Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff



  • First followup this afternoon on the first round of the dental surgery nightmare.

    Since I don't think I actually posted about this when it happened, here goes nothing:

    They're doing this in two stages: top first, it heals and is done, then they start on the bottom. Healing == 3-9 months. FML.

    Most places offer to knock you out for this shit -- or offer gas or twilight sleep. NOPE. Not on offer. I got to be awake throughout. FML.

    Since everything was numb to the point of 'do I have a face? I am not sure if I have a face... ' I didn't feel anything, but that wasn't really the problem. There is the existential horror factor of 'they are ripping out every one of my top teeth', which is bad enough, but it takes a while, the noises are disquieting as fuckall, and in the case of implants, there is another step.

    This step hit #2 on my personal body horror checklist, displacing the creepy IV drip that ran from my upper arm to just beside my heart in the hospital (I forget the name of the thing, but needless to say, someone playing mouse maze with an IV tube and my circulatory system gives me the skittering crawlies).

    Because there's that moment you're wide awake and you realize that the friendly all-smiles person staring down at you is boring a drill that looks like it could strike oil straight up into your skull through your gums, and you realize: 'I came here on purpose.'

    And it takes a fucking while, y'all.

    It takes long enough for you to really sit there and ponder the life choices that brought you to that particular place and time and circumstance. While there's not a lot I could ever have done differently to change things -- bad genes, highly acidic body chemistry, years of not being able to keep food down due to stomach issues, braces ripping off enamel, the shitty work done by the clinic that was all we could afford -- I was already well into time travel scenarios involving a now-aged me yelling at my (then me-now-aged) parents in a Timecop jumpsuit about how slightly crooked teeth are not the end of the fucking world before handing little me a selection of winning lottery numbers before stage-whispering, "Get out!" like a ghost in a horror flick before diving back through the time portal by the time he was done drilling six mine shafts into my skull.

    (I will reiterate, I was not gassed or otherwise high at the time. :| I'm more or less always like this.)

    I'm sent off home to go rest, with 3 days worth of quite literally the weakest vicodin scrip available (less effective than two excedrin, this is not a joke). It does the job well enough to mostly just knock me the fuck out for the rest of the day.

    Positives: despite over 30 injections, no nerve damage. This has happened before, and it fucking blows. (5 years later sensation is mostly back, but not perfect, and that shit sucks -- smiling like you've had a stroke leads to a lot of not smiling.)

    The next day, I have to go to the other dentist so they can screw on the fake temporaries.

    Shit they don't fucking tell you and you don't necessarily think to ask about:

    • The temporaries do not have spaces between the teeth. (Finals won't, either.) I am a floss whore and hypersensitive to the feeling that something is stuck between my teeth. This is driving me super insane. Having only seen models before, and that being the kind of corner people cut in models, I had no clue this was coming and OMG, guys, nnngh.

    • There is a brand new ridge behind the back of my teeth, where tooth met gumline. 'Broadcast English Theater Me' now has the craziest fucking lisp and this is not even the tiniest bit OK. There are some other issues here but they're more technical or gross so just augh. My tongue is grumpy with me like it's the last remaining old guard codger hanging on 'til retirement at a small town business that just got inundated by hipster millennials.

    • "Don't eat anything you can't cut with a spoon until the permanent teeth are in place." Yep, that's 3-9 months from now. For maybe like, two weeks, before it starts all over again for the bottom ones. Time to become besties with the slow cooker and finally get around to ordering that foodi cooker thing, which has moved from 'would be nice to have' to 'a person cannot actually live on pudding, even if you can get little mini-flans now', and I don't always have 12 hours to wait for meat to fall apart in the old slow cooker. :|

    I get bounced back and forth between the surgeon and the doc to get these things screwed on. The swelling is so bad the surgeon has to do it. The words 'lasering off excess gum tissue' are used in my presence -- which seriously would also hit the top 5 personal body horror list in a nanosecond -- but they thankfully do not have to do that. <wood knock goes here>

    "Don't worry, the second and third day are the worst, then it gets much easier."

    OK. I'll trust you, smiling man with the skull drill.

    And maybe that would have been the case, but...

    ...one of the clinic's badly capped teeth cracked and fused with my jawbone. Unbeknownst to me, it ripped out a 1/4 square, jagged-as-fuck chunk of jawbone when it came out. That very unhappy part of my face has been spitting out bone fragments -- wait, that is not the way to put that.

    That does not convey what's happening here.

