Good genes vs. bad genes…The differences for Tom and I…

Two kudus grazing on the side of the road.

Tom had dental surgery yesterday, which included moving bone between his gums and sinuses to create a bridge for two implants. It will need to heal for over six months, and once we return in December 2022, Dr. Singh in  Malalane will permanently make the crowns sit atop the metal implants.  In the interim, he still has the noticeable gap on the right side of his mouth, which shows when he smiles.

Why not get it done sooner than 13 or 14  months from now? The foundation won’t be ready while we’re in the US, and if all goes as planned, we’ll be on the move in many countries outside the US. It will be best to wait. He’s fine with that. Also, the cost for the two implants is 70% to 80% less in South Africa than in the US.

After the 45 minute procedure, he came out to the reception area and looked fine except for the wad of gauze he had in his mouth. Comparable to when his teeth were pulled, he has to be extra careful not to disturb the site while it heals by eating on the opposite side, avoiding brushing in that area and not touching it, or playing with it with his tongue.

Surprisingly, he had no pain after the anesthetic wore off and had no trouble eating a bacon-wrapped fillet mignon and rice for dinner. He passed on vegetables and salad but will have them tonight with his pork chops cooked on the braai. He says he’s feeling fine with no discomfort at all.

Medium Daddy and his girls.

When I had my tooth pulled recently, I suffered dearly for three weeks with a dry socket and a few days ago noticed a bone spur sticking out from the gums in that area. Oh, good grief. My appointment with Dr. Singh was before Tom’s, and in no time at all, he numbed the site and, using a laser while I wore special glasses, he filed down the bone spur.  The area will heal in a few days. Thank goodness, no pain or discomfort from this easy procedure.

But, all of this brings to mind how different Tom and I are when having an illness or medical procedure. Tom recovers without incident, and I go through hell with complications that can haunt me for weeks, if not months, after I have any medical issue, surgery, or procedure.

The vast difference is in our genes is that Tom’s family members are robust and healthy. His mother, Mary Lyman, lived until almost 99, and before her final days, she wasn’t on any medication. Tom takes no medication other than a few vitamins. I envy how fortunate he is but am grateful we don’t have to deal with any medical issues.

On the other hand, my family’s genes are a mess. Many suffer (mainly on my mother’s side) with diabetes and other metabolic diseases, obesity, heart disease allergies (such as asthma and hay fever), cancer, and more, all inflammatory-type conditions. Thus I’d have diabetes if I didn’t eat such a low-carb diet. I have coronary arterial disease and am riddled with many allergic conditions, including asthma, hay fever, and a high propensity for reacting to allergens with hives, especially in South Africa.

The females are bossier about getting pellets than the males.

As mentioned a few days ago, the usual dust mite invasion in the bed, typical this time of year, causes me an outrageous amount of massive, crazy itching welts. Most mattresses and stuffed furniture, bedding, and pillows have dust mites in them. Most people don’t react to these nasty invisible mites unless they are allergic to their presence, as I am.

Unbeknownst to me, this past weekend, in one night, the dust mite invasion happened as the weather had heated up, and in the morning, I had red, raised welts all over the entire left side of my body. I lay on my left side, barely moving all night long. This is not new to me, as mentioned previously. But, by the time I had developed the welts, it was too late. The itching typically lasts for two to three weeks.

Louise was all over this. She arranged for Zef and Vusi to make an all-out attack on the dust mites in the mattress by washing all the linen in scalding water and drying it all at high temperatures. Then she purchased an ultra-thick mattress cover which was added after they vacuumed every inch of the bed and sprayed everything with a particular non-toxic chemical, specifically for this purpose.

This was all done yesterday on Monday. The hard part was that I already had the welts, and last night, I had no way of knowing if what they’d done would be beneficial. I can only wait until the welts heal. The itching is unbearable. My Fitbit says I slept for only three hours each of the last two nights.

With several types of cream on hand, cortisone-based and antihistamine-based, I got no relief after slathering it on every few hours. The itching only lessened for an hour or so after I got up during the night and took a hot shower. The heat seemed to help as opposed to advice online saying heat would only make it work. Dr. Google isn’t always right, although I did find a few entries stating heat could be beneficial for some types of allergic responses.

Of course, I took two different long-acting antihistamines, 12-hours apart, with no relief whatsoever. Today, I am trying to do things differently. I haven’t used any cream yet. This morning we went to the little store, and I purchased calamine lotion. I determined that touching it every few hours was spreading the welts. Tonight, before bed, I will take another shower and then gently apply the calamine lotion with a cotton ball. I am not scratching at all, as tempting as it is.

Then, around 11:00 pm, 2300 hrs, I will take two 25 mg Benedryl, which we have on hand, hoping this will help the itching and put me to sleep. I didn’t use any Benedryl yesterday since I had taken two other non-drowsy antihistamines, providing no relief.

I keep looking at the time, for once, hoping this day passes quickly. We’ll busy ourselves in the bedroom after dinner streaming a few favorite shows to distract me. We’ll have the aircon on since today is the hottest day we’ve had here since we arrived last January.  Right now, it’s 104F, 40C, and rising by the minute. It’s too hot to sit outdoors or even in the lounge.

With it so hot, the animals are hunkered down at water holes and in the shade. There have been no more comments about the lions, but we’ll keep you updated.

Have an excellent day! Please check back tomorrow!

Photo from one year ago today, November 16, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India on day #238/ Mandatory Credit: Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times/Shutterstock (11008794b) Crowded street of Ranade road for Diwali shopping at Dadar west, on November 8, 2020, in Mumbai, India. Diwali Festival 2020, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India – 08 Nov 2020. For more photos, please click here.

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