Monday, March 2, 2009

Where've You Been

Male Gambel's Quail on Fence in Sycamore Canyon 3-2-09 by Kathiesbirds

As I sit here writing this post today a male Gambel’s quail is watching me as I watch him out my den window. The sun is shining brightly and I have the windows open to the warmth of the day. Our current temperature is running 20 degrees above normal. If it hits 91 today, we will break another record. The title for today’s post comes from a song I vaguely remember from my youth. I went searching on the internet and found the lyrics, but could only find it sung by Kathy Mattea. Does anyone out there know who sang it originally?

It’s been two years since Gus started at his new job down here in Tucson. He came about 3 weeks ahead of me as I stayed behind to help sell the house. With all the excitement of moving to a new place there is also the frustration of finding new doctors, dentists, and hairdressers. Gus and I put off this task for as long as possible, but finally we succumbed and started our search. For me, the dentist is always an anxiety ridden search. Having grown up poor during the 1960’s, my experience with dentists has been unpleasant to say the least. Most of my memories of dental work from my youth involve drills and lots of pain coupled with a distinct memory of being slapped in the face by a dentist. That would never happen now, but it did happen back then. As an adult I have had much better experiences with dentist and slowly my fear and anxiety have subsided. I loved my Utah dentist, and learned to trust him with my teeth. However, since moving to Tucson, the search for a new dentist has been a bit difficult and after trying one, I deiced to try another that Gus had gone to and liked.

On February 12th I went in for the replacement of 3 crowns. I knew it would be a long day, but I was looking forward to getting all the work over and done with in one visit. This dentist has a new procedure where they make Cerec crowns on premise with no temporary crown or return visits required. Sounded good to me! (Note: The dentist mentioned in the link is not the dentist I went to and had nothing to do with my experience!) However, my ordeal quickly degraded into a nightmare. The dentist who worked on me was just training on how to make these computer generated crowns. He, like most dentists, did not understand how quickly the Lidocaine wears off of me. Plus, he had another dentist training him on how to make these new fangled crowns. This so called “expert” was the one who jammed the new crown up into my exposed tooth pulp causing me such intense pain. After he left, my dentist continued to work on my other teeth. The end result was that I spent 8 ½ hours in the dentist chair in intense pain. By the end of the day my mouth was so sore I felt like I had spent 8 hours in a boxing match. I would have walked out, but they had 3 of my teeth out and I could only wait for them to be replaced. I left the dentist that day vowing to never go to another dentist in my life! Since then I have been in constant pain for over 2 ½ weeks. Anyone who knows me knows I do not like to take drugs of any sort, but I have not been able to get through a day without Advil. I did not know where to turn for help, but finally spoke with a friend whose husband is a dentist. He told me that in spite of my anger and fear, I needed to let this dentist repair the damage he had done. So, I swallowed my pride and fear and called them up and made an appointment. I took Gus with me as my advocate. The dentist readjusted my bite and wrote me a prescription for Ibuprofen. After being on that medication for 3 days I finally woke up feeling better yesterday. Though I am not pain free without the medication yet, I finally have hope that I will be soon. My new crowns look beautiful, but I paid for them with the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life.

My grandson, Xavier 10 months old 2-21-09 by Kathiesbirds

The last 2 weeks have been a blur of pain and other activities. I did babysit my new grandson for two days, during which we had long walks and lots of cuddles, but I couldn’t get anything done. Now I am playing catch up on house work and other necessary activities. The warm weather makes me want to garden. And the birds are starting to migrate. I saw my first Turkey Vulture of the year here in Sycamore Canyon yesterday, which means it just missed making it to my February yard count. It may have been here the day before, but I was not as Gus and I have spent the last 3 days of February running errands. My final count for the month was only 17 bird species, but I must say I was a bit distracted towards the end.

Gus points to the new light he installed 3-1-09 by Kathiesbirds

After living in this house for two years, we are finally making a few fixes that we wanted to. In the last two weeks Gus installed a new Ceiling fan in the den, and on Saturday evening he and I installed a new light over the dining room table. My next big project is to start landscaping the backyard and possibly the front yard. I hope this will provide more cover for the birds when the hawks come hunting. I hope to add plant species that will attract the birds and perhaps even entice a few to nest in my yard.

I will be writing my new MY World post right after this and hopefully I will be around to visit all my favorite blogs in between loads of laundry, washing the floor, and doing dishes! Oh, and I am also watching that Big Snow Storm on the East Coast and being grateful that I am wearing shorts and a tank top instead of snow boots and a parka today!


DeniseinVA said...

Hi Kathy, first of all I am so sorry you had that dreadful experience. I thought mine was bad enough but yours sounded totally horrendous. I hope it won't be long before you are totally free from pain. Your grandson is adorable, and it was nice seeing a photo of Gus. Your new light fixture looks great.

DeniseinVA said...

Forgot to add the Quail is a beauty. Great photo of that too.

Kathie Brown said...

Denise, thank you. I don't often post about myself this much but I really wanted to explain why no one has heard from me!

DeniseinVA said...

Me again, I really can relate. One dentist after he had a difficult time with my teeth - a very painful experience for me not that he cared much - was overheard by me when I left his office to say, "Good God, she was a 'tough old bird'. If I hadn't have been in so much pain and glad to be out of there I think I would have gone back and clocked him one :) Thanks for stopping by and giving me all that lovely info.

