Monday, March 30, 2009

Meet Heidi.

My parents' new German Shepherd Dog, from GSD Rescue.

I took several pictures with my blackberry, but none came out great. On Easter, I will bring my "real" camera, since I usually have more luck with it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm glad they were caught. Scum. Who would stoop this low? I can't help wondering how these guys knew each other, how they knew about the shelter, and why they would travel up here to take such a risk for $600?
I have made some progress on the overwhelming pile of work. It will be several more days before I catch up, though. Next week is presentation week for students, and the following week is Spring break, so that will give me a chance to break even, if I don't manage to do it before then.

I took a lot of criticism in all my classes, but especially in last night's, because I require students to evaluate each other on their upcoming presentations, and I tell them that they cannot give everyone an identical assessment. Many, many students argued with me over that, some quite vociferously. That happens every semester, but I would say that this semester has been the most vocal. That's true in the discussion components of class generally this spring, so I suppose it comes with the territory. I told them I am not a big fan of grades either, but I have to do it, and no one in class opted for S/U grading, so how can they insist that everyone deserves the same assessment? Many of these folks want to be teachers, and they will have to learn how to do fair and quality evaluation. I don't think everyone bought it, and that will probably show up on my student evaluations at the end of the semester. (In the "Allows Input from Students" category.) Oh well.

I'm a little concerned that the tooth next to the extraction site is feeling sore. I hope it is just from the extraction - or that it is ghost nerve pain or something, and not that I am going to need yet another root canal and crown.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My recent tooth episode set me so far back in terms of work that I am now up to my eyeballs and feeling kind of anxious. So, I decided the best thing to do today was get organized, which I did. The office looks a lot better. The problem is, I still feel like procrastinating!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I am just about back to normal. I took my last Motrin Sunday night, and last night, for the first time since the toothache, was able to sleep through the night. I think there might still be a stitch in there, but otherwise, I am fine: eating normally, with little pain.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The worst 24 hour period after the extraction was Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. I would up taking another hydrocodone at 6 pm on Tuesday, another when that wore off so I could sleep, and another after that. By morning, neither the Advil nor the narcotics were doing very much, and even though I was following the post-operative instructions in excrutiating detail, I was getting worried that I had dry socket.

I called the oral surgeon's office, and was told to rinse with salt water a lot. So I did. I also stopped taking the hydrocodone entirely, toughed out the pain, got myself on an every four hour Advil cycle, and switched from ice packs to moist, warm packs. I really don't like hydrocodone. I think it does little to help with pain, it just makes me dopey. And I think it makes me need more and more Advil.

It was worth it, because I started to feel somewhat better by Wednesday afternoon. I even went to campus yesterday and taught my classes. But still today I have quite a bit of pain, and I am still taking Advil every four hours. Sometimes I have to force myself to get from 3.5 hours to 4, although occasionally I can go 4.5 hours.

A lot of people seem to have little trouble with a tooth extraction, and are fine after a day or two. That certainly hasn't been my experience. I am only able to eat ice cream, broth, applesauce, mashed potatoes and yogurt. I am not sure whether I am a wimp, or what.

I knew I would feel this way, but another issue is how unhappy I am about losing a tooth. I feel like I am in mourning. I can't understand people who are eager for dentures. I mean, I guess if your teeth constantly ached the way mine did last weekend, you might rather have them gone. And if you haven't gone to the dentist in a long time, fear procedures such as root canal, or don't want to spend the money, extraction might not seem so bad. But none of that is the case for me. I go for a check up every six months, I felt OK the day after my root canals, I have great insurance and even though I do have to pay about half, I thought it was a small price to pay to save a tooth. I am a fanatic about brushing, flossing and not eating stuff that might break a tooth or pull out a filling. My teeth have always been pretty good.

I guess I was naive, because I thought if I got a crown and root canal, I wouldn't be faced with extraction for a long, long time, if ever. Then this happened after only 18 months, but the tooth was never right, even at first. It has been bothering me since 2003, so I am not exactly sure why I am mourning. It doesn't help that the wisdom tooth on that side now seems to be making my cheek sore. I guess I will get used to it eventually. I just wish it would heal and the pain would go away. That would help my attitude.

