The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Swimming, Dreams, TMJ

In my area there is a community pool that I have been happily enjoying this Summer.  There is just something about the pool that helps me to feel renewed.  I sometimes think I am part fish.  Even on the hottest days, taking a half an hour out to go to the pool and letting the cool water wick away body heat and reduce your core temperature a bit...... so, so, rejuvenating.

TMJ Report.... even though I love my pooch, I have to say that she has caused me CONSIDERABLE pain and discomfort by her eating my bite splint for my TMJ.  Tempormadibular Jaw Disorder is seen in individuals who grind their teeth while sleeping to such an extent that they cause pain and  inflammation of the joint between the skull and mandible.  It also leads to extensive tooth wear.  Unfortunately my dog destroyed the best splint I had... the one that completely controlled my TMJ.  I have an older, less well designed splint that I am using, but I need to try to get the dentist to make one for me in this other style because I can sure feel a whole helluva lot of discomfort now in that joint. 

My pipe dreams have once again returned after an absence.  In this latest set of dreams the theme revolves with me inevitably working part time at a wonderful pipe tobacco shop.  In the dreams, I am, as a part of my job, always smoking a pipe, and sampling some of the finest pipe tobaccos that they offer.  In the dreams I am always talking with customers and giving out a lot of advice on pipe tobacco blends to try.  In my dreams, at least, I am an excellent salesperson/spokesperson and besides continuously indulging in bowls of pipe tobacco myself, I am helping many, many customers with their purchases.  The dreams have a very real quality to them so that when I wake up in the morning, they feel as if they actually happened.  It seems so strange to have these same dreams again and again.


Friday, July 20, 2018


I was away the last several days attending a conference and presenting some of my research.  Even though it was fun, I am glad to be home. 

This particular conference was not one that was attended by my pipe-smoking friends from other universities, so that was not a worry I had going to the conference.  But, I *did* find it quite challenging in two regards.... one evening I did indulge in a few libations, and when I did so, the desire for a pipe *was* quite strong.  I did not have a pipe with me (I did not take any on the trip.), but if I had done so, I believe I likely would have given in and indulged.  Also, in the city where I was for this conference, there was a wonderful, traditional tobacconist near by and I did peruse their wares quite extensively after I found the shop.  I did feel quite a bit of temptation to buy myself a pipe and some tobacco while there.  I had to work quite extensively on myself to dissuade me from making the purchases and I used my tendency to be a "penny pincher" to my advantage in this case.   The one pipe I found quite beautiful and enticing to me had a price tag of ~$80.00 (some tobacco I would have liked would have added another $20.00 to the cost as well), and even though I really would have liked it, and would have very willingly broken it in.... I was able to force myself to put the pipe back on the shelf by reminding myself how foolish it would be to spend that money when I was trying my damndest to NOT smoke a pipe.... and that I had PLENTY of pipes at home so the purchase would be utterly superfluous given my current state of mind.  

So, I made it back without indulging in a pipe.  That was an actual accomplishment for me. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Happily, it appears our dog is fine.  After, eating the bite splint I was worried she did not vomit out all the shards of hard plastic.  But, the veterinarian suggested a "wait-and-see" approach.  So, now she has had four meals of her regular food without vomiting AND has eaten one very dark green dog treat (it was a "chlorophyl enriched treat" designed to help clean her teeth and "freshen" her breath).  She has also had four evacuations with no sign of any plastic shards (yes, I pinched each of them wearing disposable gloves) and the one was vividly green indicating the "treat" has gone through her system as well.  This was a relief as this means the dog treat "marker" has gone through her system and this was a few days after eating the damn bite splint.

So, I and my wife are very relieved and happy about the dog being ok.

I just checked.... and if I stand firm.... tomorrow will be the 150th day I have NOT smoked a pipe.  I do miss the enjoyment of it.  But, it is not as difficult to refrain as it was initially.  If I had my druthers, I would indulge, but I know in my mind it is better to not do so.


Monday, July 09, 2018

The Worry & Ruminiation Struggle Continues

It has been several days of up and down emotions for me.  The days leading up the the 4th of July and the 4th of July itself were very pleasant and happy ones and I was able to keep up good spirits.  It was quite relaxing and pleasant.

However, on Friday, shortly after getting home from those festivities, my wife and I gave our dog a bath and then went away for a while.  Unfortunately while we were gone, the dog decided to eat a hard plastic, medical device I have for my TMJ Disorder (it was a bite splint that cost ~$350.00).  Not only has  the loss of this device cause me difficulties (I have been having considerable discomfort and pain since then), but I have also had considerable worry about the dog as well.

In calling the veterinarian, we were advised to give the dog hydrogen peroxide to cause her to vomit out the shards of rigid plastic that she stupidly ate.  We did this and in looking through all the vomit very carefully, I *believe* we have retrieved most and potentially all of the splint.  The veterinarian advised us to wait and observe from that point.  This is what we have been doing.  But, it is nerve wracking.  Our doofus dog usually is off her food a bit from travel anyway, and having been forced to vomit from hydrogen peroxide also puts her off her feed as well, and so she has not been overly hungry, but then she has vomited twice in the last few days after eating.  So, is it due to her revovery from travels, her recovery from the hydrogen peroxide, or that she has some chunk of this damn splint still inside her?   Every meal she eats is a worry and a stress.  Some are successful and she keeps it down, some not. 

Breakfast this morning with the dog has thus far been successful.  If I can have her eat without vomiting and pooping regularly for 2-3 days in a row... then I will know things are all ok.  But, right now it is a state of "unknowns" and is nudging me back into the worry/ruminating mode and I have felt very sad and stressed.  I am trying to fight against as I wait to see if things go well or if things go badly and other intervention is required for the dog.