The past couple of days have seen me regain my lost focus on things I needed to do. Along with it was a wonderful spurt of energy, which I have tried to utilise for best effect possible. Yesterday, in particular, resulted in a great deal of Shriek dissemination. I'm thinking knowing I'm going to be taken off life's stage for a goodly portion of the weekend that spurred the flurry of activity.
Late tomorrow morning, I'll be going back under the knife - and "sander" - at the dentist's office. "But why?" you may ask. "I thought you got a full set of dentures!" And you would be more than justified in any confusion this has imposed on you. My permanent teeth never fit me correctly, but I was waiting for the gums to heal more before I went for any adjustments. The problem only got worse over time, though. The dentures are too large for my mouth to rest with my lips closed. I have to work at keeping my mouth closed, which gives me a distinct chimpanzee appearance. If I don't close my mouth, I look like this dog.
When I laugh or smile, Tuna is replaced by Mr. Ed. But it's not the aesthetic that distressed me as much as the health concerns. Because the teeth were so large and ill-fitting, I couldn't use them to bite food, and there wasn't enough room in my mouth to even chew properly. The act of grinding the teeth together in an effort to chew was not only unsuccessful, but excruciating. Being a GBS patient, I have to chew my food beyond thoroughly. Any small amount of unchewed food can get caught in my tiny digestive track, which means it will come back up. My inability to chew resulted in a lot of vomiting so, almost a year out, I'm still on a soft food diet. Let's just say I'm fortunate to love potatoes and cottage cheese so much.
Then, there was my speech. I've always been very self-conscious about my speech, because of the variety of accents in my family and, upon entering school, being teased for having a lisp. At the age of 6, I began speech therapy with myself. I obsessed over tongue-positioning to cloak the lisp and, a couple of years later, I was almost lispless. That didn't stop the kids from doing what kids do, though, so speech became an issue for me early on. Obviously, without fangs in my face, and because of my almost life-long practice of tongue positioning, my impediment is magnified. With the teeth in, I have a whole new set of speech problems, from sounding like Gopher in the Winnie the Pooh cartoons to slurring my words to the point of sounding like a drunk zombie politician on the campaign trail. I have to repeat everything I say, all the time. This is particularly frustrating when I go see Dr. Harrington. He's deaf as hell and my unintelligible blarghing is counter-productive to a successful talk-centric session.
The combination of pain, inability to properly eat or speak, and looking like the ugliest Osmond in all of Utah drove me back to the dentist last week to hopefully get them adjusted enough to where I could lead just a fraction of a normal life. I saw a different dentist in the office that day, one Dr. Habashi, who is hubba-hubba-level handsome. Unlike the dentist who took me on after my first dentist, Dr. Preber, moved to Northern California, Dr. Habashi listened to everything I had to say, noted by areas in my mouth that I was not exaggerating, and gave me a thorough exam, including another full digital imaging of my head. After gathering all the evidence, he gave me the bad/good news. The bad news is I'm one of those rare individuals who, instead of having the occasional, inevitable bone shard still in my gums work its way out as the gums healed, some of the shards established residence and began developing spurs. Even though I did have a couple of shards work their way out, which is quite normal, it turned out that I had a few more that remained, forming hard knots all over my gum lines, top and bottom. This was keeping my gums inflamed and made wearing the dentures pretty much impossible and agonising.
The good news is, this can be fixed! He set me up an appointment for a second oral surgery to basically "sand down" my gums and remove any bone left behind from the first surgery. I will then have to be refitted again for properly-fitting dentures. Thanks to b_bopper55, I will be able to pay for the second surgery, but the new teeth are obviously free, considering they were not made correctly, and did not function in any way dentures are supposed to work. So, hopefully soon, I'll stop being left-side Ren and finally transform into right-side Ren.
I'm thinking that this surgery may be worse than the initial extraction surgery. There's an image of a NYC high-rise construction worker ambling into the operation room after I'm put out, revving up his industrial electric sander and wearing a grin that can't say anything but "Serial Killer in Training." So, I'm trying to get as much writing and advertising done today as I can. I've already alerted the band that I will probably be incommunicado for most of tomorrow and all of Sunday, and I am finishing up a rudimentary outline of the five main characters of The Harming Tree. I've been writing a lot of late, but all of it is currently disjointed, as I write what is "given" me, and that process is never a consecutive narrative. So, yeah, I may be posting a good bit about Shriekback today, as well as posting my 5-character study with accompanying anchor images.