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  1. I live in the suburbs of one of the largest cities in the USA so we're pretty much swimming in oral surgeons around here. I went to the one my dentist recommends; he also did all of my mom's individual teeth implants. She cracked approx 1 tooth a year for several years due to teeth grinding at night so during those years she always seemed to be in some stage of the implant process--extraction, waiting to heal, putting the peg in, healing again, then the tooth. This is all because she didn't want to get a custom nightguard from the dentist and sleep with that in. Well, she finally gave in after 3-4 cracked teeth and implants and got the custom nightguard. Works great and no more cracked teeth. We joke that she she could have bought a new car for the cost of all the individual implants over the years. Implants are great though. They keep the other teeth from shifting around as you age so that you can continue to chew well, which is the main thing aside from cosmetic concerns (if any).
  2. I had 2 or 3. One perpetually partially erupted, one waiting in the wings to descend, and the third I can't remember the status of. The perpetually partially erupted one was just kind of irritating over the years because it was always getting food caught in it and my tongue would always be back there searching it. Finally had them taken out around age 30 because I had a full-time job with decent dental insurance at the time. Still didn't cover all of the oral surgeon's costs but much better than paying the full bill. No issues with the twilight sleep or the recovery. Managed to justify eating a lot of ice cream in the days following. I've since learned some dentists will do wisdom teeth but near where I am, I've only ever heard of being referred to an oral surgeon to take care of them.
  3. Back at my last job (which was a decent one, although somewhat entry level), we were expected to be working pretty much 100% of the time except for a 30min unpaid lunch (most people ate at their desks in their cubicles) and I think we got one or two 15-20min breaks. I would guess I could have gotten away with being "off task" maybe 5-10 minutes total in a day every once in awhile but it was pretty strictly monitored and they could tell when you weren't either on the phone or doing claims work in the computer system. And when you took a break or lunch or whatever, you had to instant message your supervisor that you would be "offline" for your scheduled break/lunch/whatever and then they would see you come back online later so I don't think we had to message when we "returned". Obviously supervisors and managers had more "freedom" but they usually looked like they were working harder and longer hours than we were.
  4. The $100 cancellation fee has been the norm in my area since forever (or at least for as long as I've been in therapy). I can't remember ever seeing a pdoc or tdoc that didn't have a $100 (or thereabouts) cancellation fee if you didn't cancel more than 24-48 hours in advance. And yes, there have been 2 or 3 times over the years I've had to pay it. As for the other stuff, I am not familiar with most of it. My tdoc's office does keep my credit card on file which is actually more convenient for me than pdoc's medical billing company which sends me an invoice via snail mail a few weeks after each appointment and then I have to mail a check or my credit card info back in. Pdoc doesn't take many insurance plans and is not taking any new patients in general (though I suspect she must still be getting referrals from other doctors to make up for patient attrition). So I've either paid 100% out of pocket for pdoc for most of the time I've seen her or then one time I did have somewhat decent insurance through an employer but I would have to submit pdocs bills to my insurance company after the fact to get partial reimbursement. Finally, I ended up on medicare due to being on SSDI and pdoc actually accepts medicare (though is not accepting new medicare patients). So for the first time in over a decade, the insurance gods have aligned! Her rates have always been "reasonable" in my opinion though. Currently around $120-150 for most 20-min type appointments. First intake appointment is an hour though and that would be probably closer to $500-ish I imagine these days.
  5. The trial was of structured psychoeducation (PE) vs. mindfulness training. I think perhaps you're misreading PE as meaning PE class, i.e. physical education or gym class?? Or am I reading things wrong? According to sciencedirect, "Psychoeducation (PE) is defined as an intervention with systematic, structured, and didactic knowledge transfer for an illness and its treatment, integrating emotional and motivational aspects to enable patients to cope with the illness and to improve its treatment adherence and efficacy." https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/psychoeducation
  6. I also liked Andrew Solomon's Noonday Demon (about depression). It had a good mix of scholarly/history stuff as well as first person experience stuff IIRC. I keep meaning to read more stuff he's written about other subjects (because he writes so well and covers topics so in depth and thoroughly) but my attention span is very short.
