March 12 1997

Dear Diary:

Weather today -- balmy (even at 12:45 am)
Mood today -- much better
Fly count for yesterday -- 0
HF Today -- 314%

Well, life is looking up again. After sleeping 14 hours and waking up with a migraine (which required further medical intervention), I'm feeling pretty good. My jaw is no longer trying to test my pain threshold (it won, hands down) and the migraine has abated for the moment. Thank you so much to all who wrote words of encouragement and comfort whilst I was battling the cracked-tooth demon. It's amazing to me just how many people there are out there who are scared of dentists. I'm still *mighty* bent out of shape at that first dentist guy, Dr. Brown (DR. MARVIN BROWN if you're in Ventura). I find it hard to believe he never once looked in my mouth yet still managed to provoke a panic attack in me the likes of which I haven't seen in years. I think if I were an underworld character, my specialty would be dentist assassinations.

When I got home last night from the emergency room (for the migraine), I tried working on my pages. It took me only three hours to add nine awards to my awards pages. LOL! I'll bet they're full of errors, too. After a couple hours of sleep I feel much better. I haven't had the nerve to go look at those awards pages yet. I'm afraid of what I'll find there.

The gaping hole in my teeth feels odd, but at least it's far enough back that when I smile it isn't apparent for all to see. I'm still rather dumbfounded at that first dentist, Herr Obergruppmeister Brown, who seemed to think that I could just get all the dental work I need done at once. Maybe *he* could afford to fork out four or five thousand dollars, but I sure as &*$^# can't. The single extraction was $143 and that was a very straight-forward procedure. Brown kept saying that there are cracked and broken teeth beneath a lot of my crowns (my original dentist was big on root-canals and crowns... at $500 a pop, who wouldn't be? Besides, he owned a large interest in the lab), and he (Brown) wanted to yank 'em all right then. Suuuuuuuuuure. Let me just write you a check for $15,000 okay, doc? Boing. Boing. Boing.

All I know is that if I have to have dental work done it the future, it will be done by Dr. Lau (K. Seek Lau for those of you in Oxnard/Ventura). He didn't try to convince me to deal with all the stuff that needs doing. He simply went about stopping the pain. And he had the tact to mention in a very lowkey manner that I could benefit from additional work. Now THAT is a dentist I can respect. *I* know I need lots of dental work done. I don't need some rabies-infested wide receiver who hasn't figured out that college is over to glue a list of what needs doing to my forehead. The hell with 'im. I'm tempted to call my dental insurance place and complain about him. And I am definitely going to set his receptionist chick straight. When I made the appointment, she assured me that fully 70% of Brown's clients are scared of the dentist and that he was kind, considerate, compassionate and used to dealing with those who are scared out of their wits to be there. WRONG! Apparently, these guys are required by law to enumerate everything they find in one's mouth that needs fixing. I called the receptionist just now and asked about that and asked why he couldn't have just been upfront about it and said, "Look, the law says I gotta tell you that you need x, y and z done. Now let's deal with why you're really here." The receptionist said that when it's presented that way, *most* folks get more uptight and angry. I guess I'm the weird one. I'd much prefer the pleasantries be saved for 'round the banquet table and that professionals would communicate with me in the most basic, straight forward, simplistic terms they have.

I guess part of what got to me, too, was when Brown asked me why I'm afraid of dentists. Okay, I can see it from his point of view: he wanted to be sure he didn't repeat the same mistakes and cause "flash backs" or whatever. But the very act of asking made me feel belittled, like I was stupid to be afraid. I told him it was the degradation and humiliation that bothered me, and he didn't understand. He kept prying and poking at it like a festering wound. It took all of about 30 seconds of that to reduce me to tears. Finally I jumped up and said, "just forget it" and yanked that damn bib off. My companion tried to restrain me and Brown said, "Let her go. She obviously has some things to think about. She'll be back." Oh, the gall. The EGO! Those words alone proved that I was right to be afraid. I think all dentists have to take 20 units in megalomania to get their licenses.

Then there is a dentist like Dr. Lau: small, unassuming, gentle, kind. He didn't list all the crap that's wrong in my mouth the way "the law" says he has to. Whether he chose to sidestep the law or whether Brown's receptionist is full of it, I don't know. I suspect he ignored the law, being shrewd enough to be able to read in my entire bearing that I didn't give a rat's ass about the law right then. I just wanted it to stop hurting. Call me racist, but one thing I've noticed about many Asians is that they *are* compassionate and know when to let the technicalities slide in order to get to the heart of the problem. My lover is Asian and this is one of the things about him I cherish the most. He lets the unnecessary stuff go, even at risk to himself, in order to make my own path easier.

My favorite cousin's husband is a dentist, though he's mostly retired now. I know he reads this page periodically. I hope he has a full schedule today and doesn't have time to read the dental raking-over-the-coals this diary is today.

I got an email this morning from a friend I've not known very long, but whom I feel a real bond with. She's just getting into the whole awards thing for homepages and is valiantly trying to chase down one particular award, which shall remain nameless. Granted, this award is one I lusted after, too. But the bestower is giving her so much flak and making her jump through so many hoops! I'm about to hand in my own copy of the award in protest. He has forgotten, apparently, that it is *her* page. He's requested one change after another to it and still is not satisfied. I can see the handwriting on the wall on this one: she's going to change her page to the point where it isn't *her* page anymore and still get turned down for the award. Call me naive, but I still believe awards should be based on a combination of visual appeal and content. Her page is both visually very attractive and the content is terrific. This guy is being *so* nitpicky. First he didn't like the fact that she outlined buttons with tiny little tables to make them stand out more. Now it's something else (I forget what). Okay, yeah, it's his award and he has the right to bestow it on whomever he sees fit. But geez.... either give her the danged award or just say no! I try to be fairly selective in whom I give awards to, and I would be proud to have my award (any of my awards) displayed on her site. In fact, she's going to be receiving some of them today. :) I guess I'm just on a rant about cybersnots at the moment. If this guy continues to hassle her, though, he's gonna get my copy of his award sent back to him and his name published for all to see.

Have you noticed that since my rant about shoving Christianity down my throat, that every other person who signs my guestbook is intent on converting me? And you should see the email I'm getting! Okay all you folks out there who have decided I'm your personal redemption case: from now on I'm notifying your ISPs that your harrassing me. Now I have asked you nicely to stop trying to proselytize to me and it didn't work. In fact, it made matters worse. Be warned: I *will* notify your ISPs and I *will* follow through with whatever methods I have at my disposal to keep you from hounding me. I have my own set of spiritual beliefs and they are every bit as sacred and as worthy as your own. I haven't come to your pages and preached to you and I'm not about to. Religion/spirituality is something which is very private, and it's between me and God. If you don't like that, tough tiddlywinks. Any more entries in my guestbook about how much Jesus loves me and will forgive my transgressions, and any more emails to the same effect, and I'm writing to your ISPs. Got it? Go spend your time and energy where it really needs to be spent: on the so-called "Christians" who kill doctors because they disagree with abortion. "Thou shalt not kill." Ever read that? What about "Thou shalt not judge." Does that one ring a bell? I don't judge you for choosing Christianity as your religion; stop judging me for choosing a different path. I'm *real* tired of it, and the more you preach and proselytize to me, the less likely I am to ever take you or anything you have to say seriously. If Jesus wants me to be one of his followers, then he'll let me know. Don't you think he can do that if he chooses? Do you honestly believe that if God wants me to be Christian, there is anything that could stand in His way of making it happen? You have no faith in your own God!

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Copyright (c) 1997 Elaine M. Jordaan

This page last updated April 29, 1997