I Hate The Dentist And Nitrous Oxide Does Crap

Whoever said nitrous oxide, laughing gas, is fun, a legal high and you don’t feel the pain is a big fat liar.  It doesn’t really help and if you are terrified of the dentist to begin with and he’s coming at you with that horrifying noisy drill, slowly breathing through your nose is the last thing on your mind. In fact, I tense up and I forget to breathe altogether.

English: Medical grade Nitrous Oxide tanks use...

English: Medical grade Nitrous Oxide tanks used in dentistry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hate going to the dentist and needing a cavity filled was a traumatic event for me. Even a cleaning is horrible but last month’s filling was downright dreadful. Of course, I haven’t needed a cavity filled for at least thirty years and I am planning not to have one ever again. I am not vain, I swear I’d rather have dentures even though I don’t need them.

How could anyone be a dentist or married to a dentist. I know you can say the same thing about surgeons, even doctors but for a person with a phobia about dentistry, it seems stupefying.

I actually like the three dentists in the office, I really do. However, their office staff at the front desk are horrendous. One is an overly affected woman, from France or Greece who walks around with two sticks up her ass, never smiles and is downright rude. It’s hard not to take it personally until you have been there for a while and notice she’s nasty to everyone. Why do they keep her? No one knows. She is not, in the least bit, friendly (friendly is a gross exaggeration) she is not even polite. I happen to know they get a lot of complaints about her.

The second front desk person is like a little troll.  She’s the one who happened to do something illegal while I was there but I’m not telling. If she was friendly I could have let it go but she is as nasty as the other one except she has more of a street smart attitude. Gum-chewing, short, dyed hair, clicking her gum as if we were in junior high school, you have probably seen her in the background of the movie West Side Story;  and she seems ready to rumble. I have never seen her smile or be welcoming or polite to anyone there either. Broke the law, nbd.

The third receptionist who is barely tolerable is a guy who sits behind his computer scowling, doesn’t talk to anyone and pushes numbers into the computer, a data entry job which is fine. He doesn’t have to “welcome people with respect and compassion in HIS job description.” Maybe the other two women don’t either?

It’s like the inmates are running the asylum and I’m not quite sure I’m comfortable with that. The dentists are kind but are they incredibly clueless about how to manage an office? I dare say with this economy I’m sure there are thousands of men and women that would be not only competent to do this job but friendly and warm too.

There are two questions: 1) Should customer service/care be part of your decision-making process when hiring a doctor?

2) It’s 2014: Can’t they come up with ANYTHING to mask the sound of the dreaded drill? Headphones maybe?

Your thoughts?

 

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An Open Letter: To The DJ’s In Austrailia

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace ...

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace balcony after Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. Kate wears a wedding gown by Sarah Burton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Call it whatever you want, a prank, a practical joke, a hoax, but now, one person is dead, DEAD, because of the “prank” that she fell for at the hospital where Kate Middleton was staying in Britain. Do you think it’s funny now? I don’t care how you thought that you wouldn’t get through, you did get through and if you were so concerned, you should have hung up right then and there saying “Sorry, wrong number” or just about anything instead of belaboring your joke. Your joke has just killed someone’s daughter or spouse or mother or sister. As you can tell, I don’t think it’s funny at all. I’m sure her family would agree with me.

What do we need to do to shake up the world and make people THINK before they do things, think before they speak? Does anyone ever think about consequences anymore? Did these radio personalities ever think that this could go wrong? Probably not. How do they feel now? Fine, keep following your instinctual “Don’t you think it would be hilarious if……” but then pause, sit back and go around the room and say “what could go WRONG?”

I don’t think these clowns at the Australian network set out to kill someone, definitely NOT. But, when they said they thought for sure no one would put them through, why didn’t they stop right then? They did get through, they embarrassed everybody and the person they blamed for her indiscretion (which really wasn’t her fault at all) killed herself. KILLED HERSELF over a prank.

I’m glad it didn’t happen here in the States. We’ve made bullying a high priority here but it still happens. I hope schools can use this as a teaching lesson about pranks and jokes that seem harmless,  the emphasis on “seem” harmless. Think about the whole picture, think like a lawyer, ask “what if” from every single angle. If it’s safe and no one could potentially get hurt, wronged, embarrassed or ashamed, you have your answer.

In this situation, the answer is quite clear. Guilty, as if you had shot her in the head. Next time: THINK before you SPEAK.

That’s just MY opinion, but then again, I’m still fuming.

Broken

English: Blue Baseball Cap

English: Blue Baseball Cap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw old Mr.Tom in the produce section of the gigantic, glitzy grocery store; all bright lights and big orange”sale” signs. I hadn’t realized I had gasped inwardly so sharply that I felt a stabbing pain in my chest. This is not the man I remembered at all: the jovial, beer-bellied friend of my mother’s, the man with a hearty laugh and a baseball cap was now just a whisper of his former self. His pants hung low on him, his eyes vacant yet deeply troubled, his complexion was pasty. He was running on auto-pilot and even though I tried to say “hello” and ask about his wife, who I knew was sick, his whole tone of voice had changed completely. “She’s terrible” he spoke sharply and I feared he would yell at me as he had once but he didn’t seem to have the energy or the inclination. He just pushed his grocery cart away and told me that he was “behind schedule and that he could not stay and talk”and then he slipped away through the aisles, like a ghost.