Doug Taron said...

I hate the dentist. I always feel like the Green Bay Packers have scrimmaged in my mouth after a visit. Glad to have you back in blogland.

I submitted an abstract for a presentation at the Arizona meeting in July, so I'll be back down your way again this year.

bobbie said...

Your dental ordeal must have been terrible! My dentist has a sign in his waiting room saying, "We cater to cowards", and is really great.

You have a very beautiful grandson! But I'm sure you know that.

Love your quail picture. It's no wonder your count for the month was low, with all you had to put up with.

And now it's catch-up with your housework. That's my usual story. But with me, it's that I put it off until I know I must, and then go on a cleaning spree to get it all over with.

Deborah Godin said...

Love the music reference. You're right about that song, it goes back a ways. I've written about it on my other blog, the oldies music blog.When I first heard this song, it was on an episode of "Mad About You" - did you watch that 90s sitcom with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt? Anyway, they used to have a guest cameo character played by pop singer Cyndi Lauper (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun), and on one episode, they played the song Where Have You Been. I've been trying to find it ever since w/o success. It's possible it wasn't Lauper singing, but I'd still bet it was. Quite a while after that, I discovered the song was recorded by Arthur Alexander (who also wrote a bunch of song made famous by other groups, lke Anna by the Beatles). If you go to this link, you'll find it and a second post too (unless I make a typo!)

Arthur's version remains my fave. But, he didn't write it, it's actually an old Mann/Weill song, one of the great 60s song-writing teams from the famous Brill Bldg, in NYC. Mann and Weill also wrote Uptown for The Crystals, On Broadway for The Drifters, and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling for The Righteous Bros. Where Have You Been is a really catchy song, I'm sure lots of artists have covered it, but I'm still lookin' for Cyndi!

Kim said...

I am so sorry to hear of your terrible ordeal with the dentist.

Your grandson is adorable and I am so envious of your weather right about now!

Take care, and I hope you feel better.

Vickie said...

Hi Kathie,
Your quail photo is wonderful.

What a terrible ordeal you've been through. Don't be hesitant to take ibuprophen. My experience says its a miracle drug that can allow you to function while you're body is healing.

Glad you had some fun and cuddles from you're grand baby. Take it easy. I'm sure you hated slowing down.

Kathie Brown said...

Doug, I hope you'll contact me when you come. I'd love to get together again. You'll find the interesection of Sahuarita Rd and Houghton much changed. They are in the process of "improving" it, which means they've cut down all the trees in the median and ended the divided avenue effect.

Bobbie, this dentist took all my information and assured me they would be careful with me. I went for a tour of the facility before I even made an appointment, then went in for a checkup first before setting this appointment. The day ended up beign a comedy of errors that ended with an overbooked scedule and me just wanting to flee! Believe me, I wasn't laughing when I left and I'm still not, but I do feel the dentist and I have made peace with each other.

Deborah, I think I must have heard the version by Arthur. It seems like it was a man I can remember singing it. It is a sweet, sad song and more poignant the older I get and the longer I stay married to my husband!

Kay Allen, I am doing much better, thank you! I wish I could send you some of my good weather!

BirdingMaine said...

Sorry to hear about your experience with the dentist. I don't like going either.

Very interesting Quail and a lovely photo!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Oh Kathie, my eyes were actually watering while reading about your bad time at the dentist. I had a terrible time with dentists as a child too and finally in my thirties found my current dentist who has slowly worn away my fears. He learned immediately that it is particularly difficult to numb my mouth and that the lidocaine wears of faster than normal. I sure hope you are feeling better. Tooth pain is the WORST! I used to love Kathy Mattea and now with your reminder I think I'll hit iTunes!

Quiet Paths said...

What a time you have had. I think it is good to share these experiences to get some feedback and also as a cautionary tale. I too had (one) bad experience with a dentist as a child. It was a different attitude back then in the sixties. Hope things improve for you really soon. Ouch.

Quiet Paths said...

PS: that grand baby is adorable. I want one! Um, but not yet.

Kathie Brown said...

Vickie, thank you for your kind thoughts. Yes, it was hard to slow down but I was in so much pain I didn't notice!

Birding Maine, you would have a bonanza with that camera out here.

Lynne, I have tried to come and see you 2 or 3 times today but everytime I get to your blog only the sidebar is there. I read on someone else's blog that they were having the same problem, so, I hope it will be back up soon! Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your empathy!

Quite paths, I am improving and so is dentistry! I just hope I NEVER have to go through that again!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Ouch,that doesn't sound like fun.Hopefully the pain will end completely and soon.Your grandson is a cutie.

abb said...

Ow, Ow, OW!

My sympathies to you, Kathy, on the dentist thing!

Gaelyn said...

Kathie, what an awful dental experience. I go to Mexico and have been happy with the results. So glad that spring--or is that summer already--is here. It's definately time to play in the yard. And you could enjoy that with the grandson. Feel better quickly.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Kathie, I'm so sorry that this dentist visit has caused such a long-lasting bad day!
It's interesting to read that you've now had your bite adjusted and are doing better.

I've had my share of dental nightmares, but one victory I'm very happy with is finding a dentists who resisted my appeals to pull a painful tooth--adjusted my bite, and made me pain-free! And, just recently, avoided a root canal by using a bite guard at night!

It makes me wonder if some of the other procedures I've endured could have been eliminated by someone who took the time to set my mouth straight!