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Health-Related Stuff on Friday the 13th
Part Two: Dentist Appointment, Cemetery Visit, and Pizza Hut
By Gary F. Zeolla
I spent Friday, October 13, 2017 dealing with a series of things related to health that most people should consider dealing with. In this two-part article, I am describing that day. It is my hope my busy Friday the 13th will be instructive to the reader in dealing with these issues.
Part One addressed my “Annual Physical and Blood Test.” For the blood test, I had to be in a fasting state, so I had not eaten when I left the blood testing place shortly before noon and set off for the next phase of my busy day.
I went straight from the blood testing place to my dentist’s office. I had scheduled the dentist appointment at 12:30 pm. I figured that would give me enough time between my doctor appointment at 10:30 am and my dentist appointment to get the blood test done in-between. I ended up making it to the dentist at noon.
Mind you, I had not eaten all day at this point. I should have packed something to eat, but I figured I wouldn’t have time to eat between the appointments. As it was, I considered stopping somewhere to eat before going to the dentist, but I didn’t want to risk being late for the dentist. And besides, I didn’t want to eat before the dentist, knowing I wouldn’t be able to brush my teeth afterwards, which is another reason I didn’t bother packing anything to eat. As it turned out, good thing I went straight to the dentist, as they took me just a couple of minutes after arriving half an hour early.
I was concerned about this appointment, as a year and a half before I had been diagnosed with gingivitis:
Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness and swelling (inflammation) of your gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. It’s important to take gingivitis seriously and treat it promptly. Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease called periodontitis and tooth loss (Mayo).
The reason I had developed gingivitis was prior to the visit a 1-1/2 years year earlier, I had not gone to the dentist in six years. That allowed plaque to build up on my teeth, leading to the inflammation and that led to a loss of bone around the teeth. Comparing my X-rays from six years before to my x-rays last year, the loss of bone was very noticeable, and disturbing. My maternal grandparents both had false teeth and many problems with them, so I don’t want to end up in that situation.
Reason for Not Going:
The reason I had not gone to the dentist for so long was because my multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) would always bother me at the dentist, and when my health in that regard took a turn for the worst back in 2009, I just stopped going. I hadn’t had a cavity in decades, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal. But I didn’t think of the buildup of plaque causing problems. But by early 2016, I was doing better, so I went again and found out about the problem of plaque buildup and gingivitis. But I also had problems from that visit due to my MCS and felt terrible for three days afterwards.
But I then figured out the reason for that was two-fold. First, they had given me plaque reducing toothpaste and mouthwash to use, but both contained mint, which I am allergic to. Once I stopped using both, I began to feel better. I then did some research and found that brushing with baking soda helps to control plaque. But as a caveat, it shouldn’t be done too often as it can wear down the enamel on the teeth, so I have been brushing with baking soda once a day, and that has helped a little bit with the plaque buildup.
Second, the stuff the hygienist scoops into the little cup and polishes your teeth with contains something that bothers me, probably artificial flavorings, which I know I am allergic to and thus never consume food with them in it. Since that polishing is just for cosmetic reasons, I now tell the hygienist before she starts to clean my teeth to not bother with it, and that has decreased my problems with going to the dentist considerably.
At this visit, the hygienist set me up in a chair and then left the room, and I sat there for almost half an hour. So much for them taking me early. I should have stopped and gotten something to eat on the way to the dentist.
After the wait, the hygienist finally retuned and took x-rays. Then the dentist came in to check my teeth. They were fine, with again, no cavities. The reason I never get cavities is simple—I don’t eat sweets, never, none, not at all. And cavities cannot form without sugar. I do get sugar in my diet from fruit, but that comes with liquid and fiber that helps to remove the sugar before it can cause cavities, just one of the many differences between naturally occurring and added sugars that I talk about in my books Creationist Diet: Second Edition and God-given Foods Eating Plan.
In any case, I then asked the dentist about the x-rays. I wanted him to compare them to the ones from a year ago and see if the bone loss had been halted. That was important, as due to the gingivitis diagnosis, the dentist had wanted me to undergo deep cleaning, which is more extensive than the cleaning done at a regular dentist visit. But it is also much more expensive and is not covered by insurance, and it would require several trips.
It was my hope that if I just went to the dentist regularly again, which is to say, twice a year as my insurance would pay for, then that would be good enough to arrest the loss of bone. As long as it stayed where it was, I would be okay.
As it turned out, when the dentist compared the x-rays, he was a bit surprised when not only had the bone loss stopped, but it looked like it had regrown back just a little bit. Not much, but he said that normally doesn’t happen. Why that was the case for me, he couldn’t say, but I would guess it again goes back to my diet. As such, if I keep going op the dentist regularly and following my healthy eating plan, I should be fine.
