Dr. Mommy Dentist

Monday, February 20, 2006

it's butt-cold outside!!!

so this is what winter in canada is supposed to be like for real. i guess we got off kinda lucky these past few weeks with mild temps and zero snow. then the temp just dropped to -11 degrees celcius (i'm still working on this conversion thing, so i'm not sure about degrees farenheit, but zero celcius is freezing temp, so you know -11 is cold!). nana and grandpa had a wonderful visit this weekend, and i strayed off weight watchers in every way imaginable the past two days but enjoyed every minute of it. now it's time to go hard core again, so i forwent desert tonite and will hit the treadmill today and tomorrow.

i didn't want to go to work today. i had to be in at 9 a.m., so when i woke up at 6:30 it was pitch black and bitter cold, a huge let down after such a great weekend. i was so sad to see my mom leave! work turned out to be alright, not too crazy but still took home a fair amount of $$$ considering the work (or lack thereof) that i did. tomorrow i don't need to be in until 4:30 (!) but i'll be there on thrusday and saturday to cover for our hygienist who's going to mexico for a week (lucky gal!). those extra days mean extra money, and you know what that means...

Friday, February 17, 2006

first time for everything, right?

so this week was full of firsts - first paycheck (however meager it may be, i won't make any real money until the insurance checks roll in, but still nice), first ever red velvet cake (a culinary success, pics to follow shortly!), and, most importantly, the first time i've ever had to dismiss a patient from my practice.

now, about a week ago, a gentleman came into the office with some discomfort on two large fillings. he had had a crown on the opposite side that was started by my colleague several months ago (she now refuses to treat him). after all her hard work, he had ripped off the temporary and made himself an ill-fitting gold crown, with the help of his jeweler and in his basement, and then subsequently developed an endodontic infection. i refered him to the endodontic surgeon, telling him that surgery and antibiotics would be the only way to treat the infection. i then replaced the large silver fillings on the other side with sedative fillings with the intent of starting crowns on those teeth in the next few weeks, on the condition that there would be no more shenanigans in his basement. he agreed and we were cool, so when i saw him in my schedule today, i was ecstatic. i felt like i really got through to him and thought he had a modicum of respect for me and took our conversation to heart, because even though i thought this guy was a little wacky, i still humored him a bit. he is a person, after all. so he came in today, and when i asked him how things were going and feeling, he replies with a "well, the hole i drilled in my tooth is not doing so hot, you better take a look at it, it may be infected." um, excuse me???? you drilled a hole in your tooth? how the hell did you do that? wait, i don't even want to know....

he saw the endodontist last week, who basically told him exactly what i told him about surgery being necessary, and he wasn't happy with the diagnosis. surgery is invasive, antibiotics exacerbate my chronic state of candida, yada yada yada. so he attempted to treat the infection himself by drilling a hole in the tooth and filling it with iodine and zinc oxide (?). he almost perforated the tooth, it's a miracle that the thing is even remotely salvagable. i just didn't know what to do with the damn thing at this point - me further treating that tooth would be a total liability, plus he won't comply with the recommended treatment and anything i did now would be futile. the endodontist doesn't even want to see him, either. i was so angry with this person, it was like, why the hell do you waste your time and money, and my time as well, and ask me for my opinion when you're just going to treat the problem yourself how you see fit anyway? i said, you don't respect my opinion or my clinical judgement, you've obviously have things figured out for yourself and you are a professional liability to me at this point, kindly take your business elsewhere. i will send a formal letter of dismissal along with a list of providers in the area, and will treat him on a limited emergency basis for a period of 30 days, as within the guidelines of the royal college of dental surgeons of ontario. but i wash my hands of this. i feel bad, he's a nice guy with lots issues, but i just can't waste my time on crap like this.

on a happier note, nana and grandpa are coming to visit tomorrow!!! yay!

