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October 26, 2001
a year ago
three years ago

Day Off

8:24 pm: I was very glad that I didn't have to work today. Today was one of the plant shutdown days, and I had elected to go for those, and it was just really good to just set everything aside for most of the day and do what I wanted to do. I had scheduled a dentist appointment for 10, but they called and asked if I couldn't come earlier.

It meant that I couldn't have breakfast until after the appointment, because I was nursing Jet at that moment and only had a few minutes between when I was done with Jet and when I had to make it to the appointment. Luckily, with Joan taking Jet for the two hours, it was perfectly timed so that I could have my appointment and I didn't have to worry about getting Jet late.

John, in the meantime, had to go to work to try and clear something up with an experiment he was trying to do. So he just dropped Jet off and took off towards work.

So this was the first dentist appointment I've had for almost a year. With Jet and everything I hadn't had the time to get to an appointment until just recently. So I knew that I would probably have a little pain with the cleaning because my gums always have a little bloodiness when I go too long between appointments.

They did a really good job. It's the first time that I've had the dentist actually go through every single gum point and write down what the depth of the pocket was and if the gums were bleeding. It was a great way to set up a basis on which to compare what happens in the future. They got X-rays of the back teeth, and then they used an interesting gadget that uses laser light to figure out if there really is or isn't a cavity. Rather than the old-fashioned method of using a pick and seeing how much it sticks when they use it to stab a likely looking crevice. It's much less painful.

Sadly, the machine found that two of my old fillings have been deteriorating. And one of them has to be replaced, but the other could probably go for a year without being bothered. Still, I thought it might be better to just do both of them. It's been quite some time before I've had to get a cavity filled, and I'm not really looking forward to the new experience. Still, it's probably the best way to figure out how good this dentist is. With my strange, though well fitted bite, it's not the filling itself that's all that hard, it's the adjustments afterwards. Especially with my night guard as well.

After a lot of bad experience with dentists and teeth that crumble, I have to admit that I regard a good dentist to be a real treasure because I've finally come around to the point of view that dentists are people that fix things that I really would rather not live without having done. And I really, truly appreciate a dentist that can cause just enough pain to make the fix really stick and work without causing any more than tat, but also without tiptoeing around and making it so that it just never really is fixed for real.

I've a crown from one of those tip toeing dentists that has a gap that will probably give me a really nasty cavity someday and then it'll have to be replaced. I hate that.

And the dentist did his own cleaning, which is probably just an artifact of the fact that they're just starting in this new site. But it was nice to get some feel for how he works, and he did a good job with the cleaning. There wasn't any unnecessary pain and he got my teeth really clean. Especially with the extra build-up, some of it took some real scraping. Still he didn't hurt my gums any more than the depth taking had done. So that was a good measure.

I got myself a vanilla latte, and then went home and made myself a fried egg and some raisin toast. Pepperidge Farm's cinnamon swirl with raisins bread is really good for toast. I enjoy it a very great deal, and it's far leaner than cinnamon rolls, and tastes really good, too. I enjoyed my breakfast, and then went off to get Jet..

Since I didn't have to work today, I had fun just taking care of Jet after I got him home. It was really good to just relax and just spend time with him, especially since it's the first day in quite some time that I had to find my lunch without any help to take care of Jet while I ate.

John had said that he'd try to get him by noon, at first, but he called at about noon and told me that he couldn't make it. There was a lot more that he wanted to get done, and that he probably wouldn't be home until two. So I settled Jet into his high chair and I ate and then he got to have some solids as well. He was pretty happy to munch on Cheerios while I ate and watch me have some of the artichoke heart casserole. I got fairly aware that the top of my mouth had, indeed, been burnt when I ate the somewhat too hot nuked casserole. The dentist had pointed out that the roof of my mouth was slightly swollen and had wondered if I'd burnt it. I am pretty sure, now, that I had two days ago on my too hot nuked lunch, then.

With the cold weather I've been eating more hot food, I guess.

