The Dentist – a lesson in depression management

My mouth is a disaster.  A disaster created by lack of maintenance which is a byproduct of depression.

When the stillness of depression overtook me I didn’t go to the dentist.   My teeth are not great – very prone to cavities and so they need regular attention.  But I didn’t go.  Until a painful tooth pushed me there and I had to have the tooth pulled because I didn’t have the money for the root canal.

That was the first of 3 teeth I had pulled in that fashion over 6 years.  Those were the only time I went to the dentist.  All of them were visits to the Urgent Dental Care.

But the painful teeth wasn’t the worst.  The worst was a cavity in my front tooth that was visible as a divot on the side of it.  It made me feel shame.  It made me feel like I couldn’t go on interviews because people would think badly of me for having a hole in my tooth.  It made me ashamed to see old friends and family.  It was a huge mental monster in head.

The last tooth I got pulled was earlier this year.  The dentist was very kind.  He suggested we tackle my mouth one tooth at at time.  He didn’t suggest a regime of dental cleanings or plan a giant trip tick of my mouth problems.  He just said – when you have some money saved just walk in.

And that’s when I realized that this was how I could make it work.  The Urgent Dentist is obviously more expensive than most dentistry, but not exorbitantly so.  (at least this practice.)  But they offer something that is invaluable to me.  They work 7 days a week, 5 of them until 10pm.   They encourage walk ins.

Convenient hours is a huge plus and when it’s tied to walk in it works with my brain dysfunction.  It takes a whole lot of self talk and consideration and aborted attempts to get me to the dentist.   And when the moment gels – I can just go.  No need for an appointment – just go.

An appointment would create a whole new layer of problems.  I would miss appointments if my brain moved into stillness at the moment the appointment came up.  That would make me a persona non-grata with a dentist.  And I would create a larger thing out of potentially missed appointments than they might in reality be so I would just make that into a reason not to set up appointments.

Yesterday, a Sunday afternoon, I walked into the dentist and got my front tooth fixed.  It felt like a triumph.  It’s been a source of shame for years and now it’s fixed.  In an  hour.

It’s not the dentistry tradition I grew up with.  And so it never occurred to me that I could do my dentistry by just walking in, but I can.  So, now for the next few years, I will be saving money and when I have enough, doing next tooth.  By walking into the office when my brain will allow it.   I am not rich.  But the extra money is more than worth this benefit to me.  I wonder how many other people would benefit from it.

 

 

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Being Fated to Cats…

One of the drivers where I work watched someone dump a kitten at the side of the road, so she stopped and saved it.

It was a tiny tiny tuxedo baby boy.

Very upright and busy.

I have an irrational belief that cats find me. That every cat in my life is fated to be part of it.

I’ve been mulling a second cat.  I’ve had 2 cats my entire life until the last 5 years or so.  Lily, my last cat, did not enjoy other cats and for awhile I was barely fit to take care of her so we were fine, just the 2 of us.

She died last summer and after a bit another cat arrived to fill the utter void that claimed my life when she left.  Bijou.

I was quite sure I was still too hurt about Lily and couldn’t take on another cat, and then someone posted on Tumblr that a local cat needed a home.  That seemed like Bijou was supposed to be mine.

I think Bijou is a bit lonely.  And I feel quite guilty about this.  But 2 cats is, in fact, twice as many cats.  So I have been mulling and not doing much about it.

So anyway, while I was dithering, the driver walks in with this kitten.  A kismet kitten.  So I offered to take it.  But another driver was more excited and had recently lost his cat and had no cat, so in the end I didn’t bring home a tiny tuxedo kitten for Bijou.

I don’t believe in fate.  But nearly every cat I have taken into my life has been a sort of kismet of that nature.

Even when I picked up a cat at a shelter 25 years ago, I was convinced that I was going get a gorgeous calico kitten, but this bossy brown tabby literally climbed up my arm when I reached in to get the calico.  And he just kept climbing in my lap and pushing over the shy calico, who had no real interest in me. So I took him home.  Chester picked me.  I just showed up and followed his instructions on the matter.

I suppose another cat will show up soon enough. I think a kitten will be the safest thing to blend into our home, but damn they are busy.   It’s hard to guarantee to good meld if you introduce 2 adult cats to each other.  In a big space it’s not as crucial, but we are going to be in a one bedroom apartment.  It will be cozy.  We must get along.

But kittens.  They are so adorable for like 20 minutes and then you realize – they require a lot of monitoring.  Kitten proofing is necessary.  That kitten walked around our office for 10 minutes, and tried to bite cords, nearly fell off a desk, and for about a minute we couldn’t find him at all until he emerged from behind a desk covered in dust bunnies.  Tail high, jauntily walking around oblivious to any and all possible consequences.  He really was adorable.

Possibly Bijou would take on the mentoring role and keep a kitten in check.   Well, we will see what fate brings.  Not that I believe in fate.  I don’t. tuxedo kitten

Except with cats.

 

I have no room left in my brain for empathy over mass shootings.

I can no longer process it.

My empathy doesn’t matter, of course.  Indeed, the dead people don’t matter.

All that matters is that people get to keep guns.

It doesn’t matter if people die because of guns.

What matters is that people have a free right to own a gun.

That’s all that matters.

I just read that 20+ people died and I thought Yup, seems normal.  Unsurprising.

Tomorrow more will die.

Yesterday a bunch of people died.

Next week, last month, next year, 2 years ago.

None of it matters.

That was crystal clear at Sandy Hook.  The US defined itself that time.

There is no moral good in the owning of guns, but people cling to it like it’s the fire that light’s their souls.

Kids mean nothing compared to the ability to own a gun.

Hobbies and Fear

That’s all that holds up their position.  But they keep winning.

It’s obvious that nothing will stop them.  They will cling to their belief and their fear and their bizarre need for a gun and insist that had nothing at all to do with the ongoing national crisis of humans needlessly dying.

There is no fixing a bias like that.  It’s too deep.

People will die tomorrow and the News Media will make money on it.  And the Gun Manufacturers will make more money with every mass shooting.

It’s the insanity of these Fucking United States.  May the hell fires of the Universe obliterate us.  We certainly have earned it.