Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dear Dora

Yesterday, one of my old students stopped by.  He’s an American citizen by birth, but grew up in Syria.  His family is ok — and expanding.   He is married now and has a son.

Ten years ago, he was my student.  Ten years ago, he also helped me build my front fence.  He also met Dora. This was after Gretchen and Buddy but before Tammy and Murphy.  He only knew Dora.  He was afraid to ask if Dora was still around.

She is, but she is old.  Sometimes she is with us, sometimes not.  Like any old lady, she struggles with what was once easy.

I promised her a walk tomorrow.  I will take some pictures with my new smarter than me phone.  I need to buy a better camera.



Recording Happy Days

Like most normal humans, I tend to more vividly remember bad times more than good.  I want to change that.

Today has been a very happy day for me.

When I was 11 years old, I fell out of a tree house — head first.  I only had some scrapes and one other thing — I broke one of my front teeth in half.  It was stuck in a piece of plywood at the bottom of the ladder to the tree house.

Over the years, I got a variety of caps.  Most were broken; the first just fell off one day.  In 1996, I got a job in Riga Latvia.  During the winter, my sinus on the same side as the broken tooth filled with puss.  Everyone thought, including me, that I just had a cold.  After going to a doctor, having a hole punched in my cheekbone, and all of the puss and blood spewing out, the doctor told me that my tooth had been infected.

Upon returning to the U.S., I had periodontal surgery.  That surgery left my broken front tooth exposed — the root was visible above the cap and after the infection, it had dropped so that the cap was lower than my other front tooth.

For the past 16 years or so since, I have been very careful about smiling or showing much of my teeth.  I felt like my front cap was glaringly freakish and kept it hidden as best I could.

Earlier this year, it got infected again and seemed to just die its final death.  I had it extracted and an implant procedure started.  While the base of the implant was healing, I had to wear a flipper.  I liked the way it looked — finally normal.

Well, today — I finally got the crown installed.  I was anxious — if something went wrong it would be a disaster for me.  Everything went well — better than that.  I finally have a somewhat normal tooth — after 40 years.

Modern dentistry: THANK YOU!