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Nursing is a wonderful career

SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2016

Nursing is a wonderful career

Nursing is a wonderful career

A few weeks ago, I met up with a team of labor and delivery nurses and doctors. I had not seen them for over 20 years. But, it was as if time did not go by. We met at Meier’s Tavern, ate tater tots and sipped our beverages as we reminisced. The laughter and the hugs-we were loud and we were happy. It was a large turnout. Probably 25 people that came out on a cold Chicago winter night to meet up with old co-workers/friends.

When I was a labor and delivery nurse at Evanston Hospital I was around 25 years old. I had done
medical and surgical nursing. I had administered chemotherapy. I had worked at county hospitals and private hospitals. But, I knew nothing about labor and delivery. And, to be honest, I just never felt comfortable being a L&D nurse. Some nurses were made to work in these fast paced areas-L&D or in the Emergency Room. They loved it when someone yelled “crash section”, “she is crowning”, “footling breech”, “decels”. Not me. I wanted to hide. I hated the life and death part of working in L&D. One minute everything is going great with your patient. You are out laughing at the nursing station with your fellow nurses and then, BAM, the fetal heart rate tracing looks bad, someone comes in with no fetal movement, or a Mom that is 28 weeks is in active labor.

I had great mentors in L&D. They tried to show me the way. They showed me how to start an IV, administer Pitocin or MagSulfate, push with a patient and monitor the baby’s heart rate. They were there when I had to scrub for a crash c-section. The doctor initiated me during my first month on the job. The doctor threw an Alice clamp across the room because I handed him the wrong instrument. I handed him a T clamp and he started throwing instruments across the room. I stepped down, and the circulating nurse stepped in. She was there to catch me when I stumbled.

Working in L&D is a high pressure job. It’s great when the board is empty and you can hang out with the nurses and doctors at the nursing station. It’s absolutely a miracle each and every time a baby is born and you are there to experience it and have had some small part in that special moment. When it is busy, well, anything goes. All hell breaks loose. It’s not all happy with cute Gerber babies being born. There are tragedies-stillborn, babies born with multiple deformities, and mothers that die in childbirth.

The labor and delivery nurses and doctors are there for you. In good times and bad times. They hold your hand, they shout encouragement, and they want the very best outcome for you and your baby. They give everything they got.

And so, I guess that is why L&D nurses and doctors are so special. You have to work well together. You have to have each other’s back. You have to be there for each other. The normal deliveries are so rewarding, but it is the more complicated pregnancies and deliveries that makes you come together. When one nurse is weak, a stronger nurse steps in.

Twenty years ago, you could smoke in the hospital. In the nurses lounge you could grab a quick smoke and then run out and adjust your patient’s IV Pitocin.  Times have changed. That night, at Meier’s Tavern, they handed out packs of candy cigarettes. It reminded us of the old days when you could smoke. But, the pack of candy cigarettes serves as a reminder that although things do indeed change, there are things that don’t change such as the bond of nurses and doctors. Good people who want to do the best job taking care of you.

I have been so fortunate to work with such a wonderful team. They had a huge impact on my life-they taught me about teamwork, camaraderie, and compassion.

I am so very proud to be a nurse. It’s been a very rewarding profession. And, I am the person I am today because I chose to become a nurse. My patients and coworkers changed me-for the better!

All I have to do is look at this pack of cigarettes and a smile comes over my face.

Sometimes you just need to hit alt/control/delete and power yourself down. Then, after a bit of down time, power yourself back up and move forward.

MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2016

Sometimes you just need to hit alt/control/delete and power yourself down. Then, after a bit of down time, power yourself back up and move forward.

I suffered a major disappointment last week. I went for my dental appointment at UIC. I had told Dr. Reisberg that my implant hurt for a number of days after my last appointment. I told him I felt something crack or snap when he pressed on the screw. He checked the area and said the gum was nice and pink. He then tapped on the right implant and there was no pain. Then he tapped on my left implant and I jumped in pain. This is the side of the implant where my cleft palate runs through my gum to the roof of my mouth.

To go back, I had an oral surgeon use cadaver bone for my first surgery. When sutures were removed it was apparent that a hole was created in my sinus because of this surgery. I developed multiple infections and sought another doctor to help me.

I found UIC Craniofacial center and underwent surgery where they took bone from my hip to build my palate. I had to wait a good year for the bone to grow and get strong. Then last year, I underwent another surgery for them to insert the dental implants into the bone. Both surgeries involved inpatient hospitalization.

