Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thank God for Care Credit

**This blog is not sponsered by CareCredit or Synchrony Financial and is solely my personal opinions.
 

 I need to start off by saying...thank GOD for Care Credit!

I was talking to a fellow coworker after work today about this. She said that anytime someone hands her a Care Credit card to pay for their procedure, she smiles. Why? Because her dog just had to have a tumor removed and, without this payment source, they probably would not have been able to do so. 

...and had it not been for this credit card, I would've wiped my savings account clean with the Haley fiasco thus leaving me at a loss when it comes to what will be going on with Lola ( I'll blog about that later this week when the results come back... ) 

Care Credit is a healthcare-based credit card that it helpful in numerous cases. Once you're accepted, you can use it at participating doctors, dentists, vets, and various other health care services.  

One of the best features is that for more expensive procedures, a lot of offices have "promotional offers" for free-or-low interest up to so many months.

Without this option, I would've had to pay $6500 out of pocket immediately for Haley's misdiagnosis and surgery. I would've had to pay $334 unexpectedly for a vet bill I assumed would be less than $200. And, if I chose to, I could use it for Lola's procedure...but I've decided not to abuse it if I have the funds. 

Of course, people worry about approval. I wasn't too worried about being approved because I've really focused on building my credit these last few years and have worked damn hard to do so. But if you are coming upon a medical expense that you aren't sure you can afford, you can go to the website to see if you are pre-approved prior to your appointment. Even if it's just for a small amount, something is definitely better than nothing.

And like I told Nate, I could use Care Credit for a breast reduction if I decided. It can be used at the chiropractor. It can be used for Lasik surgery! But you want to make sure that your provider accepts Care Credit before anything. And ask them if they offer any promotions! 

I also learned after the second vet bill that you CAN have multiple promotions on your card. Although you only make one payment a month towards it and they automatically apply it to the promotion that ends the earliest, you can call to have that sum allotted to each charge: meaning that if you pay $300, you can apply $60 of that to one charge and the other $240 to the other. That way you are paying down both charges at the same time and one doesn't have to suffer over the other. 

Yes, it sounds a little complicated but if you need to see the dermatologist for a mole you just can't stand anymore or you are sick and tired of glasses...or your dog suddenly gets sick or you really need a readjustment...there's always Care Credit to fall back on.

It has definitely been a saving grace for me and I'm so thankful to have it as an option!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dumbing Down Dental Implants

UH OH!

So, you went for your 6 month ( or year...or first-visit-in-a-while ) check-up at your dentist's office...and they tell you that your tooth is bad. SHIT! Now what?

Hopefully for you, it's not a visible one. Then, at least you won't have to worry about "walking around with a missing tooth" ( there is a temporary fix for that, though, that I will go over briefly ) But it does happen. Heredity, hygiene techniques and diet have a lot to do with how our teeth behave for us. And unfortunately, sometimes that really sucks.

My last two jobs focused on dental implants in their practices. So what I'm going to do today is answer some of the questions people may have about dental implants and what they are. And, as always, comments and questions are welcomed if I don't cover something that you've wanted to know.

comfortscaredentalshermanoaks.com  

So what IS a dental implant?

If you take a look at the picture above that I found on another dental office's page, you will see 2 images. The first image is what we specialize in--the dental implant. A dental implant is a titanium "root" that is placed to replace a tooth that has been previously extracted. What you see sticking just slightly out of the gum tissue is called a healing abutment, which has the sole purpose of keeping the gum from growing into the implant.

You see, a dental implant is hollow on the inside about halfway down the post--this is because there are interchangeable parts to the implant from placement to full restoration, so we need to keep that "hole" safe from tissue overgrowth, schmutz and food particles.  

A good amount of people ask me, "Will I leave the office with a tooth?" and the answer is no. The process of dental implants from start to finish takes numerous months and 2-3 "stages". The very last stage is permanent restoration which is pictured in the second image. That is the stage where your general dentist will cement on a permanent crown which then cannot be removed. Unfortunately, you will NOT leave ( our office, at least ) with a full tooth that day. 

Dental implants are a good idea for many different cases:

Agenesis, or hypodontia, is when a patient doesn't develop certain teeth. With the help of orthodontics ( braces ), space can be made in the mouth to place an implant where a tooth never developed.

A tooth has abscessed ( became infected ) and needs to be removed, but you do not want to live without said tooth.

Sometimes patients find it a better option to have a tooth pulled rather than go through the headache of having a large cavity filled/a crown placed/root canal therapy/trying to fix a tooth that they can't guarantee will last them much longer. 

Implants are also used for edentulous ( no teeth ) patients as stabilizers for dentures. That way, instead of having to use pastes and constantly worry about loose dentures, they snap on to implants as to stay in place.

Now I'm going to go through a quick run-down of the process of dental implants from the surgical end--please also be aware that these our the steps in OUR office, so opinions are not of ALL oral surgery offices!:

Stage 1 is where we extract the tooth and place a bone-grafting material in the socket. No, we don't take bone from a donor source on your own body; it's sterilized materials from a bank. Grafting is done mostly to larger teeth like your molar areas due to the fact that once a tooth is extracted from that area, well, you have a big hole. And you can't successfully fill a big hole with a little implant. So the grafting is done to promote your body to grow bone in that hole; without it, the hole will begin to kinda "cave in" on itself, thus leaving nothing good to put an implant in to. Do we graft the other teeth? Sometimes. Do we have to ALL the time? No. Everything is done on a case-by-case basis.

...but if we do place grafting material, we allow it to heal for at least 3 months before moving forward.

Sometimes we can get away with doing what is called an "immediate implant". This means that once the tooth is extracted, everything else looks good around the hole and the hole is small enough to place an implant right away. We usually still put a little bit of the bone graft around the implant to fill in the space, but when we are able to do it this way it shaves 3 months off of healing time and gets you a crown a lot faster. This is not a valid option in all cases, though...

But if an immediately placement is not an option for you, once the graft heals and an xray determines that we have adequate bone, we move to stage 2: placing the implant.

Whether asleep or awake, the gum area is numbed where the implant will be placed. The tissue is reopened to expose the bone we just grew. A "pilot hole" is then made in the bone with the handpiece and, with the use of X-Guide Navigation, the implant is drilled and placed. It's kinda like laparoscopic surgery but for implants, is how I explain it. Once the implant is placed, we put on that healing abutment and you usually get a few stitches. And that's that.

When people hear the words "dental implant" they automatically assume it's a lot of pain; but actually, dental implants usually hurt a lot less than an extraction of a tooth!

Once the implant is placed, we allow THAT to heal an additional 3 months--thus making the process ( on OUR end ) about 6 months long. Of course, each person heals differently so it can be slightly longer, but usually 6 months is adequate. And if the tooth is a tooth you're worried about not having for 6 months, your general dentist can make you what is called a flipper, which is a temporary "partial denture" to mimic a tooth while the area is healing. Each office will charge a different fee for a flipper, but it's usually a few hundred dollars...

When the implant has healed the 3 months, we do a quick test by torquing the healing abutment to make sure the implant does not move. This shows that the jaw bone has integrated with the implant and is ready to be restored. 

The reason we wait to have your general dentist make a crown for your implant until this final check is because each crown is made SPECIFIC for that case. Even with technology, if something is redone even a millimeter different, the crown will not fit...thus leaving you to have to purchase a whole new crown! We want to make sure everything is as it should be before you begin the process of restoration.

If everything looks good at the final check, we give the OK to go see your dentist and they will go through the process of getting a crown put on your implant for you.

I know that this is a lot of info and it's probably not "dumbed down" as much as I'd planned ( it's hard to do that when you understand the process, apparently... ) but that's why I strongly advise you to educate yourself, have consultations/second opinions if necessary, and research all your options. Each office operates differently, charges different fees and, well, has a different "feel" to them. If you speak to a doctor and don't like their vibe, go elsewhere. Price shop. Look at their reviews on Google and Facebook. And please!...never go to a "same day" dental implant office! It may sound better, but it's not. 

