Yesterday the floodgates burst, and try as I might to dam them, they were unstoppable force. Today, if you look closely, swollen eyelids testify.
My breakdown was precipitated by Perfect Storm–
- Discovery of losing an $850 porcelain crown
- A friend hanging up on me because I snapped on the phone
- Being called to love my neighbor when I have reason not to like her
- The animal police arriving to arrest my dog
all occurring within minutes of each other.
My teeth have been sensitive as long as I can remember, but in December I realized I had issues beyond sensitivity:
- the porcelain had chipped off an existing crown last Summer, and the disgusting black metal remainder was beginning to peel away from my #3 tooth (upper right back for the dental neophytes) making it jump-to-the-ceiling sensitive to hot or cold and screaming for attention.
- long-observed fractures in my #18 tooth (bottom back left) became problematic, not only hyper sensitive to hot/cold, but also to pressure.
With my impending two-month departure out of the country, it was time to deal with both. Because we were at the end of one year/beginning a new, and I knew my husband was starting a new job, AND I WAS TRYING TO MAKE SMART (stupid) FINANCIAL CHOICES TO AVOID TWO DEDUCTIBLES IN SEPARATE CALENDAR YEARS, I put off the crowns til mid-January (though we started the process before Christmas).
Skipping over a few details, I've been to my sadist perfectionist dentist four times in the past month. She's a conservative perfectionist, and we moved slowly to make sure I didn't need root canals in either tooth.
Yesterday was supposed to be Glory Hallelujah Day–my last visit–because along with my ish-shahs, I've had chair arm-gripping and whimpering-like-a-puppy pain, even with both sides of my mouth numbed til I slobbered silly. No exaggeration. Maybe.
B u t, over the weekend (pay attention 'cause this part's confusing) my real porcelain crown–temporarily cemented while we waited a wee bit longer to make sure I wasn't going to require a root canal–fell off. I decided to buy peace of mind by scheduling an endodontist evaluation for both teeth on Monday; there was enough lingering doubt to justify the expense. My regular dentist (whom I adore) is limited in her testing.
So I slipped my Real Porcelain Crown into an inflated Zip-loc bag, trotted off for McDreamy to look at both teeth, and was happily sent away with good news: NO root canal.
Yesterday, on my way to see my dentist to permanently seat BOTH crowns (the other one was due back from the lab), I checked to make sure my Real Porcelain Crown was in the car.
I checked in my purse.
Not there either.
I came back in the house, concern starting to rise, and looked everywhere I would possibly put it–no fake tooth to be found!
The flood was beginning to rise in my throat….
It was right at this time when my friend called; the one I was supposed to let know we had to cancel a meeting to sign legal documents regarding our move. I had forgotten to call him, and he began by giving me a hard time about not responding to his multiple, earlier texts or messages, unbeknownst to him, unseen by me because my phone was a) in the car, and b) dead.
Defensive, I started crazy-talking, shrilling about my $850 lost crown and THIS WAS NOT THE TIME TO GIVE ME A HARD TIME AND….
I looked down at my phone because he wasn't responding, only to discover there was no one on the line and I'm thinking HE HUNG UP ON ME?!?!
But by now late for my dental appointment, I called the office to explain what was going on and begged them to phone the endodontist to see if by chance they had found a crown tucked in a baggie on their waiting room floor.
Frantic and with tears falling, I went back to my car and started looking from the passenger side, positive it had been on the seat the day before. It was then I noticed an idling vehicle parked in my driveway, the view partially obscured from a closed garage door. At first I thought it was the friend who had hung up on me, but then I could see writing on the side of the door, and figured it must be a technician here to read a meter or something.
Not finding the tooth and going back into the house, I was in full blown panic.
I was furious (I had lost the crown), upset (over the expense of replacing it), frustrated (I hadn't just gotten it permanently cemented on the previous visit), and concerned (there wasn't time for the lab to make a new one BEFORE I LEAVE THE COUNTRY).
Let me stop here to say I am not typically emotional, I rarely cry, and I've often wondered if that was the Number One reason my husband chose me 24 years ago and keeps me around today. I'm easy. Complicated, yes, but not high maintenance. Not to say if you cry you're high maintenance, but he'll tell you he appreciates this in me.
So I'm spinning in circles in the middle of my kitchen mentally retracing my footsteps. The Recycling Center. Office Depot. Verizon. I was in and out of my car a half dozen times following my endodontist appointment and it must have fallen out of my purse or car seat sometime throughout the day.
It was a lost cause. An expensive lost cause.
The Dog Police
I was weepily coming to terms with this when I heard a knock at my front door. I couldn't very well ignore it; whoever was in my driveway had to have heard me rustling through my car minutes earlier. I composed myself and opened the front door.
But eyeing the badge on his right hip sent me into a banshee's tailspin again. The poor man, stunned, said, "Ma'am, do you need a few minutes?" to which I wailed, "NO! PLEASE JUST TELL ME WHY YOU'RE HERE!" and I almost felt sorry for the guy 'cause by now I'm a hot mess, but I still don't know who he is or what he wants.
"I'm sorry to inform you we've received complaints about your dog and I'm here to issue a warning…."
I'm snubbing and snotting and can barely speak, and this guy…this guy doesn't know what to do, but no, OH NO, if he's here to do a job, who am I to stop him just because I'm having a Vesuvian eruption?
He can't tell me who issued the complaints, but we know who it is.
And it's solely because of her that we're having to find a new home for the puppy we've had nine years… :(.
In between snubs I ask the man to please tell the complainant I have actively been looking for a new home for the past month (since being made aware of Judie's wrath), and I'll take care of it. He gently offers, "Ma'am, I can help you with that," to which I squall, "BY 'HELP ME WITH THAT' DO YOU MEAN 'KILL' HER??!" and he assures me that's not what he means. He knows people who would take her and love her.
Remarkably, I have the presence of mind to take his name and number rather then surrendering my dog without talking this through with my husband.
I walk upstairs to my bathroom and had to laugh at my reflection–mascara is not only streaked down both cheeks, it's smeared across my forehead and all I can think is HOW DID IT GET THERE? My eyes are bloody and swollen, my nose looks like a drunk's and my lips are puffy. Lovely.
And I still have to go to the dentist to have my bottom crown cemented.
The whole way there I'm losing the Maintaining Composure battle, but I only think I'm under control; when I walk through the door and see Gwen, her sympathetic eyes unleash the dam once again and I manage to stammer "I…can't…stop…crying…." and I'll be darned if the entire office staff doesn't rally around me and hand me tissues and motion to "where I need to wipe" and hug me and not seem to notice or care I'm 40 minutes late with bats in the cave.
Bonus: Michael Jackson's greatest hits were playing.
One permanently-cemented crown, the lab rushing the other by Friday, finding out it was a DROPPED CALL not a hang-up from my friend, Carrabba's Shrimp & Scallop Spiedino Di Mare and dinner with friends later, at least the tears stopped.
And, yes, I know, it could have been much worse–we aren't talking life and death or natural disaster, and an amazing adventure is just around the corner (though sometimes it will masqurade as great challenge)–but for just a few hours the Robin I know was unrecognizable and out of control.
And that's what happened exactly one week before I leave for Germany.
: : : : : : : : : : : :
If you've ever had a terrible, awful, very bad day, feel free to vent in comments.
And, if you're in Chattanooga and want a wonderful dentist referral, email me; I still have nothing but mad love for mine!