Category Archives: Health

No Context For You – April 02nd

My teeth and gums and tongue and cheek all hurt again after Wednesday’s visit to the dentist.

It’s not as bad as it was Wednesday evening when the Novocain wore off. But what’s weird is how it felt fine yesterday. What’s even more weird is that the side that she worked on four weeks ago is the side that hurts more now than the side she worked on two days ago.

Plus, my tongue and the inside of my cheek is sore from being bitten and nicked while I had no control of pain feedback while all numbed up. On top of all of that, the side of my mouth (is there a technical, anatomical term for that that I’m too spacy to think of right now? the spots at the far left and right where the lower and upper lips meet?) is raw from having them yanking on it all day on Wednesday to get at the spots way in the back that they needed to reach.

Now I know how largemouth bass feel when they’re being reeled in.

What are you looking forward to doing this weekend?


Filed under Health, Paul, Photography


If any of all y’all are dentists (or dental technicians, or dental hygienists, or married or cohabitating with one, or related to one, or… you get the picture), I apologize in advance. This isn’t personal.

But I absolutely HATE going to the dentist.

I’ll admit, I hadn’t been in a while. Like, a few years. Probably more than five. Definitely less than ten. Part of it was switching jobs a couple of times, part of it was being without dental insurance for a while, part of it was being really, really busy at the last couple of jobs. But most of it was the aforementioned HATRED for going to the dentist.

Not that my previous dentist or the perfectly nice dentist that has taken over his practice aren’t perfectly lovely human beings. I’m sure they’re all kind to animals, spoil their children, and remember to call their mothers every weekend.

But they hurt you!

Granted, it’s much better today than it was ten or twenty years ago. Getting numbed is much easier, even if the stuff does absolutely taste like crap. But once again I’ve found that the cure is much more problematic than the disease.

I hadn’t gone for the last year primarily because of COVID and quarantine. I was well into the “I really should go in and get checked” phase of the mental process. But then along came COVID and no one in their right mind was going to the dentist and no dentists in their right mind were staying open for the better part of a year. Oopsie, out of my hands!

But they’re opening up, and by about the start of the new year there were a couple of days a week where I was a little sore in the toothage area, so the time had come. (For reference, on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is a twinge and 10 is screaming agony, I was having maybe a high 2 or a low 3 for a couple hours a week.)

I started going at the beginning of February, about eight weeks ago. It’s been…unpleasant.

First visit was X-rays and cleaning and an exam, which left my teeth still occasionally but now hurting worse. Plus my gums were killing me, which they weren’t before. Scale of 1 to 10? Now about a 4 to 5.

Second visit was a root canal and temporary crown, which just about as much fun as…a root canal? For the next week, on a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 7 or an 8.

Third visit was a permanent crown and three fillings. 1 to 10? A solid 6 for a week afterward.

Fourth visit today, well over three hours having another root canal, a temporary crown, four more cavities, and a thorough cleaning. Tonight I’m at an 8 or 9, and that’s with Extra Strength Excedrin every six hours, and that only because they didn’t give me anything stronger.

The best part is that I never know what’s coming up or how long it’s going to take. I didn’t have a clue about the “thorough, deep cleaning and scaling” at the end of today’s visit until I was done with the root canal and fillings and getting ready to leave. “We figured as long as we already had you numbed…”

I hate going to the dentist!

1 Comment

Filed under Health, Paul

No Context For You – March 07th

Here more in the last two weeks or so than I have been in the last two years – never good, worse in these “interesting” times. All’s good (so far) but as Bette Davis said, “Getting old is not for sissies.”

Onward, to Monday!

Leave a comment

Filed under Deep Thoughts, Health, Photography

Detritus Art

I got to spend way too much time today in a dentist’s chair (root canal – I’ll live, I might be cranky) and then got to stop by the hospital to pick up a couple of prescriptions.

These days, of course, when you want to get into a hospital you have to pass through a checkpoint, get your temp taken, and get screened (at least verbally, not with an actual lab test) for COVID. With a big hospital with a big organization, they need a way to make sure that everyone has been screened, so at Kaiser Permanente they give you a little colored sticker to put on your shirt. Every day it’s a different color, about all that I noticed when I’ve been there before in the last year.

When you leave, you can take off the sticker. Previously on the main exit from the facility there was a board where everyone stuck them. Simple. Easy. Elegant.

The board is gone.

Out in the parking lot, folks have spontaneously started putting their stickers onto whatever surface will hold them, primarily these bollards that are out at the edges of the parking lots.

Is it found art? It’s colorful! It’s an unexpected little bit of random whimsy and joy in sort of a grim and serious place!

Or is it just litter, junk, detritus, a pain in the ass problem that someone is going to have to clean up? One of those little things that no one quite thought through when the focus was on making sure that everyone could easily be ID’d as having passed the COVID checkpoint? An unintended consequence?

Or maybe it’s both?

I do notice now that it appears that every single day seems to have not just a different color, but also a different message. Heart health! Colon cancer, get tested early and save your life! (Yeah, that one, we can relate on a very personal basis!) Practice social distancing! (Some folks need to practice a lot more, they’re not doing it correctly still.) Mammograms! Prescription refills by mail! Exhibit gratitude to make someone’s day! Phone and video exams!

