Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Whole Fandamily!!

P.S. - Ruth sent a bunch of pictures and I wanted to include a few here (so marked below).

Crawling out of the last depressing post and skipping into much happier news:

Hayden got baptized March 30th.  Because of Easter, every other ward but his in the stake chose to wait, luckily for those of us who had flight reservations!

His mom's invitation:

Here we are after the event (many of us squinting against the bright sunlight):

The baptism and confirmation were done by Uncle Grant (one of his girls said, just as they were beginning, "Aren't they supposed to put special oil on his head?"/shushed by mom):  "Hayden Cody Rudder, by authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, we confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and say to you:  Receive the Holy Ghost.  Hayden, we also bless you to know how much your family loves you, your parents and step-parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins.  We also bless you that you will be able to continue to grow strong and learn in school and at church, and we bless you that you will be able to have have the strength to choose the right, and also have the strength to change, when you make mistakes as we all do.  We bless you with all these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

(Sound only [of course - we were in the chapel] -
lost some clarity in moving it from my phone to here.)

(Hayden's paternal side came but I don't think they realized the chapel might be involved and slipped off in their casual clothes before we could gather for the picture.)

(Snapped by R.)

(Snapped by R.  Hard to catch a picture of all the children at the church,
in fact only the formal line-up caught them all.)

The paternal side did come to the lunch at BJ's, and Jewel told Hayden to sit by his Dad.  He was beamingly proud to have everyone together.  There were 17 of us at the restaurant.   Drink of choice, all you can eat salad and different kinds of fantastic pizza.

Brings back memories of the last (larger) family reunion when I got so sick the first morning of it I had to go home.  So I appreciate even more, this time, the gift of that first evening and the next two days, as you'll see below!

(The [non]sleeping arrangements, snapped by R.)

Raygen was thrilled and talked constantly before, during and after, about "my girls".  Hayden, as you can see in the group picture, is pretty much GQ.  After Raygen was born, her great grandparents on Johnny's side began an annual Easter hunt at their house, to which they've invited me every year (but I haven't gone down). That event was after the luncheon and a lot of fun there was had by all.

Grant's family was going to visit Larry's at their hotel that evening, but the kids were dirty and too exhausted after baths.  Sunday morning Larry's crew came over for an egg hunt for all the kids in the local park.  The men went ahead to hide the eggs.  At one point, Austin ran up to me, all excited as he hollered, "Grandma!!", to show me all he had gathered in his basket.  It was amusing and sweet.  His sister Aliyah is magical.  I swear she can be standing behind you and you actually feel her presence.  Facing you she will give you an electric smile that almost speaks out loud: "I can see you need some extra love, and here it is!"

(Austin and Johnny, walking home from the egg hunt.)

(Aliyah with Jewel, snapped by R.
If you stare long enough into her eyes,
you might catch a glimpse of her spirit's warmth.)

Three of the cousins at church.

One badly in need (again) of a few catch-up winks.
(Jewel holding back a smile noting
me being a little less than reverent, taking phone pictures.)

(Back at Jewel and Johnny's [Sunday after church], snapped by R.)

The cousins had a blast, lost a lot of sleep in the process, tears of sadness at departure.
The event was a gift of mercy in that in the wee sleeping hours of Saturday morning,
Lucy started major flu symptoms.  At the time we figured it was reacting to the plane ride,
as she was fine the rest of the time.  Lucy's same symptoms picked back up
the day after they left, and later that week Hazel and Ruth succumbed
but no one else has (yet) been visited.

The first these four have been together since early July, 2011.
And the first time ever for all six children to play together.
No first cousins on Hayden's paternal side.
(Nor aunt/uncle children!)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dentists Aren't All They're Cracked Up to Be

... but then, neither are teeth.  !!

These two root canals under the crowned tooth were done poorly (15-ish years ago), per current analysis.  I well remember the day (if not the date).

Prior to this choice we had great family dental insurance, and the choice for the kids and me was Dr. Adamson (not related, but I was his mother's R.S. counselor).  Larry chose to go to another dentist he could barter with (THE worst choice of all we made having to do with family teeth.)  Then the plan changed and we three had to change dentists - went to the one that did the above work.

