Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pajama Day

This may be the word’s shortest blog post…

The reason why is because I need a pajama day.  Pajama Day is when you stay in your pajamas (and maybe even in bed) all day not because you’re sick… just spent.  I think everyone feels this way sometimes but whether they acknowledge it is a different story.

When you are a creative person (writer, artist, musician… whatever) it becomes obvious pretty quickly when you have reached this state.  The ideas may be there swirling around but the act of actually bringing them to fruition seems suddenly daunting and impossible.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is just stop.  Animals do this naturally.  When Chauncy and I get home from a walk, he’ll plop down right in front of the front door for as long as he needs to.  He doesn’t worry about getting anything done …or even being in the way.  He just does what he needs to do in that moment, nothing.

Next time you feel frenzied, just stop.  Give yourself permission to do nothing.  It doesn’t have to be for a whole day.  Try an hour or even five minutes… See what happens.  You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens next…

Love and blessings to all,


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Naturally Beautiful: What does it mean?

This one is not so easy for me…

A week or so ago a video of Dustin Hoffmann went viral in which he described his experience of being perceived as a woman while prepping for his role in Tootsie.  It was very moving because he broke down when he realized that he couldn’t look as beautiful as he wanted to.  He realized that, as a woman, he would be passed over based on his appearance, despite being an interesting and worthwhile person in so many ways.  He realized that he, himself, had done that to many women who did not meet his physical requirements of beauty.

I found this particularly moving because I‘ve been struggling somewhat with my appearance since my top eight front teeth were damaged in March.  A friend of mine inquired about my “love life” recently, I sort of snorted and replied, “Hahahhaha, it would take a very special or very un-special man to look past my banged up grill.”

The funny part about all this is I am not a fussy gal.  Before this happened, you were just as likely to see me in sweats and no make-up, as you were to see me done up.  I’ve never been a perfect specimen but I was pretty and had learned over the years that I cleaned up well when I wanted to.  I just didn’t worry about it.  Now I do.  I am much more careful about putting myself together because I don’t feel like myself without my smile.  I wear a decent appliance that covers my missing front tooth but when I start to smile, I can feel my top lip getting close to the top edge of the device and I quickly yank it back down.  It really sucks being this self-conscious all the time.  And before I had the appliance, I did notice a difference in the way people reacted toward me.

I do know one special guy who never makes me feel self-conscious about the way I look, my dad.  A few weeks ago, he had to have a tooth pulled.  My dad is a handsome guy but he had a completely different attitude about it.  He made pirate noises and seemed to get a kick out of flashing his space at my mother.  He started referring to himself as Big Gap and me as Little Gap.  “You call that a gap, Cindy.  That’s not a gap.  This is a real gap!” He even convinced me to take this photo.  No small feat.  It is the first one since I fell.

Big Gap and Little Gap

I am not sure I can be as laid-back about my damaged teeth as Dad is, but this dental reconstruction is going to be a long haul and the final result is not guaranteed.  Soon I will have to wear braces for the first time in my life.  So, I realize it would be a good idea to figure how to handle the situation with grace and humor.  Maybe that is the most natural beauty you can acquire.  I haven’t got it all figured out yet but I am so grateful that I have Dad to light the way for me.

Love and blessings to all,


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Being (a) Patient: The Long and Bumpy Road

When you have an injury or illness that requires a long plan of treatment, you’re probably going to hit the wall more than once.  At least that’s been my experience thus far.

I have been having one of those weeks where I was starting to feel like the 10 steps I went forward in May to get my smile back…well, I fell back seven.  When you have 4 doctors (or in my case dentists: a periodontist, a prosthodontist, an orthodontist and an oral surgeon,) they aren’t always going to agree on everything.  I also found out it would be a miracle if I don’t end up with any pink porcelain (which is used to simulate gum tissue when there has been bone and/or gum tissue loss.)  And some of the people who are closest to me are sick of hearing about my teeth after four plus months and think I should stop seeking out the holy grail of treatment plans and just get on with the fuckin’ work already.

Can’t really blame ‘em there.  I am sick of it too.  I would love to just get on with the treatment already but I am also terrified.  I have felt like I have been putting a puzzle together in the dark since I fell.  Whenever I think I have all the pieces together, a light flashes on just long enough to reveal that something isn’t quite right yet.

