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Dental Adventures from Brian’s Perspective

Posted on March 5, 2024 by under Health, Life.    

Now that you have read about my adventure from Ching’s point of view, I think you’ll want to hear it from the horse’s mouth… so to speak!

So, all of what Ching said is true. It’s my own fault that I’m in the situation that I’m in and, had I just pushed my anger down, and attempted to speak to the management at Wichita Endodontics I wouldn’t be in the situation I am currently in.

At the end of 2019, I was informed by my dentist that I had a small infection above my left front tooth. I was told that I needed to have a specialist take care of it due to the nature of the infection and the potential for further treatment that may be needed. It was just outside of the scope of what my dentist could tackle. Back then I was not as busy at work and taking the time to deal with these things was fairly simple. I was referred to Wichita Endodontics. Back then, they were at their old office. I went to my appointment, paid my $160 (a fee that was not able to be absorbed by insurance), and got all of my x-rays and images needed to get the procedure done. I was given two different methods that would take care of the problem and given the percentage of success for each. One was a root canal method. The other was a small incision over my tooth. The incision had a greater chance of success. I chose the root canal method because it was less expensive, less invasive, and I just really didn’t like the idea of being cut open. All was decided. I explained everything to Ching (which she has forgotten) and she was all for it. We had a few things going on, so I scheduled my procedure for about 2 months later. Well, as Luck would have it, this is when Wichita finally decided to shut down — literally 4 days before my procedure. So, I get a call from the endo telling me that they are going to have to cancel for now, and they will call once everything is sorted and they are able to see patients again. I understood completely, given everything that was going on I figured that there would be something like this and I was already mentally prepared for this.

Fast forward, it’s now almost the end of 2020. I get a call from the endo — they are ready to reschedule my appointment and get the procedure done. I was thinking, this means pick up where they left off. No! The person that called stated “Oh, by the way, we will need to do the scans again and you will need to pay the fee again.” I asked if she was sure and she said, “Unfortunately, yes.” I replied with “Well, unfortunately… No!” and hung up the phone. Was this the right thing to do? Not at all. I should have requested to speak to someone, work out the details, and see if they would just do the new scans given that I already paid. I know now (in hindsight) that this could have been resolved right then and I would not be in the situation I am in.

I proceeded on with life, not thinking about the growing infection in my mouth. I was not in any pain. My life went on as normal. I was reminded every year when I saw the dentist that I needed to get this taken care of and every year I reminded him of why I didn’t want to speak to them and on more than one occasion I was advised, in a very professional way, to grow up.

Now we come to my most recent appointment. My dentist takes the x-rays, comes to me and the first thing he says, “You really need to get this taken care of.” I shrug my shoulders and the doc says, “No, we’re getting this fixed.” He gives the details to the hygienist and she takes me to the appointment desk. She hands the business card to the lady behind the desk and proceeds to tell her “Brian is having an issue making an appointment. Can you call and get something scheduled for him?” And she does just that. I don’t blame them for treating me like a child as I was acting like one — an old, grumpy child. Shortly after my appointment was made is when the fistula appeared. Since I had the appointment, I toughed it out. I was told that the fistula is a result of the infection spreading and that if I didn’t get this take care of it would only get worse, and there is a chance that it already is, and I may still need oral surgery by this time next year.

I did tell the doctor of my issue in the past and why I didn’t do this sooner. He informed me that had I just come and spoke to someone then this could have been resolved very easily and I would not be in the mess I am in now. Reconfirming that this is really all my fault! On the plus side, the doctor did make it right, even after all these years, and he really didn’t have to. I mean seriously, ultimately, it was me that made the decision to just blow the whole thing off.

Well, we move to the day of my procedure. I can say with absolute certainty that they mean what they say. It was the first root canal that I have ever had done that I didn’t feel anything. Even after the numbing wore off, I only had a slight tingle in my upper gum and tooth and that’s it. I did take an Advil that night, mainly for inflammation (it was highly suggested in the follow up paperwork) and then a Tylenol the next morning — more as a precaution than anything, I didn’t really need it, but I had to go back to work, and I didn’t want to risk feeling any pain as the day progressed.

