Category: The Misc…

I never thought…

I’d be 46 years old and getting braces ūüėÄ

It’s true, this time next week I’ll be sporting some clear dental braces. Like traditional metal braces these are simply clear and all that’s really visible is the wire that runs threw them; unless you get real close they aren’t easy to see.

My mouth is a cautionary tale of phobias, poor dental work, neglect, and smoking!

I didn’t see a dentist for the first time until I was 18. Unfortunately, due to an extremely barbaric and cruel dental visit my mother had as a child, she was petrified of dentists. So, as kids we were just told to brush our teeth and that was it. I don’t blame my mom at all, I’m sure there are thousands of people of her generation that share the same phobia of dentists because of similar experiences. She was a small child, in the hands of a bad dentist!

Luckily not seeing a dentist the first 18 years of my life wasn’t as tragic as it could have been. The sad thing is, that due to some very poor dental work by, count them, three dentists, in three different states, I lost two teeth because of improper root canals. Then I had two teeth (side by side) literally sliver up into the root that had to be pulled…I was eating a Pringle, beware!

One permanent bridge later, some serious jaw wasting, and years of smoking, I’m now in the position I’m in now. The two teeth I broke eating the Pringle can’t be fixed with anything but implants, but I need a bone graft first. I can’t have a bone graft while I’m on a heart transplant list so those will have to wait. The last one which was a bad root canal then an extraction has so much jaw bone wasting and has such a large gap, I can’t have a bridge. I need to straighten my teeth first to try and close the gap enough I can have a¬† long term temporary bridge. After I have a heart transplant and have healed, I can have bone grafts to fix the areas with wasting and have implants put in.

The upside is that I’ve managed to remove years of smoke stain from my teeth with some good old over the counter methods. I’ve whitened them enough the dentist doesn’t think I need to go any farther with it. And, in the end (about 18 months) I’ll have straight teeth for the first time in my life.

I feel like a fool that I didn’t do this years ago, but when you have children, they come first and mom is further down the list of priorities. I have a wonderful dentist now who is very competent and I trust. He recommended I do this about 8 years ago, but I still have teenagers in the house. Who could afford braces when the monkeys needed new shoes every three months because they grew like weeds. Oh well, so be it. It’s being handled now, maybe a little late, but better than never. I’d like to keep the teeth I have left for as long as possible!

My advice to you…brush often, floss frequently, and find a good dentist; it’s worth it! Oh, and don’t eat Pringles!

A Craving

I’ve told this story to a few people so forgive me if you’re hearing this for a second time.

When I was first diagnosed with Amyloidosis and I started my first four rounds of chemo therapy I had a craving come over me that was so strong I was often time left in tears. What did I crave?

Babies…

There was something about the smell of a newborn baby, the new life, the endless possibilities that lay before them. There’s an energy they give off in the early months that’s intoxicating and I believe can be healing. Not healing of the body but healing of the mind, well, for me it would have been, I think. I recall telling my husband about it and wondered out loud if I could only go to the nursery at the hospital and sit in a rocking chair and hold a newborn for a little while. Feeling that if I could just do that once or twice I could find some calm in my storm.

I never did get to hold a baby during that time. I had some friends who had a baby in that time span but they weren’t allowing people to hold their child in the first few months. I recall going to their home to see the baby and drop off a gift. I asked to hold her and was told I couldn’t. Selfishly I cried for a week over the rejection. If they only knew what just a few minutes would have meant to me, would they have let me hold her?

Regardless that time has passed and my craving still kicks in sometimes. But now I do have that opportunity to hold a little one now and then. Just last night I got a chance to indulge my craving by holding a little bundle while her mother ate dinner. She was so warm and squishy, and smelled heavenly. As I suspected it would, my spirits were raised as I sat, so grateful to her mother for allowing me to hold her child.

Even today I’m experiencing the residual baby high I got last night and I’m not sure if I know how to explain the feelings I have. I don’t know if I am in the end stages of my life or not. If I get a heart transplant then the answer would be no, but if I don’t the answer would be yes. So when that little voice in the back of my head is telling me to soak up what I can because it may be my last opportunity the craving to be around new life comes over me.

It’s ridiculous to think that by some sort of spiritual osmosis in holding a baby I can impart some wisdom they might come to realize when they’re older. I know that’s a silly thought and not possible, but if it were? When I passed I wouldn’t really be gone, a piece of me would be with every one of the babies I had the pleasure to love and hold close to my heart. Like I said it’s just silliness on my part…

I’ve had the opportunity to do that with my own children. I held them close and soaked up all the new baby energy. I remember how sweet each of them smelled after they were born. Now in their adulthood I can see that I was a good mother, a good steward of their lives, and I raised three amazing human beings. When I’m gone I will live on in them and live on even more in their children. I truly hope I’m here to see their children, my grandchildren, but if I’m not, I will most certainly be with them all in spirit.

