The best parts were Rainbow Falls where the kids got to crawl on the rocks and all the sea life we got to see on the beach: turtles, whales, and sea lions galore. My daughter made a hilarious t-shirt proclaiming "Gerald is My Spirit Animal"(from Finding Dory). Tammy turned out to be good at hula class, but her favorite time is days at sea.
The night we left Hawaii, at two a.m., I was awakened by a rattling sound. My lower rear crown came loose, and I coughed it into my hand. I'd never lost a crown before, but I saved it just in case. From rinsing my mouth out, I learned that the exposed nerve was *very* sensitive. No eating for
Next morning, skipping breakfast, I went straight to the ship's doctor. Not being a dentist, he couldn't help me. But he did give me pain pills a huge dose of antibiotics. Without a crown to cover the root for the six or seven days that it would take to get home, it was "an open highway for infection." I obtained some pink putty that they use to temporarily fix dentures, but it didn't help much other than keeping the root covered for a few hours at a time. The bite plane was never right, so I couldn't chew anything, even on the other side. It also popped out while I was sleeping on two other occasions, so I slept upright and fitfully.
While everyone else was enjoying the fine dining room with pastries, pecan pie, steak, and lobster, I ate at the buffet. If I was very careful, I could eat scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and pudding. Sometimes if the fish was mushy enough, I could swallow that too. At the peak of the cruise, I hit 215 pounds. When I weighed myself at home, I was 202. I lost weight on the cruise. That's not the worst part. The antibiotics we spent $200 on caused nausea, cramping, and diarrhea. I spent half my day in the bathroom or bed. Almost 50 days later, I still take daily pro-biotic pills and yogurt to rebuild my intestinal flora. My first experience was with Skyr Icelandic brand. Inside the lid, it brags "with protein and none of that awful sugar." I still shudder at the experience like eating cold vomit.
Though my dentist reapplied the old crown the first day, I still don't have a permanent replacement crown. What's the silver lining I bragged about in the title?
A little backstory. Almost three years ago, I started itching all over my body. No just a little. My face looked like it had Klingon bumps. Everyplace clothing touched me raised a rash or skin tags. Doctors couldn't explain it. They spent a year looking for the reason. Creams were no help because the problem was coming from the inside. After a year of this, a dermatologist drew on my back with a tongue depressor. The X showed up like a red welt within seconds. "Dermatographia," he said casually. My body's immune system was on high alert, attacking everything. "Have you been checked for cancer? That's usually the cause in men your age." He put me on antihistamines, and I started a series of screenings. Okay, Blue Cross covers colonoscopies, but only if they find NOTHING. If there is anything to find, even something benign, you pay for it all. I think they call that "double or nothing" in Vegas. Several uncomfortable months later, the dermatographia was ruled idiopathic, which means they have no idea what triggered it. My specialist told me after six months of a pill a day, I'd be cured. A nurse told me even one of those pills would knock her out.
After two years of antihistamines, I was at 5 times my starting dosage. By 8 every night, if I hadn't taken my pills, I would claw my face off itching. No one could tell me why or how to end it.
The first night of antibiotics, at nine o'clock, for the first time in three years, I didn't itch! Each week, I reduced my dosage of the antihistamines until a week ago, I was off it altogether. I am medication and itch-free--cured because my crown fell out and ruined my vacation.
What's more? The change in diet has helped me keep the pounds off. I'm pre-diabetic. A few other family members have it full on, and my sister almost went blind before they found it. I couldn't imagine being unable to read or write anymore. My best bet to prevent it is to control my weight. I can't even eat a full portion of spaghetti without skewing my test results for days.
Losing my crown was a blessing. I think that God healed me and gave me a subtle reminder at the same time. I also think he laughed his butt off watching me eat Skyr.
by popular demand, a photo of Emily's T-shirt: