Sunday, August 20, 2017

A report on grumpy me

Forget about my husband; this is all about me.  It's been a strange week of little things going wrong.

A cap came off a tooth, a cap which can probably be glued right back on.  But I couldn't get in to see the dentist Thursday and they're closed Fridays.  It's a lower tooth that shows up really plainly when I smile.  Just call me snaggle-tooth.  I'm going to church this morning anyhow, since I've missed the last 2 or 3 Sundays.  I'll try not to smile.  This will prepare me for living the rest of my life toothless.  

I appreciate the tips and advise given by my readers, but you haven't given me anyway to come up with the money it would take.  Our savings wouldn't pay for the cheapest new car you can buy, and it sure won't pay for implants, the only thing that would work for me.  

While all you ants were putting away food for the winter, I (the grasshopper) was fiddling my heart out.  I don't tell this stuff to get pity, because the situation was caused by my actions.  I do brush my teeth, but I've never taken care of them like I should.  Around 1980, Cliff was working at the butcher shop when his boss said, "I'd like to provide dental care for my employees out of my own pocket."

Since I, at that time, had a gaping hole left by a tooth that had been pulled, just to the left of center (which is also how my politics these days can be described, but I digress).  This dentist was leery of trusting me when I said Cliff's boss was paying, but he went ahead.  Root canals and bridgework and many sessions with the dentist ended up with a full mouth of teeth.  Shortly after this, the boss decided to discontinue dental insurance, and I can't say I blamed him.  Anyway, I still did not have a beautiful smile.  My teeth aren't pearly white, they're a little crooked, but oh man, I could chew, and I wasn't afraid to smile!  Until the bridgework began failing, I faithfully flossed and brushed, because you almost have to with bridgework in place.  Eventually two bridges on the bottom had to be removed because some of the teeth supporting them failed.  Then it was back to just brushing.  

"Oh well," I said, as grasshoppers frequently like to say.

I have six teeth on bottom and six on top (I think six... some of the top teeth are bridgework).

Now if my friends would kindly tell me how to fix these teeth any other affordable way than to pull them all, I'd love to hear it.  I used to follow a blogger in Arkansas named Patsy.  She would have understood my situation.  

Dentists want to talk about implants, but check the cost of those, remember I'm not rich, and give me your practical solution to this situation.  On the bottom there isn't even anyplace a bridge would work any more.  I don't need pity, because I have no doubt had I planned better when I was young, this wouldn't be such a severe problem.  We get by nicely on our Social Security, but that's our income.  We don't do credit card debt any more, especially not for the amount of money dentists charge.

That's one reason I'm grumpy.  Here's the other story:  Most of my adult life, I've been plagued with chronic bladder infections, otherwise known as UTI.  As I get older, it's more frequent, and a search of the Internet tells me that's common.  If you go to a doctor frequently for the same cause, they want to shuffle you off to a specialist.  I did this once, and the uroligist seemed to have the attitude, "Why are you even here for a simple bladder infection?"

So I buy AZO for the discomfort and drink gallons (literally) of water.  That usually gets me by.  Doesn't get rid of the infection, but often the symptoms become bearable for weeks at a time.

This last round, though, was persistant, so I finally cried "uncle" and made an appointment with the nurse-practitioner at our doctor's office.  We always use her, because she's nicer and listens better than the actual doctor.  I peed in the cup, placed the cloudy liquid in a cubbyhole that is accessible from the other side, and followed a nurse to a room where I was seated.  I was dreading what might come, knowing they're going to tell me all the right things to do to prevent this, things I've known about and done forever.

But this time was different.  Nurse Stephanie mentioned that as women grow older, these recurrent UTI's tend to be more persistent and frequent.  She suggested I take Bactrim for a week, then begin taking a maintenance dose of another antibiotic regularly.  I was SO grateful, and looking forward to trying it!  She has one more trick up her sleeve, so if this doesn't work we'll go there.  

I had no idea what Bactrim was, but I began taking it and my moods went all wacky and I felt slightly nauseous.  That's when I realized it must have Sulfa in it; on checking the lable, I saw it did.  Sulfa had always messed with my stomach and made me grouchy, angry, and depressed.  In all the articles I've read about side effects of sulfa, I've never seen mood changes and depression listed.  But I know that's what it does to me.

However, if I can put up with the side effects (and if Cora and Cliff can stand me) I'm taking every last one, and counting the days until I take the last one Thursday. 

I'm sort of reluctant to post this entry, because I'm whining.  I see so much whining on Facebook, I hesitate to do it here.  But since I'm under the influence of a drug that hates me, I'm whining and don't care who knows it. 

I may as well go out to the garden and eat worms.  

In case I've depressed any of my readers, here's a video of a film taken in 1928 that cheered me up.  I even smiled.  Nobody was around to see my snaggle-tooth.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A report on my husband

Today was Cliff's appointment with the Urologist.  Neither the bone scan nor the CT scan showed any cancer.  However, since it is the fast-growing type of cancer, something must be done.  The two options given for Cliff this morning were surgical removal of the prostate, or several weeks of radiation five days a week.  Cliff's first choice was surgery:  It sounded simple enough, just an overnight stay in the hospital.  The doctor was fine with that, but he started inquiring into Cliff's cardiac history.  Then on the information at hand, he saw the operation four years ago mentioned, the gall bladder fiasco:  8 days in the hospital and 3 or 4 miserable weeks at home with drainage tubes coming out of his chest and belly.  He said there very well could be problems with scar tissue, since that involved doctors poking around the inside of Cliff's body cavity.  

He said with either treatment, surgery or radiation, Cliff's chances would be about 80%.  

Next move is an appointment is with an oncology radiologist.  Then probably back to the urologist.  Now get this:  He will be given female hormones to shrink the prostate before the radiation treatments.  He will have hot flashes.  This has given Cliff a whole new topic for corny jokes, and I'm already tired of them.  "I guess we should buy some chick flicks for me to watch."  "Well, at least Obama fixed it so I can use either bathroom."  "I guess I should go in Walmart with you and check out the new fall blouses."  

Ha Ha.

Cliff said to the nurse who came in ahead of the doctor, "They told me it was fast-growing, then made my appointment 3 weeks ahead!"

He chuckled and said, "It doesn't grow THAT fast."

On another note, I'm getting ready to get dentures, if I can find a dentist who won't try to sell me implants that cost $10,000 per tooth.  This means before long I'll be running around toothless for a couple of months.  I may not do much running around; I might plant myself at home.  Wish me luck on this adventure.  I might enjoy being toothless so much I won't want any teeth.  That's how it was with my father-in-law.  

If anybody has recommendations, I'm listening.