Category: Dental hygienist


Friday! Well that came quick!

I spent yesterday morning in a rage because Idiot at work makes me SO ANGRY. Actually it was an unfortunate chain of events.

  1. My first patient was strangely grumpy (I’m starting to see why people like to see the same hygienist every time they come as opposed to different ones…I’ve been getting back some of mine that had been seeing other hygienists and they all exhibit the same mannerisms that I’m not used to: usually chill patients are suddenly nervous, especially when I come to certain areas in their mouths, they tremble a little when I’m working, they’re impatient and intolerant. This is all in opposition to the ones that have remained on my schedule with me) and nervous. That makes my life much more difficult when patients don’t trust me and don’t readily give me full reign of their mouth. 
  2. My doctor was taking her sweet time. What’s the difference here? She does this often and it annoys the heck out of me. However…
  3. Idiot was busy doing her chair jump habit which meant that I have no extra chair to go to. Things were going OK because our 2 patients were in the waiting room together still.
  4. My patient’s wife was already being seen. I hate when couples come together. I really do. When one spouse is seen, it makes the other one really impatient, a what-about-me mentality. Stress level and anger level greatly rising.
  5. 15 minutes in, doctor has JUST started doing the exam. 
  6. Cue Idiot who despite the fact that she’s getting an exam done in another room goes to get her next patient back because the assistant is too nice and always cleans her room even though she’s constantly using both rooms. That leaves just my patient in the waiting room.
  7. Finally done with my exam, but now they’re standing there, just talking. 
  8. 20 minutes late. I run into the room and start speed breaking down. Very upset now because no one has any respect for my schedule in the least. And who’s going to clean MY room, huh? I have to do it myself.
  9. I head to the back and ready myself to come back, since I always make my tray while waiting, I go to grab it. IT’S NOT FREAKING THERE. Guess who decided to take it? AGAIN. Rage level is almost at breaking point. I grab the tray that’s not mine and run for it.
  10. I run back to my chair. My previous patient and doctor have made it to the door but are still talking. Clean clean clean, make sure to slam as many things as possible. Trying to vent as much of my anger and quickly as possible before I bring back the next patient.
  11. I go to get him, but my patient is STILL THERE AND BLOCKING THE DOOR.
  12. She opens it and continues to talk to my doctor. I see my next patient who has gotten up and is about to ask the front desk about his appointment. I raise my voice above my prior patient’s back and call him back before he can say anything. I’m pretty sure it comes out as a bark and a command.
  13. He strolls back and I’m struggling to bring down the rage inside me. We start the appointment quickly and luckily for me he does something unintentionally hilarious and it helps me calm down.
  14. Idiot has been spouting idiocy nonstop the entire appointment. I don’t have time to get more upset with it, but it keeps my anger and rage simmering. My patient is a great patient. Large mouth, easy to see.
  15. Finally I’m almost done, but the floss that was on the tray I very rarely ever use because it gets stuck on some people. Unluckily for me, I manage to fray it and get it stuck in 2 of his teeth. Anger and frustration return instantly and I’m unable to maintain my relative calm attitude. I carefully solve the problem, and then go back with regular floss and remove the frayed pieces stuck.
  16. OK, done, finally. Idiot is still not doing work at all, just yakking. I’m about to leave and wash my hands of it all because THANK GOD I made it through without killing anyone, when my patient turns to me and asks my name. Not an uncommon question, so I tell him. Then. Then. He asks me the questions I LOATHE, DESPISE, HATE people asking me: “No, what’s your REAL name?” I give him a blank stare and a “huh?” So he asks again, “What’s your Chinese name?” I knew it. I must have given him a withering look (I have my mask on so you can only see my eyes) because he starts to falter a bit. ONCE AGAIN, I’m struggling to control my anger (i can feel my hands shaking and my chest is going to burst) as I respond with a shrug that it’s my real name. So then he asks once more, “what’s your family name?” I pause again for effect and the snarl behind my mask. “Oh you mean my last name?” He says yes so I respond and  get the HELL OUT. With speed.

