The Day I Had a Root Canal

I know root canals are no walk in the park for anyone. But for me, having a root canal was like a walk through hell itself. That is, until I discovered a little dental secret.

I went in for my root canal one Friday morning. I had prepared myself physically and mentally for this. I was ready. Or so I thought. Do y’all know what a #2 molar is? Open your mouth. Take your finger and stick it all the way towards the back of your mouth. Feel that last molar on the top right? Yea that one. That’s #2. And that’s the one that needed a root canal. That’s apparently the worst tooth you could ever need a root canal on. Yay me.

In order to proceed with my #2 root canal they needed to determine if I could handle the “dental dam” or as I like to call it “the piece of rubber they use to suffocate you as if you were a prisoner at Gitmo.” 15 secs into said test and I was choking, crying, and reaching for dental instruments. I think that meant I failed. Now we had to talk options.

This is when I learned they even HAD OPTIONS. What’s this little secret? You mean I could have opted for something to make me unaware of this procedure? Oral sedation? Um yes please. I promptly rescheduled my appointment for a later date and skipped out of the office with my prescriptions in hand.

Once the day came for root canal take 2 I was on two drugs plus gas. Oh I still talked to the staff and was mildly aware of my face, but otherwise I was relaxing on the beach at sunset. As my sweet daughter chauffeured me home, I announced that these secret dental drugs should be used for many more situations. They should offer this for annual physicals as well as boring meetings. Bring on the happy pills and gas.

All kidding aside, I was thankful for something to help me get through a difficult procedure. As we were getting started, the dental assistant told me to just be still and it would all be over in no time. My job was to 1) be still and 2) trust it would all turn out ok. Isn’t that what God asks of us?  In Psalm 46 we are told thatGod is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble.” That same chapter then instructs us to “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.” When we face difficult fear-filled situations, we have the greatest help of all. We simply need to 1) be still and 2) trust Him. And this help is for everyone – no prescription needed!

P.S. For your viewing pleasure, here’s what the aftermath of the root canal looked like. And a special thanks to my sweet daughter for putting up with me and capturing it all on video. Pay back is coming when you get your wisdom teeth out. Stay tuned friends.

 CLICK LINK>>> The Day I Had a Root Canal

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TP Talk Take 2

As you all know, toilet paper replenishment is near and dear to my heart. During this holiday season, I would like to thank all those who are spreading love and cheer by changing toilet paper rolls across our great nation. Your sacrifice is recognized and appreciated. Alas, our work is not done. There are those who simply refuse to take the necessary steps to restock the tissue a la toilet for their colleagues, friends and family members. And the epidemic is far worse than I imagined.

Exhibit A: This incident occurred in my own home … my own home… courtesy of my son. I just keep staring at this wondering where I went wrong. How? Why? Complete disbelief. Yes he will be punished.

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But I’m not alone. Many of you are also suffering. I know this because I’m getting your photos and messages.

 

And the one that completely sums up my thoughts on the subject.

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It’s a sick world we live in. I sympathize with you and will continue to lead the charge to end this madness. Merry Christmas!

Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. Psalm 25: 16-17.

 

Let’s Talk Toilet Paper

It’s widely known that I am a self-proclaimed restroom aficionado. Public, private, large, small, clean, not so clean, indoor, outdoor, baseball fields, airplanes, eco-friendly flushing systems, no flushing capability at all. You name it, I’ve tested it. Anatomical issues aside,  just trust me when I say I’m qualified to speak on the subject.

Part of my role as Secretary of Restrooms is to communicate with the masses to ensure we uphold the restroom standards that are essential to maintaining decorum in our public facilities. And believe me, having planned our family vacation around satisfactory restroom stops on 95, I have done my research.

So yes folks,  this important public service announcement is about toilet paper. It’s a subject close to my heart. (Um, you know what I mean.) Appropriate quality and quantity of toilet tissue is critical to an effective restroom experience. On the flip side, low quality TP can make a bathroom trip unbearable. {Side bar: I’d be a great spokesperson for Charmin, Cottonelle, Angel Soft or Northern. #opportunity} But this post is not about quality of the tushy tissue. It’s about WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO PUT A NEW ROLL OF TOILET PAPER ON THE HOLDER.

{Pause to collect myself.}

Oh my gosh. My frustration with those that can not complete this simple task is at a critical level.  Code red I tell you. Whether over or under, I don’t care. At least replace the toilet paper if you use all of it. It’s not that hard. Yet,  I’m confronted with this madness at work, at home, even during a recent hotel stay. Something must be done. Hence I’m calling attention to the common offenses in hopes we can put a stop to this assault on humanity.

1.) The outright kiss my fanny.

