hathycol: (ilu donna)
This is going to be an epic post, because it's been an epic few days. Consider yourselves fully warned.

Wednesday morning dawned bright and disgustingly early. Okay, not actually bright, as the haar had rolled in overnight, but it dawned nevertheless. I managed to pull myself out of bed and be prepared to get to the dentist in good time, and battled the thick fog on the winding country lanes to arrive for my final visit to the good people of the Kirkcaldy Dental Access Clinic, and proceeded to have an argument with the receptionist. I feel a bit bad about this. You see, I am no longer a poor student, I am now officially classed as an adult living under the poverty line. (That's a nice feeling, let me tell you.) Nevertheless, I still have to pay for NHS dentistry, which I obviously can't afford to do, but I absolutely can't afford to go private, either. The students looking me over meant it was free because I was pretty much doing them a favour in return for dental care, but due to them fucking up I was being seen by a Real Dentist. The receptionist felt I should pay. I didn't, on the basis that it should have been done months ago. Luckily, the dentist in question came down on my side of the argument. Thank god.

So, yes. She did what she needed to do to me, expressed concern at my vile gingivitus around the tooth area (I haven't been able to brush there for nearly four months, so, um, I am bleedy) and wished me luck at graduation. I smiled a hideous bleedy smile and headed home before going back to bed. I then woke up and ate toast. TOAST! Very exciting.

The haar cleared up and I spent an afternoon in the garden, reading Vanity Fair and sunbathing. My parents eventually rocked up in the evening, and I went out to meet them in the evening outside of their B+B. I had booked a table at the Grill House, and swore down blind to my parents that they'd like it. Fortunately, I was right. It was also exciting times as I could eat properly, so I had a mushroom and stilton starter, fajitas, and a cheesecake. I was very, very full, and had also gone a wee bit mad on the frozen margaritas. I didn't like them as much as my mum, though!

I woke up in a blind panic at 9am the next day and shot out of bed. For once this was not due to frozen margaritas, but all to do with a part of my body that basically just shrieked 'FUCK ME I'M GRADUATING TODAY.' Whilst I was looking forward to all the foofarrah around graduation itself, I wasn't looking forward to the actual ceremony.

Allow me to explain. Many people on my flist will have graduating, but very few of you will be able to beat St Andrews for sheer absurdity. Firstly, we don't have hats; when the Senate officially declared that women could be entered for a degree, all the men threw their hats off the pier in protest. Now no one wears hat. Instead, we have black gowns and a hood depending on degree. The ceremony goes as following: walk across the stage, kneel in front of the Chancellor/Vice-Chancellor, get bopped on the head with a piece of material that may or may not have been part of John Knox's trousers, have the hood put over you, stand up, step back, bow, walk off. TOO MUCH STUFF TO DO IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.

Hence, you see, the blind panic.

As there was no chance I was going to get to sleep again, I wandered into town to pick up my gown, before coming back home again. It was a beautiful day, so I enjoyed the sun for a bit before going for a shower and trying to make myself look as presentable as possible. My parents turned up and got changed at my house ("Your room smells of damp," Mum informed me solemnly; "Yes, that would be the damp," I replied) before I slipped into my academic dress of black skirt, white shirt, and 'nude hoisery.' I wasn't sure if I looked more like a waitress or a schoolgirl, to be honest, but by this point the taxi had come and we ended up at Younger Hall.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be sick, or just flail. I bumped into a few people I knew, and abandoned my parents and went in through the graduands entrance. To my absolute horror, I was on the front row, which meant I couldn't watch anyone else graduate. I listened to all the Latin and bits and bobs, and eventually went out to my introduction, which was my name. I walked out, I knelt, I got my 'et supra te' ('and unto you'), bopped over the head, stood up, and tried to walk down the wrong stairs. Fuck me, only I could buggar up that part of it.

