When you are well on your way to being two years past your life expectancy, there is no such thing as a bad day. Why, just the fact that one has beat the insurance companies who bet against such a happening makes each day worthwhile. The checks from the two retirement annuities will come faithfully on the 1st of each month as long as I stay alive and will then pay half that amount to Julie as long as she lives. And, social security! Wow, this year they came through with around a six percent raise. You know, if one could just live long enough, get enough of those yearly increases, a person could live a pretty fancy life, huh? Life is sweet! Then along comes a day like today, definitely not a day for growing old gracefully.
I'm blessed to have most of my original teeth, thanks in part to joining the navy at 17. Well, at least I still have enough to smile pretty for the camera and to work my way through a good steak, eating the corn-on-the-cob with relish. Having said all that I must admit that I have had what I suspect was my share of root canals, teeth bridged in and a few crowns. I broke a tooth recently. I couldn't complain as a navy dentist had originally saved that tooth nearly 60 years ago.
Dr. Linda A Pommier, DDS, did a marvelous job of saving what was left of the broken tooth but what an experience it was having the cast made for a new crown. It required two hours in the chair with a number of people, including a student, poking, pulling and reminding me to "breathe". I left with a temporary crown and a reminder to avoid things like Tootsie Rolls and to not swallow anything that I couldn't chew as it might be the temporary crown. Today was the day for installing another pernmanet crown. Oh! Happy Day!
Installing the new crown was supposed to be a brief, painless experience. No shots! I got a hint that that might not be true when the assistant could not remove the temporary crown. The hint was more to the point when Dr. Linda--I like female dentists, I've had two. Lets face it, I like females, period--prepared me for three shots. Uh, Doc, you said this crown installation was going to be painless, remember? Whats with the shots? Did I ever find out.
But all things come to an end, including the pulling, or tearing apart, of a temporary tooth and grinding away the obviously great adhesive. Now comes the installation, and with one entire side of my head being numb, you know what, the installation would be painless.
Have you ever been in a place where you were totally out of control of a situation and became aware that something was dreadfully wrong? I didn't know exactly what was going on but Dr. Pommier's instructions to her assistant became short and clipped sounding more like those hated marine instructors on the rifle range long ago in navy boot camp. Not at all a comfortable feeling.
Then it happened! No explosion and the room did not shake. But without knowing why I begun to quake inside. Then I heard something that further reminded me of those hated Jar Heads on those long ago rifle ranges when some city boy, who had never held a gun in his life, turned pointing his gun at the troops. Heaven help the poor, dumb boot if he pointed his gun at the marine instructor. The "something" was from Dr.Pommier.
Being the professional that she is--and she is a wonderful professional and quite a gal besides, and to whom I've recommended my best friends--regained her composure and began to tell me how sorry she was. It seems as how the crown would not fit and she had broken it trying to make it work.
Now what? What else, back to square one and another hour making another new cast. Almost fearfully Dr. Pommier asked when I was starting my cross country trike trip. She audibly sighed in relief when, with a full mouth, I mumbled that I was not flying out until January 30th. She assured me she could get the new crown back and installed before then. I was so happy to get out of the chair that I didn't even look askance when she may have added that crown installations were quick and painless. I'm not sure of the latter but I'm not letting the truth get in the way of a good story, here!
James 1:12: "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown.............."