plonq: (Kinda Bleah Mood)
After coming up clean for years, the hygienist found two cavities on the x-ray during a routine cleaning last week. The dentist came in at the end of the cleaning, double-checked the x-ray and then poked around with a probe and confirmed that I had the beginnings of two small cavities - one on the lower left side, and the other on the upper right - that would need to be addressed. They made a follow-up appointment for today to get them both drilled and filled.

On the one hand, I was glad to be getting them both out of the way at the same time. On the other hand, when you are getting fillings on both sides of your mouth, it makes it hard to pick a side to chew with during the recovery period.

I have bad teeth, which are worse for years of neglect before I got into a good cleaning and brushing cycle again. Having to get two of them extracted turned into a wake-up call for me, and I started taking better care of them again after that. I won't be growing any more teeth as I lose these ones, and I don't want to enter my later years wearing full a full set of dentures like my mother. I inherited my rotten teeth from her side of the family, and I don't want to inherit dentures from her side as well.

I am not a fan of getting dental work done - any dental work, including scaling and cleaning. Fillings and root canals are the worst though. It's not the drilling that bothers me, it's when they inject the Novocaine. I hate getting needles - especially in the mouth. The first couple of times I needed to get injections in the mouth for dental work at my current dentist, I came very close to fainting in the chair. I felt a little silly about it at the times, because my current dentist is actually very skilled; I can barely feel it go in, and there is virtually no soreness when the numbing comes out.

I think I am still traumatized by the dental work I had done on me when I was young. Dad was notorious for sniffing out details. He found a barber who would cut our hair for free, and he took us to him every time he felt we needed a trim. This guy should have been long retired, but he had a dusty old shop set up in the front of an old hotel in Victoria where he would put his blunt razor and old-time hair tonic to good use. Seriously. He hacked off our hair using only a comb and a straight razor, and he had bottles of hair tonic all around his shop.

Anyway, I think he found a deal on a dentist. This guy would do the work for cheap, as long as nobody started asking any awkward questions. The worst thing with him was the needle. My memories are probably clouded by trauma, but I clearly remember it looking like this:

It was huge. You could hear and feel the pop as it pierced the inside of your mouth, and it hurt like heck in spite of the fact that he'd swab on a topical numbing agent first. Almost worse was that he would just blast the Novocaine into you and the yank the needle out again in order to get the process over with as quickly as possible. I remember some of the injections hurting for more than a week after I'd had the fillings done. I also sometimes wonder if he watered down the anaesthetic, because I don't remember having things go as numb as they do when my current dentist performs work.

I am probably being unkind to the man, who probably prided himself in his work, but in my memories of him he was a butcher. One of the teeth I lost in later years was partly due to nerve damage he did with on of his over-aggressive fillings. The bridge that I have there now is part of his legacy. Another part of his legacy was instilling a deep fear of needles into me. It is only in recent years that I can finally get a flu shot without breaking out in a cold sweat and swooning.

One thing I can say with certainty is that if my current dentist had been the one treating me back in my youth, I'd have been more vigilant about keeping up visits as I got older.
plonq: (Serious Mood)
I got shot in the arm yesterday, and I had a bandage to prove it at the time, but it apparently fell off during the night. They said I was very brave about it, and told me that if I walked down to the end of the hall, there was a room full of other people who had been shot, and I could sit around with them and enjoy some free coffee.

They lied; there was no coffee.

Normally I wait until they are offering flu shots in my office, but I have a hunch they might not be doing it this year. The past couple of years they have made noises about not offering them any more, and when they finally did offer them, it was very late into the start of flu season. The reason I suspect they might not be doing them this year is because there are far more places available to get free shots than there were when they first started offering them in the office.

At one point, you had to book an appointment and pay a nominal fee to get a shot, but when the province offered free public flu shot clinics during the H1N1 scare a couple of years ago, they were surprised by the public response, and had trouble keeping up with demand. Ever since then, they have set up public clinics around the province for three days after the vaccine becomes available, offering free shots to anyone who shows up. After those three days, they make them available to many of the pharmacies in town under the same "show up and roll up your sleeve" policy.

I knew that the clinics were happening sometime soon, and I had been toying with the idea of just hitting up a public clinic rather than throwing the dice over whether or not they would make them available at work. I took a vacation day yesterday with a short list of chores I wanted to finish, one of which was to fill the tank in the Volkswagen. I had the CBC tuned in on the radio as I was driving up there, and they mentioned that it was the final day for the free flu clinics.

I hate needles. I don't think I can stress enough how much I hate them. Still, I knew it was either now or later to get the shot. My thinking was that if I was going to get stabbed anyway, I should go to one of the public clinics staffed by nurses who have a lot of experience in giving painless injections. I cursed berated myself all the way to the clinic, and somehow managed to coax myself through the door and into the waiting area. My thinking was that once I was given a number and seated, it was too late to chicken out.

As much as I hate needles, I also hate being a public spectacle. Running out, flapping my arms and screaming would probably be a spectacle, so I steeled my resolve and went through with it.

And now my arm hurts today, but I have nobody to blame but myself. And the nurse. And the needle.
plonq: (Kinda bleah mood)
I don't know how I should feel about learning that my phone is smarter than I am.

Back in mid October when I learned that we were going to have a flu clinic set up in our office, I put my name on the sign-up sheet and then pulled out my phone and carefully enunciated, "book an appointment for a flu shot on November 30th at 9:45 in the morning."

My phone displayed the details and presented me with a button to confirm the appointment. I wandered back to my desk, and on a whim I checked my desktop calendar. No appointment. It sometimes takes a few minutes for it to sync with my Google calendar, so I worked on something for a few minutes and then checked again. No luck.

I checked my phone's calendar, and the appointment wasn't there either. I sighed, pulled out my phone and booked the appointment again. It confirmed the details and assured me that it was booking the appointment for me. As before, nothing showed up on either of my calendars. I booked it again in slightly more terse tones, and it once again failed to actually populate it anywhere. I finally gave up and entered the appointment manually on my work computer. A few minutes later it showed up on my phone and home computers.

This morning I was looking at my work calendar, and I noticed an appointment on November 30th for a flu shot.

Wait ... what? But I got my shot on October 30th. Why is it on my calendar for November?



Don't you hate it when technology does exactly what you ask it to do?
plonq: (Scared Mood)
I've had the whole weekend to get myself worked up into a state over this stupid flu shot. I just know that this is going to be the time that I scream like a girl and faint.

Mind you, I have embarrassed myself worse ways at work. I have taken the precaution of draining my bladder before I go in there.

Today's mensa puzzle was a fun word ladder. Convert wheat to bread in six (or fewer) steps:

One answer behind the cut )

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