cookie's off the wall today, i'd better go out her to bed. as usual, more drama to follow...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

valentines and limbo

so, it's the dreaded and beloved valentine's day, and yes, they do celebrate it here in the great white north (tho not as "great white" as the whole eastern seaboard, you guys got creamed, ha ha!). since canuck and i are broke and poor, we've decided not to exhange formalities this year, but i did send him a racy little e-card to get him into the valentine's spirit. i'm on the fence about this whole "holiday" thing to be honest with you. i mean, it's nice to have a day dedicated to expressing your love for your significant other, friends, and family, and i like to take the time to do something a little extra special (though you should express your love everyday, blah blah blah, i know). like tomorrow, since i'm working late tonite, i'm going to make a special dinner for the family, topped off with a two-tiered, heart-shaped red velvet cake (a culinary first for me, wish me luck!), and we're going to decorate the table with fun heart-shaped confetti and dora printed valentines (cookie's touch). on the other hand, i do agree when people get annoyed and say that it has been turned into a commercial frenzy, when high maintenance individuals come to expect lavish gifts and crap just for the sake of it and because everyone else is doing it. that kinda, no REALLY irritates me. did you know that there really was a saint valentine, that he existed in early roman times, and that like all the people from back then that were canonized saints, he was a christian martyr? ugh, twelve years of catholic school, i know my saints! but i guess we choose to celebrate or not celebrate in our own ways. i fall somewhere in the middle. here's a link to some valentine's trivia. hate the holiday? that's okay, but read it anyway, you just might learn something new...

work's picking up, treatment planned some new patients and i have a couple more coming in today. i'm going to make heart-shaped sandwich cookies for the staff, well, because i like them and i love to bake, and hopefully it'll send some good dental karma my way. it's funny, i was thinking this as i was walking back to the subway last nite - i really like it here, but i still feel this vague sense of detachment, almost like it's not real that i live here now and have a job here and all that. at the same time, i love and miss new york but i just can't picture myself living there any more. i'm not homesick, but i'm not quite settled either. i'm happy to be here, but just a tad disoriented. i guess i'm in.....limbo! it's a very strange feeling, this sense of pseudo reality. i think once things pick up the pace a bit at work for canuck and me and we start looking for houses, this place will start to feel like home for real.

gotta run, have to start baking! have a happy one, guys!

Friday, February 10, 2006

the plague is upon me

so about a week ago, my father-in-law had a nasty little bug that kept him home, and this guy has to be bleeding out of his eyeballs to stay home, it was that bad. two days later, cookie was running a mild temp, but seemed to shake it off no prob. laddy-da, everything was fine until i woke up yesterday morning and found my throat hurt and every joint in my body ached. i had the day off, so i rested and just took it easy in the hopes that i could recover before work today. well, it only got worse, but i loaded up on advil and somehow made it through without passing out and managed to do some good dentistry. i'm just glad i have tomorrow off so can get some zzzz's. and the good thing is my health benefits kick in tomorrow if i need to see a doc. perfect timing!

met some interesting folk today - a man who likes to make his own crowns in the basement of his house (!). he also believes that his silver fillings are causing chronic systemic yeast overgrowth (they don't), that this yeast can morph into bacteria (they can't, period) and that he can treat himself using medicaments that he "studied" about in the journal of endodontics (how the hell did he manage to get a copy of that one, he's a freelance graphic designer???). all in all, he's a nice guy and i get a kick out of him, plus i'm going to be doing a butt-load of crowns on him. but he definitely was trying to self-diagnose (i hate that!) and self-treat an infection for the past few months (rather unsucessfully, i might add), the end result being that he now needs to see a specialist to have surgical endodontic therapy. but i convinced him to not perform any more shenanigans in his basement and to just leave that stuff to the experts, since all his efforts were definitely making things a lot worse. he then asked if he could borrow some acrylic to take home (i said no). it was a very entertaining day.

