Sunday, September 14, 2008

Open Wide

This is just a short blog (well, not really that short) about some minor oral surgery I experienced yesterday in David. Through the Chiriqui Chatter blog & recommendations from my neighbors, I found Dr. Miriam A. Rodriguez Gonzalez. I went there last week and got my teeth cleaned for a mere $30. It's a very nice/clean office, so I decided to ask about the receding gums on my lower front teeth. After talking to Dr. Miriam (who could speak a little English), I decided to get minor surgery on my lower gum. I was somewhat nervous (I mean, who wants gum surgery...even in paradise?) as the Dr.'s assistant welcomed me into the "relax" chair. She pointed to the nearby TV screen where a very handsome (and topless) Latin man was teaching Yoga. She asked if I liked him, to which I laughingly responded, "Si, mucho gusto." The music on the Spanish Yoga DVD was good at least... very New Age. Dr. Miriam came in & immediately put numbing ointment on the inside of my lower lip. A few minutes later, she gave me several TOTALLY PAINLESS Novocaine shots to my lower gum. I don't know about you, but the most painful Novocaine shots I have received in the past have been to the front of my mouth. Never in all my dental experiences have I experienced such a painless shot. For the next 2 hours, Dr. Miriam worked very hard bleaching (with light) the discolored portion of my lower teeth, pulling back the lower gum, scrapping the tooth, "harvesting" other gum material to graft onto my lower teeth, and grafting it on (stitching it in place). I was never uncomfortable during the whole procedure. I'll see Dr. Miriam again next Friday for a follow-up visit. She gave me detailed instructions so I will heal properly & not require a second grafting procedure. The hardest part for me is No Physical Exercise for 2 weeks! I'm not a very good patient. Instead of walking hours each day on the beach, I'm wearing my weight vest around the condo, hanging out by my computer, and watching videos while holding ice to my chin. I just hope I can talk OK when I give my "How To Stay Healthy Through Good Nutrition" talk (where I'll give information about Juice Plus to the Boquete expat community).

I'm also getting ready for my next trip - almost 5 weeks in the States. I'll leave here September 28 & spend 4 nights at Caribbean Jimmy's Dive Resort (tuning up my SCUBA skills & hanging out in the warm Caribbean water), fly to Fairbanks on October 2 (arriving at my friend Patrice's house October 3), fly to Sacramento on October 7 for the River Management Society annual board meeting (since I'll be the National Secretary for the next 3 years), fly to Portland October 13 to visit my mother in Winlock WA, drive to Yosemite October 26 to attend the Yosemite employee reunion from Oct. 27-Oct. 30 (I worked there from 1976-1980), drive back to Winlock October 30, and stay with Mom until November 6 when I fly back to Panama. Richard & Nina (from Alaska) will fly into Panama 1 day after I return, and we'll be together for the next month hiking, kayaking & exploring. I won't return to the States again until March, 2007 when I attend the Juice Plus Conference in Long Beach, CA. One last thing before I close... I just purchased a Skype phone #: 1-360-262-6016. That means you can call me from your cell or land-line phones (especially handy for my mother) any time you feel the urge. Have a wonderful Sunday!

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Elana,
I found your blog through Don Ray's Chiriqui Chatter. Great job. My husband and I will be retiring next June and headed to Dolega, Panama to live. My husband wants to be near the rivers. Have you explored any fresh water fishing spots, yet?
My son works in Yosemite as an interpretive guide. He just completed his degree in PArks and Recreation Management. He loves it.
I'm soon to be a retired teacher.
Looking forward to reading your blogs.
Debbie