So, this has been over  two years in the making. I was so looking forward to getting my two dental implants so I could have two front teeth. I was filled with anticipation and hope. But then, with a simple tap on the dental screw it all changed. Dr. Reisberg said he was so sorry but the pain was not a good sign. He tried to unscrew the implant just a little to see if I could tolerate it, and I jumped off the table. So, in a very caring way, he just said that the implant by my cleft was not good. I almost burst into tears but I kept it together. He kept measuring and looking at the dental screws and was talking out loud of some possibilities. He did a dental impression and said he was going to have to think about Plan B.

He told me he was going to add about five more appointments to the five I already had scheduled. And so, I got up from the exam table and gave him a big hug. He told me the next appointment he would go in, numb me up, and take the implant out.

I walked to the parking garage and got into my car. I put the key in the ignition and then the tears started flowing. I was so deeply hurt. I had waited years for my dental implants and I thought it was all going to work out. I was so optimistic. So looking forward to having this all be behind me. I thought for sure the bone would be strong and could withstand the implant. But, I guess God has a different plan.

As I was driving home I could not help but think of the people undergoing chemotherapy and being told they are in remission. Only to be told, the cancer is back. This really put things in perspective. I mean, come on Pat, your dental implant by your cleft palate did not take and they will have to figure out what Plan B will be.

I got home and did FaceTime with Colleen. The minute i saw her face, i just cried and cried. After I hung up the phone, I texted my family and friends about the failed implant. I then powered down my phone and my IPad. For two days, I just laid low. I was in mourning and just needed some down time.

I went to get the mail and saw a bag by our front door. I opened it up and my tears changed to laughter and a huge smile came over my face.  It was the perfect gift. My lifelong friend, Pauline, left it for me. She knew this was exactly what I needed. The dammit doll. I would love to whack it against the wall but instead I just said dammit, repeatedly. The doll was so cute, I just could not destroy it.

So, today is Monday, I powered back on my phone and IPad. My little pity party is over. I’m gonna just go with the flow and appreciate all the things I have. Most importantly, I have family and friends that support me. And, with that in my back pocket, I can face anything. Now, let’s see what Plan B is!

It’s hard to do so something you’ve never done before but don’t give up

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2016

It’s hard to do so something you’ve never done before but don’t give up

I am trying my hand at writing a Children’s book and it’s been rather hard. My first draft was way too long and had too many positive messages, stories within stories and a lot of characters. Way too much for a children’s book.

I know the story I want to tell. But, I’m having a hard time.

Here is the story- a cardinal was born with part of his beak missing. Simon is the name of the cardinal. He goes to a team of doctors that work together to get him the proper care that he needs. Throughout his life he meets other birds that help shape his life. The other cardinals see Simon as he is and love him for all his imperfections. They look past his scar and find his inner beauty. And, Simon finds their inner beauty. Susie, Pixie, Fallon, Pete and Mark, and Mrs. Klein all teach Simon important life lessons. There is a Bully, and he flies around being negative and picks on the weak birds.

The message of the book is to let every child know that no matter what hardships
you have in your life-you stand tall -be proud of who you are !! Overcoming trials is what shapes our identities and makes us stronger.

I found a wonderful woman through Etsy that made each of Simon’s flock according to my specifications (glasses, jewelry, flip flops, butterflies, teacher with books and two male cardinals who are in love). As well as a angry, miserable bully cardinal. The name of her shop in Etsy is AHappyCarrot.

So I have the message and the characters. Now I just need to write it. My first draft was way too long. I’ve looked at so many children’s books and they all are very succinct and basic. Powerful messages that seem so easy to understand.

I also looked at books that were written specifically to address cleft lip and palate kids. However, none of them really engaged me and left me thinking that I could do better. So, that’s what I have set out to do. Who better to write a book about being born with a cleft lip and palate then myself. It’s really a book about being born different. But, as you go through life you realize that everyone is different and it’s actually a good thing and should be embraced. But, when you are a child, you just want to fit in and not stand out. You don’t want people staring at you and making fun of you. You just want to blend in with the other kids.

I picked a Cardinal because they are beautiful, strong birds that represent faith, hope and joy. They have always appeared in my life and my family’s life as a reminder that angels are among us. Whenever I see a cardinal it has provided me with comfort knowing that someone from heaven is stopping by to say hello and to leave a message as if to say you are loved and to stay positive and strong.

So, now it’s time to try writing another draft of the book.

