Thursday, January 31, 2008

Temporoman-dig it, baby

You know how they tell you nobody likes to hear you complain? Well tough. It's my party.

Right now, the entire right side of my jaw is an aching, swollen mess of enraged ligaments which are clamping down on my temporomandibular joint and preventing me from opening my mouth more than an inch wide.

And when is the soonest appointment with the oral surgeon? Next Tuesday.

That seemed really accommodating earlier this week when it was just sort of annoying that my mouth wouldn't open. And yes, okay. I should have addressed it years ago when my jaw started popping out of place every time I opened my mouth. And then the first time it locked shut for a couple of minutes, I should have made the call. But what do I know? I'm an idiot. An idiot with generalized anxiety who can't make phone calls without getting all worked up about it first.

So now I can't chew, yawn, turn my head, or brush my teeth with any effectiveness. I have pain throbbing and radiating from the side of my head, down my neck, and well into my shoulder blade.

Cymbalta for the anxiety. Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories for the TMJ. But not until Tuesday. Until then, I whine. Deal with it.

By the way, now that I'm a couple weeks in and past feeling all nauseous from the Cymbalta, it actually has put the brakes on a lot of the mental tail-chasing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Underpants demystified

Gertrude's kindergarten teacher has had just one area of concern: no matter how many times it was explained it to her, she just couldn't keep straight which coins were pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

(However, she knows the PIN to my checking account.)

So we've been giving Gert a handful of coins each week and letting her shop with them so she gets a sense of what the coins mean.

Gert likey the shopping.

With a Target gift card her babysitter gave her, she shopped for the perfect pink purse and a wallet. In it, she keeps her Cotton Candy Chapstick, Bubble Tape, Ring Pops, and all her other change-driven thrill purchases. This purse has become Gert's lifeline and primary reason for leaving the house.

I took Gert and her purse to the mall with the promise of a Cinnabon because we needed a girl's day out and I needed her to try on some pants. Of course, I got sidetracked by $4 clearance shirts at Old Navy, so Gert sat on the floor and counted her change while I rooted through racks.

"Hey mom, what's this?"

I looked down, and Gert was holding up a very alarming pink satin and lace thong.

I very much wanted her to stop touching it.

"It's just underwear," I said. "Just put it down."

"WHAT?" said Gert in disbelief. "This is NOT underwear! HOW is this underwear? Where does it go? I don't get it!"

"Just. Put. It. Down," I repeated.

"But where did it come from? I don't see any other underpants around here. Did part of it fall off? What does this tag say?"

I exhaled. "Please trust me on this one," I said. "It's just very skinny underwear. I swear to you."

Gert was quiet for a long time. Then she announced, "Oh, I get it. This part is where you put the vagina!"

"Please give it to me," I said, holding out my hand.

"Hold on." Gert opened her purse and unzipped her wallet. "I think I have enough money to buy it."