Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Last elusive requirement

I am still working on finding my last graduation requirement, my molar root canal treatment.

So far, I keep "getting lucky" with patients that get popped into my schedule at the last minute with evident need for a root canal (RCT) but end up "unlucky" when it comes to the actual treatment. Thus, I am still looking.

Attempt #1: Referall at last minute from classmate for deep cavity and likely need for RCT. After a very long morning, no RCT was needed and I placed a very large silver filling (amalgam).

Attempt #2: The same afternoon I started a RCT on a patient referred for severe pain from our admissions appt. Pt cancelled her follow-up appointment to continue the treatment due to insurance reasons. She claims she will come back when her gov't insurance kicks back in, but even with Obama as president, the gov't is slow. I'm not holding my breath.

Attempt #3: Last week I switched patients at the last minute with a classmate (same classmate from attempt #1). The patient had received narcotic pain killers the week previously for a tooth needing RCT. When he arrived for our appt, he was no longer in pain and RCT was not indicated unless the cavity got too deep. It didn't. Another HUGE amalgam filling.

Attempt #4: Today while finishing up a patient I was given a RCT on emergency. Another student did the diagnosis and prepared her for the RCT. About 30-45 minutes in to the procedure she demanded to be let up and for us to finish. We did not even start the RCT. This is very unfortunate as it was a perfect tooth--a young and healthy patient with very straight roots, no interferences, and it was a lower molar (easier than uppers, which all of the others have been so far).

So, I am starting attempt #5 next week with hopes it will work out for real this time!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some thoughts on fashion

Last night Abe and I went to a "History of Medicine" dinner at the hospital. As students we got to go for a very nice price. It ended up being us and a bunch of older librarians and doctors (we met the director of the Hardin Health Sciences Library and the MD/PhD who started Abe's MD/PhD program about 40 years ago among others). I actually really enjoyed the company, who were all very friendly and interested why "young people would choose to come here tonight" when they were forced by work.

I really enjoyed the lecture which focused on World War I and the effects it had on plastic surgery and the beauty market. Essentially, plastic surgery was legitimized by a plastic surgeon who was trying to help soldiers left mutilated by the war look normal enough to rejoing society after losing parts of their faces such as eyes, noses, jaws, etc. Makeup also was introduced to American women after a Jewish woman named Helen Rubenstein fled Europe and worked to change make-up into a non-morally suspect enterprise. I guess up until this time, women who wore make-up were considered quite trashy. Women were also trying to look more like the male heros of the war by cutting their hair, binding their bosoms, or even receiving breast reductions.

A historian sitting next to us informed us that women in the US shave their legs because around this time Gilette/Schick had their hands on the male market and decided to encourage women to shave their legs to improve profits. Women of war torn Europe could not afford to do this and to this day, do not shave their legs to the extent we in America do.

I thought this was all very interesting. It made me think how fickle we are, that we judge so harshly on things that are so easily changed such as the trend for no makeup and makeup or small breasts verses large breasts (by marketing, not science or legitimacy).

I find I am one who regrets the pressures put on women for beauty. I found it ironic that the very daily practices I feel I must to for an almost moral reason of self pride (makeup, deodorant, shaving) were uncommon or even shunned until money changed that all. In a way I wish we didn't place that emphasis on status quo looks and the need to wear makeup. I know many would argue the opposite, however, that makeup has given them a great opportunity to improve themselves. I guess for me I sometimes dislike the almost guilt I feel when I choose not to buy into the marketing each day. I hate feeling "ugly" or like a "scrub" because I chose not to wear make-up to work when practically every male does the exact thing each day and look just fine.

A lot has changed in 100 years.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I think my life is pretty boring right now. Other people are writing about exciting trips or things they have done, or even interesting thoughts. I have done none of these things lately. Early on in my blogging Brenna told me I have to write often to keep my "following"(maybe you should remember this too, B :) ). I can't seem to think of anything blogworthy lately.

But, I guess that is a good thing. Since I tend to write about the incredibly horrible things that happen in my life (I think I'm a bit of a drama queen), I think that means things are going pretty well (minus the minor credit card fraud and associated phone calls I have been receiving). I am well on my way to passing Family Dentistry (our one class this year) and am about the breach the "C" range. This is the biggest hurdle up the grade ladder. Once I get past here I can advance pretty quickly through the grades by a mere couple hundred points instead of 3800 for a "D" or the 4250 for a "C-". Right now I am on track for an "A-" if I continue to work hard and have good luck with my patients. I am hoping that I can take a big jump in my class rank if I do well since everyone either is doing general dentistry and doesn't care about grades, or already matched into a specialty and really don't care.

My biggest hurdle toward graduation--getting my molar root canal patient to come back! She is my last requirement and wont make an appointment. I may have to find another.

So, my life is pretty boring. But I prefer it to the excitement of boards, the stress of worrying about graduation, or the craziness of just being way busy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


My credit card has some evidence of fraudulent purchases. Things like "Wuy weight loss tea" and "creditmedia." Luckily they were small purchases but I am glad the credit card company caught it early.

However, I somehow missed my last months payment. I am not one to skip out on bills and I really think I remember scheduling this payment online! I remember it was a few days before and I thought, "Oh, good thing I payed this. I almost missed it." I guess that is the problem with online bill pay. I have no evidence. I guess I really should print out the confirmation.

