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Monday, December 17, 2012

Wild Times at a Dentist Appointment

I despise going to the dentist. It gives me "I think I might throw up" anxiety every time. Some of you weirdos I know actually enjoy it, but I would rather poke myself with a stick than go to the dentist.

But alas, I am an adult and I must force myself to go. I've never had good experiences as a child with the dentist. I was blessed with a too small mouth which resulted in millions (6) extractions and tons of orthodontic work. Also, I am prone to cavities because of the way my teeth are jammed together. I remember brushing and flossing three times a day and still getting cavities, while my brother barely drug a toothbrush through his mouth once a day and had "perfect teeth". Whatever.

I was dreading today's visit because I needed to get some of my teeth fixed. This isn't just the tooth polishy thing and scraper. This involves Black 'n Decker machinery. EEEK!

 My dentist knows that I don't like coming to see him. In fact they call me "the nervous one". Great. 

They decided that loading me up on magical gasses would be beneficial for this appointment. You don't want me to freak out on you, huh? I'm not above crying at the dentist. It might happen. 

 I had them check to see if my insurance covered it, and wouldn't you know it, it does.

So again, they asked me if I would like some.

Flashback to high school. I feel like I'm being peer pressured. I am the person that can take two Benadryls and not remember half the night. Do I "just say no"?

My shaking hands tell me to "just say yes". So I do.

At this point I am more anxious about the gas. The only memory of having nitrous was when I was about Sassy Girl's age and the room started spinning and everything the dentist said was delayed. Open your mouth, mouth, mouth...

As the hygienist hooks me up to "the good stuff" I frantically say, "Not too much. I'm not a drug addict." I say really dumb things when I'm nervous... 

Then, I drift off into happy land. All of sudden anxiety was whisked away, but not in a "I'm so trashed" sort of way. In a "I'm kind of tired so I might take a nap and listen to the music in my head" sort of way.

Then they decided to bring out the Novocaine needle. AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! 

Even messed up on legal drugs I was still terrified. So terrified that the dentist decided to cover my eyes with a washcloth so I wouldn't see his evil doing tools. Pretty sure I was getting the pediatric treatment, which is JUST FINE by me.

He poked me with his weapon of mass destruction. I must have made the worst face ever, because the hygienist restrained held my hands. Okay. I guess it wasn't that bad. But blinded by a washcloth and feeling a poke in your gums makes you feel like you are in some sort of torture chamber. Several not so bad pokes later, my mouth was marinating in numbness.

It wasn't just my mouth that was numb. My nose was numb too. And the nitrous that was flowing into my body made me think this was kind of funny. So I giggled. Which is weird at a dental appointment. We've come a long ways from the "I want to throw up" days. Now I'm just deranged.

I endured 45 minutes of loud power tools going to town on my numb mouth, but honestly the only thing that was giving me anxiety at this point was the fact that I really had to pee. Also, I wasn't sure when to swallow the pool of drool that kept flooding in when they were working on my mouth. WHERE IS THAT SUCKER MACHINE THING?

Finally, all the work was done, and they gave me oxygen. They asked if I was feeling back to normal, and I shrugged and said, "I think so." Except, when your upper lip and nose feels like it's protruding out like a Bugs Bunny cartoon and when you go to touch it and feel NOTHING...then that's not normal. Weird and uncomfortable. Is my nose running? 

I go to make my next appointment, and try to talk. I get words out, but I can't feel them come out. I feel like a marionette puppet. One that drools and can't feel it.

I went home and that Novocaine stayed around FOREVER. I tried to eat a turkey sandwich 3 hours later when I finally started to feel my nose and some of my upper lip. Yeah. Didn't work out so well. I was starving and couldn't find the top of my mouth. Disastrous.

All in all...I guess it wasn't so bad. I got my teeth fixed, a little buzz for an hour, and I wasn't able to stuff my face for 4 hours...so diet friendly.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Actions Speak Louder Than Social Media Posts

The tragic shootings of today have me feeling shocked, horrified, and so deeply saddened. I know that so many of you feel the same.

What is disturbing to me is the appalling pattern of reactive commentary and media coverage that follows these horrific events. I feel a great sadness that I even need to pluralize that sentence.

Is it really all about getting "the story"? I am in utter disbelief that anyone would be so desensitized to human emotion that they would consider it okay to interview a child that just experienced the most traumatic event of their precious little life.

