Day 20 – National Blog Posting Month

Those are my teeth. Aren’t they pretty?

So yeah, I went to the dentist yesterday. The last time I went I was four months pregnant with my daughter. Yes, that was 7 years ago.

Did I mention that I hate the dentist?

The last time I went I needed lots of freezing to clean my teeth. Apparently I am prone to plaque buildup and since it had been oh, about 10 years since I’d seen a dentist then, I had a lot of buildup.  Gross. I know.

Anyway, so I decided I had to get my teeth cleaned as I started having more dreams about my teeth falling out and disintegrating in my mouth. My husband teased me that I shouldn’t need freezing.  I’ve had three c-sections, I should be able to tolerate an hour of scaling right?

My brother on the other hand, needs a benzodiazepine, freezing and laughing gas to get his teeth cleaned.  We are a pair, aren’t we?

Anyway, I remember as a child going to the dentist a lot. I hated it even then. I don’t know if it was the smell of the office or the fact that I was getting fillings, it felt like, every single time I was there. The office was in a house. I remember it so clearly.  I needed braces when I was a teenager and once they were off I think was when I stopped going. I was done.

My current dentist is a woman and she is lovely. She suggested we try the cleaning without freezing to see how I do.  She used something called the cavitron. It’s a scaling tool that uses ultrasound to break up plaque, or something like that.  She started and it was actually okay.  She managed to clean a hell of a lot without an ounce of freezing.  She was very sweet and kept telling me how amazing I was doing.  There were a few spots that were super sensitive, but overall it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected and bonus for me not be frozen for hours thereafter.

Today my teeth feel weird. Like I can actually feel the grooves between my teeth weird. But I am needing some Advil because they are really, really sore.

Oh and the extra bonus?  No cavities!

Yay me!  Bring on the candy.

Er ….  😉


Healthy Dinner Report.

Day 18 – National Blog Posting Month

This was my dinner last night. Kale and quinoa salad with feta cheese, walnuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and yellow pepper in a balsalmic vinaigrette. It was very tasty and pretty healthy.  And I didn’t eat any dessert.

Yay me!

But then I went to a conference this morning and they had lots of pastries. Pastries, pastries and more pastries.



Back on the wagon

Day 17 – National Blog Posting Month.

I finally caved the other day and picked up a new pair of running shoes. From everything I’ve read, shoes should last the average runner about 600-800 km, depending on the brand.  Yeah, not so much for me. I’m lucky if I can get 400 km out of my shoes before I start noticing the shin splints and calf pain coming back.  I must have lead feet when it comes to running. I seem to blow through shoes faster than anyone else I know.

I have also been indulging in far too many Halloween treats after dinner and the waistline is starting to get tight again.  I’m sure it didn’t help that I took a week off running and still ate the way I normally do.  No one else would even notice but I know the extra pounds are there so I have made a decision to just stop with the chocolate.

(At least until Christmas.)

While husband was cooking dinner of fish and broccoli (boring but healthy), I went out for a quick run in my new shoes. They felt great and I ran steady for 22 minutes (3.25 km at an average pace of 6:50 min/km). One of the fastest runs I’ve had in the past month and it felt great not to have that nagging calf pain. New shoes really do make a difference.

I had asked husband to hide the candy and refused to eat any after dinner. He decided to have dessert and brought one of the kid’s Halloween buckets down to the basement and proceeded to eat three or four little chocolate bars right in front of me.

Bastard. 😉

I stayed strong and didn’t have any.  I can feel the withdrawal already this morning.




Day 16 – National Blog Posting Month

Pretty much this.

caffeineloadingKids were up early. Mommy and daddy slept in. Big sister made breakfast for herself and brothers (read: juice box, cheese and yogurt). Only decaffeinated coffee left. Hustled everyone in the car. Late for school drop-off. Drove to shopping center. Ahh …. coffee.

That was my morning.

How was yours?


Day 15 – National Blog Posting Month

I haven’t run in a week. After the half-marathon I didn’t take a break, I just kept going. I ran 10 km a week later and my body started tell me to slow down. Of course, I didn’t listen.  The nagging ache in my calves didn’t let up. The nagging ache in my SI joint started nagging me more. The writing was on the wall.  I needed a rest.

So, for the past week I rested.  I laid off the weights and got on the stationary bike once for 35 minutes. Last night, for the first time in 8 days, I did some upper body weights. I plan on a short 3-5 km run this afternoon.  A week off the running may not be enough physically for my body to rest but my mind needs to get back out there.

