Radiogurl a la Carte

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006
An Eye for a Tooth

I haven't died, honest. Though apparently 00 nearly did. And it might be the best thing that ever happened to her.

In order for you to fully understand this, let me backtrack a bit. For anyone who's tuning into this diary for the first time, or nearly for the first time, 00 is my eldest daughter. She's all of 24, weighs about 100 lbs., is 5'2", and has gone through hell on earth from the time she was very young. She has been diagnosed with a severe case of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder,) so extreme that the diagnosing physician told me she has to be at genius level to function at all. Her mind doesn't process information like the majority of the world: she literally hears/sees about a third of what's there, and her mind has to fill in the gap.

She's attempted suicide more than once, coming very close once to succeeding. She survived an alcoholic/addict father, an abusive grandfather, homelessness, an abusive boyfriend when she was an adult, and more.

She also had several teeth broken out as a child, when a fellow student at school decided that her teeth resembled a hockey puck - at least enough so that he slammed into them with a hockey stick.

The dentist (and I use the term loosely) at the time did a hack-job of repair to her teeth, which had been absolutely perfect prior to that - no cavities, flawlessly straight, etc. She stopped smiling on that day - at the age of about 11 - and never smiled again until she got braces when she was 15. This may be the only child who was absolutely thrilled to have braces, because in our world, they were a luxury of the highest order.

Unfortunately 00's size carries forward to her mouth, and once her wisdom teeth started to come in, they crowded the other teeth - but because of the crappy job the original dentist did, all of his 'repair' work broke off. Which led to immediate and horrible infection. In fact, she went to an actual dentist yesterday, who told her had she waited another week, she might not have lived. The infection hadn't only absessed; it had spread well into her face and they were worried it would spread to her brain within a matter of days or even hours. Even if she wasn't killed, she ran the risk of permanent paralysis of her face from the damage by the infection - and there's still a small possibility of that, albeit (fortunately) it doesn't seem to be the case so far.

To give you an idea: the dentist thwacked her broken teeth and she couldn't feel anything. Now before you say that's a good thing - it's not that she actually isn't in pain. It's that she's in so much pain that her body shut off its ability to register the sensation. Her nerves stopped functioning, like a breaker thrown from an electrical overload. Only unlike the scenario of the breaker that shuts off the power, imagine that the electricity is still surging unchecked and igniting fires throughout the house.

It's going to cost on the order of $5000 to put her back together - and the dentist told her no, she's not able to postpone or set aside any of it. And when those nerves start healing, she's going to feel all of the things she can't feel now - she's already been warned of the fact.

Faced with the very real threat of dying, though, 00 discovered that she really is scared shitless and doesn't want to die. She said she thinks this will stick with her the next time she hits a suicidal bent; that when it comes down to it, dying is something she's not ready to do.

And of course, she is happy to know she'll be able to smile again. The tooth that was worse was center front and on top; it looked awful, hurt terribly, and she said she felt like people looked at her as a drug addict. (If anyone doesn't know - the use of heavy-duty drugs trashes your teeth like nobody's business). In her case, she also has the lovely double-whammy of bad-tooth genes. Her dad's teeth were horrible, too - as were my dad's. So while she told the dentist that my teeth are good (which, thank goodness, they really are,) she didn't inherit that propensity from me.

We figured out why the lovely webpage that MC built didn't work - while our hosting provider advertised that his site supports ASP pages, 'taint so. ASP is only supported in a Windows environment, and he uses a Linux server.

While MC is reformatting our pages to PHP - actually learning the language and reformatting as he goes - we're still moving to another hosting service this weekend. I've gone through and begun the process of deleting a lot of superfluous files on the server. Then we're going to back up the files to the home computer, with an added backup to a CD for insurance. Once we get the new account set up we'll start transferring there, then change the nameservers on the domain (which in essence tells the domain where to connect to its online space.)

I'm still gaga over the fact that MC built all of these pages in one format and picked up a book and began transferring them over to a wholly unfamiliar format - as if it's the most common thing in the world.

I tried learning PHP myself, finding myself wholly lost after the first few lines of the tutorial. I will eventually learn when I have time to focus on the material, but it sure as heck isn't that easy for me!

Argh... Well, this has rambled on forever and I've got to get back to work this morning. Still haven't tracked down the memory problem on the home computer. We're to the point that we suspect either we need new memory sticks (RAM) or are going to have to reinstall Windows. Can't tell yet for sure if the problem is hardware-related or software. I'm going to run a Linux memtest overnight tonight to see if we can pin it down. In the interim, though, gotta sign off here...

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )