Monday, April 26, 2010

If at first you don't succeed ...

Every day is a work in progress, so we acknowledge, adjust and accommodate as things change. We take on new tasks and handle them to the best of our ability.
One of my newest tasks includes helping Nana manage her dentures. Trouble is I seem to be hindering more than helping her right now. What to do: keep trying.
Nana's lower 'teeth' have been re-lined to fit against her gums properly, twice in the last year. They still meander around in her mouth but it doesn't seem to bother her. Matter of fact it means that she can just sort of spit them out into her tooth glass at bedtime. The uppers take a bit of tugging to get out, but sit quite well over the course of her three meals a day, and mid-afternoon snack. Once they're safely swimming in their overnight bath of effervescent dental soak we don't need to worry about them until the next morning.
Now mornings are still a bit of a challenge for me. I can handle scrubbing the leftover dental adhesive off her 'teeth' with her toothbrush. I dry them off, just the way she likes it. I can even get just the right amount of dental adhesive onto each half moon of choppers. Once that's been accomplished I really have to watch out.
No matter how careful I am, she manages to foil my best efforts to get them in the right way. We've ended up with her lower teeth firmly pasted to her upper gumline, or the uppers in with the lowers planted over top of them. Even when I hand her the upper set and help guide them to her mouth, she manages to turn them upside down and plant them in her mouth that way.
We're getting better at this new two-woman venture. Using a combination of hand signals, show and tell, verbal instructions and careful guidance we manage to get Nana's teeth in the way they need to be. My new technique of doubling up the dental 'glue' on her lower teeth actually keep them in her mouth at least until noon most days.
If at first we don't succeed we do try, try again. This means we sometimes lose some of the 'glue' meant for the dentures. As a result we've run into the slight problem of how to get Nana's lips apart once they're stuck together with dental adhesive. It's not life threatening, but can make having a clear conversation a bit of a challenge.
Lucky for me, Nana's been a good sport about the whole thing and simply smiles with her lips together some mornings.

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