I am SO ANGRY so I find my closest target, friend coworker and start griping to her about it. Apparently I was getting loud because she told me my patient was looking at me and then told me to go eat cheesecake. I rush into the breakroom, find my other coworker and start venting again, this time I could care LESS who hears me, in fact I want her to hear me, the entitled ass cow. Another coworker arrives and they manage to calm me down by volunteering food. I start thinking about doughnuts and fries and instantly I’m calm. Crazy, huh? I was fine the entire rest of the day.


Bonked My Head Today

It has been a WHILE since I’ve knocked myself that hard on anything at work, but there you go! I was seeing my senior in HS patient so I had to play it cool, but by golly it HURT.

I was talking to my family about my fear of thunderstorms, and as it turns out, they were completely unaware of the magnitude of my fear. Really, it must borderline phobia or be the real deal. I can’t even help how my body responds to lightning and heavy rain in anticipation of thunder. Tachycardia, hypertension, increased respiration, diaphoresis. It’s bad in the car too, but the advantage I have there is that I have a goal to complete (ie, get home) so I’m more focused. My own family! Doesn’t know! Must have been hiding it well.

The A/C was screwy at work AGAIN so it was freaking HOT and humid all day long. It caused me to consider the possibility of naked dentistry. Can you imagine? HAHA. Had some good laughs with coworkers there. “Scoot closer in the chair towards me, please.” Rests boobs on large male’s head. “Welcome to our practice where the patient population is 90% male and 10% female.”  “I want that hygienist next time, heh heh.” OSHA would come down so fast and hard on us it would make our minds spin. Seriously, though, bare skin would have been amazing. And as I called it earlier in the day, A/C finally kicks in right after we finish our last patients of the day.

Which brings me to the main topic of this post: telling the future.

I’ve always had this uncanny ability to, well, know what’s about to happen. Over the years I decided that it’s not psychic abilities as being able to deduce well given the available information. Like, reading a situation and predicting the outcome. However, not all instances can be explained that way, such as getting a gut feeling that there’s a cop nearby, so be careful, or hmm I would usually go around this slow person, but let’s not do that today, and later wow I’m so glad I didn’t go around them or that could have been me! This is why I’ve learned to wholly trust my gut.

Even in my failed relationship, I’d been saying from the very beginning or knowing within myself what exactly would go wrong. When he got accepted into Fire Academy I was happy for him, but I was mostly overwhelmed by grief. Why? Because I knew that it was the end of us. That he would change to accommodate his new life. I even said as such in the poems I wrote him. And guess what? Even knowing that and trying so very hard to keep us together, it ultimately was what broke our glue. If I went back into my blog entries or poems or diary entries, I would be able to confirm that.

Just because you know the future doesn’t mean you can change it. When I bought the other house in the hopes of moving down there, I already knew I’d keep the house for about 5 years and then sell it. Unplanned to the year, but it will be 5 years since I bought the house that I plan to sell it. In a similar topic, I pretty much knew that my sister wouldn’t only be living there for a few months, but I hoped and hoped that because she is my sister that it wouldn’t be like I thought it’d be. Alas.

Why can’t I predict things like the lottery? So usually, it’s not big events that I predict with accuracy. It may sound all sketch and unusual, but you can ask the people around me about this ability of mine. Sometimes when I think about it, it’s kind of scary.

So how? I don’t know, but I have theories. It ranges from the spirit of my dead twin (we strongly suspect I had a twin in utero that didn’t make it) residing with me and whispering to me help through my life, to just being more in tune with the spiritual world than most people. If you’ve ever seen how spirit mediums work, they don’t actually get talked to in the sense that I’m holding a conversation with a person. They get a sensation, an idea, a vague image and occasionally a singular word will pop up. Sometimes I feel the same way: I get a notion, an idea, not really an image or words but an inkling. It’s hard to explain. This is why when I read people it’s not just body or tone but more than that. It’s a feeling. I assume that’s how dogs and animals work? Scientists would explain that maybe I’m more sensitive to electro-magnetic fields. I’ll be the first to put it out there and I’m not scared to admit that I believe in ghosts. I’ve experienced a few in my life. Even my vivid dreams sometimes I feel like are not my own. Sometimes I dream travel and have others travel into mine.

