Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Pretty Sure My Mouth Is Filled With Little Calcium-Packed SuperHeroes

SUPERTOOTH - no plaque buildup too big to handle!
Growing up my parents didn't have dental coverage, so my memories of the dentist are faint given I wasn't there too often.  Once I hit about 9 years old, the dentist couldn't deny that braces were imminent.  If my parents were finding it challenging to afford regular dentist visits, the orthodontist only presented a larger financial burden - one they met with great sacrifice for themselves, I'm sure.  During my years of braces (twice), countless retainers (they seemed to find their way to the garbage a lot.), and some weird contraption that involved a lock and key to space my jaw, the dentist was something that was long forgotten.  I'm not sure if my parents thought the orthodontist did everything the dentist did, or if they just couldn't swing both - either way, the dentist's office was like a foreign country to me.  It wasn't until I was about 15 or 16 that I went back again.  No cavities were discovered, but the wisdom teeth were coming in and were a threat to the years of orthodontic work, so they had to go.  6 months later I'm in a chair for oral surgery at almost $300 a tooth for removal.  I struggled with this since life experience taught me that when you lose a tooth, you're the one who gets paid.  I never had to pay the tooth fairy to come rip the teeth out of my head - something was seriously wrong with this picture. 
It wasn't until just last week that I went back to the dentists office.  Now, after 10 years since my last visit, I lost track of my original dentist and had to start from scratch with a new guy - so I borrowed Ryan's.  I was a little nervous.  I'm not a flosser (despite a cautionary tale from my father-in-law last Christmas), and if I fall asleep on the couch, I'm not inclined to brush my teeth before going and crawling into bed for the night.  Since the last time in the chair, my soda and junk-food consumption has increased - all things which don't bode well for my cavity-free reputation.  When I get to the dentist's office, I'm asked to fill out a medical history document, which included questions such as:
Have you ever been told not to take drugs? "As a child I was often warned by parents and teachers "don't do drugs!".  I'm pretty sure they were high at the time, and just didn't want to have to share...  (This is what happens when you don't specify medical or recreational drugs)"
Does the dentist make you nervous? "When I wake up with my clothes undone Only when he finds out it's been 10 years since my last visit."

Dr. Dentist failed test #1-  upon reviewing my medical history I didn't hear a chuckle, nor did I get any kind of sarcastic remark about my antics, therefore no appreciation for my kind of humour.  Part of me felt a little bad about it since this guy was almost painfully nice.  He continuously apologized to me if he had to take a moment to make a note about his 'findings' (NOTE: I'm pretty sure these notes included something like "New patient would be better advised seeking mental health care as opposed to oral health care", and "Do not stick fingers past the tooth line - she looks like a biter."), he also apologized when cleaning my teeth for merely doing his job.  See?   Painfully nice.

Dr. Dentist then failed test #2 when he complimented me on my flossing habits - to which I informed him that I don't have any such thing (after which he apologized...).  Okay, so this wasn't actually a fail - you can't fail someone for giving you a compliment on your lazy oral hygiene...that's just bad manners. 

So I get in the chair and he starts taking a look around at all my teeth, making nice little comments here and there about what great shape they were in.  At this point I'm kind of loving this guy because I was a little worried that after 10 years of plaque buildup, I was going to be in trouble.  I envisioned my teeth were looking something like this:

After about 30 minutes of pick-axing my teeth with his little tooth-hammer, he pulled out the fluoride and the little tooth-sander.  This was the part I remembered liking about the dentists' as a kid - getting to choose my fluoride flavour!  Dr. Dentist failed test #3 when he used some generic fluoride without consulting me.  It was not pleasant.  About 15 seconds in I was so eager to spit this stuff out that I took the reigns on the little spit-sucker they use and started vacuuming my mouth until I was allowed to go spit.  But when all was said and done, I left with a mouth that looked like this:

I walked away maintaining my cavity-free status.  My plaque free superteeth were rejuvenated and ready to start another battle.  Maybe I'll let this one last a little less than 10 years though....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Karma Loves Me, Loves Me Not, Loves Me...

It took a little while, but after what seemed like a month of searching at least an hour or two a day, we finally found some suitable window treatments for our new home.  It was getting to the point where I was sure our only options would be to plaster tissue paper on the windows or risk finding some video images of our asses on Youtube.  We had initially thought we were going to get these but once we discovered it was going to be about $600 for one of 9 windows that needed dressings, a cheap more economical choice seemed to be more appropriate for us.  We then discovered cellular shades- again, the ones we initially saw were going to run us about $400/shade.  We're not exactly ghetto people here, but at $400/shade we'd be having to make a choice between hiding our shame or eating (I may have some 'reserves' stored up, but Ryan would be royally screwed).  That is until we found exactly what we were looking for for a mere fraction of the price - about 1/8th...

...we give them the measurements of the windows to find that the kind we were looking at do not come in the sizes we need.

There's essentially the exact same thing in a different brand just further down the aisle!
The price has just gone up another 50%.  Still much more reasonable than the initial pricing we found, but let's face it - in my economical wisdom, I was attached to the extra-low pricing.

