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» Wednesday, August 25, 2010Life and Timesand Back in Time
Well, Monday I did the dreaded deed: went to the dentist. I haven’t been in a while. I have this very paranoid tendency toward anyone who has to work close to my face, a hypersensitive gag reflex—my pediatrician couldn’t even use a tongue depressor—and a big panic reaction to anything involving dentists, since my experience having my wisdom teeth removed ranks right up there with the Spanish Inquisition (and one knows that no one gets over the Spanish Inquisition). (I’m being funny here because the memory is so terrifying.)
Unfortunately I have a broken tooth. It’s been that way a while, but it started hurting a couple of weeks ago—up till then I’d even still been chewing on it. I started gargling with salt water and brushing more than the usual twice a day and it felt better. I knew then I was going to have to bite the bullet (which would be considerably less painful) and get it taken care of sometime in the future.
And then Friday the pain hit again. This time it wasn’t the gums that hurt, but the tooth itself; I couldn’t even touch it gently. Well, I’d been looking online for likely Delta Dental dentists and found a nice-sounding one on Concord Road. Unfortunately they were closed for the day. So I did the salt and the analgesics and the pain for the weekend, and my left cheek was hard, hot and swollen. I even had a fever on Saturday.
Anyway, the dentist is nice, the techs are nice, the office is nice (it's a converted house)—and my reactions to such have remained the same. I have antibiotics to take care of the abscess I have, and I can either have the tooth pulled or have a root canal done. Either way they are going to have to sedate me. All they did Monday was take X-rays and I was gagging on the thing I had to bite down on to properly photograph the teeth. Logically I know it’s ridiculous, but the moment anyone gets that close to my head or presses down on my tongue and I panic. Just thinking about having to lie back and have junk in my mouth makes me ill.
Trouble is, I hate taking sedatives, too. I don’t understand how people take “recreational” drugs. They scare the dickens out of me. I remember when they took me off the IV painkillers after my surgery in 2004; they gave me Percoset. It made me feel like I was going crazy, and as if my heart was racing even though it was not. I told the nurse I didn’t care how much it hurt; I didn’t want that again. I know people who say airily "Oh, I had this procedure done, but it's okay because they gave me 'the good drugs.'" Even the good drugs look bad to me.
Anyway, nice thing to look forward to. It isn’t bad enough it’s summer and end-of-fiscal-year!
Next came the DSL modem problem. For about a month, we’ve had this odd problem with our online access: aside from one Thursday afternoon, it will work fine all day and then about 9 o’clock start having drop outs. Unplugging the modem only gave you a few more minutes of connectivity and then it would crash again, and by the end of the night it would refuse to work at all. In the morning it would be fine again, so it wasn't like the wretched thing was permanently broken. Not only this, but it only happened a couple of nights a week, and never happened on weekends. Well, after it happened a couple of weeks in a row I went on Earthlink’s online chat via my Droid to ask what to do, which always involved starting, stopping, and resetting the modem, and I was always doing this about 10:30, 11 at night, so I couldn’t follow through with anything the technician wanted us to do because it was time for bed.
Last night the moment it started acting up (directly after I finished watching an episode of History Detectives online, and it worked flawlessly) I called Earthlink. It took forever to get on, and then we went with the dog-and-pony show of unplugging, resetting, and testing the modem. None of this worked, and they escalated us to Level 3. Briefly, the tech did get us onlineand then I made the mistake of asking how the other computers on the network could then access the internet. To make a long story short, and against James’ better judgment, the tech required us to reset the router, too. So after two and a half hours we not only had no internet connection, but the idiot had killed our home network.
This morning I called them up and told them, politely, what I thought of their technicians and their procedures. I had instructions to call the tech support number, ask for Senior support, and tell them we had been through all the ordinary tests. This I did upon arriving home, and, to make a long story short, we are getting a new DSL modem.
In the meantime, we are on dial-up, which we haven’t done since we moved into the house! I couldn’t even remember how to set up a dial-up connection. Neither of our computers have modems anymore, but several years back I bought a compact (about the size of a cell phone, but chubbier) USB modem, which has sat in a little bag behind my computer screen, awaiting a day such as this. It is a breeze to install and works like a champion, even if the speed is positively glacial next to DSL. Of course we don’t have the fastest DSL plan anyway, so it’s not that big a shock...and a slow connection is better than no connection at all!