Don’t be afraid to speak up

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016

Don’t be afraid to speak up

I had so much anger inside of me because I felt the oral surgeon in Palatine that I went to should have known better. He should have said he could not treat me because he did not have the experience. And, he should have helped me find the right doctor who could.

I went through so much unnecessary pain, time, expense and suffering because I put my faith and health in the hands of someone I thought could medically treat me. Even though he never treated a cleft palate patient, he certainly knew how to perform oral surgery and treat an infection. So, I thought. He had a large successful practice and came with good recommendations. So, I thought I made the right decision. Boy, was I wrong.

After I went to the UIC, I found out that he should never have instructed me to wear the “flipper” after surgery. Evidently you don’t want to wear any type of “flipper” or device that presses on the palate. The “flipper” was also a conduit for infection. That’s why I got the yeast infection in my mouth. It was from wearing the mouthpiece. I also found out that cadaver bone is not the way to go. If you need to use bone-it should be taken from your hip because you are less likely to reject your own bone. But probably the most important thing I found out was that the oral surgeon I saw in Palatine was actually good friends with one of the dentists at the UIC Craniofacial center. I was incensed when I found this out. Why wouldn’t the oral surgeon just refer me to his friend at the UIC Craniofacial center? When I asked him if he had ever treated a cleft palate patient he said “no” but reassured me that he could do the job. This kept me up at night and my anger towards him grew and grew. Now I am not an angry person. I like to think of myself as happy go lucky and see my heart with a smile. But, anger overtook me. It changed me. I became bitter. I would lay in bed at night and think why wouldn’t he just refer me to his friend that specializes in the care of cleft palate patient’s. My feeling is that he did this out of greed. Greed. My dental insurance did not cover a penny of his services. Anesthesia was also not covered. So, I paid $6,800 to go through hell! I think he also wanted to say that he “treated” a cleft palate patient.

So, what did I do? I could not live like this. I hated being angry at him. I hated walking around being mad. So, I called up his office and asked to speak with him. The receptionist asked what it was about and I told her it was “personal.” He called me back within 10 minutes. I started the conversation by sating, “Doctor I know you will do the right thing”. I then said the following. ” I’m asking three things from you. One, if a patient comes in and you have never treated their particular medical condition, you have to refuse to treat them and help them find the appropriate doctor. I am going to send you business cards of Dr. Cohen and Dr. Reisberg. If a cleft palate patient comes into your office you have to refer them to these doctors. Second, if a patient wants their medical records you have to give it to them. You can’t have your front desk employees refuse to give the patient their records. They said they can only send it to another doctor but that is not correct. I own those medical records and they are mine. He responded by saying that he would send me my records if I could read his “chicken scratch”. I said that I’m a nurse and know how to read doctors notes. And, 3rd, I want my money back. I want you to send me the $6,800 that I paid you. Basically, I am having everything redone. I did not ask to be reimbursed for the countless antibiotic prescriptions, CT scan, ENT/plastic surgery consult or infectious disease consults. I just wanted the $6,800 back. But, really the most important thing I wanted was to prevent someone-maybe one person-from going what I went through. I wanted him to promise me to refer patients to appropriate doctors that could treat them. I was very calm when I talked to him and I ended the conversation by saying, “please give this your consideration. I believe you took it upon yourself to treat me because you thought you could. But, you and I both know that this was not the case. Give me a call when you have reviewed my 3 requests”.
About two hours later I received a call back and he said he would do all three of my requests. Within two days I had my money back and received my medical records. I, in turn, mailed him business cards for Dr. Cohen and Dr. Reisberg as well as information on Face The Future Foundation which supports the UIC Craniofacial center.

And, after I hung up the phone something instantly happened. The anger that I had disappeared. I felt peace. I no longer thought about this terrible oral surgeon. I hoped that this changed him as well. I hope and believe that he will do the right thing when a cleft palate patient comes into his office for dental care. I believe he will refer these patients out and not take them on as patients.

Now, I could have hired a lawyer and tried to sue him for his incompetence. But, I did not want to do this. I had already gone through so much and that is the last thing I wanted to have to go through.

This story could have a very different ending. Instead of moving on and learning from this experience, I could have walked around with anger and a heavy heart. Anger could be with me today. But, I spoke up. I said my peace. And, I tried to be an advocate for other people that may walk in my shoes.

If you would have told me that I would call up a doctor and call them on bad medical care and make some requests that could possibly impact future patients I would not have believed it. But, I’m getting older. And, something happens as the years go by. You become more confident in saying what is right and what is wrong.

