PROTIP

If you have to get up early on Mondays, don’t watch Crazy Heart on a Sunday night and decide that in honor of Jeff Bridges’ character you’re going to start shooting tequila at about 8:30 p.m. Even if it’s good tequila. And if you do decide to do this, when your husband offers to toss back some with you so that you aren’t drinking alone, take one for the team and tell him it’s not necessary.

Crown!

Today I went back to the dentist to get the permanent crown seated, and FINALLY MY TEETH ARE BACK TO NORMAL! Well, as normal as you can consider teeth that are mostly filled with porcelain, lacking a pulp and covered in white gold in one case.

I know this blog has been Boring Land of Dentistry Issues lately, but damn what a pain in the ass one cracked pre-molar turned out to be.

I am now lacking one pulp

This morning I went to see an endodontist in Brentwood for a consult to see if I really would need a root canal. Right, like we didn’t already know the answer to that question.

(Ok but first, I need to point out that either I’ve been very lucky in my life or dentists/endodontists are like the nicest people ever. It might just be because they love us so much for buying them all those yachts, but I have really been struck by the great chair-with-pointy-instruments bedside manner of the two dentists I’ve seen in the last 10 years, and the endodontist I met today was seriously one of the most calming medical professionals I’ve ever encountered. Dude could make records of just his voice explaining scary-gross dental procedures and babies would instantly stop crying and go to sleep.)

Anyway, so after he listened to my stupid tooth drama he started doing all of these tests where he’d see how sensitive to hot and cold the tooth was, and then to pressure. He also tested the two teeth on either side of the problem tooth, just to make sure it really was that tooth that was causing me so much grief. Oh and then he had me bite on this stick thing and HOLY FUCK when I did that we all knew that yeah, that effing pulp was coming out.

But then he surprised me and said we should go ahead and do the root canal RIGHT THEN AND THERE, which I was not expecting. I thought about it for a minute, but then he said something about no more feeling like raccoons were in my tooth eating my nerves like pasta and I was all SIGN ME UP!

I was a little nervous (ok, a lot), especially since my regular dentist wasn’t able to get my tooth all the way numb. But the endodontist does not fuck around, and after a few shots from an instrument resembling a less-classy Space Needle my entire face and neck were numb. I shook like a chihuahua for about 10 minutes, but luckily that went away before they started drilling.

I was cracked out long enough, though, that my imagination got the better of me and I texted Ian that I was having the root canal and if I died not to kick Gordo and King Boo out of the house. He texted back “No promises.”

But luckily for the cats, I made it through and didn’t feel anything the entire time. Well, no pain. I did feel him rooting around in there (PUN INTENDED!) a few times, but at least it didn’t hurt. My instructions are to take 800mg of Motrin a few more times, and I should be pain-free by Friday and able to get my permanent crown on Monday as planned.

And while I have dental insurance, it only covers up to a certain amount, so I’m trying not to think about the number of computers or cameras I could buy with the money this one goddamn cracked-ass tooth has cost me. I just want to focus on the lack of pain in my face.

It’s a slippery slope

After another night of waking up feeling like rabid raccoons were in the depths of my tooth eating my nerves like pasta, I called the endodontist this morning and set up an evaluation of my tooth for Monday. I’m already preparing myself that I’m probably going to have to have a root canal.

Which is great, because I already have like 20 fillings, three porcelain onlays, and I’m getting a crown in another week and a half.

Maybe I should ask them to go ahead and fit me for dentures while I’m there.

And the hits keep coming

Last fall while I was at the dentist for a cleaning, the hygienist pointed out that my farthest-back molar on the left side of my mouth was broken. As in, missing one of those four points that molars have. She was surprised that I had no idea, but come on—who studies the back of their mouth on a regular basis? Anyway, the dentist came in and made fun of me a bit for not noticing, too, and then they scheduled me an appointment to come in and have it repaired with a porcelain onlay (a procedure used when a regular filling is not enough, but a crown is not needed). I had two other porcelain onlays done previously so this wasn’t really a big deal.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve. When we got home from Ian’s dad’s house that night, I brushed my teeth and prepared to put in my Invisalign retainers (I only wear them at night now) when I noticed what looked like a gray line running straight across a filling I had in the second-to-last molar on the left side of my mouth. I thought it was odd, so I brushed some more but it only lightened a little. Using the end of a disposable dental pick, I poked at the crevasse and realized that it was a crack in the filling—on into the tooth, too.