After the dentist left, the hygienist took me into another room for my cleaning. Why we had to move, I had no idea, as the next room looked the same as the first. But getting teeth cleaned is not fun, as the hygienist always really has to pick to get all of the plaque off, and it feels like she is going pull out a tooth! It took about half an hour, and that was the end of my dentist appointment.
Scheduling Next Appointment:
I then went to the front desk to schedule my next appointment. I wanted to schedule it for exactly six months later, which would be Friday the 13th in April. But I was told I had to schedule it a week later as it had to be more than six months for my insurance to cover it. I did that initially, but I later called my insurance company and was told the rule was there had to be 180 days between appointments, not six months.
I counted out the weeks, and it was 26 weeks from October 13th to April 13th. 26 x 7 = 182, so I called the dentist and moved my appointment to when I wanted it in the first place. The person I talked to said she’d call the insurance company to be sure I was correct and call back if I wasn’t. I never heard back, so I assume I am good to go on April 13th.
The reason this was important to me was if I scheduled a week later each time, then my dentist appointment in the fall would get moved back each year, eventually into the winter, which can get dicey travel-wise here in Pittsburgh. And besides, it worked out well this time scheduling my dentist and doctor’s appointment on the same day, getting my flu shot at the latter, so I want to keep doing that, but I want to keep getting the flu shot in October.
I had a hard time explaining all of this to the lady I talked to at the insurance company. She just couldn’t grasp why, if I scheduled more than six months later each time, that would move the appointments around the calendar, but I hope the reader understands.
But she did understand when I told her the whole policy was rather stupid. It should be that you can have two dentist appointments in a given calendar year, and that would make things a lot easier.
By the time I got out of the dentist, it was after 1:00 pm, and I still had not eaten. I was going to stop to eat then, but I wanted to get the next thing I planned on doing over with, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax and enjoy my dinner until I did. It was to go to the cemetery to visit my mom’s grave.
Finding the Gravesites:
My mom had died on my birthday six months before (see Mom Went to Be With the LORD). I had visited her grave once since the funeral, but that was before the memorial stone had been placed. My paternal and maternal grandparents were also buried at the same cemetery, so I wanted to visit their graces as well. I knew doing all of that would be a bit emotional, so again, that is why I waited to get this stop out of the way before going to eat.
I found my mom’s grave with no problems and spent some time there. But then I couldn’t find the graves for either set of grandparents. The first time I came to the cemetery to see my mom’s grave, my dad was with me, and he showed me where these graves were too, but I just couldn’t find them. I thus had to go to the cemetery office to see if they could give me directions as to where they might be. On the way, I decided it was time to do something I had been thinking about since my mom passed away.
Funeral and Cemetery Arraignments:
When my mom passed, my dad mentioned more than once how nice it was that he had made all of the necessary funeral and cemetery arrangements for my mom’s burial long before she passed. He also already has taken care of such for his own passing. In that way, he could focus on mourning my mom when she passed, and when he passes, my brother and I can focus on mourning for him, without having to deal with all of the arrangements.
That got me thinking I should do the same, so that it would be easier on whoever would be responsible for my burial when my time comes. Moreover, the grave plot was open beside where my mom was buried, and my dad will be buried, so I figured it would be nice to be laid next to them.
When I went into the office, a nice lady met me, and I told her about trying to find the graves and thinking about getting a grave plot. We then spent the next hour or so dealing with the grave plot arrangements. In the end, I bought the grave plot, vault, and opening and closing of the grave. Only the memorial stone would be left to buy, but that was too expensive to get just yet. And I still have to make funeral arguments. But still, it was good to get that much bought and paid for now before the LORD takes me home to make it easier for others when the time comes. Hopefully, that won’t be for a long time, but it is good to think ahead.
Map for Cemetery:
After we were done with all of the grave plot paperwork, the lady gave me a copy of a map for the cemetery and marked where my grandparents were laid. I then went to visit them, spending a bit of time at each site. Each of each pair were of course buried beside each other, though the pairs were a bit of a distance away from each other.
By the time I got done and was ready to the leave the cemetery, I was feeling quite emotional, but I was glad it was done with. It was now time to finally go and eat. But first, to answer a question the reader might be having.
How Does This Relate to Health?
The reader might be wondering how this section relates to health. Well, emotions can affect a person’s health quite dramatically, and nothing is more emotional than dealing with death, both that of loved ones and of yourself.
As mentioned, my dad said it helped greatly in dealing with my mom’s death that all of the arrangements had been made beforehand. The week of her funeral was difficult enough as it was, but if he would have had to take care of the funeral and grave arrangements that week, it would have been overwhelming. But as it was, he was able to focus on mourning her, and that has probably helped him to move on since then. By keeping busy, he has been doing quite well.