My girlfriend who recommended the oral surgeon apologized to me twice saying both times that she was so sorry that she recommended this doctor and that I had to go through so much. I said, ” it’s the best thing that has happened to me. It changed my life for the better. It helped define who I am and it’s made me a stronger person.”

This was just the beginning of my transformation.

In the next few blogs I will tell you what doors were opened for me. They say one door closes and another door opens. But, you have to be willing to open that door.

Sometimes the worst brings out the best in people. It’s all in how you look at things. Is your glass half empty or half full?

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016

Sometimes the worst brings out the best in people. It’s all in how you look at things. Is your glass half empty or half full?

When I went for my bi annual dental cleaning two years ago, I never knew that experience would change my life.

X-rays taken during the dental cleaning showed I had an abscess by my front capped tooth. I had no idea-no symptoms. My dentist recommended that I see a colleague right down the street that specializes in oral surgery. I made the appointment and went to see him for a consult. He took more X-rays and confirmed I had an abscess and recommended surgery. But, he was clearly nervous. He kept tapping his foot while telling me how many problems I had going on-infection, bone loss, need for root canal, antibiotics and potential loss of my two front teeth. I asked him if he ever treated a patient with a cleft palate and he said “no”. I paid the $275 dollar consultation fee and left. This oral surgeon clearly was overwhelmed and there was no way I was going to have him do surgery. The foot tapping really did it for me.

I then called my dentist and he gave me the name of another dentist who performs root canal surgery. I saw the dentist and underwent root canal surgery, however, the dentist could not get to the deep root to entirely clean up the infection.. This dentist also had never treated a patient with a cleft palate.  I was put on antibiotics and told to find an oral surgeon. Even though I had dental insurance, it really didn’t cover any of the procedure. I believe that root canal was about $750 out of pocket.

I left that dentist not knowing what to do next. I was on antibiotics due to the infection and knowing I had to find an oral surgeon who could help me-and quickly. You don’t want to fool around with an infection in your mouth. But, I had no where to go. My dentist recommended the oral surgeon-foot tapper-who had no clue how to treat me and I just went to the dentist he recommended for the root canal -which was unsuccessful.

I briefly tried searching the internet for anyone that treats adult cleft palate patients with dental needs. I kept searching but could not find anyone.

I called one of my best friends and asked if she knew of a good oral surgeon. She did some investigation and called me back with the name of a well known oral surgeon. I made the appointment and went to see him for a consult. His practice was fairly large with multiple oral surgeons and assistants sharing the practice.

This oral surgeon did more X-rays and a more thorough dental exam. He recommended further surgery which would involve using cadaver bone to build up my palate and possible removal of my 2 front teeth to get to the root of the infection. I asked him if he ever took care of a cleft palate patient and he said “no”. But, he reassured me that he could do the procedure. I had a decision to make. Do I go with this dentist? He seemed to know what he was doing and he came with good references. I really didn’t have a lot of time to keep searching for an oral surgeon since I still had the infection in my mouth and was on antibiotics.

After talking with Colleen, who was with me for every appointment and procedure, I decided to go with this surgeon. I made the appointment and they required that I pay for the surgery upfront. I believe it was $4, 750. He said if I wanted anesthesia during the procedure that it would be an additional $1,800. What? That’s crazy. He said I would pay the anesthesia company directly. I told him I would think about it. My choice was to be given a pill of Valium while in the office prior to the procedure and then be given injections of novacaine throughout my mouth. The procedure was to last a few hours. After laying awake at night, I decided to spend the $1,800 dollars and go with IV sedation.

The day came and I went to Palatine to have my oral surgery. It was mostly a blur after I took the Valium pre-op. At the end of the surgery, I was told they had to remove my 2 front teeth. I was put on additional antibiotics and sent home.

The next day I called the office and talked to the surgeon and said I had a horrible stench coming from my mouth. He told me to wait a day or two and see if it was getting worse. The next day I called him again and asked to be seen. The stench was horrible. He ended putting me on an additional antibiotic and sent me on my way.

The additional antibiotic seemed to do the trick. I went back in @2 weeks and had the sutures removed. The surgeon removed the sutures and also fitted me with a “flipper” to wear. The “flipper” is like a retainer with 2 fake front teeth.  You have to remove it to eat. So, he removed the sutures, gave me the “flipper” to wear and I was to continue with the antibiotics.

