Category Archives: Work

Soul Searching

I’ve been doing a whole lot of it lately.  I think the best explanation for my lack of posts has been that I don’t have anything to say.  Or, at minimum, anything good to say.  This post is meant to be an explanation of sorts, though I have a strange suspicion it may come across as a pity post.  If that’s the case, I’m being upfront that it’s unintentional.

The past few months at work have been slow.  Painfully slow.  Slow as in, as of late, I don’t work Mondays and Wednesdays.  An automatic response would be, “lucky you!”, but the truth is, when I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  Being at home with time on my hands and no money coming in is P.A.I.N.F.U.L.  When I first started work I was in a similar situation, and found myself legit depressed for the first time in my life.  I’ve been sick and tired of school and bummed about immediate situations before, but I’m talking legit depressed.  Depressed like—you worked your entire life towards something that’s sucking all of your energy and finances out of you and giving nothing in return-depressed.  I’m finding the depression creeping in again, and praying the holidays will ward it off until things undoubtedly pick up again in January.  In the meantime, I have far too much time on my hands.  Too much time yields too much thinking.  My brain never stops to begin with, but when it’s left in silence it works at quadruple the pace and the result is never good.

Thinking has led me to re-evaluate…..everything.  I think I’m in the beginning stages of a quarter-life-crisis of sorts.  Nothing to hit the panic button over, I think this sort of thing is bound to hit everyone in their mid late twenties, and recur again in the fifties.  I’m sane, and I’m not going to chop my hair, tattoo anything or make any sudden moves…because that’s not my style.  It’s more of a “where are you going with this” reevaluation of my life.  I’m lucky in that I have absolute stability in the most important stuff.  My relationship with Chris is rock-solid, and when I look into the future that’s the one thing I know is for the long haul.  It’s the rest of the stuff that’s got my gears turning.

I’m still settling in to being a dentist.  I didn’t expect to graduate and know so little—but the truth is, after thirty years in practice as a dentist you still don’t. know. everything.  You might not even know 50%.  I hate what I’m about to say, because it’s so “oh poor you”, but I wholeheartedly believe it, and so I’ll throw it out there.  Being a dentist is one of the most difficult careers out there.  People don’t like coming to see you, you’re working in a black box of limited visibility with a tongue and cheeks to battle to work within fractions of millimeter parameters.  It’s f*ing hard as s***.  People don’t like having to pay to take care of their mouths, they think you own a yacht even though your student loan debt is greater than your overly understanding husband’s mortgage, and it never ends.  I’m either having a nightmare about whether I removed all the nerve tissue from the last root canal I did that day, or on call on the weekends saying no to the second drink in case my phone rings on Saturday night.

About a year ago I had an overwhelming sense of relief when I was explaining to one of my closest friend’s why dentistry is stressful.  Her dad is a dentist, and she was in awe of my descriptions, because she remembered her dad always coming home stressed from work, but wasn’t sure why.  At least I’m not the only dentist out there who feels constantly on the verge of falling off the deep end.  Overly dramatic, maybe.

So over the past two months of having too much time on my hands to constantly stress about the next 25 years of loan payments I have to face and whether or not I want to spend these 25 years doing the profession that I’m paying off the education for, I haven’t had much to say.  For now, I’ll continue making lists of pros and cons, weeding out as much as I can from my day to day that ends up on the “cons” list, and doing more of what constitutes a “pro”.  I’ll try to search for the good, and put the bad into perspective.  That, and I’ll hope to hell my schedule fills up enough to stop thinking so much about it all.

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Filed under Trials and Tribulations, Work

Finally on my way to full-time employment.

This weekend we moved all of the equipment and supplies in the dental office from the old portion of the building into the new addition.  Five of the operatories are completed, and my two operatories will be done in one week.  The new building is going to be incredible, and I can’t wait to finally have my own space; space to see patients at the same time my boss is seeing patients and therefore more than three half-days a week.  Here are some shots from before:


Take note of my favorite part of the office: the floral vertical blinds.  Here is the new place:

Tomorrow morning is game time, so hopefully this transition is a smooth one.

