Thursday, January 26, 2017

An Adjustment, A Conference... And A Lineup

We headed of for Los Algodones, Mexico at 8:00 AM precisely for my 11:00 AM appointment. We made it to the office at 10:30 with a little time to spare. I was not happy with my partial plates and hoped they could adjust them to fit better. Well, the denturist looked at them, the dentist looked at them and they both decided they fit as well as they could ever be expected to. They sent them out for some grinding down and shaping and when they returned they did not feel any better. I simply hate the f*&%#g things and will not be happy with them. Period.

The main job of the upper and lower partial is to fill in a two tooth on each side space at the back of my mouth where I have not had teeth for many years. I am quite used to this empty space and have learned to chew just fine without those teeth. In my mind they are not necessary and are certainly not worth the trouble of carrying two partial plates around in my mouth thank you very much.

The other job the upper one does is to fill the gap where my right eye tooth used to be before it broke off at the gumline and was extracted. They could not include this tooth in the bridge they built because it would have made the bridge to long (large) so they put it on the partial. The solution is a single implant which cannot be considered until the extraction has had at least 3 - 4 months to heal.If at that time I still want it, I need an MRI of the area for $150 to make sure the jaw structure is strong enough for it. If it is they will do the implant for $900. Then I wait for six months for all this to heal and then get the implant crown for $400. Then I am done. Like they told me, I have to wait for the implant and maybe I will get used to the partials. Don't hold your breath!

By now ir was about 1:30 PM and the lineup to get back to the US was about two blocks long! The border guys are trying to impress their new boss and are making it difficult to cross the border! It took us two hours to get to the front and I then fully expected the agent to say, "Aren't you the guy who called Trump an asshole on Facebook?" I am not sure how I would have answered that and thankfully he did not ask it. He simply asked what I was bringing across and grinned when I pointed to my teeth and waved us through. Phew! Made it again!

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Visit From Wandering Mike!

We got an email last week from our American lawyer friend Mike who used to Blog as "Wandering Mike". He would be driving by and would we be available for a visit? Well, of course we would! We always enjoy a visit from Mike and since he suffered some recent health issues, we were very anxious to catch up with him and get the latest reports.

Sure enough a couple of days ago we got an email saying he was registered in a nearby hotel and would be over to see us. We had a great visit with Mike, eventually inviting our neighbors Bill and Dee over for a drink and to meet him. Conversation turned a little "left" among a group of people of similar political opinions. Later on, Norma, Mike and I headed down the road to a local steakhouse for dinner. It was a great time and it was very dark and raining when we got home.

Mike dropped in for coffee the next morning before heading off towards Riverside, California where he has an appointment this week. It is always nice to see Mike who actually made his way up to our house in Canada last summer. For those who know him, he is doing well and is dealing with the effects of his rheumatoid arthritis.  He is managing it with a herbal salve and diet but has his bad days which is why he gave himself so much time to drive from Alpine, Texas to Riverside. We were very happy to keep him occupied for one of his travel days!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day With A Difference

I can't say I am watching it but it is on in the background and Norma is sort of watching it. It is a sad occasion and the country will not benefit from this President.

In stark contrast I remember Obama's first Inauguration with much better memories. We were in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, an area called The Mexican Riviera (not that it bears any similarity to the Real Riviera.

We were in a large RV park and had Starchoice set up. Many of our neighbors were Americans and very few had TV as none of the American satellite systems reach that far south. We put out a general invitation for anyone to come join us and soon the RV started filling up until all the seats were taken and the last three or four people brought in folding chairs.

It was a happy occasion with what seemed like everyone very proud of America's pick for President.  Everyone had something positive to say and many tears of pride were shed. One American said he wished that his parents had lived to see this day, that they would be very proud.

This Inauguration, I do not think I have heard that word, "proud" mentioned even once by anyone in reference to the President Elect. In reference to the process maybe, but not the man. It is a sad occasion.

He is a Bull In A China Shop and I am holding my breath in hopes that he does not break anything important before he finds the back door and gets out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Visit from Paula!

