Went to the lake this weekend – to the annual women’s retreat held by our church women up at Kinesao. Had a few visitors too from Saskatoon so on Saturday we were about 30 for the day. The hardy ones who stayed for the overnights (in heated comfortable accommodations) were about half that number. And the weather was absolutely gorgeous. I stayed in a cabin about 2 minutes away from the main lodge. We had to walk back and forth for showers and the events but we slept better I think. We didn’t have to put up with rowdy women making shadow pictures on the ceiling. Lots of talking, a good speaker and games and puzzles if you wanted. I learned that Jodine is pretty fanatical about puzzles – once she starts one there is no stopping till it is done. We had to drag her away to eat. The only thing she is more fanatical about (well maybe not the only thing) is her hubby Lowell – lucky guy.
Saturday afternoon was free. I went on a long trek through the woods to the west of the camp thinking if I headed towards the north I would run across a ski trail. I didn’t. But there are a lot of rabbit trails back in the bush and eventually I came back out to the road. The rabbit burrows and trails were everywhere but other than that I didn’t see more than just scat. I did startle a prairie chicken down by the lakeshore and saw a couple different kinds of birds. The afternoon walk was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. I needed that alone time out in nature. Seems I connect to God out there. Maybe it is the beauty – a pale reflection of his glory but maybe all I can stand. Anyway there he was and we spent some needed time together.
The theme of the weekend was friendship. It sounds like a “woman’s sort of theme. But there is really nothing better than trusted friends – and some of my best friends were there.
I couldn’t believe it – today a patient came in and wanted me to fill out forms for his short term disability at work. He is one of those guys that goes in to a northern mine one week, comes out the next week. He also lives way up north.
He had a toothache so decided to finally get the offending tooth extracted. You know – a few days of really bad pain, I could understand. That could maybe disable you. Getting a tooth knocked out – maybe that would disable you. But the time you should expect to be off work – well maybe that same day. Maybe you could stretch it out to two days. But applying for disability insurance???? I asked him how long it had been bothering him. “Oh, off and on for about three years.” I wrote that down.
Well weird things get approved sometimes.
Today was one of those long tiring days when I wonder what on earth I am doing working more than 40 hours a week at my age. One of those days when it felt a bit like running in one of those hamster wheels.
Sometimes sedating children feels like I am really helping them. The dental work gets done in a relatively efficient way and I know they will not remember a bad experience. Most of this mornings cases were pretty good this way. But for two of the five kids – it was not fun at all. I know they will not remember because of the drugs. It is good to focus on that fact at times.
One child just happened to have a bit of a chest cold. We ask but that doesn’t mean the mother has to tell us. So in we go to do a couple of fairly involved fillings. She was really mellow and that was good; just how we like them to be. Then as we began to fill her mouth with things – like a rubber bite block and a dental dam as well as fingers from two hands – she started to have a bit of trouble handling the phlegm in the back of her throat. Suction – work. Suction – work. Not everything that we wanted to do got done. But she was fine. It will be about four to six months till we can get her in for more work. We are too booked up. Which means there are too many kids needing dental work at the ages where sedation is the only option besides a general anesthetic.
The second “difficult” child was young – just two, but a good sized chunk of a kid. He was not mellow! Not at all. And by the time we froze his four upper front teeth(stubs) he was fairly irritated. He began to cry – not a nice you’ve got to feel sorry for me cry. A screaming bloody murder get me out of here now kind of cry. And he kept it up for the whole two hours he was in the office. Moreover he bit me – as hard as a two year old can with only sharp little lower incisors against my fingers holding the gauze against his bleeding empty upper incisor sockets.
Some kids graduate to the Operating Room list from our sedation list after a morning like today.
There has been a lot crammed into the past few days. Not much time was left for blogging. And I do share a computer with “the boss”. He’s been home and busy perfecting the lectures he will be giving in French over the next few days. It has been so nice to have him back for a few days that I won’t complain too much about limited access to the computer.
Saturday was shopping day and family reconnection day. The shopping part was good – we got the dresses needed for grad for my two daughters who are going as dates for grad. Their older brother thought that the word “escort” did not have a good ring to it – not for his little sisters. The dresses are beautiful and sparkly – just what was wanted. And the price was just in the range I wanted – both for under $100.
We (my kids, spouses and friends) then went for an early supper at Red Lobster. Our treat of course! Then over to the Fox and Hounds for the great northern Saskatchewan blogger meet-up. You can read and see photos of it here, and here and here. Becky has all the links for the bloggers there which is great ’cause there were some folks whose sites I had not visited before.
Sunday was a full day too. Church in the morning. A couple of good things going on there. One – I did not bomb out on the song I played alone on the recorder. May sound crazy but I find that if I don’t take time to offer my playing as worship to God I am really shaky on it. I know that perfection in my playing is a long way from what I can achieve but I do want people not to be distracted from their worship of God by my mistakes.
