I want to start off by
telling you about a cool new web gadget called Frappr. It's
an interactive worldwide map that lets you "add yourself" to
show people where you are (by city and state, or country
only). I started a Frappr map for ArchWired members. If you
have a moment,
go to this
link and add yourself to the map. Include a photo or an
avatar and a short message. It would be cool if most of our
members put themselves on the map! BTW, you can move the map
around by "dragging" it with your mouse.
Speaking of maps, have you
downloaded and looked at
Google Earth? I was absolutely SPEECHLESS the first time I
looked at it. It is truly the coolest thing I have ever
seen on the web. It's totally free. You would not believe the
close resolution it has in most major cities -- only hundreds of
yards above the ground -- fascinating! You have to check it out;
I'm sure you'll be as blown away by it as I was!
I also want to tell you about a
cool internet radio station I listen to on a regular basis. In
fact, I've been meaning to mention it for a few months. It's
called RadioParadise.com. There are no commercials and you only
hear the announcer say the name of the songs after a set of 4-6
songs -- the way FM radio was in the days of yore. The music mix
is always eclectic, and it's totally free -- no subscription or
login necessary. It is financed completely by listener
donations. The guy who founded and runs the station previously
worked for some major FM radio stations and got fed up with all
the commercialization on the air. He now lives in a house that
is pretty much in the middle of nowhere and runs this internet
radio station! I've discovered a few interesting groups and
artists by listening to this station. Personally I like it a
lot. If you like to listen to music via your computer, give
Radio Paradise a try.
We are moving ahead slowly with
the home improvement stuff. I still haven't pinned down a
contractor to refinish the hardwood floors (I'm being very
picky). But I have been doing a lot of work in preparation, such
as cleaning out various closets and cabinets. An odious job, but
it has to be done. As you can imagine, the local Goodwill store
is getting truckloads of stuff from us (only half kidding about
that...) I am NOT a packrat, and I actually delight in making
our household load a lot lighter. Now if I could only get my
kids to throw out all that tiny stuff they get from birthday
party goodie bags.....
Hot off the "press" I created a
really neat item which is new to DentaKit.com. It is a set of
magnetic words for braces! I called the set "Metal
Mouth Magnets." There are over 100 words that you can use to
compose sentences like:
If you already have a set of other
magnetic words, you can add them to create all sorts of
interesting and fun sentences.
I'm pretty jazzed about this
magnetic word set, because there is nothing like it on the
market -- I created it myself! After all, we braces wearers
deserve our own special set of magnetic words, dontcha think?
I have been sick with a cough
once again, but this time I think I have finally gotten a "real"
diagnosis. I saw a new doctor and asked her why -- EVERY
SINGLE TIME I get a cold or a sore throat -- why do I end
up with a bronchial infection and need antibiotics? It has
been this way for the past 12 years. It's just not normal!!
she told me that I
probably have a condition called Reactive Airway Disease (RAD)
-- adult onset.
I had never heard of it before. Basically it's a cloaked form of asthma that only surfaces
when something triggers it -- like allergies, fumes, cold
weather, exercise, or a
virus. Apparently my lungs have become abnormally
sensitive/over-reactive. I already had inhalers from my
previous bout with this last year. She gave me a prescription
for a slightly stronger dose of Advair and also put me on
She also told me to use Flonase
nasal spray every day. I already had some, but I rarely use it.
I get monthly allergy shots, so allergies generally aren't a
problem for me. She said that the ongoing use of Flonase will
help keep my sinuses from getting inflamed and prevent that
nasty post-nasal drip that contributes to a cough.
Anyway, of course I'm not thrilled
that I may have another chronic condition (I also have
problems), but I'm happy that finally SOMEONE has put a name to
my weird post-cold cough condition.
Now I know that when I get a cold
or feel even the slightest bit sick, I should start taking my
inhalers immediately. In the past, my mistake has been waiting a few
days to see how things will go before breaking out the inhalers
because I didn't want to take inhaled steroids for "no reason."
