Sunday, August 26, 2007

Big Brave Boy!

My little nephew had what is called a supernumerary tooth. Although it is an anomaly, it is not uncommon. Unfortunately, it pushed out one of his baby teeth too early and started coming through (see April 27th post). My sister wanted his extra tooth to come out before he started kindergarten this fall. Luckily I have been working for an oral surgeon so I had perfect access to a professional that would give my nephew the best care at such a young age.
I must admit, Tanner was much braver than his mom and I. We were both so nervous about the whole situation. What if it didn't go well, could he be traumatized for life? This moment could make or break his entire life's dental experiences (talk about pressure!).
We brought Tanner in first thing in the morning, gave him some nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and worked slowly to get him completely numb. Then the doctor says, "ok Tanner I am going to touch your tooth," and within seconds the little tooth was out. I am soooo proud of him, he did so well. I just wanted to share this experience with you all. Just for the record, the tooth fairy did come to visit.

Tanner's little body nearly disappeared in that chair!

Look at him grin! He is so brave!

Tanner sporting his nitrous oxide and topical anesthetic. The doctor allowed Tanner to be his own boss, so when he wanted off, he took it off, when he wanted it on, he put it on. Tanner even got a little giggly!

All done!!! What a wonderful patient. Please notice that Tanner brought his friend "Mega-man bunny." Sometimes it is nice to have a soft friend to go to.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sea World

This Summer was spent working! Matt and I didn't have any vacation plans at all. Before school began I was anxious to "get away!" So one day, randomly, I decided that we should go to Sea World!!! It has been about 10 years since I have been, and it just sounded like a lot of fun. My older brother, Clint, has never been to Sea World (my family went there when he was on his mission to Scotland!) and he is a scuba diving instructor-so really, he already has the privilege of seeing the real "Sea World." Needless to say it was pretty clear that we had to invite him to come along! We got there early, and so there wasn't much of a crowd. We were done by 4:30 in the afternoon. It would have been nice to stay for the evening shows... but we didn't know what to do with ourselves for 3 hours. It was a fun trip, and I am glad I got to have a mini-vacation before school started! Here are some pictures!

I just love how the Beluga whales seem to smile at you!

I thought these dolphins were really cool. I learned that dolphins are actually small whales!

Matt and Clint show their excitement for sitting in the "Soak Zone" at the dolphin show.

Clint and his new friend show us their corresponding teeth!

Trainers spend the entire day working with the dolphins and whales to teach them their "behaviors"

Matt and Katie enjoying the Shamu show. Although in the "Soak Zone" we stayed relatively dry.

It was amazing to see the relationships the trainers had with the animals.

We got lucky to catch this polar bear emerge out of hiding.

I loved the penguins!! The one in the back is talking to the others!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Scary Neighbors

We just haven't had the best luck with our neighbors. For a long time, we had neighbors who would get drunk and literally throw rocks at our house and at our dogs. Matt actually watched them do this. They yelled and cursed at us, and were just plain mean. They claimed that our dogs barked all day, so we got bark collars and made sure to bring them in the house at night when Disneyland has its fireworks show. It didn't seem to work, nothing really made them happy. So it got resolved only because they moved HOOOOORAAYYY! So we got some new neighbors. A nice latino family. Mom, Dad, and a couple of kids. We had some pleasant conversations with them, and we wave at each other when we go by. All has been well...until yesterday.

