I Am Going to Kill My Body

It’s been four weeks since my cardiovascular system mutinied. I feel perfectly fine. I plan on going for a long-ish ride tomorrow. I plan on not dying.

My body has recently decided that it’s not through screwing with me. I was up half the night with a pain in my foot. It’s the return of my Morton’s neuroma. (It’s an inflamed nerve that runs several inches between and behind my “ring” and middle toes. It felt like someone was sticking a knife in my foot.

The nerve finally calmed down after a couple of hours. I swear I could hear snickering coming from my foot.

Today I went to the dentist for my semi-annual exercise in mindfulness. I HATE going to the dentist. I get all tense expecting intense pain while my teeth are being cleaned. This is not without reason. I have had some pretty unpleasant dental visits including the time the endodontist prepared to close off the hole in my front tooth from which he had removed my root. The problem was that he removed only half the root. There was still a live nerve in the hole. I literally jumped out of the seat. He said, “That wasn’t supposed to happen.” I kicked him in the balls and said “Neither was that!”

Okay I lied about the kick in the balls. But the pain went straight up my nose into my brain. It was an Olivier/Hoffman Marathon Man moment. (Ironically, I ran marathons at the time.)

The blood thinner has caused my gums to get all inflamed in the past week. I tried a home remedy that seemed to calm things down. I just put mouthwash in my mouth and hold it along my gum line. It stings but the gums waved a white flag.

The cleaning today went much better than expected. Occasionally during the cleaning something would hurt. My hands tensed up waiting for that jump-out-of-the-chair moment. So, and here’s the mindfulness part, I focused on the fact that the pain was insignificant. I consciously relaxed my hands which relaxed my arms and my shoulders. And reminded myself that I am just anticipating pain that will probably not arise. And every time I found my hands clenching, I’d just repeat the routine.

It sounds pretty weird but it worked.

So my body tried to get me again but my brain triumphed. Until the dentist came in and said words I hadn’t heard in ten years: “You have a cavity.”

I go to the dermatologist next week. Do you think maybe I should reschedule?


The $800 Drink of Water

Monday dawned with more awesome fall weather, which is great considering we are still in the first week of August. My long ride yesterday resulted in some significant log sawing last night. As a result, I overslept by a good 20 minutes.

Out of the house late I board The Mule for a surprisingly spirited ride to work. I say surprisingly because I had a head wind and lots of hilly miles in my legs from yesterday. I passed the Hoppy Runner and Nancy “One Bag” “Crash Wave” “Bridge Troll” Duley en route.

I called the dentist about the veneer crown I lost yesterday. Not only would he see me today, but he moved my September cleaning appointment up. I left the office at noon for the unusual ride to the west end of Alexandria which might as well put up banners that say, “Welcome to Traffic Hell”.

I headed uphill out of Rosslyn into Arlington. Garbage trucks and city buses made for a less than enjoyable ride so I bailed from Wilson Boulevard and meandered through the side streets. I used to live near Ballston so I am pretty familiar with the streets. I was taken aback by all the new apartments in the Buckingham neighborhood near my old apartment. I hooked up with the Washington and Old Dominion trail and headed east on a slight downhill.

Near Shirlington I left the cozy confines of the W&OD (NOT the WO&D) and headed toward my date with traffic. This being a summer day, the traffic was light and I survived the mayhem long enough to find the Taylor Run Trail which took me within a few blocks of the dentist’s office.

The good news is my teeth are now clean. The bad news is that the old veneer crown cannot be re-used. A new one is going to set me back a cool $800. They offered to put a veneer on another tooth to even out my smile. Big of them, no?

After the appointment I headed for home via the not so magnificent Eisenhower Valley. I arrived home in time to do a little more work and contemplate how a sip of water is going to cost me $800. It’s what you would call a big, big thirst.