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  • Writer's pictureFred

Dental Implants at last!

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

Back when I was in primary school in South Africa at a boarding school called Lord Milner in the region we called the Far Northern Transvaal, I started playing rugby at a very competitive level from the age of about 10.

This was to mangle my teeth somewhat as I progressed in age and through the rugby playing ranks.

A few years later we moved to Australia for a short stint and then back to England and then my beloved Liverpool.

I was by then playing all sports I possibly could in Quarry Bank Comprehensive and later in Wales for Syr Thomas Jones Comprehensive on the island of Anglesey in North Wales.

Hockey, Rugby, Soccer, Cricket and boxing with some Judo and Shotokan karate were what made my boat float back then.

I also played Basketball, table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis as well as being in the swim team for whatever school or college I was in.

I also ran cross country marathons and was in the school athletics team but I only really did well at proper marathon running and triple jump for some reason.

In 1981 I fell out with my father and step mother while living in North Wales and went back to South Africa to live with my mother for a short while and I played rugby and soccer in Pretoria for various clubs there once I sorted out my shit.

We even toured the Solomon Islands and Fiji which is where my boxing and Judo skills came in handy because in them parts of the world this is evidently part of the game of Rugby.

By the time we had finished that first Pacific Island Rugby tour I was a pretty experienced street fighter and I had the scars and mouth damages with big grins to prove it!

I had an awesome time playing club rugby and was on the verge of breaking in to provincial rugby when a motorcycle accident did me injuries that would impede such glory and I just focused on club rugby and soccer with table tennis in a semi serious manner after that.

I was still good enough for club level rugby and soccer though and I switched my soccer position from goal keeper to right back and did surprisingly well with that while doing some serious body building down at the gymnasium with Lourenco Brazil for a few years.

The body building started to overcome my left knee injury and I got pretty good at Rugby again playing at lock (5) but by now I had made a career in Electronics and Telecommunications and had branched from chip design into computer systems and found I was a rather good computer systems engineer.

I managed to get the attention of Robert Madge who owned Madge networks while playing Network Engineer and soon found myself back in the U.K living in High Wycombe where Madge had their main HQ building and I started playing rugby for Beaconsfield Rugby Club once established in High Wycombe with Mathew Chicken and his brothers.

My various Solomon Islands and Fiji tours however had also delivered some damages to my teeth and jawline and I promised myself I would take the time to fix it one day when I had the chance.

In 1998 I came to the USA to do Y2K work in IT for a few companies and made a career for myself but the USA is a strange place for Dental Insurance and was not like other countries I had lived in from the Dental insurance angle at all.

A few of my Rugby playing colleagues in South Africa were in fact dentists and they all offered to fix my teeth while I was living there but I never got around to it.

I was fully intending to do it in the USA but the sticker shock of implants here saw me saving towards doing it in Hungary in one big operation session one day (eventually) but I also never got around to doing that either.

Finally, at the end of 2017 I booked a 3D scan and was all set to go for it when the company I was working for laid off some 165 engineers after their VIP dollar from Cisco dried up.

I had mentioned to them that paying for engineering talent this way was rather stupid....

I was the very first one they whacked and I had to put the Dental thing on further hold while the job situation sorted itself.

I worked for a few startups that did not work out well before I joined a big Tech company and then ended up working for another one when I found the products at the first one were lacking gravitas in the HCI world and went to work for the only one that is serious about HCI.

I was also having some interesting dental issues and it became clear I would need to have some implants to fix the damages done by the Rugby and boxing folly of my youth.

A few weeks ago my new dentist suggested strongly I act sooner rather than later and I had the 3D scan again and we scheduled me for some implant surgery shenanigans.

We are starting with two on the lower jaw to see if I take to implants.

If they work I will have most of my lower jaw fitted with them and probably most of the upper one as well.

They are still expensive here in the USA but implant costs have come down dramatically in the last five years.

I might still go to that place in Budapest I know from some colleagues that went there to have the rest of it done as they are a lot more affordable and they put you up in a 4 star hotel while you recover et al, luxury style.

I am gauging the pain level from these two before going that route and right now as I typed this I was hurting like a mutha.....

The procedure itself was not as bad as I thought it would be and I was awake the whole time.

It was nowhere near as painful as that Jewish Dentist in the South African Military who tried taking out my one Wisdom tooth back in 1982.

He almost broke my jaw before getting it out seven hours after he started.

I ended up having all the remaining wisdom teeth removed under surgery in Israel as they had egregious barbs in them did them things and these were not the teeth you could have removed in a chair per our regular family dentist!

Israeli Army (IDF) dentists were much better than their South African (SADF) counterparts!

The trauma from that one wisdom tooth saga is probably what made me dentist shy however!

I have the image of that dentist, both hands on his dental pliers and both feet anchored to the side of my dental chair firmly imprinted on my sole surviving synapse for all of eternity by the way!

It took me nearly three months to stop hurting after that dentist clown shit!

This current dentist thankfully knows what he is doing and he ended up placing two 6mm implants in my lower jaw with a graft on each one!

Now I am finding out what deep jaw pain feels like again....(This was fleeting actually I am doing rather well sans pain killers since Weds 11/09/2022..

I just have to eat rather gingerly.

Apparently I can only eat cool or cold things today that can be drank in a smoothie and no booze for the next 8 weeks either though I am having 4 small shot glasses of Merlot over the evening time after dinner each evening.

My sinus on my left side is giving me shit though!

In 2 days I can start eating regular food again but they suggest fish and soft shit only for 4 weeks.

I like Kentucky Fried Chikken Mash and Gravy anyhew!

By Sunday evening November 13th and I was recovering like a bat out of hell.

Pain was now merely the very odd twinge prompting a 500mg dose of Amoxicillin and I was well nourished on scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, meatloaf and ensure max protein drinks every 6 hours plus Ginger tea and the odd coffee with a gallon of water every 2 hours.

No pain killers since Tuesday the 8th either.

This is all going rather well to this point actually!

I have to wait until Nov 21 for the irksome sutures to come out but hey ho!

In the meantime my company is laying off folks so I have lit the fuse on several folks offers to talk about their plans for me in their organizations as insurance.

I do not want to leave my current gig but I suspect a money bunny xls job of the moment will do me in as my sales guys have not run up anything on the cash register for a host of valid reasons.

Shit, as they say happens when they just look at numbers in the moment vs overall happens....

A lot of bad decisions are made by bean counters in these situations and I have grown lean pursuing my technical excellence goals sans fortune angle where I am now.

This is about to change in a pretty big way...

It's just too hard trying to make the impossible happen anymore...I suspect this is how salmon feel swimming upstream that very last time....Three years is a long time to swim upstream..

Sado Masochist Platinum badge coming my way there!

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