There's a process for a reason. And you get gut feelings for a reason, too. Go with both of them when it comes to your body and your health ❤ 



  

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What I Threw Together

Sometimes, I get lazy.

...okay, a lot of times I get lazy...

...and after waking up early, working all day and then going to the gym, I don't really feel like making dinner.

But a bitch gotta eat! ( and Nate... )

Chicken is a staple in our house and we eat it quite frequently, so sometimes it's hard to come up with "new" ways to make it. So in turn, I get creative ( and...lazy ) Then we get things like this:


( looks pretty good, right? ) 

This is what it is:

*chicken boobs
*green peppers
*white onion
*jalapeno

Yup!...that's it.

I had chicken marinating in teriyaki for, like, a day a half. Grandma ended up having dinner one day during the week, so chicken took the back burner. Usually when I don't have a specific meal planned, I just throw chicken breasts in a Tupperware with some kind of marinade ( Aldi usually has some good ones for less than a $1 a bottle! ) So I thought, "What can I throw in with this chicken to  use for a *side*?"

Well, Doc gave me a bunch of jalapenos, green peppers and chili from his garden. I decided that since I like green peppers and Nate likes jalapeno, that I would just throw all of that under the chicken ( with some onion for good measure ) Threw that sucka in the oven on 425* for about 30 minutes ( covered ) and there you have it!

BUT!

...I didn't realize how much the jalapeno was going to taint everything else. Because holy shit were the vegetables SPICY! Also, after making it, the chicken should have been on the bottom because ALL the juice from the chicken went downward and none of the chicken got jalapeno flavor. 

Yes!...I know I mixed Asian with Mexican...but this was all just thrown together, okay?!

I think I made rice or something on the side, but for an impromptu healthier dinner, it wasn't half bad.

It's better than Ramen noodles!!! LOL!



 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Baby Daddy Bullshit

Sorry for the crickets. There's only a few weeks before school starts so, in the oral surgery world, that means I don't get to breathe for about 3 weeks. Lack of energy and constantly being on the go, I haven't made time to sit and write. Which is ironic since it's so therapeutic. Anywayyyyys...

I had a few ideas for topics to write today, but since my plans were made and then cancelled due to stupid baby daddy bullshit, let's talk about that for a bit.

First and foremost, I do not understand how a parent can deny their child or children...EVER.

I started seeing a new therapist. I had my "entrance appointment" last time I saw her, where I have to give her a rundown of my background. I haven't spoken to my mom in about 17 years, as you've probably read before. When mom said dad had to fly us both ways or "we are stuck down there", that scared us--we didn't want to live in Florida anymore. So what did we do?...we didn't go. Then as pre-pubescent girls, we would be out running around the neighborhood whenever she called, spending time with kids our age and having fun...so then it became, "Why do I even bother calling? They're never around to talk." So...then the calls decreased, until they eventually stopped. 

Since when is it the responsibility of the child(ren) to maintain a relationship with their parent?!?!

To this day, I feel that our mother resents us for "choosing our dad over her" and for not continuing a relationship with her, when in all honesty it is the responsibility OF THE ADULT to continue being a parent to the KIDS!

When did shit get so messed up?!?!

Life happens, and shit gets hard--but when do your kids get to start being an option instead of an obligation?!?!?!

...they shouldn't. Ever.

Plans to go to Bingo have changed today because a certain baby daddy bailed on getting his two children. After being incarcerated for years for drugs and theft and missing out on so much of his children's lives, his excuse for not getting them?: "I don't have the gas to meet you for them". Wow.

How does a decent father go from 10 to 1 like that?! 

I feel like people have their priorities are SORTS of fucked up these days, and kids are just a commodity; left in the ruins of man-children and spiteful women to use as their own pawns for games they never agreed to play in. Mommy hates daddy, daddy hates mommy, let's use the children as a means to hurt each other and make them endure the collateral damage. Do you know what this shit causes in these children?