I initially thought M could sense it too, a strange phenomenon with males, because most mediums are female. Actually, I know he could sense it. That was one of the things that drew me to him: that he was very perceptive for a male. However, as soon as he opened himself up to the possibility, he shut it down HARD. Towards the end it certainly was NOT there anymore. I guess it can be scary if you’re not spiritually strong. In my opinion that’s how possessions happen. I believe that some people are spirit magnets. And it’s true, his spiritual strength is not strong. It exists but not enough. Gosh. In so many ways he has so much potential, but he doesn’t know it or doesn’t want to know it. He won’t open himself to it. That’s the worst to me; having the ability but fearing it so you beat it down and lock it up.

If you start opening your mind to this stuff, you need to be both mentally and  spiritually confident else something terrible happen. My spirit is unwavering so I don’t fear the potential attacks…at least so far. Granted I haven’t had to fight off anything crazy. Just my insane dad. My brother and sister don’t have it and are not in tune at all. Maybe that’s why animals like me? Balance. Calm. Without it, you lose control. Don’t give into the negative. Believe. With all your soul.

Why can’t I use it for lottery? Bluh. Actually, there was one time that I swore up and down that I’d found a million dollar winner scratcher. My entire being was convinced of it, but whenever I went to act on it, body shaking in anticipation, the button wouldn’t work to spit it out. WTF. I tried twice, weeks apart from each other. It never worked. And the feeling passed. That scratcher run ended soon thereafter.

Beh. I hope work isn’t a sauna again tomorrow. It’s unbearable and really takes a toll on me.



Cherry On Top

So on top of all these amazingly positive entries I’ve been posting, my status as the Grim Reaper, or Angel of Death, however you want to look at it, is still secure at work.

This makes…what…5 patients now that have died having been my last patient this year? That’s a rate of one patient a month for 2017. There are plenty more in the past, that I just didn’t think much about, but it’s become such a commonplace occurrence now that it really does start to bother me. Not just me, either, but my coworkers are starting to notice and light-hearted joking ensues. The worst part about 2017 patients, so far, is that most of them have been young. Like middle aged, not elderly. It makes it better when they’ve been sick or elderly, but two big ones come to mind that were sudden and completely unexpected.

I also have a couple patients now that I haven’t seen in a while and it’s starting to worry me. One patient a month ago I took the initiative to call because we hadn’t seen him in a while. Thankfully he was OK and came in soon thereafter to see us. That was fortunate but also a little scary because you can just imagine him, a regular, routine patient, just sitting at home in the dark waiting to die. For all we know that was the exact case. I already see most of the dementia patients, who we all know will expire at some point. Doesn’t make it better, though.

There’s a young squirrel on the tree outside my window looking for twigs to eat.

I understand that in this job, you will see people pass away, and every so often is OK, but it always seems to be after I see them. And I repeat, that my coworkers and bosses have really started to notice the pattern too.

My mom told me to look at it like I’m preparing them for their death journey. I already did that for Tristan the Doberman. Right after I had him with me, did his teeth, claws, gave him a bath, I also helped him leave this world.

Is there a spirit riding on me now? Will I be forever cursed? At least it’s not malevolent. Maybe I really am preparing. I always try to provide the most relaxed and calm environment to my patients, in a place where most people are extremely nervous.

…Who will take care of me, for once? I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing until then.

The Grim Reaper

So on top of being in a bad mood…or was the bad mood in anticipation of this…I just found out that another one of my patients has passed away. One that only I have seen. Very nice and finally started opening up to me. She was relatively young (60s) so I was snooping online but couldn’t find a reason. So depressing. Before we were sure I was looking on obituaries and my boss joked that I was obsessed with looking for deaths. 

I know it comes with the territory but it really never gets easier. You get emotionally invested in your patients. My consolation is that maybe I was able to give to them some happiness while they are in my chair…since most people fear coming to the dentist. 

I just wish my favorite patients would stop dying suddenly. Or patients just stop dying after they see me.

