Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Singing to the Dentist

I think officially no one is reading this blog. I got a SiteMeter account and it came up all zeroes yesterday. I used to do a very sexually explicit blog on Xanga (it was also anonymous), and that sure got read.

I'm a lot distracted these days schmoozing with old school buds and never-were-buds on Facebook. Maybe I should spend more time writing. And I've definitely got to get those old school buddies to check this out.

Something is getting weird at the magazine for which I write, Blues Revue. Apparently the editor quit and some people haven't been paid in 2 years and there's going to be a committee instead of one editor and it may or may not include the former editor from whom I parted badly in the 90s. But hey, this go-round, I've had a nice live review in print (Chuck Berry at B.B. King's), plus a bunch of CD reviews, and got my name on the masthead, since the editor was actually a fan of mine from the 90s. Gee! Apparently I reviewed an album favorably and the musician became his absolute favorite. I will never be a top-notch music critic because I simply missed out on too much listening; this owed to many years without a stereo, many years listening to nothing but old-time stringband music and Jelly Roll Morton, etc. But I'm a fine reviewer because I can organize information and write it pretty well. I can write a CD review in about two hours flat, including listening to the CD. Anyway, I will not be happy if I have to leave the magazine, but I don't want to work with this guy again, mainly because he lied to me a lot, and lying somehow pushes buttons extra-hard for me.

Jeffrey Frederick did a song called "Singing to the Dentist" which Jill Gross sang. (What a voice on that woman!) The pertinent lyric is: "I was singing to the dentist for the bill, said all I really wanted was some of those little pills, that you gave my momma for her root canal." A couple of weeks ago, my Bad Tooth acted up and started to hurt. This has been my Bad Tooth for about 20 years. The tooth itself has already been root-canaled, but there's been a low-grade abcess underneath the sucker for a long, long time. Without being too gross, if I pressed a little spot with my tongue or a fingertip, a tiny bit of pus oozed out, and that kept the thing sufficiently drained. It did get clogged up about 15 years ago, and I went to NYU Dental Clinic, where the student who worked on me seemed majorly grossed out that the abcess was draining into my "oral cavity," as the professor called it. They reopened it and gave me antibiotics and a rinse. No problem. In fact, every time I got antibiotics for a little bronchitis or whatever, the tooth improved.

My dentist x-rayed it and made a lot of tsk-tsk noises, which is a good way, by the way, to identify old Jewish men. They all make that noise. My darling late father-in-law actually used to say, "Phew!", like a comic strip. Back to my tooth -- there was a big, obvious pocket around the root. Dr. Kadaa said that I should see an oral surgeon, to see if he could (sorry) cut a gum flap and clear the infection (I almost have to be anaesthetized to think about it!). If not, he, Dr. Kadaa, can pull the tooth, and then make a bridge for that one (which is the lower left front) and the lower left molar I'm already missing. (I'm only missing one tooth now, soon two, not too bad.) Then Dr. Kadaa wrote me a course of Zithromax (antibiotic) and 20 Tylenol with codeine. (The pain meds are sort of the lollypop for adults.)

I have to be careful around drugs-of-abuse, but painkillers have never been a problem for me. I would never seek them out, but I'll be darned happy to take them when they are prescribed for me. And I basically take them as prescribed, though I will occasionally take the next dose sooner than I'm supposed to. So I saw the oral surgeon today, he said the tooth's not worth saving, and he wrote me a course of Zithromax and 24 Tylenol with codeine with one refill. Plus both Dr. Kadaa and the oral surgeon were very kind to us concerning the price of consultation and an x-ray -- I think each one charged only $40. Kadaa is always low-priced. I once listened with amazement during an appointment as he hondled with a disposables (gloves, masks, etc) salesperson to get the price he wanted. (Today's Yiddish lesson: hondle is to haggle with great skill). It was all that "Can you do a little better for me on the tray covers?" And that's why you pay $650 for a root canal there, because he pinches pennies. Don't know what the work I need will cost but I hope it's equally reasonable.

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