I also got a phone call from someone asking me to make a payment over the phone since I missed this last payment. I couldn't understand her very well but felt uncomfortable with the idea of giving away financial info over the phone to someone who called me so made the payment once I got home and could call in myself. The whole situation puts a knot in my stomach for some reason. Just seems fishy.

And I really really think I made my payment already...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Persistent Sales

The other day I had a strange call on my cell phone from a man named "Michael Vincent." He was nicely calling to follow up on the make money from home CE course I recently took. When I couldn't understand him, he repeated again how he was calling about the make money at home program. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about but he assured me I did. I kindly got him off the phone (END CALL) while he tried to persuade me that I really did know him and I really did sign up for this program. I think he even knew my name. ??? 213 area code.

He called me back 2 more times. My call log said:

call 4:39
missed call 4: 40
missed call 4:43

What nerve! Either that, of he really had a legitimate reason and couldn't talk clearly enough for me to understand. Has anyone had such pesky marketing schemes? And how did he know my name? I looked up the number on google and evidently I am not the only one to receive sketchy calls from this guy. Weird!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Morning

Growing up I always enjoyed celebrating Easter. My mom always made sure we had plenty of eggs to decorate and find. We would each get our own dozen hardboiled eggs to dye and find. To this day, I love the idea of having so many eggs at Easter you don't know what to do with. It seems in talking to friends we were one of the few to actually find real eggs rather than the chocolate or candy ones and to this day, as weird as I am, I prefer the real thing than the candy. (I'm not a big candy person at all. Cookie or brownie eggs would be another thing).

With all of the fun of Easter Activities, I often find I forget what Easter is really about. This morning I found this video that really touched me and made me extremely grateful for Easter. Please take a few minutes to celebrate the real meaning of this important day for mankind by watching as well.

Easter Video

I know that our Savior lives! I hope I can live like him more each day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I have a really silly problem. The flip cap on my current shampoo bottle is too hard to open. This is especially hard while I have wet hands and soft fingernails. Someone should have thought of the design and where the product will be used before making it so difficult. I get incredibly frustrated until I can somehow jam my fingernail under and hurt my finger, only to pop it open and let its sudsy goodness wash my dirty hair. I feel silly almost needing to call my strong husband in for help. Maybe it is child/Erin proof!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


It has been 2.5 weeks since the dental board exam. We are supposed to expect the results after 4 weeks although the examiners made it sound more like 2 -3 weeks. Today was the first day I half expected-hoped for it to arrive.

No luck.

I am torn thinking about the day it arrives. Logically, I am in the top half of my class and should have done just fine. But also, the test isn't very logical! I am crossing my fingers and praying (can God--or rather will He--change scores after the fact to magically create a pass while my letter is in the mail?) and hoping I wont have to retake the test.

The consequences of failing are so grim I can't imagine not passing. But I also can!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bicycle Safety

A close family member was hit by a car today while biking. The driver did not look carefully on the bike path for any fast on-coming bicycle traffic and pulled out just as the cyclist went to cross off the path and on to the road. Said biker ended up unable to stop in time and on the windshield of the car with the bike completely ruined. After an ambulance ride to the hospital and a short hospital stay, all was deemed okay minus some scrapes and large bruises. We are all very happy that our family member was okay! A scary time.

Please be careful and kind to bikers. I know it can be frustrating to get "stuck" behind a slowly moving biker, but it can be frightening to be intimidated by an impatient driver! It may slow you down a bit while you try to pass, but in reality, bikers are helping the community both by reducing traffic, pollution, wear and tear on the road, and hopefully in reducing healthcare costs through prevention. I am sad to hear how many threats and honks I get as a biker as well as having experienced being "hit" by a car mirror while hugging the shoulder.

If for nothing but your own safety, please watch sidewalks and bicycle paths carefully as you pull out into moving traffic or out of your drive way. While you may be watching the road for fast cars or the sidewalks for slow pedestrians, take an extra second to watch for quickly moving bike traffic on the side of the road or crossing into the road from a bike path.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eggs and Babies

Being an awesome visiting teacher (part of a social support system in my church), I was throwing a baby shower for one of my girls tonight at my house. When I say I am awesome, I really mean my partner is awesome and by throwing I mean, I said people could come to my house.

So, I cleaned my very best. I was about to start making 3 dozen devilled eggs. Then I got the girl came this morning!

I told her not to have the baby before the shower. She couldn't wait just a few more hours?

...I am glad I didn't make 3 dozen devilled eggs!

...I am also glad I cleaned my house.

Congrats Mom and Baby!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Doctor Doctor!

Your tax dollars hard at work. Who said we don't already practice socialized medicine?

2 months to go!

I'm back at school. I was really dreading it but although there are things about school that are frustrating or annoying, overall I enjoy being there. I guess I like to work hard and I like dentistry.

After about a 15 week absence, I am back in the clinic. Fortunately, I finished almost all of my big cases before I left at Christmas time. Unfortunately, this means I have very little to do now that I am back, and with a few glitches with patients (moving, not following through with treatment while I was gone, etc) even less to do than I initially thought. So, I have been working on initial exams with new patients all week and into next and probably the next. This means a very thorough and boring exam and cleaning that tends to take all morning or afternoon, with few points (something I am trying to get a lot of so when I reapply for residency I don't look like a senior slacker).

But...I only have 3 patients to finish (with less than 10 points each--less than one full appointment), 2 procedures, and about 400 points to go to meet my grad requirements. I am feeling good about that!