Breaking radio silence.

08 January 2013

So, it's been slightly over a week since 2013.ev began (and Happy New Year to everyone, by the bye), and I haven't posted so much as an opening evocation for the new year. Where, one or two of you may be asking, has the Doctor been? Did he dive into the time vortex on 21 December 2012 and get lost (again)?

The answer is no, I didn't go traipsing around time and space, as much as I'd like to have done so. I took the last two weeks of the year off and tried my hardest to take a vacation. Nothing fancy, mind you - I wish I could have gone to visit Antarctica but I had neither the time nor the money to make such an (awesome) journey. I was shooting for simple time at home: Sleeping in, reading, and not drinking too much coffee. Partially, I wanted a vacation because I've been feeling very burned out for the past month or two and wanted some downtime to recharge and clear my head, though not a whole lot of head clearing happened due to malaise and the odd pounding headache (which are just now starting to abate). It was for this reason that my vacation wasn't terribly restful or recuperative.

A couple of months ago after a particularly bad pizza burn, I noticed a little lump on the roof of my mouth. I figured that it was probably a little scar tissue, but mentioned it to my dentist when I went in for a checkup near the end of December. He poked and prodded it for a few minutes and said, "I have no idea what this is. I'm writing you a referral to an endodontic surgeon. Get this checked out as soon as you can."

Cue double helping of stress and paranoia. As it turned out, that little lump is where an abscess under one of my molars (which had undergone a root canal two years and change ago) tunneled its way through my mandible and into my soft palate, where it's causing the tissue to bulge outward. The molar itself didn't hurt because it was hollowed out and reconstructed years ago. The malaise is a sign that my immune system has been at DEFCON one for months, and the headaches (which weren't migraines, incidentally - they're a whole 'nother smoke) were most likely due to some of my peripheral facial nerves being compressed by inflamed tissue. I've seen Dr. Suh in Fairfax (the grandmaster of the root canal) twice in as many weeks to get it taken care of. First thing this morning was a second root canal on the molar in question.

I'm not sure what's worse: The raging headaches that have been keeping me awake at night for the past month, or the pins-and-needles expectation that, at any moment while he's boring through the miracle of material science that is one of the plastic posts set into my jaw a nerve or two will spontaneously regenerate and begin howling when the drill hits it. I know full well that the latter is simply not going to happen, it's the stress and sleep deprivation fucking with my head, but at the time I was levitating an inch off the dental chair waiting for the proper moment to go insane. What was arguably worse was a brand new toy that Dr. Suh acquired recently. I think it's an ultrasonic dental drill, which he used to excellent effect. However, being slightly synaesthetic (auditory/visual) the godsawful shrieks conducted directly into my middle ears via bone conduction reminded me for all the world of the most memorable scenes of David Cronenberg's magnum opus (and I'm not talking the admittedly hot sex scenes) played on a high-speed loop for approximately half the expected heat-life of the universe.

I now have a temporary filling, an industrial sized bottle of Advil, and a metric truckload of antibiotics to work my way through. If the abscess doesn't get any better after this, more extensive surgery is going to be required to clean out the infection. I'm not looking forward to such a procedure, but the goddamned abscess bored a hole through my upper jaw. At least the headaches have subsided somewhat and I'm able to string coherent words together.

In other news, I still haven't finished fixing the whole disk encrytion presentation from the DC cryptoparty. Now that I've got more free compute cycles I'll polish it up and get it online. I have to post the IS4CWN presentation as well. That's done, I just have to upload it. Also, Sitwon and Haxwithaxe attended the Access Innovation Prize awards banquet in December; unfortunately, we were not one of the grant recipients. Oh, well.