I knew there was nothing I could do,  I knew that there would be worse, much worse things that would happen before,  IF they got better at all. I had been more friendly with Mr. Tom’s wife, a good friend of my mother’s. Mrs. Rae had been ill for years, very slowly weakening, but now she could no longer walk, or eat, or move by herself. She refused help of any kind except for her husband’s help and he was killing himself to accommodate her.

My mother always said they had “the perfect marriage.” I always answered that “no marriage is perfect.” As Mrs. Rae is left dying, taking care of her is killing him too. Is that a perfect marriage? The term “hospice” is never uttered in their house. He is killing himself to care for her and I pray he doesn’t kill himself first. It is a definite possibility. She has every right to die at home if she wishes, but she refuses for anyone to help him too. That is not the perfect marriage, I would not want my husband to die for me while taking care of me.

I don’t know how much Mrs. Rae is suffering from dementia and how much is control. I’m sure it is some of both. He has taken care of her for a very long time, years. Their children stay away. “Why?” my mother fumes and judges? I ask her not to pass judgment but she doesn’t listen to me. I tell her again and again that there are always “two sides to a story” but when her mind is made  up, she will not consider any other thoughts. She never has.

I see Mr. Tom as I peek through the aisles. He doesn’t look at anybody just carefully and slowly lifts one item off the shelf with two hands and places it gingerly in the cart. He doesn’t see me, he doesn’t see anybody. What he is going home to is his loving, dying wife, whom he watches, day and night. She sleeps with her eyes half closed and her mouth open. He has to go over to her sometimes, bending his head over her chest to see if she is breathing. She wants to die and he wants her to die to get them both out of this long, horrifying painful process. It’s a real life horror movie. If only he could get someone to help him it would be better but she will not allow it.

Nobody will listen to them, especially the doctors. So, he sits next to her, night and day, cooking and cleaning and smiling for her, pretending that everything is alright. He will do that until she takes her last breath, this beautiful, dying sparrow, and he will be there to watch it leave her frail, weak, body.

Bust An Infertility Myth “You Have Really Old Eggs…”

Venus

Image by Daquella manera via Flickr

Twenty years ago my husband and I battled infertility for over two and a half years. Infertility back then was shameful, shrouded in secrecy. Never have I fought for something so hard in my life, not before then and not after. This had been my dream since I was five years old, I was not going to give up easily.

I woke up at 5am, every day, to have blood drawn and an ultra-sound. Often, I was there again at night. We had tried IUI twice with no success. I was on a lot of medication and nightly shots that my husband administered into my sore buttocks. It is a draining process both physically and emotionally and it was not working. Eventually, I was told it was time to try IVF and we did.

The day for the IVF preparation was here and I was ready. I went in for one last ultrasound  and an unfriendly nurse started shaking her head, clucking and frowning. “Bad news” she said:  “you started ovulating on your own, the IVF is canceled, get dressed.”

She stopped me in the reception area as I tried to leave. In front of other patients she said loudly “You have really old eggs, at your age they just shrivel up.”  I was 33, not very young but definitely not old. I was crushed and left the clinic weeping. It didn’t even occur to me how unprofessional and rude the nurse was, I was too upset and depressed. The next morning I was scheduled to have an IUI .” My husband sat with me and stroked my hair.  We both needed a break and decided to have a date thinking only about the two of us. We went out to a small Italian restaurant, came home and did what we had not done in a long time, we made love.

I was scheduled to go in for a blood test the next week and I didn’t even tell my husband.  After my blood test I got the usual “call us tomorrow for the results.” I knew that routine by heart but I felt calm, peaceful. Later that day, I got a call from a nice nurse who asked me how my day was going. I said “fine.” She said “well, I’m calling to tell you that your day is going to get a whole lot better! Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” I remember saying “no way.” She replied with “way” and had to convince me that it was  true. I shut the door to my office, sank down to my knees and wept with gratitude. Later, I opened the door and in a dream-like state walked out slowly, one hand already cradling my stomach.

After all we went through I didn’t want to tell my husband on the phone. I knew he was supposed to play racquetball after work, across the street from my office so I surprised him there. I asked our friend if I could borrow my husband for a few minutes and he smiled and left us alone. I leaned against my husband and whispered in his ear: “I love you very much and we’re going to have a baby, I’m pregnant.”  He stared at me blankly for a few seconds in shock. “I’m pregnant” I repeated and his warm brown eyes bulged out of his head. “Are you sure?” he asked softly and I said “yes” beaming.  He was so excited that he canceled the game  after ten minutes and arrived home shortly after I did. Apparently, my decrepit old eggs were still viable. We had a baby boy nine months later.

Addendum:

On our son’s first birthday I got out the number for the clinic. I tried to see the date of my last period but I had forgotten to keep track. I felt peaceful, calm and happy. “Oh my G-d” I whispered to my son, “I know this feeling.” I went out and bought a pregnancy test and it was positive. Our daughter arrived without any medical intervention, nine months later.  My eggs rocked.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101  National Infertility Awareness Weekhttp://www.resolve.org/takecharge.*A wonderful organization to raise awareness for infertility with compassion.