Keep your eyes open for unexpected beauty and whimsy, even if it is just an unintended consequence.


Filed under CoronaVirus, Health, Photography

In Training

Just not sure what I’m in training to be! Some suggestions here – I suspect I’m more likely to be morphing into a hibernating groundhog than an Olympic swimmer.

What really pisses me off is that my watch always does that “It’s time to breathe” thing, like some early 70’s FM college station graveyard shift DJ, and when I do it, I’ll occasionally get this:

Wait – why is this a problem? Isn’t this the result it wanted when it TOLD ME TO “BREATHE“??!!

Great, now I’m going to get a warning about my blood pressure…

Leave a comment

Filed under Health, Photography

No Context For You – January 15th

The measure of our lives…

It used to be the beat of our hearts, the measure that gave us the second, but now even that’s supplanted by sensors built into our wrist computers, bitching at us to stand or exercise, or chastising us if it doesn’t like our pulse.

And we wonder why we’re tired all the time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Health, Photography

Buckle Up!


I’ve still been busier than God all day – running an accounting department for a non-profit with an eight-figure annual budget means that this time of year is juuuuuuuust a bit hectic to begin with. And then the news alerts keep coming in making my phone sound like a pinball machine…

Here’s something I read from someone I trust (over on the social media side you’ll recognize her as someone I’ve been following and re-posting for about five years or more) and it explains a lot of what’s going – it’s an Extinction Burst.

So the next couple of weeks, i.e., the next eleven days in particular, could get very “interesting.” And by “interesting” I mean that there’s a chance that it could get “dangerous.” Even if it doesn’t come to that, it will most certainly be stressful and there will be moments when our lives might fill up with anxiety.

Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other.

Be smart. Be safe.

Breathe. Drink water. Get some exercise.

If you find yourself getting sucked into the crazy, it’s okay to turn it off. Listen to some music. (Probably not “Hamilton” or “Le Miz” right at the moment, if you know what I’m saying.) Read a book. Bing “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” (There’s probably crying involved with that, but it’s the good kind.) Watch the Chiefs march toward back-to-back Super Bowls.

Oh, yeah – wear your mask. Stay home whenever you possibly can. Isolate. Wash your hands. Don’t forget that in addition to the attacks on our brains and our psyches, there’s a pretty significant attack on our physical wellbeing going on.

I want all of you here, healthy, probably happier, on February 1st. And December 31st. And onward.

1 Comment

Filed under Health, KC Chiefs, Paul, Politics

Down A Pint

We know what THIS means!

The good news was that the nurse left that sweet little flap of folded over material on the end at the left there. This stuff sticks to itself so well and sometimes you get someone who cuts it off, lays it flat, and has that end piece around on the outside of the elbow where you can’t see it and need to be a triple-jointed contortionist to reach it. Tonight, after my obligatory two to three hours and extra two glasses of water, easy peasy!

Now to get all of my little cells working on creating new hemoglobin!

Leave a comment

Filed under Health, Photography

Test Results In The Time Of COVID

It’s one thing to see that everything’s fine. That’s good.

It’s another to see that all of that clean living, healthy diet, a little exercise, and one previous result that the doctor had been bugging me about was now MUCH better. That’s great!

So I sent a message to the doctor about how that means that I don’t have to change meds like he’s been pushing, right? And I got the usual “this stuff is great” and “in the long run” and so on, but in the end I got my long sought after “ATTA BOY!” and his consent to leave things as they are. Which I’m happy about.

Now if I could just get rid of this rotator cuff (old age, threw way too much batting practice a couple decades ago) issue which is annoying as hell. The worst part is when I’m not thinking about it, like when I picked up the newspaper and threw it up toward the garage without thinking. It can make one scream like a stuck pig, sink to one’s knees in the driveway, and have the neighbors wondering if there was a drive by shooting that they didn’t get invited to. It can make me use words that my mother would not approve of! (Not that that particular bar was ever set real high…)

If someone tells you they’ve got a chronic pain condition – cut them some slack. This shit isn’t fun.


Filed under Health

Tests In The Time Of COVID

It’s that time of year when a whole slew of annual tests were due to convince my doctor that I’m not on Death’s door. I managed to group them all together with a bit of time left in between to get my flu shot. All’s good.

Of course everyone’s fully masked up. I got several complements and inquiries about mine. I also had my eyes dilated as part of the final test and they gave me those cheap temporary sunglasses to use. The combination might not have been my best look, but it was unique.

Probably a good day to try going into a bank…

The mask is printed to show a standard Visual Flight Rules (VFR) sectional map from the FAA. There’s a small company started by a teenager in Florida that will print them with whatever location you want – mine show Camarillo, where the CAF SoCal Wing is based. I bought them as a lark (through Sporty’s catalogue if you’re interested) but they turn out to be the best fitting and largest masks I’ve gotten. And it is a conversation piece.

One of the folks who was checking me in for one of the appointments was quite taken with the mask (I hadn’t gotten the glasses yet, so I looked a little less like a “Watchman” extra) but she filled out part of the initial patient intake form without getting my input.

I’m not saying she’s WRONG, mind you. Some assumptions are pretty solid. But it is 2020…



Filed under Health, Photography