When I run I think. Sometimes I think about a recent patient and go over the history, physical exam and lab findings and think of other diagnoses that might have eluded me at the time.  Often I just process my day so that I can leave it on the pavement and start fresh tomorrow. More often than not, it’s a chance for me to have quiet time to reflect on everything and nothing. I guess you could say it’s a form of therapy.

Mind over matter.

“Thoughts And Prayers”

Day 14 – National Blog Posting Month.

My FB, twitter and Instagram feeds exploded last night with news of the attacks in Paris.  I visited Paris once, with my brother back in 2000.  We were there for about a day. Having studied French in high school it was pretty rusty, but I think, understandable.  I recall overall that most Parisians were actually pretty rude and annoyed at our attempts to speak the language.  Maybe they thought we were Americans? I’m not sure.  In any event, the food was amazing, the sites were beautiful, we saw the Eiffel tower lit up at night, took the obligatory tourist photos and moved on.

Every other day there is some tragedy in the world that demands our attention. Photos are posted in solidarity, hashtags are born, it’s a “thing” for a few days, then something else happens and the world moves on.  I imagine it would have been pretty terrifying to be in the middle of what occurred last night.  But I’m not sure how posting photos, giving them our “thoughts and prayers” really accomplishes anything.  If the world really wants to be free of “terror” and our governments want to protect us, certain of our freedoms and liberties will have to be forsaken.  Could you live with a government-imposed curfew?  Do you want your government reading your emails and tracking your online presence? Do you really want your country’s borders closed to all foreigners? I think if you really sit down and examine what that all means, most people would in fact, not want that.  I certainly don’t.

In the long run, what happened last night in Paris happens all the time in other countries but doesn’t make the worldwide news.

We have to ask ourselves why not.

A Little Worried.

Day 12 – National Blog Posting Month.

Being a doctor who is also a daughter has its privileges. I can navigate the system on behalf of my parents. I can advocate on their behalf and ask for tests and referrals. I can attend appointments and understand what is being discussed.  I can find out results before they do.

It is fraught with disadvantage as well. With their permission, I am privy to tests results before they are. I understand what their diagnoses mean and if I don’t, I know trusted resources to educate myself.  I understand in general terms what “illness trajectory” means. Specifically, I have seen what illness trajectories look like.  I also know what the end may look like.

I am the one my family looks to for advice and comfort.  I have to be strong and composed. I can’t let them see that I’m worried.

The Corridor at Night.

Day 9 – National Blog Posting Month.


Last night I took my elderly father to his MRI appointment at a downtown hospital.  As the machines in my city run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week it wasn’t surprising to me that his appointment was for 10pm.  Both my parents can drive but neither my brother, nor myself or my husband wanted them driving that late at night, so I decided to take him myself.

Walking through the hospital hallways at night reminded me what I loved most about my medical school and residency training.  The quiet and tranquil feeling of walking down a hospital corridor at night.  No matter what kind of day I had, or night for that matter, being allowed to roam the quiet hallways at night was always comforting for me.  It didn’t matter if I had just lost a patient or was heading to the ER for yet another consult, walking those quiet hallways was like therapy.  I honestly felt right at home.  The lights are dimmed. Patient care areas are quiet except for the occasional sounds of IV machines beeping. Cleaners are buffing the floors. I might see another resident walking in the opposite direction, sometimes a family member from the ER who had gotten lost and asked for directions back to the unit. It was a privilege to be one of the club.

For a few minutes last night, I yearned to be back in that club again.


The Oak. 

Day 8 – National Blog Posting Month.

There is a rather large oak tree on my neighbor’s lawn. It offers wonderful coverage for our bedroom window but it produces two things which I can’t stand.

Acorns and leaves.

Lots of both.

A few years ago I noticed a lot of acorns on my front lawn one day in late summer. So many in fact that I couldn’t walk barefoot because those acorns were like shards of glass under my feet. I’ve lived in my house for 8 years and it’s only been the last 2 or 3 years that I have noticed the acorns. And then there are the leaves. I’m not sure what it is about my house in particular but I feel like every single lead falls into my driveway, backyard and front lawn. These leaves are everywhere! I swear I see them down the block from my house too. I know they change colors and are quite pretty for a few weeks in October but they are a bloody nuisance to gather year after year. Just today I filled 5 paper lawn bags. Five!

I looked up at the tree after I was done and realized I’ll likely be doing this all over again next week.