Dentists and Doctors and Splinters and Such

At the risk of drawing criticism for “whining about things you could change,” or whatever (still cracks me up), yesterday was quite the medically trying day.

It started with minor (and highly unsuccessful) self-surgery yesterday morning. Actually, it started the night before. At some point in the evening, I noticed that there was a very tender spot somewhere on the ball/runner’s callus of my left foot every time I took a step. After self-examination, I didn’t see anything amiss, so I carried on, hobbling around the house and avoiding putting any pressure on my mysteriously sore foot.

Yesterday morning, SHOCKINGLY, the pain was still there. Looking at my foot under the bright sunlight streaming in through the bathroom window, I convinced myself I could see a teeny-tiny-miniscule dark dot. “AHA!” I told myself, and only myself since Petunia was still lolling around in bed. “I must have a splinter!”

But my personal nurse/splinter-removal expert XFE was in Las Vegas where he was winning butt-tons of money at Pai Gow.

I don’t want to define butt-tons on a public (and supremely popular – I mean, I have TENS of readers) blog, so email me directly for full gloating. Let’s just say it was more than some Turkish rugs, but less than others.

So, that left me to my own Florence Nightingale devices. (Dang, she looks a bit tired, no? Maybe she had to remove her own splinters?)

Armed with a safety pin and a pair of tweezers, I proceeded to go all Black Swan on it. To no avail. I stopped when I started bleeding, put on a Band Aid and hobbled to work.


Ah work, where I had a 9 a.m. appointment for a health screening so I could get a $100 Wellness Bonus Credit. Nothing says “check your vitals” like financial incentive. The screenings measure body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose (finger stick). Everything was fine and all my numbers were on the high end of the normal range, but not above normal or alarming.

In addition to getting your numbers, you got a free one-on-one consultation with a health coach. And when my lovely health coach asked me if I had any questions, it took everything within my limited power to not blurt out, “Yes, my boyfriend is out of town. Can you please remove a suspected splinter for me? Or even just look at it and tell me if YOU see anything?”


(I’m not sure why this lion is patriotic)

Instead, I took my Band Aid (my second of the day!) and a banana and went back to work. Even as we speak, that damn splinter is probably working its way into my blood stream where I’m sure I’ll get an infection that will lead to gangrene and require a foot amputation and then all my beautiful high-heels will only be half useful.

Later in the day, I got to go to the dentist office for a periodontal scaling and root planing session on the right side of my mouth. This involves multiple, multiple shots in the gum line on the right side of my mouth, and about 45 minutes of incessant, cringe-worthy drilling. As a nice side benefit, the technician was shooting water everywhere, including up my nose, which was in a reclining position.


And don’t feel sorry for the poor, neglected left side of my mouth. It’s getting the same treatment next week. Better to drag excruciatingly painful things out, I always say.

I’ve had this lovely procedure once before, about 4 years ago. It was all pretty traumatic, at least for me. I think that first time we had to do it in quadrants, which meant FOUR separate visits.

I thought that would be the last time I had to do it, but lucky for me, my advanced periodontal disease, while much improved since four years ago, is still in a state that requires yet another round of shots and drilling and antimicrobial chips inserted into the gum line.

This is all a result of the fact that I basically did not go to a dentist for the first 30 years of my life. My wonderful mother didn’t seem to think dental care was important when we were growing up. Then I had crappy jobs with little or no insurance. Then I was too scared to go to the dentist because I knew that it would be a big, scary, expensive deal, so I purposely avoided going. Finally, I got a big girl job with decent insurance and some egging on from XFE and formed a very masochistic relationship with a good dentist.

As predicted, it was a big, scary, expensive deal. Even with insurance, it costs what I consider a butt-ton. Good thing XFE won enough money to buy Petunia kibble this month because I am tapped out.


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