Once again it’s time to hit the road. This one is not necessarily part of my journey, in the sense that it has been planned for the past 2 years and is not all about me. It is for Carine’s cousins wedding.
That doesn’t mean I can’t be a little self indulgent and treat it like an extension of my journey. In addition to the wedding taking place in New Orleans, this is also the first time that Carine and I are going somewhere together in a long time. That fact alone is the highlight of this trip.
As some of you may have noticed, I still have yet to leave on my planned road trip through the US. Well, life as we know, likes to throw the odd curve ball. Not to worry. Nothing too serious.
In the time I had between my return from Europe and this wedding, I thought would be a good time for the road trip. It was going to be tight, time wise but feasible. Then my doctor added some additional blood work to my appointment schedule which pushed back the tentative departure date. Then…. I cracked a tooth.
I’ve always had issues with my teeth as far back as I can remember. This tooth had been in need of attention for a long time and it finally reached it’s limit and cracked right down the middle. Top right first molar.
Luckily, sort of, I had a root canal done to it years ago so there was no pain but it was clear that it had to be dealt with as I could only chew on one side of my mouth because it was moving around and it was kind of gross to be honest.
So here is where things get awesome/freaky/serendipitous. Not having a dentist in Vancouver yet, I had to call around and find one that could fit me in asap. I made a list based on online reviews and offices that were still taking new patients etc….
Literally, the last dentist on my list was the only one that could fit me in and within 48 hrs no less. Not having a job currently and no insurance coverage, I was more than a little concerned about the cost of this whole process but it had to be done so off I went.
I had to fill out all the paperwork as a new patient when I arrived and when the Dr. came in he brought up the medication I had listed on my info sheet. Turns out it caught his eye because, as fate would have it, he happens to work in the dental department at the Cancer Agency and knows my doctor there very well. Happy coincidence? Yes, but there is more. When I mentioned my concern about not having coverage and the cost etc… he says “let me make a call”. Five minutes later he comes back with an appointment card. He figured out that I could have this whole thing covered by getting the tooth dealt with at the Cancer Agency….at no cost.
Brilliant! Then, to top it all off, after he sanded down some of the sharp edges on my nasty tooth, he sent me on my way and his assistant says “no charge for the work today”!!!
My daily horoscope, that I read while in the waiting room foretold that I would receive some sort of windfall that day and that I would feel undeserving of it but should accept it because ‘you do deserve it’. Well, whether or not that is true, I accepted it and had to restrain myself from giving the hygienist a great big bear hug right there in the waiting room. I didn’t want to give the other waiting patients the idea that they were just handing out free dental work so I restrained myself as best I could. In my excitement, all I could muster was to say “You’re awesome!” in a strange, clenched tooth, whisper. We looked at each other, both slightly confused about my silent outburst and I turned and walked out.
As you probably know, dental work ain’t cheap. I’ve had to pay absurd amounts for a simple consultation and x-rays with other dentists. These guys took x-rays and worked on my tooth enough that I can chew normally for the time being and didn’t charge me a cent!!! You know, I’ve been embracing, or at least trying to embrace an unconditional love towards life and all mankind since this whole thing started and it’s not always easy or natural. Especially when you see terrible things being done by terrible people around the world in the news…. or being stuck in traffic, but it’s little things like this that fuel my positive outlook and helps maintain my faith in mankind. Sounds a little dramatic for a trivial issue like my wonky tooth but it’s true.
Anyway, the appointment to have my tooth dealt with was yesterday. I went in to the Cancer Agency, met the Oral surgeon and was promptly pumped full of anesthetic. As we waited for the numbing to set in, the Dr. checked my x-rays and explained the procedure (extraction) and all the things I could not do after the procedure such as…. air travel, submerging myself in water, drinking alcohol etc…..
Me (with numb mouth): “Ummmm, Dr.? I’m supposed to get on a plane in less than 48 hrs, I’m going to spend the first few days sitting on a dock and swimming in Florida then going to New Orleans for an extravagant wedding attended, in large part, by a bunch of hard partying Dutch people.There may be booze involved.” !!!
Oral Surgeon (with raised eyebrow): “Ok, call me when you get back and we’ll take care of it then”.
Me: “Good stuff. Thanks for the Novocaine”
So, all clear for the trip. It just so happens that this is my first time going to New Orleans and I’ve wanted to go for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love the music that comes from the southern US and I’m heading to one the most musically saturated cities in the world and arguably the birthplace of jazz. Holy crap I can’t wait!!!!
Time to pack.
Remember people, although it has been easy for me, considering the free time and opportunities I’ve had lately; however big or small, every day will present you with a reason to say “Today is great day to be alive”!
The key is to accept that and learn to find the little gems even if they may not be obvious or clear on a given day.
My wish is for all of you to find that little gem every single day and embrace life and all of it’s twists and turns.
Much love to you all!!!