Friday, May 14, 2010

Numb Me Up, Scotty

Ow. OW. OW. OW. OW.
Stupid dentist visit.
Stupid granola bar.  I was eating my Planters Nut Energy bar, trying to figure out how to scan its barcode on my new iPhone app (The Daily Burn-- I love/hate it, check it out--it scans barcodes for nutritional information) and I realized I had something stuck in my tooth.  Then I realized. . . no. . . there wasn't something stuck to my tooth, there was somet hing missing from my tooth.  I had lost a filling.  By the next morning, I thought maybe I had lost a crown.  Hard to say, really.  From one tooth to another in my mouth, it's really a crap shoot.  Off to the dentist, who surprises me with his answer.

"Your filling is intact, Christy.  You've broken the tooth all around it."

That's a new one, even for me.

Let the numbing begin.  Topical first, then the giant needle full of Novacaine.  And when the humongous drill headed for my mouth I tried to relax, tried to remember that I was numb and wouldn't feel a thing.  But I did feel it, and I jumped.

"Is that sensitive?"

"I think so, or maybe it's just me," I said.  The dentist laughed at me, which I rather appreciated.  But I actually meant it.  Was I imagining it?  More anesthetic.  Wait a little longer.  Try again.

Drill.  Jump.

"I'm sorry," I said.  "It's not horrible, but I can feel it."

"You don't have to be sorry," he said.  "I'm going to be doing a lot of work there.  But this is a new anesthetic, and it works great on most people.  Let's give you a few more minutes.  You shouldn't have to feel it."

"How about you just knock me out?"  I ask.  Everyone laughs, but I'm totally not kidding.  I hear the drill, and I'm thinking of the scene from "A Million Little Pieces," you know, the fake memoir about the drug addict, in which the author writes about enduring dental surgery with no anesthesia.

Put a hood of laughing gas over my head.  Knock me out.  Time warp me to the eighties and bring me back.  I hate this so much.  I am now ripping a Kleenex to shreds in one hand, and gripping my thigh with another.  He's coming back.   My body is shaking.  Can they see?  I can feel the numbing working all through my skull, but I swear my tooth is totally awake.

"Let's check."  Check?  It seems like there should be some controlled way to check without drilling into my tooth and see if it hurts.

It did.  Again.  But quite a bit less.  And this time, I did think it was the panic talking, and I said so.

"Are you okay?" he asks.  "I am," I answer.  "It felt sensitive for a second, but now it's fine."

I am deep breathing.  I am trying to forget where I am.  Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.  My nose itches.  Breathe.  Finally, the drilling is done, and it is time for the gels, the pastes, the bands, the pressure.  I can do this, I think to myself.  I can do anything after enduring my own personal Million Little Pieces.  Then he taps my gum with his sharp little explorer.

"Can you feel this?"

"Gyaaah."    Translation.  Are you kidding me?  You touch one tiny spot in my mouth and I can feel it?  After three shots I still can feel my gums?  Why can I feel my gums??

"I'll numb you a little more.  I need to insert a metal band there, and it will irritate the gum."

Super.  Bring on the hypodermic.  I can't feel the shot, but I think I feel the drugs rushing to the gums, and maybe to my brain.  I can't feel the dentist opening my mouth.  I can hardly even see the dentist because by this point, I think my eyes are numb.  There has finally, finally, FINALLY been enough medication administered.  But I'm not sure, because I think my feelings are numb.

Have I mentioned that I take 6 pills a day in order to NOT get a headache?  Is it any wonder that I am. . . um. . . numb to the effects of numbing pain?  Bring on the big guns, Doc.  I require big meds to feel no pain.

"You were stubborn with that anesthesia today," he tells me when it's over.
I'm thinking, "Don't be so stingy with the meds, Dude."
Don't judge me for being rude in my head.  I'm was a little dopey.

If I remember correctly, I spent about a 1/2 hour with my dentist after the appointment trading iPhone apps.  I wonder what recommendations I gave him with my droopy mouth and slurred speech.

And now, eight-and-a-half hours later, I'm still numb.  It's just wearing off and starting to hurt.  I can't pronounce any F or PH sounds, but I still managed to eat a Chipotle Bowl.  Granted, I had to use bottles of hot sauce to taste it, and much of it slid out of my mouth, but I made a good effort.

From a prone position on the couch, about to not be stingy with a few more pain pills,
Christy Chaf(drool)e

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Calling Miss Manners

All I'm trying to do is write a few freelance assignments.  I have the contact information, I have the details, I have the emails, the phone numbers and a general outline.  What I don't have is an interview.  And apparently, what my contacts don't have. . . is time.