I should also be more careful about exposing myself to fumes and
stuff like cigarette smoke -- things that may trigger an
"attack." I think I may get one of those special filtration
masks for any "fume" tasks I may do around the house...using
cleaners or spray paints or whatever.
I already have done a lot of
allergy-proofing at my house. All of our beds are
covered/encased with special allergy bedding (I highly recommend
the website of the company Allergy Control Products). And as you
know, we're getting rid of the carpeting soon and re-doing the
hardwood floors. Our vacuum cleaner has HEPA filters. We have an
Ionic Breeze. I guess things have just been going in this
direction for years without me realizing it.
After I'm over this latest cough,
she wants me to go to the hospital for a lung function test.
That's fine with me. I'd like some proof that I have RAD or
asthma. I'll do it in December because my insurance deductible
has mostly been met for this calendar year, and it will cost
less to do it before January.
Oh yeah, she also wants me to get
a flu shot. In fact, she said that for me, the flu shot is NOT
optional, ever. That's good to know. No more debate about that.
Well I've taken the Zithromax for
2 days now (it's a strong 3-day treatment) and I'm starting to
feel better. Hopefully I'll be back to 100% energy soon! I've
been feeling rather awful this week.
One problem with being sick: my
retainer! I find that I have to take it out because I tend to
cough more when it's in (at night). So I've been wearing it
during the day for several hours here and there. At this point
(about a year since the braces have come off), I think my teeth
are stable enough...but I don't want to take any chances!
I'm so excited, because this year
for Thanksgiving we are eating OUT! You see, I have no family
around here except for my Mother-in-Law. She is in assisted
living and can't cook anything. So it all falls on my shoulders.
In the past I've tried getting all the stuff pre-made from the
grocery store, but it's still a ton of work. Last year I got
REALLY CRANKY, and Hubby finally realized that it was insane for
me to do all this work for one silly meal. So from now on, we're
going to a restaurant. Instead of dreading Thanksgiving, for
once I'm looking forward to it! But I promised the kids that I
would make a special tiny dinner soon just for us so they could
have their favorite carrot pudding. If anyone wants the recipe,
let me know; I'd be happy to share it.
DentaKit now has a holiday sale in
progress. Selected retainer cases, dental wax, wax alternatives,
pre-pasted toothbrushes, mouth mirrors, and Proxi-Tips are on
sale. As usual there is free US shipping for purchases of $49
and over. For purchases over $99 I'm also including a free set
of Metal Mouth Magnets. International shipping is half price for
orders $49 and over (sorry, I can't offer free shipping internationally!) Soon
I'll send out the only email I ever send announcing the sale to
existing customers (I always cringe that people will think I'm
spamming them -- I really hate spam!) So if you've been wanting
to stock up on supplies, now is a good time!
Today a post came across the Metal
Mouth Message Board that was quite unbelievable. A user of the
drug Ecstasy wanted to know how to prevent bruxism when
he's high. He wears braces and uses the drug about once a month.
It's like a coke user asking how to prevent nose bleeds because
it ruins the pleasant experience. I feel sorry for that
person....bruxism is certainly the least of their problems...I
hope he or she can find a way to stop soon.
I have come across yet another
musical group that I really like: The Stills. They're sort a
like The Cure with traces of Radiohead and a few other groups I
just can't put my finger on...maybe Todd Rungren. These
past few months, I've been listening to them, Radiohead's OK
Computer album (a masterpiece IMO), and the two Interpol albums
(its a nasty guilty addiction, I'll admit). And occasionally
some Chris Isaak, Coldplay, and Keane. I just bought Beck's
latest album but haven't had a chance to pop it into the CD
player yet. So much music, so little time....