Yes, this genius managed to crack two teeth within a couple months of each other. I promise I do not chew gravel.

The gray in the crack was most likely stain from the red wine I had been drinking that night, because it disappeared after a few more brushings. I scheduled an appointment with my dentist for after the new year, and tried not to chew on that side as much as possible.

When I went for my appointment, he confirmed that I had indeed cracked the filling (which was pretty old, anyway), but since I had cracked the tooth as well I would need a crown. Awesome. An appointment was made and I was advised not to chew anything on that tooth until the crown was installed.

So of course, a couple days later, what do I do? Eat candy. Like a jackass. And of course, part of the tooth came out. In a fit of desperation I spit the candy out and shoved the tooth fragment back into place, and then promptly called my dentist’s answering service (this happened on a Friday afternoon). He called me back almost immediately and told me not to worry, my tooth wasn’t in danger of crumbling and I could just spit out the fragment if it came out again. My crown was scheduled for Monday, so all I had to do was make it through the weekend without fucking up anything in my mouth again. Monday I would be good to go.

Yeah, well, on Monday it snowed a goddamn blizzard by Nashville standards, and I was stuck in Murfreesboro. My dentist is in Brentwood, a good 40 miles away. Awesome.

So I continued to live on lukewarm soup until Thursday, when I was able to get into the office and have the temporary crown made. For the first time in my life I was excited to go to the dentist. Ah, sweet freedom to eat solid food and not fear my teeth crumbling down the back of my throat awaited me.

Except, in true my-life fashion, it wouldn’t be that easy.

For some unknown reason, they couldn’t get part of the area they were drilling on numb. After giving me the maximum number of novocaine shots (regular shots plus two boosters that made my heart feel like it was about to give the fuck up and peace out on me), I lied and told them I was numb.

That only lasted about three seconds after they resumed drilling, though, because it felt like hell had unleashed some kind of new fury down into that tooth. A fury that somehow was burning the pulp and nerve at the same time it was freezing it, and deeper into the tooth canyon a rabid pack of raccoons was scratching their nails on the chalkboard of my brain and biting my face off.

The dentist told me we had two options: One involved me being put under, which really wasn’t an option since I had driven myself (recall that Ian and I carpool, meaning he didn’t have a car that day). We went with the other option, which involved the dentist using a tool that was a bit gentler but made the procedure smell worse (they don’t ever tell you that getting a crown involves drilling off part of your gum line, or how bad burning gum flesh smells) and me gripping the chair as hard as I could and trying not to scream.

And while I survived, I have had to reevaluate my previous statement (made only to Ian) that I have a high tolerance for dental pain. I could handle getting my gums lasered off a couple years ago. I could handle multiple cavity fillings in a day (one time I had four done at once). I have had major surgery. But nothing compared to the pain I felt last Thursday. Nothing.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the dentist sent me home with a referral sheet to an endodontist because, while his x-rays and other investigations didn’t indicate that the tooth was broken anywhere near the nerve, the fact that nothing would numb that area appropriately signals “something isn’t right.”

I’m only supposed to go see the specialist if I encounter a nagging, throbbing pain in that tooth, and so far I have been OK. Well, except for last night when I woke up in the middle of the night twice in such pain that I couldn’t see for a few minutes, enlisted the closest cat to purr on and warm my jawline, and then finally got up at 5 a.m. and tore the top level of the house apart until I found 800mg of ibuprofen to shove down my throat in hopes that either the pain died or I did. (I just realized that I didn’t even think about the Lortab I still have in my nightstand drawer. Hmmm.)

