April 15, 2003
A couple weeks ago, Alexander began taking swimming lessons. He seems to enjoy himself quite a bit at the pool, and it's cool that he gets to spend more structured quality time with his dad. In general, any structured parent/baby activities he's had have been with his mom.
Alexander is crawling around the house like a madman, and he is also frequently working himself up into a standing position. He'll stand for up to half a minute at a time, and his balance gets better every day. Even though he was a relatively late crawler (that is, relative to the other babies his age in the primary mommy/baby class that he goes to each week), all indications are that he could start walking very soon. Good thing we house-proofed the baby! Er, uh. Baby-proofed the house.
Well, at least part of the house.
We have gates at the top of the stairs to keep him from tumbling down. But we don't have gates at the bottom of the stairs to keep him from climbing up. And he does like to climb them stairs.
All in all, I'm proud of my kid who is growing up faster than we can anticipate. He'll be doing laps around his dad in the pool in no time. :-)
And, yes, I'll be posting responses to the many comments on my freedom of speech essay soon. I promise!
April 30, 2003
I've been receiving posts from people who have found my site because they were looking for information regarding gingiva grafts. I guess the search engines must love me, because they parse each of my essays and make such phrases easy to follow to my site.
Well, it turns out my gingiva graft story is not complete. As I posted previously (and, if you follow the links back in each of my prior posts on the subject, you'll get the complete chronology), I've had two procedures so far. The first one took gum material from the roof of my mouth and inserted it into a little pocket at the base of one of my front teeth. The roof healed fine, but the new pocket didn't quite heal up right. There was still a bit of a cleft, and some of the gum material escaped, which meant there wasn't much coverage. Hence, a second procedure was performed to "freshen up" the edges of the cleft and sew 'em together, in the hope of getting at least a uniform pocket.
That second procedure was a nominal success. Things look a little better, insofar as the cleft is repaired and I have more coverage now than I did before... but the gums never quite healed right. They still look agitated. My periodontist recommends, therefore, a third session. Here, gum material will be taken from yet another portion of my mouth and inserted below the gum line in my lower jaw to create a sort of barrier against further deterioration. My periodontist says this is an older technique, which has enjoyed a very high success rate. But I'm starting to have second thoughts.
Nobody can figure out why my gums haven't healed properly. They continue to look like they are in an agitated, newly transplanted state. Is it really such a wise idea to have them do more surgery in that area of my mouth if they don't know why the previous surgery hasn't done well?
I'm scheduled to go in tomorrow for the third procedure. I'm facing a dilemma, insofar as I want to make sure that I prolong the life of my teeth, but continuing to do a bunch of surgeries surely can't be a good thing. At what point do I draw the line and say what's done is going to have to be good enough?
Everybody I know who has had this kind of work done before has come through it all smiles and with only one procedure. Clearly, my case isn't typical (for all you folks who are researching gingiva grafts out there). But that's no comfort to me at this moment. My mouth feels fine, but that one part of my gums still looks agitated. If I let it go, things might get bad again. Or they might not. If I have the third procedure, I'm doubly protected against further degradation. This procedure, I'm told, has a 99 percent success rate. What worries me, of course, is whether I'm at risk for having the new site also not heal properly.
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