  7. I've argued sometimes that I think some of these people like your former coworker are perhaps projecting. It's like some of them know on some subconscious level that that's what they'd like to do to people who aren't like them (or maybe they remember horrific things done like enslaving people, the Tuskegee experiments, Japanese American incarceration camps, conversion therapy for non-cisgender people, etc.), so they assume that if those "others" had more privilege/power that that's what their instinct would be too--to do awful things to those with less power or take "revenge" or whatever. My mom argues that people are always looking for ways to be "better than" on some level so that even if a person is considered to be on a relatively low rung in a particular culture/society, they like to feel like at least they're one rung higher than another group of people. She puts it better than I do. I don't think our arguments are even in conflict. They could both be true. Or perhaps we're both way off with our theories. And the theories don't make anything "right". For us, it's like we feel compelled to try to understand where things are coming from so that maybe we can help change things. Now, what I still can't wrap my head around is people who legit believe/believed in pizzagate and that type of stuff. I can come up with theories for most things...but pizzagate? Really? Is it just people love a sensational conspiracy theory, or satanic panic? Like the Mississippi Three case, and the McMartin preschool case? (Sorry if almost all of my references in this post are USA in origin.)
  8. I think you stopped yourself at the exact right moment. I was laughing at this section. But then again, I've been told I have the sense of humor of a teenage boy.
  9. Edited to add: My apologies to Fluent for veering even more off-topic with this crazy rambling post. I actually owned Trainspotting on VHS back in the day. Even had the CD soundtrack at one point. Saw it pretty soon after it came out I think but not in the theatre as I would have been too young at the time to see an R-rated movie in a theatre without my parents present. I'm slowly coming to grips with the fact that I'm pretty much ancient at this point. Blockbuster kind of sucked IMO because the fines were ridiculous if you returned a movie like even a couple hours late or whatever. That's how they seemed to make their money...the fines. I always returned my videos on time but I saw many unhappy customers there complaining about late fees. Remember when you had to drive to go to blockbuster to pick out a movie? You had to plan it as part of the night or date or whatever. Hey friends, let's go out to blockbuster and pick out a movie. I don't miss blockbuster (my library has an excellent dvd collection, no fines, plus there's streaming through the library, netflix, etc.) but I do kind of miss the porn/"adult" sections of independent movie rental places. I hear there's porn on the internet, but I kind of miss the separate section for "adults only" and browsing all the covers and crazy titles in person. I remember that if it was produced by Vivid or Wicked it was usually a decent production. This was back in the early 2000s though. And I had to use google to remember Wicked was the other film production company/studio or whatever so now my google search history is filled with "popular porn film production companies" and all sorts of variations on that theme. God I hope those searches don't ruin my currently benign slate of targeted ads that want me to shop at LL Bean, Joann Fabric's yarn, etc. One time I couldn't resist clicking on a ball saxx ad and I got nothing but men's bulging crotches clad in tight undies for weeks in my sidebar...Christ. I remember when there was a discussion of saxx on crazyboards and whether it really was "life-changing" for men. (Reviews were either love em or hate em IIRC.) Now I've gone and googled ball saxx just to remember the correct spelling and up pops "Shinesty: Mens Ball Hammock Pouch Underwear". Is shinesty like a rip-off of ball saxx? Which came first? Check out this pair (which by the way would scare the living bejesus out of me if I pulled down some guys pants and was confronted with that level of american patriotism, plus the angry eagle...it's like the eagle is warning me to stay away from the cock, which I would think is not the intended objective?): Whoever wrote the description section for them deserves some kind of award or mention....if they gave out awards for best written clothing descriptions. (Do they?) I mean, the J Peterman catalog* would generally win the sartorial Pulitzer or whatever, but maybe they could get an honorable mention or nomination at least (at least in the childish humor category)? "Introducing The Mascot Ball Hammocks, aka the eagle's nest, where your balls will experience an unprecedented level of comfort and support from here on out. It's as if your plums mounted a cloud while riding Falcor from The Neverending Story. Or, in this case, the wings of a god-damn Eagle. So check out our American Flag Ball Hammock boxers, you will not be disappointed." *J Peterman example at random (christ, they make can even make 100% poly crepe sound almost appealing and it's on sale for $168 and everything...) : The Eisenhower Jacket "DETAILS Don't Wear This in Minnesota. The bold color. The military flair. You can almost hear Ravel’s Bolero in the background. These splendid suit pieces are sure to command attention…which can cause problems in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. Because at least one city there has now enacted an Anti-Staring Ordinance. (Does anybody remember anymore that the collapse of the Roman Empire was due to a surfeit of paralyzing rules and regulations? Attila just knocked at the gate.) Elsewhere, please feel free to bask in the warm regard of people who will be disposed to expect good things of you. Eisenhower Jacket (No. 6797). Military-inspired fitted suit jacket with medium wide lapels. Single breasted style with set-in sleeves and two chest pockets with button closure. Back waist belt. 100% poly crepe. Poly lining. Gold metal shank buttons. Imported."