i really like this office a lot and the patients and staff are great. we're working on getting my schedule built up so i'm a little busier, but so far, so good. just enough cash to get our house is all we need...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"sorry...not in service"

so, torontonians, or canadians in general, i find to be very polite. car horns are virtually unused, people say "excuse me" and "please", hold doors open for you, wave you through when you're trying to make a left turn, stop at yellow lights, and are just generally more relaxed and willing to go that extra courteous mile. the final kicker which made me crack up was when i was waiting to transfer for the bus yesterday at kipling station and saw a bus passing by with "sorry...not in service" scrolling on the marquise. i just had to laugh! could you imagine the MTA, or anyone in new york, for that matter, apologize for even remotely inconvenincing its patrons??? gotta love those canadians!

so my ontario drivers license arrived in the mail, as did mine and cookie's health cards (our benefits officially kick in on february 11). we also got a call from immigration canada saying that cookie's paperwork for dual citizenship has now been completed and we're just waiting for her certificate to arrive in the mail. and finally, finally, finally, after all the fiasco and other nonsense that's just too complicated to get into, our car has passed federal and provincial inspection and is elegible for ontario plates.

cookie has been driving me insane, clinging to me like crazy and not letting me go or do anything without her. it was a struggle to even grab a few minutes to even jot this measly post down without her hanging on my pants leg or trying to climb into my lap! i guess i should enjoy it while it lasts, in a few years when she has a life and can't stand me, i'll remember these years and miss them. but man, it's impossible to get anything done at the moment! right now, she's stuffing post-it notes down her shirt. it's a step up from what she was doing before, putting the microphone in her mouth and biting it, and at least she's being quiet. and to think i want to have more in the near future! god help us all!!! i really can't complain, she's a terriffic kid and i love her to pieces. but i guess all parents have moments like this. you never know the true meaning of "sacrifice" until you have a kid.

and at long last, here are the answers to the great canadian trivia game!
a chesterfield is a sofa.
pop is soda, or "carbonated beverage" as canuck loves to call it
zed is canadian for the letter "z" (i say "zee")
a toque (pronounced "tuke") is a hat, a regular one that you wear in the cold, not a fancy schmancy one like a fedora or beret!
the converter is the remote control
and poutine (pronounced "pootinn") is a french fried dish covered in gravy and cheese curds, popular in quebec but seen around here as well

and only one highway spans the entire length of canada, of course, it's called the trans-canadian highway and it's name changes from province to province. in ontario, it's called the 401 (not sure about the other provinces).

Monday, February 06, 2006

party's over, back to work!

so it was a good weekend, weather was little crappy with gray skies and snow, but i went shopping with the sis-in-law and got canuck a nice new shirt from tommy hilfiger, on sale! we went to our best man's house for a superbowl party (go steelers!) but didn't watch much of the game, spent most of the time talking to his wife about labor and childbirth (she was very curious!). we ate well, worked out, and relaxed. perfect.

so, back to work today! i didn't have that many patients scheduled , as it was only my second day, but it was pretty productive. i did two crowns, one with a post and core, one with just a core build-up. the latter was definitely the more annoying of the two - the tooth was fractured and had absolutely nothing left save for a little sliver of enamel - try making a nice looking acrylic temp with that to work with! but i did manage to make a template out of wax so i could make one later on. then as i was making the space to put the post, i noticed that the root canal was filled with a material called thermafill, which had a nice, hard, black plastic rod that i could not remove, so i had to get a little bit creative (something i hate doing when it comes to this stuff, i prefer to stay by the book). while taking the impression, the patient (who was very nice and so relaxed that he fell asleep in the chair) did not completely close onto the tray, thus messing up the bite and necessitating another impression. i worked like mad to make a nice temporary, since the tooth was in a highly visible area, only to find that when i went to try on his denture, which anchored to tooth in question, the blasted denture didn't fit. so, i had to shave down my work of art just so his partial would fit (called retrofitting a crown). so i'm thinking, i hope the lab knows not to make the crown too bulky or i'll have the same trouble with the permanent crown, which would be even worse, and i have the forsight to take an mold of the now well-fitting (albeit ugly) tooth to use as a guide. of course, the now-cemented temp pulls out with the impression material, and i had to recement the bloody thing AGAIN. cripes! it's also hard, because i don't know where anything is still, and i'm getting used to using different materials and i'm like "uh, what do i do with this stuff..." and then feel stupid in front of the patient. but it wasn't all so bad, the patient was very nice and i think he appreciated the time spent for a job well done. dentistry does have moments like that....

