Hodge: If I had a new dog

If I had a new dog I would call him Russ. (As in ‘this man’s new best friend’ Russ).

Hodge: If I had a new dog

If I had a new dog I would call him Russ. (As in ‘this man’s new best friend’ Russ).

Sorry Tez, Curtis, Jim, Keith … but for the past week or so my new best friend is Russ – which is bizarre for me to say because Russ is a dentist. I have a long, lousy relationship with dentists. Most of the time I find them a pain.

Suggesting a dentist and I are best friends is equivalent to suggesting that Donald Trump is rational and safe. Odds are highly unlikely. Regardless, Russ has earned the right.

Anyone who is my Facebook ‘friend’ will know 2017 has hit the Hodge House like a bad luck tornado, showing little mercy and a lot of carnage – not to mention the bills such disasters carry.

Because of the unexpected expenses due to said disasters, I cancelled my dentist appointment to fix a busted off tooth in the back of my mouth. That was a no-no which I will never repeat. Three days later I awoke to a swollen mouth and a tooth that was screaming abusive things at me.

By the time I could see my dentist my face looked like I had played catch with Muhammad Ali for a few hours. In fact I was now too swollen and infected for his skills so he wisely sent me to oral surgeon Russell Naito at Okanagan Oral Surgery.

Russ took one look, rolled his eyeballs in dismay, and set to work.

I never thought I’d be happy to see a dentist or beg for a needle. With the offending tooth removed and a number of stitches in place I went home. However the war in my mouth was apparently not over. Bundles of antibiotics, T3s, Ibuprofens and ice and I was back in the chair five days later (yesterday).

Clearly the infection and nerve damage wanted another scrap and Russ was armed and ready.

Along with the world’s friendliest and smartest dental assistant Kathy and a team of top shelf folks, round two appears to have gone our way. Russell cut open a couple inches of the inner jaw area, put in a drain tube for the poison to escape, and took two more teeth as victims of war.

Only time will tell if I am finally done with this nastier than nasty interruption in my world, but I do know that without Russell’s skilled touch and calm demeanor and Kathy’s knowledge and human interaction the last 10 days would have been even nastier.

While thrashing around the past week dealing with the pain of busted teeth, abscesses, infection… I have pondered how centuries ago people handled life without dentists.

Infected teeth are no fun and certainly a health threat. For that I am so thankful for when and where I live, and for the skills of folks such as Russ and Kathy.


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