On a Roll

I’ve been on a roll this week, locating infections/abscesses. Let’s see how it holds up the rest of the week! Also, my boss has been extremely annoying. As my co-worker expressed, this is the kind of week that makes you want to look for another job. So I was checking out Craigslist yesterday morning and I remembered why I didn’t want to look for another job. That old problem I have where I feel like I should be working more hours is cropping up again. The ulterior motive there is that working interviews are the best for getting your foot in the door without having to job search. However, I absolutely hate temping and I’m still not sure how I feel about working more hygiene hours given my hands. If I did work the full 40 hours, though, I could afford the house that I want…a really good incentive. My body would hate me to kingdom come and it would allow me even less time to enjoy what I work so hard to acquire. It wouldn’t be too bad if I didn’t have dogs because I love spending time with them… I’m still extremely reluctant to give up my lazy life-enjoying lifestyle, but saving money would be really nice.

I couldn’t sleep this morning around 1:30-2:45ish AGAIN. Man last night…talk about polyuria. I’m not sure exactly why but I had to pee like crazy. I never have to do that! It’s not like I drank that much either. I swear I get abducted by aliens at night or something.

I’m a hasty person. I’m impatient. I understand this. I also understand that having patience in life is essential and things like to come about on their own time. However, there have been many instances where I’ve had to make the call and initiate things when they really aren’t moving. When it the right time to make a move? When is it not? That fine line is quite fine. Lying awake this morning my brain was just overwhelmed by how slow my life is moving. Nothing is happening at an ideal pace. Money is slipping through my hands faster than water through a sieve, house, relationships, time. While time is moving too quickly, it moves too slowly too. I have a long list of grievances that I’ve been holding in and know I should just keep waiting, but WHY?? …because it makes no logical difference to release it all. Nothing will change. Nothing CAN change until next year. Everything is stagnant. I feel like I’m an electron in a padded room trying to break free but running into obstacles from all sides…even if I make it past the door, it’s too early and can only mean disaster.

Being hemmed in, enclosed, incarcerated, only able to look out at things is the worst possible feeling for a soul like mine. Life doesn’t change, people don’t change, no progress is possible. UUUUUUGGGGGHHHH. My brain needs a challenge. Something to overcome and to focus on. A short term goal to stay preoccupied with. No one else has such an active mind like mine, in my life. I’ve worked on staying content my whole life, but like I’ve mentioned before it needs to break out. I need someone to help me with that. But the big problem there is I have too much to lose and can’t do anything too risky.

I’m going to go crazy. I need someone to help me. Where is my hero? When will he come?? Someone who understands me, understands this and isn’t intimidated by it, and rather knows how to channel it, to calm me down and help me utilize it. Without the need for too much money. Please come soon.


Day 1 after the power press system was chest pain, Day 2 saw tricep pain to the point that flipping my turn signal was painful, Day 3 (today…yes STILL in pain) is whatever the muscle going from my armpits to my elbow and pecs are. I didn’t work out last night because the pain was real haha. Whatever gain I thought I’d accomplished is NOTHING. Must continue to work hard to get this body into shape!! Need to find some leg workouts!

Today because we’ve had a record number of cancellations, no-shows, and people rolling in 30 minutes late despite the reminder system, I won’t be going into work until 11. Whoo! Also M is coming to get his teeth cleaned. :) I know he hates it, but like I’ve said in the past, it’s the people who are terrified and hate it but still come regularly that have my respect. On top of it all, he just got off shift work this morning around 6.

I think I’ve figured out why I have trouble sleeping at night sometimes: I’ve been ingesting lots more tea lately and as much as I like to think my caffeine tolerance (it’s just green tea…) has increased with age, I’m wrong.

