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Ostomy Memories of my Dentist

Posted by HenryM, on Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:31 am

There’s no reason that my dentist has to know that I have an ileostomy. When I go in for a cleaning and the dental hygienist starts to put the chair back, I ask her to keep me as upright as possible; she says “Oh, do you have a bad back?” and I say, “I’m just more comfortable that way.” Let her think whatever she wants. So she’s cleaning my teeth and chatting away, obviously not expecting a response from me as she works her way around my mouth with her picks and her prods. “I’ve been taking art classes,” she tells me. “Ummm,” I groan, mouth opened wide, trying not to swallow. As we near the end, and she is preparing to perform the motorized brushing, I joke, “Nothing you can do about these yellowing teeth, eh?” “They are a bit yellowish, aren’t they?” she squints. “But your blue shirt is a complementary color.” Well, that is encouraging. I’ll have to run out and buy more blue shirts. Once she’s done with the cleaning, she says she’s going to call the doctor. Now, to me, calling a dentist “doctor” reeks of hyperbole and false flattery. He’s a dentist! I suppose, though, that if you can call a college professor “doctor” then a dentist is no more guilty of expanding the meaning of what would otherwise be a straight forward English word. So in he comes and starts picking about inside my mouth. How could anyone want to do this for a living, I’m thinking. “Anything bothering you?” he asks me, tapping around on the right-side teeth. “I have been putting on some weight,” I say. “Can you yank out my sweet tooth?” Being a dentist, his sense of humor resides somewhere between his clavicle and his lateral incisor. “Can’t help you there,” he replies, unsmiling. “Looks good. See you in six months.” And away he goes. I don’t even get a chance to say “Thank you, doctor.”

Reply by w30bob, on Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:19 pm

Hi Henry,

  Well, my trips to the dentist never went as well as yours. For a reason that's never been explained to me, my Dad took us to the only dentist on the planet who didn't believe in anesthesia of any sort. And being poor, I didn't go to the dentist for the first time until I had been eating candy and not brushing my teeth for about ten years. So yeah, it was cavity central!  But to reduce my agony........my wonderful dentist filled two cavities per visit. That was hands down the worst summer of my life. Once my 13 cavities were filled........I was so afraid of dentists that I didn't go to one again until I was 28 and had a cracked tooth that really hurt. Luckily my girlfriend at the time was a doctor, and hooked me up with a dentist friend of hers......who specialized in child dentistry and guaranteed me that there would be no pain. She was right, but I felt kind of silly sitting in her waiting room with a group of young kids and their parents. But the unicorn posters on the ceiling were pretty cool.  Don't laugh.......but I still go to that dentist. But she has expanded and does treat adults now too.

  You ask why anyone would want to be a dentist. That's easy.......they make a TON of money, and can't really kill you......so their malpractice insurance is cheap compared to a real doctor.  And people know less about their teeth than they do about their overall health, so they have fewer pissed off patients. They get the benefits of being a doctor without some of the liabilities. It's kind of like being an optometrist. Hmmmmm........this reminds me......I got a root canal scheduled for next week.........but I'm not afraid.....really.  Ok, maybe just a little.....but I'll be fine. 

Regards,

Bob

Reply by Bill, on Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:27 am

Hello Henry. 

Thanks for yet another interesting and entertaining post. I have been fairly fortunate with my teeth in that once the wisdom teeth were removed early on, I had no more pain for many years. When I did have a tooth that was causing me great pain to the top of my head, the dentist said he would put in a 'crown'. He then told me how much it would cost and I remarked that I could buy the crown-jewels for that sort of money. We had a brief bartering session, where he gradually brought the price down to a little less than half of what he had quoted at the start. This was still way too much for my budget so I told him to 'take it out'.  He then proceeded to try to tell me that I would never be able to eat on that side unless I had a false tooth fitted, and I responded that - my old man only had one tooth in the front of his mouth and he never seemed to have much trouble eating!

Anyway, out came the offending tooth and then he shows it to me and there was a mess at the very bottom of the root - which he then proceeds to tell me would have been no good for a crown, and I made the right choice.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking that he still would have charged me for the dentistry - which would not have worked.  Dentists! seem to have sharp teeth like most sharks. 

As for the label 'Doctor', there are two basic definitions : The first is a 'medical practitioner' and the second is someone who has a 'doctorate'. Interestingly, many of the former do not hold the latter but but will have achieved a Batchelor of Medicine. When I used to globe-trot on the conference circuit, nearly all of my fellow contributers were 'doctors' - with a doctorate, some of them with more than one!  It used to amuse me that the Germans insisted on having their full two titles 'doctor-doctor'. The humour was in the fact that, at that time, there were many jokes that started in this way.  Of course, the title of 'doctor' was probably among the lowest ranks in the academic hierarchy, when there were more esteemed titles such as 'Professor' and 'Dean' on offer.