Still, it was over, and I could enjoy seeing friends graduate, and it was all over surprisingly quickly. I came out to see Mum crying, before wandering over to get my photos taken by the official people in the Library. Man, I hate that building. Next stop was the garden party, which was much more my cup of tea; I drank gallons of fizzy wine and lots of tiny fudge doughnuts and strawberry tarts, and enjoyed the atmosphere and everyone around me. Unfortunately, I had to give my gown back at the end of the day - I was quite attached to it, in the end - and headed off to the medieval history garden party, which was boozier and more fun.

And that was sort of the day over, really; some of us met up in the pub afterwards, and saw the Michael Jackson was dead. At least I'll have a good 'where were you?' story!

I was horribly hungover the next day, but still couldn't sleep. I had insisted on dragging my parents around town so they could actually see the places I'd been studying in, before going for lunch. I also jumped up and down the PH. For those that don't understand the joy in this, the initials of the first Scottish Protestant martyr Patrick Hamilton are on the street just outside of Sallies Quad. You can't stand on them, otherwise you won't graduate. He can't hurt me now!

After a refreshing nap, I found myself bumbling around without much to do. This was a mistake, as it meant I got all my timings wrong for the ball. I straightened my hair for about two hours, and was barely ready by the time I left the house. We were at the ball pretty early on the basis that a champage reception means freebies (we were right) and it was this point the heavens opened. Bye bye, straight hair. Typical!

The ball itself was really lovely. It was in Sallies Quad, but under a marquee, which was beautifully decorated. There were also St Andrews badges, chocolates and di, which I stole quite a few of. The music was a bit hit and miss, but the company was so good - I think I saw nearly everyone I know as well as getting to catch up with Ann - that it honestly didn't matter. I drank lots of Pimms for some demented reason - I don't actually like Pimms - and just had a wonderful time. I also went to my first ever ceilidh, which I think I did reasonably well in, given that I was wearing three inch heels and was a complete novice at.

Saturday heralded no hangover at all. I was just as amazed as everyone else around me.

Now it is Sunday. It's all over, and worryingly I just got a phone call from the nursing home asking when I was coming back. Oh dear. My housemates will have both gone by the end of tonight, and I am working a ridiculously large amount of days this summer, so it's back to the real world. It was a wonderful, wonderful three days though.

Would you like to see some photos from the week? Go for it!
hathycol: (no bra bad day girl doctor)
So, yesterday my crown fell out first thing in the morning. Having a 10-6 shift and having to smile at people for the duration, I ended up legging it into town, buying Dentek and doing some DIY dentistry in the backroom of work. This was as much fun as it sounds.

When it fell out this morning, I have now decided that I have had ENOUGH and went to class this morning with the post in full view. I look a bit like the Terminator to be honst. I can deal with this, to be honest, as I can now going to spend today eating every kind of food you can tear into with gay abandon, because at least I'm going to the dentist first thing tomorrow.

Tonight is the first DocSoc that I'm not in charge of. I would normally be upset, but at least I don't have to talk to people. Also, I can eat all the food I want and the best part is I won't have to clean it all up. I can sit quietly at the back of the meeting and only answer quesions that are directed at me. And I can take part in the quiz! For the first time in three years! This is all exciting and will distract me from wanting to wail.

And now I'm going to go and eat a sandwich and pretend that I am organisd and actually start doing some work.
hathycol: (theoden [elvenfair])
I am going to find that student dentist that has fucked me over six ways from Sunday and I'm going to rip his balls off and possibly then set him on fire. Then I will do the same to the dentist I went to two days latr, without the ball part, as that dentist was a she.

Allow me to explain.

The Snaggletooth Saga was supposed to come to an end today; the old, now temporary crown would come out and I would get a shiny new crown put in permanently, and I would be able to eat again. As I am coming perilously close to Not Fitting In Some Clothes, this was a good thing indeed. I was very excited at the prospect of cheese toasties, and maybe a Snickers bar or eight. So I rock to the dentist, and after a lot of tugging, they discover that the dentist I went to for the repair of the original cock-up by the students had managed to fit the old crown with permanent glue.