I’m going to ride this baby high all day. I have an amazing dinner planned for my family and today I’m feeling fabulous!

One Year

I just realized that the first of November was the one year anniversary of my blog! WOO HOO! What’s happened in a year’s time?

Doctors, drugs, faith, family, food (lots of food!) and photos mostly. I was listed for heart transplant, good news! My heart is a little weaker than it was when I started, not so good news. I still take a couple fists full of pills every day…LOL…that’s not likely to ever change.

I’m still working on curbing my anxiety/PTSD and I think I might be winning the battle on that. I’ve found peace in my faith and truly believe the Big Guy up there is totally in charge of my life. If I have done nothing else in one year’s time I have completely surrendered myself to my God and given Him all the power over my life. I live and breathe to serve Him. I’ve come to realize that I need a community and I think I found one. My purpose is to serve others and I can do it in so many ways.

Even with my limited mobility (no driving, and being tethered to an oxygen concentrator 24/7,) I can always use Uber or Lyft if I can’t find someone to give me a ride…even way out here in Wyoming, can you believe it?!

 

I Want To Dance

It’s killing me that I still don’t have the energy to dance and to teach. I want, so desperately, to teach a ballet class, but I just don’t have the strength for it yet. I’m hoping that by the beginning of the next dance season I’ll be able to at least start subbing now and then. If I had to pick one thing as the truest passion of my life it would be dancing. I started dancing when I was three and started teaching dance at 14. I would say it runs in my veins now.

To watch people dance makes me yearn for the studio, to listen to music, and to create new movement. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t choreograph while I’m listening to whatever might be playing on the radio. I create outrageous costumes in my head, edit music, create mash-ups.

I need to dance, I need to teach it…it’s a part of who I am, It’s part of my soul.

Added a few photos of a former student to my 365 Day Gallery.

Without Healthcare People Will Die

And let me clarify…this is my opinion. I do not perceive it to be either conservative or liberal. The reason I believe that people will die without healthcare is because of¬†the¬†socioeconomics¬†of this country.

I’m going to keep it simple, not because I think topic of healthcare is too complex to discuss, but because I don’t think it needs to be as complicated as it’s being made out to be. Ultimately, we should “want to” take care of people; take care of each other. Whatever happened to taking care of each other? I understand that some people need more taking care of than others, but isn’t that the point of us all doing it together, so no one group¬†is over burdened with the task of caring for those who¬†might need more¬†care?

The bottom line is, if you¬†live within a specific socioeconomic range, you don’t have healthcare, and you can’t afford it. You’re not going to go to the doctor because the visit costs $150, but the impending outcome of not seeing a doctor at $150 could potentially result in 10’s of thousands of dollars worth of emergency healthcare needed later. THAT, in the nutshell is what I believe to be the ultimate problem. If everyone could go to the doctor when it was a $150 problem, then we could potentially avoid some of the problems that costs 10’s of thousands and in some cases cost people their lives!

A 60 year old woman should be able to get a mammogram at no cost, period. Why? Because breast cancer is expensive! Cancer screening in general should be low to no cost, because cancer is EXPENSIVE! I know this first hand. Not only do I have cancer but I’ve seen the bills my insurance has paid out. Four rounds of chemotherapy…over $170,000 in 16 weeks! If I didn’t have a husband with a great job with good health insurance I wouldn’t be sitting here right now typing this entry; I’d be dead. This is something I’ve struggled with a lot since I became sick. I know what it’s like to be poor and I know what it’s like to not be. I also believe that if it weren’t for my¬†socioeconomic status I probably wouldn’t be alive. I most certainly wouldn’t be living in a house we pay a mortgage on, and we wouldn’t be paying for our youngest son to go to college, in all likelihood and at the very least, we’d be bankrupt. So, what makes me so special over my neighbors down the street who works just as hard but don’t have the same kind ¬†of healthcare I do?

Healthcare for all, single payer system, socialized healthcare, call it whatever helps you sleep at night but call it something. The Senators in my state, Republican Senator John Barraso (who happens to be a DOCTOR!), and Republican Senator Mike Enzi, need to vote on this newest healthcare bill, the AHCA, with the interest of their constituency in mind. Passing this bill will hurt Wyoming families and people will die!