Last month, if you remember,
I mentioned that my older daughter needed to see to her
dentist to have a baby molar extracted. (The loose molar wasn't
falling out on its own). Well, it was quite an experience.
The office visit began normally. The dentist gave her some
"laughing gas" and numbed her cheek, then began giving her a
Novocain shot. At some point, she got too much gas and
became disoriented and agitated. That was when things got
First she began shoving the
dentist and the dental assistant away, and took the gas mask off
her nose. This was very unusual, as she is normally a very
compliant and shy kid. Then she began kicking her legs and
started screaming that she was dying. Well, that totally freaked
me out. I realized that the gas was just making her delusional,
but who wants to hear their kid scream, "I'm dying! Oh my
God, I'm dying! Help me! Help me!"
Fortunately her dentist is
older and very experienced. He and his assistant calmly
restrained my daughter, turned down the nitrous
oxide mixture and gave her more oxygen. Apparently she had
closed her eyes (which can make things worse), so he kept
telling her to open her eyes. I sprang to my feet and was right
there in her face, telling her that I was there and that
everything was OK.
It took a few seconds, but she "came back" from her "bad trip"
and tears began streaming down her face. She said it was like
the worst nightmare she'd ever had. The dentist was able to
quickly extract the molar. Later he told me that in the future,
it might be better for her to see an oral surgeon to get
sedated. She still has 6 baby molars to go
-- and if they are also stubborn, then the only alternative will
be extraction. Great.
don't want to think about that right now. My daughter promised
that she would do a better job wiggling those loose teeth in the
future so that they could come out on their own.
When I was a kid,
my dentist didn't offer laughing gas. He just had numbing gel
and Novocain needles. It
wasn't pleasant, but I survived it. And there were no
"nightmares" as a result. Only a sore jaw.
daughter now sleeps with a brighter
nightlight -- but hopefully that will soon pass. And I'm trying
to purge the memory of my daughter screaming that she is dying.
It's ironic that they call it
"laughing gas" when it can scare you and make you cry.
P.S. The Tooth Fairy left her a
large bonus for that tooth. :-)
Ah yes, the continuing saga of my
home improvement project. Well, I'm happy to report that 90% of
the painting and woodworking is done. The new baseboards are in
(they look fabulous), and the crown molding is up in the
living/dining room (it looks terrific), and various rooms and
hallways are painted. My doors were replaced. The stairway
banister was stained darker (wow!) And nice new Berber carpet
was installed on the stairs. The new recessed lights look great.
The paint colors worked out well. My daughter's room turned out
really cute, thanks to a small fortune spent at PB Teen (I don't
know whether to love or hate that catalog). Hubby's reclining
club chair arrived for Father's Day and he was very happy
relaxing on the ONE piece of furniture we have in this huge
The only thing that remains is the
faux finish for the walls of the living/dining room, which is
supposed to get done in the next week. Then the rest of my
furniture can be delivered and I can get on with my life!
I'm trying to jog again. I hope my
left knee cooperates. I loved jogging and reluctantly gave it up
last year due to knee pain. My orthopedist said that it was
thinning cartilage due to age. OK, I'm 45. I don't want to hear
this. I don't want to hear that I can't do something I enjoy
because my knees are getting older. I switched to "power
walking" but it's not nearly as much fun as jogging. I like the
challenge of jogging.
The other day I drove past a new
running store. They have a computerized pad that analyzes your
gait. The analysis helps the salesman fit you into the correct
type of running shoe. For months I've been wondering if my knee
problem was partly due to the wrong type of shoe. So I treated
myself to a gait analysis. I figured that my running shoes were
a couple of years old and I needed new ones anyway, so why not?
Turns out, I pronate BIG TIME on my left foot, despite
professionally made orthotics. Bingo. We tried a few
different models and each time I got on the treadmill and the
salesguy watched me jog. Finally we hit on one model which he
said fit correctly and I thought was comfortable. On the
treadmill they made me feel really good. My old shoes,
apparently, compensated for my pronation too much -- the
orthotics correct it to some extent, but the shoe was actually
making things worse.
I was amazed that the correct shoe
did not result in any knee pain. I actually felt comfortable on
the treadmill. I was ecstatic. Maybe I can jog again! I bought
the shoes and went over to my local park to get them dirty. Wow,
so far so good. I'm doing a "walk/jog" program. Nothing very
ambitious. Literally it's baby steps. My knee feels OK. I'm
taking it very slowly and keeping my fingers crossed -- and my
knee well iced.