Sometimes I search Amazon or AMG
for groups I've never heard of but might like. There are groups
that everyone seems to like (such as Modest Mouse) but I just
can't seem to get into their music. Maybe it's a generational
thing. I also can't stand Franz Ferdinand....no matter what
anyone says (yes, catchy melodies, etc) I think they are just
copying a sound/style. I'm just a jaded
old punk. Look out 20somethings, there are a lot of us
opinionated old punks
out there, LOL.
Finally I'm better, but for the
entire month, that stupid cough and cold just wouldn't go away.
I wound up having to take Augmentin for 2 weeks to get rid of
it, along with my myriad of inhalers. Unfortunately, I have a
feeling that something I took gave me a digestive problem. No,
not the usual type -- apparently I have reflux. My throat has
been rather hoarse and I seem to have a continual post-nasal
drip, so I went to my ENT doctor to see why. He stuck a scope
down my nose into my throat (a lovely procedure -- NOT) and told
me that he sees a lot of irritation that points to reflux. He
had examined me a few months ago and mentioned it then, too, but
I denied having a problem. Apparently this type of reflux
(called LPR) can be "silent," so you don't even know it's going
on. He said that some of my apparent asthma stuff may actually
be related to this reflux. Wonderful.
In addition to taking Prilosec
twice a day, he wants me to avoid tomatoes, onions, coffee, tea,
cola, and basically anything acidic. Indian food! Thai food!
Mexican food! Italian food! Jeez, everything I love to eat. As
you can guess, I'm pretty darned upset about this. Instead of
drinking my usual hot mocha in the morning I'm having....hot
milk! Argh! Naturally I began searching the web and came across
a message board similar to our own Metal Mouth Forum. The nice
people there are helping me understand this mess, and
re-assuring me that taking 2 Prilosec a day is OK (the package
states to take no more than one per day). I also found out about
a couple of products that apparently neutralize the acid in
foods and drinks. You sprinkle them in or on the foods/drinks
and supposedly the flavor is not affected. OK, I bought some
today and we'll see how it works. I can't imagine giving up my
favorite foods or beverages. But on the other hand, I don't want
to ruin my windpipe or my voice either.
I'm researching whether the
inhalers or antibiotics I took (or all that violent coughing I
did) could have anything to do with
this, because as far as I know, I didn't have a problem
previously. Unless it was a small problem and now has become a
big problem. Who knows. So far the Prilosec is making me feel
rather sleepy. I hope that passes. What a big pain this all is.
I hope it's temporary and that soon it will just be in the past.
In the mean time, I'm moving ahead
with all that "possible asthma" stuff and will be seeing a
pulmonologist soon about that lung test.
Have I mentioned how much I hate
spending all my time with doctors?
OK, enough about all that health
Attention people with Invisalign-type
braces! We have taken the DentaKit concept a step further and
now have a DentaKit for Invisible Braces. It includes
some of the products from the "regular" DentaKit, plus others
that aligner-wearers need, such as packets of regular floss, the
ART tool, breath strips, and a starter supply of Retainer Brite.
People with retainers could also use this kit successfully.
link to the product page, in case you're interested. Oh BTW,
Invisalign is a trademark of Align Technologies. (I have
to say that to appease the gods and goddesses of invisible
There have been some really
annoying goings-on at the Message Board lately. I bet you didn't
know about this, but people register just to have a link or
mention of a website they are hawking, such as web hosting or
pharmacies. I suppose it gets picked up on the search engines.
It's a free way for them to get more links. They never intend to
actually post anything. They register and put their URL into
their sig and provide a link to their site. Well, I refuse to
let ArchWired be a vehicle for them. As soon as I spot one of
these bogus members, I remove all of their references and
de-activate their accounts. If they have posted, (stuuuuupid) I
can get their IP address and ban them. I do wish people in
cyberspace would behave themselves.
As the holidays approach, I hope
you and your family have a great holiday season and a terrific
New Year. If you haven't seen the humor page this month, take a
look, because it will surely make you chuckle.