I’m not having much fun. Neither is Burt. Burt is at least getting better. Me, I’m not convinced. Monday I saw another doctor because after finally feeling better I was suddenly feeling worse. My lungs ached. I had no stamina. There was a fry cough. I had no interest in anything. The doctor looked around and said they didn’t think there was an infection but ordered a culture to be certain. I was instructed to return to the clinic the next day at 8:00. No food, no drink, no teeth brushing. Do not disturb the environment in your mouth with anything. Bring your skeevey mouth in as it is when you wake. Check. Meanwhile they gave me prenisone to clear up the minor inflammation.
I arrived on time with gross mouth. The technician stuck a long swab down my throat. There was much gagging and drooling. I’d started the course of steroids so I was feeling pretty good again. Burt and I went to breakfast to celebrate. I was told to check back in three days. My understanding was in two days they’d know if there was a bacterial infection. If there was an infection, they’d know which antibiotics were effective in an additional twenty-four hours. Since I felt pretty good (thanks, prednisone) I presumed the doctor was correct and there would be no infection. So after the bare three days I checked in with the clinic. Sorry, your results aren’t ready. I can do math. I knew that meant an infection. They were in the last hours of finding an effective antibiotic.
The next day I got the news that I had contracted staphylococcus pneumoniea. I didn’t have pneumonia, yet, but I was very sick. Now the month that had had three days of fever, vertigo, exhaustion, and general ick made sense. The culture showed my bug is resistant to three families of antibiotics but several commonly available medicines are still effective.
So I’m done with the steroids and feeling crappy. All my research indicates it’s going to be a slow recovery. I might be cured in five days but the exhaustion may linger for weeks. I have three more days of shots in the large muscle mass of my bottom. The cardinal is a spring yard bird here.
I felt a warm glow today when my dental cleaning and inspection resulted in a commendation for good work and a report of no worsening of periodontal disease. That’s when I knew I was old. Happy to keep my teeth for a while longer yet. The happy feeling hasn’t waned yet. Burt came out smiling, too. I was worried because previous problems had resulted in a recommendation to have my teeth cleaned four times a year and I have found it impossible to keep up. I’ve pretty much given up on Mexican dental hygiene. The dentists I’ve seen do mediocre cleaning jobs. I haven’t had a need for any kind of repair but I hear they do good work. Meanwhile scheduling a cleaning in the US is very hard. My practice of 20 years is scheduling 6 months out. I cant even get to Montana in time to renew my driver’s license or serve on jury duty. I certainly can’t pick out a date for a teeth cleaning six months in advance.
Lucky for us New Mexico has a great system of public health clinics. An hour away is the Hidalgo Health Center. The hygienist there is fantastic. I’ve seen her twice now. In fact. my last cleaning was with her just about a year ago. She and I were both pleased to see how well my gums looked with no professional attention in a year. Since we are working here through the fall I’ll be able to see her again before we head to Mexico. Life on the road is not conducive to these mundane chores.
Our bathroom remodel job is almost complete. Pictures up soon.
Burt’s having a rough week around here. First he sliced his finger with a hand saw and now an old filling has gone bad. Dr. Talamantes gave him an on the spot root canal this morning. Our plans to sing with the Bridge to English kids were scuttled as the local anesthesia wore off and the pain set in. Burt can’t play guitar yet because his finger wound is still a little oozy but we had made plans to use harmonicas as tuning forks and go acapella this week. The best of intentions and best laid plans and all that. We have so little control.
I called Dad today and he had me swooning with his litany of the disabled and dead around his parts. It would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad. He suggested I put him, my mom, and Burt all in one house and hire a team of Mexicans to care take everyone while I, the supposedly fit and young one, enjoy myself. I do admit I hate cooking and washing the dishes but I am optimistic Burt will make a full recovery and be returned to his status as the “Great Maker” around here. I fully expect him to outlast me.
Oh yeah, the root canal and crown should come to about $650 US. I hear that’s about 35% of the going rate in South Carolina. It’s $200 less than what I paid for non-root canal crowns 20 years ago.