Tag Archives: Frustration

A Tooth For A Tooth

by Richard

So, here’s the deal between getting your shoulder carved up by a doctor and having to get a root canal. The tooth pain is worse.

I know. Hard to believe, yeah?

The deal is this: when you’ve got shoulder surgery pain, there’s ways to relieve it. Maybe move a little bit to the left. A little bit up or down. You know, that sort of thing.

With tooth pain, there’s nothing — I repeat — NOTHING you can do. Except swallow massive amounts of pain-killing, anti-inflammation drugs. And I’m talking massive amounts here. Really.

So, no, not a fun last week or so.

What happened was that back in December I found out the reason I had such a pain in my back lower molar was because I’d managed to crack the silly tooth. I’m thinking I’ve been grinding my teeth in frustration a wee bit too much thanks to certain young dudes and their lack of effort in certain scholastic-related events. Of which we’ll say no more. For now.

Anyway, I went to the dentist, who ended up cleaning the tooth and then putting a cap on it. All good. No problems.

Until last weekend, that is. It started to feel like I’d got something in between the two back teeth and then just started to hurt. Eventually, it felt like the cap had moved because whenever I bit down, the only two teeth touching were the bad molar and the tooth above it. After a hasty trip to the dentist, she said, no, not the cap. Then she sent me to the oral surgeon because she was thinking the cap had come too late and I’d have to get done something drastic.

And drastic is what it turned out to be. The nerve in the tooth had died and then left room for bacteria to start multiplying. Which, in their way, the bacteria did. Massive infection and swelling. All of which lead to the root canal.

The oral surgeon strapped me down, slammed that big needle of numbness into my gum and started drilling. The odor, he said, was from the pus he was freeing from being trapped inside the tooth. Whee! He spent an hour cleaning it out and then put a temporary cover on the hole.

I got to go home with a prescription for antibiotics and the lovely reminder that I had to come back in a week for more drilling and filling.Which, really, is making this whole week just speed by. Fortunately, the antibiotics are working and the swelling has gone down enough that I’m able to eat again. So that’s good.

Now I just sit here, dreading Monday even more than normal. Can’t wait, dudes. Just can’t wait.


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Freaky Friday: Box? What Box?

by Richard

Well, it’s all over, including the shouting. For the second year in a row, I put my sanity and brain health on the line to coach a fistful of ADD All Stars in the Odyssey of the Mind competition. After months of hard work and hair pulling (well, I would have been pulling hair if I still had any), the big day arrived Saturday, March 6.

Speed Racer and his six compatriots were pumped for the big competition. They’d been working hard for the last couple of weeks, mostly the last week. My co-coach, The Sainted Lady Of The Odyssey, and I had been working them hard to learn their lines and actually move like they’d already blocked out on the play. We were more than a little concerned, right up until Thursday night on the eighth of eight run throughs.

Finally. Finally. Finally, they put it all together. Not only that, but they actually put in a couple of ad libs that had The Sainted Lady Of The Odyssey and I in stitches. Well, not literally, but I — at least — was rolling on the floor with laughter. It might have been pent-up frustration letting loose in laughter, but I really, really thought it was hilarious.

Here’s the deal. Over the course of far too many and far too few months, the seven kids have to create, write, costume, set design, set build and block out an eight-minute play that hits a number of compulsory items. Rather like ice dancing, only without the flowing gowns and the goofy smiles. And that’s on the judges. Ba-dump-bump.

So, there at the end, they finally came together. They were following each other’s lines, speaking so people could actually hear and, wonder of wonders, acting. Their problem was to have one food accuse another food of being unhealthy or bad for people. The accused had to defend itself. Each character had to be dressed as a food item and actually look like that food item. It was supposed to be some sort of trial. Our brilliant little dudes and dudettes threw out the whole courtroom scene that a lot of the kids kept. Our team decided on trial by combat. All of which means that the accused’s defense was basically: *slap* *slap* *slap*

It went over great.

They also did great in the spontaneous problems, in which they had to answer a question from the judge with as many different and creative answers as possible. Overall, they scored 271 points out of 350, good enough for sixth place out of 13 competitors.

To say my co-coach and I were thrilled would be an understatement. They worked hard and had their best performance of the year on the day they most needed it.

I don’t care what the score actually was. In my eyes, those seven little dudes and dudettes are winners on a bigger scale than anyone could imagine.

I’m going to miss the group. I will not, however, miss the growing crop of aneurysms I’m naming after each one of them.

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