cookie wants to play a dora game on the computer. i haven't hung out with her all day, so i am obliged!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

back in the saddle...in many ways

so, i took a blog hiatus for a while, save my last rant on thursday (which i deleted because it upset someone very important to me) but i'm back in full swing. my trip to new york was awesome, and it felt really good to be back. notice i didn't say "home" because it didn't quite feel like home this time around - not in a bad way, more like an "i have a vague sense of living here sometime in my life" surreal type of feeling, almost like a mild sense of fond detachment. it in no way affected how much fun i had! and in a way, it almost made toronto feel like my new home. funny how things work out like that...

beuarocracy revealed it's omnipresent face once again. when we crossed the border into the states on thursday, we told them that canuck was a canadian citizen and that cookie and i were US citizens but residents of canada. now, my car still has new york plates. we are in the process of importing the car to canada, which requires a trip to the registrar of imported vehicles, inspection by a mechanic to see if the car meets canadian standards, and a recall letter from subaru (the manufacturer) stating that the car has no outstanding recalls (which in and of itself required the faxing of dozens of pieces of paper and more people invovled). now, this whole process has been hung up by subaru, who told me that aparently it takes 7-10 business days just to write a letter saying that the car has no recalls, even though they could give me that info over the phone. interesting. so the agent says that i need to EXPORT the car from the US and to fax the title of our car to the customs agent and that it must be there for 72 hours before they allow the vehicle to leave the country (remember that no one told me this when i first crossed the border with my car, this was all news to me). that was thursday and we were returning monday, so it needed to be faxed by friday to be in the "safe zone", as we were told by this agent. when friday rolls around, i try faxing the letter to the office in lewiston, and lo and behold, the machine wasn't picking up. when i finally spoke to a customs agent, he said that the office is closed, and it wouldn't matter anyway because it was friday and the next business day was monday, so i can't export my car until thursday. now, correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't 72 hours different from 3 business days? and i said, you guys are border patrol, isn't your office supposed to be open 24-7??? and he said, no, not that branch which deals with cars. i also added that i am indeed in the process of getting this car imported/exported/whatever but have just been hung up by subaru, it's not my fault, but i do have proof and i have all the paperwork. then he said that it was up to the canadian side, and they'd let probably us through, but not the car. yikes, give me a break! after about 20 minutes of bantering about the difference between 3 business days and 72 hours, i asked, look, forget exporting or whatever, am i going to be able to just take the blasted car out of the states to be in canada for work on tuesday? and he said, yeah, i guess so, but i'm not sure. so, we held our breath until buffalo and of course, they just waved us through once we told them we were in the process. and they didn't even look at our passports! what a debaucle!

so, we got back, and i started work yesterday at DIB (dentist-in-a-box) office. if every day is like the one i had yesterday, i think i'll be pretty set! everyone's very friendly and although my schedule was light because it was my first day, i actually got to do some stuff. i did an emergency root canal, which came out perfectly, and i'm scheduled to do the crown in the future. i also did some treatment planning, some fillings, and some exams. it felt really great to pick up a handpiece again! on friday i go for my orientation to learn the ropes of the company and learn how to use dentrix, the computer charting software. everything was clean, worked properly, and flowed relatively smoothly. so i guess the feeling as of now is cautious optimism, but all-in-all, it was a great day.

oh, the recall letter finally came in from subaru, gotta go to canadian tire and get our baby checked out!

more drama later...