I have been waiting for this day for about five years. I was working in a Mexican restaurant, eating a delicious burrito when I crunched down on something very hard. It was a fork. I felt kind of like an idiot because I’d been eating food by myself for roughly 30 years at that point and thought myself quite capable of using a wide variety of utensils without any trouble. Well at that time I felt my teeth with my tongue and discovered that my number nine top left front tooth had broken off. Shit. I was already self conscious about my smile although my teeth aren’t too terribly bad, and this just made things worse. I had no insurance and all of my money at that point went to drinking, smoking weed, and gambling, and nothing would change that for quite some time as you may have read.
Flash forward to the future! A.K.A. now. Ugh. This computer keeps freezing up. Anyhow, I took the morning train to Minneapolis to the U of M School of Dentistry where I laid back in the hydraulic chair and let my student dentist practice making a plastic tooth in my mouth for about two hours. I felt pretty cool because she let me be in control of the suction wand thing but I still ended up drooling on myself quite a bit, not uncommon to any other day, right? I asked, I believe more than once, if we could make teeth other places like on my forehead or in my armpits. We laughed at that and a few other ideas I had like sticking the suction wand in my nose. Actually, that may have been in my head. In the end, she did a great job and I give her complete credit for my new smile which I plan to show as much as possible. I love to laugh and smile but for five years, I simply wouldn’t open my mouth to do either. I was embarrassed, and I thought about my appearance constantly. I’m happy. Thank you, Lauren. Someday when you’re a REAL dentist, you can help me put gold teeth on cats. Gangster kittens!
I had discussed my blog and my history with her on previous visits and again today and I decided to let her read one of my posts, Camp Heartland. It is, in my mind, a very moving post, and I could see her reacting to it as she read. The first time I had seen that first hand. As far as reacting to me telling her about my history with drugs and alcohol, she acted as professionally as I could have hoped for. She was inquisitive and sympathetic. It was a good day at the dentist.
I also told her about Chelsie Toaster, who I will now call by her real name, Mollie. If you haven’t read the post The Toaster Situation, Mollie is the girl I met and have been doing my best under my restrictions to see as much as possible. We have been limited to seeing each other on our way to and from and at meetings because all of my visitors need to be approved and that takes some time. Well today at work my agent, whom I had asked on every visit previous about the status of her approval, walked in and said, “Mollie is approved, Dude!” I threw my arms up in victory.
Mollie is sweet. As I’ve said before, she is the first female that spoke to me at a meeting, and I hoped she would talk to me every time after, and she did. She’s smart. She’s a graduate of Wm. Mitchell School of Law and takes her Bar exam in February. We joke about me needing legal advice in the future. I hope I don’t… She’s from Tennessee, and you can tell because of her ridiculous accent. And, she is beautiful. I haven’t been in a relationship for years. Too many years. I don’t want to push things or move too quickly, but I know that I like her, and I will do what it takes to keep her in my life.
Also, she’s a ginger.
Hi Vince, Your posts about the school of dentistry took me back to 1976 (or so), when I had some dental work done at the school of dentistry. I was born without permanent teeth under the first molars in my lower jaw. I don’t know the teeth numbers. In my early twenties, the baby teeth were failing so I had to have a replacement, which usually meant a bridge. Tooth implants were in the experimental phase, so I had two “vitreous carbon” implants, one of many times I’ve been a guinea pig in my life. One was done by my student dentist and the other was done by a professor. They lasted for about five years, with the student’s implant lasting longer than the professor’s! Once they failed, I opted for the teeth to be replaced by the standard bridge. When my student dentist graduated and set up practice, he became my dentist. He retired three years ago (very annoyed that he did), so I had to find a new dentist, one younger than I so hopefully I won’t have to find another one again. It sounds like you really connected with your student dentist. I agree with you, that your Camp Heartland post is one of your most impactful posts. In reading your posts, it seems like you are sharing a lot of yourself with certain people. It’s an incredibly vulnerable place to be, and it takes courage to do so. I hope what you receive back will continue to be positive, reassuring, and helpful on your journey back. Cool that Mollie is approved!!!