Pictures of parents and children plastered on the media sites. Documenting very private and heart wrenching moments for millions to see.

The race to release breaking news first and reporting wrong information in the haste to be the first in line.

Social media is serving as a boxing ring for angered individuals lashing out at each other over powerful differing opinions. Using hateful language to prove their points and feeding a cancerous social media mob mentality. Using twisted dark humor in an effort to get a cheap laugh. Creating shocking memes that are created for sole reason of fueling a ravenous forest fire of outrage.

Social media postings are not empathy. We haven't changed anything by posting how sad we are, or arguing our pros or cons of gun control, or typing hurtful things about mental illness. So many of us (I am definitely including myself in this statement) lose the ability to filter and take a moment to process emotion when a simple motion of "Click Send" exposes our knee jerk reactions to potentially millions of people. The blog post I am writing right now is simply my reaction. You can all read my opinions that I have gift wrapped with a bow ready to open with one click of a link. But the actual emotion happens when I hug my children, feel their heart beat against mine and sob at the thought of never seeing them again and feeling real pain for the parents that will bury their children and the families who lost someone special. The action happens when I write a congressman about issues I feel deeply about, and talk to my child's school about security measures. Making sure I continue to build a strong connection with my children. That they know they can come to me with anything no matter what. You feel emotion. You take positive action. There is so much more than "Click Send".

Take one look at a Twitter or Facebook feed or a comment section of a media site and you will see how scary and desensitized some members of the human race have become.

There are many many uplifting posts about thoughts and prayers going out to the victims as well so I don't mean to sound so hardened towards the commentary. I also posted a link to the news story on my Facebook page. I know we are passionate people and the emotions we feel are very scary and very real. It's just so hard to have hope that we can ever truly unite when you see a prayer candle picture co-existing on the same page as a name calling pissing match about gun control. Or you see someone post that they are deeply hurt and praying for victims and three minutes later they post a funny cat picture. Huh? You got over the deep hurt fast, I guess. Or you see a mock Twitter account posing as a "victim" of the horrific murders all for fifteen minutes of "fame."  Appalling.

Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing. But it's being used with a lack of self control, empathy, or just plain common sense. The same can be said about passion towards an issue. In any case, the Golden Rule appears to be tucked under the bed collecting dust for many people with a keyboard at their fingertips.

Our minute to win it lifestyle is crumbling our hearts. If this awful heart wrenching tragedy doesn't remind us be kind, slow down, log off, breathe, and appreciate life...what will?

If the stenciled pattern of past tragedies holds true, once the invasive media coverage dies down and the full horrific story is unraveled, the tragedy then ages and disappears for the millions of onlookers that followed every second of every heart breaking update. And life goes on.

But for those innocent adults, children and their loved ones the nightmare lives on. Let's not forget that.

For now, I am going to shut my computer off, kneel next to my sleeping children that I am so blessed to have with me tonight, fold my hands and actually pray for them, not just post about it on my blog.

Actions speak louder than words.

Friday, December 7, 2012


We broke an ornament this week. 

Not usually a big deal. We tend to break a lot of things in the annual Christmas decorating frenzy.

This ornament, though...it was special. 

The result of my child accidentally bumping into the Christmas tree. 

We heard a clinging of two glass ornaments and one ended up on the floor. 

In pieces. 

In that moment I couldn't hold back any emotion. When I saw which ornament was in front of me, shattered to pieces, I immediately began to cry. 

It is hard to explain in words what sheer emotion flooded into my entire being, a result of powerful symbolism drudging up what I was desperately trying to bury. Less than a minute, but lasting a lifetime. 

In front of me was the shattered ornament my mom had made for my daughter before she died.  

Each piece, segregated from what it once was...beautiful and strong, now lay scattered in shards around the crooked Christmas tree. 

A shattered heart. 

Anyone who has ever lost someone close knows that holidays can be especially hard. I tend to swallow the lump that forms in my throat and move on with festivities, but the reality is...nothing will ever be the same. 

It gets easier as the years pass to keep it together, but it will always hurt. We can mend this ornament, but it will never be restored completely. 

My heart and my family can never be what it once was. We all are in our homes. Scattered. Miles away from each other. And when we come together...there is a void. A missing piece. 

We all hold pieces of a beautiful shattered heart.