    Tiny, multi-pronged, spiky bone caltrops are tearing their way out of that space on a daily basis as part of the healing process.

    This is actually predictable and not very unusual; I had a minor version of it years ago. While it sucked, it was two tiny slivers, not a tribble farm of calcium devil-nettles. It also hurts badly enough that I literally cannot think or sleep through it, and tears just randomly appear from out of nowhere at intervals. If I took enough Tylenol to even dim that shit, it would actually kill me.

    Weird side note: I have the teeth. I figured this would be a strange request, but the doctor insisted that most people want to keep them and I am thinking, 'good gods, why?!' (In my case, I had veneers done on the top front six many moons ago, and they fanged the shit out of my canines for me, as this happened back in my LARP days. Yes, I am that tragic geek loser that wanted to save my fangs. If my sad pretend vampire ass had to have my fangs pulled, by gods, I was keeping 'em.) There cannot be that many vampire LARPers out there, people that still believe in the tooth fairy, or are afraid the biomedical waste trash witch will put a curse on them.

    Looking at the horror show that was the remains of them is how I figured out why this was happening, because... holy shit.

    Hopefully, he can do something to fix it today or schedule a short-wait time to do so. Ideally it won't be a huge extra cost, but it may mean some kind of bone graft. (Nnngh.)

    Hopefully, something more useful for the pain factor won't be a nightmare to insist on, because it's necessary, and while I'm sure I will die in some spectacularly stupid way, I don't want it to be 'my oral surgeon is so scared about the opioid epidemic that I die from a Tylenol overdose'.

    I even considered just making sure I sleep through much of any recovery period, but I grind my teeth in my sleep when something hurts, and that will fuck things up faster that a wrecking ball to the chin and ensure nothing ever heals properly. I also apparently have crazy bite pressure, who knew? We will not discuss the number of sleep mouth guards I've completely torn apart or how quickly. :|

    It's been an adventure thus far, y'all. Folks were supportive and understanding about this here in a huge way, so I figured the update was worth doing. It's not as bad as it could be, but dang.


  • Tutorialist

    @surreality said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    IV drip that ran from my upper arm to just beside my heart in the hospital (I forget the name of the thing

    PICC line. David always has them. It's creepy as hell but I'm basically used to the idea now.

    Upside: Now you can get picc lines because you've been through so much worse!

    Downside: That was worse.

    Upside: It doesn't get much worse!

    Downside: Now you have no more personal body horror goals to aspire to.

    Downside: You have no teeth now.

    Upside: You can make horrific jewelry and scare people!



  • @Derp I still have them! ...in a baggie.

    The bottom ones are still there. We get to go through all of this again for the lower in a few months. :|

    Also, thank you, I kept blanking on the name of that thing. It weirded me out so much. More than anything else from that experience.

    Skull drilling isn't #1. It's still #2 with a huge distance between it and #1.

    Totally not going into #1.

    Irony: #1 is the most minor of all these things.

    Randomly, I have a hint of a sad because I remember they were looking at using coral for bone implants ages ago. Looks like they don't any more. My inner beach geek would have been down with that!



  • Update: So, he's hoping it will fill in and heal up. Marginally better painkillers that do seem to be working.

    And yet, the funny moment was maybe priceless.

    I have been getting spectacular amounts of shit about everything for months even before this because I smoke. (Cloves, 12/pack vs. 20/pack, usually go through less than a pack a day, for reference -- this wasn't sinking in with him at all.)

    Naturally, he asked if I had been smoking. I had stopped (on my own, no aids/etc.) for most of a week and then had just a couple per day since. He didn't seem super alarmed by this and said that since other than the spot he knew would be a problem area to monitor anyway, everything looked really good.

    So, he gets to talking about the packing material they're going to use, and warns it has a very strong smell and taste, but it'll more or less stay put and keep that area super numb.

    ...it's some kind of binder heavily infused with concentrated clove oil. I'm not making this shit up, y'all.

    Doing the mental math, he realized that the scrip he'd written (that my parents didn't hand off for whatever reason when they picked it up, I was too much of a space cadet to drive/etc.) for patches was twice as much nicotine as I was normally taking in before pausing and slowly trickling back. They would have done more harm than the normal smoking re: nicotine. (Sucking on things is another issue -- no straws allowed, for instance -- but that's not been an issue.)

    ...and that they're cloves was helping dull the ow.