To remove this, they had to break it up, tug at it, and generally muck it up. There were forceps involved. This was highly unpleasant. Still, I had a shiny new crown that would go in instead, right?

OR NOT. The bastarding students who, lest we forget, broke a drill in my gum last time, made yet another cock-up. The thing is the wrong colour and looks slightly blue under the wrong light, and doesn't fit right, so I am trundling back in a week to have my teeth fittd up again. I know they're just undergraduates and everything and I know I should be grateful for getting this for free - and for sorting me out after a cock-up like this - but I'm torn between anger that leads me wanting to kick things and wanting to just cry about how bloody hungry I am and I just want to eat food properly again.

... I'm meant to be going out tonight, but I have a class at 10.00am and work in the afternoon, meaning I have to work out how to eat around it when out for lunch. Again. Sigh.
hathycol: (cooking  much)
Okay, world, this is getting too much now. As people may be aware, I am currently mid-snaggletooth, and I've sort of stopped eating at my usual pace. It's just too much effort, basically. I am one of those people with a fairly healthy appetite and a tendency to eat when I'm bored; nothing dramatic, really, but I'll have half a packet of Minstrels or something. I'm not unhealthy because of it, and I'm aware that I need to do more exercise, but my diet is just peachy, generally. I actually eat fairly well, in a sort of studenty way.

Anyway. I'm eating three meals a day and all, but everything has to be soft and small. I'm so sick of soup, and boiled eggs. I tend to go a bit more mad of an evening and rock out to things like lasagne and chili, but all of it is small and tiny and bitesize. I just want to eat some chicken. Or a cheese toastie. Oh, christ, I'd kill for a cheese toastie. But I can't, not for another three weeks. So because it's too much effort to work out snacks, I don't eat them. And voila, off comes the weight, but I don't want to lose weight, especially just through diet; okay, jokes about my arse looking like a spacehopper aside, I think I have some rather lovely curves. I'd like to be more toned, but GUESS WHAT KIDS, just dropping weight ain't gonna do this.

Also not eating is MAKING ME CRAZY. I'm not going hungry or anything, but, well, fairly constantly peckish but not to the extent of risking the tooth.

So yesterday, I went into a meeting a work. I had to bring a photo of a favourite holiday (I took one of me, [livejournal.com profile] amchau and [livejournal.com profile] loneraven at Collectormania 7) and something that represented me. Jokingly, I brought along a teabag, on the basis that even when I am eating normally I still drink about six cups a day of it, I take a bit of getting used to, and I like hot baths. Oh, and I'd like to be advertised by Stephen Fry eventually.

The meeting at work was a big pile of nonsense, as usual; everyone else ate hotdogs (it was meant to be a barbeque, but we're in Scotland and it's March) and I refused, on the basis that a. sausage and b. it'd rip my teeth out. My boss was very impressed at my weight loss and kept on banging on about how you could really tell, it had all come off my face. (Clearly I was only employed at Fat Face because I fit the criteria!) However, there's no way on earth I'm going to say no to a glass of cider, so I drank that. This was a mistake. I'd only had lunch. I went for another pint on the way home, because, well, why on earth not. Needless to say, I was wasted by the time I got home at 9pm (ask Katie), and therefore couldn't be arsed preparing anything more dramatic than toast.

The moral of the story is that I've bought a tin of custard and will snack on this as far as is possible for, you know, the next three weeks. Oh, and I don't react well of alcohol without food.

Also I still have to finish my bastarding essay and faff around with all the trillion other things I have to do and I will do it all whilst being apparently slightly thinner than usual. I'm fed up of having to be paranoid about my bloody tooth. I'm fed up of having days of fail, and job applications, and essays, and god knows what else.