I got home from the appointment and was in the kitchen drinking a glass of water. I took a drink of water and the water shot out of my nose and a sucking blow hole noise came out of me. Oh my God. What the hell was that??? I immediately called the oral surgeon. He told me to come in the next morning to see me. I knew the water coming out of my nose and the sucking noise was not a good thing!

The next day I saw him and he explained the surgery probably created a small hole in my sinus. He said it was, “worrisome”.  He told me that he thought it would close on its own over time. He told me to keep taking the antibiotics and to wear the “flipper”.

There comes a time in your life when you know something is not right. You listen to your body and your common sense. This was one of those times. And, I listened and heard the message.

I immediately called my primary care physician and explained the situation. She gave me the name of a ENT doctor. I saw the ENT doctor. He did his exam and I looked over at him. He was looking up at the ceiling with a dreadful look on his face. I said, “what’s wrong?”. He said that he could not treat me because it was out of his scope. He gave me the name of a plastic surgeon and quickly sent me on my way. I got into my car and cried. The look on this doctors face was one of horror. I was so mad at him. Why didn’t he put on his doctor mask face? A patient should not look at the doctor and see horror in his face. Shame on him. How would he like it if he went to a doctor and looked over at his face only to see despair.

So, I then made an appointment with this plastic surgeon that he recommended. He examined me and said he could do surgery to help with the sinus and help with improving my breathing. I asked him if he ever treated a patient with a cleft lip/palate. And, he said, “no.” He was all set to schedule me for surgery. I told him that I would call him if I decided to go with him.

Frustrated, disappointed and scared. No one seemed to know how to treat an adult cleft palate patient. What was I to do?

I went back to the Internet and searched and searched for answers and help.

In the mean time, I had to go back to the oral surgeon because I developed a yeast infection in my mouth. I was put on yet another antibiotic. The inside of my mouth was all raw and red.

I made an appointment to see my infectious disease doctor-Dr. Leonard Kaplan of Northshore Health Care. I had previously been treated by him due to getting 4 bouts of C. Diff from being on antibiotics. When I saw him I went over all the antibiotics I had been on and what doctors I had seen. He asked me if any doctor ever ordered a CT scan of my face. I said “no”. He ordered the CT scan. He called my oral surgeon and adjusted the antibiotics I was on. This doctor definitely knew his stuff. Thank God I had Dr. Kaplan in my corner.

I then went back to the internet and continued to search for cleft palate doctors. I did find some but most of them treated children and not adults. I finally found the University of Illinois Craniofacial Clinic. I found the Golden Ticket. I won the lottery!!

I had an appointment at the University of a Illinois Craniofacial clinic. I brought a copy of my CT results as well as a list of doctors I had seen and medications I was on. The appointment lasted a few hours. I saw Dr. Cohen-the plastic surgeon, and had my hearing and speech tested. I had more X-rays and bone density of my mouth performed. Dr. Cohen answered all of my questions. He put my mind at ease. I finally found a doctor and team of doctors and nurses that knew what they were doing.

That was 2 years ago. And, I’m still going to UIC for care. I’m in the process of getting my two front teeth dental implants. It’s been a long journey.

Dr Cohen performed his first surgery two years ago -took bone from my hip to build my palate. The second surgery was in October 2015 where they did a lip revision, and made it so that I could breathe out of my nose. I’ve always been a mouth breather because I could never breathe in and out of my nose due to a deviated septum. Dr Reisberg also inserted the rods for the dental implants.

The team at the UI Craniofacial center are angels. They treat all patients with respect and provide the best care possible.

Having an abscess and trying to find the appropriate doctor to treat me really changed my life.

In the next few blogs you will see how this experience changed me-for the better.

It’s hard to do so something you’ve never done before but don’t give up

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2016

It’s hard to do so something you’ve never done before but don’t give up

I am trying my hand at writing a Children’s book and it’s been rather hard. My first draft was way too long and had too many positive messages, stories within stories and a lot of characters. Way too much for a children’s book.

I know the story I want to tell. But, I’m having a hard time.

Here is the story- a cardinal was born with part of his beak missing. Simon is the name of the cardinal. He goes to a team of doctors that work together to get him the proper care that he needs. Throughout his life he meets other birds that help shape his life. The other cardinals see Simon as he is and love him for all his imperfections. They look past his scar and find his inner beauty. And, Simon finds their inner beauty. Susie, Pixie, Fallon, Pete and Mark, and Mrs. Klein all teach Simon important life lessons. There is a Bully, and he flies around being negative and picks on the weak birds.