But because I absolutely do NOT want a root canal, I am going to pretend like that was a one-time incident and just keep taking ibuprofen, hoping that it doesn’t happen again. Although, I guess I need to test my tooth out sans-medication before I get the permanent crown in a week and a half, since I’m guessing once that sucker is on it will cost more than the arm and a leg I’m already paying to take it off to suck out the root and then reseat it.

Crap. Damn faulty tooth genes. This sucks.

Everything stays the same

I thought that changing up the design of this blog might help me post more regularly, that maybe it was the stagnancy of template pixels holding me back. But nope. It’s just me.

Here I am, random thoughts and stories kicking around the brain bucket but no motivation to write them all down. Every time I start a post, I get overwhelmed at the idea of relating my thoughts so they make sense on paper and scrap the whole thing.

I go through this funk every so often, and it generally signals that I need to schedule some time with my head and clear out the cobwebs so I can start fresh with writing on a regular basis again. I’m hoping this clearing-of-the-brainwebs also helps jumpstart my photo-taking again, too, because that’s been suffering a bit lately as well.

How to give me a heart attack

Call me at work and tell me that I’m 60 days late on my student loan payments and I owe $200 immediately without considering that maybe, just maybe, there is more than one Megan Morris in the entire state of Tennessee.

And when I tell you that my student loans are not through your company and that I pay the company that does own them automatically every month so I know you’ve got the wrong person, don’t ask for my social security number to verify. If that doesn’t scream IDENTITY THEFT! I don’t know what does. Also, the town the person you’re looking for lives in is pronounced “ann-tea-ock” not “ann-eh-tosh.”

(As I suspected, the collection agency rep just Googled “Megan Morris + TN” and my bio page on my company’s website was one of the first results. She said the location was the closest to Antioch she could find so she assumed it was me. Right, because Megan Morris isn’t a common name at all. Oh, and the kicker? My student loan account is still in my maiden name.)

Hey look, a new look!

Finally after a few years I’ve redesigned this blog again. I really loved the previous minimalist theme, but it was time for a change. I’ve still got a bit of housekeeping to do (adding in some links and plugins that I’ve got to restyle, cleaning up some posts, etc.), but after months of debating various themes and tinkering with code—this is it.

For those who are curious, this is the Woo theme Cinch modded a bit. I have never purchased a theme for a personal blog before, but after working with Woo themes on a few work projects I fell in love with them. Their themes are top-notch and very customizable, and their support forum is one of the best I have ever encountered. When I saw they were having a 5-for-1 sale on Cyber Monday, I was in.

One day I’d like to create a logo for this site, but seeing as how I basically suck ass at graphic design that is going to take quite a bit of brainpower and creativity. And beer. Lots of beer.

A grody New Year

Ian and I rang in the new year with some good friends at a party across town, and like always with this group, things got a little crazy.

Christy, me and AmandaMost of the guys at the party are in the Army, and at one point in the night (I think it was still before midnight) decided it would be a good idea to give each other saline IVs. They need to be able to give IVs in the field, so I guess they wanted to make sure they were up on their training. That, and they decided that some extra hydration would prevent hangovers.

Except that the first couple of tries didn’t work, and I heard something about catheters not advancing and veins blowing and then there was a huge bump on one guy’s arm and I almost blacked out just from thinking about it.

In addition to all of that nonsense, the friend Ian and I brought with us hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours by the time the party rolled around, but that didn’t stop him from diving into the beer and champagne. Although I don’t think that’s what did him in. His demise came when the Army guys (I’m telling you, these guys party like none other) decided to try a twist on the exploding-Pepsi-and-Mentos trick and mix champagne with a powdered protein supplement called No Explode.

That is not a good name for the product.

After mixing it together in a cup and not getting any explosions, they tried putting it in a plastic water bottle, adding more champagne and shaking.

Still nothing.

So our friend we brought, you know, the guy who didn’t eat anything for 24 hours until he got to the party? Yeah. He drank it.