On the bright side, living in Scotland means that I don't have a Robin Hood and Primeval clash tomorrow - I can watch both in quick succession. Wahey.
hathycol: (angry eowyn)
I got a temporary crown put in two days ago. Just two days ago. The last temporary crown - which, kids, was put in by students and is just my old crown adjusted a wee bit - stayed in all ten days, was fairly solid, and would probably have stuck it for a month or so. The last time I got a temporary crown before this, the thing lasted through a three week jaunt in Italy before I got a full-time one put on.

Imagine my delight, then, when as I cleaned my teeth in preperation to go to work - and by 'clean' I mean clean the rest of them and use mouthwash to keep my top teeth clean - when the bastarding thing went all wobbly. I phoned work to wail about it, and fortunately they're giving me the day off sick with sick pay (thank god) but now I have to go to Kirkcaldy again to get the bloody thing superglued in again. Seriously, if I couldn't get an appointment I was looking at using candle wax to glue it in again.

I wouldn't mind the gap, to be honest, but I have a job in the public eye, several classes, a visit home, and oh yeah, a DJ set tonight, before my appointment to get the full-time crown put in on the 15th April. That, and I've been religiously following the soft foods diet (or: why I'm glad I have a blender) and not touched it at all, so it's really not my fault.

So, yes. In conclusion, Colleen is not amused. I had a neat plan for the day; go to work, vote in the elections, get this book I need, come home, do lots of reading, prepare self to go out, have AltSoc AGM, then enjoy AltSoc vs DocSoc. I know that Katie has a good setlist, and I reasonably like mine, and it was going to be great fun. Instead, I'm going to be sore and paranoid about it falling out again. At least I can get some reading done before I brave the perilous journey to Kirkcaldy.

... oh yeah, if you're in St Andrews come to AltSoc vs DocSoc. I may still have a large gap in my tooth and will therefore probably be blind drunk.
hathycol: (yeah right river)
Yesterday, I had a disasterous day. I forgot my work uniform, so had to do a straight run home and back in again to make it to class in time; the till in work was broken but we're only allowed to close the shop if it's actively on fire; classes were long and slow. I came home via the off-licence.

Still, at least at no point did a drill break whilst in my mouth.

No, that happened this morning. I had a very early morning appointment with the student dentists again, to fit me for a new crown. They had to do a big nasty root canal, which has now been done but half way through it the drilling suddenly stopped, and I was aware of two students peering at me. One of them said rather nonchalently "Oh, that's why we were told to use a bigger drill than you thought you might need." Yeah, wonder why my mouth really hurts now?

They may have been punishing me for freaking out a bit at the needle to numb me up. I tried to explain that just because I had lots of piercings didn't mean I wasn't somewhat uneasy at someone putting something sharp into my gum; I would have been okay if I hadn't seen the bloody thing. I didn't freak out properly, just asked for a moment to get ready for it. Still, though, ow.

At least I've been fixed up, and I now have an appointment to have the proper crown put on, although not for a month. [livejournal.com profile] stupidore, who is basically my protector in tooth-related crises, came with me, and god love her, sat in the car and waited for me for the hour and a bit I was in there, on the basis that we went to ASDA on the way back. This was fine by me.

And now, I have to make a setlist, finish my reading and resist the urge to nap. Perhaps more tea?
hathycol: (oh shit turlough)
What's your worst nightmare? Okay, wrong question. What nightmare keeps you up about once a week, and sometimes becomes so realistic that you 'wake up' in the dream to discover it's true? Mine is a bit specific, actually, but no less horrifying for it. Mine, you see, is teeth. Not just teeth in general, but very specifically my very front crown breaking off. This is a natural dream, as it happens periodically, hurts like hell. In fact, I wrote a fair few LJ articles about the last time it happened, in August 2007: It's a bit emo. My fear is one of pain, of expenses, and one of "what the fuck do I do?" It's at the very front of my mouth, and if it goes, I have nothing but a horrible little stubby tooth.

