Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Finding an Accessible Dentist Requires Persistence and Many Questions

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 4:51 pm on Friday, November 25, 2011

A quick update on my dental dilemma…finding a suitable dentist involves dealing with three accessibility requirements:

  1. Physical access: Can I get to the dentist office, preferably without spending half a day on public transit? Can I get to the dentist chair? Needing to park my scooter and walk 8 feet to the chair does not count as accessible (for me); for others, it might pass.
  2. Staff attitudes: A dentist and staff who communicates directly with me and can work around my jerky cerebral palsy are essential.
  3. Directly bill the Ministry: Surprisingly (or not) many dental practices do not directly bill the Ministry, which is an obstacle for those of us on social assistance. The mere thought of attempting to be reimbursed after paying myself sends me shivers up my spine. (I’d love to hear from others who have succeeded and how they did it.)

A big thank you to my persistent virtual assistant Lori-ann for making umpteen phone calls. I now have an appointment at the Riverside Heights Dental Group – which appears to meet all three requirements – next Wednesday at 11:15am.

Fingers crossed!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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I’ll Take My Coffee in Liquid Form, Please

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 6:15 pm on Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recently I discovered a quite acceptable alternative to my favourite beverage, an iced mocha: chocolate-covered coffee beans! Popping a few of those yummies in my mouth was way easier than going out for a cold beverage. They were on the verge of becoming addictive until…

I bit into one that seemed as hard as a rock. It felt like a jagged piece scratched my gum, which I was aware of when I ate but I didn’t think any more of it.

A few days later the apparent scratch was still bugging me. I stuck in a finger to feel for the scratch and, much to my surprise, a tooth wiggled like a loose tooth. Huh? I didn’t dare try again to confirm in case I caused more damage. But, I had a sinking, panicky feeling that I had cracked or broken my back molar. Up until now, most of my dental work in my thirty-fifteen years has been done in hospital under general anaesthesia – an experience I have absolutely no desire of reliving.

Monday morning Darrell called the wheelchair repair guy to cancel the pick-up of his power wheelchair and put the repairs on hold for another week. We had to get to the dentist and couldn’t wait around for the guy to show up.

Thankfully the 5 centimetres of snow had not materialized overnight and, except for wishing power chairs came with onboard heaters, we made it to the dentist without incident.

After poking around in my mouth, the dentist, without saying a word to me, went out to Darrell to deliver the news. After living this game for 45 years, I should be used to people, particularly medical professionals, not speaking directly to me. But, it still hurts, still stings. I was on the verge of tears.

Just because you don’t understand me (due to a lack of even trying) does not mean I do not understand you. Speak directly to me, especially when it concerns me and my health.

I called for Darrell and we quickly corrected the dentist’s uncertainty of me being able to understand him.

The verdict, after four x-rays, which is not easy with shaky cerebral palsy and an over active gag reflex: one broken tooth and one cracked tooth. He was able to remove the broken hunk. Now I need that tooth crowned or extracted, and the other tooth filled or crowned. The Ministry does not cover crowns, of course.

i now need to find a dentist who can do the work in the office; again, tricky with athetoid cerebral palsy. Otherwise I face a hospitalization, which I really want to avoid if at all possible. I am all for facing one’s fears, but some are meant to be left alone and, based on previous experiences, being in hospital can be left in my distant past.

I have learned to stick with my coffee in cold, liquid form. It is less expensive and less terrifying that way.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Sharing My 3 Favourite Blogs for Your Reading Pleasure

Filed under: Blogging — by at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, November 15, 2011

After sharing my 7 lessons learned from traveling, I discovered another one I need to learn before my next conference: how to protect myself against wicked air-conditioning?

The Los Angeles Convention Centre could have saved a bundle on its hydro bill by turning down the air-conditioning. By the second day of BlogWorld Expo, many people were coughing and sniffing. My scratchy throat told me what was coming next.

Rather than Darrell and I spending our only “vacation” day this year exploring Hollywood, I spent the day in bed. Disappointed? Yes, definitely. Regret? No, I don’t think so. I was in no shape to go out. BlogWorld will be in LA for at least two years. We will try again next year; perhaps go down a day early and do Hollywood before the conference.

While I finish recovering from this nasty cold and subsequent allergic reaction to Vicks VapoRub (the first such reaction in my thirty-fifteen years), I like to share three of my favourite blogs, which you might also enjoy reading:

Happy reading!

Feel free to share your favourite blogs in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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7 Lessons Learned from a Year’s Travelling

Filed under: Traveling with a Disability — by at 10:13 pm on Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Preparing for my sixth trip – the fifth across the border – in slightly more than a year has felt too easy, too routine. What am I missing?

Based on experience, my travelling preparation includes:

  1. Filling out an US Customs Declaration card ahead of time on my trusty typewriter. It saves needing assistance to complete it at the airport.
  2. Updating the saved document for a Canadian Customs Declaration card and print. I have yet to score a supply of Canadian forms because they are typically handed out onboard; hence, I need assistance from a flight attendant.
  3. Packing my scooter battery charger in my bag, space permitting, rather than the pouch on the back of my chair. This way there is one less piece to keep track of while going through airport security.
  4. Thoroughly washing my hands after handling my charger. I have a hunch my charger had something to do with the chemical detected on my hands while going through security in Austin.
  5. Double checking the extension cord is still in the bottom of my bag. This can be handy in a hotel room if an outlet isn’t easily reachable to plug in my scooter once I am in bed. (My scooter’s headlight also comes in handy in that moment.)
  6. Double checking the small bar of soap is still in my bag (like it would go anywhere). The plastic wrapped soap bars found in some hotels are very tricky to open. In Austin I had to wash with shampoo. At least my armpits didn’t have dandruff!
  7. Spending a ridiculous amount of time exploring Google maps, zoomed right in, to get a sense of the sidewalk conditions and such in the area.

Let see what I learn from this next trip. Darrell and I leave early tomorrow morning for Los Angeles for BlogWorld Expo.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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