    He is way less concerned about it now, which is a huge load off of my mind. The, 'well, very good, carry on then and try to keep it down!' was about the quickest turnabout I've seen in forever.



  • I imagine most of us have heard how 'No problem' can be perceived as rude. The reasoning being that saying it implies that the person was bothering you and you generously gave them your time. And true as this may be in some cases, it makes the phrase a prickly ground in customer service. Whereas many users of the phrase may think it indicates 'this wasn't an undue difficulty for me, so I was happy to help' others may feel the above or that you're belittling their needs.

    'No problem' is mostly used by younger (I think sub-50 at this point; it's pretty broadly applied) generations while the older still stand by 'You're welcome.' It's a slang thing and pretty broadly done in English-speaking countries (not all, I'm sure, but here, Canada, the UK...)

    The other issue, however, with 'you're welcome' is that a lot of people (myself included) can feel some anxiety around using it. It's not that it sounds stiff (though it does), but it feels like it takes away from the person you're helping and puts some power back on you. That implication of 'ah, yes, you're so fortunate that I was benevolent enough to share my time.'

    Yet... we should think about ourselves that way. This shift to a service culture we've had in the past fifty years (more fast food, more stores, then call centers and....) seems to have built so many of us into this mindset of 'I must serve' as opposed to 'I am providing a service.'

    They're two wildly different concepts. Something about being polite and respectful lies in there, but there's also the simple fact that instead of people viewing customer service roles as someone they pay to provide a service for them, they view customer service roles as someone who is fortunate enough to be the recipient of their money and thus should earn it.

    Again, subtle but important differences and they fold into self-esteem at a level that's difficult to comprehend.

    tl;dr I'm going to start using 'You're welcome' more than 'No problem' because I'm worth it.



  • @Auspice

    I won’t.

    Because everyone bothers me.

    And I dislike it when people start requests with: “I don’t mean to disturb you ...”

    You don’t? Then don’t.

    This is probably more of a peeve.



  • @Ganymede said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    @Auspice

    I won’t.

    Because everyone bothers me.

    And I dislike it when people start requests with: “I don’t mean to disturb you ...”

    You don’t? Then don’t.

    This is probably more of a peeve.

    See, the preferred phrasing there would be: 'I'm sorry to disturb you.'

    Because sometimes disruptions are a necessity, but 'I don't mean to...' is a rather selfish way of phrasing it. It says: 'I actually don't care but I'll say something so you're more amenable to helping me.'


  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    tl;dr I'm going to start using 'You're welcome' more than 'No problem' because I'm worth it.

    I say "no problem" for things that are literally no problem and "you're welcome" for things that are meaningful. And of course there's the context of where I am and what I'm doing. Holding a door open for someone is a "no problem." Doing anything in my professional life is a "you're welcome."


  • Pitcrew

    For the record -- caffeine withdraw is no fun. Today is day 5, and I feel like crap.
    alt text



  • @Seamus Caffeine withdrawl is about equivalent to a migraine from hell for most folks. You have my sincerest sympathy.

    (If ever you don't have to cut out caffeine... omg, don't.)


  • Pitcrew

    Handed the accommodation letter from my doctor to my boss today, about a work from home accommodation. (The company has work from home employees, so this is completely feasible and doable). She tells me she will talk it over with her co-CEO and they will decide if I can be an 'exception', since they like the 'local area people' to come into the office. -- uh, I don't think she knows that isn't how it works.

    I also didn't get the job I interviewed on Friday, so I'm stuck waiting to explain that they don't get a choice on medical accommodation if they have the ability.



  • @Macha said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    Handed the accommodation letter from my doctor to my boss today, about a work from home accommodation. (The company has work from home employees, so this is completely feasible and doable). She tells me she will talk it over with her co-CEO and they will decide if I can be an 'exception', since they like the 'local area people' to come into the office. -- uh, I don't think she knows that isn't how it works.

    I also didn't get the job I interviewed on Friday, so I'm stuck waiting to explain that they don't get a choice on medical accommodation if they have the ability.

    I hate jobs that do that shit.

    My old job (job-from-hell) has like, 3 layers of forms you have to fill out (it's like: get doctor's note, then get form you fill out and your doctor fills out, then get ANOTHER form that has to be filled out by the doctor with an attached NEW note....) and even then after that they go 'Okay this will go into review with HR' .......and you never hear back.


  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice Well, they don't have the forms. It's seriously just notes from my doctors. And I will hear back, because I will go to them in 3 days for an answer. And I won't stop, until I have to get DoL involved.



