I would really like to be in Seattle right now. From now until mid-October sounds about right; that means I would miss tornado season here. Tornados, strong thunderstorms, hail--it all sends me, shaking and swigging whatever alcohol is in the house, into my safe closet for hours, usually a couple times a week. I hate heavy weather. Call it a remnant of my days in Kansas, including living through the infamous Wichita/Haysville/Andover tornado of 1991.
Failing that, I would like to be up in the Blue River or over in the Comal for the next few days, not going back to work.
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An email arrived today from a woman who had a palatectomy on Friday.
This is comparable to a dodo sighting. In four years, with God only knows how many hits to this blog for "palatectomy," "obturator," and "palate cancer," I have only heard from one other person who'd had a palatectomy before now, and she was introduced to me by my uncle. Given how quickly oral cancer is becoming The Latest Thing, you'd think I'd have a coterie of fellow bionic-mouth wearers, but I don't. It seems that most oral CA people get nasty stuff at the base of their collective tongues, or on their tonsils, not in their minor salivary glands.
The emailer asked how long it would be before the hole closed up.
Honey, I said, that hole is never gonna close up. That's gonna be with you for life. How did nobody tell her that before? WTF?
Which took me back to the months after surgery, when my obturator was equal parts problem and blessing. I searched all over the Innerwebs for palatal reconstruction, eventually finding somebody in Alberta? Saskatchewan? Someplace in Canada, who would do palatal reconstruction in adults, with only poor-to-fair results.
It took a good three months before I accepted that I would indeed be wearing this Thing in my mouth until the day I keeled over. After that period of adjustment, I started experimenting. I discovered that having a removable mouth was actually superior, in many ways, to stock equipment.
For instance: I rarely have to pop my ears on an airplane, and almost never have pressure and pain with a sinus infection. (Of course, I can't wear my obturator when my sinuses are really inflamed, but you take what you can get. At least I can sleep without sitting up.) I am proof against pizza burns, Dorito stabs, and all but the most aggressive Cap'n Crunch bits. I have something cool to show the medical students and nurse interns, and I have won several bets on how much I can fit in my mouth at once. (The trick is breathing carefully, so as not to send stuff down your airway.) Nothing but poppyseed muffins cause me any trouble any more, and I never liked poppyseed muffins anyhow, so no great loss.
It's weird, how a simple email from a person can bring it all back. It's like I haven't come all that far after all. Then I remember: I saw Maricel, the tech at The Prosthodontic Elf's office, wax like the moon during her first pregnancy. The second pregnancy, I only knew about during the eighth month. I've missed the third one altogether. So that's something.
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Mongo comes home tomorrow. I have to bail him out first thing. I will be setting my alarm. I've had trouble sleeping without him curled up on my feet, or in the small of my back. The cats have been strangely needy this week; I think they miss him, though they'd never admit it. A seventy-pound dog leaves a huge hole when he's not where he's supposed to be.
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Can we please stop pillorying people for shit they tweeted five years ago? Tweets I would've made five years ago would've had me strung up by six or eight groups of people with whom I now identify. Jeez, people: personal growth. Look it up. It's a thing.