Water Aerobics and the Dentist

Water aerobicsI ventured into new territory this week with an hour-long water aerobics class in the pool at my new gym. Never having taken one before, I of course looked up exercises online in advance so I’d know what to expect – I’m not big on surprises where body things are concerned.

We filled up our hour with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training using these cute little yellow barbells with baffles on the end to grab water for more resistance. Yesterday we used those noodles with exercises, too. Let me just say that it’s a lot harder to make those behave than you’d think. The cardio work included pool lane walking forwards and backwards, jogging, hopping, marching, different versions of jumping jacks and other things I’ve already forgotten. But believe me, we were busy.

The group is small – five one night and four the other – and I’ve been told 10 is the biggest it gets. Which means we won’t be as likely to hit each other in the pool while we’re flailing around trying to stay balanced. Since we’re all blind at bats in the pool without our glasses, it helps to have people nearby to watch to figure out whatever we’re supposed to do next. The best part was hanging out in the very hot whirlpool after class for 10 minutes or so, getting warm and just chitchatting.

I was very aware yesterday that my right knee hurt while we were doing things. Not vicious, sharp pain but more a sense that it’s just not like the other one. I’ve been aware of it all week as I walked and did my regular life activities so it’s not surprising that I was aware of it in the pool, too. But it did reinforce that trying to do a serious workout is going have to happen in the water which is much easier on the joints than using weight machines or even the treadmill.

Another part of my body was also trying to get my attention: my mouth. I’ve had a low-grade toothache off and on almost since I got here, but I’d been checked out by the dentist in Boston before leaving so wasn’t inclined to go find a dentist. I hate having people put fingers in my mouth and inflict pain which pretty much describes a visit to the dentist.

ToothacheThings have been worse in the last week or so with the toothache accompanied by an earache; I even had two short dizzy spells which were a bit unnerving. Since I have a dental degree in addition to my other ones plus I have access to the web for research, I decided that everything was probably tied to a tooth infection of some kind, pressing on nerves and giving me the earache and vertigo.

The actual dentist, who I found by doing a Google search, decided something different. My teeth are newly cleaned and cavity-free, with healthy gums. But my back tooth is apparently moving and there’s a gap between it and the one next to it. Bottom line is that I need a new crown to replace an old one and build up some of the space to keep them touching so I don’t end up with periodontal disease. That’s very good incentive. I just wish crowns didn’t cost $1,500.

So I’ve been listening to my body. Putting it in the pool, feeding it healthy things, getting treatment when things weren’t quite right. I’m contemplating whether to see someone about the knee or just deal with it; I already know it has arthritis, degenerative joint disease, and very little padding between the bones. There’s not much they can do but I’m keeping my options open.