Paula, our friend and neighbor from the RV park in Mesa dropped in on her way back from Quartzsite yesterday. She was just in time for Happy Hour and got to meet some of our neighbors, two of whom she already knew. We had a bite to eat and as it was getting late she decided to take advantage of our couch for the night. She has had a trying winter with some medical issues (now in the past) so it was good to catch up with her life!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Day and John Lewis

"Stand Up, Speak Up, and Speak Out!"
Some piece of crap who does not deserve to have his name mentioned here said this about Civil Rights icon, John Lewis, “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”. John Lewis who was instrumental in bringing about The Civil Rights Act as well as The Voting Rights Act deserves far better. It is time to let our voices be heard. Not by simply typing away on social media although this is important as well, but also by speaking out in public. It is time to "Stand Up, Speak Up, and Speak Out!" Let's celebrate Martin Luther King Day by helping right this wrong. We have been called to action!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Purdy, eh?

Yes, I know I need a shave. One crisis at a time, OK? I am going for the 90's Don Johnson's "Miami Vice" look.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Back In Hope

We drove home from Algodones, MX yesterday. After a stop at Silly Al's Pizza in Quartzsite we got home at about 3:00, just in time for Happy Hour at Bill and Dee's, After that it was an early night for me as I was physically and mentally drained after the dental ordeal.

This morning I forced myself to remove the partials and found they were very hard to remove! They have a death grip on the bases of the surrounding teeth and it took a few minutes of pulling, prying and pain to get them out. I will probably get better at it and I am sure it will become easier after the swelling goes down and my black eye fades. When I went in yesterday for the final fitting one of the young assistants told me in her best English that I looked like I had gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson. I told her that Dr, Jesus should have been a prize fighter as he sure put me on the canvas. She had a very good laugh about this and rushed out to tell her co-workers.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Test Driving My New Teeth

They test fit, adjusted, fit again, adjusted again and eventually cemented in my new teeth. They then took even more impressions, saying they were for the two partial plates, I am not sold on these partial plates. One has only one tooth on it to replace the missing right eye tooth that for some reason could not be included in the bridge up there. The other is to give me chewing molars on the lower right side.

I have not had any chewing surface back there for two years now and have been managing quite well without them. I hate the feeling of the huge chunk of plastic in my mouth and seriously doubt I will be using these very often. The other one tooth partial is, I am sure, purely cosmetic. Norma says no, it is to keep the shape of my mouth and jaw. I will have that conversation with them at the final fitting tomorrow.

Anyway! I have all the rest of my teeth cemented in and functioning. To celebrate we stopped at the hotel restaurant on the way back and I ordered cheese enchiladas. They work! I can eat! The larger bridge on the left is a little sensitive to pressure right now but that will soon disappear as the area is still recovering from Tuesday's root canals,

Anyway, so far I am very happy! They feel good, work good and look good! The jury is still out on whether the partials will get used. In any case, we will be back at the motorhome in Hope, AZ tomorrow.

Back In The Chair

I knew I had two extractions to be done but I thought they were done in that seven hour marathon session on Tuesday. Not so! I went in this morning and they pulled the roots of the two broken off eye teeth! One came out easily but the other broke in half and hurt like hell even after five needles! Now I wait back in the hotel room for 1 1/2 hours and go back. Hopefully for my new teeth.

I hate this!

No Facebook Here And A Slight Hiccup.

The Hacienda Los Algodones has blocked Facebook on their otherwise excellent free WIFI. I just want to thank my friend Rae for posting on FB for me, reminding all of you to check the Blog.

This morning I go in for the permanent attachment of my new teeth but I am having some minor swelling in one of the roots that heads up towards the left sinus. I don't know that this will mean, it may delay the attachment as no one wants any infection sealed in. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Dental Process

We arrived for my 11:00 appointment almost an hour early but they took us right in. Chris (office manager, translator, money manager, etc) came in the room to get my information. I told him I was unhappy with how I was treated by Sani Dental and gave him a brief explanation of the work they had done so far. Dr. Jesus Quintero came in and Chris brought him up to date in Spanish. They told me the doctor would do a complete exam with several X-rays and then Chris would come back in to tell me what the doctor recommended.