I had so much more respect for those who insisted on being called by their proper names, Like Bill, Joe, Sharon and 'plane' Jane.

Best wishes

Bill

Reply by w30bob, on Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:53 pm
Bill wrote:

Hello Henry. 

Thanks for yet another interesting and entertaining post. I have been fairly fortunate with my teeth in that once the wisdom teeth were removed early on, I had no more pain for many years. When I did have a tooth that was causing me great pain to the top of my head, the dentist said he would put in a 'crown'. He then told me how much it would cost and I remarked that I could buy the crown-jewels for that sort of money. We had a brief bartering session, where he gradually brought the price down to a little less than half of what he had quoted at the start. This was still way too much for my budget so I told him to 'take it out'.  He then proceeded to try to tell me that I would never be able to eat on that side unless I had a false tooth fitted, and I responded that - my old man only had one tooth in the front of his mouth and he never seemed to have much trouble eating!

Anyway, out came the offending tooth and then he shows it to me and there was a mess at the very bottom of the root - which he then proceeds to tell me would have been no good for a crown, and I made the right choice.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking that he still would have charged me for the dentistry - which would not have worked.  Dentists! seem to have sharp teeth like most sharks. 

As for the label 'Doctor', there are two basic definitions : The first is a 'medical practitioner' and the second is someone who has a 'doctorate'. Interestingly, many of the former do not hold the latter but but will have achieved a Batchelor of Medicine. When I used to globe-trot on the conference circuit, nearly all of my fellow contributers were 'doctors' - with a doctorate, some of them with more than one!  It used to amuse me that the Germans insisted on having their full two titles 'doctor-doctor'. The humour was in the fact that, at that time, there were many jokes that started in this way.  Of course, the title of 'doctor' was probably among the lowest ranks in the academic hierarchy, when there were more esteemed titles such as 'Professor' and 'Dean' on offer.

I had so much more respect for those who insisted on being called by their proper names, Like Bill, Joe, Sharon and 'plane' Jane.

Best wishes

Bill


Hi Bill,

  Great post.......I'm right there with you on the proper name thing.  There are other indicators to watch for as well.  On the Engineering side, I remember from college (when I graduated) that those who decided to pursue an advanced degree, rather than enter the workforce, were always the guys who really wouldn't do well in the real world.  They either weren't too bright..........or lacked real people skills......so more education (or staying out of the real world for as long as possible) was the path they chose.  And once I was in the workforce I was never impressed by the majority of the advanced degree folks I had to deal with.  The other thing I noticed during my career was that there's a distinct inverse relationship between how smart (and confident) engineers are and how well they dress.  It's almost as if they think they can cover their lack of smarts by dressing to impress.  The rag-tag guys in the back of the room were always the ones who knew what the heck they were doing, not the zoot suit guys in the front rows blabbing away. 

 

regards,

bob 

Reply by Bill, on Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:19 am


Hi Bill,

Great post.......I'm right there with you on the proper name thing. There are other indicators to watch for as well. On the Engineering side, I remember from college (when I graduated) that those who decided to pursue an advanced degree, rather than enter the workforce, were always the guys who really wouldn't do well in the real world. They either weren't too bright..........or lacked real people skills......so more education (or staying out of the real world for as long as possible) was the path they chose. And once I was in the workforce I was never impressed by the majority of the advanced degree folks I had to deal with. The other thing I noticed during my career was that there's a distinct inverse relationship between how smart (and confident) engineers are and how well they dress. It's almost as if they think they can cover their lack of smarts by dressing to impress. The rag-tag guys in the back of the room were always the ones who knew what the heck they were doing, not the zoot suit guys in the front rows blabbing away.

 

regards,

bob

 

Hello Bob. 

With regard to the suit thing - I suppose it's a question of horses for courses. I always wore a suit at work because I used to represent some of my clients in court. My reasoning was that many people falsely 'judge' others on first-impressions. In the day, if someone wore a suit, it was deemed to be 'respectable' and acceptable, whereas if someone wore casual stuff, they were viewed as dropouts - or Hippies ( that dates me somewhat).  I recall a couple of travellers  refusing to have one on my colleagues represent them because, they said that people would not take them seriously dressed like 'that'.  It used to amuse me to think that I bought all my suits from charity shops and viewed them as 'overalls', to be taken back to the shops when they needed cleaning - because the it was cheaper to buy them from Oxfam etc. than to get them cleaned.  The other reason I wore suits was as camouflage in the 'system'. I felt I was probably too radical and independent to be tolerated withiin Local Government, so presenting myself outwardly as 'respectable' was just one way of hiding what was underneath. Needless to say, I wrote a verse or two about this concept at the time, which I hope you may now enjoy:

Best wishes

Bill

 

CAMOUFLAGE.