Now I have to wait. The first thing I have to wait for is the fistula to go away. They said I had to wait about four weeks and, if it’s not gone by then, I have to let them know. They advised it may flare up before it goes away (I think that happened this weekend, at least I’m hoping that’s what happened) and, if it doesn’t go away in that four weeks, I have to call them back for another appointment and it may mean oral surgery for sure. If the fistula does go away, then I have to wait another six months. They are going to call me in 5 to schedule an appointment. This will be to see if the infection is going away, if the infection is going away on its own, then I’m in the clear (meaning – no surgery). If not, then I will have surgery by this time next year.

I have to say that several lessons have been learned from this adventure.

  1. Stay on top of your brushing, make sure that you brush at least twice a day, at a minimum. I personally have also started to use medicated mouth wash as well, mainly because I still suck at flossing. But my oral hygiene has improved due to this.
  2. If something needs to be done, don’t wait. Do it, get it done. You have no idea how bad things can get if you put it off. There are just some things that your body will not fix on its own.
  3. Don’t let your emotions govern how you take care of yourself. Had I just spoke to someone and worked it out, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I could potentially lose several of my teeth because I let my emotions get the better of me. Unfortunately, this is a family trait.
  4. Finally, all things can be resolved through communication. I should have known this, my wife an I practice this. We believe that communication is key, not only in a relationship, but in life in general. If you’re having an issue, work it out like adults and have a discussion. Had I just spoke to someone other than the attendant that called me, I could have gotten all of this resolved and not be in the situation I’m in.

In the end, I’m grateful for my wife Ching. She is always there for me. She takes care of me when I need it and tells me how bad I’ve screwed up when I need to hear it. I don’t know where I’d be without her. Probably toothless.

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ICT Brew Crew

Posted on June 6, 2019 by under Events.    

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Last month I had the pleasure of joining a group of business owners on a tour of the ten breweries we have here in Wichita.

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For weeks I was super excited to go on this adventure with my Friend Jay Dill, who owns The Travel Junkie travel agency. Three days before the event, I developed a cough that I could not get ride of and on the day of the event it was at its worst. It was so bad that I barely got any sleep and I actually slept in another bedroom of our house because I kept waking Ching up.

Regardless, I wasn’t going to miss out on this adventure. I pulled myself together, got me some coffee that morning, and pushed through. I was glad I did because it was a great tour of the breweries. I learned very quickly that not all breweries are the same.

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We started at Aero Plains Brewing in the Delano District. This is one of my favorite breweries due to the delicious Irish Red they brew but you have to be quick as it’s very popular and it tends to sell out very fast.

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From there we moved to Limestone Beer Company, a very small brewery and restaurant. They had several varieties of beer that I was not too fond of but there were others in the group that really liked a Blueberry beer that they had.

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Next up was Nortons, another one of my favorites. Here we got to speak to Dan Norton, the owner. He is very down to earth and humble and takes his brewing very seriously. He believes in producing quality beer for everyone while still exploring a wide variety of flavors. Plus, he has some outstanding food available, Bacon Crack is one of my favs and I can’t go here without getting some. My wife an I frequent Nortons because the atmosphere is great and they have live shows in their outside space from time to time.

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Wichita Brewing was next. This one was on the West side of town. By now everyone was feeling pretty good and we had a tight schedule that we were, amazingly enough, keeping to. Wichita Brewing is another of my favorites as they have an excellent food menu, great pizza, and their 502 Amber is pretty tasty as well.

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We stopped for lunch at Augustino Brewing and had the pleasure of eating some Noble House Hawaiian food. This was my first time trying Noble House and I have to say that it was pretty tasty. Augustino makes some good beer as well and his brewery is actually set up nicely.

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River City Brewing Company is one of the original breweries in Wichita. They have been doing it for a long time and, at one point, had set the bar as far as breweries in town go. They have another Amber beer that I like (you can see where my beer tastes lean) and they also have a great menu available. Ching loves the food there.

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Third Place Brewing is a tiny little spot just downtown, located right next to an old-fashioned barber shop called the Artestry Lounge. You can stop here, get your hair cut, then walk next door for a cold one.

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Hopping Gnome has been a mainstay in Wichita for some time now. They offer a variety of beers and even have specials events when they tap a new flavor. Again, it’s a small venue so get there early if you want to sit somewhere.