The second good thing for me was something Randall said in his talk to us. He talked about how God leads us up to the thing that is before us to do much like he must have led Moses up to the shores of the dead sea. We are faced with these things we are challenged to do for God – or things we need to face in faith. We may be afraid and turn away, unable to exercise our faith in that moment. But as we keep on seeking God, God will bring us back to that point again, gently guiding us to take that step out into what for us may be the total unknown; not pushing us off the edge into the sea before us but there urging us to step out in faith. God wants to show us his power; what he has planned for us if we can take that step forward, totally trusting him. This is what I remember from the sermon – the part where God was really talking to me anyway, mostly because I see that I have been at the brink of an opportunity before that I just could not do – my faith was not great enough. And now God seems to have brought me back to this place of needing to step out again into a place of obedience. I don’t want to turn from the challenge this time, hard as it may be to act as I know I need to do.
Then there was The Notebook. An afternoon at the movies. A bit close to home emotionally for me. It is a story of love in spite of Alzheimers. A bit romanticized and cleaner and nicer than what it is really like. Mostly it is just sad and frustrating and sad. And the end does not come when one wishes just because of love. But love does carry us along, holding us together in spite of the insult of this horrible disease.
And today – for me a day off. Haven’t done anything too useful yet. But I did have lunch with my favorite man. Heard his laments about his computer at work – it won’t let him in and he has e-mails he needs to get before he leaves again for the French connection of his lecture tour.
So today Randall pointed out to me that I am not as free saying what I want to say on my blog as I was at the beginning. He’s right. I know too many of the readers and I am an inoffensive person in general. Just having a place to shout out what I am feeling doesn’t work so well anymore. I don’t know if I am protecting myself or protecting the people around me who might be mentioned on here from time to time. Even if I don’t use names I know most of you are smart enough to figure out when I am talking about you(now don’t get paranoid – it’s not always you). And I am more careful when talking about my kids. I don’t want them to get thrown in jail or anything!! Even when they do stupid stuff and I would like to throw them in jail – or kill them and get thrown in jail myself.
But maybe I need to get back to that kind of honesty I was free to use back at the beginning. Maybe it is OK to let others see what a fool I am sometimes. Or what I struggle through and how I struggle through it and how much I am weak and have to rely on God for help.
In all honesty, one of the reasons I have toned down is that I do not want to offend people. I find I can do that all too easily and then I have to deal with the apologies to the offendee – and for me that is extremely hard work. I guess it is easier to live on a superficial level in terms of looking like Ms Nice. Till I blew up at home from bottled up tension.
It was easier to sit in the pew on Sunday looking like Ms Good. But looking good while enduring loneliness on the inside is not really living. It is funny how as I grow deeper in my faith I find I need people more. You’d think that I would need God more and people less but it doesn’t seem to work like that. I am more and more convinced that we were created to have relationships in order to be healthy; a relationship to God and relationships with friends and a community to which we are accountable.
I know that I am vulnerable and that sometimes I am afraid to show what I am really like to people around me. They know me – to a certain extent – and I want them to like me. Maybe that is why this blog was such a good place for me to express myself at the beginning. I didn’t much have anyone to impress or offend. That freedom was good for me.
Maybe I’m at that point where I need to take back some of that freedom. I need to have a forum to express my thoughts – and that is what they are. Not necessarily profound. Not necessarily correct. But I think I would like to get back to honesty and openness.
So I guess we’ll see.
And having thoughts implies that the brain is functioning – right? I sometimes think that mine has to function on partial power. The cells could have recharged last night if my kid who comes home in the middle
(later than 1am) of the night didn’t have this harebrained need to grill up a steak on the indoor grill. Or to have a friend call him at 1:30 when I was in the deepest part of my REM sleep. He did get a small piece of my mind when he came home from work a few minutes ago. I think those were the brain cells that died from being startled awake. But he did go and scrub the grill.
My last patient of the day was only seven. I had seen him about 8 months ago, did an exam then and fixed a few of the many really rotten teeth this kid had. Then he missed appointments and did not return. Till today. Today he came in – brought by his dad. He has three badly infected teeth. It seemed evident from the dad that the teeth were really hurting him. So we froze one of the teeth – the worst one and got ready to take it out.
The freezing part went just fine. Then he started to cry. He wanted out of there bad.
He just seemed like such a miserable little kid. I mean he looked fine on the outside but when he started to cry he was pitiful. His life, according to him, sucks, his family sucks and he started talking about going home and committing suicide. The reason was that no one in his family ever gave him good presents – or so he said.
A seven year old should not be talking about suicide. The word should be foreign to him.