01 April 2009



Teeth at Flickr.comI inherited my Oma's strong teeth: when she died at age 91, she still had most of her natural teeth, despite having lived through two world wars, the Berlin Blockade, and a career as a restauranteur. While I had lots of orthodontics when I was a kid, and had to have all four widsom teeth removed in 1990, I have never had even a single cavity.

Until now. When I went to see my dentist this afternoon for a routine cleaning, a bit of sensitivity and an X-ray showed a tiny amount of decay on the front surface of the last molar on the top left side of my mouth. I'll set up an appointment to have a filling next week.

Since my teeth have put up with almost 40 years of abuse so far, I can't really complain. Especially considering how minor a cavity is compared to the other shit I'm dealing with these days. A few years ago I would have been pretty disappointed by tooth decay; now it's almost laughable.

In fact, there's a good chance the only reason I have this cavity is because the chemotherapy and other cancer treatments I've had over the past couple of years are pretty hard on my immune system and the rest of my body, teeth included. My dentist said my gums are actually in surprisingly good shape, considering. My Oma-teeth are still holding in pretty strong.

Not only that, but after all the surgery and stuff I've experienced recently, and all the heavy-duty painkillers and other drugs I've had to take, a bit of dental work is about as threatening as a mosquito bite. I'll drop in for 45 minutes, have my jaw frozen, listen to my iPod, and head home. From my current perspective, it's a piece of cake.

Labels: , , , ,


You know, this is why I read your site everyday, and have even steered my wife who is a oncology nurse to your site.

you have a perspective that I wish most would have not only PT's.. but everyone..

Here's hoping the filling goes without a hitch..

And everything else of course too!
Ah, good job preserving your teeth like that! I can't go through a metal detector at the airport without an alarm going off, that's how many cavities I have collected over the years.

All the best,

Chemotherapy and abdominal surgery really gave me a new perspective on pain. Somedays I wonder that anything ever hurts physically, but the emotional pain never seems to go away completely.
My wife is also an oncology nurse, and her expertise helped one of our closest friends deal with treatment after her breast cancer diagnosis last year. I've been witness to the process for a long time now, and I'm more encouraged at the successful outcomes I've seen than discouraged by the less successful ones. You have a great perspective on everything, and I love your music on Windows Weekly. If I ever launch a podcast of my own, I'll see if I can afford to tap into your enormous talent.
Just use one of my many free tunes that are already available.