March 4, 2017

Dear Residents of Manitoba,

How the hell do you do it? And by “it” I mean, how do you survive winter after winter of snow and cold and brrrrrr?

This winter in Vancouver has been challenging for us West Coasters. We are, as you know, complete light weights when it comes to cold weather and snow. We don’t know how to drive in it and we don’t know how to deal with it.

You do it every year. Every year. How?

The past two or three months I have spent most days counting the hours until I could (without judgement) put on my fleece pjs and crawl under my feather duvet. Time not day dreaming about this is spent surfing the travel websites in search of a super deal to a beach vacation spot.

So, is it alcohol? A sun bed in your bathroom? On line shopping? Do you have heated underwear? What keeps you sane during those frigid months?

The forecast for the next three days in the Metro Vancouver area is snow.  Sure, it will probably be less than three inches. But for us that’s the equivalent of three feet for you prairie dwellers.

The Best Thing in Life is that all my flannel pjs are clean and ready to go.

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Uncomfortable Conversations and Ick

doctors 2

I’ve been in two awkward positions today.  The first involved drooling and the second involved stirrups.  Ya that’s right, I went to the dentist AND the doctor in the same day.  Double downed on the uncomfortable conversations and general “ick” factor.

Why do dental hygienists ask you questions?  And they’re not just yes or no questions but question that require detailed explanations.

“What kind of activities did your daughter do over Spring Break?”

Questions that may even involve follow up questions.

“Oh, I’ve heard about that camp.  Where did she go and what did she do?”

dentist 1

Really?  My mouth is wide open and you are scraping crap off my teeth with a wicked sharp hook.  Do you really want me to answer that?

My hope is that some day soon every dental office will have virtual reality goggles for their clients to wear.  So when you are sitting in the waiting room you can flip through a catalogue and chose a scenario for your appointment.  Then when you get into the dentist chair you pop on the goggles and enjoy you 45 minutes of fantasy.  I would pick the tropical vacation.  Lounging on the beach with a cold drink in my hand watching the dolphins play in the surf.  I’m not sure how to shut out the incessant scraping noises but really, that’s just a minor detail.

And why would you want to scrape crap off people’s teeth with a sharp hook.  “Ick.”

Now before I start in on the whole female annual check up trauma.  Let me say this.  I feel for these doctors.  They are the doctors who answer these questions.

 

“Do you know what could have caused this rash on my butt?”

“Can you burn the wart off my sons foot?”

“Is this thing on my kids face infectious?”

And that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head.  I’m sure there are weirder and more disgusting questions asked.  “Ick.”

I guess my question here is who the hell thought that this was a good idea?  Is there no their way to test us?  Something, perhaps, a bit less personal? Less invasive?

stirrups

I can’t imagine it’s all that fun for the doctor either.  I don’t know, maybe they learn to do it with their eyes closed.  Maybe they secretly put on virtual reality goggles while they’re doing it and dream of tropical beaches and dolphins.  Or, perhaps, all those years of medical school have dulled their “ick” factor sensors and they just don’t even notice. Or care.

My doctor and I had perfected the art of small talk during this particular part of my annual check up.  But he retired last year and now I have a new doctor that I barely know.  Picture me lying on my back, feet in stirrups humming away to myself trying to think of something to say to a man know that I’ve met twice.

“So, great weather today.”  Nope it’s pouring with rain

“How about those Canucks?”  Nope they didn’t even make it into the playoffs.

I decided just to continue humming and staring at the crack in the ceiling.

All joking aside, I truly admire any individual who enters a profession that deals with people’s health.  The Best Thing in Life is competent medical professionals who help prevent and further “ick” in our lives.