These selfish people should be locked in a room together… for a really long time…. with lots of trickling water. It boggles my mind that a person could use all the toilet paper and not replace it for the next person. #deepbreath

 

2.) The fake it. 

Who are you kidding? That scrap you left on the roll isn’t fooling anyone. Some of these #psychos use stealthy ninja skills to leave just enough toilet paper on the roll to cover the cardboard tube.Others use the art of camouflouge.

 

3.) The prop it.  

OK they tried. But would it kill you to try a little harder? My granny always said a job worth doing was a job that shouldn’t be done half…way. Believe it or not, this photographic evidence was captured in a hotel.  Yes, a professional did this. #fail

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There are more TP stunts but the point is clear – why do people make this a harder task than it should be? Why do they try to get away with not replacing it? Maybe it’s because there isn’t any to replace it with. {Side bar: That is NEVER the case in our house because I’m obsessed with having enough toilet paper. Just ask my hubby. I literally just said “we need more toilet paper” after checking the cabinet. See photo.}

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Maybe it’s because they think someone else will do it {i.e. mom}. Maybe it’s because they got what they needed and the TP problem now belongs to the next person. Regardless of the exact excuse, it boils down to being… and I say this in love….. self-centered.

Don’t throw toilet paper at me. We are a society that puts self first. We are conditioned that way. But as I thought about this pet peeve of mine, how it really frustrates me, how it exists across the board, I wondered what it really boiled down to. What did this really mean?  Then I sat down and read Romans 12.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Romans 12:9-13

Now I did notice that verse 12 instructs me to be “patient in affliction”. {Pause again to reflect.} Most importantly though this passage also tells us to honor one another above ourselves and to be devoted to one another in love. Yes you can honor people with toilet paper. The simple needs of others could be our opportunities to bless and care for them. Taking a few minutes to serve others could mean all the difference to them… and to us.

And just to be sure I have patience with the TP violators God added Romans 12:14.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

Next time you have the chance to replace the toilet paper, rejoice! Your family, friends, co-workers and fellow citizens will appreciate you.

 

My Legs Don’t Go That Way

Physical Therapy. Sounds like a good thing right? I mean it’s therapy. By definition therapy is “treatment designed to relieve or heal.” But I’m on to them now. Oh yes, I figured out their game. It’s PE in disguise. And I hated PE. This so-called therapy is all a facade to get you in the door. Once inside, they make your legs go in directions they were never meant to go.

A month ago I decided the pain in my back must be addressed. I started looking for a new desk chair since mine was apparently trying to kill me. Then a friend suggested that it may not be the chair, but the fact that I sit at my desk all day. Apparently sitting is the new smoking. So I turned to the allure and comfort of “therapy” figuring it couldn’t hurt to try it. #foreshadowing

The first visit was all roses and candy. Easy stretches and light pressure from “Pebbles”, the name of the machine they put me on. This is also a diversion tactic. They give the robotic machines nice names, especially the ones you meet first.  It’s all part of the ploy.

The second visit they introduced me to “Bam Bam” and made me bend, lift, stretch and contort in ways I was never meant to. Determined to not be beat by these tactics, I worked and worked to do what I was asked to do. I figured there was a piece of chocolate or something waiting for me as a reward. But no. The therapy master said, “Now get up and walk around a little bit.” HA! My legs feel like jello and I need a nap. I’m gonna walk out the door if I can get off this table. But I learned another one of their tricks. They have you put your purse (with car keys inside) in a cubby that is strategically located as far away from the front door as possible. Very smart on their part.

But I can tell I am getting better so I am encouraged. As an overachiever I keep working harder to be able to say I can do the exercises they give me each visit. But here’s another thing I learned. If you say you can do the exercises, they give you harder ones. Ah Ha. More tricks.

By now I think I have their game figured out. I’m smart. I learned how to avoid PE with stealthy ninja-like prowess. I got this. Oh nay nay. On Friday, they introduced me to traction.

What in the sam heck is this medieval madness? Oh just lie on this nice comfy table and hold on for dear life as we pull you apart. This should definitely help you, she says. It feels good, she says. I considered running. I considered pretending to have to go to the bathroom and jump out the window. But my dang car keys… The cubby… shoot…

Minutes later I find myself strapped in and feeling 80 lbs of pressure pull at me from the waist down as the size of my eye balls set a new world record. 20 minutes later and I was still alive and certain I was an inch taller. Hooray for a lower BMI.

But I’m not going back. Ok, I’ll be back on Monday. And the following Friday. And the week after that. But I’m gonna be sure I keep my car keys within arms reach.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

I’m Not Qualified for Key Fob Repair

There are times when we try to “help” and we actually make things worse. Ever done that? I may have. Once. OK maybe twice.

