Oct 18, 2017

It's That Flossy Flossy Life

My regular hygenist Andrea is out on medical leave for like six months so my dentist appointment this afternoon was all kinds of weird. 

First I had to tell Chrissy the truth about my tooths - hell no, I don't floss. Obviously.  Andrea never asked me that kind of professional nonsense. Instead, she baked me Hello Kitty cupcakes and we talked between my spits about her feline population at home. Chrissy asked me, "Do you drink coffee?" and I immediately got all defensive about my stained brown teeth.  Look, lady, I just spent five grand for 20/20 vision with my Lasik eye surgery, this gal ain't got no time for fancy pearly whitening. I'll drink my coffee through carnival-striped straws, than you very much. She then asked me if I use mouthwash. Sigh. Chrissy, I already told you I had Mexican for lunch and like practically did your job for you by eating lots of gum on the way here. I got lots of the carnitas out of the crevices because I have the proof in a tissue in my car, OK?  Stop interrogating me with your health questions.

Don't get me wrong.  Chrissy was a sweetheart, but the whole time I felt like I was cheating on Andrea.  Andrea gets me.  She knows Halloween is my sticky ooey gooey time of the year.  She knows I take the lazy way out and use one of those water flossers 'cause I'm too damned lazy to floss and she certainly never asked me if I used mouthwash. What grown adult doesn't use mouthwash?  Even my dentist gave me the old nod to Pomegranate season when she stopped in to check out my mouth.

I supposed I would suspect Chrissy of being a bad dental hygienist if she didn't give me the whole roadshow treatment about taking care of my precious choppers. But I was disappointed in the one dental treatment that I consistently give myself every single morning that she NEVER asked about - I use a tongue scraper.  Doesn't that count for anything?  I noticed she didn't mention how fine my tongue was looking.  You should see the bodily yuckiness that I scrape off of my tongue every morning.  It's DISGUSTING and yet very fascinating all at the same time.  Sometimes I scrape my tongue so hard that I make myself gag.  (Note to self: I should post to the ladies about using tongue scrapers on a sub-Reddit bulimia board). Some mornings I drag down purple goop off my tongue and wonder exactly what I ate the night before?  Grape popsicle? Grape Jelly with my Peanut Butter Sandwich? Grape Skittles? Yea, most likely grape Skittles.

It's just a weird thing breaking in a new dental hygienist.  I mean, she seemed to like me and we did laugh a lot.  She told me about her love of animals and how she carried her pregnancy weight.  We had some moments of shared understanding like when she appreciates her 17-year-old son's bright smile and how she applauded me for getting my dog's teeth professionally cleaned because it's just so important. Chrissy passed the tooth test. She cared more about my teeth than I did, for goodness sakes.

She made me feel guilty enough to consider flossing with actual string vs. a burst of water.  I'll reconsider which mouthwash I buy, but somehow I don't see me sipping my java through a straw.  But she genuinely seemed to care about my oral health and was very nice by letting me into the sticker room so I could pick out a couple "Best Patient" Mickey Mouse stickers for my scrapbook.

After I left, I got out to my car and texted Andrea to tell her how much I missed her and that I felt like I had just cheated on her with Chrissy.  What better time to come clean than at the dentist's office?

Oct 15, 2017

The 20/20 Experience

Shout out to Justin Timberlake for my Blog Post Title.  Sorry folks, I couldn't resist.

But I have 20/20 distance vision after my PRK eye surgery on September 28th.

Bionic eyes.

Let's play some Johnny Nash, shall we? It was one of my mother's favorite songs and now it's just a little bit extra special for me.




I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day. 

If my mom was still alive, she would have scared the hell out of me and I probably wouldn't have gotten this surgery. It's a funny thing once you don't have a mom or dad around to worry about you no matter how old you are.  I miss them every day in all kinds of different ways but being able to make such a big decision without my mother's fear and anxiety clouding my judgment was a good thing when I got this idea in my head that I wanted to not have to wear glasses 24/7. She would have told me to leave my eyes alone and scared me silly that I could go blind if I went 'under the knife' because she was a very fearful person by nature.

I think my dad would have been worried that it would all work out well, but he would have supported me having this eye surgery.  He was always a half-glass-full kind of guy and my mom's glass was always empty. I don't know where that lands me in the mix, but I'd like to think my glass is 3/4 full and I'm cautiously optimistic on most days. 

So I did the surgery and I can see clearly now.  

