Friday, 27 April 2007

Time Decay

I've got a painful tooth today. ‘Sensitive’ I think they call it in the adverts. When I ran my tongue across it this morning it sent sharp, painful frissons along the surface. I'm getting to the tipping-point now, when illness and affliction become a daily constant rather than a periodical inconvenience. It’s a land inhabited by older people. When you ask the elderly how they are there is usually a list. And if you're not careful they'll go into detail. “Oh really?” I say, my mind deciding instead to freewheel down another avenue.

Personally I have become used not to talking about illness. Having lived with serious illness in someone close to me over the last few years it has frequently been the last thing I wanted to do. Sometimes though, I really did want to and couldn't. I suppose that's what separates the serious from the mundane. If you end up talking about it, its usually something minor. Have you noticed how nobody ever asks you how you are when it actually matters? The worse the illness the less likely people are to want to know. But when it comes to minor ailments like a sneeze, the world rushes to offer you their blessing.

My teeth, anyway. I suppose they are serving me right. I haven't always looked after them as well as I could. I haven’t visited the dentist often and when I have it has usually led to wrenching and uprooting and filling and injecting. My wife complains about my ‘gappy’ teeth. But actually the most obvious of those gaps - the one at the front - has gradually closed over the years. I still have a milk tooth too, which has done very well to keep going. I don't think it does much, crenellated between its younger siblings either side. But I appreciate it hanging around. It’s another symptom of my lack of oral conscientiousness and the result of a missed appointment when I was sixteen and didn’t care. It’s ok though, since I don’t smile much. Or perhaps that’s why I don’t smile much. In the future I'm expecting a lot more rebellion in various body parts, particularly from my teeth. But in the meantime I'll try to enjoy all my faculties, as my daughter does, unquestioningly. She didn't notice that illness surrounded her in her early years and continues to smile and a sing determinedly.

I'm looking particularly healthy at the moment in fact, due to a tan acquired in the normal course of life-not-in-an-office, something which I am pleased to report office-bound types find extremely galling.

16 comments:

The Grocer said...

Kids are so resilient, they have bouncebackability in abundance.

Stay at home dad said...

Yes and what's more it's transferable...

Beta Mum said...

My Dad's just spent megabucks on all sorts of expensive work on his teeth. He reckons they'll see him out now though.
I recently declined one of those annual insurance thingies you can take out with the dental surgery when you're pronounced dentally fit, then proceeded to need three fillings replaced within six months.
Still, the kids' teeth are AOK.

Stay at home dad said...

I foresee megabucks. Strangely, the dentists, when I see them, usually say I've got 'strong' teeth. It's all relative I guess...

Jan said...

Sympathy re your teeth! Grr!

Stay at home dad said...

Thank you. It's not hurting today... Grr?!

The Secretary said...

I have a wisdom tooth coming through on each side at the bottom - at 41, I mean really! So big sympathy as it rather hurts. 16 year old just had his braces removed and now has particularly fabulous teeth I must say. 12 year old needs braces but can't be bothered with the whole teeth brushing thing (still has no fillings yet) so I can't see them letting him have a brace yet. Personally, I want them to give hima small filling with no anathestic and then he'd brush he teeth properly!

mutterings and meanderings said...

I have a sore tooth I am ignoring and have been for some weeks.

Oh, and congratulations - your is the first blog I have read that uses my very favourite word (clue: I have a degree in history)

Stay at home dad said...

Get it seen to! Would that be crenellation?

My favourie word is crepuscular...

rilly super said...

didn't you used to have to get a 'licence to crenellate', a sort of medieavel planning permission. I know this has nothing to do with teeth but I hope you get your's sorted out stayathomedad. Just the very thought of a toothache and I come over all Dustin Hoffman in marathon man.

Stay at home dad said...

Ooh yes Rilly. Still, rather that than appearing on chat shows. Mine's ok now thanks, unless I drink something cold, which is tempting around 6pm.

Crenellation licences: http://www.castles-of-britain.com/castlese.htm


Secretary, sorry to hear it and hope they are not impacted. Still, I enjoyed the time off work when I had mine out!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Indeed! Well spotted!

debio said...

My daughter has a painful tooth (on chewing only) and I haven't taken her to the dentist a) because I hate the dentist and b) because I hate the dentist who offers to take me for a coffee before looking at my teeth.
Gives a whole new meaning to the next instruction, 'open wide'.
Sorry just too vulgar at this time of the day....

Stay at home dad said...

It was never like that on the NHS! (Actually it probably was...)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Slightly off message, but my favourite word is discombobulated.

Stay at home dad said...

Off message is fine by me... Yes that's a good one. Stephen Fry's is plinth, as I remember.