Mary Beth Writes


My teeth again. Argh. This past week I’ve had a jaw ache/toothache that got worse instead of better. Today my dentist said I need a crown but also that’s not the thing that is causing the swelling and infection and ache. I now have an Rx for an antibiotic and an appointment for that crown and an appointment with an endodontist to get an Xray worthy of NASA.

Over the weekend I also called my sister-in-law who is an RN. Everything hurt and ibuprofen worked great but not for six hours. Emilie said to alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen every three to four hours. And to drink a lot of water.

Her advice alleviated the pain. She didn’t charge anything.

What with covid subvariants multiplying like drunken bunnies and flight delays headlining the news, Len and I can just stay in the living room and say this was the plan all long.

I know I’m not the only person up against their own dang crumbling health. Len and I keep saying we are in good health, but actually, in this coming month, between the two of us, we have eight medical and dental appointment.  

When Len and I first started dating, we managed to do about two things per week.

I guess this is like that.


Last week (before my head fell apart) I took my two young friends on a nature hike. They are the wonderful girls I met via tutoring at the neighborhood school. I’m lucky to have them in my life.

They’d never been on a nature hike other than short ones with their school classes. We drove out to the park and I pulled into the small parking lot. We got out of the car, it was quiet and breezy and we were the only people there.

One of the girls looked up at the tall trees blowing in the wind and said, “Look at all those leaves just fluttering in the wind. It looks like a million green butterflies.”

What’s going right in your world lately?

Len went fishing last night with our son at Cherokee Marsh in Madison. You can't see it, but the outboard motor is a 1971 Mercury that Len worked on for a year - and fixed! If you look closely, you will see that there are reeds painted on the boat. Our son did that.  


Ugg to teeth and doctor appts. The pictures are gorgeous. M looks so much like Len.

I'm not in any pain except in the pocketbook. Today I went to my dentist to have a new crown put on a back tooth. During the process of removing the temporary crown my dentist knocked off the old filling by accident. It was a very old filling and it was by accident I need a root canal to build it up properly for the new crown. I see the dollars blowing out the window as I sit here in the living room contemplating how some people never get cavities. I think crappy, painful, expensive things happen and we have to enjoy the good times in between. Best of luck to you and Len with those upcoming appointments.
Mary Beth's picture

Argh! If the dentist damaged the old filling - one would think he would partially pay for the root canal. But then, the stolidly solidly moneyed folks seem to have ways to keep their cash and take ours. Yesterday, after the appt with the dentist, while waiting for Len to finish having his cleaning and checkup - I was talking to myself.. "Breathe, relax, it's just numbers. Money is just numbers." We all know this isn't 100% true, but when one has to have an unexpected root canal, better to believe money is just numbers.

We don’t have it. It seems like it costs a lot and doesn’t cover much. Does anyone have any strong opinions on buying dental insurance?

My husband and I, retired Postal workers, have a plan through the P.O. for which we still have to pay roughly $150 per month. It covers cleanings and check ups and around 40% of other work. Although it's expensive we keep it due to the ever emerging issues with our dental work from years ago (we're both in our 60s). Some years we come out ahead, other years we barely use it aside from cleanings.
Mary Beth's picture

Thank you for this. We talk about it but the one year we had it, it barely covered anything. It's helpful to hear your experience.

I spend a lot of time outside in my yard, mainly doing yard work. When I am feeling discouraged for whatever reason, I look around at the many butterflies, bees, iguanas , Ospreys; and most recently, a Hawk that visit my place, I am renewed. My goal was to provide "sanctuary," I think I have. That is going right in my world. My daughter finding a wonderful OT therapist for my grandson ( third attempt) has encouraged all of us. I hope you feel better soon. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

... wrote to me last night. She said, "This was such a beautiful thing to read. Me and the girls love you guys so much, you're a blessing and we're so grateful to have you in our lives. Thank you for always spending time with the girls." To which I, MB, reply, "Those blessings and that gratitude goes both ways. Thanks, Friend."


We have it but my husband says paying the premiums is the same as prepaying for the services we get. Ours covers two cleanings and one checkup each per year. I once had a filing paid for! But not roots canals or crowns or appts with endodontists! It might pay a for something we have not yet experienced but I think I will pass on the experience.
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks. Yesterday the receptionist was scheduling my crown and said she couldn't finalize it until the 'preauthorization' was back, so probably I would need to wait a month. I reminded her I pay at the time of service so she scheduled me for two weeks out. I realized not having dental insurance has this weird (extremely expensive) perk - I don't have to wait for an insurance person to okay a procedure for which they would likely pay much less than half.

I think your Chinese fortune cookie would say: You are forever an optimist.
Mary Beth's picture

Made me laugh.. Thanks!

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Len’s Birthday


Last week I mentioned that Monday of this week would be Len’s birthday. A friend remarked to me ever so kindly later that day, “I thought his birthday was the 30th?”

It is. Len’s birthday is the 30th. This same friend has commented to me, over the years, about how much I remember.

Covid Diary #1350 Thanksgiving


Today is 1350 days since the that March Friday in 2020 when we all went into quarantine.

Today is 60 years since JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I remember that day, so does Len, so do many of you. Here’s a scary truth. We are as far today from that day – as that day was from the Wright brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk on Dec 17, 1903.

Quarantine Diary #1349 Sci-Fi & Prophecy


We both took Covid tests this morning and both of us still have pink lines. I asked the internet what this means and it says I might be pregnant.

I have a call into my doctor’s office to discuss. I feel so much better that if I didn’t know I have Covid, I wouldn’t know it. I’ve been sicker than this after too much pie.

Covid Diary #1347


A few of you might realize yesterday we were 1345 days since March 13, 2020, and today we’re at 1347. Yup, I used a different calculator. Just a fun reminder that precision depends as much on asking the right question as doing perfect math.

I’m in day #4 of having Covid. No more chills. I have a fever of 100.4 which is more impressive than the 100.2 that Len achieved on his Day #4.  I’m taking various OTC meds and I keep track of them in my phone’s notes because, wow, it’s so easy to have no memory of the last time one took something. I’m good. Enough.

Covid Diary #1345


I thought I was done with the Covid Diary but guess what? Len and I caught Covid this week! Actually, Covid caught us. We have continued to wear masks in stores, library, meetings, and our church so we will never know for sure where Len encountered Covid. And since I got it four days later, I guess we know where I got it…

My New Substack for Short Stories


Let’s call this “Old Dog Versus New Tricks.” Does it feel to you as if I’ve been extra quiet these past months? It does to me. One big reason is that I’ve been figuring out Substack.

Here’s the deal: In addition to this blog, I’ve been writing more creative fiction. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m finally taking it seriously. I’m not giving up this website, but substack is going to let me concentrate on short stories and other stand-alone pieces.

What’s Substack?

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