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We jumped across the street and had some snacks and a few more beers at Central Standard Brewing. This is not one of my favorite places, as their beers are a little out there for me, but I love the location, all of the outdoor seating, and they have food trucks roll in all the time. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and again, come early as there is always a crowd.

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Just down the street from there was the PourHouse from Walnut River Brewing. They have, hands down, my favorite beer! I usually have at least a six pack or two in my fridge at all times. I’m working up to getting a kegerator so I can have it on tap in my basement bar and, yes, I would drink a keg if allowed. The PourHouse is one of the newer Breweries in town; however, Walnut River is not new to the brewing game. PourHouse offers a wide variety of food and an excellent selection of Walnut River’s beer.

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Finally, we wrapped up the evening with a trip back to Aero Plains Brewing. Since I wasn’t feeling well, I really didn’t go beyond the small tasters that they offered so I wasn’t as plastered as some of the others. All of the participants with the exception of me had drivers, Ubers or Lyfts waiting. Since I started the day under the weather and I was more into seeing the workings of the breweries, I drove myself. However, I had at least two backup plans just in case. My wife was waiting for a call from me as she offered to Uber over to get me when she was done with her class and my cuz offered to come and get me as well and drive me and my car back home. So I was well cared for no matter what state of mind I happened to be in.

All in all, it was an excellent event that I was very honored to be a part of. I met a lot of very cool people and got to learn more, not only about the local breweries, we have but I got to learn more about the local businesses and the people that own them.

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P.S. If you’d like to schedule your own brew tour, hit it up the awesome folks at Brew Wagon Tours.

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I am not a Handyman!

Posted on April 6, 2018 by under Home Ownership, Projects.    

So, the back door to the garage has needed some work for a long time now. If anyone remembers the Farmstead fiasco of a home, then you all know that I am not a handy person. I don’t really know how to fix things all that well.

Heck, I had to have my father-in-law come help me install two smart light switches because the switches were smarter than I was and I couldn’t figure out the wiring. If it wasn’t for him and his friend (Tito Arnel) I could have very well wired it and burnt the house down.

Back to the door! So, the door was water damaged and rotting because the previous owner cheaped out on the install and didn’t seal it properly. One of the sprinkler heads wasn’t ever adjusted right and water just pounded that frame and, well, we get a crumbling POS.

About a month ago I got fed up looking at it and called a professional to come give me a quote on installing a new door in my garage and, while he’s at it, installing a new front door too — because, if they are already here, it will probably be cheaper… Right? No!

After about an hour of his time and the price getting all the way up to $9000, I had to dial him back and tell him I wasn’t going to fork out what could be money for a pretty good vacation, for a couple of doors. We narrowed it down to just the garage door and that was still well over $1000. I thanked him for his time and looked at option 2, 3, 4, and even 5.

I looked at a few videos and found a door at Lowe’s for about $170. Add in screws and caulk and we’re looking at $200 max, plus my time. I managed to convince my wife that this was going to be so easy, a child could do it. I told her they made the doors idiot-proof and that even I could install one now. Heck, even my dad was convinced we could both tackle it and be successful.

Then one night I was playing online with my buddy and remembered he worked construction for like 15 years and knows how to install doors! So I buckled down, swallowed my pride and asked him if he would be willing to help. Without hesitation, he said yes. My wife has never been so relieved to not have to do something in her life. I think her exact words were, “Oh, thank God!”

Fast forward to this last Saturday. My friend and his son Eli come out. I already had the door and everything we needed. He gave me more information about installing a door than I could process. It wasn’t really as easy or simple as I thought it would be. But, in the end, we got it done and it looks great.

I honestly don’t think it would have been as good without him. I’m sure I would have done something to either ruin the door or mess up the install. I am grateful to have friends with skills.

Here’s some pictures of the new door and the old one we removed.

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Old, rotten door.

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New door, in progress.

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New door, trimmed up.

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Outside view.

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By the way, anyone need a door?

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Making My Home Smarter Than Me

Posted on December 31, 2017 by under Home Ownership, Projects.    

I have been wanting to add smart devices to our home for some time. I wanted a Nest since they first came out but my wife wouldn’t let me because the local power company had their own program and she felt since she worked for them, she should honor that program and be a part of it as well. This did get us a really nice Honeywell programmable thermostat, but it wasn’t a Nest!

