Location: Manning Valley
Date: September 2014

September 19, 2014. Here's a paste of today's Waffle entry:

The drive to Port Macquarie for a CT scan of my jaw was uneventful. I arrived on time but it took ages to find Mid North Coast Imaging and I was late for the appointment... but as it happened it didn't matter - the waiting room was full. Following the scan - which was done with one of those radiation tunnel machines that swallows you up horizontally while it takes a 3D image of your bits - the operator gave me a large envelope of the pictures. Huh? What am I supposed to do with these? Forward them to the doc in Sydney? When I got back to Taree, I phoned the doc's office to ask if they'd received copies of the scan electronically. Nope. So they're investigating and will let me know if they want the pictures forwarded or not. Confusion, confusion.

For those of you who are unaware of the reason for the CT scan, it's to check the worsening osteoradionecrosis of my lower jaw and exposed bone. The medication for the past two years (which was a trial anyway) hasn't worked, so it appears that reconstructive surgery involving transplanted bone will be necessary. The new bone will then be drilled to accommodate a lower set of permanent teeth implants. Woohoo!

I took the coast road from Port Macquarie back to Taree - at least as far as Laurieton where I joined the Pacific Hwy for the remainder of the trip - and gave the Nikon a bit of a workout. But this time I experimented with a polarizing filter and discovered (after arriving home and checking the images) that darkening the sky overexposes bright subjects like sand and white objects. Not good. So I won't be using the polarizer again except in exceptional circumstances. The filter also causes vignetting when the lens is set at 18mm. Grrrr.

At one location, Lighthouse Beach, I had just finished taking a shot and was walking back to PJ when two young girls on their way to the beach warned me to stay clear of a grassy area a few feet away into which a large brown snake had slithered a few moments beforehand. One of the girls said it was 10 foot long (probably an exaggeration but even so...) and brown. Brown snakes are highly venomous and can be aggressive if provoked. So there ya go... the snake and I had crossed paths but, luckily, not at the same time. The down side is that I didn't get a photo of the critter. Click here for the photo album with captions.

September 10, 2014. Here's a paste of the Waffle entry for September 10. I travelled to Sydney on the 9th to see the prof for an update on my exposed bone and gum problem, and spent the morning photographing Balmain and parts of the city. The photo album link is below: 

I wanted something definite from the prof yesterday and that's what I got. Seems that the medication - oxpentifylline and mega doses of vitamin E - didn't do the job. It was a trial anyway. My exposed bone is getting worse (more of it now than there was last time he saw it 6 months ago) and he suggests there's a danger of my jaw fracturing.. Sooooooo, first thing is to have a CTC scan done, which he's organizing, and if it reveals what he already suspects, then I'm in for another operation... a serious one. 10 hours in surgery, 2 weeks in hospital and 6 months recovery, probably using a food tube for much of that time. Bone from another part of my body will be implanted into my jaw, and new teeth will be inserted into the bone. I'll have "real" teeth in the bottom and an upper plate. But at least it does away with uncertainty and provides a timeline. If it happens fairly soon, I'll be ready to rock and roll by about next March/April.

I was quite chuffed with the idea even though it means 6 months of crap again. His assistant said most patients are horrified by the idea of a bone implant and that it was strange to see me accepting it quite willingly. Yeah, well it's the result I'm focusing on. TEETH!

I'd forgotten how hilly Balmain is near the foreshore, and decided not to tackle most of the area. I took a few pics and then boarded the ferry again for a bit of tour around the Harbor and back to the city where I took more pics. Then a bus ride to Newtown and the prof's office. Then a cab back to the railway station and Taree. Click here for the photo album.

September 5, 2014. The bloke who's posting historic pics on an auto newsgroup is still at it. God knows how many he has in his stash but here's another 50+... some quite interesting, especially the last one. Click here for the photo album.


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