Friday, 14 December 2007

Knees & Gnashers

A couple of days ago, we were down to our last English teabag. Panic reigned in the Upex household!

So off to Beziers we went, to a shop that specialises in loose tea (and coffee beans). We purchased a bag of Assam, of Darjeeling and one of Strong Breakfast - and have spent the last two days experimenting with them.

Today we enjoyed the strongest cup of tea we have had in a long time!

This afternoon, Richard had the first of three injections into his knee. Before the gel went in, the Specialist noticed that the knee was swollen and decided to draw off some of this fluid first.

In went the biggest diameter needle you have ever seen (Ouch!) and out came a whole syringe full of yellow liquid.

Why is it yellow? asked Richard.

Don't know, said the Specialist, but it is always that colour!

This evening Richard says that it definitely feels better - and hopes it will continue to do so. Next injection in a weeks time, the third the week after.

It still disappoints me that the Dentist service in France in no way lives up to the excellent Health Service here.

Basically you go when you have a problem, and the problem is cured perfectly.

However there are no check-ups (to catch the problems before they are noticeable to us!) and no regular 'cleaning' care of teeth (eg plaque removal).

Our Dentist explained that there are only dentists - the role of a hygienist does not exist in France, and no one in their right mind pays a fully qualified, expensive dentist to 'clean' tartre from between their teeth!

Richard was back there this week because one of his molars shattered a few weeks ago, and before she would pull out the broken bits, he had to stop taking his blood-thinning medicine for a week - she did not fancy him bleeding to death in her chair. The fact that his blood still coagulates likes glue even on this medication .......

I had an appointment as well because I am concerned about my teeth - they are fragile and I get holes regularly where bits break off (eg when I eat crisps!), plaque has built up between them in the 5 years since we saw an English dentist, and most importantly my gums have started receding on one side. I am worried about the exposed roots!!

Our dentist is VERY good, it is just that they have different practises and priorities here!

My session went like this:
1. Your teeth do not look that fragile;
2. Yours gums are not infected at all and will recede with age, you just need to use a softer toothbrush;
3. Your crown at the front has a minute chip (in the porcelain) in the centre, where the gold shows through! That needs dealing with because it looks ugly!

And the dentist then spent time carefully sanding away around the offending pinhole, filling it with carefully colour-matched resin, and I have to go back in a couple of weeks time to have a special glaze put over the top to provide the final seal.

She tells me that it will look perfect! No one will notice I had a problem!!

We were all sitting around the lounge after dinner keeping ourselves occupied, when a Marks and Spencer Christmas food advert came on the TV - and we all groaned and lusted after it all! It is so unfair that we do not have an M&S just down the road........

When they were puppies, we always gave our dogs cardboard tubes (from wrapping paper and kitchen roll) and plastic bottles to chew on - they are excellent for their teeth. Because cardboard is easily digestible, and as long as you take away the bottles before they manage to break off bits, they are perfectly safe.

Even now, Xena LOVES them!

LeeLee and two friends are off to watch the rugby matches at Bedarieux tomorrow - they are now considered the lucky mascots for the teams it seems!?

Disproving our regular assertion that she could not organise a piss-up in a brewery, LeeLee has spent many days sorting out the arrangements which get very complicated and change every day!

She is coming home from college as usual.
We then take her to pick up her two friends who will have previously rendez-voused at another house.
We will drive them to the rugby ground.
Later one of the other parents will provide the taxi service back - in time for LeeLee to grab some dinner before going next door to babysit.

It has taken a week to get this organised!

LeeLee arrived home at lunchtime today from college in a tizzy - no one thought to mention that the matches are 'away' this weekend! The players had all forgotten!!

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