Sunday, July 26, 2020

Dental Debacle Part Two, Genetic Freak, Cardio Charmer

Close to about four years ago now, I blogged about my dental fiasco. I will now confess that I have not been to the dentist since. That hasn’t stopped my dental office from trying every angle to get me in, though. They have been blatantly colluding with Mr. Typist for years on a full-on dental propaganda campaign. They don’t even try to hide it. Every time Mr. Typist comes back from the dentist, he carefully repeats, “They really miss you. They keep asking me when you’re coming in again. You know, if you went more frequently, it wouldn’t be as painful,” and so and so on. Completely shameless. Well, I finally gave in, but only because one of my front teeth was getting an exposed root. And of course it was the same predictable story all over again. I was so far gone they could only do one side and had to employ the heavy-duty numbing agents, and even then there were still spots that never got fully numb and the needle going in was so painful I started to have an anxiety attack and the hygienist made me do deep breathing exercises. I have to go back tomorrow and get the other side done, which I am not looking forward to after last week’s debacle. And the guilt they laid on me. Oh, good Lord, the guilt: “You know, we haven’t seen you for an awfully long time. We understand that you don’t like coming to the dentist. But if only you’d come more frequently it wouldn’t be as painful. Hmm, yes, in fact we were discussing your case just this morning.” My case??? Now I’m a case? I can just see them huddled around a whiteboard and a PowerPoint, discussing the intricacies of my dental phobia and drilling their de-escalation plan. The good news is that the dentist, with clear disappointment in his voice, told me that my teeth looked good and there was nothing to be concerned about. So, ha! I consider that a small victory, even though they managed to break me since I finally resolved to start going every six months now, phobia or not. 

I have heard vague things over the years about red-haired type people and dental pain, and I recently looked it up online so I could justify my dental wimpiness to myself. My friends, I have been vindicated by the power of Google. According to Medical Daily: 

“Redheads need 20 percent more anesthesia than their dark-headed counterparts. Because the MC1R gene belongs to the same family of genes that play a role in pain, the mutation causes redheads to be more sensitive to it. MC1R’s role in the brain may affect the activity of endorphins— one of the body’s natural painkillers. New research in the Journal of the American Dental Association reveals that as a result of this, redheads are twice as likely to avoid going to the dentist as people with other hair colors. 

According to the same article, we’re also more sensitive to temperature changes (I can attest) and, alarmingly, twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Not to mention the huge skin cancer risk. Yep, it’s a real party here in Red-Head town.

In other health news, I’ve been doing a lighter weight routine on Sundays so I will have energy left over to do a little cardio, something that I have almost completely neglected since I started weight training. I came across a lovely, low-impact cardio workout on YouTube that is hosted by this English guy and his short, adorable wife whose name appears to be Tosh, which is a perfect English name. I don’t know the name of the guy, but I find him very charming. He states at the beginning that he only does low-impact now because his knees “just can’t take much these days.” He tries really hard to do that push-it-to-the-limit yelly trainer thing, but he’s terrible at it. Every time he half-heartedly shouts, “Go, go, go! Feel the power!” he follows it up immediately with “but only at your very own pace, in whatever way feels comfortable for you, and of course making sure to hydrate adequately.” His heart is just not in it, and by the end of the not-that-hard workout he’s so gassed out and sweaty his shirt looks like it was thrown into a lake. That’s my kind of YouTube cardio trainer.

Eerily, as I was looking for a video to post, this doozy popped up in my YouTube feed. It involves two of my favorite musicians, Dolly Parton and Hildegard von Bingen, and it references “flaming locks of auburn hair.” In one day, Google has both vindicated and terrified me. 

--Kristen McHenry


1 comment: said...

Another great post, and unexpected unusual video/song, to start my workweek off on the right foot. And Dolly Parton sings Irish incomparably!