Wednesday, October 13, 2010


In honor of the season of the year where we notice plants dying back and the chill in the air and contemplate our mortality, here's an article on doctors learning to recommend hospice care to patients. Whee! Well, I'm sorry it's not whee! but at least it is by Atul Gawande who writes like butter. He's touchingly honest about how awkward and painful this kind of communication with patients feels to him. He reports his off-putting attempt and then gets a hospice person to tell him better phrasing for these questions. The one that sticks with me is: "If time becomes short, what is most important to you?" Which is something we should be asking ourselves periodically anyway.

As for my own mortality, I have my teeth to remind me. After last week's root canal, I've been getting a toothache from time to time. The nurse told me that there should be no pain. Regular pain meds get rid of it but it keeps coming back. I suspect that things will unroll just like after the last root canal I had five years ago. There is bacteria in the root where there shouldn't be any and I will have to have the endodontist ream it out. I am not kicking up my heels at this prospect. Will see dentist tomorrow for crown fitting so will ask then.

It's been cooler (60s) and it rained Monday. Women on campus are wearing their new fall boots. In related news, I have come up with a new band name I like: Dumb Buckles.

Shauna, the Gluten-Free Girl, and her husband Danny are hosting a picnic at Dolores Park on Sunday, October 17. Here's her entry on their recent NYC picnic. "If you are anywhere near San Francisco this weekend, we are having another picnic on Sunday at noon. In Dolores Park. Bring some gluten-free food to share... We are asking everyone to show up with the words YES or IMAGINE on them somewhere." Could be fun! I'd bring ginger slaw if I was going. Hm, the forecast high for Sunday is only 57. Well, Dolores Pk is protected. And maybe it'll be a little warmer than that.


Bee said...

I've often thought that teeth really weren't made for a long life. They wear out long before they should. So sorry that an endodontist will have to be brought in. Does your health plan include dental?

Our weather is low 50s, gray, smell of woodsmoke. I've got the knee-high black boots on -- with, yes, buckles.

Can you believe it? I got your letter today. It must have caught the first plane to London. S'wonderful to see your beautiful handwriting.

Nimble said...

@Bee: Hey! that's great to hear that the letter went by air and not by boat. I trust you are wearing yummy sweaters as well as your stylish boots and feeling very country chic.

Teeth, yeah, I definitely get the message that 40 was about it as far as necessary life span goes for humans. Stupid teeth.