Friday, June 6, 2014


It's a good thing I've had grandpuppy Guinness here all week. There's nothing quite like the feel of a puppy's silky ears, to soothe one when things aren't going well. And this whole apnea dental appliance thingy? It's definitely not going well! It seems I'm turning into every dentist's worst nightmare. It's not that I'm not perfectly cooperative and obedient. It's just that I have, well, issues.

Number one issue, or at least it used to be, is that I am a major gagger. You really don't want to be the poor schmuck who gets stuck trying to take a set of impressions from my teeth.

The newest issue arose when my dentist made a night-guard for me, to keep me from grinding my teeth. The second night I wore it, I woke up with big itchy welts around my midriff, and I could think of no foods I had eaten recently that I hadn't had a million times before. I stopped wearing the appliance until the welts went away, then tried it again. The welts came back.  I quit wearing it altogether and asked the dentist for an info. sheet describing its contents. Turns out it was made from acrylic.

Skipping past a bunch of boring stuff, I found myself in need of treatment for "positional" apnea. Meaning, it only happens when I'm on my back and my lower jaw slides back, blocking my airway and causing me to "snort" myself awake. Sleeping on my side helps the apnea, but is not good for the pinched nerve I got from schlepping too many heavy pots and statues around when I was a merchandiser at a nursery. Like I said, issues. But other than these few tiny things, I'm as healthy as a horse! Which is good, 'cause I really, really hate going to doctors and dentists, and most of all, hospitals!

Anywho, the good news is that apnea is no longer an automatic life-sentence to sleeping with a c-pap machine. There are simple mouth appliances which can help in many cases, and which would solve my teeth grinding as well, which, as it turns out, might well be a symptom of the apnea. What a deal, right?

Sooooo, the first thing I do when I go to meet the special apnea dentist is whip out my info. sheet on the night-guard that gave me problems. "Hmmmm", he says. "The appliance itself is not made from acrylic, but the stuff we use here in the office to do repairs and adjustments is." He decided to test a bit of it on me, leaving a little wad taped to the inside of my arm while he finished my examination.  By the time he removed it, it was beginning to sting, and had left a red spot. At least it wasn't all in my head! He says "No problem. You can still wear the appliance. We'll work something out." Famous last words.

Geez, this is turning into the world's longest post, and I'm feeling the need to rub some silky ears. I guess I'll continue this tale tomorrow.

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