Moment of (Shower) Zen

Pic of the Day

Mental Health Day

I am not feeling well mentally or physically today. The disappointment over my dental ordeal (see yesterday’s blog post and comments) has me feeling depressed and in physical pain. Thankfully, I am off work today. I have some time that I have to either take or lose by the end of our fiscal year, so I am taking off every Friday from now until the end of May. I need a break today; I need some time for myself and not have to deal with anything today.

Pic of the Day

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

My dental appointment is today. My dentist will reevaluate this problem tooth and decide if it should be pulled. I don’t believe there is any other course of action that can be done. While I would prefer to keep all of my natural teeth, with this tooth becoming abscessed at least three separate times, I do not believe it is going to improve. If there is a crack in the tooth like he believes, then it cannot be fixed at this point and will have to be pulled. I dread this ordeal, but I hope it will cause these headaches to either cease or improve considerably.

These non-migraine/different headache pains started when this tooth trouble started back in November. For nearly six months, no treatment has helped. My dentist and my neurologist believe that it is likely this tooth is aggravating my trigeminal nerve and causing all of this pain. All of this began six weeks into my first Botox treatment. The Botox should have lasted twelve weeks, but this tooth became abscessed, and I have been unable to get rid of the pain since then. I hope that once this tooth is gone and the pressure on the trigeminal nerve is relieved, these headaches will go away, and the Botox will continue to be an effective treatment against my migraines.

Have you ever hit your funny bone (the ulnar nerve in your elbow)? If you have, then you know how painful it is, and it is unlike any other pain. Well, there is an equivalent. The headaches I have been experiencing, when at their worst, feel very similar to the pain that comes from hitting your funny bone, except that it doesn’t radiate from my elbow through my arm but radiates throughout the right side of my face, which can last hours or days. These headaches are not always that painful. Sometimes, it just a dull ache or throbbing sensation; those days are my good days. Pain medicine almost never helps, so I am ready for this ordeal to be over and done. 

Just pull the damn tooth. If he does, then I will probably either spend the day on the couch or in my bed watching Star Trek. If I’m still recovering on Friday, I may just laze around and watch the original Star Wars trilogy. I have a feeling this is going to be a sci-fi weekend since that is often what helps soothe me.

UPDATE: Apparently, it’s not “like pulling teeth,” at least not today. My dentist can’t pull the tooth because of all the work done on the tooth. The visible part of the tooth is basically filling at this point, and it would likely break off leaving the roots. He said that the roots themselves are very long, and one is even curved, which adds further complications. He basically said that if he pulled the tooth, it would likely be a long, difficult, and painful procedure, but an oral surgeon will have no problem. I have to call this afternoon to get an appointment with an oral surgeon. He said it is unlikely I will get an appointment next week, and it will probably be a few weeks. He is calling in another prescription of doxycycline for me so I will have it on hand if the infection flares up again. He said he did not want me in pain over a weekend and not be able to do anything. Because the tooth wasn’t pulled, I am going to work today from home. There is no point in taking a sick day today because I will need it for the oral surgery. I am very disappointed. I wanted this tooth gone today; I am so tired of this pain. However, I understand his reasoning. He showed me the x-ray of the tooth and explained exactly what the problems were. I guess it will just be a few more weeks of pain caused by this tooth.

Pic of the Day

Programming Woes

On Monday, I mentioned that I would be doing a program for the museum. Not all went according to plan. While everyone who provided feedback said that they loved the content and thought it was fascinating, there were some technical issues. I set up the program in the museum’s entry area; however, the lighting was not as good as I had hoped it would be. I thought the natural lighting provided by the windows would provide nice lighting. Sadly, it was too bright outside, and the backlighting caused the picture to be poorer than it should have been. The room also has a concrete floor which caused an echo effect that I had not anticipated. It’s an excellent place for receptions but not for recording programs live.

I had set up to do the program in a talk show discussion format with my program partner. Because we were doing this with a webcam and external microphone hooked up to a laptop, we could only have one microphone. I had an omnidirectional microphone that should have picked up both of our voices, but my program partner kept turning and looking at the camera instead of at me, causing his voice to go in and out throughout the program. Considering the format, it would have looked more natural if he had talked to me instead of the camera. However, he tends to like to show how much he knows and hear the sound of his own voice. I thought I could control this aspect of his personality, and while I did get some discussion of my own in, he did most of the talking.

I also had my director running the webinar’s technical aspects because he assured me he could handle it and knew what he was doing. This was a fatal mistake. My director always thinks he knows what he is doing but rarely does. So, when it came time to share a clip during the program, he couldn’t seem to get it to work. He shared the screen but couldn’t get the audio to work. He also appears to have done something that caused the program we were using to record only the audio (along with the minute or so of silent screen sharing) but did not save the video. This is an issue because several people had contacted me before the webinar to tell me that they would be unable to attend live and wondered if it would be available afterward. I had assured them it would be, but now I have to contact them again and tell them that the video is not available. 

Because the video is not available, I cannot watch it and learn from the mistakes made. On Monday, when I am back at the museum, my director and I will practice in another area of the museum to check lighting issues and sound quality and try to figure out what went wrong with the webinar’s recording. We are doing all of this because we have the second part of this program at the end of the month. I want things to go better for the second one. I always feel terrible when things don’t go as I want them to go, and I can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my public programs for the museum. It was the same when I used to be the drama club advisor at my old school. I needed everything to go smoothly, but unexpected things always happen.

With all of that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the talk show-style format and most people who watched it enjoyed it as well. My program partner will be joining me for the second part as well, and I have some ideas on how to manage him better. I let him determine that we would conduct the discussion freestyle, but I plan to have a more structured outline for the second one. A more structured program will hopefully allow for an equal discussion between the two of us. I will also tell him that he needs to look at me so that the microphone can pick up his voice better. I also plan to set up in our conference room to allow for a more controlled lighting and sound environment. We have all of our live programs there and have not experienced the echoing or lighting problems we experienced in the other space. I hope I can figure out how to correct the issues we had.

Pic of the Day

From you have I been absent in the spring (Sonnet 98)

From you have I been absent in the spring (Sonnet 98)
By William Shakespeare

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
  Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
  As with your shadow I with these did play.

Pic of the Day