Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dental Phobia

According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, 30 percent of the population avoids the dentist due to fear. I actually thought it would be a higher percentage. I am one of these people with ‘dental phobia.’

It may be irrational, it might even seem silly, but I am petrified of dental work. I have nothing against dentists, they are professionals doing important work. But I am very squeamish when it comes to the potential pain that accompanies dental procedures. Yes, I am a wimp – a card carrying wimp, at least when it comes to the dentist.

I found a wonderful sedation dentist who provides sedative drugs which allows me to be awake but unawares. I find it works wonderfully for me. The dentist can do lots of work that might take several visits all in one session. I have no memory of the session, as if I was asleep through the visit, but I am told that I maintain a level of consciousness that allows me to cooperate with the dentist.

Having a driver to take you home after the procedure is important. I am often still under the effects of the sedation until after I arrive home. On my last visit, I became unaware on my way to the dentist and regained my awareness after I was home. I had no recollection whatsoever of the dental surgery.

The dental hygienist at this particular dental center deal with phobic patients such as myself all the time. For cleaning, I forego the full blown sedation but the hygienist does provide extra topical anesthetic and nitrous oxide to raise my pain threshold.

Are you afraid of the dentist? I hope not, but if you are, like me, you can still take care of your teeth by seeking out a sedation dentist. I had stayed away from dentist for years unless a dental problem forced me to go. Now I maintain regular appointments. Be aware that most, if not all, insurance does not cover the sedation portion of the dental service. Even though my insurance does not cover the sedation, I find it well worth the expense and better for my well-being.

Take care, and keep smiling.

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Valentines of the Heart

The time around Valentine’s Day is a bittersweet time of year. Theresa lost her father around this time last year. I lost a loved one as well around this time. I am glad that there is a reminder during the year to recognize our loved ones and let them know that we love and care for them. I certainly believe that it needs to be a daily occurrence. Even those people who have difficulty saying those three words…I love you…I need you…I want you.

I celebrated with my loved ones, but I also remembered very fondly those who are no longer here.  Both of my parents, my Butterfly, and other loved ones have passed away. But I carry a valentine for them in my heart. I love them and miss them. I appreciate the time they spent in my life.

Each year, around Valentine’s day, I place a rose on the grave of my Butterfly. I tried to do that this year, but we have had lots of snow and the drive lanes of the cemetery were not plowed. I did not dare drive back into the cemetery. I will just have to try later when the weather is better.

My family has been suffering from the flu for the last three weeks, but I hope that you are well. I hope that you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day giving and receiving love. Remember that you carry the Valentines for all those that you love throughout the year. Any day or time you wish to let those you care about know you love them, you will never be without a valentine.

Take care, stay well and be blessed.

Preparing for the Storms

Are you saving money to help you through life’s storms? With the fragility of the workplace, the fickleness of the employers and even the restlessness of the employees, having steady, long term work is no longer the norm. My father, who was born in 1922 and lived through the depression, was told to get with a good company and stay there until you retire. Not bad advice for today, but usually, employees change jobs often. A Forbes article last summer stated that the average worker stayed at a job for 4.4 years with youngest employees about half that.

The economy is slowly healing. I am still very much worried about the national debt and its long term effects. But with fewer jobs and even fewer benefits available, I would strongly urge anyone with a job to save aside a little for life’s continued storms. Even if you don’t have a job but you have some type of income, even a little saved away is best.

At my own employer, we have had several restructuring in the last two years and a new one was just announced. I know professionals who have not worked at all or in their own field in over a year. This reminds me every day how fragile the workplace is.

Can you save? I hope so. Even a small amount like $50 per month will accumulate to $600 per year. This could be handy in an emergency, such as new tires or car repairs. Of course $100 a month would be better. Unscheduled repairs can be expensive.

If you are eligible, open a Roth IRA. There are several companies that allow you to open accounts with minimum deposits from $0 to $1000. Be careful when investing small amounts as your funds can be eaten up by transaction fees. Save until the investment move makes sense.

Even if you have a 401K or retirement plan through work, still save money aside for emergencies. The purpose of these funds is to help you weather the storms that life inevitably brews for us. It is better to be prepared. It is akin to buying extra water and canned goods when a severe weather event is coming your way.

Wishing you well and many blessings.