Another fear conquered***

August 15, 2007

I went to the Dentist today for a check up.

I needed a small filling.

I was very brave!

No, its not an excerpt from my diary when aged 9 & 3/4’s, this was me yesterday πŸ™‚

You see, I’m not very good with the whole Dentist putting things in my mouth thing. I had a few bad experiences as a youngster and it put me right off. I’d go as far as to say I was dentist-a-phobic.

In my life BP (Before Paul) I avoided going to the Dentist as much as possible. Now, dont get me wrong, I look after my teeth, being scared of going to the Dentist means that I do all I can to look after myself, just so I didnt have to visit my mentalist dentist. I brush twice a day religiously, even remembering before going to bed when I’m drunk πŸ™‚ So its not like I’ve got a mouth full of black stumps or anything. In fact, with the exception of my “dark” front tooth* they are pretty normal teeth, for British teeth** anyway.

I’ve only got 3 adult teeth missing so I dont think I’ve done too badly. The last extraction being sometime around 1997 and then I didnt go to the evil teeth doctor again for years! In the mean time, I grew up, met Paul and lived happily ever after.

Each year since we’ve been together, when making his own appointments, Paul has said “We’ll have to get you to the dentist.” I would nod or grunt or something and then, bless him, he’d leave me alone and not nag about it. That’s usually the best way to handle me and do you know? It worked, so after only 4 years of that, I finally said “OK, make me an appointment too.”

I agreed to go on condition that it was to the same Dentist as Paul, on account of how gentle he was. The National Health Service is currently very short of Dentists, some people having to travel 100’s of miles to visit theirs, so I earned a couple of more years reprieve by this gambit.

Eventually, our Dentist took on some new patients and that was that, no more excuses. So about this time last year I went to see my new Dentist. I dont think he had to look too hard to see the terror in my eyes as I sat in his chair πŸ™‚ We had a little chat and he did his best to put me at ease. He asked if there was anything he should look out for, I thought I might have a crack in the top of a molar, it turned out that was ok but I needed a filling in the tooth in front of it.

So he says to me, “I’ll just clean up the cavity and smooth it out, just to get a better look at it.” That sounded ok to me, not too much trauma there. Except, half way through this “clean up” I started thinking that it felt a bit like a drill. Mr Dentist told me the tool was a “burr” and nothing to worry about. Next thing I knew he had packed some filling in the tooth and I was spitting bits of metal into a cup.

He tricked me!

“It’s usually better that way” says he. “You’re probably right” says I.

Now this year, I felt a little less apprehensive about going for my check up. On a scale of 1 to 10, somewhere around a 6. I mentioned that the tooth he filled last year was still a bit sharp and he smoothed it off for me so thats all good. Then he did that thing they do, you know the Dentist Bingo calling thing? 1,2,3 ok, missing 4, 5 ok, 6 occlusion etc… I think no.6 being that molar that I thought needed work last year. He sticks his little hooked spear thing into it and starts tugging, I just about manage to refrain from screaming and aiming a blind punch up behind me! Mercifully, he stops and asks if I can feel the pain spear catching in the tooth! I try to stay calm and nod that yes I can. So he says to me, “I’ll just need to give that a clean and smooth it out a bit.”

Can you see it coming? I didn’t, until halfway through the “cleaning” when it slowly dawned on me. Thats what he said last time! Once again, he’d done the filling and i’m spitting bits into the suction cup thing while he advises not to eat anything heavy for a few hours.

He tricked me again! Subconsciously, I may even have been slightly complicit in the deception πŸ™‚

The phobia I thought I had is now officially downgraded to a strong dislike.

So tell me, did you ever have a phobia or fear that just went away?

PS. What time do you go to the Dentist? At two thirty!!!

* another tale in its own right

** We know what you Americans say about us!

*** Thats Dentists and Wasps whipped, so its 2 down and just another 30 or so to go πŸ˜‰


Fave Foto Friday # 12

August 10, 2007

I love this shot of the Opera House, even though technically its not perfect and is a little blurred. Its taken from one of the Ferries that operate sightseeing tours of Sydney Harbour.

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An interesting factiod for Australian Idol fans is that the bright blue light, bottom right, is the stage being set up and tested for the 2006 finale which was happening the following evening πŸ™‚


Weight and see

August 6, 2007

Over the last couple of months I been trying to lose some weight. After my last holiday, I had reached an all time high of 12st 6lb (80kg) and was starting to get a bit down about it. I think I’m doing doing pretty well, and am currently about 11st 12lb (76kg)

You might think that 8lbs over 4 months isnt a lot, but I have to do this slowly, without resorting to any drastic measures.

You see, I’ve been here before and it wasnt that pretty.

Around 1995 I was back living in my hometown, totally closetted both at work and in my social circle. I was also desperately unhappy and so for 2 years I just existed. That is to say I got up in the morning, went to work, came home, ate a meal, went to the Pub with friends, came home, went to bed and repeat. I started putting on weight, not surprising really, I was an unhappy lazy slob.

This is when it started. I used to tell myself it began with an unkind word, that seemed to justify things better. In fact, I realise now that it actually began with a kind word. I’d had a few days off the beer for some reason and at work I was complimented. “Oh, you look well, have you lost some weight?” The sort of throw-away compliment that we’ve all made at some time or other. This cheered me up a little, after all, who doesnt like to receive a compliment?

So the wiring in the brain starts to take shape, like an equation.

