Friday, May 03, 2013
I have had a fear for over 20 years and I finally destroyed that fear. Yes, it took me 20 years to beat the fear, but the point is, I beat it and I am proud of myself for having destroyed that fear, which literally disabled me during that time.
When I say disabled, I mean I could not, literally, could not venture into a dentist office without getting physically sick. I know, because I tried it once.
So here is my fear. I was terrified of the dental hygienist. Not the dentist. I had no problem with the dentist, but that hygienist was my absolute terror. And it wasn’t the tools welded by the hygienist, it was her lack of hygiene. How could a hygienist be so lax in hygiene?
Here’s my story. I made an appointment at my favorite dentist’s office, signed in and sat down where I could watch the beautiful tropical fish swim around in the wall sized tank. I loved watching them swim around and through the various “ruins” in the bottom of the tank and marveled at how clean the tank always was.
The hygienist came out and called my name and I noticed she had gloves on, a clipboard in one hand, a pen between her teeth, and her hand was on the door jamb as though she was so tired she needed the wall to hold herself up. When she took her hand off the door jamb, I noticed the worn or filthy spot where her hand had been and wondered how long she had been suffering from this fatigue syndrome.
We walked down the hall, she stopped me at the place where she proceeded to do a “bite-wing x-ray” and then into her cubical for the usual poking and cleaning. I had never been afraid of this part before.
As I sat down, I noticed she reached up and opened the blinds to look out at the world for a few moments, then she closed them. All the while with the same gloves on and the pen between her teeth.
Then she adjusted the chair, the lamp, and opened and closed every drawer beside her, took the pen from her teeth, wrote something on the clipboard, put the “bib” on me, and said, “Open wide, please.”
I said, “Wait! Could you please change your gloves. I’ve seen where those have been and I don’t want them in my mouth.”
She heaved a very heavy sigh, designed to make me aware of her disgust with me, and she opened a drawer and slammed it shut and put another pair of gloves on over the first and I remember wondering if they were new or just used ones she'd salvaged.
No hand washing, just one pair of dubious gloves on over the first pair of soiled ones.
This was at the height of awareness of HIV issues and I was one of the uneducated people that knew nothing about HIV except that you could get it by the disease finding its way into your system by contact as in your mouth or other orifices.
Now my fear is more heightened and I’m wondering why she is being so “dirty.” I am now acutely watching her every move.
Her assistant comes in, sits down and leans on the “back” of the chair but does nothing besides twist back and forth in the chair, like a pendulum on a clock.
So now she reaches up and readjusts the light and I said, “Now your touching the light.”
She said with an exasperated attitude, “It has a cover on it. It was cleaned last night and covered with a plastic sleeve. Now open wide.”
I ripped the bib off, wiggled off the chair as she was too shocked to move, and once I was standing I said, “I can’t sit here and let you poke around in my mouth with your attitude and lack of hygiene.
“Everything in here is filthy and you’ve touched everything already with dirty gloves and your writing with a pen that you constantly hold between your teeth. I don’t know your medical history and I don’t want to know but I don’t want your germs in my mouth. I’m not paying for this cleaning, I won’t let you touch my mouth, I won’t be back.”
I left that office and never went back, partly because I knew someone would remember that I had left without paying and I didn’t want the fight, but mainly because I could not force myself to go to a hygienist.
Twenty years without going to the dentist was starting to take its toll on my mouth and mind. I feared the number of cavities hiding under the plaqie, my teeth were yellow, and the bottom front ones were buried in plaque. So I called a new dentist’s office and asked for an appointment to see the hygienist, but it was for a consult not an exam. I told the person answering the phone that I was terrified of the hygienist and needed to talk. They set me up with their best.
So I do the required stuff of going early, giving over my insurance, filling out the paperwork and then waiting. I am her first of the day, which made me feel good at least in that area.
She comes out, no gloves on, no clipboard, no pen in sight. She smiles and introduces herself and we go back to her “office,” a room of her own, not a cubical shared with anyone else.
I sit in the chair and she leans against the cupboard. She asked a few questions and then I said, “May I tell you my experience and why I am so terrified that I haven’t been able to force myself into a dentist office for over 20 years?”