I have made progress for sure.  I managed to avoid the plates and screws that the residents at the hospital wanted to put in my jaw.  I found a great oral surgeon who set my jaw and saved the other three teeth; they wanted to pull in the hospital.  I nixed the treatment plan that would have left me an 8 tooth bridge from upper premolar to premolar, as well as, the douche-bag perio who said it was my only option.  Thankfully, I’ve found a skilled team who can deliver on keeping me in all separate teeth.

So, what’s the problem then, right?  Four millimeters is the problem… four fuckin’ millimeters of vertical bone loss above my missing central incisor (or right front tooth to you and me.)  Between my body growing it and the bone graft(s), I need to gain 4mm (and have plenty of gum tissue) in order to avoid pink porcelain.  Is pink porcelain that big a deal?  Well, when you have a high smile line or a somewhat gummy smile like I do, it’s going to show.  I keep flashing on an image of a youngish Wayne Gretzky with his pink-topped crowns.  I couldn’t figure out why his upper gum looked like it had a squiggly dark line running through it at the time.  Now, I know it was pink porcelain.

My prosthodontist is an artist and I am sure even if pink porcelain is required that I won’t look like an ice hockey-player by the time he is done but, you know, I also will do everything in my power to make sure I gain those four fucking millimeters!

What experiences have you had as a patient?  How did you overcome them?  Is there anything you wish you had done differently looking back now?

Love and blessings to all,


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Competitive Eating… Really?

I was driving home from Bellport on the Fourth of July when NPR announced the winners of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.  Joey “Jaws” Chestnut ate 69 hotdogs including buns in 10 minutes to take the men’s title.  My immediate reaction was “that’s disgusting.  How could someone do that to his body?”  The female winner, Sonya Thomas, downed 36.75 franks.  I was silently blech-ing in my head and wondering what is wrong with society.

Then the announcer said something that floored me: Sonya Thomas, aka the Black Widow, only weighs 100 pounds!  This did not jibe with my preconceived notion of what someone who would enter an eating contest would look like.  That evening, Missy Conn, who had seen the event on T.V., explained to me on Facebook that many competitive eaters “train like athletes” and “they have to be thin, so their stomachs can expand.”

Missy’s tidbit sufficiently blew my mind enough to check out the The Black Widow’s website.  In her FAQ section, she explains that she stays thin because, “These competitions and eating events occur but once or twice a month. They are the exception–not the rule. “   She also mentions that she generally eats healthfully: “lots of fruits, vegetables, rice, seafood, and chicken–not too much fried food. I sometimes enjoy sweets, but only in moderation.”  Thomas also does a two hour aerobic workout five days a week.  That explains how she stays so thin but is it still safe and healthy to stuff so much food in your body in such a short time span?

Major League Eating, the governing body that oversees these competitive eating contests, does have safety standards (or eludes to them on their website anyway):

MLE will not sanction or promote any events that do not adhere to proper safety regulations and the league believes that speed eating is only suitable for those 18 years of age or older and only in a controlled environment with appropriate rules and with an emergency medical technician present.

To me this roughly translates into them doing everything they can to make sure no one dies during a competition but does nothing to address what this rapid and mass consumption of processed food does to the human body.  After poking around a bit, I found a Huff Post article from last year in which Dr. David C. Metz, a professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that these over-eating competitors seem to have the ability to relax their stomachs, thus allowing them to expand well beyond the capacity of most humans.  They can consume roughly double what I could before having the urge to vomit.

Since most people do not have this stomach-capacity-expanding ability, it’s important that they don’t try it.  Metz is quoted in the article: “Not to mention, there are tremendous risks associated with stuffing the stomach to its capacity, even just one time — like rupturing the stomach, he says. “Make sure the public knows not to try this at home.”

While I am still disgusted that competitive eating contests exist, I have to stop short on saying that they shouldn’t.  The reason is I admire the passion these competitors have for their …um, “craft.”  The Black Widow states, “I want to be the # 1 competitive-eater in the world, period!”  That’s commitment! I love to see people pursue their dreams.  Everyone has to go with his or her own gut no pun intend- …well, okay maybe a little intended…

What are your thoughts on competitive eating?  Good clean fun or the contemporary versions of the food orgies that created the ancient vomitoriums?

Love and blessings to all,


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