i quickly finished a bowl of oatmeal before leaving the house at 12:25pm for my 1:00pm "extraction and bone graft" appointment at the oral surgeon in boston chinatown. i took the subway because i didn't know how i'd feel after the procedure, and didn't want to bike back if i felt awful. the extract part would be paid by my insurance, while the $100 additional bone graft i'd pay out of pocket.
doctor chan and his chinese nurse both spoke cantonese to me initially, before realizing i only spoke english (or mandarin). they must've forgotten about our last appointment a few weeks ago. after i signed a release form, doctor chan shot up the area around tooth 3 with novocaine. i winced a few times as i felt the needle pricks. "this one will hurt a little bit, sorry," he said, before it felt like he was poking the needle right through my jaw. i groaned in pain. and then in a matter of seconds, i couldn't feel all the upper parts of my right jaw.
i laid back on the exam chair and waited. it sounded like he was with another patient. it was 1:40 before he got to me. the extraction was such an ordinary procedure that he did it almost in passing, with the door opened so people could just wander in, like his chinese nurse. the nurse that was assisting him was a hispanic woman who seemed to be new on the job because doctor chan would ask her for something but then get it himself.
i saw something that looked like a miniature ice cream scooper go into my mouth, and i felt pressure on my jaw and skull, but hardly any pain (just the faint tickle of what would've been an excruciating procedure without novocaine). earlier i asked the doctor if i could keep the tooth, but he said no because it was a biohazard and had to destroyed (my teeth ain't that bad!), besides, it would be in pieces anyway. not sure how he extracted the tooth exactly, but i think he broke it down into pieces and the nurse suctioned up the bits of tooth. it was pretty fast, happened in about a minute. i knew it was over before i felt him packing the socket where the tooth used to be with the bone graft.
from the explanatory video playing on the HDTV attached to the wall in the waiting room, the bone graft itself seemed to be this malleable material - like styrofoam pellets if you can trust the animation - that grows to become actual bone. after the bone graft was in place, he sealed the flaps of gum together with special medical super glue, followed by a layer of protective collagen ("the most expensive part") and then cross-stitched sutures. i knew he was sewing me up because i could feel the suture thread passing through my gums. and with that i was done.
i asked the doctor if i could see the bone graft material. he showed me a little glass vial with what looked like little crumbs of bone dust. not what i thought it'd look like, almost like the ash leftover in a charcoal barbecue grill.
i would have to avoid alcohol and cigarettes for the next week, which is not a problem since i neither drink or smoke. however, i wouldn't be able to have any soda, nor anything carbonated for that matter, because the carbonation wreaks havoc on the healing wound. he prescribed some medicine: a prescription-strength anti-bacterial mouthwash (for gently rinsing); some amocixillin (500mg) taken 3 times a day; and some painkilling hydrocodone-acetaminophen (norco 5-325) AKA vicodin.
i returned home (spitting out little crumbs of tooth enamel still swimming around the inside of my mouth), where my parents came to visit shortly after they got off of work about 2:45. my father brought the infrared thermometer and measured the area around my nest thermostat. we discovered that the nest itself is amazing accurate temperature-wise. when it reports a high temperature, the temperature around the wall is indeed high. so we did another test, where we removed the thermostat from the wall. initially the baseplate area was warmer by 4 degrees, and likewise so was the thermostat. but after a while the baseplate cooled to room temperature while the thermostat was still warm. so in fact it's the thermostat that's warming up, causing false temperature readings (readings are true, but it's reading itself and not actually the ambient room temperature). we went down in the basement to make sure no heat was leaking up into the walls; there was none. we found out that it'd be quite easy to replace the thermostat cable so i may be able to install a common C wire to see if it'll lower the temperature of the thermostat. with a common wire, it won't have to work to recharge the backup battery, which will hopefully reduce the operating temperature.
my parents gave me a ride to rite aid to fill out my prescription. we ended up waiting there for almost half an hour as we browsed the store. they gave me a ride back before they left.
surprisingly, i wasn't in very much pain. there was just a little ache on my upper jaw, like i hit it with something (or something hit me to be more precise), but more like baby pain. i still took a 200mg ibuprofen tablet, figure why suffer needlessly. that cleared it right up. i didn't take the hydrocodone though; i can't remember ever having it before, but i hear all sorts of horror stories of people becoming addicted, and i could do without a drug problem on my plate. but i filled out the prescription anyway, just so i'd have it in case i ever needed it. i also began taking the antibiotics. the only other lingering side effect from my extract is the constant taste of blood in my mouth. that will go away in a day or two i hope.
i relocated my hollow book building endeavors to the kitchen table, where it was a much better work atmosphere. if only there was a tv, i'd spend all my time there instead of lounging around on the couch in the living room. a table to work from, a chair to sit in, better lighting, and ready access to food. i removed a few more pages, almost down to the midway point.
my parents brought a larger box for my to ship frances' things to norway. it was already close to 4:30 by the time i got back home so there wasn't time to go to the post office, i'll do it tomorrow morning. they also brought some beef cabbage stew, which i later heated up for dinner. in exchange, my mother took away another jar of sichuan paocai.
it was later in the evening when i realized there was a package on my doorstep i didn't know about. inside was a memory card and what appeared to be a tall transparent traveling mug of some kind. turns out that was my new HTC RE camera. normally sold for $200, there was a black friday sale for only $100 when i got it on a whim. i plugged it in to recharge while i went onto the google play store with my smartphone to download the complementary app. i should've been tipped off when i couldn't find it anywhere. i went to the RE website and followed a link to the app. turns out my device isn't supported so i can't download the app. what? the app is the command center for the camera, allowing me to adjust settings and view the footage wirelessly, since the RE itself has no display other than a few LED lights. disappointed, i actually called HTC's RE hotline to find a solution. the woman on the phone was courteous was completely not helpful at all. later in went to the google store from my browser and saw a note that said the RE app only supports android 4.3 and up; i unfortunately am stuck in android 4.2 land because my china-bought ZTE phone won't upgrade (something about ZTE not releasing the ROM so users can't hack a higher version of the OS).
the RE took forever to recharge (especially for such a small battery) and i picked it up a few times and noticed how warm it got during recharging. i couldn't wait any longer and finally untethered the cable so i could play with the camera before going to bed. i took a few photos and shot some video before downloading everything onto my computer. that's when i realize the RE had been recording for the past few hours, that's why the red light was blinking (i thought that meant it was recharging). i put it inside a box to stabilize so there was just hours of nothing but darkness. but at least it works. taking some test footage inside the house isn't the best examples. the RE has a 16 megapixel sensor with a super wide f2.8 146° lens. the video quality is okay, 30fps, with the wide angle really making sure nothing gets missed in the expansive field of view. it'd be a great bike camera and i've already rigged it up to a velcro-attached flashlight bracket for some testing tomorrow. the lack of app controls is still disappointing, but the photo/video quality sort of makes up for it, and if one day i should upgrade my smartphone, i'll be able to use the app finally.