People have been asking me what it's like since the surgery. Well,  I never expected to feel air across my eyes as I'm walking around during the day and my muscle memory always has me reaching up to adjust my glasses that aren't on my face.  I don't reach for my glasses on my nightstand upon waking up in the morning and it's really weird not carrying around glasses on my face.  It's like everything is opposite now.  I have magnifier reading glasses in all the rooms of our house and two pairs in my purse. Some days I can see just fine without my readers on while looking at the computer.  I'm constantly lubricating my eyeballs and the cool bath feels pretty good when I'm done.  My jean pockets hold vials of lubricating eye drops and I'm trying to develop the habit of always having them with me so my eyes don't get dry.  Plus I'm told extra moisture helps with the overall healing.

My eye doctor appointment yesterday confirmed 20/20 vision.  I went out into my car after the appointment and just cried out of relief and sheer happiness. It wasn't an ugly cry, but more of a light smattering of my own body-manufactured lubricating tears dribbling down my cheeks. It was one of those countless moments since my parents died that I wanted to be able to talk to them to let them know everything worked out for me.  But instead I'm telling you and that's enough.

Oct 7, 2017

Eyes of the Tiger - My PRK Surgery

On September 28, 2017, I had PRK laser eye surgery at TLC Laser Eye Center in Waltham, MA. This picture of Cartman from South Park totally represents how I was feeling before my surgery.  Can you see that freaked out concerned look in his dilated pupils? That was me wondering if I was making a really big mistake messing with my eyes or if I was doing a really positive thing for my future self. And no, I didn't use a Groupon to make such a big decision, but there was a $1k TLC discount that swayed my decision to do the surgery this year vs. next.

I visited TLC for an initial free consultation to determine if I would be a good candidate for Lasik eye surgery.  I filled out their paperwork in the waiting room on a Saturday morning wondering how I would answer the question 'Why do you want to get eye surgery?'

My answer was simply that I was entirely tired of cleaning my glasses every five minutes with all the mysterious smutz that somehow gravitated toward my lenses during my every waking hour. I just must love touching my face a lot because I could never keep those glasses clean. I was fed up with buying moist wipes and having them be too moist which consistently left smears on my glasses that dried in weird patterns and never left me feeling like I had a clear view of the world through my glasses.

After going through many comprehensive tests, I learned that I had thin corneas which were probably a result of a lifelong habit of rubbing at my (dry) eyes using my knuckles. My dry eyes were most likely related to the long-term computer use over the years. While Lasik surgery involved cutting some sort of flap in my eyeball to correct my distance vision, my thin corneas increased the chances of that flap collapsing and causing vision complications. I didn't pay too much attention to the details of what I couldn't do but perked up when I learned that a safer surgery that I could qualify for was Photorefractive Keratectomy (aka PRK) which is a type of surgery where the surface of the cornea is reshaped using an excimer laser. The recovery time is much longer than Lasik which meant that I'd have to be out of work for 5-7 days and ultimately my distance vision could take up to one year to fully recover. 

Since I don't know if you're squeamish about eyeball stuff, I won't go into the details of what they did to reshape them, but know this - I didn't turn out boss-eyed and my surgery was a success. I was the perfect patient following all the instructions, went to visit my eye doctor every day to monitor my progressive healing and created a complicated spreadsheet to keep track of three different eye drops that were needed every day.

It's been 10 days since the surgery and I'm doing really well. My last eye doctor appointment showed that my distance was 20/25 which is freaking amazing considering how poorly I could see without my glasses before the surgery.

Here are just some of the positive changes in my life as a result of choosing to do this surgery:
  • Watching TV without glasses
  • Walking around the house and moving about the world without glasses
  • Driving without glasses
  • Stepping into the rain and not having my glasses get wet or fogged up
  • Not reaching for my glasses upon waking up
  • Being able to wear brightly decorated magnifying glasses for reading and PC work
There aren't really many troublesome downsides.  Sure, I still need to wear glasses for reading. I have to put lubricating eye drops in my eyes every hour and I'm down to one prescription eye drop three times a day which will most likely continue for a couple of months.  I'll have to buy a pair of expensive polarized sunglasses from either Ray-Ban or Maui Jim to replace my $19.99 pair that I bought from Walgreens right after my surgery. It's probably not a good idea to go crazy with the mascara because I shouldn't be rubbing my eyelids to remove unnecessary cosmetics, but I'll figure all that out with time.

I've worn glasses since I was 18 years old and have never thought that I looked attractive in them. In recent months, I discovered a discounted online site called Zenni Optical where I've purchased quite a few pairs of prescription glasses that didn't look half bad on me and were highly affordable compared to my eye doctor's office.  Who knew I'd love those cat eye frames so much?  But now that I'm presenting myself to the world sans lenses, I feel like my round fat face has gotten more pronounced and I'm self-conscious about it which just means that's the next big step to tackle.  

I know eventually, I'll get used to looking at myself in the mirror without glasses each day. It's going to take some time to truly become comfortable with myself.  So far, I  have zero regrets getting the PRK surgery and I'm glad that I didn't let my fear and anxiety prevent me from improving my life.  This was a good decision.