Lack of self-esteem.

Feelings of neglect and not being wanted.

Bad behavior.

Shyness and fear.

Lack of healthy communication skills.

Emotional anger.

Co-dependency and fear of abandonment.

Kids are smarter than you think and they pick up on things far more often than what you may assume. And if they know that daddy was planning on getting them and, all of a sudden, he's not--what do you think those children are thinking? That daddy doesn't love them or want to spend time with them.

I'm not sticking up for one sex over the other; I'm simply writing this viewpoint due to the events of today. Also, because this isn't a "once in a while" situation--there's always an excuse.

And sure, if your life went askew and things happened that you wish didn't, why do your children need to pay the price for your bad decisions? Why do they have to lose a father simply because you don't WANT to get your shit together?!

It's infuriating and disgusting. Not only does mom never get a break, bare ALL of the financial burden AND have to pick up the pieces of their little broken hearts...these kids are missing out on having the family they once knew, all because dad is selfish. 

Drugs fuck you up. Jail gets you sober. But it's your choice as to what path you're going to follow once you're out. And you can either choose to be a victim of the system and live in that pattern forever, or you can take the experience and BETTER YOURSELF to be the man you should've always been. 

Just some food for thought...

  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July Birchbox Goodies

I think I've had a chance to try all of my products by now. I used the last item today after my shower, so now I can critique everything!


Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser
I really like this cleanser A LOT! I use it in the shower and leave it on as a mask while I wash my hair. My face feels smooth and very clean afterwards. I like the charcoal concept now and I've definitely jumped on the "black mask" bandwagon. This cleanser retails for $23 in the full-sized bottle and a little goes a long way.

Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil
Sooooo, I failed to change my hair color in my Birchbox profile prior to getting July's box--thus causing 2 of my products to be for dark hair. This was one of them. I received color 05-Deep which is the second-darkest color available. I have dirty blonde eyebrows and blonde hair. BUT I realized that if I used this pencil lightly and made sure to blend with a brow brush after, it actually worked out. I really like this brow pencil! I like the shape of the pencil, the ease of application and how versatile it is. I plan to buy a full sized pencil, which actually comes with a brush on the end. It retails at $24. This is a picture of me from the weekend while wearing Goof Proof:

Brows "on fleek" HAHA

Klorane Dry Shampoo ( for Brunette/Dark hair )
I didn't use this. I was concerned that since my hair is much more blonde than when I originally signed up for my subscription that it was going to end up looking like spray paint in my hair. I actually ended up giving it to my friend Mallory and, to my surprise, it was her very first time using dry shampoo! BUT--she loved the stuff! She had said that although her hair looks awesome on day 2 at the ends, her scalp tends to get oily far faster. She used Klorane on Sunday after our girls night and her hair looked fantastic! Hey, sharing is caring!

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray
I do not have naturally wavy hair. But sometimes I'll attempt to "scrunch" my hair to give it some beach waves. After my shower today, I decided not to bother blow drying it so I sprayed some of this product in my hair. Although it really didn't help my hair become "wavy", it DOES smell awesome. Eventually I just ended up throwing my hair up into a messy bun, but I think this product would work far better on someone who doesn't have stick-straight hair.

Avene Cleanance Expert
I actually forgot I got this--and I didn't try it! Hahaha *oops!* Birchbox pretty much describes it as a mattifying moisturizer than helps alleviate break outs. Maybe I'll try it tomorrow.

Birchbox allows you to choose one sample a month if you'd like, wait for your picks to come "as a surprise" or you can choose that month's Featured Box. If you decide you want to try out Birchbox, please use my referral code DXMHL or follow the link on previous blog reviews!

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Call This Blog 'Bitchfest', Don't I?!

So yeaaaaaah......today, I'm gonna bitch about what has been bothering me all day today--the incident that happened last night...