The last few years I've been back with Dr. Adamson.  He has been watching the above issue and recommended I see an orthodontist as he could see increasing infection and for whatever reason my body was insisting on getting rid of it.  He recommended three.  He doesn't do the fancy work, but he's the best I've ever known of for what he does.  Back when I first went to him he said he chooses not to do root canals, etc., because specialists do a much better job, and it's better for your career to have kids think the family dentist is friendly.

One of the three was a no because back in the day, I'd gone to him for the root canal work preceding a crown and he cracked that tooth which then had to be extracted.  I don't blame him, necessarily, but I have bad memories, him getting me all uncomfortably rigged up in gag mode, a friend of his shows up and he leaves me there alone in the room and I listen to them chit-chat for half an hour!  Plus he didn't mention the problem (may not have know, granted), so I basically paid hundreds of dollars for nothing including no explanation.  That was my first clue I "had" cracked teeth (crazed they call it).  Luckily, if you can call it luck, it was a back molar so I haven't really missed it.

Then when Grant came back from his mission, he got his first cavity of his life, and his Masters gift from me was $2,000 for his dental bill - filling the cracks so they wouldn't continue to decay.  He has had sensitivity ever since.  That dentist thought it resulted from brushing too hard.  So I'm also thinking, since we're related, clue #2, possibly crazing runs in the family.

Of the two remaining recommendations, Dr. Adamson said if it were him he would pick one that was more expensive, worth it because he has the very latest 3D equipment.  Decided I'd pick the "best" this time.   Now I didn't necessarily expect to continue with him after his evaluation, just wanted the best info I could get.  Paid $145 for his opinion that the tooth root was fractured (clue #3).

Had to wait until yesterday to get it pulled, but took an antibiotic to tamp down the increasing infecting.  Purportedly root infection never clears up even with an antibiotic, short of drastic orthodontic procedures.  Dr. Adamson cut the crown off (you can see that below).  He then had to sever the two roots because they were too widely angled (see above) to get out with one pull.

The oval darkness on the right-hand root, about in the middle is decay.  Decay caused by a now unobservable fracture, or the post that was inserted for the crown caused it.

Dr. Adamson said that posts are to be centered where they enter the top of the tooth.  As you can see below (though not quite lined up properly), the hole for the post was drilled off to one side, so that inaccuracy led to the opening the space underneath, and susceptible to decay.  (Yes, I smashed my thumbnail awhile back and yes, it hurt like the dickens.)  He said the 3D specialist could have drilled through the jaw bone, but the surgery would have had a high likelihood of failure, given it's location (not "facing" any possible access).  I guess I'll believe that, instead of the alternative - paying another $145 for an extraction for nothing and no explanation.

So, even with three clues, I'm not so sure I need to worry about future cracking.  But I'm not going to chance it - no bridge for me, which would mean three crowns and the possibility of more extraction/wasted money in the process.  Dr. A. agrees.  I asked about Valplast (flexible), but he showed me one and it certainly isn't what I envisioned "flexible" meant, meaning, it could influence the future loss of the attachment teeth.  He said few people wear them long, due to continuing pain and actual wounds under it.  So that leaves implant.  We'll see.  Supposedly I've already outlived out my actuarial years, based on my blood disease.  It's for sure I don't care about misalignment arising from the empty space.  Overusing other teeth in accommodation to the point of incurring added dental visits, I do care about.

Lesson learned?  1)  Do as Grant is doing - brush his kids teeth if they decline the reminder!  Hopefully not too hard, though probably matters not in that the ingrained training completes pre the second set.  2)  Get those check-ups!  So you can have problems tackled before increased damage is done, which equates to way bigger bucks.  Kinda like a car in that regard.  If you think you can't afford a check-up, you're dooming yourself to even more of what you very likely can't afford later either.  3)  Sometimes life is NOT short and so you don't die before exorbitant dental screw-ups.

Which reminds me.  Dr. A. is of a mind that having dental insurance (these days) is not the way to go, even if provided by your work.  He said dental plans are awful in general, getting worse, and typically don't include the best dentists and, as you can see, if you pick poorly, you're just turning the inevitable screw.