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Friday, May 5, 2017

I Guess Screw My Calendar Then (Plus, Teeth)

First, The Calendar

After that last menstrual debacle--since I had been regular up until that point--I had anticipated everything to go back to being regular, roughly anyway.  Yesterday I saw a tiny drop of blood and convinced myself it was not blood, only to this morning find that, yup, it's back.

I'm glad I wasn't on a sex vacation this time.  And I wasn't too lazy to put a cup in this morning rather than just free bleeding, which I did throughout most of my last cycle since it was long but also quite light.

It's actually not an alarming gap between this cycle and the last... but it's not regular, normally it's around 40 days for me rather than the 30 that it was today.  The problem is that I'm going to be going to Pagan Spirit Gathering next month, and I'm worried I'll wind up with my next cycle sometime during it, which would royally suck.  It won't be a super huge deal to use a cup, but my partner will be there and... well... sex vacation issue all over again.  Either way I need to at least make sure I pack one of my cups, just in case it happens.

Hopefully I'll remember to start that knitting and/or crocheting project I was talking about earlier... I do already have the yarn.  Just need to do it.  The plan is to do at least ten minutes (that's a low number) of knitting on the project each day during my period so I have something to use during relevant rituals when I don't want to use actual blood.

A Bonus Inspirational Note About Ex-Friends

Anyway, I woke up this morning on a stressful note because an ex-friend of mine--one who I "friend divorced"--is trying to friend me back.  I'd unfriended him because he changed a lot, from a radical-left-leaning Pagan-ish person with a lot in common with me to a married Christian man who used not just one but multiple "thin blue line" profile pictures.  I mention this because I wanted to put it out there that you are NOT obligated to continue to be friends with people who flirt with terrible politics, even if they were totally good friends before.

The Dental Stuff and Weight Stuff

So, teeth.  I don't remember if I ever brought this up here before, but I have a history of very bad dental care.  When I grew up my parents never really instilled good brushing and flossing habits in me, so as an adult I struggled to gain those habits.  When I started college and lost my health and dental insurance I went off the rails into natural healthcare, not only trying to fill the gaps of poor health coverage but really buying into the medical conspiracy theories out there.  I refused to get my wisdom teeth taken out, insisting they were fine.  I'd also gone vegan and was brushing my teeth with natural toothpaste to avoid animal testing, and I still didn't floss regularly.

I started flossing after I started eating meat again, because meat stuck in your teeth is a special hell when you haven't had that experience in seven years, and eventually started using fluoridated toothpaste again, trying to make up for what I was sure was terrible teeth.

About two and a half years ago I got dental insurance through the Exchange and made a New Year resolution that I would get my teeth fixed.  My goal was to get a general check-up, get my wisdom teeth removed (they were getting infected and I'd had to go through multiple rounds of penicillin over them), get all my cavities drilled, and start really taking care of my teeth in a very complimentary way... I'd go to a conventional dentist but take care of my teeth naturally at home.

Once I went to the dentist, the wisdom tooth removal took place very rapidly.  Like, within two weeks they were gone.  I have some continuing sinus problems because they grew into my nasal cavity (I briefly was able to transfer liquid from my mouth to my nose, which was disgusting), but overall it's so much better.

Then I set to getting my cavities drilled, and I had a lot of them, at least two in each quadrant (there are eight quadrants).  I lost count.  They were like Swiss cheese.  I can trace this back to a couple different reasons:
  1. Veganism is terrible for your teeth.  Like, really bad.  Regular veganism isn't as bad as, say, raw veganism, but it's not great.
  2. I had a huge soda addiction so my teeth were in a constant sugar and acid bath.
  3. I had years of not brushing and not flossing in my past.
Anyway, it took over two years to complete my New Year resolution, because dental care is super expensive.  There's one more thing I need to have done--my teeth need to be re-shaped to deal with some pain the cavity drillings caused--but then I'm hopefully done other than regular cleanings.

My main concern was getting rid of the soda.  I drank only diet soda, so the sugar wasn't there, but the acid was definitely there.  My dentist did suggest that if I relapse into soda addiction I try drinking it with a straw so it doesn't bathe my teeth.  I haven't drank diet soda at all since for a while but I wind up drinking flavored carbonated water instead... it's not sugary and has less acid, but is still acidic.

I brush my teeth with homemade clay-xylitol based toothpaste (a quarter cup bentonite clay mixed with a half teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon or so xylitol, and some essential oil so it tastes good with enough water to give it a smooth texture).  I also use a copper tongue scraper, floss daily, and use a liquorice toothstick.  The toothstick not only cleans the teeth, but it gives me something to chew on when I'm in a snacking mood but not actually hungry.

I have until the 11th to get down to my target weight for this challenge, with 3.2 pounds to go.  I should make it... I've been doing pretty good with my diet, and not eating grain and refined sugar makes me lose weight pretty stably.  I probably should exercise some, though, both because of the boost to weight loss and because it just makes me feel better.

Anyway, Happy Trails,
-- Jackson