WARNING!: THIS POST IS GONNA HAVE A FUCK-TON OF PROFANITY!

Background: I understand that, no matter how much you may love where you live, you unfortunately cannot choose your neighbors. IT FUCKING SUCKS! 

That being said...

Yesterday, Nathan let the two larger dogs ( Haley and Sadie ) out to go potty. While they were out, Nate went to the bathroom also. I was sitting at the kitchen table, painting my nails, when we hear all this yelling outside. Nate looks at me and says, "Who the hell is yelling outside?" My response was, "I have no fucking clue." Well, we shortly figured THAT shit out.

Nate goes out to get the dogs and call them back in...but when he does, he finds out who has been doing all the yelling: it's the neighbor across the street. But you see, it's not even our neighbor--it's the husbands sister who is apparently watching their house while they are away at Knoebels. HERE is where the story takes a left turn:

I start to hear Nate yelling. At first I just sit there, wondering what the fuck is going on. Then I decide to go outside onto the porch. This is where I hear this clearly intoxicated, half-dressed woman state that "your dogs ran out at a lady and her dog and she went off running scared--YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR FUCKING DOGS IN YOUR YARD" She then goes on to tell us that "if those dogs go in my yard you'll be sorry" and "I'm gonna call the cops" She implied that our very loving and sweet dogs were trying to ATTACK these strangers. When in reality, this lady lives down the road from us ( the one apparently "running" ) and she JOGS with her German Shepherd.

So here's where things escalate.

She begins to taunt Nate. She's threatening to call the cops on us ( for what, I'm not sure because she was harassing us first ), she's coming towards Nate in a threatening matter and, at one point, she is literally IN NATE'S FACE yelling at him. He told her that she's lucky that she's a woman as she's screaming in his face and pushing him with her largely-protruding stomach to "go ahead". This goes on for what feels like forever. That's when she says "I have someone else who saw it" and brings out the neighbor, Wendy. 

Wendy is also a neighborhood gossip who loves to stir the pot. She comes out and pretty much implies that our dogs tried to "attack" this German Shepherd and owner. Um...no. But after a few more screams and low-blows, we all go inside and what's done is done. 

We go inside and I'm fucking pissed and shaking. I tell Nate that I want him to go to the GSD owner's house and ask her what exactly happened. He drives down to her place and asks her about the dogs. Her response when he asked if they tried to attack her dog?: "No way! They just came up to the edge because they were curious and wanted to say hi. My dog is a bit skiddish but he needs to learn to socialize with other dogs, anyway" This is from the "apparently scared" owner...

And if you didn't get it by now, none of this happened on this bitch's "property" ( her brothers--and actually, they rent ) AT ALL!

So now I'm freaking out...because she not only threatened our dogs but also, even though it came out in the completely wrong manner, there was a point: even though WE know that our dogs are harmless doesn't mean that strangers do. 

We've been talking about putting a fence up because Lola likes to run past the property line and then "act" like she doesn't hear me when I call her to come home. I'm very afraid that someone is going to fly down our road and hit her. But NOW, I'm scared that the crazy drunk bitch across the way is going to hurt my dog.

...and Andrew did die suddenly at only age 7...maybe it wasn't cardiomyopathy...

Needless to say, I've been stressed about this all day because 1) my "vacation" next week was intended to be the week we FINALLY paint the house and now 2) we have to plan to build a fence a LOT sooner than anticipated. Plus, it was a little scary to see a side of Nate that I never had before. My anxiety has been through the roof today...

But the major issue with this entire situation is my lack of understanding as to why people must be so hateful and rude?! I just don't get it. We don't bother them. We don't spread lies or cause drama or even look in their general direction. Fifi ( I can't even make this shit up... ) has a vendetta against Nathan for no reason at all and it's escalated into them accusing Nate of killing their cat, accusing us of stealing ANOTHER one of their cats ( in which we found outside and I immediately placed on Find Toby to find it's home *sidenote: she saw us talking to the neighbor diagonal to us about the cat and us carry the cat to Nate's shop but did not once come outside to claim him/tell him he was theirs* ) and now this. It's like the fuckers get bored and just decide to fuck shit up.