I get that.

I get that people are busy.  (Have you noticed that it's May?  Please don't ask me if I've accidentally cried at a baseball practice because I'm not sure if I can possibly go to one more meeting after driving to ballet and sitting through lacrosse.  The answer is yes, yes I have cried, but please don't ask.  And while we're at it, don't ask me how many meetings and luncheons and parties are scheduled in May.  DON'T MAKE ME WRITE ANOTHER POEM PEOPLE BECAUSE THIS ONE MIGHT HAVE THE F-BOMB IN IT.)

But I digress.

So anyway, I'm writing articles.  Well, so far, I'm sitting at my dining room table with very organized questions.  And allow me to explain that the articles I'm writing will highlight the individuals in question in a very favorable manner for their company.  Lots of accolades.  Whoo-hoo-to-you, so to speak.  For one woman, I've left three emails and two messages, but no return call.  I'm ready to go, but I can go no further.  I can't write about her if she won't call me back.  

To be clear, I don't really care all that much about "how you respond to the changing face of your customer base" but I'll write circles about it if you give me ten freaking minutes of your precious time.  I'm quite certain that there are plenty of calls that I haven't returned, and emails too.  But if someone wanted to write an article about how great I was-- I'm pretty sure I'd phone that person for a quick chat.  Do we so quickly give up the opportunity for fame, however fleeting?  I know I wouldn't, especially if it involved a crown.  Maybe I need to start offering tiaras and prizes.

In one email exchange between a contact and an editor, there is the phrase, "I'm very busy, but she can try to reach my on my cell, but I'll be hard to reach."  The "she" is me.  Oh, "she" will try.  I sent this busy, busy man a couple of emails to set up a phone call.  He's traveling this day, interviewing someone that day, and Monday was "officially crazy."  Flights here, and travel there, but "could I call his cell to set something up?"  I could.  And I did, trying, actually, to catch his cell phone voice mail when he was traveling to just leave him a message with some interview options.  To not disturb this exceptionally busy person, perhaps the person with the most valuable time on earth.

Here's how the call went down, because, in fact, he answered.  Let's call him Bob.

(ring, ring)
"Bob."  This is how he answered.  With his name.  Which is more confusing than you may think, because his real name isn't Bob, it's acutally something that sounds much like my own name, so I thought he was speaking to me for a moment.
"Hi (Bob)," I said.  "This is Christy Chafe, calling about the article for XXX magazine."  (Now, I just made it sound like porn, but it's not.  I was just trying to be anonymous.)
And here's where it gets good.  Here's what I get.  Not hello, not even hi.

"Your timing is TERRIBLE.  I'm getting on a plane."

I'm sorry, what?  MY timing is terrible?  Well, heavens to Betsy I'm so sorry, I must have forgotten to correctly tune my ESP signal before I CALLED YOUR CELL LIKE YOU ASKED ME TO YOU
D-HEAD.  That's right, Mom.  I wanted to call him a dumbhead.

"I'm sorry," I said.  "I know you have a busy day.  I was just hoping to leave you my phone numbers so we could set up a time to talk."

"It will depend on blahblahblahblah what flight blahblahblah maybe that flight blahblahblah.  Can I reach you at this number? "

"You can," I said.  I don't care about his flights.  I was still stunned by my terrible timing.  Here's an idea-- if you're boarding a plane, DON'T ANSWER YOUR PHONE.

"Shoot me your cell phone in an email," he said.  "I'll call you later in the week when I know my travel schedule."

"I'll do that,"  I said.  I won't be doing that.  Only nice people get my cell phone number.  And anyway, what would I do, interview this guy from my folding chair at a baseball game?

"Listen," I said, trying to salvage, "I get how busy you are, and I certainly wasn't trying to bother you.  Have a safe flight. . ."


No good-bye.  Well, is that really surprising?  There wasn't ever a hello.  Obviously, there's no time for that in this guy's busy day.

I would like to thank my friend Lisa for asking me this question.  "Why is their time any more valuable than yours?"   I'm thinking of this now, as I find myself waiting at the dining room table, yet again, for calls to be returned.  

Of course I will still try to contact my contacts--a girl's got to get paid.  But when this one particular busy, busy person calls me back, there's a huge part of me intends to tell him that his timing is horrendous and I'll get back to him after my Pap smear, unless of course, he'd like to be on speaker phone.