Yesterday was very depressing to me at work. I come in and my co-worker comes up to me and tells me that one of my patients passed away. I quickly jump on the computer and it begins to grow clear to me who it is. I do a vigorous online search coming up empty for any obituaries, but managed to score a single picture of her on a Facebook account that has literally nothing but a picture. I’d already had an inkling of who it was but my heart sank heavily when it was confirmed who she was. She was only one year older than my mom…one of those patients that you’d have no doubt you’ll see again in 6 months. She working in a medical office, nurse herself, and I remember liking her a lot because every time she came in we would talk from beginning to end about things, like dogs…I think she had one. I tried to scour the internet again, but still nothing. I don’t think she as married or had kids as far as I know, and her sister called in the news. I couldn’t dwell on it, though, because I was working and needed to remain upbeat. The next blow came when my 3 month super sweet dementia patient comes in and it’s readily obvious that she has declined significantly. I JUST saw her 3 months ago. Cue more heart sinking. I almost couldn’t get her to open her mouth to take xrays. Her oral hygiene had tanked tremendously. The most interesting thing is that when I lay her back to do the cleaning, there was a moment when she reverted back to how I knew her, but the instant I sat her up again… I went out to talk to her daughter, discussing with her my observations and confirming that she has indeed declined… it was heartbreaking and I felt like a doctor coming out with bad news. Her daughter told me that she doesn’t know if this will be the last time we see her given her state, but is thankful that she has remained so very sweet. At this point I don’t know what’s worse: sudden death, or watching a slow trek there with no hope.

So very depressing, but the more you treat regular patients (and given how much time I spend with these people and even their families) the more this is a reality. I have others on my list that I haven’t seen and it worries me. Just like this patient, maybe there is no obituary and I’ll just never know. Sometimes we are all they have when they have no living friends or close family. Patients will see dentists much more often than their medical doctors and it’s tremendous, the level at which you can know one and connect.

It’s just scary the rate at  which our patients are passing from us. Count in Tristan the dog from last year and Gable’s death scare in January and I’m afraid these are all warm-ups to the first major death I’ll have to deal with in the near future…my grandpa is turning 90 this year. As one of my patients told me, I’m about the right age for experiencing death closely. I know it’s an inevitability, especially with old dogs and aging relatives, but…gosh it never gets easier.

Similar, but not so depressing, one of our most volatile patients (besides the doctor I’m the only one who’d been seeing him) has decided he likes me quite a bit. Oh MAN he went on and on about animals which is fine with me because that’s a subject I can go on about too. And if he’s not complaining at me about something that’s a major plus. I’ve grown to like him, myself, in a wary, hands off way, but he’s a prideful, prideful old man and for him to ask me how to accomplish something (in this case clean dog teeth) is extremely significant. It means that I somehow managed to earn his respect. Feels good. I’m sure one day I’ll say something wrong, but for now it’s good.

Ah healthcare. I never thought I’d be anywhere long enough to experience such a bond with my patients. Just like I never in a million years thought I’d make it in a romantic relationship with another person.

I guess I should go eat since I actually do have to go to work even if it’s later.


Bite Pressure

I had to work today because the snow wasn’t anywhere near what they had advertised. Bluh. I guess it’s for the better, but I wanted a snooowww daaaay. Plus I am very sleepy and my week is thrown off because I worked yesterday. I worked out tonight despite being so sleepy! I loved having M over, but when my routine gets thrown off like that, it’s just excuse-fuel. He was going to come over today just in case of ice, but the roads are pretty clear. There will be ice tomorrow, but hopefully not too bad.

Let’s stray from my recent ranty posts.

Today, I realized something interesting about myself…so when I floss my patients’ teeth, for some reason there are a percentage of people who feel that it’s helpful if they bite on my fingers–not just bite either, grind on them too. For several years I found it to be extremely annoying and uncomfortable, not to mention a hindrance. Today, I had another one, and I’m used to it by now so I don’t pay it much mind, buuuuut…once it was over, I found myself missing it. That’s when I realized…that I like it. Wow. I’ve gone from loathing it to loving it. I mean…I’ve always been a bit of a masochist and I certainly don’t mind a little pain. I play rough which means I should be able to take tough. Muscle pain from working out? yessss. Remember that game we used to play as kids? Strawberry Patch? I liked that too. And the flicking game. Jump rope welts? All yes. They hurt, but not in a horribly bad way… SoooOOOOoooOOooooOooooOooo…I’m eating dinner and I start thinking about it, which leads me to trying it out. I pick a finger, then another, to test my theory out. Different pressures on consecutive fingers. OMG. More, please. Patient’s never know they’re doing it which is why I don’t make a big deal, which means they’re conscious of not biting my fingers off. That means it’s just enough pressure to not hurt. There’s the climax pressure!

Accupressure, much?

Kind of creepy. Someone bite me. Just enough to not make it hurt.