Aug 5, 2017

10 Oz of Coffee

10 oz. Ruination 
You simply wouldn't believe what 10 ounces of coffee has cost me this week.

Now this picture over here isn't an actual representation of the tumbler of coffee that wrecked my digital life this week.  But rather it's simply a then taken photograph of one of my favorite Hedgehog coffee mugs and some strong ass coffee that I like to occasionally enjoy when I need my coffee to have weird stuff in it like Chicory and Kahlua.  But I digress...

This past Tuesday morning I decided to forgo spending $1.75 for a large cup of work coffee and instead decided to make 10 oz of coffee using my trusty Keurig K-Cup machine and a cheap ass plastic tumbler with my company branded logo emblazoned on it.

I knew it wasn't air tight. Yes, I have an Amaon.com highly consumer rated Contigo coffee tumbler like every other modern professional commuter. And yet, and yet I used the cheap ass Corporate Branded coffee tumbler that had done me wrong before anyway.  I am a terribly stupid woman.

I will never know what possessed me to put the tumbler of coffee in my Dooney & Bourke designer purse before heading into Corporate.  I was carrying too much crap, maybe? My laptop bag is hideously bright, large, heavy and awkward to tote around.  It goes without saying that my purse must be it's twin in size and girth featuring trendy Springtime bright yellow poppies to hold all my other non-business related stuff that my laptop does not contain.

Incidentally, the thought has crossed my mind that maybe I have too much stuff that I carry around with me. Do I just want to be that prepared in all social situations?  (Side note: I love reading my RSS feeds that feature segments called, "What's In My Bag?" because it's interesting to see the things founders of Reddit or Google carry around in their messenger bags. I desire to know what's in their bags that they carry around with them throughout the day because these are the smart people I need to learn from in order to be a more productive person.)

I elevatored up to the fifth floor, put my purse down on my desk and heard...SLOSHING.

[Definition of Sloshing: (of liquid in a container) moving irregularly with a splashing sound.]

Peering inside my purse to find my coffee container had become horizontal wasn't shocking - it was full-on horrific.  Everything and I mean every little thing was  floating and soaked.

Let's take an inventory of ruin, shall we?

  • Kindle PaperWhite
  • Kindle Fire Tablet just recently purchased on Amazon Prime Day simply because it was yellow
  • iPhone 6S Plus that I just paid off two days before and also cancelled the insurance 
  • My beloved Luvcat designer wallet
  • A plastic tube of alcohol hand-sanitizer from Brigham & Women's Hospital that had exploded from the heat of the coffee
  • A copy of my home insurance because my mortgage had recently been sold and I had to deal with some crap about making sure I had enough fire insurance coverage.
  • The black pleather As Seen On TV wallet that held 24 sleeves of alphabetically-organized gift cards, business cards, list of RX medications, etc.
  • My trusty portable charger for my iPhone that had, of course, been fully charged
Did I mention that the red fabric liner of my Dooney & Bourke purse was soaked with all the liquid rolling back and forth?

And what did a supposed tech-savvy lady such as myself do when I pulled out my iPhone and wiped it off with my desk tissues?  I plugged it into the charger on my desk and tried to turn it on. The exact 100% opposite thing you're absolutely not supposed to do when you get your iPhone wet. 

Fortunately, my boss brought over some paper towels to help out with the situation and the first thing I did was berate him for giving me choose-a-sheet paper towels.  WTF, man?  I used them anyways along with all the desk tissues and still there was sloshing that needed to be dealt with post-haste.

I just returned to my purse and tried to decide how to dump out all of that coffee in a way that didn't mess up my desk too much. I emptied my purse of all it's treasures and carefully walked to the ladies room to dump out the coffee in the sink all the while trying not to make eye contact with anyone because I was nearly in tears.

  Here are some of my thoughts as I walked back to my desk:

  • Can you dry clean a Dooney & Bourke purse? Should I even waste my money? The outside of the purse was vinyl so at least that wasn't ruined.  Maybe just stick an air freshener in it and keep the spill a secret.
  • What about my phone?  It's not going to turn on.  Damn it.
  • Did I fry my Kindle(s)?  Why did I have to be carrying two Kindles in my purse?  What is freaking wrong with me?
When one experiences that much pain and personal stupidity, my first reaction is to lament and tell everyone within hearing distance of my personal tragedy.

"Did you try putting your phone in Rice?"
"Go down to the cafeteria and see if they will give you some rice."

Of course I didn't do either of those things. Instead I sat glumly at my desk and kept pressing the power button on my now paid-off iPhone 6S Plus without the insurance protection and hoped the technology gods would take pity on me and by some miracle my iPhone would dry out and turn back on.

But it never did.

To be continued...