Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm so much better now

“The Incredible Hunk”

By the time you read this, three things are going to be true that aren’t true now… assuming I don’t eat one of those poisonous porcupine fish or swim in a lava lake or fall backwards off the jungle gym. I like to allow for the implausible. Too few people do that.

The first of the three things has to do with teeth. Not yours. I only marginally care about your teeth. – Oops. Change “only marginally” to “don’t.” – Hey, I’m funnin’ with you. I love what you’ve done with your teeth. But, let’s get back to mine.

I’m gonna get a bridge replaced and a cracked molar fixed. Oh, and I’m getting my teeth cleaned. I’m not sure all of that has been done in one day. The dentist and Mark are gonna be really close for the first half of the day. I’ll probably hafta take him out to lunch. Some soup place.

I’ve got the best dentist in the world. I’d tell you Dr. English’s name, but I’d just as soon he not get any more business. The guy needs time for me. You can’t overestimate the importance of your teeth. Well, I suppose you could. If you were a science fiction writer or something, you might.

The reason I’m having a rebridge and cracked tooth fixed is because I grind my teeth. Mostly at night. I don’t notice it all that much during the day. I wiggle my foot a lot during the day, but I don’t think my teeth are doing anything extra.

My dentist made me a mouth guard to prevent me from ruining my teeth at night. I guess it helps. If I forget to wear it, I’ll occasionally bite my tongue in the middle of the night. If you think waking up to an alarm clock is disturbing, try biting your tongue. Well, that’s improbable isn’t it? If you’re trying to bite your tongue, you’re likely not asleep, so why wake yourself? No, your teeth have got to covertly lure your tongue into a sense of calm before they can bite it. My teeth are real tricksters. My tongue? Just as gullible as it can be.

An early picture of me grinding my teeth.

My new bridge is supposed to be metal. My last one wasn’t. I chewed the daylights out of it. This metal bridge will take a hit. Or a grind. I doubt I’ll go back to eating corn nuts, but it’s enough to know that I could.

The day after my teeth job, I’m having my kidney stones crushed. I’ve got two of ‘em. The one in my right kidney is the size of a small pony. The one in my left is more like a golf ball. A prickly golf ball. They use ‘em in Australia.

This is a photo of the stone in my right kidney.

I’ve had the two stones for over a year. My stone doc has been keeping an eye on ‘em. His left one. They haven’t been hurting me till recently. I suppose it’s because they’re too big to try to escape. It’s the escape that’ll get you every time.
The stone in the left kidney.

I really don’t know what the stones are up to, but they’ve definitely changed their routine. The pony stone keeps kicking my side and messing with my lower back. The golf ball just gives me a quick punch.

The only good thing good about ‘em is the exercise. I can’t. If I start stooping, squatting, raising up and laying back down, those stones are gonna try to make a run for it. I can’t let ‘em try. There’s no room. Are you reading me here? They can’t get out!

I’m sorry. Stones really alter my mood. I don’t know why that is. Your kidneys do something with your brain. Take my word. Just wish I could get the stones near my new metal bridge… when I get it.

I guess, there’s no need, ‘cause the stones should be shattered in a couple of days. That’s when they get lithotripsied. Lithotripsy involves shooting sound waves at your kidney stones. You’re lying on a waterbed kind of contraption while sound waves hammer at you. They don’t mess up anything but the stones. The sound waves can crush stone, but they won’t mess with body tissue.

Do you believe that? I’m about as gullible as my tongue, but I’m having trouble swallowing that. For one thing, I don’t believe it is sound waves that they’re shooting at your kidneys. You scratch this thing and you’re gonna uncover gamma rays. Undiluted, massively amplified gamma rays. The kind that are liable to make me grow out of my shirt, but not my pants, and turn me into the Incredible Hunk. Of course, I’ll hafta get mad before the change hits. Or excited. Maybe both. I don’t remember the last time I got excited. Mad, not so hard for me.

Finally, after the teeth are fixed and the stones shattered I have my yearly physical. All three of these appointments just fell in the same week. Dr. Strickland, my family doctor, is another super nice guy and just as smart as can be. He knows all about me, and still doesn’t mind fixing me up.

I suppose my kidney stone doc is nice too, but I just have trouble feeling an affinity for a guy who has done to me what he has. If anyone even snaps a rubber band around me I immediately cry and assume the fetal position.

While I dread the yearly physical, it shouldn’t be all that bad. I just hate the weighing part. Last year Doc S told me to exercise and lose some weight. I told him “Sure thing!” Hey, I wasn’t gonna see him for another year. Figured I might eat porcupine fish between then and now. If not I’d diet and exercise a couple of weeks before the physical.

The last few weeks I have been cutting down on my food intake. I would exercise, but— Do you remember why I can’t exercise? Just seeing if you were paying attention. No, Dr. S is gonna see the same ol’ Mark. A bit over weight and very much unfit.

He doesn’t try to shame me, though, but I can see the disappointment in his eyes. I almost wish the stone in my right kidney was as big as it feels. If, after the lithotripsy I lose the weight of a small pony, I’ll get a great report. – “Mark, you’ve got to get some nourishment. Chocolate! More, chocolate! And, no more exercise. It’s killin’ you!”

That’s always been a dream of mine. Probably why I bite my tongue while I’m sleeping.


To see Brad and Mark’s review of The Toasted Yolk, click below.


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