I had reservations going into Dr. Strange. As a Marvel hero he always felt a little out of place to me.
That’s for more than one reason as well. Most Marvel heroes have some pseudo-scientific explanation for the origin of their power; Dr. Strange is pure magic. doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the world.
But the problems don’t stop there. Dr. Strange’s powers, with their magical origin, don’t have clear limits. Continue reading →
A day or two before I left for my vacation on Bois Blanc Island I woke up with my left pointer finger feeling numb.
I’ve had numbness like this on other parts of my body in the past, but its always gone away in a day or two.
This time the numbness has stayed around for around a month.
I used WebMD to try and figure out what was going on and there was some pretty scary things on there. Fortunately, I didn’t match all the symptoms of any of the more serious conditions.
A self-diagnosis wasn’t enough for me so I made an appointment at the local clinic.
My wife had her eye on a particular doctor at the clinic to be her own primary care physician. I tried to get an appointment with that doctor so I could preview her for my wife, but she was on maternity leave until November.
Instead I got an appointment with a different, but equally competent male doctor.
I’ve never had a male doctor for my regular visits. Neither has my wife. Nothing wrong with the doctor I saw today, but I’ve always been more comfortable with women. I think we’ll go to the female doctor on maternity leave for any future problems.
So! The numbness in my finger! I’d feared something horrible like peripheral neuropathy or Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Instead the doctor said it was something much more mundane.
It was likely just physical trauma to my radial nerve which takes sensory information from my hand to my brain.
The damage would normally repair quickly, but its possible I’ve been aggravating the injury by sleeping on my hands.
So the injury might fix itself if I stop sleeping on my hands.
However it might be too late for the injury to fix itself within my hands.
In that case the nerve would need to regrow from my shoulder all the way down to my hand.
When nerves are regrown from the shoulder they extend about one centimeter each week.
My arm is roughly a meter long (I haven’t measured exactly), so if the nerve regrows from my shoulder then I won’t have feeling in my finger again for another two years or so.
So lets hope my finger gets better soon if I stop sleeping on it!
Mackinac is another weirdly pronounced island name like Bois Blanc (Bob-lo). Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw.
Mackinac Island was the original tourist location in Northern Michigan before Bois Blanc Island and it still attracts thousands of people per day.
Initially, Mackinac Island was a trading post for the local Ojibwa Native Americans. They brought furs to trade with European settlers. The Europeans then took the furs east and sold them.
The traders chose Mackinac to conduct business because it is well situated at the junction between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. People could easily reach Mackinac by boat from all over the Northwest Territory.
Since Mackinac was the center of this trade it was important for the British to defend it.
The British built Fort Mackinac on the south side of the island to protect and control the fur trade.
As the fur trade died out it became replaced by tourism in the late 1800s.
Millions of people visit Mackinac Island every year, but what do they all do there?
There are gift shops, arcades, toy stores, fudge shops (Mackinac Island fudge is the best in the world), and tons of state park space to explore.
Fort Mackinac is now a historical site where costumed employees will tell you what life on the frontier was like in the 1800s.
There are a few other historical buildings sprinkled around the island including an old doctor’s house and a beautiful church.
My favorite attraction on Mackinac is the Butterfly House.
It’s a little house on the hill behind the beautiful church.
The house connects to a greenhouse filled with hundreds of butterflies from all over the world.
The butterflies flap around and land on flowers and people who are sitting still while instrumental music plays through overhead speakers.
A picture doesn’t really capture the whole experience, but here’s one of my better ones when a butterfly landed on a flower.
It’s like stepping into a greenhouse full of flowers, only the flowers are flying around over your head, dancing.
My wife and I got some delicious Mackinac Island fudge before being picked up by my uncle in the family motor boat for the return trip to Bois Blanc Island.
I went to the orthodontist today for a third opinion on a procedure I’m considering.
I have a crossbite where my lower jaw doesn’t line up correctly with my upper jaw.
It’s not visible to other people unless I point it out and it doesn’t affect my eating.
The issue is that the problem only developed recently and it irritates me.
I feel like my mouth just doesn’t close right and I hate it.
My mother had the same problem and it eventually became painful and she had to have surgery to get it fixed.
I’ve gotten conflicting opinions on whether the jaw pain my mother experienced was related to her crossbite or to grinding her teeth, but I feel those two could be connected. I’m certainly grinding my teeth more now that they don’t fit together correctly.
Fixing my crossbite would require surgery. I’ve been to three orthodontists and they all agree that I’ll need to see an oral surgeon in addition to getting braces to fix the problem.
My family is worried about the surgery for practical reasons. The health benefit isn’t clear, its expensive, and no one will notice but me.
Surgery also has possible risks of excessive bleeding when they take out a piece of my jaw so that the upper and lower halves match.
That risk is controlled by doing the surgery in a hospital, but its still on my mind a little bit.
I’m also concerned about whether I will enjoy the surgery once it is finished.
My crossbite developed when I was about eighteen years old. The reason it bothers me is because I remember when it wasn’t like this.
But if my teeth were always like this would I care? Probably not.
And what if after the surgery my teeth don’t fit exactly like the way they used to?
Then I would still feel like my mouth wasn’t closing right and I’d have spent thousands of dollars for nothing.
I’ll keep doing the consultations and planning steps for the procedure for now, but I haven’t made a definite decision on if I’m going through with it or not yet.
Bleh! Why can’t my dental problems just be candy related?