Tales from the…dentist chair.

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This morning, I had a dentist appointment. A few years ago, I went back to the dentist for the first time in 8+ years when I realized that dental insurance was one of the benefits I got for working full time at the hospital. At that point, I had eight cavities, which I got filled in three decidedly-not-fun visits. About a year later, I had to have two of those fillings drilled out and replaced because they had voids in them. This was over two years ago. Last week, I was sitting at Weight Watchers after my weigh-in, eating a little bit of beef jerky, when I chomped down on something hard. It was a piece of my molar. Lovely.

I initially was going to call the dentist right away, but conveniently, I had an appointment already scheduled for today. After testing the tooth with cold liquid and then warm liquid, I determined that I was having no pain from the tooth breaking, so I decided just to ride it out until today, when I already had an appointment scheduled. Now, thanks to the traumatic experience of having eight fillings done in such a short amount of time (and because I know I am not always as good to my teeth as I should be), I tend to dread going to the dentist. This occurrence ramped that dread up quite a bit.

Today, as soon as I got into the chair (i.e. the confessional), I let my hygienist knew that I had an issue with my tooth. She took a look and said, “Wow, that’s really broken.” Not. Helpful. She took some x-rays and had the dentist come in to take a look. My usual dentist is on maternity leave, but the person seeing her patients has seen me before, and he has always called my mouth “boring.” His opinion today? BORING!! I was so relieved! No new cavities, and while he does recommend a crown for my broken tooth, he felt it could wait until my regular dentist is back in January, and based on the x-rays, he feels I won’t need a root canal! Hooray!
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On an entirely different note, I feel like I want to comment a bit on what is going on in State College right now. I first would like to say that I do not root for Penn State’s athletic teams, and I never have. And I feel that the only proper response to what is happening there is for all of the higher-ups involved (including the iconic football coach) to lose their jobs. What happened to those boys is a tragedy, and in this, we should all be thinking only of them and what they need to move on from the horrors they endured.

However, I would also like to point out that Pennsylvania is more than a state university. And Penn State is more than a football team. While they are plenty of misguided young adults who are rioting in support of JoePa (or, more likely, rioting for the sake of rioting), there are also many more proud Penn State graduates who know that what Joe Paterno did was wrong but are still proud to “bleed blue and white.” This is not a Pennsylvania problem or even a Penn State problem. This is a problem that has roots in some powerful men who made bad decisions when faced with a horrible situation. The only solution is to get those men out of those positions of power. I feel for my friends who are having a place they love vilified in this way. And I thank the Board of Trustees for taking a clear and concise stand on this issue.

Abuse, no matter where it happens and at whose hand, is not to be tolerated. This is the message that the Board of Trustees is sending. It is up to us to protect our children, which was not done in this case. I hope that the next person who sees something that they know is not right will act swiftly and report the perpetrators to authorities…and not stop reporting them until something is done about it.

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