Thursday, November 1, 2012

Myeloma Smyeloma

Over the last four years I have 'stoically endured with a smile' (my wife's words) 16 bone biopsies and bone marrow aspirations, surgery to repair collapsed vertebrae, lots of fractures, major high-dose chemo,  and much more during my treatment for multiple myeloma. Many of you have done the same.
You'd think that I wouldn't have been nervous to have a simple dental cavity filled on  a recent afternoon in Springfield, MO. Not an extraction or oral surgery, I wasn't worried about osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ),  a serious condition which can lead to bone death in the jaw.  It was just a tiny cavity. You'd think that I wouldn't be nervous, BUT...

The last cavity I had was 23 years ago. Same tooth. The new cavity was seen on x-rays underneath the old filling. Was I afraid of pain? No. Afraid because the dentist eerily resembles Steve Martin a la Little Shop of Horrors? No. Afraid of the noise, the smell, the whatever? Nope.

Why was I nervous? Well, because 23 years ago, as my former dentist, a big, burly, long-maned Greek, leaned over me to administer the first novacaine injection, the little-round-stool-on-wheels he parked himself on, shot out from under him like a bottle rocket as he proceeded to poke me in my right eyebrow with the needle. Yep. I can still hear him scream like a schoolgirl.

When my wife and I began going to a new dentist several years ago, I shared this story with the hygienist who laughed with me and assured me that nothing like that ever happened at their practice.

As she walked toward me with the tray full of dental implements to prepare for the check-up, she tripped on, yes, the little-round-stool, and showered me with picks and files and explorers and cinnamon polish, and the like.

The only thing that happened today was my fleeting panic when the dentist muttered: 'What is wrong with this chair?'

Somewhere there is a Sean Murray voodoo doll, sitting on a little-round-stool, with needles stuck in its stoically smiling mouth. I wonder if it has myeloma, too.  

Smyeloma graphic (c) Sean Murray 2012


Nick said...

Is it wrong to laugh?!?? My goodness that's hilarious!!

Remind me not to sit on a stool anywhere around you, my friend.

Hope to see you in Little Rock one day for a simple little follow-up soon!

Best to you and yours!


Anonymous said...

sean, sean, sean,

this made me laugh so hard i doubled over and hit my head on my laptop keyboard! the hubs thought i'd gone completely off my rocker UNTIL i read your post aloud to him! (no damage to laptop, head.)

since this was our first day with power - lights, heat, landlines, tv, internet - after 14.5 days compliments of SANDY (that total bitch of a storm!), hugh and i are thrilled to be able to smile, let alone have the good belly laugh your story provided.


karen and hugh (sutherland)

rudi48 said...

I'm still laughing and I need a good laugh. Thanks. jm

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean,
Hope you are doing well. I haven't seen you write any articles lately for the Myeloma Beacon: Sean's Burgundy Thread.
I enjoyed reading your articles and your positive attitude.
Hope to read more of your articles.
I wish you good health!