From the Blog

Zits And Nightmares

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I’m not sure why, after many months or years, I suddenly get the urge to use the health and dental insurance I’ve been paying into. It starts off as a good idea, like I want to be virtuous and get myself all fixed up and healthy. But it can’t end well. It’s going to end with whining. Obviously.

Not long ago, I talked about my first dentist appointment in about three years.  And how I had a few small cavities. I was sort of relieved to hear other people say that if I maybe went to a different dentist, they might find something else, or not find anything at all. It sort of made me want to live in Canada.

I’m just going to go and get the cavities taken care of. Even if they are small, or have maybe been there for years, or not even there at all, I don’t need something else to worry about in the middle of the night. Holes in my teeth and chemical processes in my mouth. No thank you.

But that day is today. The take care of cavities day. And I didn’t know how much I was internally freaking out until I started getting zits, which hasn’t happened in years. And I had a horrid, wake-up-in-a-sweat dream over the weekend. Where my dentist’s office was a dilapidated shack in the woods, with rotting floors and a flooding toilet. And as I was sitting in the chair, freaking out (in my dream), the dentist came at me with a giant needle, the dentist was my boss. Aaaaaahhhhh!

I’ve never had a cavities in my life. You’d think, as an adult, I’d be rational about going to the dentist today. But no. I’ve had 30 plus years to to imagine what it will be like to have my teeth drilled, and I have a very active imagination. I’ve had novocaine and I know getting shots in the mouth sucks. But it’s the sound of the drill, the high pitched ringing whine that is freaking my shit out.

Three little cavities. I’m not rational.

On top of that, I also went to my doctor a few weeks ago for a general check up and to talk about how my digestive system seems to have taken on a mind of it’s own. Fun! Explosions! I also wanted to check my cholesterol, since it was high the last I checked 14 months ago. And since then my mom had a heart attack and I learned that like, 80% of my family on both sides have heart disease. Awesome.

We ran some tests. And I didn’t try to fake it for the cholesterol test. I ate as normal leading up to it, because I wanted to really get an accurate assessment. And I had sort of casually been making changes, eating less meat. Eating lots of seafood. More veggies. Lots of oatmeal.

I got my test results in the mail over the weekend. All my digestive stuff came back normal. But my cholesterol. Holy shit. Way, way, way too high. Especially for someone my age. I thought it might be bad, but it was way worse than I thought. Basically, I have gravy in my bloodstream.

I’m a bit, um, shaken by this. On the day I learned what my cholesterol was, and I’m not going to share the number because it’s that friggin high and it’s embarrassing, it was a bad day. One of those historic bad days, whatever it is, your dog died, you ran over your gramma, you have a nasty breakup, you have that depressing, ominous pall that you’d rather forget, but you can’t.

Why do I do this to myself? Why all at once? Why did I need to use the health insurance? Isn’t ignorance soooo much better? And isn’t poutine delicious?

After I began to absorb the gravity of the situation, I realized just “casually” trying to eat better was not going to cut it. We went to Powell’s the next day and I picked up an American Heart Association cookbook. And I wanted to get a book on cholesterol and nutrition, but then you get into wacky fad diet land. And I don’t want to go to Wacky Fad Diet Land.

I just want the facts. I’m totally an instruction manual reader. I get totally passionate and immersed in a subject. But the basic rules are very easy. In short, eat less friggin gravy. For me and Dave, who won’t go to the doctor unless he is dying or something is falling off, this will be a total lifestyle change.

Let me just get through the dentist today, though.


  1. By the time you read this, it will be all done. All done!! Yay!! Like I said, I bet you went thru the worst of it.

  2. Next you will be going to the dermatologist to find out about the breakouts!

    But back to the dentist, relax and try to enjoy catching up on months worth of back issues of “People”. Every six months you get to learn about the latest with Brangelina!

  3. My biggest suggestion would be stay away from the Poutine!

  4. Hi kids. The dentist sucked. The dentist himself and the assistant were quite nice and sympathetic. But the experience sucked. I has never seen a dental dam before, much less used one. After never having heard the term “dental dam” used for a distinctly different purpose.

    2 hours. That sucked. Floss and brush, kids.

  5. Canadians don’t get free dental, if that’s what you’re thinking. We pay through the nose – unless we have dental plans through work. I still get a few opinions before putting myself into the hands of a new dentist, though. Meanwhile your cholesterol… some people just generate cholesterol. They turn everything they eat into cholesterol. Sometimes the only way to control that is with meds. But absolutely diet has to do some good, right?

  6. @XUP – I’m really disappointed to learn Canadians don’t get free dental. Also I learned today that the transit isn’t already great. What is happening up there!?!

  7. Dave – And if you’re paying attention you’ll find out today that Canada is actually several points behind the US in the annual International Living Quality of LIfe index

  8. @XUP, but we need a place to escape if the nut wingers ever come back to power! I know that sentiment is tired, that progressive Americans want to flee north to escape the right wing wackos. But why doesn’t Canada have a tropical island somewhere? Why? Dave looked everywhere. He’s starts whining if it gets under 65 degrees!

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