I checked the insurance roster and chose a periodontist at a fancy address on Fifth Ave. He examined me, measured the gum pockets, looked at the other dentist's x-rays, and thought that while I really needed a cleaning, the gums seemed OK. The deep cleaning, done over 2 subsequent visits by a hygienist, wasn't as bad as I'd feared; they numbed the area with topical anesthetic. When rinsing after the first cleaning, globs of blood came out (not unusual, said the hygienist). The second side had no blood in the rinse water, and indeed she thought my mouth looked better since the first visit 2 weeks before (the cleanings were supposed to be a week apart but I had to postpone due to a cold). During that time, they instructed me to floss 3 times a day and brush a certain way, and I also used a gum treatment I found on the Internet. The doctor will check me again in 3 weeks.
The cold I had was probably not a flu - mild fever around 100, sore throat, coughing. It curtailed my frenetic theater-going schedule, and also meant I missed a school reunion: I was going to go to the Great Neck South '69 brunch on 11/8. I was North '69 so didn't want to go to South's big Saturday night reunion, but most of my elementary school (Grace Avenue/Kensington) went to South and I'm in touch with a few people, so figured I'd catch the brunch. I woke up that morning with no voice, so that was out. Oh well. My actual class will have their 40th reunion in 2010 (so it's really the 41st), because we're iconoclasts that way; we also had a 36th instead of a 35th.