What a stressful month July was!
Between all the home improvement stuff and trying to get away
for a family vacation, I felt like I was going to have a stroke!
Seriously, I can't remember the last time my stress level was so
high. Note to self: don't let yourself get so stressed out
anymore, because it's really really bad for your health (read
The faux finish was supposed to be
put on our living room walls in late June, but it got pushed
back one week because the painter had other commitments. I was
not happy about it, but there was nothing I could do. This
totally messed up my schedule, because I had planned to have
some "semi-down time" between home improvement stuff and
"getting ready for vacation" stuff. Plus, I wanted my furniture
to be delivered BEFORE we went away, and this delay made it very
difficult to accomplish that task.
It all got done, but it was really
hard. The walls were barely dry when the furniture came.
And then there were all the
details for vacation to deal with. You see, I was not only
packing the family for one vacation, but TWO, simultaneously.
Believe me, I didn't want things to be this way. I try to make
things very logical and organized. But many times, life just
won't bend to your desires.
Because of prior commitments and
work obligations on my husband's part, we couldn't leave for
vacation as early in the week as we had wanted. And then,
because of crappy flight schedules, we couldn't come back as
early as we had wanted. And in the middle of it all, there was
painting and furniture delivery happening in my house an entire
week later than I had planned. Not to mention, running my
business and taking care of this website!
We had tickets to go to Florida
starting on July 13th, returning July 23rd (Sunday). Then first
thing Monday morning, July 24th, my kids were going to
sleep-away camp for 2 weeks. So I had to pack them for BOTH
things at the same time. I wound up buying a lot of extra socks
and underwear for them just so that I could throw it in the camp
boxes and leave them there for when we got home. Not to mention
all the other stuff I had to buy (water bottles, extra sleeping
bags, mess kit supplies, etc). There was a HUGE checklist and
certain requirements (girls cannot wear spaghetti straps or tank
tops or flip-flops) -- which ruled out 90% of the clothing my
kids had in their drawers! Argh!!!
The icing on the cake was the food
situation. My kids have a few food allergies, and I had been
working with the camp to ensure that they would not be exposed
to those allergens. Which meant shipping a bunch of food
products up to camp, too. Which meant that as soon as I
got home from Florida, I had to go to the grocery store to buy a
bunch of stuff for them!
So here is what mid-to-late July
was like for me. Take a deep breath and read on:
July 5th: My reflux is acting up
again, probably from stress. I'd been handling it with some
generic Zantac and Tums, but it wasn't enough. So I decide to go
back on Aciphex for 6 weeks to help clear up the reflux. Seemed
harmless enough -- I'd taken it a few months ago and it worked
like a charm with no problems. (You will read later how this
backfired on me...)
July 6-10: The faux finish is put
on the living room walls.
July 11th and 12th: My cleaning
lady comes early in the morning (I'm so lucky to have a cleaning
lady a couple of times per month!!!)Furniture is delivered to my
house and I have to finish packing everyone for vacation and get
the business ready to be away.
July 13th, early morning: We leave
for Florida. The airplanes are very cold. Which wasn't good for
July 14th: I wake up with a
flare-up of Raynaud's syndrome on my left second toe (this is
where it seems to always crop up). Fortunately it isn't too bad
and I'm only limping for 2 days. Despite this, we are able to
take the kids to Disneyworld and Sea World and have a pretty
good time, weathering all the heat and crowds. I still don't
understand this Raynaud's thing, or what exactly sets it off.
But I'm seeing a really good new endocrinologist in early August
who I'm sure will help unravel the mystery.
July 18th: It's very hot. Spent
the morning at the pool with the kids, relaxing and swimming.
Went to Sea World in the late afternoon to see the legendary
Shamu show. Around 8 p.m., we're walking around Sea World and my
leg and waistline begin to itch. I take a shower back at the
hotel room and put some hydrocortisone cream on the itches,
figuring that it's just a heat rash or something.
July 19th: The itching has spread
and is now a bonafide rash all over my trunk. I put Benedryl
cream on it but it doesn't help. I put Calamine lotion on it,
but that doesn't really help either. Finally I take some oatmeal
baths, but again no change. I take 2 Benedryl tablets and go to
sleep, figuring that the Benedryl will knock it out.
