Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dental, and other, adventures

I don't think I mentioned that Dinah had to have dental surgery, too, this week. I had taken her in the weekend before last for her bi-monthly anal gland expression, and while she was there, the vet looked at her teeth and said that she really needed to have something done. Every time I take them in, he says they need to have their teeth cleaned, but I just say, yeah, yeah, I know, and don't do anything about it. For one thing, it's tremendously expensive, because they have to put them under to do it.

Usually both of the cats let him mess with them and, while it doesn't make them happy, of course, they don't put up a fuss. But this time, when he just barely touched her gum, she struggled and jerked, and would have bitten him if his assistant hadn't a good hold on her. So I said, okay, let's do it, and made an appointment to take her in this morning.

And maybe I was feeling sympathetic because of my own tooth pain.

So I took her in early this morning and picked her up tonight, and wrote a check in an amount that Bob said I shouldn't divulge, because people would think we were insane (or that he was, I guess) to pay so much for a medical procedure on a cat. I disagree, though. I think people (or at least I do) would think he was compassionate. I do believe that when you take an animal into your home, you take responsibility for them, and you don't get rid of them when they become inconvenient or expensive (within reason, of course).

It seemed like this would be a good thing to do for her, and I think it will make her feel better. One of the signs of painful teeth, he said, was finding that the cat had vomited food that obviously hadn't been digested or chewed at all, and we've been seeing that, so I do think we had some concrete evidence that she needed it.

In any event, it's done, and hopefully she'll feel better.

Yesterday just wasn't a good day. I was thinking about having to get up early and get Dinah to the vet by 7:00 (I always hate to get up early), and thinking about having to leave work early to pick her up, and having to pay so much money. And then I called CompUSA to ask them about my computer; I'd waited until Wednesday to call, giving them a few days after the promised week, and taking into account the holiday.

It turned out that it hadn't even been looked at. It had been there 11 days. Turns out that the Mac technician had been on vacation. I don't have anything against someone taking vacation; everyone needs time off. What I object to is that no one bothered to tell me. And, when I called, the technician tried a hard sell on me to buy an external drive to back up my data on, without even looking at the computer or having any idea whether it would be necessary.

I realize that it's my responsibility to back up my data, not theirs, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. He said that if I wanted a data back-up, I would have to purchase an 80 GB drive, which would be $100, plus a case for it, at $35. When I asked him if he couldn't just back it up to a drive that they had, and then restore it, he said yes, that that would be $70, and that they really recommend buying the external drive because then the customer (that would be me), has the ability to do their own backups in the future.

It felt like he was "teaching me a lesson," and I didn't like that. I also didn't like the fact that he said he would have to do the back-up first, before he did anything else, and that basically he wouldn't touch it unless I told him that I would either purchase the backup, or give him the okay to erase everything on the computer. When I took it in, I talked to the department manager, who said that it might be a simple hardware issue, in which case the necessity of doing an OS reinstall wouldn't come up. He said he would put a note on the paperwork that if a reinstall became necessary, the tech would call me and I could decide whether I wanted to pay for a backup.

Anyway, I just didn't like the attitude of the guy, and I wasn't pleased with them sitting on the repair for nearly two weeks, so after I thought about it, I called them back and said to please not do anything, that I was going to come in and pick it up and take it somewhere else (the Apple store). The only reason I didn't take it there originally was that CompUSA was closer. A bad decision, I now see, two weeks later.

When I went to the vet's office to pick up Dinah tonight, the vet came out and talked to me about her surgery and what we need to do for her, and we got to talking about dentistry in general, my recent dental experience, and his. He said that he had recently had a porcelain filling to replace an old amalgam one, and he said that the porcelain was thicker, and it changed his bite, causing his jaw to hurt.

When he said that, a lightbulb went on over my head. My tooth/mouth has been feeling fine when I get up in the morning, and I feel pretty good all day, but by the time I'm heading home, my jaw is aching. I just realized that it must be because I'm trying not to chew on the "bad" side; I'm favoring it, and obviously that means that I'm holding my jaw differently, thus pain at the end of the day. I guess I'll just have to live with it for a few more days until I feel comfortable putting pressure on the spot where the tooth used to be, but at least now it makes sense.

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