I was on my way out to go to Target. As I pulled out of the driveway my neighbor "Sam" (the dad) flagged me down as he sat on his bike on the sidewalk. I rolled down the window and he asked me to give him a ride to the store. This is how the ride went:

Sam: Thanks so much
Me: No problem (looks at Sam, realized that he did not fasten his seat belt. Sam is out of breath and is rubbing his face with his hands)
Sam: Oh man I am so overwhelmed with all my bills. I am 31 with 4 kids and 4 houses (he's a flipper)
Me: Oh wow, that is a lot to deal with. It must be hard
Sam: Sometimes I think I could die. Maybe I could shoot myself
Sam: Yeah, maybe it would be easier
Me: Well, you have 4 kids. They need you.
Sam: The government can take care of them
Me: (oh crap oh crap oh crap!!) Yes, well, the government can't give your kids a hug!
Sam: Yeah you are right. Can you drive me home too?
Me: Oh, yeah, sure
--little discussion about how old Matt and I are...blah blah blah---
(Pull into store parking lot)
Sam: Can you buy my beer? I can give you money
Me: Um, actually I don't feel comfortable doing that.
Sam: Oh ok.
(Sam goes in to buy his beer...great, now I am on a beer run. I am feeling really uncomfortable at this point. But I couldn't leave him there... I am his neighbor and I WILL have to see him again. I take my cell phone and keep it in my lap, and move my purse out of his range. Also made a phone call to Matt to tell him the situation, I figured if I went missing I would need some way for me to be tracked! Sam comes back)
Sam: Sorry, sorry, sorry
Me: Oh don't worry about it, that's what neighbors are for.
Sam: Ok, I won't tell my wife, don't tell Matt either
Me: Oh Sam, it isn't a big deal, I don't mind at all
Sam: I don't want to disrespect Matt, I like him. Don't tell him ok?
Me: (lying) oh I won't, but really it isn't a big deal
Sam: I like Matt,
Me: (panicking) I like him too, he's my hero, I sure do love him a lot!
Sam: You are a beautiful woman
Me: (freaking out!!) Oh thanks (speeding up!!!)
Sam: You are a beautiful woman
Me: (pulling up to his house) Ok, here you go!!!
Sam: I wish I could kiss you.

Sam gets out of the car and I drive quickly away. How horrible is that!! Ok, obviously I didn't like people throwing rocks at my dogs, but at this point I might take that over a nasty neighbor hitting on me. Now I am totally uncomfortable about coming home and praying that I won't have to see him in his yard. I guess this makes me reconsider the neighbor relationship.

Quite frankly I don't know anything about him. I only know what he has told me, but frankly he is a complete stranger. I allowed a complete stranger in my car with me. I would NEVER pick up a hitchhiker. But basically I put myself in so much danger. So much for the neighbors from the 1950's, the person you would trust to keep an eye on your house while you are away. Now I live like a stupid Desperate Housewife! Blah...I feel so blessed that I am safe and all turned out ok. Just a warning to all you read... if your neighbor asks for a ride, say no.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I miss digital!

I finally appreciate digital cameras more than ever. When they first came around I was skeptical. I didn't want to use them because I didn't think I would get all my pictures (hard copies), I didn't think the quality would be that good (I didn't quite understand pixels I guess), and I suppose I am a little old fashioned. I have a tendency to think that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I figured I was doing just fine with film cameras, so there was no need to switch over to something other people said was "better."

Obviously, we did get a digital camera a few years ago. I have been loving it! What converted me to digital was our trip to Hawaii. We took our camera with us and our pictures turned out beee-u-tiful!

I have that camera attached to me all the time now. I keep it in my purse, and take it everywhere. I take so many pictures, and I love that I can pick and choose which pictures to keep, and print...if I need to. I have also moved away from having to print out my pictures to enjoy them.

Well, for some reason our wonderful digital camera stopped working, not really sure why. I am going crazy without it!! I need to be able to know that the pictures I take have turned out well, I need to have the ability to take hundreds of pictures and not care about what it might cost to develop all of the pictures. Yesterday Matt and I went to Sea World and I had to take my film camera. I used almost 4 rolls of film and I can't make my post until I get the pictures developed. I don't want to get them developed until I finish up that last roll of film too. What am I supposed to take pictures of? Hmmm, ugh I hate these limitations now that I am used to not having them. Not to mention, I am a historian in my dental hygiene program which will be starting back up next week. Ahhh! What on earth am I going to do? Well, I guess I will be moving on with my film camera for now until we can get our little digital camera fixed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