I had fun chasing Jet around. Jet decided that the recycle bin was great fun. It was the paper bin next to the desk and it was filled with catalogs and junk mail and he liked tipping it, pouring out the contents and ripping the covers off the catalogs and trying to eat some of the junk mail. I kept him from eating anything, so he had fun crumpling things, sliding things around, and generally having a good time with the contents.

When he went for the newspapers I had to stop him, as he was getting ink all over his hands and it is really hard stuff to get off of him.

He had fun playing with his toys, too, especially when I played with him with him. It was pretty cool to get him interested in them again, and just laugh with him and get up close so we could play the head butting game, where he, actually fairly gently, head butts me with his forehead and then giggles like crazy from close up. There is definitely stuff that he really likes.

We had plenty of time to explore the things that we liked playing with as John took quite a bit longer than 2 pm, and didn't get home until 4. I got a chance to check my mail and respond to a few things, which was a good thing, all in all. I got in an hour and got a bit off my head.

Then the three of us went for our walk in the relatively cool fall weather. It was pretty cool out, and we put Jet in a coat and I had to wear my jean jacket. While we walked I talked with John about how I was feeling and I realized that I was really disappointed and sad and scared about having to have some fillings done. It's been a while since someone's actually drilled in my mouth, just a few years, and I've been in the dentist's chair often enough to be unhappy about the pain and discomfort that was coming.

On top of that I figured out why my old fillings were composite rather than metal. I have pretty temperature sensitive teeth, and metal conducts cold and heat much more quickly and thoroughly than ceramics. So one reason was that the composite insulates my nerves better, and I think that at least one of the fillings he's talking about replacing is pretty deep and it would be good to not have the filling conduct deep cold or heat.

The other reason is that my teeth are pretty brittle. Silver fillings are pretty much packed into the hole made by the drill, and they're kept in by being packed in tight and packed in tighter by the force of ones bite. It's not something that actually bonds to the material of the tooth. The composite actually bonds to the material of the tooth and helps to hold it all together.

So I have two good reasons to stay with composite fillings. I am logically aware that if I explain this to the dentist that he is likely to be willing to go with a composite filling for my teeth. Emotionally, on the other hand, I'm frightened to death. There's some emotional weirdness in my head that tells me that if I disagree with a professional that I'll LOSE. Period.

I think it goes with a lot of reinforcement that when I say something it's not listened to, especially by anyone with power over my life. It's a bad emotional thing in the back of my head.

It helps to talk it out with john. Amusingly enough, he is not 'an authority', he's my partner, my pal, and my love, and I'm never scared of talking with him about anything. So we talked about it and he gave me good reassurance about my logical deductions. He understood, too, that the emotional bits weren't going to go away, but he would help me, as best he could, with trying to get it to stop.

I also know that I often deal with stress and sadness by eating, and if I plan it and do something that I can plan and control, it's not too bad for us and still helps with the emotional stuff. He said he'd help me do that, too. Which pretty much meant getting me the time to cook, tonight, and going to Harry and David's tomorrow morning.

The thing I wanted to cook, tonight, was Shanghai teacakes. I was also going to bastardize the recipe something awful, to help satisfy the control and content part of it all. The original recipe calls for more than a cup and a half of shortening in the shells as well as bacon and country ham in the filling. I used turkey bacon and smoked turkey in the filling and went to my dim sum cookbook and found a shell that did the same two dough layering but used less than half the fat of the original recipe. The real flavor of the filling came from the bunch of green onions that went into them anyway.

So I made them. The turkey bacon and ham had far less volume than the pork equivalents, so I only used half the shells anyway and made half the number of cakes. I painted them with egg wash and dipped them in sesame seeds and baked them. When they came out they were hot and crisp and flaky as heck, and the interior tasted very, very close to what I remembered from my childhood, salty, sweet, and oniony and just a bit smoky and rich. Even with all the substitutions they were really good.

We had them with our dinner, and enjoyed them a lot. I was glad. So item one of my campaign to find things to feel good with and about.

Jet had a really good evening as well, which was really cool after the longish day and all the fun we'd had playing then. So the lower pressure days really are good for him, too. Having the time to just be with me and have me not distracted by other things is a very good thing for his mood and attitude about stuff.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.