One morning on my drive to work, my car tells me the battery in my key fob is low. “Hmm,” I thought. “I better take the appropriate measures to resolve this potential issue before it causes me to be stranded in an unsafe area. Thanks for the warning Car.”  OK OK, it may have sounded more like, “Oh snap, it has a battery? Who’s got time to worry about that?”

Naturally I did relay this breaking news report to my darling Hubby who promptly responded with a detailed answer – “OK”. He’s a man of few words. Efficient, I believe he calls it.

After arriving at work I decided that as a seasoned marketing executive I could research this issue, create a plan to address it, execute the plan flawlessly, analyze the results and report key learnings and next steps back to the team. After all it would be a help to the hubby.  I deemed myself qualified with ceremonial flair and proceeded to Google the situation at hand.

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A YouTube video promptly appeared on my screen. This 12-year-old boy said replacing the battery was a piece of cake. Awesome. Just to be sure, I watched the second video. Due diligence they call it. Good use of buzz words, I thought. An older guy says it’s simple and he will give me step by step instructions. Perfect. I assembled the necessary tools, i.e. a quarter, rubber gloves, face mask, fire extinguisher… Preparation is one of my strong points.

I proceeded through the steps, identified the location of the battery, obtained the information for the type of battery I needed to purchase and then attempted to put the key fob back together again to make the car driveable so I could acquire said battery.

“Snap the two halves back together,” he says. “It’s easy,” he says. “It’s painfully simple,” he says. Well, “he” is wrong.

Nothing would make the two halves of this key fob go back together. These two pieces that were one just moments ago are now seemingly so completely incompatible it’s as if they were never meant to be attached at all. I tried using force, the sneak attack, the standing up approach, the spin-in-my-chair-and-pray-gravity-draws-them-back-together approach. Nothing.

And then things got worse.

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A Fire, the Dog and a Basket of Junk Mail

You always hear people talking about what items they would grab from their home if there was ever a fire. With only minutes to get out of your house losing everything you own, what would you save? I’ve pondered this question numerous times over the years and assuming the family was all safe, I figured I’d reach for items like the kids’ baby books, photo albums, wedding photos, other precious mementos that can’t be replaced.

But evidently I was completely wrong.

Running from a burning house on Saturday I didn’t grab any of those things. Continue reading

Mommmmmmmmmmmmmm!

My son wasn’t feeling well after school that day. He sent me a text message asking to be picked up as soon as the 3:10 pm bell rang. I knew he had basketball practice but I also knew he had been sniffling and coughing that morning. I figured he felt pretty lousy if he wanted to skip practice so I responded I would be there right away.

A few minutes later I received another text from him. It was a simple text with one word yet 92 letters. Continue reading

Notes in Lunch Boxes

Another Encore Week post…. This one is my favorite because it’s one of my fondest memories of my mom and of my kids…

I enjoy celebrating special occasions as much as the next person but I also enjoy making ordinary days more memorable with simple unexpected gestures. To my son that may mean the smell of bacon from the downstairs kitchen when he gets up in the morning for school. Give that boy two slices of hickory smoked bacon and he is in “hog” heaven. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Let him take an extra slice or two in his pocket to school and he is on cloud nine.

I do this now because my mom did it for me. She used to put notes in my lunch box every day when I was in elementary school. She would have tea parties for us in the afternoons and whenever you needed cheering up, she always had some little trinket ready. The little things she did made such a difference in my life. I often find myself thinking of something she said or did and I use the idea with my own family. Continue reading

The Sock Jail

Encore Week continues! My kids favorite post…. they think the existence of the sock jail is hilarious and somewhat embarrassing…. But hey it’s practical and I reassure them that “everyone” has one.

In our house we lose socks, but not in pairs. We only lose one sock from each pair at a time. I’ve given up trying to understand where they go. I figure they may be mingling with the flashlights and extension cords we can never find. Better yet, maybe they formed a club and are helping the homeless. Just humor me…

Nevertheless, on laundry day the remaining sock from the guilty pair is sentenced to time in sock jail. While this sock followed laundry protocol and its rebellious partner did not, the orphan must still do its time for losing its partner. Sock jail is better than the death penalty, otherwise known as the trash can. In sock jail there is hope. One day the sock could be reunited with its partner, or one that looks close enough to pass, and continue its life of purpose. Until then, the socks wait in the jail – a straw basket on the top laundry room shelf.

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Cotillion, Cold Meds & a Goat

Riding to school with three of our four children was always eventful and this particular morning was no different. Our teenage daughter was explaining her difficulties with waking up due to the large doses of cold medicine she received from her father the night before.

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