Several years have now passed and we’ve gotten off the WattSaver program, but we got to keep the programmable thermostat and it’s worked very well for us. But, again, it’s not a Nest. So after visiting a friend’s house and seeing all of his home automation toys, I decided it was time to work on Ching and see if I could finally swing a Nest. It just so happened that Amazon was having a huge sale and I was able to get it much cheaper than normal and Ching finally caved (because she’s a sucker for sales) and I got my Nest.

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This is a picture of me unboxing the Nest. It’s pretty simple when you get down to it and look at how they have everything set up for you. They even include pictures and labels. They offer a professional set up but, unless you are just really not handy (I’m close), I think you would be able to manage.

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Here it’s all installed and working. I love that I can control it from my phone, laptop or even my watch.

After that, it was time to update a coupe of light switches that we have really wanted to have on a program anyway but could never figure out how to do it. Again, my friend showed me some of the things that he had and they fit my needs perfectly. Thanks to Amazon again, they were having a sale and Ching could not resist, so we got three plugs and two light switches.

The plugs are very versatile, they just plug into the wall and there are some instructions on the app and then bam, they are available to be automated and controlled through my phone.

The light switches were a little different. These involved a little help from my father-in-law and a friend of his. I needed expert advise and installation. LOL.

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Here is a picture of all of us looking at the wiring and trying to plan the best way to install them without burning my house down.

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Here we have initiated the plan and we are conversing to make sure that we all agree to the final installation.

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Here is the final product installed.

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And here we have it all covered up with a nice smooth face plate. I like these face plates because you don’t see any screws like traditional faceplates. I think going forward, I may use these on all of my replacement switches.

All in all, I like the way everything functions. I like how it is automated and how I can, in the near future, tie them all to an Alexa and just use my voice to control everything.

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Common Sense

Posted on February 26, 2017 by under Funny Musings.    

Common sense, it’s such an over looked commodity that humans possess. Yet, it seems that not all people have it, or they have just not been put in a position that allowed them to develop the common sense needed in order to survive in this world without the need for intervention from people that have it in droves and feel the need to assist those that lack it.

For example, the seat belt laws. Here’s a brief history on seat belts for those of you that didn’t know. Back in the late 50s to early 60s, test were done to determine if seatbelts were something that would need to be required on cars and could they really save lives. In 1968, Title 49 was implemented in the federal code that required all cars manufactured to have seat belts designed into them for safety. Now we go on for years with no laws requiring you to wear a seat belt, it was just common sense at this point. The government felt it was important enough to implement a law that required manufacturers to design these devices into your cars for safety and this should have been (and probably was for the vast majority of people) the sign that you should wear this whenever you are in a car. But no, there are those out there with no common sense and they chose not to wear a seat belt.

Now we fast forward to the mid 80s. States realize that they have idiots behind the wheel of these vehicles and they need to do something to save their dumb lives because lord knows, we have to many people on this planet as it is and we can’t let Darwinism take its course and thin the herd. We need these dumb people to pay taxes and vote for stupid presidents…sorry, I got on a tangent.

Anyway, mid 80s, New York decides they have had enough and becomes the first state to implement a mandatory seatbelt law that went into effect December of 84. Shortly after many other states started passing laws that required you to wear a seat belt for your own safety. To this day however, not every state has passed a law that states you are required to wear a seat belt.

Here’s my two cents on the whole matter and the point I’m trying to make. We were given common sense for a reason. If you choose to not use it then you should be met with the consequences of those actions. Who are we to create (what I call) common sense laws? I mean, if you want to get in your car and drive down the street and not wear your seat belt, then go ahead. Common sense says you should wear the seat belt because it will save your life, but if you get into an accident and fly through the windshield threading your face and then shattering your skull as you slam into the pavement and only a slightly reduced speed that you were initially traveling, then go ahead…the world will be a better place now that your stupidity has left it.

I’ve always said, stupidity should be painful. Creating these laws that stop people from using common sense is just breeding a less than intelligent society that will rely more and more on their governments to tell them what to do. It’s just a matter of time before we have a law that tells us that we need to breathe daily, and that it’s illegal to hold your breath because it may result in your death…just saying.

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