Some sad news for me. I am deeply disappointed that I will not be able to go to the Blogs United in Hampton Roads Conference after all. I was really looking forward to it. But I had something of a dental emergency and had to cancel at the last minute. But before I go into that, there is something that I want to make very clear.
Because of all the controversy that has been stirred up recently, the first thing I want to restate is that I support this conference and Jim Hoeft with all my heart. I think he has done a wonderful job of putting this event together. And I am deeply disappointed that I am going to have to miss it and miss meeting some great bloggers from across Virginia.
Unfortunately, my simple little root canal ended up with complications, not the least of which is a very painful case of TMJ, which is getting worse not better.
Before I go any further, I also want everybody to understand that this is unusual. Please, please don’t use me as an example if you are scared of root canal. I was frightened of it for a long time too. The actual procedure IS NOT PAINFUL! I would go through it again without hesitation if I needed it.
My dental problems are longstanding and well documented on this blog. I have a history of tooth grinding, also called bruxism, and TMJ. Bruxism can be caused by stress, but just as often it has physiological causes due to a problem with a person's bite.
And my root canal took two and a half hours – most of them run about an hour to an hour and a half. It took four shots to numb me. They had to take numerous X-rays because the canals were so deep and they also were curved. During this entire time, my mouth had to remain wide open so my jaw muscles were overstretched. That’s in addition to the normal strain I put on my jaw by grinding my teeth all night in my sleep (most bruxism occurs during sleep and those who have the problem aren't even aware they are doing it until their dentist sees the problems - but if you even suspect you grind, tell your dentist and get a dental guard to protect your teeth).
As my dentist said afterward, “you are special.” It wasn’t a compliment. It was a complaint – this procedure exhausted him too.
Anyway, I am so sorry and disappointed that I will not be down at Newport News with all of you bloggers and electeds.
I have to add that two of the classiest electeds are Delegates Kris Amundsen and Chris Saxman, both of whom immediately wrote me back when I emailed to let the others know I wasn’t coming. And Chris Saxman also sent me an e-card that made me laugh just before I left for my dental appointment (they say timing is everything). These are all great people on a human-to-human level. It’s why bloggers conferences and bi-partisan events are so important.
I think it’s possible for us to disagree, fight hard, and then all have a beer together afterward, as Squeaky Wheel, from Bearing Drift, has pointed out. It’s how we should be conducting ourselves. Before we are Democrats and Republicans, we are Virginians, and also Americans. We also are all human beings. There should be more that unites us than divides us in the longer run. This is something that I want to think more about and I’ll probably be writing more about it too.
However, don’t expect me to go soft on Republicans at election time because of it ;)
Meanwhile, to all who will be there, have a great time and lift a glass of whatever your favorite beverage is for me!