July 20th: We leave Orlando and
head to the Sarasota area, where we had planned to spend a few
days at the beach (I mean, how many theme parks can you take?!)
The rash has now spread to more than 50% of my body, including
my scalp and face. Obviously the Benedryl tablets didn't help.
Panicked, I call my dermatologist, who tells me I might be
having an allergic reaction to the Aciphex. I call my
pulmonologist (who prescribed it) and my allergist and they all
agree and tell me that I probably need to take Prednisone
because the Benedryl didn't control the problem. Of course by
now I've stopped taking the Aciphex. We see a local doctor, who
concurs and prescribes Prednisone. I'm scared, because aside
from cortisone injections into my shoulder a few years ago, I've
never taken a steroid. She put me on a 6-day course of
pills, where you start out with 6 pills and every day you take
one less until they're gone.
July 21st: The Prednisone agreed
with me, thankfully. It took a full day for the rash to
noticeably begin clearing up. I'm pissed off, because we're
staying at a nice tennis resort on the beach and I wanted to
play tennis and get some time in the sun at the beach. But I
take what I can get! That afternoon I feel good enough to go
into town and do some shopping (I figured that I deserve a treat
after what I'd been through) and found some great sales. Bought
a few shirts and some pretty stretch bracelets. Had a huge scoop
of ice cream in a waffle cone with chocolate coating. I figured
I deserved that, too. That evening, I DID get to play tennis
with my husband. It was my first time playing on a clay court.
That was a lot of fun. It's great to play tennis again.
July 22nd: Went to the beach early
in the morning and then again late in the afternoon. Stayed out
of the sun, but did enjoy the water. Took my older daughter
shopping in the early evening. Played tennis again with my
husband and kids that night. By now the rash is 99% gone. I wish
I had another few days of illness-free vacation, but c'est la
July 23rd: We blearily leave
Sarasota early in the early morning to drive to Tampa for our
flight home. Thankfully, there were no flight delays. Arriving
home in the late afternoon, I drop everything and run to the
grocery store to get food for my kids' camp. Label all the food
with their names. Then begin packing their suitcases and duffle
bags, dealing with a huge checklist. Our area is having an awful
heat wave, and despite air-conditioning in our house, it's
damned hot. By 7 p.m. I'm cranky and exhausted and yelling
at everybody. Not exactly the best way to send your kids off to
July 24th: We successfully get the
kids off to their sleep-away camp. By mid-afternoon, I'm soaking
in the hot tub and feel a huge weight lift off my shoulders. The
suitcases and house are a total wreck from all the
unpacking/re-packing we had to do for the kids. But I don't
July 26th: I finish the Prednisone
treatment and cross my fingers that the rash doesn't return (so
far, so good). My reflux has been mild. Not sure what to do next
about that, because often if you're allergic to one PPI drug
you're allergic to all of them. I'm still not sure what set off
the rash. Was it being on Aciphex and also being in the sun? Was
it my auto-immune problems? I just want the damned reflux to go
away. It HAD gone away until I took Augmentin again for a sinus
infection a couple of months ago. I will NEVER take Augmentin
again, I don't care WHAT my doctor says. I don't know what it is
about that antibiotic, but it keeps making my LPR reflux worse.
I have read, on the Heartburn Help forum, that other people have
had the same experience with Augmentin.
So that's where I stand. Finally I
got the suitcase/laundry/unpacking stuff under control. A few
more pieces of furniture (for the TV room) were delivered
yesterday. It's nice to have some quiet time in the house with
the kids at camp. This was their first experience with
sleep-away camp, so that was also rather stressful for everyone
(all the anticipation surrounding that).
A few days later, I was able to
dig out all of my china pieces (many of them packed away in the
garage for years) and put them into my beautiful new china
cabinet (the first one I've ever owned). Some of these glass and
silver pieces (many were wedding gifts) have never seen the
light of day. Now they are finally displayed in my home the way
they should be. THAT is very nice, after all these years!
My husband was able to go AWOL
from work for a day so we could spend some time together in San
Francisco. We had a couple of great meals and even went dancing
to a very fun "goth" club -- and were relieved not to be the
oldest people there, LOL! Staying out till 2:30 a.m. dancing to
the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Siouxsie -- now THAT is fun! We
never get a chance to go away together (just the two of us) so
it was really a treat!
