Sunday morning musings – low power states & my dental drama

I wonder if my current state of “over all gimp” is due to antibiotics. I’d been on them for a full ten days, because of the ongoing saga with my front tooth.

The evils of insurance companies

I’ve rarely had useable health insurance in my life. Most of the time I’ve been entirely without coverage, but there’ve been times I’ve had it & it’s just been mostly fraught with obstacles. Like when I worked for the high-end carpet company for four years. The insurance was out of the brother’s branch in NC, and was mostly a southern insurance. You had to go in network, but it was challenging to find any doctors who didn’t feel really “back alley”. And then during my last three years with Moret Group, when I went back to full time… They had this one rep who’s main job seemed to be to deny coverage. I felt like every time I used my insurance I got a collections agency. Like when I got a routine pap test and the office sent to the tests to the wrong lab. I got a six month battle from that one. They finally paid, but it took six months of fighting. The “agent” had the nerve to tell me I could be “proactive” and bring addresses of the approved labs. I’m like, “Lady, I pay my insurance percentages and the co-pay and that’s where MY responsibility for this ends.” And then, before the pre-existing condition thing go (temporarily?) shut off by Obama, I had an $800 or $900 Glaucoma work-up, a lengthy series of a bunch of tests to try to determine if it’s a probability. Doctors had been mentioning the need for this & I was finally insured, and then the test was bought up again by a network ophthalmologist. Diagnostics were supposedly 100% covered. It said it right there, circled with red Sharpie, in my plan package. They steadfastly claimed these tests were treatment for a pre-existing condition. It would’ve been funny, since there was no way in hell they could ever prove I’d been treated for glaucoma, as I hadn’t and being mostly insurance free in my life, had been rarely even privy to the most basic of routine check-ups. As I liked to joke, if I weren’t basically healthy, I’d be dead already.

The wonky tooth

Dental and eyes I paid for out of pocket. (These are the two things you’re going to need for sure, so naturally they’re not part of basic insurance packages.) I’d been seeing one dentist every six months or so for awhile in 2002, having had some pain in my front teeth, which motivated me to find him. Then it was that my bonding had gotten a bit thin. But later, it turned out I’d somehow developed a huge bone pocket under his watch, right in the middle of my upper gums.

I’d always had a gap there, but I’d had braces on my upper teeth as a young teen, and then the pervy family dentist had applied some bonding, to further fix the gap and also fix some issues of jumbled and missing teeth. It got to a perfectly reasonable point.

I used to smile in pictures.

Well… I fired the negligent dentist and had a bone graft with a new one. But now, the gap was back, bigger than before and with a long glaring surgery scar. Also the affected tooth now sticks out at a jaunty angle, like it’s making a break for it. It’s starting to overlap the other adjacent tooth. I wince inwardly every time I see it in the mirror, to the extent that I prefer to brush my teeth without my glasses or contacts involved. I hate being photographed b/c I always look shitty – stiff and sort of pained. I’m concentrating on keeping my mouth clamped shut! I can’t send that “spark” toward the camera.

So anyway… I had the graft and dealt with my new reality. It helped that I was mostly celibate the last decade in NYC. I had plenty of spending money and a full circle of friends in various circles. I wasn’t lonely and didn’t miss the pettiness of relationship drama. The tooth was never the same after the graft though. The bone was sensitive to the touch, right up to under my nose, for one example. I’d feel my heartbeat in my gums, periodically, especially when I’d lie down to sleep. I have a hard enough time sleeping!

Naturally, it came back

When shit is that fucked up it tends to be recurring. It’d been bothering me more than usual again, lately. Then my gums right behind got really swollen and hard. Finally asked C to take a look at it, after our weekend at the coast. I went into one of his freelance offices. I’ve got only 4mm of bone past the tip of the root in the middle, the location of the original pocket. And now there’s just a little bit (we’ve killed the infection at least) right behind, in the middle, which was the source of the swelling.

It’s almost certain I’m going to need an implant at one point. And Charlie tells me that the hardest tooth to color match is one of the two front. It’s always going to differ from the other in all but one lighting scenario. You get to pick. What I really need is the $ for 2-3 implants, as the area of all the weirdness is right in the front.

I’m not sure if we’re going to try another graft or not, next…

My current, twice daily cleaning regimen is:

  1. Brush, with electric toothbrush.
  2. Floss. I found these things and they really help in flossing, particularly with the back teeth.
  3. Use a syringe to squirt a salt water / hydrogen peroxide mixture into both problem areas.
  4. Use another syringe to squirt Perio-rx in the same places. That is “chlorhexidine gluconate” rinse….
  5. Use a wooden toothpick (dipped in perio & the contents of an emptied dioxycycline capsule) to try to poke some of antibiotics in there.

My long-winded point to all this back story – I may well need to schedule a mostly “off” week, exercise wise

I feel like all my joints are extra sensitive. First it was the knees, then the elbow. I discovered the congenital weakness in my left tricep when I was first getting into Astanga, in the form of led classes at Crunch gym, way back in the early 2000s, when a lot of NYC gyms had serious Astanga programs. I can’t remember it throbbing all night though! Not since way back at traumatic onset, where I had constant muscle tears and a collage of deep bruises of various age, over the course of 6-8 months. It’d mostly just hurt when it was getting hammered by a particular exercise or practice.

I’d started neglecting the yoga during my last month at The Office, Portlandia. Things weren’t going well there, and then I had car drama complicating things at home. Astanga practice is harder to face psychologically, and is like 10x harder if you’re solo. You can trust me on this. I knew decades long practitioners who’d never managed to develop a solo practice, where they could step up to the plate if the teacher or group were not available. I’m pretty sure this is why my knees have been cranky, but the right one has been extra persistent and even the left one complains here and there.

The kicker though, was that my right ankle went all tweaked out toward the end of  my Friday workout. I WAS DOING A LIGHT, EASY JOG, ffs!!! IT’S NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE!!! Wasn’t going to do anything yesterday, but then I’d previewed the first part of Michele’s latest and I thought doing a half hour to forty minutes, with no jumping, would be perfect. It felt good! But guess what – my right ankle is sensitive this morning.

Is “What hurts?” now the first question of the day once I’ve gotten up off the floor?

I haven’t done a recovery week in absolute ages, where you only work out light or not much at all

I remember being astounded to be reminded of the existence of this concept. (Sure I knew the occasional Astangi who’d admit to taking a week off, or not practicing much at all over the holidays, but I never, ever did this, not even when I was literally limping around for months at a time.)

Ironically though, the Astanga – which is what finally broke my previously impervious patella – is also the cure. It was 5½ years of thrice weekly 3rd series, plus some 4th when I got to that point. But now I only do primary+, my own version of it. And I gave up Kapotasana. My back hasn’t been the same since that 2012 Kino workshop.

I don’t need Kapo though. I’m only interested in the therapeutic affects of the particular asana though. I only need enough back bending to counter the leg-behind-head, necessary to keep my less than perfectly even spine in good balance. I still do my ticks, hand standing to back bend, and that seems more useful and not problematic.

Maybe just three yoga practices this week and nothing else? It’s harder to get myself to yoga, sure, but if I’m taking so many pure rest days it might seem easier…

Neither Julia or Titan has answered my question about what the last day of entry is for week 4 of the contest. I might well just say screw that. (I’ll still do the WO though, but later.)





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