouth and a little retching, I was back on the road. Had to head over to Kaiser to pick up my return to work statement. The surgeon got the right dates on it, so happy there. Then limped over to the main hospital to visit my mom, who was looking good and quite ready to escape. She'll be out tomorrow, and recovering at a friend's place. A new hip and her stairs are not a good match. The last errand was cashing one of the money orders from the Great Sale. Boxes are going out as fast as we can print labels, so again, thanks to everyone who bought something.

But now my foot hurts. So time for Civ IV!

Tomorrow morning, I put my teeth in when I wake up, and sip a Coke to keep my mouth wet. It's the best way to retrain to wearing the bloody things.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Work - Truck)
Well, i got up at 0430, got dressed, put my teeth in (as an aside: if any of you ever get dentures try to avoid going two weeks without wearing them. It's like they're brand new again.) and got everything together for work. [livejournal.com profile] kshandra, who deserves several sainthoods, got up to drive me in. Get to work, and discover that no one passed along the message I'd be back today. So I'm taking one more day of rest. And trying to get used to my dentures again.

Although I did learn that I managed to cause drama without even being there. When I had spoken with Adam about my flu, I encouraged him to tell everyone that I had H1N1 and that they should get the shots. Adam made up an announcement about it, and mentioned me by name. Which caused some consternation among higher management since it was disclosing medical information without my written consent. Understandable, but if they had called me I would have faxed in a consent letter. My main concern was the flu spreading around the company and hurting our operations.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Budweiser)
In EMT parlance, I have a negative tooth:tattoo ratio.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Work - Truck)
The CD player in KL1001 doesn't work.

I want need my truck back!

Today was annoying in many ways. At three separate sites I had to sit for 30 minutes waiting to be offloaded. We've switched to a new software system, which resulted in some amusing paperwork snafus.

But when I got back, we had pizza. I had to take my teeth out to eat it, but I love the reaction my plates on my plate gets from people. You'd be amazed how people freak at the sight of me smiling at them.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Death)
Feel free to picture the players with bunny ears, if you wish.

I had stopped to use a restroom and grab a tube of Karmex. In front of me was a kid, maybe 19, buying, among other things, a can of Red Man chewing tobacco.

Me: "That shit will really fuck you up."

Kid (sarcastically): "Oh, really?"

Me: (reaches into mouth and performs the rarely seen Double Plate Pull) "Really. These are just for show. I lost so much bone mass that there's nothing for them to grab onto. So when I eat I usually gum my food. My friends all think I have a fetish for scrambled eggs and soup, since that's all I can eat in public. But hey, (insert upper plate) maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones, (insert lower plate) and just get throat cancer. You'll keep your teeth, but then you'll be eating through a tube in your side."

Kid pushes the tin back.

*curtain*

Maybe I saved a life today. Who knows. But if nothing else, I got to wave my teeth at complete strangers!

That's always a good thing.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Sleepy Kitten)
This morning I tried to put my lower plate on my upper jaw. And it took me a good thirty seconds to figure out why my dentures weren't fitting.

Caffeine, stat!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Eat you)
Since I got the relined lower plate back, I've slowly been learning to chew and bite. Yesterday, I managed a hamburger from AM/PM for lunch. but I've learned a few things.


  • I need to glue the teeth right before I eat, and be prepared to re-goop them immediately after I've finished my meal.

  • It's best to cut things up into small bites first.

  • Smaller portions are best, since I take a while to eat anything.

  • Finger foods work best. I can tear them up into manageable pieces.

  • Very important to have a lot to drink. I can't quite get my tongue around to get stray bits, so I need to have something to clean my mouth out.

  • When possible, stick to soft foods.



The easiest way for me to eat is to just take my bloody teeth out and gum my food. But that's not going to be acceptable in public in most cases. I'm very happy that our hotel in Montreal has a complimentary breakfast buffet. Scrambled eggs and sausage are just my speed these days.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Flying Bunnies)
.. what putting dentures in your mouth everyday for nearly seven months does to your ability to handle getting impressions done.

With luck, my bottom plate will fit tomorrow. In the mean time, I get to drive with no teeth. I'm really hoping there is nothing on my route and I get to come home early. Not just for the social aspects of not having any teeth, but because when I go without my dentures for more than a few hours while doing anything more strenuous than typing or doing some laundry, my jaw begins to ache. The problem is that without teeth my lower jaw can move higher than normal, which stresses the muscles at the back. This causes a whole lot of pain.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Work - Truck)
This was the week that started with me staying home because there was nothing to do on my route, remember? From that, you'd expect a slow week.

