Friday * May 24th 2019

I’m Still Here…

christmasChristmas Long Ago…

The Photo…

Christmas 1966 – my father had passed away in May after being ill for many years.  The expression on my face says it all – there’s no joy in Christmas for me.  It’s just something every year I “have to get through…”

Lately, I’ve been on “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride…” 

It seems I have a major issue with age related teeth wear as well a being a significant night-time grinder (bruxism).  My previous dentist never told me about the issue, and while in Albuquerque at the International Balloon Fiesta I discovered I had a cracked molar by my face swelling and dental pain.  Since October 31st, I had a root canal and crown, a crack fixed in a neighboring tooth and another crown, a three-unit dental bridge replaced that was cemented improperly in Puerto Penasco, resin restorations done to several teeth to “strengthen” them, and of course a night-time dental guard. 

My “out-of-pocket” dental expenses with my basic dental plan have totaled almost $7,000.00.  I’m grateful that I had the money in savings, and wonder what people do that can’t afford proper dental treatment.  I sought out a new dentist, but have since found even another.  I’ve become increasingly sensitive about “Standard of Care” in the dental, medical, and vision departments.  My new(er) dentist was competent, but since he has a newborn infant turned off his “emergency” phone when the tot fell asleep.  It was the night that my temporary bridge fell out at 9:30 p.m., and I had no idea what to do.  Additionally, I’m no “wuss” in the pain department, but dental drilling without a numbing shot (“Hold on, I’m almost done) was unacceptable.

Trying to keep on top of my medical appointments, I went for an eye exam to a new optometrist.  I made a bad choice and he was mega busy.  I was there for two hours.  However, after he dilated my pupils and decided to take some retina photos/scans he told me I had Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).  He was hurried and matter-of-fact, told me to purchase special eye vitamins, and see him again in six months.

Needless to say, I went into a significant depression.  However, something told me that if I did indeed have AMD that I should be seen by an ophthalmologist.  The ones in Las Cruces were booked for months, but I got in to a doctor in El Paso.  It was the same drill – the technicians looked at my eyes and asked questions, and then I saw the doctor.  First he looked in my eyes and said, “Let’s take some pictures, but I don’t think you have AMD.”  He had the retinal scans printed out and saw me a few minutes later and said, “Here’s an early Christmas present for you – you don’t have AMD and your eyes look quite healthy for your age.

I started sobbing uncontrollably at that point. 


I’ve learned a valuable lesson.  In terms of medical care, (especially in the aging adult) blind trust in any one person (doctor) is probably unwise. 

Moving On…

I’d be lying if I said all of this hasn’t taken a significant toll on me.  I now accept the fact that even to walk into a dentist office I now have to take a Xanax 1/2 hour before.  I’m “tired,” but want to “move on to a happy place.”  As many of you know that happy place for me is taking off in my RV and going to Puerto Penasco for the winter.  I’m trying to get my “mojo” up, but it’s tempting to stay at home where it’s safe and warm. 

However, I know that’s not good for me.  At home I converse with only my dog.  Having spent Thanksgiving alone, I have the same to look forward to for Christmas. 

That’s not “living,” that’s “existing.” 

Puerto Penasco isn’t perfect, but I do talk to people more, go out for Wednesday happy hour and Saturday breakfast.  I walk along the beach with Luna and let the sand and sea calm my soul.  I go once a week to Shooter Bingo where I’ve become the “appointed” popcorn popper – making popcorn for the bingo attendees (and having a shot or two of tequila). 

Where to Stay…

The campground I used to stay at (no hook-ups) is now $300.00/month and a site with full hook-ups is $498.00/month.  It’s worth it to me for the extra “creature comforts” to pay the extra money.  The dry camp place tends to draw some “crazy folk” at times, and I just don’t want to deal with that. 

I need to just go – my life is waiting for me…

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