We get to the check out and things get rung through.  We pay for our purchase and go.  I start thinking "hmmm...that seemed cheaper than I was expecting" (NOTE:  I tend to mentally tab things up on the way to the checkout all.the.time.).  I take a look at the receipt, then at the products we've purchased, and then at the receipt again.  The girl at the checkout forgot to ring through one of the window treatments, one of the duplicates for a set of our livingroom windows.  I distinctly remember showing where the bar code was on the product and saying "there are two of these".  Ryan and I decide not to trek back to the store to point out their error.

Neither of us feel good about our choice not to alert the multi-million dollar store to their error, and apparently fate agrees because when we go to hang the window treatments a day or two later, we discover that for these identical window treatments, we bought the wrong size.  Fuck.

We go to the store where it is promptly identified that an error was made in our first visit.  Away we go to the aisle to find the appropriate size and have it cut down to fit our window.

When we go to pay for our new window treatments, we explain to the cashier what happened (why we had to do that is a long and irrelevant story).  The supervisor was close-by and listening to every word we said, and decided to sell us our second shade for a whole penny.

The shades are up, and they're beautiful.

What's not beautiful??  This commercial.  It makes me want to throw up in my mouth, after which I'm sure someone from Axe will come along and sniff it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rinse, Soap, Rinse - Repeat if necessary

I'm often amazed at the choices people make when they're equipped with knowledge.  At more extreme examples, people who continue to illegally text while driving despite knowing that they are increasing their chances of a car accident, or a typo.  Pregnant momma's who continue to smoke/drink/do drugs all the while having the knowledge that it's going to generate birth defects in the little people growing in their bodies, not to mention the added expenditures for having a kid addicted to smoking/drinking/drugs from such a young age.  That shit ain't cheap.
On a less extreme scale we have the people who fail to practice even the minimal standards of personal hygiene.  At one point or another we've all been guilty of missing a shower, a face washing or a tooth brushing.  It's rare (for a good number of us), but it happens.  What baffles me is when people miss the beat on hand-washing after using the washroom.  WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!  I'll tell you what I'm thinking when I see someone walk from the stall to the bathroom door:  Fecal bacteria spreading everywhere.  I'm thinking that I have a pretty good idea of where your hand was just a moment ago, and now you're touching all the same surfaces I'll need to touch to get out of here.  Fantastic.
I've caught one woman at work not washing her hands at all, and another woman today doing the obligatory 2 second rinse under the running faucet.  This?  Does not a clean hand make.  And every time I see a woman failing to wash their hands in the bathroom, I am reminded of the day I called out a classmate after determining she was a dirty bird.
Every Wednesday I had "coincidentally" found myself in the bathroom at the same time she was there, and every single time had I witnessed her leaving the bathroom without washing. Hell, I'd have even accepted the courtesy "swoosh your hands under water but not use the soap" kinda half-assed 'washed, but she couldn't even give me that  (NOTE:  I do not accept this standard today.  This is called "growth".)'. One day I thought I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe once she left the bathroom she whipped out the waterless antibacterial hand soap that everyone seems to have these days. To test this theory I brought a snack to class and asked out load to everyone for the antibacterial waterless soap, but I made sure to look specifically at her to see whether or not she had any (Notice that this was weeks in the making.  I'd make an awesome spy!). Of course she didn't. She's a dirty, dirty woman. Well I had had about enough of this. Then one Wednesday I was in the bathroom, again "coincidentally" at the same time as "Potty hands" and the following conversation took place...
Me: Um, Potty-Hands, can I ask you a question?
PH: Yes?
Me: Why don't you wash your hands after going to the bathroom?
PH: Um, I don't know. I guess I've never really thought about it.
Me: Seriously? We just spent time talking about it in Toxicology class last know, that whole personal hygiene concept? It's really popular these's a way to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. Is this ringing any bells for you?
PH: Well I don't have any diseases.
Me: Yeah, well when your hand was just being used to help wipe your ass, I'm more concerned about the bacteria. Then some poor unsuspecting woman is going to come along and wash her hands because that's what normal people do, then she's going to touch the same door handle you just touched with your ass-bacteria covered hands, and she's going to go back to her desk and inevitably touch her face or food or something and ingest your ass-bacteria!  She might as well be literally kissing your ass.
PH: Do you want me to wash my hands?
Me: Yes. Yes I do.

Yes I do, indeed.  I'm curious as to how many people would do the same (although maybe a little more delicately - this woman drove me CRAZY for reasons beyond her poor hygiene, so my patience with her was a little lacking). 
HOMEWORK:  Have you, or would you call someone out for poor hygiene if you witnessed them leaving the bathroom without washing?  Would you be more likely to do so if it was a stranger or someone you knew (or more specifically, someone whom you knew would be touching some of the same work surfaces you would be touching)?  Would it take a drink or two before you'd have the courage to generate such an awkward moment?  Leave your input in the comments section below - let's have you all help me figure out how socially awkward I really am.