“Yes, please,” she said. I gave her the details of my fear and I thought she was going to vomit. She was disgusted, mortified, apologetic, and angry. All at the same time. She vowed to eliminate my fear and change my feelings for dentistry.
She did. The first thing she did was turn around and wash her hands like a surgeon, brush, soap, nearly to her elbows, then she dried them on a paper towel that was thrown into the trash and she pulled a pair of new gloves from a box in a clear holder from the wall. You had to know those were new sterile gloves.
I never feared once from her. She had my teeth probed and on report to an assistant that actually did something. She touched nothing after she put the gloves on, except her sterile tools and my mouth. He put all the information she gave him into a computer which had a huge flat screen on the wall that I could see. Then he left and she proceeded to clean my teeth. None of this caused pain and it surprised me because I figured she’d need a jackhammer to get the plaque off alone, and would probably take some of my tooth porcelain with the plaque. I had no idea what was under there.
My teeth are white, mostly, they are unburied and then the dentist came in, checked out what I had against her work and pronounced me and my teeth in good condition. They are old teeth. Well, I’m not young so yes, my teeth are old, but they were in good shape.
So now I have no fear of the hygienist and I’m back on the road of healthy teeth and being able to feel the back of my teeth without the plaque. Now I brush my teeth and floss them almost after every meal. No I am not perfect, but I am working on it and I feel good about myself and my teeth.
If you have a fear of something, figure out why and then attack that fear until you destroy it. It feels so much better being fearless than having it hang over you making you helpless. I know. I’ve been there.
I wish you lots of strength and I hope you destroy your fears quickly.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Good morning, World! I'm off to a ripping start. I've already worked my day and I've got my Sparking done for the day, my exercises start shortly and then it's free time all day. I'll probably sleep most of it as I worked the night shift today, but that's alright as I feel good about myself and I'm eatting healthy, staying in my ranges and my DH is helping me all the way. He's trying to lose the weight, too, so, we're both humming right now. Plan on keeping it that way for as long as I can.
Have a great day, Everyone!
Friday, January 04, 2013
It’s amazing at what summoning your determination up does for you. For one thing, I find my determination accepts NO excuses. When I plan on my daily 1 mile (or better if I can stand it) walk, I go for my daily walk and I don’t count going to the store as my daily walk. The store is just extra daily steps to help me make my basic 5000 daily steps.
When I plan on doing strength exercises, my determination seems to find a way to remind me that I can go to the gym and use the machines, or I can use my homemade gym and do my strength exercises in my living room.
Today, I’ve joined SparkPeople’s January Jumpstart Workout and as soon as I joined it, I did the first exercise, almost before I added that promise to the goals of the team. And I had promised myself to do 30 minutes of floor aerobics so I did that Day One video 3 times.
I’ve also discovered that my determination will follow through with meal planning, tracking my food (my worst pit). I do the fitness tracker, and other goals, my weight (and other things) tracker, and I basically track everything I do on SP because there’s so much to do, so many things I like to do, that I get annoyed with myself if I forget something so I keep track of what I am doing.
My determination has carried over into my work. I work at home (something I have wanted to do since computers came out). But the problem with working from home is the same as working in someone else’s establishment. You have to set time aside for the needed breaks and you have to utilize those break times for your wellbeing. The work doesn’t move to someone else as soon as you stop it, but your body goes to pot, real quick if you ignore it. All that stress makes you sick.
So I am learning how to use my determination and I am discovering an incredible secret that I have had all these years, but didn’t even know it.
Here’s a challenge for all my friends; check out your determination. You might call it something else, but you’ve got it and I dare you to get it out and put it to work for one day. If you aren’t impressed with your own version of determination, give up on it, but what have you got to lose if your determination works like mine – or better!
It doesn’t hurt, it’s free (another really great thing about it), and all you have to do is tell it what your goal for the day is. It will give you reminders and even a little kick in the needed gears to shift you on your way. Come on! Try it! You’ll like it!
(Oh! I almost forgot! One issue: Do NOT tell your determination that you want to sit in front of the TV all day long and eat junk food. It’s like feeding a gremlin! Disastrous!)
Have a SparklingDay with your Determination!
Monday, December 31, 2012
You may know already, but when I woke up on Wednesday, 12.26.12, I had a new goal in mind and I immediately made a plan on how I was going to achieve my goal.
