The Caries Diary

I have caries… dental caries, also know as a cavities.  It’s actually one cavity and another two to keep an eye on.

I’m devastated.

This is my first cavity.  I’m in my early thirties, so I know I have had a good run.  But I think it hurts my ego more that anything.

I went to a new dentist yesterday.  I have not been since summer 2011.  My follow-up in January 2012 was cancelled because of flooding in the office.  They never called to reschedule, but I didn’t either and thought to just postpone until the following summer.  When I called to make an appointment, my voice message wasn’t returned.  The office up and closed.

It is not fun looking for a new provider, even a dentist.  You have to see if they are covered by your dental insurance, if you have any.  They think about a location to look in… by work, by home?  Maybe search reviews online.

I love the dentist (and I think I lucked out with my new find).   You come out with smooth, glittering, clean teeth.  Fresh breath.  Maybe some goodies.  What’s not to love?  Also I have good check ups.  I loved going because I knew nothing would really be wrong.  Everything would be status quo.  Manchild said it is positive reinforcement.  It totally is.

It was the last physical frontier that I was holding onto.  I got my first pair of glasses twenty years ago, so the eyes are shot.  I’m not a flexible or trim as I used to be (with the same minimal effort).  But my teeth… they were my one last ‘A’.

And now it is gone.

My initial thought was ‘damn that hippie toothpaste’.  I have been using Trader Joe’s toothpaste for about 1 1/2 years.  It’s natural and isn’t jaw-clenching sweet like most others.  But I don’t think it’s the toothpaste.  It has fluoride.  Maybe not enough?  I don’t really know.

Now I will, of course, be ultra-obsessed with dental hygiene.  Brushing and flossing after meals, not just twice daily.  And maybe I should use Listerine, even though it seems to have the alcohol content of whiskey.

I will discuss it with my dentist when I go in for my filling.  My first ever filling.  For my first cavity.   Sigh…

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Pet Peeve- Elevator Riders



I haven’t experienced this in a long time, but it happened last week.  I was taking the elevator from the 7th floor down to the 2nd.  My friends and I stepped into a car with about 5 other people.  One friend got off at 5.  A lady sighed ‘Oh it skipped 6.’  She didn’t get off.

I guess she was just planning to ride until it made its last stop and ride back up.  Why didn’t she just get off at 5 and take the stairs one flight?  In my judgement, laziness.

When I originally thought about this pet peeve, I thought about people who get on an elevator, knowing it’s not going in the direction they want and actually say ‘Oh I’m a just ride’.

What? No.  Just wait until it comes back.  The elevator is not a ride at an amusement park.  It’s coming back, be patient.

But Manchild has a different point of view.  He has seen this happen at his work place, particularly at lunch.  He said during lunch, the elevator can be crowded, so people will get on even if going in the wrong direction, just a have a place.

Hmmmmm… I get it, but it’s still a tad lazy.  Especially for one floor.  My favorite professor told us his ‘One up, two down’ rule.  At the hospital, if your destination is either one floor up or two floors down, take the stairs.

I wholeheartedly believe in this rule.

What are you penny thoughts?  Are you sometimes a rider?


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/telmo32/2810412725/”>telmo32</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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World AIDS Day

Observed annually on December 1, World AIDS Day is a time worldwide to raise awareness and support for the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

I don’t want to get preachy or ramble of facts, but I think it is important to continually remind the public of some statistics.  The CDC approximates there are more than 1 million adults and adolescents living with HIV in the US.  This increase in the prevalence is due to the fact persons infected are living longer.  The rate of new infections has remained steady in recent years.  I find this a bit alarming.  It is positive news because if there are more individuals living with HIV, there are more opportunities for infection.  But I would think that with all the public health efforts, more people would use caution.

I also find it concerning about the populations HIV disproportionately effects.  Men that have sex with men (MSM) represent about 2% of the US population, but about 50% of new infections.  Blacks make up about 14% of the US population, but account for about 44% of new infections.  Latinos represent around 16% of the US population (btw wow), and about 20% of new infections.  Also, about 50,000 people are infected with HIV each year, and 1 in 4 is 13 to 24 years old.

We have to do better.