Saturday night I saw Black Swan.  I have been dying to see this movie for weeks, and after unsuccessful attempts to drag Chris along, I finally found a partner in crime and got Tamra to see it with me.  The movie made me want to do this:

and this:


It made me feel like doing this:

And I left the theatre resembling this:

You might like it.  It was artsy.  I’m just not mature enough for those kind of sex scenes and that kind of mind f*!%.

I’ve been obsessed with my new camera and if you run into me in the near future you’ll probably be victim to an obnoxious photo shoot.  Here are some photos of the Bouchard dogs.  First up, Kober, the cairn terrier….my canine boyfriend.

and little Stella, the Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix).

After being snowed in at Tamra’s house last night, we ventured to Newport today.  I love Newport in the winter.  It’s just as beautiful as the summer, but there are minimal/no tourists crowding the streets.  The shops just barely survive the winter and thus the owners are more than willing to bargain with you to make a sale.

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Filed under Photography, Work

Crisis Averted: The Case of the Poisonous Mango

Chris and I had an interesting weekend.  This might be difficult to follow.

Day #1: Wednesday Oct 27th–>Chris ate two mangos ravenously….like a gorilla with a banana after a month of hibernation.

Day #2: Thursday Oct 28th–>Chris played the drums and sang at open mic night with his mouth dangerously close to/engulfing the microphone; later that night he complains of chapped/burning lips

Day #3: Friday Oct 29th–>Chris complains of burning lips and starts smothering them in vaseline

Day #4: Saturday Oct 30th–> Chris complains of burning lips non-stop throughout the day.  By 8PM he felt like they were “pussing”, so I took a look.  He had two ‘blisters’, one to his right (our left in the picture) of the midline of his upper lip, one in the left (our right) corner of his lip.  For an hour and a half it was decided that Chris had Herpes Simplex.  We were silent and sweaty for that time period, and I furiously flipped through my oral pathology book and planned my revenge against the little punk that spit all over the mic before Chris got to it.  By 9:30PM I had discovered that mango skin contains urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac, which can cause urushiol-induced contact dermatitis (herpes-like symptoms).  After discussing his mango eating and doing a little further research, we both couldn’t help but laugh at the herpes scare.  While Chris was thinking about not being able to kiss his future kids (should I decide to give him any in the future….), I was freaking out about contracting it from him and not being able to work every time I had a break out.  I’ve documented his symptoms and the progress of his reaction, and I’m going to try to get published on Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis secondary to mango skin contact.  We’ll see what happens with that.  These pictures show the Herpes to allergic reaction progression:

Sunday we had our first Halloween in the new house.  We had three doorbell rings-my niece, the two little kids from next door, and two truckloads of kids borderline too old to be trick-or-treating.  My niece was a unicorn, and was very cute when she stopped by.

Last week I worked my first full-time week as a real, live dentist.  The dentist I work for was away, and I covered his hours in addition to my own.  I did more dentistry in 40-50 hours last week than in the past few months I’ve been working part time.  I did more root canals in one week than in four years of dental school.  It got me amped up to finally be full-time in December when the new office is done.  Right now he only has two rooms he works out of, so we can’t work at the same time.  The addition in the back will give me two (eventually three) rooms of my own, so I’ll be able to work as often as I want.  I can’t wait to get started, start making some real money, and start paying some real (big) loans back.  I learned a few things last week, but most of all, I realized that I chose a really, really hard profession.  I love it (usually), but it is so damn mentally and physically stressful to not only do the procedures, but to explain to patients what you are doing, why, and make them comfortable while you’re doing it.  In the past week these things happened:

1) I had a patient with the same birthday as me, and when I told her that, she asked me if I was also born in 1973.  Apparently I pull off 36 in a white coat.  (Previously, when I asked a 25 yr old patient if she liked Michael Jackson, she responded, “No, I think he was more your generation”)

2) I had a child on laughing gas bite me, then tell me he was in love with me.

3) I had a patient give me a crocheted gift.

4) I had a patient text someone MID-EXTRACTION as I took out a root of his molar  “in the dental office, be out in 10”.

5) I had a patient show me facebook pictures of himself with Pauly D and ‘The Situation’ ask me if I wanted to buy a jeweled rosary from him (he sold them to the above mentioned guys).

After one interesting week as Dr. Lavigne, I can’t wait for more.

Before leaving for my first day of work, panic-stricken and nearly crapping myself, July 20, 2010:

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Filed under Chris, Home, Work