Lose weight + Compliment = Feel a bit less miserable inside

I began cutting down on my food intake and more weight came off. More compliments followed and the message, “thin is good”, was reinforced further. I reached a point where my lunch at work was a sandwich of cottage cheese on 1 slice of Hovis Wholemeal. My Evening meal a microwave baked potato, eaten dry usually but sometimes with a little chopped tomato to moisten it. I was still going the Pub almost every evening and having a couple of pints of beer, that didnt count though πŸ˜‰

I think I hit a plateau around 9st 7lbs (60kg) and stayed at that weight for a few months. I thought I looked great at the time, people wanted to know my dieting secrets, how well I’d done. In fact, My brother told me years later that he had been worried I was seriously ill, Cancer or possibly even Aids, that sort of thing.

Here is the family friendly version of how I looked then

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This is the not so nice version, click if you dare! Dont worry, I’m not totally nude or anything!

Things took a turn for the worse at this point. Having plateaued, I felt I was no longer getting the attention that I had enjoyed and so my brain came up with a new plan. I began to ask myself “why shouldnt I eat what I liked?” I wasnt losing any weight anyway so fuck it! I began to eat and eat and eat. Then , you guessed it, I immeadiately regretted eating and forced myself to be sick. (That’s still quite hard to say out loud)

A new cycle emerged, where previously I’d eat very little, for example taking a single sandwich to work, now I’d eat a full meal in the canteen. Shortly afterwards I ‘d be in the toilets being sick. this went on for some time and the weight started coming off again. Along with some damage to back teeth enamel and gums, I should add.

In mid 1998 I met Paul and I was at my lowest adult weight, 8st 9lb (55kg) looking back at photos, I cant believe how thin I was.

During our first few months together I was still doing it. I’m sure that Paul had no idea, I’d eat a meal and then go off and be quietly sick. You get good at that. It sounds impossible doesnt it, being quietly sick. I cant do it now, I’m as noisy as anyone else, I guess I’ve lost that “skill.”

We had a blip, me and Paul, I finished our relationship because he was getting too close, I was falling for him big time and I could’nt cope with that. Luckily for me he didnt give up and after a few awful lonely weeks, we were back together. Shortly afterwards I moved in with Paul and that changed things totally.

I was now away from my hometown, new friends (Paul’s) and a new job where I was out and proud! I was happy, happier than I’d been in years, possibly happier then ever before. I stopped being sick and started eating normally, I even put weight on and it didnt worry me.

I still have an “odd” relationship with food at times. For example, Fish must have its batter removed and Pies, Sausage rolls and Quiche must all have their pastry stripped off or left on the plate. If I have planned what I will eat or have chosen from the the menu and its not available or the plan changes for some reason it throws me into blind panic. Similarly, if I’m put on the spot like “What do you want to eat?” usually I cant just answer right away, I have to think about it. Then I feel that all eyes are on me and it panics me a bit. I’m still working on that!

You’ll notice I’ve avoided labelling my “condition”. You might be thinking Anorexia or Bulimia. You might be right. I would’nt want to label myself with those names,but only because I’d feel a fraud. My sudden cure through falling in love seems too easy and somehow unfair to all those people who suffer with eating disorders all their lives.

So, its took 9 years of not caring too much about my weight to get from 8st 9lb up to 12st 6lbs.

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Not too bad going, but some of it now has to come off. I just need to go slow and not get obsessive or silly about it. So I’m playing it cool, If I lose 1-2lbs a week that will be plenty and I know when to stop this time, 10st will be just fine thanks.

I was going to turn off the comments for this post but, what the heck, I’ve had my say, you have yours πŸ™‚


Recipe for a Busy Saturday

August 4, 2007

Wash the dishes
Load laundry in washing machine
Wash car
Hang washing out to dry
Load laundry in washing machine
Polish* car
Hang washing out to dry
Clean the exterior of the conservatory (3 hours!!)
Vacuum the car interior
Water the plants
Scrub the bath

You’ll know youve done it right when you fall asleep while taking a bath!

* I believe this to be the only word in English that can change meaning when capitalised!


Nothing doing?

August 2, 2007

So in lieu of proper posts, lets look at what’s been happening recently on Planet Andy.

Myself and Paul ate out last night, which for us is a pretty rare thing on a week night. We went to Estikutum and really enjoyed ourselves. The company (Min and Marie from work) was good and the food divine.

I always find it reassuring when your fellow diners are of the same “ethnic group” as the food being served. In the restaurant, the majority of the customers appeared to be of either Indian, Pakistan or other far east origin. In fact, Min is of Indian descent, so I trust her when she said the food was authentic. My verdict? Five stars!

On Sunday, we finished off the front garden. Finally! Here are the obligatory photos showing off the view πŸ™‚

We’ve gone from

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To this

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And finally

Garden07 110

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So that’s that done, I can now spend some time erecting my shed and greenhouse at the allotment πŸ™‚

Hopefully inspiration will re-visit me soon and I’ll be back to my usual prolific (read: sporadic) level of posts.

Truth be told, one reason I’ve not posted much lately is that I’ve been labouring over a particular topic. Its one of those dreadfully self indulgent cathartic posts, it still feels quite raw in places but hopefully has some humour too. I’m almost happy with the content, I just have to decide if its really a good idea to post or not.


Yorkshire Day

August 1, 2007

Ummmm, this should have posted this morning but something went wrong…

Anyway its not too late to say…

Happy Yorkshire Day everyone!