Location: Manning Valley
Date: September 2013

September 3, 2013. Back from a visit to Sydney yesterday to see the specialist about the condition of my gums and also utilize the morning to photograph the Botanic Gardens and Harbor foreshore. More about that later. 

The doc wasn't all that impressed with the condition of my mouth because of the exposed bone, so I asked him about the chances of an operation. There won't be one. There what? I don't know how I got this wrong but I've always been under the impression that the doc was waiting for favorable conditions in order to operate on the exposed bone. Nope. That's not the case at all. Mind you, you're lucky to get 10 minutes with those specialist guys before they bundle you out the door so it's not really a surprise that messages get mixed up or misinterpreted somewhere, somehow.

There are two options: Option 1 is to undergo a long and tedious hyperbaric treatment regime followed by an operation to remove the exposed bone. It's more or less the standard procedure but there's no guarantee of success. Option 2 is this new medication regime I'm on (and I'm pretty much a guinea pig in that regard). It involves 1000IU Natural Vitamin E daily plus 400mg Trental twice a day - a medication designed to promote increased vascular activity in difficult areas. There's no surgery involved. The plan is for the problem bone to vascularize sufficiently to encourage tissue growth by the gum so that it eventually covers the exposed bone area. The tissue relies on vascularized bone to grow (and feed). Once that happens, dentures can be fitted. Meanwhile, it's a very slow process.

When I relayed the news to Nancy this morning she was disappointed, of course, but took it all on board. During the irrigation, she chipped bits of dead bone away and, surprise, surprise, noticed tiny indications of improved vascular activity in the live bone. She was most encouraged by that and will do a bunch of research tonight and then get in touch by email with Dr Clark in Sydney to compare notes. She also took a couple of photos after exposing the live bone. She sees me every week so she can be Dr Clark's eyes and ears.

So that's the situation at the mo. Not the news I was expecting but also not bad news. Any improvement is welcome. And I'm really not at all keen to go on a long hyperbaric regime that may prove to be useless - as well as fairly serious surgery.

How will all this affect the Odyssey? I see Nancy once a week for regular irrigation and cleaning. Does it need to be every week? I'm thinking of taking perhaps a month off occasionally to spend on the road, and do shorter trips in between. Anyway, I'll chat with Nancy about that at some stage and work something out. I'd like to get the Odyssey happening at least partially before this gum business is finally out of the way.

Incidentally, everything else is fine. My weight could be improved but it's not a serious issue. My health is fine. There's no sign of any cancer. I spent 6 hours yesterday morning walking around the Botanic Gardens and the Harbor foreshore so I'm obviously reasonably fit.

I travelled first class on the 1.30am XPT from Taree to Sydney. The fare was free because of my eligibility for free travel as an age pensioner but the move up to 1st Class cost 20 bucks return. Cool! However, it didn't help with sleep. I had a single seat at the front of the carriage near the automatic door leading from my carriage to the next, which was the dining car. Both the carriage door and galley door, just a few feet apart, were hyperactive all night with people coming and going and catering staff busy preparing breakfast for 6am - not to mention the voices and bright lights. The trip back was better. My seat was facing the other way and it was late afternoon/early evening.

After disembarking in Sydney at Central Railway at 6.50am, I took at taxi to the Botanic Gardens and arrived shortly after opening time at 7am, then spent the next 6 or so hours walking all around the gardens and foreshore taking lots of pics. That's a lot of walking! Here's what I wrote on Waffle about it: Isn't it weird how the negative side of our brains can be so domineering! Last night, when I looked at the pics I shot in Sydney yesterday I saw quite a few that had simple mistakes - things I should have been aware of when I was shooting. So I got all cranky and depressed about them. Then I took another look this morning, listed all those that didn't scrub up and deleted them. I must have deleted the negative side of my brain as well because as I started to check the remaining images, I felt great about the good ones hehe. So this was definitely a case of out of sight, out of mind. In fact, some of the shots I'm very pleased with. As for the boo boos, I've learned an important lesson: check the pics before you end up 400kms away hehe.

I did some experimental stuff with the Opera House, taking close ups of various parts of the building to highlight certain espects of the design, so I'll do a separate album and call it Opera Perspectives. There was a cormorant nearby that put on a special show for me (Nancy my dentist said that it was mating). I took a lot of pics hoping to get something decent. Three or four turned out quite good so I flicked the rest.

Oh yes, that's what I meant to mention about Sydney - Joggers. They were everywhere! All through the Botanic Gardens, around the forecourt and promenade at the Opera House, up and over the temporary pedestrian bridges around construction sites, and right along The Domain. There I was trudging along with camera and backpack with these fitness fanatics whizzing past and practically knocking me ass over tit. At the end of my six hour walk, there was an African bloke - black as the Ace of Spades, with muscles bulging - instructing a group of young women in aerobics and general fitness, with a bit of weight lifting thrown in for good measure. Just around the corner from them was the NSW Art Gallery where I grabbed a taxi and headed for Newtown and my appointment with the doc.

You'll notice that some of the cityscape pics on the Botanic Gardens album have some kinda problem with pixelation because of the small format. They look fine in larger format so I'm not sure what I can do about that. However the vast majority of the pics are fine. So enjoy my tour! Click here for the album of Opera Perspectives and here for the album of The Botanic Gardens.


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