  • @Macha

    Go to the EEOC first.


  • Tutorialist

    @Macha said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    Handed the accommodation letter from my doctor to my boss today, about a work from home accommodation. (The company has work from home employees, so this is completely feasible and doable). She tells me she will talk it over with her co-CEO and they will decide if I can be an 'exception', since they like the 'local area people' to come into the office. -- uh, I don't think she knows that isn't how it works.

    I also didn't get the job I interviewed on Friday, so I'm stuck waiting to explain that they don't get a choice on medical accommodation if they have the ability.

    Well, depending on what you do, they actually do have some choice in the matter. Just as a fair warning. Reasonable accommodations cannot create an undue hardship on the employer, for example, and depending on what they define as the "essential functions" of your job (which is largely decided by them under CFR 1630.2(n)(3)), they may deem that to be unreasonable. It's super-dependent on the specific facts of your situation, but many people expect that a doctor's note is a magic bullet that makes an employer do something, and the reality is -- it's complicated, and it depends, like most things in the law.

    Still, I'd take it up with the EEOC. They're forbidden from retaliating against you (though they still might). Just be aware that this isn't a 100% certainty.

    Protip: Get a written copy of your job description. You'll thank yourself later in the investigative process, if it comes to that.


  • Pitcrew

    @Derp said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    Protip: Get a written copy of your job description. You'll thank yourself later in the investigative process, if it comes to that.

    There are people that do not get this as part of the On-Boarding Process and as they are promoted? I was always taught to get your job description in writing always.



  • @Seamus said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    There are people that do not get this as part of the On-Boarding Process and as they are promoted?

    Yes. Probably the vast majority of people.


  • Pitcrew

    @Tinuviel said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    @Seamus said in Health and Wealth and GrownUp Stuff:

    There are people that do not get this as part of the On-Boarding Process and as they are promoted?

    Yes. Probably the vast majority of people.

    insane


  • Pitcrew

    @Derp If they were going to prove it was an undue hardship to set me up for work from home, they would have to remove the option for everyone.


  • Pitcrew

    Rant ahead.

    So a while ago my wife started developing serious migraines with ocular components. It basically rendered her unable to drive, work or do anything other than sit in a dark room and whimper. They were so bad that she had to go on medical leave, and we have only finally made progress on managing them (Thank you Ajovy...this stuff is the only thing that has helped, period).

    So, my wife being out of work had at least supplemental insurance to cover the fact she wasn't bringing in a paycheck. Or so we thought anyway. She starts the claim process and her insurance is denied. We put in an appeal because we are all WTF? about her being denied, but the process takes time and we have to pay bills, so we dip into our savings/nest egg/emergency fund..etc. We end up wiping those out and start having to use credit cards to supplement the lost wages, etc.

    Now she is finally back on her feet and back to work, we finally win the case against the supplemental insurance and see the money that she was due and life moves on.

    But the damage has been done. Our credit cards are now maxed out because use + compounding interest and even though my wife is back to work, we can barely squeak by month to month now because the minimum payments on our cards are so high.

    I am at a point I don't know what to do, really. I don't think things are dire enough to declare bankruptcy (and I am not sure I would want to), I don't know if it is worth ruining (even more anyway) our credit by going through a debt counselor service. I have been contacted randomly by some company that is interested 'investing' in our house and while it sounds tempting (100k re-payed in 30 years + a percentage of what the appreciation of the house is) I don't even know if we qualify because our credit scores have took a big hit due to being maxed.

    I'm stressed, i'm not sleeping, and sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't just be better to 'die' (No, not contemplating suicide. I wouldn't kill myself. More that I wonder if it wouldn't be just better if I got hit by a car of something) so my wife and kids get the life insurance to pay for all the mistakes I made.

    I jokingly drop 5 bucks a week on the lottery, just wishing for a miracle. I don't even want the millions. Just 100k would be fine. Enough to pay off the credit cards + car payments + random other debt and have a clean slate, but I know that will never happen.

    I know that eventually I will get through this somehow and will be able to pay off the debt since I know eventually I will have more than 100K coming my way when parents pass on, but this isn't a solution I want to happen (I mean, it is inevitable that sooner or later it will, but I don't want it to happen sooner. I've already lost my Mom this year, and that was hard enough as it is.)

    Sorry. I'm rambling. I just needed to get this out, I just needed the release even if it is just typing it out to a bunch of strangers on the internets.


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