But the last crown was put in eighteen months ago and I'm careful with it. When my dentist in Liverpool finally gave up the ghost and went private, I made a conscious decision to get a dentist and private dental health insurance as soon as I graduated. (Theoretically, in the UK, you can have your dental care on the NHS, which still involves paying, but a massively reduced cost.) Besides, the rest of my teeth were healthy, mightmares aside.

You can imagine my outright horror, then, when on Sunday afternoon I heard distinctive crunching sound. I thought the crown has fractured. Imagine my increasing horror when I spat out my entire crown and what looked disturbingly like the remainder of the tooth.

Bless [livejournal.com profile] stupidore. She dealt with what felt like a fairly huge bout of panic, gently took me downstairs, and stood over me as I desperately phoned NHS Direct, and only laughed a bit when I pronounced my date of birth sounding like an Igor. The NHS lady was kind, gave me a number to phone in the morning for the Kirkcaldy emergency dentist, and told me to take painkillers. I had worked that part out for myself, but was grateful for the advice.

So, the next day I launched myself out of bed, having not slept due to the pain, and hurtled towards the phone like a ninja. It wasn't the number for the Kirkcaldy centre, it was a generic helpline. I cried down the phone, wailing about how it was at the front of my mouth, I was 21, why couldn't anyone give me advice about cosmeic proceedures as well as stopping the pain? Etc. That sounds a bit vain, but think how you would look if someone took off your front tooth, and left a gap accentuated by little black flecks and bits of crown? At 21? The woman tried to calm me down a bit, made a phonecall on my behalf, and got me fixed up for Kirkcaldy, who were under a promise to refer to the Dundee dentistry students if things were too awful. Sniffing, I accepted this and went off to Kirkcaldy, although rather intelligently I managed to park at the wrong hospital, and eventually made it to the dentists at a run, sweating and being generally a bit awful.

Once there - and after taking one look at me, the receptionist recoiled slightly - I was seen by a vile dentist, who wouldn't look me in the eye, or talk to me except to shout at me about my tongue piercing. I wasn't hopeful at this stage, but then went upstairs to get his boss. He was much kinder, peered at me, sympathised when I shot through the ceiling when he tried to put the crown back on, and generally seemed to think I was a good combination of a deserving case and an interesting dental puzzle. Either way, he asked me to wait for a bit, and eventually took me upstairs, to where the dentistry students did their thing.

(Yes, I know students aren't ideal, but quite frankly they're probably better on the theory than a qualified dentist, they're cheaper, and it's that or I have to use a private dentist and shell out about a grand.)

They were so, so good to me. They talked me down gently from the panic levels I'd been running at for about seventeenth hours, x-rayed me so see what was up, played Guess The Dental History (apparently I had a root canal as a child, Mum later confirmed this - who knew?), gave me a general check-up. Depending on what the x-rays showed, I was either going to have a post put into the healthy root, have an infection, or have a full extraction and have a plate denture for a while before getting a bridge put in. Luckily, I got the former option.

The depressing truth was that either way I had in fact lost the visible remainder of the tooth, but luckily there were some roots hanging in there for grim life, with no infection or root fracturing. Apparently I should have had a post put in a long time ago, but this didn't happen; luckily for me, I had two dentistry students who were very keen to get some practice is on root canals and how to fix them up and put in posts. Two slightly bungled injections, a root canal, a temporary post, some more drilling, superglue and a lot of supervision later, my old crown has been tentatively glued onto a small mental post which in turn has been drilled and then glued into my gum.

All this before lunch, too.

I'm going to be seen again a few more times - I get check-ups thrown in too, since they may as well practice everything on me while I'm there - for more root canals, to get fitted for a new crown, and to get the actual thing stuck to me on a permanent basis. I nearly hugged them for fixing me up, and hopefully on the cheap too. It's worth two hours of driving to and from Kirkcaldy. Unfortunately, temporary crowns means a month of eating a 'soft' diet. I've done it before, but it's not easy. Also the crown is slightly squinty, and drops a little, so once again I have a brand new smile. Super-duper.