  10. Today's New Yorker cartoon...not a meme:
  11. Resurrecting this to say that I've recently been reading poetry by Jane Hirshfield and it might be something you'd be interested in, if you haven't already read her work, especially her book Lives of the Heart. I mean, there is sadness and loneliness, but there's a lot of nature and beauty and food for thought. Now, I'm not sure if Mark Doty's poetry in general would be to your taste; however, who can resist "A Green Crab's Shell"?
  12. Unless of course you choose "password" as your password (which technically is 8 or more characters). Apparently there really are people that choose such terrible passwords. Like "1234", etc. Really makes me wonder about the human race's long term prospects come to think of it.
  13. I've been on various doses of remeron and effexor since 2002. The vivid technicolor dreams/nightmares have not yet abated and it's been 18 years. I mean, sometimes the dreams will be boring-weird or totally banal but quite vivid. And a lot of the time it's me abusing people, people abusing me, long torture sequences, apocalyptic storylines (that's probably the most frequent recurring theme), being killed, killing others, etc. etc. Usually pretty gory. I have woken myself up a few times trying to scream but it's been awhile since that happened. Usually I'll have multiple dream plots in one night and some will be "uncomfortable" and some will be banal. So there can be a mix. I confess I recently got around to watching Tiger King on netflix over the course of a few nights. (The topic has always been a fascination of mine.) But anyways, boy did that lead to some "fun" dreams being torn apart by tigers and lions roaming around my house and seeing my loved ones ripped apart too. It was all part of a bigger storyline. I forget most of the details as usual. Weird thing is, my dreams and nightmares never seem to bother me much in my waking life. I guess I'm fortunate that way? I mean, even when I wake up from these dreams in the middle of the night, usually I just roll over and go back to sleep, knowing that I'm probably just going to get thrown back into another bad dream. If it's the morning/afternoon and I'm sleeping in and the dreams are extra special bad, I'll occasionally get up earlier than planned rather than face going back to sleep and undergoing more but that's pretty rare. So for me, the vivid dreams have never gone away.
  14. Just wanted to say, as to your example, I'm female, several visible (obviously self-inflicted) scars scattered over my body, and it has not been an issue that has come up in a significant way during "sexy good times". It may come up, but usually not "in the moment". Maybe because most of mine are on my arms so they're already usually seen long before the question of clothes coming off? I have seen scars on a guy once that I can recall, on the inside of a guy's arm who I chatted with. I think I asked him about them. So long ago and my memory is crap. IIRC, I haven't seen any scars on guys during "sexy good times" other than from surgery/accidental injury, stretch marks, etc. Then again, I was/am fairly dysfunctional when it comes to men/drinking at certain times in my life so there are blackouts and crazy shit that went down and lord only knows what I may have missed picking up on being so absorbed in my own self-destructive habits. I have been with men who've dealt with their own various issues/demons. I mean, people are human (or at least most are). So I've found most people can kind of relate, some more than others. It's people that seem totally "normal" that tend to freak me out. I always think they must be hiding something because who gets through life that unscathed? So I don't trust the "normalcy". I'm also afraid I might rub off on the "normal" people and ruin them somehow. I would say the "normal" people I speak of that freak me out are a very tiny minority. And sometimes if you scratch the surface a little bit and get to know them better, they turn out to be not-so-normal after all and that's reassuring to me in a weird way. But anyways, back to sexy times...I was just trying to say that at least for me (back before I became a recluse), it's not been a mood killer or deal breaker or anything. Strangers who see my scars (like doctors and nurses and people who draw blood) don't even bother commenting on them for the most part or asking probing questions anymore. They used to back in the late 90s/early 2000s. Maybe because I was younger? Or maybe medical professionals have seen it all now and it's more common or normalized or something? Kind of weird in a way now that I think about it...how the scars no longer seem to raise any more eyebrows or prompt any more questions than having a cute butterfly tattoo would. Or maybe my scars look so old they figure it's ancient history so why bother commenting? Sorry, turned into "all about me". Not sure this was helpful at all in fact.
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