The message of the book is to let every child know that no matter what hardships
you have in your life-you stand tall -be proud of who you are !! Overcoming trials is what shapes our identities and makes us stronger.

I found a wonderful woman through Etsy that made each of Simon’s flock according to my specifications (glasses, jewelry, flip flops, butterflies, teacher with books and two male cardinals who are in love). As well as a angry, miserable bully cardinal. The name of her shop in Etsy is AHappyCarrot.

So I have the message and the characters. Now I just need to write it. My first draft was way too long. I’ve looked at so many children’s books and they all are very succinct and basic. Powerful messages that seem so easy to understand.

I also looked at books that were written specifically to address cleft lip and palate kids. However, none of them really engaged me and left me thinking that I could do better. So, that’s what I have set out to do. Who better to write a book about being born with a cleft lip and palate then myself. It’s really a book about being born different. But, as you go through life you realize that everyone is different and it’s actually a good thing and should be embraced. But, when you are a child, you just want to fit in and not stand out. You don’t want people staring at you and making fun of you. You just want to blend in with the other kids.

I picked a Cardinal because they are beautiful, strong birds that represent faith, hope and joy. They have always appeared in my life and my family’s life as a reminder that angels are among us. Whenever I see a cardinal it has provided me with comfort knowing that someone from heaven is stopping by to say hello and to leave a message as if to say you are loved and to stay positive and strong.

So, now it’s time to try writing another draft of the book.

Everyone needs a little bling in their life!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2016

Everyone needs a little bling in their life!

I went Tuesday for my appointment to begin the process of getting my dental implants.

Dr. Reisberg had told me in advance that this was going to be the hardest part of the process. He put some cherry tasting like novacaine jelly on my gums. Then waited a bit before he gave me the injections. Front gums and roof of mouth. Several injections and they were painful. I wish I had taken something before the procedure to help alleviate my fear. Anytime any dentist or dental hygienist would work on the front part of my upper teeth I always broke out in a sweat and would stiffen up like a mummy. This was no exception. My cleft palate runs from my front left gum to my roof of my mouth. Like a passageway.

This appointment involved cutting into the gums to uncover the dental screws. Dr. Reisberg used a  ‘puncher’ to expose the screws. But, before he did this, I had one or two stitches remaining in my lip from the lip revision I had in October 2015. He used tweezers and scissors to cut the imbedded knot. This whole process took about 10 minutes of pulling and tugging my upper lip. Finally he said he got 1 7/8 ‘s out. Yikes, that hurt but I was glad that blue stitch finally came out because I could not only see it but also feel it.

Back to the procedure. Dr. Reisberg continued to unveil the screws. At the very end he put silver caps on the end of the screws. I’m not sure what happened at the very end but all I know is that I almost jumped off the table in pain. He was pushing on the left implant with a lot of force and the pain shot through my body as I screamed in pain. He apologized and said he was sorry that portion was painful.
I thought to myself, “oh dear God, I hope the bone did not crack.” In fact, when I go back on March 4th I’m going t ask that he take an X-ray to make sure everything is okay.

The whole procedure lasted a little over an hour. After the procedure, he gave me a mirror so I could see the two silver screw ends. When I looked at myself and saw the silver all I could do was think back to high school. I had to have braces and in order for that to happen I had to have a “silver” left front tooth. I guess a needed a ‘cap’ that was strong enough for the braces. My God. Here I was in high school walking around with a silver front tooth. This was before Madonna or 50 cent who made ‘grills’ popular. I stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean come on. I’m in high school having a shining silver front tooth. I had that silver tooth for at least 3 years. No wonder I never dated in high school! I looked like a freak. So, when I looked at myself in the mirror with the two small screws I just smiled to myself. Almost 55 years of age and still got the bling!

You have to have a sense of humor or you will not survive in this world. You have to walk around with a skin tone bullet proof vest because you are gonna need it. Just when you think things can’t get worse-they do. So, you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward.

I can certainly walk around with these little silver screws for the next two months. Geez, that is nothing. I have 4 more appointments set up every 2 weeks so I should have my new teeth by then. I guess they have to make dental impressions and make the screws longer during the next several appointments.

I will go back and try and find pictures of me wearing my silver bling in high school. I know my yearbook picture has me flashing my bling-I smiled with my mouth closed but you can still see some of the silver shining through.

Here is a picture of me after my procedure. Those little screws are not gonna stop me from smiling!