And days like World AIDS Day help keep HIV in the forefront.  Help encourage people to get tested.  Help to eliminate stigma for having a positive diagnosis.  Help educate the public on modes of transmission and risk factors.  Help raise money for research.

So know your status, don’t be ashamed to ask someone’s status if you are going to be intimate and protect yourself.

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Why so SAD?

Daylight savings time has ended and I will have SAD.

That’s no typo.  I have diagnosed myself with seasonal affective disorder- SAD.  According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition, published by American Psychiatric Association, I actually do not meet criteria to be diagnosis with this recurrent form of a mood disorder but something goes amiss when the shadows get long and the leaves start to change.

My SADness starts to rear its ugly head as summer fades into fall.  But now that we have fallen back one hour, it will only get worse. I will say I don’t get depressed but just too aware of the fading day and the fact that sweet precious hours of light that are available, I spend inside working.  It makes me anxious.  I feel like I’m losing time, or missing out on… I don’t know, something.

I didn’t start noticing the SADness until I lived in the DMV area.  I would get out of class and the streetlights would be on.  Better yet, if I had a class that started at 4pm, the sun would be near its final appearance for the day.  I was SO not used to that (clearly I’m still not).  I have always live in the Eastern Time Zone.  But I grew up in Ohio.  Cincinnati to be exact.  And Cincinnati lies far west in the Eastern Time Zone, about a one hour drive from the Central Time Zone.  So 5pm in Cincinnati is lighter than 5pm in say DC or Philadelphia.  I couldn’t even imagine Boston or Portland, ME… ohhh it gives me palpitations.

Now that it is daggone dark when I walk home from the SEPTA station, I don’t want to leave once I get in the house.  It’s some Jedi mind trick.  Sure it’s lighter in the morning, but all I’m doing in the morning is going to work.  I conduct my extracurriculars after work.  I enjoy the ability to get home, go to the gym or run errands and it still be light out.  I feel more productive in the daylight.  For me dark = sleep.

What’s a girl to do?

SMH.  I’m so dramatic.



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Food Day!

Today is Food Day!  When I first heard about it this morning on the news, my initial (greedy) thought was ‘Isn’t that every day?’.  

Food Day is “a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food”. 

In the US, obesity and related conditions (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease) are ever-increasing. We have all heard reports about how terrible the contemporary American diet is.  The key word is contemporary. As we moved from an agricultural to an industrial economy, it seems the link between ourselves and the food we eat was lost.

When I think about the foods my grandparents grew up preparing and eating, they aren’t radically different from some of what we find popular today.  But the source of the food, many times the backyard without pesticides/antibiotics, and the preparation of the food, at home instead of prepackaged and processed, is different.

Food Day aims to change the American diet.  From cheap, salty, processed packaged foods and sugary drinks to foods with healthy, whole ingredients. Food that’s sustainable and provides essential nutrients for human health, accessible to all.

That is why I have joined a CSA (community supported agricultural).  Why I try to buy local.  Why I tend to buy organic items, especially when it comes to the dirty dozen.  And try to encourage others to do the same. This is a cause I plan on becoming more active about because unfortunately is not a day everyone has daily, weekly or even monthly.

Be sure to check out more about Food Day at http://www.foodday.org/.

Also, these are links to and interesting article http://www.ijsaf.org/archive/10/1/fonte.pdf and a statement from the American Public Health Association about a healthy, sustainable food system.  http://www.apha.org/advocacy/policy/policysearch/default.htm?id=1361

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What are Penny Thoughts?

In grad school, my class had a Yahoo! email group.  Group emails are useful for sharing pertinent information but occasionally they become forums for internet gangster behavior and people’s unsolicited opinions.  I don’t remember what the debate was, but a classmate wrote a long email with her position and in closing wrote ‘those are just my penny thoughts’.

I’m sorry, what?  I died.

Then I felt kinda bad.  This young lady was not a native English speaker and seemed to have confused the common sayings ‘those are my two cents’ and ‘a penny for your thoughts’.

At first I would use it in emails to be a jerk, but secretly I liked it.  As a statement, it is a phrase that can mean those are just my views/opinions/etc.  As a question, you can solicit the perspective of others.  A two for one.  I liked it even more.

Many postings for this blog, well I guess all at least for now, will be my unsolicited musings on whatever I feel like.  Yay!  Are you excited?

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