Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: PUZZLE (11/24/16)
TITLE: Life is a Puzzle
By Katy Curry
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Take this week, for instance. I knew we would have just enough money to pay the monthly bills, pick up some Christmas presents (what you get for a thirty-some son who pretty much gets what he wants is a challenge) and plan a crown rib roast for Christmas Dinner. All was somewhat good in Curry-Land.
Sunday night the phone sounded off with its normally merry tune, but this time it sounded something ominous, I didn’t want to answer it. It was son number two. Lord, give me strength.
“Alloooo, Moooom.” Ok, who was talking?
“Frank? Is that you?” I responded hoping it was a friend with a mouth problem.
“Yeah, I’mmmmm shorrry dib not get ovvver.” These sounds only a mother could decipher, I could hear the background music of that TV show The Twilight Zone.
“What on earth is wrong with you?” I was still in hopes that this new venture into a time of mystery and the unknown would end without too much pain or expense.
“I ha a toof ache, really urts. Can’t cloth my mouth. Gum ith all swollen aroun it.”
Ok, it was time for Rod Serling’s voiceover to begin and the climactic music to begin playing.
(Don’t get me wrong, I love my son dearly, but God Bless Him, he has never put money aside unless he wanted to buy a “toy” for one of his hobbies. He definitely doesn’t have a dentist.)
“Frank, you have got to go to the dentist. I will make some phone calls."
My dentist called and with my sadly lacking explanation, he decided Frank should come in immediately. Frank got there before I did and it was worse than the doctor had feared. There was no time to set him up with an oral surgeon to do it through anesthesia.
The cost of removing the top and bottom molars, the jaw bone they had fused to, replacing the removed jaw bone with cadaver bone, insert drains, cutting away diseased gum tissue was around four thousand dollars. In my mind, I saw Christmas trees sprout wings and fly off ‘til they were but dots in the distance. No music this time, just flying Christmas trees leaving the area in
droves. No wonder those Christmas trees had flown away so fast. The standing rib roast shrank and shrank until it disappeared with the best animator’s “POP!
Doctor Aswan and I talked; he showed more compassion than any man I know. I shared the tremendous challenges this year had already presented, he then excused himself and went back in his office; shortly, the girl who did the billing called me over while doctor went to work on another patient.
She explained he had brought the bill down to just over thirteen hundred dollars. I swallowed hard and said, “Go ahead, do what he needs.”
Frank could speak better; asked me to sit with him. It was obvious he understood this was a serious situation and that scary things were going to be done to him. He was not just a little scared. It if had been me, I would have been shaking in my boots and crying just a little.
The procedure began and just the application of the numbing agent prior to the Novocain was painful to him. When Doctor Aswan arrived, I took that as a signal to leave. Much as I love my son, I could not bear to watch what was about to happen.
For the next two and a half hours, I heard him moaning and gurgling in abject agony. The Novocain was not as effective as all had hoped. Slowly the teeth came out, in pieces, and with them the fused jaw bone. Then came the replacement bone, the sewing, the cutting away of dead gum tissue and all that goes into such an operation. It was done not once but twice! The same
procedure was mirrored on the upper jaw.
Christmas would be a bit more humble this year, but the first Christmas was very, very humble.
My “Twilight Zone” experience was perhaps a lesson that was an answer to the puzzle of life. Don’t forget who is really running things and in all things act in humility and obedience.
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