And blew chunks all over—and I mean ALL. OVER.—the hosts’ bathroom walls. And floor. And inside and outside of the toilet. And sink cabinets. Pretty much any surface in the bathroom was covered in vomit.

And I had to clean it up.

Wait, let me rephrase that. I felt kind of guilty for his destruction since we brought him, and I guess I was just at that magical place of drunkenness where my desire to be a helpful, good guest and friend overwhelmed my sense of smell and sight. That, and my friend was so embarrassed (ok, drunk) that he offered me $100 to clean up after him.

And so I cleaned the hell out of that bathroom. I cleaned up every bit of puke that I could find. And if there is any way to sober up quicker than scrubbing gallons of your friend’s orange vomit off various bathroom surfaces, I haven’t found it. Because after that I sobered up, drove us home in the pouring rain, and I took that $100.

Happy New Year.

2010 in pictures

One of the biggest benefits of taking pictures of everything like a goddamn maniac is being able to look back at the end of the year and be all, “Oh, right! So that happened!” Here’s a photographic rundown of my 2010:

(aww, picture is gone!)

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Ian and his dad installed a new living room floor.
  • Jamie and I said goodbye to half of our wolfpack.
  • We had a pretty significant snow that stranded Ian and I in the house for a couple of days, which was fine by us.
  • I tried to relax.
  • Jamie and I met back up with the other half of our wolfpack for drinks at Local Taco, our favorite lunch haunt.
  • I discovered Hot Diggity Dog’s veggie dogs.
  • We had a Rutherford County Tweetup at Toot’s in Smyrna.
  • Scott completed the Pawbowsky’s Hot Wing Challenge. They went out of business later in the year.
  • I met and held a baby goat.
  • Ian and I went camping several times.
  • Maddox turned two.
  • Our town flooded, and then rebuilt.
  • We went to the Renaissance Festival.
  • I saw Barenaked Ladies in concert. Four times. (Nashville, Austin, Louisville, Chicago)
  • I turned 31.
  • Ian and I went on a long-ass road trip to Austin and New Orleans.
  • I got my nose pierced by a man named Pineapple.
  • We got way too drunk in New Orleans.
  • Emily and a friend came to Nashville and hung out for a night.
  • I started seeing three crows everywhere.
  • I went to the drag show with a couple old, good friends.
  • Hungover from the drag show night out, Ian and I started watching The X-Files. He created a monster, as I became obsessed and we watched nine years in four months.
  • I finally pulled off I-65 and photographed the windmill farm.
  • My sister and her boyfriend got married.
  • I gave in and bought the iPhone 4.
  • Ian and I took a programming class at Nashville State, which about killed me.
  • I started running.
  • And promptly learned I have the shittiest knees in the universe.
  • My friend published a book of Nashville ghost stories.
  • I helped teach girls about science.
  • Ian and I went to several MTSU football games, but were way more successful at tailgating than making it through entire games.
  • We joined the World Beer Tour at Old Chicago.
  • We attended the Chihuly Nights show at Cheekwood.
  • We threw another wildly successful Halloween party.
  • And went camping some more.
  • I drove out into the country in Bedford County and got barked at by a huge, viscous dog but scored six vintage cameras for only $15.
  • My sisters and brother-in-law came to visit for Thanksgiving.
  • We celebrated Christmas with a crazy White Elephant party with friends. Actually, we had a lot of fun parties and gatherings with friends.
  • Ian and I gave each other a Playstation 3 for Christmas.

That about sums it up. 2010 wasn’t a bad year, really. Fairly drama-free with some good vacations and family gatherings, and plenty of cat-on-couch-lounging time.

I generally don’t like to make resolutions, but if I had to wish to accomplish anything in 2011 I guess I’d like to continue to learn how to find more inner peace (learning to accept that sometimes shit just happens, and worrying about it won’t stop it), get back to eating healthier (at least one green food per day), start working out again, read at least one book every couple of months and learn to limit my drinking so that I am not hungover almost every weekend.

Hopefully that’s not setting the bar too high.