I shine my shoes and brush my hair
and make sure I am smart.
Leaving early, so I’m there,
for that early start.

My boss could not lay fault upon
the manner that I dress.
For every morning I will don
the best that I possess.

You see me in my pin-striped suits
and maybe bowler hat,
but never can you see my roots
when I am dressed like that.

What sort of judgement of a man
comes from his clothes alone?
Who likes to see me spick and span
so I keep ‘high’ the tone?

I give them all the things they ask,
myself to camouflage.
Then I can get down to ‘my’ task,
which is to sabotage.

                                B. Withers 1989

 

Reply by HenryM, on Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:18 am
Bill wrote:


Hi Bill,

Great post.......I'm right there with you on the proper name thing. There are other indicators to watch for as well. On the Engineering side, I remember from college (when I graduated) that those who decided to pursue an advanced degree, rather than enter the workforce, were always the guys who really wouldn't do well in the real world. They either weren't too bright..........or lacked real people skills......so more education (or staying out of the real world for as long as possible) was the path they chose. And once I was in the workforce I was never impressed by the majority of the advanced degree folks I had to deal with. The other thing I noticed during my career was that there's a distinct inverse relationship between how smart (and confident) engineers are and how well they dress. It's almost as if they think they can cover their lack of smarts by dressing to impress. The rag-tag guys in the back of the room were always the ones who knew what the heck they were doing, not the zoot suit guys in the front rows blabbing away.

 

regards,

bob

 

Hello Bob. 

With regard to the suit thing - I suppose it's a question of horses for courses. I always wore a suit at work because I used to represent some of my clients in court. My reasoning was that many people falsely 'judge' others on first-impressions. In the day, if someone wore a suit, it was deemed to be 'respectable' and acceptable, whereas if someone wore casual stuff, they were viewed as dropouts - or Hippies ( that dates me somewhat).  I recall a couple of travellers  refusing to have one on my colleagues represent them because, they said that people would not take them seriously dressed like 'that'.  It used to amuse me to think that I bought all my suits from charity shops and viewed them as 'overalls', to be taken back to the shops when they needed cleaning - because the it was cheaper to buy them from Oxfam etc. than to get them cleaned.  The other reason I wore suits was as camouflage in the 'system'. I felt I was probably too radical and independent to be tolerated withiin Local Government, so presenting myself outwardly as 'respectable' was just one way of hiding what was underneath. Needless to say, I wrote a verse or two about this concept at the time, which I hope you may now enjoy:

Best wishes

Bill

 

CAMOUFLAGE.

I shine my shoes and brush my hair
and make sure I am smart.
Leaving early, so I’m there,
for that early start.

My boss could not lay fault upon
the manner that I dress.
For every morning I will don
the best that I possess.

You see me in my pin-striped suits
and maybe bowler hat,
but never can you see my roots
when I am dressed like that.

What sort of judgement of a man
comes from his clothes alone?
Who likes to see me spick and span
so I keep ‘high’ the tone?

I give them all the things they ask,
myself to camouflage.
Then I can get down to ‘my’ task,
which is to sabotage.

                                B. Withers 1989

 


Bill:  Another terrific verse.  With respect to one's outer garb, I always had to wear a suit, but I simply regarded it as "work clothes."  How I actually felt about things, my personal beliefs, my so-called true self, had nothing to do with it, no more than the construction worker who sheds his jeans and tee shirt, showers, and picks up a Faulkner novel.  As you say, camouflage is a common and necessary part of our need to survive, like the chameleon who changes color to go unrecognized.  The challenge is to avoid hypocrisy.  Stay well.  HenryM

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:20 am

Haha, I certainly agree on the "Doctor" thing. Bob you nailed it. Our son is proof of that. He went to school for so many years! Finally getting the PHD added to his name. The problem here was as you stated. He was probably the smartest person I knew with a perfect SAT score in high school and all advanced college classes there too. He stayed in school until he was 38. He went to Clemson, UAG, and finally Baltimore. BUT, then the dumbest kid when it came to social skills. He cannot dumb it down enough to even have a conversation with most folks including me! He is smarter than most folks and unfortunately, he knows it.  How he ever got a position at the Institue of Health in Washington, I will never know. He interviewing skill are extremely lacking. I guess they are used to those kind of smart people. If you ever watched Big Bang Theory, our son is Sheldon to the Tee! He has found his place in this world finally and we are glad for it. Just hoping he is the one that will find the cure for Cancer! I guess we all need those brainiacs in the world! 
Puppyluv

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