That contrasts with another relative who lost his wife over three years ago. He is still stuck in a rut, unable to let her go and move on. When I talk to him, all he still wants to talk about is his departed wife. It is quite sad, but there is not much anyone can do for him until he can accept her death.
As for me, as this Part Two of this article is being posted, it has now been over a year since my mom passed away. I still think about her, and there are times when something will happen, and I will wish she was still here to tell her about it.
But easing the burden about her passing and even that of my grandparents is I know they all had placed their faith in the Lord Jesus and His death on the cross for their sins. As such, I know they are in a better place now, and that I will join them someday, since I also have trusted in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. That doesn’t mean I don’t still miss and mourn them, but as the Apostle Paul wrote:
3But we do not want you* to continue being unaware, brothers [and sisters], concerning the ones having fallen asleep [fig., who have died], so that you* shall not be grieved just as also the rest, the ones not having hope [or, confident expectation]. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also God will bring the ones having fallen asleep through [fig., having died in] Jesus with Him (1Thessalonians 4:13-14; ALT3).
It will greatly help the reader emotionally and thus physically if you are prepared for death before the time arrives, both in terms of the funeral and cemetery arrangements and in terms of knowing what your final destiny will be. That is why such preparations and placing your faith in Jesus are important health-wise, and in many other ways.
The Bible and Burial:
Before closing this section, I know there are some Christians who have a lax attitude towards what happens to their bodies after they die. They seem to think it does not matter, to the point of saying it would fine with them if they are cremated and their ashes are scattered to the wind. Their thought is, God can reconstitute their body from the ashes no matter where they might be.
Though theologically that might be true, as God can do all things, that attitude towards one’s body after death is completely unbiblical. I intend on writing an article on “Christian Burial” for a future issue of my Christian newsletter, so I will forgo further comments here. But if the reader is interested in that article, then subscribe to my Darkness to Light newsletter.
By the time I left the cemetery, it was almost 3:30 pm, and I still had not eaten all day. There was a Pizza Hut just up the street from the cemetery, so I went there. By the time I got to the restaurant, went in, ordered, and received my meal, it was 4:00 p.m., and I was absolutely famished.
I ordered a medium (eight cut) pizza. For something different and for some more protein, I got chicken breast on it. Yes, chicken. I never had that on a pizza before, but again, since I hadn’t eaten all day but had worked out the evening before, I figured I’d better get some protein into me.
My plan was to eat half of the pizza then, then to take the other four pieces home and to eat them later. But I was so famished that once I started to eat, I just couldn’t stop, and “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” (Those over 40 will recognize the reference here. It’s from an old Rolaids TV commercial.)
By the time I finished eating all of it, I was stuffed and feeling quite bloated. I was also feeling very drowsy, so all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap.
Later, I checked my Diet Power program and found a medium Pizza Hut pizza contains 1917 calories, with 39% fat, 46% carb. 19% protein. Estimating about three ounces of chicken breast, that added another 140 calories, with 21% fat, 79% protein. Together, that is over 2,000 calories that I wolfed down in a just few minutes. That is almost how much I eat in an entire day.
The point is, letting yourself get famished by not eating all day is not wise. You just set yourself up for pigging out and usually on not so healthy food. But that is what many people do, if not on a regular basis at least when they are busy all day, as I was on this day.
But I should have planned ahead and taken some food with me. I had time between my stops to eat something, and that would have been much healthier than a late day pig out. But at least this was a one-time thing, so it did not affect me long term. But making a habit of such an eating pattern can be detrimental. I discuss the benefits of splitting up one food over several meals such in the aforementioned books.
When I got home, I had a couple of packages waiting for me. One was from Vitacost and the other from Amazon, and both contained food. I discuss my food shopping habits in my book Creationist Diet: Second Edition to give the reader an idea of how to go about shopping for healthy foods. One thing I mention about is ordering food from these two online stores. I give details on what I get from them in my book, so I will not go into that here. But I will say, having such healthy foods around will go a long way towards preventing you from going all day without eating, then pigging out on junk food.
After I put away the packages, I took a shower then laid down and turned on the TV. I had left my home at 10:00 am for my doctor appointment, and it was now 5:00 pm. And I was absolutely exhausted, so I didn’t move the rest of the day. But as I laid there, I felt satisfied it had been a productive day, and I hope my busy Friday the 13th is instructive and gives the reader some ideas on dealing with the issues I dealt with on this day.
Diet Power 4.4.
Mayo Clinic. Gingivitis.
Health-Related Stuff on Friday the 13th: Part Two. Copyright © 2018 by Gary F. Zeolla.
The above article was posted on this website April 1, 2017.
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