The exam took some time and then he called Chris who brought Norma in with him and he and the doctor went through the X-rays and photos of each tooth one at a time, explaining what was wrong with each tooth and what they recommended. After explaining everything in great detail, leaving time as we went for our many questions he said if I wanted them to treat me, it would be $4,715. This was far less than half of what Sani wanted and unlike Sani, included no implants. He said there was no point in pulling teeth with good, healthy roots and installing implants. He said there was much more money for the dentist in implants than in bridge and crown work but that was not how they worked. Norma and I looked at each other and agreed immediately. We asked when they could start and they said, "right now"! He leaned the chair back and Norma headed out to get the required $1,000 deposit from the ATM. There is a whole other post on this subject as the local ATM has a $400 limit so we could only raised $815 but they understood!

He removed a few failed/failing caps and bridges, pulled two teeth that could not be saved and called in the root canal specialist from Brazil. He spent a great deal of time on my three root canals and then Dr. Jesus came back in to form the teeth to receive the crowns and to thoroughly clean all the teeth that were staying. The cleaning was actually the most painful part of the whole process. The extractions and root canals I did not feel.

They then called in a woman to do impressions. This is not painful but is very uncomfortable! I felt like I was choking many times and they had a hard time getting good impressions, having to repeat the process several times. I was very happy when it was over!

They then fitted me with temporaries until my crowns and new bridges are ready on Thursday and I was done. It was almost 6:00 PM, I had been in the chair for well over seven hours but it was done! Norma got me a bowl of tomato soup for dinner and I went to bed very early.

Today we drove to Yuma, AZ to get cash and tomorrow I go in for the final fitting of all my teeth. We are staying in the hotel for one more day just to make sure everything fits well. That's it! I will be perfect again!

We Got The Money!

We got the cash. We have a high limit line of credit card from Scotiabank in Canada for emergencies. We called them and they released all limits and pre authorized the $4,000 US withdrawal. We then drove to Yuma, went in a Washington Federal Bank and they gave us cash. $3,000 in one branch and $1,000 in another as they have a $3K limit per day. $7.50 CAN fee. At the dental office Canadians and Americans are treated the same - no cheques, no credit cards and no debit cards. US Cash only, no pesos. They have two framed bounced cheques on the wall to show why it is cash only.

Rather than carry all that cash around we stopped at Quintero Dental and paid our bill in full. All the permanent stuff goes on tomorrow and we are staying one more night "just in case".

Here is the breakdown:

Full exam with x-rays - $20
3 upper left root canals - $750
2 upper extractions - $120
Upper right 4 unit bridge - $800
4 upper front united crowns - $800
Upper left 3 unit bridge - $600
3 lower porcelain crowns - $600
upper and lower PRX partials - $1000
Cleaning - $25

Total - $4,715

They wanted $1,000 deposit before they started the work but all we could come up with was $815 because of the limit on the local ATM and having to pay for the hotel. Four nights @ $42 plus taxes = $200. They understood and were satisfied with our reduced deposit but it left us anxious to get the rest of it to them.

Quintero Dental Group
US 928 377 4552
Mex 658 517 7043

Talk to Chris, he speaks perfect English

4:30 AM

Wide awake with my drugs worn off and 3 1/2 hours till more. Getting sufficient cash is a problem as the only ATM has a $400 limit. I have Wednesday to rest between treatments so it is off to the USA to try to get cash there. Maybe the casino with credit and/or debit cards or maybe a friendly bank. My bank is not being cooperative as they said they were removing  limits but apparently didn't! I guess it is good that it is hard to come up with $5000 instantly but when you need it, you need it and doubling a $400 limit is no use at all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Swelling Down

8:45 PM update:

My lips are back to their normal size and my right eye is no longer frozen. I am on the mend. Pain is sitting at about 3 out of 10, maybe a bit lower. I have some powerful pain meds if I need it. I might not. I also have a full course of antibiotics to take every eight hours for several days. Norma went to the restaurant and bought me some tomato soup which I drank down. I am human again!

So far I can highly recommend the Quintero Dental Clinic. Give Chris a call and he will fix you up with an appointment.

Seven Hours!

That's how long I was in the dentist's chair in Algodones, Mexico today! I went in to see the new dentist for a second opinion and I sure got one! I will share more details soon as I am still drugged up and in a lot of pain but the new people attacked my problems from a whole different direction. They decided I did not need any implants as my bone is in good shape as were the roots of the teeth involved.

