Wednesday, February 28, 2007


There's work and then there's that pays the bills, work that inspires a person, work that fuels the soul, work that drains the soul, work that pays like crap, work that pays too much (ask Angelina Jolie), work with benefits, work that benefits, work that feels like work and then work that feels like living.

Not everyone needs the same thing.

My husband, for example, is a person who views work as a means to an end; a necessary evil.

I view work as something that I need fulfillment in, something that fuels me, challenges me, makes me think, allows me to feel of service and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy at the end of the day.

My parameters for work have shifted because I used to work for I work for my family and need that work to be balanced and accommodate my family's needs. I've been fortunate where I currently work, to be afforded this flexibility. However, my current work drains me. I'm unfocused, feel of little use to anyone and feel like I'm failing most days. My recent performance evaluation speaks differently, but that's how I feel.

So, getting up in the morning to face what lies ahead doesn't make a whole bunch of sense to me.

I'm not alone.

My good, and amazing friend, L. works for the Military. This work has afforded her world travel (even if overnight), health benefits, meeting (and living with) amazing and talented people from all walks of life, sharing stinky farts couped up in the bowels of a Herc. plane while playing cards and spitting chewing tobacco into whatever receptacle she can find, a home, a base, wilderness adventures ( and access to all kinds of amazing training for free...yet here she is too...trying to make sense of why she should get up in the morning.

Where is the division between those that work because they have to and are ok with it, and those that NEED it to make sense?

We have one life to live. I'm starting to think it's time to make choices that REALLY work and mean something to me. I can't speak for my friend, or humankind when I say that...only myself, but it seems to make sense to me.

I'm not doing anything I was trained to do. My training was more like therapy for I don't feel like I need it anymore.

I spend most of my time feeling fueled by assisting people I know finding their way back to themselves...asking a few pointed questions, gently making suggestions (I never give advice) and listening....but it doesn't pay the bills. Nor does this blog. Nor does any of the time I spend writing or thinking or dribbling. Yet this unpaid time fuels me more than anything that pays me.

Is it possible to be paid to think?

Hmmmm....maybe I'm going to die poor.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I have a relatively gorgeous white mouth now, thanks to modern dentistry....more specifically Dairy Lane Dental in Huntsville, ON. , Canada. Not a perfect smile or perfect white, but clean, healthy gums, no silver or gold in my head and when I open my mouth...I'm all whitish.

I'm mercury free. Which is good because it damned well almost gave me a diagnosis of probable Multiple Sclerosis (early onset): tremors in my hands, numbness in my left leg and three toes, impaired thinking, inability to remember, fatigue like no-body's business, irritability, dare I say...depression, migraines, digestive disorders and living with the most horrendous sense of Self I've ever experienced in my entire 37 years of living.

I am a different woman nearly two years later. In fact, I'm almost a success story. Returned nerve function to my left leg and 95% return of sensation to my three numb toes, I can eat whatever I want now (and I no longer vomit or excrete it in the same form that it went into my system as), I sleep well, my hand tremors only rear their ugly head when I'm overly tired or have over exerted myself (doing things such as Fire Fighting or mucking out the horse for hours on end) AND I've been migraine free for almost 8 months now.

The quality of my life has improved drastically. And, I know there is more to follow, more improvement.

Be cautious the dentist who tries to sell you a root canal and insists you NEED a crown over top of it. I have a lovely five-sided resin (in white) that is doing a fabulous job two years later. A very nice dentist once told me that any dentist wanting you to get a crown is only after your money. I should know, this one root canal I've had done has cost me (and my family and my insurance, over the past 8 years) an almost whopping $10,000.00. Imagine how many goats I could supply a small African village with. Or the solar power my home could be heated and working with.

Buyer beware. Going to the dentist is like shopping at a are a consumer and you pay for a service. Too often we allow these skilled individuals to play 'God' with our mouths and our oral care. And don't kid yourself, bad dental work or no dental work can kill a person. Where is the guarantee if that service/work isn't up to par?

IF you are getting your silver fillings/amalgams redone or restored, make sure they aren't laden with mercury...I should've known that this is what mine were (having been subjected to the wonders of British dentistry as a child) because EVERY time I had ANY kind of work done on these fillings, I would get cold, shakey, feel sick to my stomach, my blood pressure would drop really low or go really high, and I would need to sit in the dentist's chair, under a warm blanket, for at least half an hour before they'd let me leave. I assumed that I was having a psycho-symatic experience...turned out I was just being poisoned. I would vomit for days afterwards. I couldn't keep warm. I was nervous and irritable, something I am not in a healthy state. I assumed the vomitting was years of being bulimic and the multitude of food allergies I had developed as I got older...hmmm, turned out I was swallowing, ingesting and inhaling mercury as I had these teeth worked on and being poisoned. I assumed I was crazy. Turned out I was being mistreated.

