I Can’t Feel My Nose

Ok, let me begin by saying I had a dentist appointment for 2pm.

I waited 2 months for my insurance company to get their act together, and today was finally the day I had approval. When they called to let me know, it was like I was Charlie and the woman on the phone was handing me the golden ticket in a Wonka Bar. Giddy up baby.

Given I was in the Bronx for an event, I had to speed bike through the rain to make it to my appointment. The winds were aggressively tugging against me, pulling me back two inches each time I gained one. It was a clever optical illusion — in the spirit of the ongoing presidential campaign — where my legs appeared to be pedaling forward, but my wheels were turning in the opposite direction. A delusional progression, you could say.

The appointment got changed to 3pm, so I grabbed some food and brushed my teeth (as if brushing my teeth right before I go in will make it seem like I have the best dental hygiene. Admittedly so, first impressions are everything).

I filled out the paperwork, and sat there organizing in my head the incredible amount of schoolwork and work-related work I had to complete by the end of the day. Needless to say, the task in itself kept me occupied for 20 minutes. At one point, the reception left the front desk unattended to speak with the dentist, so when a woman showed up for her appointment, she couldn’t get in. The door furiously rattled for a good… 6, 7 seconds before I stood up to unlock it for her. She then looked me up and down, glaring at me with a disgusted pout, muttering, “Fucking couldn’t even open the door, taking your fucking time, do I look like a fucking criminal to you? Who do you think you are?”

When the receptionist returned to the front desk, the woman’s eyes brightened as if nothing had happened. Night to day. Sometimes, I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE.

She then starts trashing my attire to the front desk. Alright, lady, I’m a sleep deprived grad student and I just got back from painting an elementary school; you don’t have to knock me for my sweatpants swag. Immediately, I decide it’s not worth the time effort, so I sit down silently and take a nap. An hour and a half later, I am woken up by the dental assistant. “It’s your turn to come in,” she says.

The dentist introduced himself, with a huge grin on his face. I stood in the hallway as he talked about how 93% of women with breast cancer have deformities on the same 4 teeth because they are on the same meridian lines (oh wouldn’t you love to know how this argument went), about how a man with a 1st grade education can cure cancer by the mere act of slicing skin without anesthesia, and about how Alzheimer’s is supposedly curable in Switzerland. He then asked me about my undergraduate education and seemed to inquire about my dating history (yeah right, like I’m going to stand here in the waiting room and tell you about my Tinder life with HotHead breathing down my neck).

Okay, yes, he was really nice. But he didn’t even talk about anything medically relevant for 40 whole minutes.

When the assistant finally brought me into the room, he was still talking. It was as if his brain would not allow for multitasking, because every time he reached for a tool, his eyes would light up with another thought, and he had to stop what he was planning to do, entirely. He put on gloves, which he coughed into, and then put on a facemask, which he wore under his chin like a fashion accessory (what is the POINT, my man).

We didn’t get started until THREE AND A HALF HOURS after the appointment time, because the guy would not stop talking. When he realized I was using insurance, and not paying out of pocket, he put me into a different room and had me sign off on CPT codes (billing codes, for insurance) that stated I had 16 cavities. 16 cavities? Oh, are these the same cavities that didn’t exist 2 minutes ago, when you were under the impression that I was paying out of pocket?

I get that insurance reimbursements are shitty, but damn. Talk about milking the cow for what it’s worth.

And you wonder why the reimbursement rates are so low. If I worked for Aetna, I wouldn’t trust providers, either.

Anyway, he then asked (again) about the times I had broken my nose over the years. We talked about that for another 5 minutes, before I interjected, reminding him that I was way behind schedule and needed to get going soon. He, without ANY warning, injected me with FIVE local anesthetic needles, which not only numbed my teeth, but my nose as well. I’ve had this procedure done before, but never that high and that much. I just bit down and took it in stride.

And by stride, I mean whimpering for mercy, as quietly as possible.

For the duration, I had to wonder if he was doing work he didn’t need to do — I had seen 3-4 dentists/orthodontists very recently, and they all seemed to think otherwise. I got out of that chair after a grand total of 4.5 HOURS. Treatment time? 20 minutes.

On my way out, he points at his meridian chart and tells me what other health issues I can anticipate (“if X tooth is damaged, then X body part will be affected” wonky logic). I politely nod, but all I’m thinking at this point is CAN I LEAVE NOW.

He then goes, Oh by way. Your nose is fine. I checked that out for you.

He had numbed my nose on purpose. MY DENTIST. numbed my NOSE. To test how strong it is.

This man has forgotten what kind of doctor he is. Next time, if there is a next time, mind your own meridian and I’ll mind my own.

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I for an I

We have this idea of wanting things to be fair. Eye for an eye comes more naturally to me than being the bigger person. I struggle with the fact that karma is not proportional nor is it distributed evenly.

It takes a certain character to prioritize empathy irregardless of how others treat us. To be the bigger man could mean losing a tinge of self worth, but it lies parallel to humbling yourself and raising the significance of others – even if they are undeserving. Because, to put it simply, you couldn’t possibly know what others deserve.

All of us are damaged –some, beyond repair. We, even the asshole of all assholes, could use some of that love. I admire those who can let go of anger when others do them wrong, because without these folks to balance the world, we’d drown from a leeching poison.

Next time you raise a fist, extend it as a pound. When your arms flail open in utter frustration, go for a hug instead. Pride is hard to swallow, but a perpetual anger is even harder. “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character” –take it and keep this with you.

Damage Control

050

I’m that kind of passion that needs release.

I get excited over things that I’ve seen a hundred times before,

I feel this ridiculous urge to announce what looks and feels good to me, as if reaffirming my joy and your belief in the fact would do it more justice,

the thoughts in my head are sporadic, abstract, and usually inappropriate, yet I always feel the urge to BLURT, to share,

When I get angry, I speak to be heard, but mostly I speak to let go, to drain the anger through each and every vein that circulates this toxin that feeds like a parasite on skin,

when I am outraged, past angry, I leave the situation –it does not matter if it’s 3am and snowing– I have to take the time to allow the steam to strain out from my ears,

or else I explode, and the rest is collateral damage.

I write.

I write to release the joy, the anger, the questions, the comments, the steam,

this blog isn’t for you, and I’m sorry if you thought it was,

it’s actually for the madman living in my heart,

for the drunken force to meet reason before it neglects inhibition

it’s to be heard, but mostly to let go of what’s all too much mine.

Induced Perception

Be content with minimal.

Then average becomes extraordinary, and extraordinary becomes unfathomable.

Not saying you should settle for less, or that you should lower your standards. It’s just that if there’s anything I’d hope to represent with my life, it’s the idea that we control our own happiness.

We create, mold, and accept the happiness that dwells in our lives, and by seeking contentment in anything, we find contentment (and more) in everything.

Life is good, all the time.

05/11/12 Don’t Be Angry.

Anger has never found a cure.

It provides no relief for those in pain and no guidance for those lost in troubles. Anger has never calmed a child, has never ended an argument, and has never stopped a fist from striking. It has never been a foundation for happiness nor has it been capable of producing something permanently beautiful.

Anger is not patient. Anger is not kind. It has never heard the other side of the story, or even cared to. It has never cared about feelings; it has never acted rationally. It has also never brought upon positive feelings or brought peace to one’s heart.

More bad news today, another one to pile on top of the mountain top. But I took time to reflect on what this putrid anger has never done, and can never accomplish in its short, pitiful life. Why dwell in emotional poison, like an uncivilized beast, when it can do nothing for me?