I laugh.

Tuesday: Multiple stops in Stockton coupled with stops that had to be covered along the 680 corridor led to overtime.

Wednesday: Because of a lack of work on the East Bay route, I was given one stop in Oakland, a place I've been to many times. Then I got another stop in Oakland. Then, after driving my full route, I called in and found that there were six freaking pick-ups on that route.. only one of which i had any clue about. After nearly leaving the truck at the Orinda BART station and making my cardboard sign, it was agreed that Victor, the East Bay driver, would cross the bay from where he was covering another route and do the stops in Hayward while I did the Oakland/San Leandro stops. A bit over nine hours.

Thursday: This starts out as a normal day, up 680 to Martinez, east to Stockton, then back down to Livermore where I was blocks from a vendor when I got a call. They needed me to go to Benicia and pick up some all-thread after doing my Livermore pick-ups. Getting back put me well over nine hours.

Today: Today, nothing weird happened, but I had mid-summer levels of work. Almost a full page of jobs, and only three sites had more than one order. So, more overtime.

Yeah, very happy it is the weekend.

But wait, there's more! Monday afternoon I go in for impressions for my relining. Today the dental office called and told me that they can get a one-day turnaround, so Tuesday I may be working without teeth! Adam was gone when I got in, and it is technically too late to ask for a day off. I'll admit I hadn't thought about how we were going to handle the lack of dentures during this process.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Happy New Year, y'all!

2008 was, for the most part a good one for me. I finally got my teeth, my work situation was stable and enjoyable (for the most part) and while I wasn't as social as I would have liked to be, I did make several concerts (Duran Duran, Bill Kirchen, Metal Masters, and Metallica) and made it to more baseball games than I have in years. One big point, I wasn't hospitalized once! Woo!

On the negative side, I did let my ASPD overwhelm me at times. I also completely failed at writing.

But looking ahead. The big thing looming on the horizon is the 2009 Worldcon. We have plane tickets and memberships, just need to get the passports and housing form. I already have the time off blocked out. Also, getting my teeth remade (especially the lower plate) so I can eat with them in. It's been almost a year since I was able to eat in a restaurant. I may take another look at some online college courses. I've decided that given my precarious health, going for the Class A license wouldn't be wise.

My writing. I realize the problem is I'm just not in the habit of doing it, so, starting today, I'm going to write at least 500 words daily. That's my goal, it may be more, but I want to do at least 500 daily. A lot of it will just be character studies and exercises in scene writing, with some attempts at short fiction, but I just need to get into the habit of doing it. Much of this will be posted to the journal with the "writing" and "500 words" tags. Feedback is heartily desired.

I'm also determined to change the way we live here at Offhand Manor. Frankly, we're slobs. I'm sick of it, and the fact that both [livejournal.com profile] kshandra and I are packrats does not help anything. Starting today I am beginning a cleaning sweep, starting with the living room. Things will be thrown away, sold on eBay, or given away in job lots. We have boxes that have followed us around for three moves unopened. We may have a chance to vastly improve our living situation and I want to streamline our junk. Along with this comes a scrubbing of the apartment top to bottom, and several visits to IKEA. We're adults, damnit, it should look like adults live here, and I want Regan to be able to come over and go berserk over my penguin collection.

All this means that I'm not planning as many trips up to see the Giants. But...

Attention! Even if you do not care about anything else in my post read this!

On Saturday July 4th the Giants play the Houston Astros. First pitch is 1305. I want to go to a baseball game with a mob of friends for my birthday! I want my name on the scoreboard, I want to get silly with a bunch of people, and presents don't matter, all that matters is we go and have a blast. We need 25 people, surely there are enough people that Kiri and I know in the Bay Area who would like to go to a ball game!

There, pleading done.

2008 was fun, for the most part, 2009? Here's hoping it's great for everyone!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

  • In three days I cranked up a couple of hours of overtime. None of it caused by a lot of work to be done. All of it caused by our corporate inability to organize an orgy in a whorehouse.

  • But something must be working right, because I got a bonus check today. That was a shock, to say the least.

  • Got home and YASD'd a perfectly ascendable Samurai.

  • Wow, Calvin Klein commercials are still pretentious and stupid.

  • It's hard to yell at someone when your lower plate has floated completely loose.

  • Luckily, I growl well.

  • Riesling or Pinot Noir for dinner tomorrow... I just can't decide!

  • Foo Fighter on Top Chef tonight. This should be fun.

  • Speaking of food, I should eat something.

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gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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