The mourning feeling is already making me pretty sure that I am going to want an implant. The pain is making me ask, "are you crazy?" But I think not getting one could mean bad things in terms of my top tooth not having anything below it.
I turned another corner! I am much better today; I was even able to cut way down on the Advil. One stitch came out this morning. I'm still eating a limited diet and I can't say I have no pain at all, but in general, life is good again.

Added: How strange! This post is publishing as Friday 3/13 at 6:22 pm (the time of my last post), but actually it is Saturday 3/14 at 1:10 pm.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I got through my nightmare of a weekend, and had my tooth extracted yesterday. He scolded me for taking so much Motrin, but I told him that it was either overdose on Motrin and be sitting in his chair on Monday morning, or he could sit in the empty chair while reading my obituary in the newspaper.

Twilight sleep is the way to go! It was great to wake up and have it all over. I am eating and drinking, with difficulty. (Hooray for yogurt.) I took one hydrocodone yesterday, but have not taken it again.

I'm in some pain now, but it is nothing like the weekend's agony. You know how they ask you, how is the pain on a scale of 1 to 10? If find that a funny question because what criteria are we supposed to use? Burning your hand on the stove hurts pretty bad - is that the scale? (What number would that be? 5? This was worse.) Cutting myself on the broken glass from a falling light fixture and needing stitches hurt when it happened, when the doctor rubbed antiseptic into the cut, and after I got the stitches, when I was trying to sleep. (What number would that be? 7? This was worse.) Does that mean it was a 10? Or maybe even a 12? Would cutting off your leg with a chainsaw hurt worse? I don't know.

Now I am nervous about getting something called "dry socket" which I guess happens about 5 percent of the time. I'm being very careful, but with my luck, I will probably be part of that 5 percent! I guess it is very painful. How painful? A 10 again? I hope not.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The appointment for my tooth extraction is Monday. I can't say it has been upsetting me that much (since I got a second opinion and found an oral surgeon that I like), but I have been a little nervous about the twilight sleep, sad about losing a tooth, and concerned over whether I will feel well enough to teach on Tuesday. I have been favoring that side (really since 2003 but especially recently), although it hasn't been especially painful. But then yesterday the tooth started to act up - and by the middle of the night the pain was so extreme I started to consider getting a pair of pliers out and doing the job myself. I called my general dentist to ask what I can take (because ibuprofen is not advised when you are getting surgery) but even with some meds the pain is pretty bad, plus I can't eat at all. So now I am counting the minutes until it is pulled and all misgivings and anxiety have vanished (replaced by wondering how I will manage to get through the next two days).

Friday, March 06, 2009

A student gave me an edible arrangement as a thank you gift yesterday!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

We are getting a new car today. Well, new to us - it is a 2005. Our old car was a 1995; we keep our cars for a long time. I'm not much or a car person (don't even drive) and neither is Bob, so we are not all that excited. Yesterday in class I lectured on philosophy of education; one of the areas we discuss is the division between materialists and idealists in metaphysics. I think of myself more as an idealist, but I confess that I felt a little sad as I watched Bob drive away this morning. I don't think the sentiment comes from fear of change, as some might suspect. I guess I invest material things with some sort of spirituality. My "things" are important to me, not as status symbols, but as memories of the past.

Speaking of change, last week Verizon offered to upgrade my DSL to something faster (although I don't think it is FIOS yet) and it happened on Monday. That led to me having to spend time reconfiguring, but I managed to get everything working again after a few hours. Today a technician is here replacing the wires outside the house. I didn't feel sad to get a new router! I guess cars are different.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Although I remembered, I didn't feel like posting - yesterday was the seventh anniversary of this blog!

March is coming in like a lion, cold and snowy.

As an addendum to my last post, the crackberry phenomenon isn't limited to students. Yesterday in church, a guy in the pew in front of me was surfing the internet on his PDA, and across the aisle, a woman's cell phone went off and it took her forever to find it in her purse.