I "think" I got three root canals, two extractions and six or seven teeth prepared for caps ie: ground down to points.

Seven hours later I am back in the hotel room. Tomorrow the swelling goes down and Thursday the caps and bridges go on as well as two partial plates fitted.

Total cost? $4715 USA. That works out to around $6,250 canadian. WAY cheaper than the quote from Sani Dental down the street.

The only difficulty is, they want cash and will not take a US dollar cheque. We will have to go to Yuma tomorrow and somehow work with a bank or credit union to get cash.

As I say, more details to follow. Needless to say, I am very happy.

BTW: Facebook does not work from Algodones. I have no idea why not. Or maybe it is just from this hotel's WIFI.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Off To Algodones

Tomorrow morning we will head off to the dentist in Algodones, Mexico. I am actually quite nervous about this visit because I do not know what the end result will be. I interrupted my treatment two years ago when the dental office raised the price substantially between treatments. They removed several old bridges and pulled some teeth and did some bone grafts in preparation for some implants. When I returned the next winter to have the job completed they told me my mouth had changed and the old plan would no longer work. The new plan would be several thousand more. I told them I wanted to think about it and since I was having no problem eating with the teeth I had left and was having no pain, I did not go back.About a month ago I lost three teeth over a short period of time. They did not fall out but rather broke off at the gumline. Clearly something has to be done.

A friend from Port Hardy had work done by a different dentist in Algodones who she likes so I have an appointment with this new dentist to pull what is left of the three teeth and to discuss my options for further treatment. I do not want dentures but that may be the logical solution. It all depends on price and her opinion of my best option. I am not looking forward to this trip.

On the fun side, our friends Bill and Dee are going with us! We are staying in a hotel right in Algodones while Bill, Dee and Doug The Pug are staying in their camper in the parking lot on the US side. We will be enjoying a few fish tacos and margaritas on Monday. My appointment is Tuesday morning.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Relaxing In Hope

This is our second full day here in Hope, AZ. It was a short three hour drive from Desert Hot Springs and even better, another uneventful drive! Nothing blew up or broke so we may have everything fixed. Well, maybe I spoke too soon, the newest inverter, a 1575 watt MSW Cobra is putting out 130 volts which I think is a little high, I am thinking about this problem before I make the 45 minute drive over to Quartzsite to buy a replacement.

EDIT: I was using a little plug in voltage checker to make the 130 volt reading but when I checked it with my Fluke meter it reads 110 volts. I guess the cheap meter is not compatible with modified sine wave power. I am happy again.

We are parked next door to our Nebraska friends Bill and Dee. Bill and I "met" a few years ago online when we seemed to be echoing each other in our political opinions. We finally got the chance to meet in real life two years ago when we spent a week at their Ramblin Roads RV Park here in Hope, Arizona.

We are back here for either two weeks or a month depending on what happens at my dental appointment in Algodones on the 10th. Staying more than two weeks at the weekly rate here costs as much as going for the monthly rate, the only difference being that we will have to pay the power if we stay a month. The woman at the office said they would change us over to the monthly rate if we decided to stay.

It is a bit cooler here than it was back in Desert Hot Springs, maybe five degrees both day and night but it doesn't feel that much cooler. Maybe because of the humidity, it is a little drier here.

Yesterday we all went to the Mexican Market down the road for lunch. There was a stand selling gorditas, a stuffed pastry. The ones they were selling had meat but they had no problem making me one with cheese and beans. It was very good. There was also a vegetable market with very nice looking produce at a very reasonable price. We will be back there for sure!

Norma and Dee shopping:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

And Another Blogger Down

The Blogging Community lost another member. Rod Ivers "Retired Rod" died on Monday after a courageous battle with brain cancer. We got to know Rod in Mesa last year as he was a frequent dinner companion of our friend Shadowmoss. Rod and I were polar opposites in politics but we agreed that as we were both so set in our ways it was pointless to discuss it. We did share an adventurous taste in food though. Retired Rod, if you remember had that hilarious encounter with his Roomba Vacuum when it engaged a pile of dog poop when left to operate on it's own. Here is Rod's report on the crappy experience.