A good dentist will give you an oxygen mask, cover you up, use a dam (latex-free if they are any good) and make sure you aren't breathing in, ingesting or swallowing any of that crud.

A good dentist doesn't treat you like a moron for having the shakes following work on one of your fillings or for feeling like you're being zapped along your jawbone (and when you put an earring in, it's worse.)

A good dentist understands that a healthy mouth is a healthy you.

A good dentist knows that what you do in the mouth can, and may, affect the rest of your body.

A good dentist understands that your time is valuable too.

A good dentist also doesn't put silver fillings either side of a gold crown and create a little live battery in your mouth. When I complained to Dr. Sheryl Kapitz of Winnipeg (who botched my first root canal and has helped create over 6 years of oral hell for me...thanks for this very personal experience Dr. Kapitz...I trust not all of her patients have had this experience) that I felt like I was being 'shocked' (and experienced my first ever migraine headaches & was given Imitrex for the pain...which wasn't strong enough), she treated me like I was from Mars. And foolish me, I let her. When I was referred by one of her Winnipeg-colleagues to see an Endo-dontist to retreat the root canal she had performed a scant year or so later, I asked her to reimburse me for the monies I had spent on this botched root canal...she ignored me. When I threatened to take her to court, she intimated that I should just try it & she then ignored me. I couldn't believe the lack of integrity in this profession. Still can't. I've had a bad taste in my mouth for dentists ever since...literally as well as figuratively.

How is it that you can charge an arm and a leg for services, screw those services up and then ask your patients to continue paying you for your valuable time and services when you need to fix what it is you didn't get right the first time? Am I the only person who thinks this is wrong?

My faith has been restored by Dr.'s Smyth and Riley of Dairy Lane Dental in Huntsville, ON. These men care about treating you and your mouth properly. They take precautions in removing silver amalgams...and so they should...mercury is poison and it will make you ill. These gentlemen have also taken a stab at saving this tooth that was botched by 2 dentists and an Endo-dontist before them, and I'm now having more trouble with this tooth...but I have faith in them, and I trust their integrity.

So patients, beware...not all dentists are born equally, nor do they stand behind their work equally. They aren't Gods. They are men and women like you and I, who have undertaken years of training and have pursued intense oral knowledge so that they are able to care for our pearly whites. But they are human. And like all humans, when they err, they should do their utmost to fix it...with minimal costs.

Treat your dentist like any other service provider: insist on the kind of care that you deserve, get second opinions if you feel the need, feel free to ask for your (dental) records to be transferred from one office to another, and ask them to stand behind the work that they do in your mouth. A good dentist will. But I've only met a couple of them.

And don't forget to floss and brush. That's the one thing we can control in our oral welfare. The rest is in the hands of our dental care choose your dentist wisely. I have.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Power of Thank You

Two small words in such a big world.

Thank You.

This expression of gratitude can fill the emptiest moment; can turn a failing marraige around; can pick a person up off their feet; can instill a person to want to help a stranger again and again; can instill a friend to want to help a friend; can remind a suicidal person why they should choose life; can fill a grandparents heart with joy; can fill the lives and hearts of those losing a loved one who in their last remaining moment speaks these two small words; &, can make a parent proud that this sentiment was/is delivered, unsolicited, from the heart and tongue of their matter how old that child is.

Sometimes it is difficult to see why we should or could be thankful in our lives.

My experience is that no matter how bad the rain falls, the tides turn and how badly we feel ourselves sinking, with a few thought-through thank you's, we can see even our own situations more clearly.

I like to start with:

Thank You for this breath.

Thank You for having me on this Earth.

Thank You for the gift of my family.

Thank You for the gift of Life.

Thank You for the gift of friends.

Thank You for my community.

And my list grows...

Thank You for what you share with me, each and every moment; each and every day.

Thank You for helping me.

Thank You for the opportunity to help you.

Thank You for the Love you share with me.

Thank You for the Love you allow me to share with you.

Thank You for your wisdom and for sharing it with me.

Thank You for your advice. (Even if I don't take it.)

Thank You for the experience. (Even if I didn't like it.)

Thank You for what I have learned. (Even if it hurt.)

Thank You for the opportunity. (Even if it was difficult.)

I try to say Thank You in as many ways as possible. I try in each and every day to remember my own humility & fragility, and I try to be thankful for the strength that those two gifts bring me.

Thank You for the time to blog.
Thank You for the few that read it.

My life is good with each of you in it.
You are gifts to me and I am grateful for you.

That's it. It's that's simple.

Thank You.