We literally have the worst, trashiest, pot-stirring neighbors and once of these days this "pushover" that everyone thinks they can walk all over and say/act however they want to is gonna fucking snap!

So there...there's that...and I guess we're building a fence...

 
 

Monday, July 17, 2017

How Do You Prefer Your Eggs?

...well, unfertilized, of course!

😉

The other day we had a patient in the office--beautiful girl, late 20s--and when we asked if she'd ever been sedated before she said she had; she'd actually donated her eggs. Twice. So it got me thinking: if I'm not planning on having children, what about donating my eggs?

My coworker Jim went through the process of getting an egg donation. He actually got a few from the donor. So once the patient recovered and left, I asked him to look into the requirements from the group they used.  I mean, if I'm not using them, why not give them to someone else? Plus, you can make a couple thousand dollars doing egg donations. And the person who receives your eggs ( should ) cover all expenses associated with said donation. 

The first site that Jim and I looked at was ConceiveAbilities, which is based out of Philly. My main concern was my age. Being 30, I didn't really think that I could be a donor anymore. And unfortunately, the cap through ConceiveAbilities is 29. But then I read their list of requirements...it's as follows:
 -you must be between age 21-29
-have regular periods
-no reproductive disorders
-physically/emotionally healthy ( not sure what they mean exactly )
-BMI of 29 or under
-no nicotine/cigarettes/drugs
-can't be on Depo-Vera
-willing to have a med and psych eval
-willing to use injectable meds
-must commit to at least 6 months
-have to communicate with the clinic within 24 hours of being contacted
-excited to help build a family

Seems like a lot, huh?? And I actually don't fit a few of these requirements.

But then I sit and think that my eggs are pretty much going to waste. Sure, I don't want children--but what about people out there that truly do and can't? Plus, we all could use a few extra thousand dollars for what-have-you. So today, I checked out another group: Shady Grove Fertility.

Shady Grove has an office right here in Camp Hill, PA and has a less taxing list of qualification criteria. Plus, at this clinic I can actually participate. You must be between the ages of 21 and 32, in overall good health with a BMI of 28 or less, non smoker that works or lives within 1 hour of the donation site, with a high school diploma. And there will be some travel restrictions. They also provide this informative chart on the egg donor process:




In their one statistic they say, "On average, our egg donors donate twice receiving $14,500 for their time and effort". Ummmm, WHAT!? I could totally use money like that!

With that, I've been seriously thinking about doing this. 

The only drawbacks are that you must inject YOURSELF with hormones to boost egg production, egg donation ( at least with Shady Grove ) must be done either in one of two clinics in MD or one in Chesterbrook(?), PA, and you must be put under general sedation for the removal process. I don't mind being sedated as I would rather it that way--but I'm not sure I could inject myself with meds in the abdomen for 10-12 days *eek!*

I write about this, though, because the idea can do well for the many people involved. 

For one, you are helping to complete a family. I personally know a few couples who struggle with infertility and it seems those are the people who want children the most. If you can do good for someone else, why not do it? It's like donating bone marrow--it's not a pleasant experience, but it can help someone in need.  

And two, it puts some extra cash in your pocket. Maxed out credit card? College debt? Want to pay off your car loan? $14,500 is nothing to scoff at. Hell, $6,500 after completing one egg donation cycle would pay off my car with a bit to spare!

I just recommend that if you decide to do something like egg donation, do your research first! My cut-off is coming up quick, so my plan is to look further into the idea, see if I can find other blogs or feeds where women discuss their own personal experiences with it and go from there. But seriously, what do I have to lose?! 

For more information on both clinics, follow the links provided above to go straight to each clinics main webpage. And you've ever donated or know someone who did and you'd like to share your story, comment on this blog! I'd love to hear what you have to say!