I'm still a little sore today, but I ended up going to bed for about ten yesterday, and the sleep has really helped. Discovering my class to be cancelled, but not having enough time to go home, is a little peeving, but there we are. I have to go and find somewhere to have lunch now, preferably in a soup-based form.

I am, however, torn between massive gratefulness that I'm near a really good and apparently compassionate dentistry school, and irateness that it's impossible to get an NHS dentist. And that this bloody, bloody tooth won't just stay the fuck in.

So, flist, was your weekend this much fun?
hathycol: (oh shit turlough)
... and there is a journal title I never, ever wanted to use again.

For those of you new to the happy world of Colleen And Her Teeth, this whole drama began when I was a mere stripling of eight years old, having great fun at an adventure camp for wee 'uns. Then my best friend hit me around the face with a canoe paddle. As you do. Half of the front right hand tooth fell out, and that was the end of that.

Except it sort of wasn't, because the tooth that was left went and died on me. About four, nearly five years ago, I had the whole thing filed down and a permanent crown was put on it. By 'permanent' I mean 'It fell out when I was eating toast with [livejournal.com profile] flickerswitch in college when I was 17.'

I was pissed off. Unfortunately, I can't find the journal entry where I detail the last time this happened, but I was completely assured that this was was permanent and would last unless I got hit in the face again with a canoe paddle.

I have not been hit in the face with anything. To be precise, I was walking along, bit down whilst walking (not sure why) and... crunch.

I know that crunch noise. It is my worst enemy. It went crunch, but I wasn't spitting out any bits of teeth although the ominous throbbing of having poked the remaining nerves was still there. I panicked utterly and went to clean my teeth very gingerly. Half the crown fell off.

I made a wailing noise that was partially panic and partially pain. It went both ways.

I didn't sleep well last night. I dreamt of werewolves trying to break into work, and of the dentist laughing at me. It wasn't good. I woke up and felt sick with the wierd throbbing of toothache and of blind panic that I wouldn't be seen to. Nevertheless, because I am apparently channelling the spirit of Mother Theresa, I still went into work, except with a healthy side-portion of begging the Matron to let me off to phone the dentist and then to let me go and see him. She let me do so, possibly because my hideous grin (the inside of crowns is blue - who knew?) was scaring the residents.

I phoned, I made an appointment (I may have begged) and in I went for 11am sharp. I have a feeling the dentist was expecting a toothache and to prescirbe some antibiotics. I don't think he was expecting to pull out the remainder of a crown, fix on a temporary one and, bless him, measure me for the replacement. (The only other time this could have been done I was in Italy. I informed him of this and as horrified to find that I was about to start crying because oh my god I know how long this whole process takes.) An hour later, I staggered out with no feeling in my nose or indeed lower face and managed to drive back to work and manage to continue working for a further three hours.

Did I mention that I'm currently undergoing the delightful sensation of a cold caught off a 102 year old woman? Because I am, and I am terrified of sneezing out this ill-fitting temporary cap.

This is all... old news, though. I've done all this before. EXCEPT OH WAIT THAT NASTY AFTERTASTE IS NOT JUST THE TASTE OF ADHESIVE.

Oh no. All this malarky is costing me a shiny total of £194.00.

This new crown had better last. And better be made from fucking gold to make up for the fact I'm not eating until after Christmas. Excuse me, I'm going to go and eat nice food (but not the toffee I had waiting because that's just asking for trouble) and drink wine and watch Wicked.

BUT! HEY! I just looked at my profile and [livejournal.com profile] spacellama got me a V-Gift! WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED? Aww, a smile is on my face, albeit a hideously expensive one. Very belated thanks!

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