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I am an good elf

I’m an good elf

So D-day (as in ‘D’ for Decision) came yesterday with the meeting with a dental surgeon about my aggressive periodontitis.

Strangely enough, my biggest fear the day before was finding the place. I’m not a fan of city driving, having done so little of it for almost eight years. I hate driving to places when I don’t know where I am going and I’d had many people warning me of the difficulty of parking.

Google maps told me it was 42 minutes drive and my appointment was at 10.45am. I got into the city centre at 10am and after finding the clinic, drove around for 10 minutes, which felt like hours, trying to find a parking space. In the end I pulled into the car park of a nearby church, to gather myself. A quick plea and a prayer and someone tapped on my window saying they were just going and that I could take their place!

As I walked towards the clinic, I saw a sign for their car park! I decided to go and have a look, so I will be better prepared if I go back for the operation. This, I discovered, is quite a large clinic and as I walked through the car park I discovered I had rather conveniently arrived at the right door for the department I needed.

As is often the case at such appointments, I spoke in French while the surgeon spoke in English, both at equal level. I handed over the letter from my dentist, recommending the removal of six teeth.

He explained that removing the bottom two was necessary. However, he recommended against removing just the four wobbly ones from the top and leaving three behind.

He said that in doing so would mean any dentures would need to hold on to the already precarious teeth, making it likely that they too would fall out in about six months. This would mean potential further extraction and individual teeth added to the plate, which would no longer fit so well.

He added that by removing all remaining seven upper teeth in one go, he would be able to do some reconstructive work on the bone to make for a better denture fitting and preventing problems in the longer term.

This all made perfect sense to me and was something I suggested to my dentist, but she disregarded it as being ‘drastic’. He has suggested I ‘get her blessing’ before he remove the nine at the beginning of next month, in case of repercussions when it comes to her getting the dentures made, but the idea that he will be able to do some reconstruction and prevent the need for further extractions within the year made me feel much happier.

Cost was also going to be a major factor for me and when he said it would be too traumatic to be done under local anaesthetic, meaning an overnight hospital stay may be necessary, I was understandably concerned. In my head, I was thinking: “this could run into thousands”… he told me it would cost, all in, 150€.

He explained that for a week to ten days after the op, I would have a lot of pain, so to keep cold compresses on both cheeks as much as possible. He also said no smoking, not least because it will be incredibly painful to do so. I welcome this as extra motivation, having cut down to five a day over recent months. And, obviously, anything not pureed or liquid would be off the menu for that period too.

After a few of the regular questions about my current medical situation, he said to me he was happy to carry out the operation, adding: “You are an good elf.”

It was an odd thing to say, admittedly, but I have got used to there being some French phrases that don’t translate into English phrases. But just as I was deciding whether to correct his grammar and tell him it’s ‘a’, not ‘an’, I realised, what he was really saying was: “You are in good health!”


Within half an hour of getting back from that appointment, I had to set off 40 minutes in the opposite direction, to take the pup to have her stitches out after being spayed last week.

She had her first check-up two days after her op and we discovered she had managed to find a way to scratch the wound, so for the last six days she has not only been wearing the lampshade, but has also adorned a t-shirt.

Unfortunately, she hasn’t healed sufficiently to have all the stitches removed, so we are back there again next week. In the meantime, she seems to have worked out how to take her t-shirt off, while keeping the lampshade on, which she has done twice now.

So with DS4 having laryngitis again, DD7 having spent the morning being sick, me with my mouth and the dog with her stitches, the kitchen resembles a pharmacy. DD6 is quite happy though, she has got the day off as well because it just seemed crazy to get two poorly kids up and dressed so that I could take her to school, while one coughed and spluttered and the other vomited in the car!


A. Mommyness

(Mum's the word cover picture was drawn by one of my children)

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