James E. Faust

James E. Faust 1920-2007

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe in prophets and modern-day revelation, the same that is mentioned in scriptures. The leadership of the church consists of the Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley and his counselors (also Apostles). James E. Faust was the 1st counselor in the First Presidency of the church. He was an amazing man who was very inspirational to listen to. I feel very priveleged to have listened to him speak in person. He truly embodied what a Christian should be. He will be missed.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Angels night with my sister

Every year the Angels host a Mormon Night at the stadium. Matt and I have gone the last couple of years. This year, he was too busy so I took my older sister, Natalie. Neither one of us are actual baseball fans, but it is still fun to get together at the stadium and enjoy the atmosphere.
We started our evening off by having a very inexpensive dinner (as opposed to buying terribly expensive food at the stadium) at The Mexi Casa.

It is such good food, for very little money. It is a place that I must eat at on a regular basis! I love it!
Then we strolled on over to the stadium. Here are a couple of pictures of our night. The Angels played the Detroit Tigers and won 11-6. A pretty fun game, although I must admit, we left at the 7th inning stretch.

This is what I would have looked like IF a foul ball came flying backwards, up to the 5th level to the second to last row of seats...I wanted to be prepared, you know...just in case.

Natalie and me at the game. We were sporting our red shirts for the evening.

Can you find the missionaries?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Oral surgery and wisdom teeth

So I have been working for an oral surgeon this summer and it has been sooooo much fun!!! We have been very busy because all the kids are out of school, and need to get their wisdom teeth taken out, in addition to the regular oral surgery procedures. A typical day will include 6-8 surgeries and about 4-6 consultations. We work on patients with either local anesthetic, or more commonly, general anesthetic. Actually it isn't a full general anesthesia, it is known as "Twilight sleep." We do an I.V. in the arm, and administer the drugs. The patients are knocked out in about a minute. Typically they fall right asleep, but sometimes they fight a little bit. We do have to strap their arms down during the surgery so they don't fall off the chair, or hurt themselves...or us. We monitor their blood pressure, their pulse, and their oxygen. We are very careful about keeping their vitals in a normal range. The "worst" thing I have seen is when someone swallows saliva, water, or blood, and starts coughing and the doctor uses a suction down the throat to get it out. It is a very safe procedure.

There are 3 assistants in each surgery. One to pass instruments to the doctor, one to suction the blood/saliva, and one to hold the patient's head and monitor the vital signs. I have done all 3 positions. I would have to say that I am most confident in suctioning. It isn't always very easy to do, at times there are certain parts of anatomy that I have to be very careful to avoid (like the sinuses, a nerve, or an exposed fat-pad), but it is my responsibility to keep the area clear for the doctor to see. Holding the patient's head is very tiring, especially when it is a large man, heads are heavy!!!

The patients wake up within a minute, if not immediately after the surgery. At this point, they are basically drunk. I have had two men flirt with me, but most of them turn into comedians. It is quite fun to talk to them. Or sometimes they are just really tired and I have to keep them awake.

I thought I would let you all know a little about wisdom teeth while I am at it. Wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars, typically erupt at about 17-21 years of age. However they begin forming early in the pre-teens. Most people have their wisdom teeth removed for a few reasons:
1. The mouth is too small- this can cause other teeth to shift
2. Difficult to access to clean, therefore can cause gum disease or get cavities
3. The teeth come in crooked, or only partially erupt which may cause damage to adjacent teeth or become infected.
I have learned that the best time to have these teeth removed is before the roots develop. More and more teenagers (14-17 years old) are having their teeth taken out, rather than waiting until the teeth are fully erupted.

I guess if hygiene school ever didn't work out I think I would be interested to continue in oral surgery. It isn't just taking teeth out. We do biopsies of oral lesions, teeth implants, sinus lifts, bone augmentation (to prepare for dentures), etc. Let me know if you have any questions about oral of now I have a very good source of information