In August we will be visiting my
parents, but I plan to make that a much more low-key experience.
No work going on in the house, no extra excitement, no new
medications started, and hopefully no stupid health problems. I
try so hard to be healthy and in-shape, but it seems like one
thing or another keeps happening. At least my back isn't
hurting! Last summer, you may remember, I had a major problem
with my back. So every time I go jogging or cycling or play
tennis, I feel very grateful that I'm able to do these things
without pain. I'm especially enjoying tennis these days, and am
thinking of taking lessons to improve my skills.
So, the moral of the story for the
month of July is:
1. Remember that stress is hard on
your body, especially if you have an auto-immune condition (I
have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis). Try to make your life less
complicated if possible. (ha ha ha!)
2. Don't start medications (even
ones you've taken previously) before you go on a trip.
EVER. You just never know when you may become allergic to
something or have a bad reaction.
OK, I'm going to spend some time
in the hammock with my husband, not thinking about or doing
Oh yeah, P.S. -- The new furniture
looks GREAT! It's nice to have real chairs and sofas to sit on
after months of empty rooms!
I was really surprised by the
results of last month's Braces Poll, which asked the question
"How hard was your decision to get braces?" Almost 1400 people
responded, and of that sample, 44% said that they agonized
over the decision or were very worried about it,
while 31% said it wasn't a big deal or was a very easy
decision. So, it seems that people are either biting their
nails about taking the plunge, or breezing right into it. A
small number (17%) said that they were only somewhat worried
about it. The final 5% belongs to people who did not make
the decision themselves (mainly minors whose parents made the
decision for them). OK, doing the math, that adds up to only
97%. I'm scratching my head over where the polling software hid
the other 3%. Must be the ghost in the machine....
Well, summer has come and gone --
the kids have been in school three days already. They should
outlaw school starting before Labor Day. It's just not right.
School should start in September, not in August! I suppose that
the school board has a good, logical reason for this, but for
those of us accustomed to the Jerry Lewis Telethon being the
marker for summer ending, it just doesn't seem right.
After last month's health
adventures (that sudden allergic reaction), things have
thankfully quieted down. Although I did make a discovery
recently. The rash of "sinus headaches" I sometimes inexplicably
get are not sinus headaches at all, but migraine headaches! That
sheds a whole new light on things, and I'm looking forward to
being able to control them. I found a great website,
explains a lot of stuff that my doctor talked to me about. I'm
passing the information along, because many of us women suffer
from migraines, especially around "that time of month." I guess
mine aren't as bad as some people's -- which is why I thought
they were only sinus headaches. Now I understand why
decongestants sometimes failed to relieve "the pressure."
The recent ban on toothpaste has
kept things hopping for DentaKit.com. As you may know, our store
carries pre-pasted toothbrushes (powdered toothpaste is in the
bristles). Understandably, this item is now very much in demand
with people who need to travel on airplanes. It has kept us
extremely busy, but we're up for the challenge! Nobody knows how
long the TSA ban on liquids, gels, and pastes will last. All I
can say is, if you need pre-pasted toothbrushes and you can't
get them from your dentist or find them in a local store,
DentaKit.com has plenty
of them -- both the premium Readybrush and the basic type.
Speaking of the TSA ban, we did a
bit of traveling in August and this really surprised me: My
daughter was thirsty when we got to the gate to board our
flight. So I bought a bottle of water from an airport store.
After purchasing the water, they made us remove the cap and give
it to the salesperson! I thought that was a bit extreme.
Thankfully we didn't spill it all over ourselves getting it back
to the gate!
My older daughter lost yet another
baby molar the old-fashioned way: she wiggled it until it
finally came out. What a relief. I'm not sure how many more she
has to go, but if we can totally avoid a trip to the oral
surgeon to remove the others, it will be terrific.
I still have some minor furniture
to buy for my house (coffee table, end tables, some lamps, and
some artwork), but for now I've run out of steam. I'm taking a
short break. I just can't think about it anymore. If I can have
all that stuff in place by the end of the year -- or even the
Spring -- I'll consider it an accomplishment.
On a personal note, my husband and
I are celebrating 20 years of marriage this month. You know
you're getting older when you look at your wedding photo and the
first thing that you think is: "Wow, look at us.....we look