Friday, December 5, 2008

Numb Tongue and a Kindergarten Program

Seven weeks ago I went to the dentist to put a cap on one of my lower back teeth. Later when the numbing should have worn off, it didn't on large sections of my tougue on the left side. Apparently I have nerve damage, which may or may not heal by itself. Life has changed for me now. I don't taste well. Foods I once enjoyed, like popcorn, give the same experience as eating packing peanuts with a little dirt thrown in. Salad, my absolute favorite food has lost its appeal, actually seeming to grate in my mouth. My tongue is often tattered because I can't feel when it's going between my teeth. And when that happens, there's a little section that has enough feeling to cause pain. It's hard to talk for any long periods of time because my throat and mouth feel dry all the time. It's almost like having a sore throat on one side.

Will I regain feeling? I don't know. Some days I think I can't possible go on this way, but then I realize that the trials some people endure make mine seem almost nonexistant. I try to remember that and not complain. Some tiny bit of feeling has seemed to have returned to the tip of my tongue, which means I can taste chocolate. Not like before, but enough that it's enjoyable to some extent. If the feeling does return, this will make an interesting experience to write about one day, but not now. Now I'm still too upset and frustrated about it. Some days are worse than others of course. Today is a good day.

You see, I went to see my kindergartener in her school program. She was adorable, and I felt grateful she is able to attend a school that teaches the real meaning of Christmas and the importance of our Savior in her life. That made today very nice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Little Louie

My ex-sister-in-law's youngest child drowned in Arizona yesterday. He went outside and fell into the backyard pool while his father was sleeping. Somehow the gate had been left open. I've been stunned since I heard last night. His seven siblings (my nieces and nephews--two of whom used to live with me) are devastated. And his parents, of course. My poor sister (I still think of her as my sister), and the child's father--it's something he'll have to live with forever. Yesterday in church I gave a lesson on finding consolation and hope after the death of a loved one. How ironic. We all understand that Louie is in the arms of his Father in Heaven right now, and I know the family will come through this in faith, but it's not going to be easy. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Seven Random Things

I was challenged by Rachelle (see third comment to previous post) to post seven random unknown facts about myself. So here goes.

1) I love watching Stargate SGI.

2) I have always wanted to wear hats, but I look so odd in them that I don't. But I still plan to find the right hat. Because I'm an author, I am allowed weirdness.

3) It may sound cranky and bah-humbugish, but one of my pet peeves is when parents make their children record cutsey (and often unintelligible) messages on their answering machines. There has only been one message by a child that I didn't roll my eyes at and wait impatiently as it finished. This was recorded by my friend Anita Stansfield's son John, who was a teenager at the time. It said something like this: "Mom's in some country nobody can prounce and the rest of us are too lazy to pick up the phone. Leave a message." Since Anita is a writer and she was working on a book set in a foreign country, I thought this was appropriate. It was also short. James Loveland, a man I admire once said, "Be bold, be brilliant, be brief" and I believe in this wholeheartely, especially when it comes to telephone messages.

4) I love the smell of the rain on the pavement.

5) Sometimes in the next few years I plan to buy a tiny house or apartment in Portugal and live there part of every year. After my children grow up, I plan to stay there all winter. Goodbye snow!

6) I personally mop my kitchen floor ONLY when my mother-in-law comes to visit. Unfortunately for my floor she lives in Europe (Portugal). For now my floor is in the hands of my sixteen-year-old daughter whose bedroom is usually so messy you can't find the carpet.

7) My favorite sleeping position in on my left side, but I try to sleep on my right to even out the sleep wrinkles on my face. (You probably only understand this if you are over thirty.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Goodbye Contacts!

Ever since middle school I've worn glasses or contacts, but last week I had lasik eye surgery. I didn't take the decision lightly. I'd considered it for years, but always the idea of someone cutting into my eyes, my most precious body parts, was too much for me to accept. (And the expense was challenging, too.) So I decided I was fine wearing contacts. Then one day a year or so ago, my eyes, quite on their own, decided they hated contacts and were through wearing them. By six each evening, my eyes felt like I had been groveling in sand all day. So I began wearing contacts only when I went out, using my backup glasses at home. I even got a new trendy pair and some prescription sunglasses as well. But the glasses gave me constant headaches, and I hated them. At the same time I was starting to lose my close vision, so I'd have to take off my glasses to read. I was miserable.

I did research about Lasik and discovered that two of my friends had gone to Hoopes Vision. Hoopes seemed to have a great reputation, so last October I went in for a consultation. I particularly wanted to learn more about monovision, which is essentially correcting one eye a little less than the other so it can still read while the other can see farther away. I knew this was my best option. I was a perfect candidate for Lasik.

I had to wait until January for our cafeteria plan to be back in action, and it was a long wait. Now that I'd decided to go for it, I just wanted it over! But December found me sick with whooping cough, and when the surgery date rolled around, I was considering putting it off, since I still wasn't a hundred percent well. I also had stye starting in my left eye! After some discussion with my doctor and my husband, I realized that I was searching for a way to put off surgery because I was so mind-boggling scared. Besides, I wouldn't likely be much better two weeks from then anyway (the way my luck has been going of late). Plus, they'd never had anyone lose their sight from Lasik. So what was I waiting for? It was now or never.

The surgery was easy, really. Not scary at all. No shots or knives, but a flap created by a laser, and then another laser to finish off the process. One surprise is that I hadn't been prepared to be almost completely blind the first day—I saw nothing but fog. But even seeing that much calmed my fear of being blind! The recovery period was longer than I'd expected, though there was never any pain. I just felt like there was sand in my eyes, and I was used to that with my contacts! I had to use more eye drops than expected as well (I'm still putting them in every hour), and my left eye had a red pressure mark (still has a bit after a week), but that is all only temporary. A very small price to pay for vision.

It's been a week. Not only am I feeling better than I have in months, I can read, drive, write on my computer, and do everything without glasses or contacts. Sometimes I forget and think I have to take out or put in my contacts, and then I laugh as I realize I'm free from all that. At least for now! Perhaps forever. My one regret: that I didn't get the surgery earlier.