1. Better eating, which includes weighing and measuring portions.
2. Food Tracker, which is my worst area - I don't know why I hate that thing.
3. Exercise, 1 mile walks and water aerobics/gym machines everyday
4. If the weather was not right for the outdoor pool, floor aerobics in place of.
5. 8 to 10 8-oz glasses of water daily.
6. Spark every day
7. Weigh every Monday morning
8. Blog every Monday with an update (Accountability)
9. Goal date is May 21, 2013
10. Goal weight on that date 185.
11. Goal loss, 38 pounds on top of the other 50 I've already lost and gained about 15 back.
12. Be determined to have my determination working at all times.
I started my journey instantly. When I weighed on Wednesday I was at 223.4. This morning I was at 222. A little over a pound, but I'll take it. So I am off to a good start and my plan is working. Only thing left to do is keep going.
Seems like my determination is working just right and I am learning more things every day, so I'm happy.
I'm wishing myself, and all my SparkFriends working on their journeys, SparklingSuccess on reaching their goals with ease, determination, love, understanding, and most of all, forgiveness.
Monday, December 24, 2012
I believe in reviewing blessings of the year at Christmas time. It's a bit like having to relay something you are grateful for at the Thanksgiving table. Most people hate being put on the spot and most don't care about others feelings so I am not going to tell you of my blessings, but I can tell you that I am glad I am not a Congressperson because I'd really be hanging my head in humiliation or embarrassment at this point for not doing my job that I would be paid very well for, including bloated ENTITLEMENTS. I really believe they should be fired and their benefits taken away from them, like any other citizen of this country would go through if they were fired for gross derelict of duty.
I am more than saddened by the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT. I have not been informed of some shirttail relative being involved in it. I know I have no close relatives involved, even though a great number of them, through marriage live in New England and I am sure that that event has touched many people in New England and the rest of the country. With that, I believe in gun control at least in so much as the amount of bullets a gun can hold. I think the military assault machinery should be hunted down and taken away from ordinary citizens, especially the gangs, and that includes the high-volume ammo magazines or whatever fancy name they want to put on the ammo containers. There are highly sought after rifles (I am told) that have to be loaded, one bullet at a time. Wouldn't that make it harder for people to be filled with bullets like Bonnie and Clyde?
I am glad I am not a video game enthusiast because I feel those videos of war and laying down a fire line that even a ant would be burned by the bullets screaming overhead. Why do we allow our children to watch those kinds of things? Can't you see that by desensitizing them, you allow the idea to enter their heads that, "Hey, it's only a game! It doesn't hurt anyone!" It works the same with letting them watch movies that are based on speed (the movement - not the drug) as the main idea of the movie, or monsters. The more we desensitize ourselves to things, the less likely we are to move when the red lights start flashing and the barriers come into view. What do you think those red-flashing lights, waving flags, and barriers are for anyway (I'm talking about the ones in your head, not on the road in front of you).
I have a long-time friend who believed in not telling her children no because there was far to much negative in the world. But she didn't equate the idea that by not telling them no, as in no you can't set the house on fire, no you can't drive the car because you don't have a driver's license and you don't know how to drive, and the STOP sign basically is an NO! Then when there were problems with her children, she basically couldn't handle it and it would blow her away into embarrassment because her children were unruly. You have to teach your children to behave. It doesn't come automatically. Children love to be nurtured, that means telling them no and why. I believe you can tell your children no by being kind with it. It doesn't have to be a stinging word. I can see it stinging them when you're in a panic because they are about to set the carpet on fire to see what happens, or they are about to touch the hot burner, but you can take them aside immediately after, hug them, tell them you are sorry for shouting "No!" at them and explain that you were afraid of them being hurt and panic had set into you. Children can forgive, and mostly do, until they are overwhelmed with meanness or hate, or an unforgiving parent.
So this is the first of my process of learning how to blog, as prescribed by my publisher and I finally got past the fear of it and took my page off private long enough to do this. When I have posted it, I will put my page back on private, go over it with a fine tooth comb and make sure that I am no longer worried about what's on there then make it public forever again.
I wish all my SparkFriends a very Merry Christmas.
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