The U.S. Government Is Shut Down Over Healthcare… So, A Healthcare Anecdote From Me

October 1, 2013


The long and specific title is not wrong because that is exactly what’s going to happen.

I am going to tell a story involving – my youth, healthcare, and …


If you recognize what that is then you probably have all your teeth still in your head.

You may also be experiencing a sudden gag reflex or a bitter nostalgia over the foamy flavored taste of that white stuff being sprayed into that yellow mouth guard.

What is it?!

It’s FLUORIDE, dummy.

I’m sorry I said dummy. I love you. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.


It all started in 1989 or 1990. Actually, it started before then. …

It all started in 1983 when a doctor surgically removed me from my mother’s uterus. That’s really how all my stories should start because that’s how my story started. On beautiful Summer afternoon during Ronald Reagan’s second Presidential term, I was extracted from my mother’s womb. Ahhhh… memories.

I was born in Baltimore then ushered over to Pittsburgh a couple years later and that’s where I experienced the magic of FLUORIDEIN MY WATER.

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you simply drank your fluoride in your tap water because that’s what they decided to do. I never knew of anything else. I don’t even think I knew that it was in there. I mean I was like 4, so it’s not like I knew too much about water or what was in it. I was really more focused on gathering sticks in the backyard that looked like they could conceivably be used as a pretend gun or a pretend sword. That’s pretty much all I did. That and seemingly watch “Star Wars”, “Ghostbusters”, “He-Man”, “Carebears” against my will, and “Barry Gordy’s The Last Dragon”.

When I was entering the first grade, my parents upped and moved us again and this time it was to the pearly gates and high taxes of Westfield, New Jersey. That is where I met my arch-nemesis known as the fluoride treatment pictured above.

I can’t remember if I had a problem with the dentist prior to New Jersey. I doubt I particularly liked going to the dentist, but I don’t think I cried about it. But what if I did?! Who the fuck cares! I was 4, get over yourself. So, I don’t really remember my history with my dentist prior to New Jersey, but it went immediately sour the first time that evil fuck pulled out that foam mouthguard and that can of chemicals.

As one can clearly see in this picture, no one enjoys the fluoride treatment.

I’m guessing waterboarding is a pretty inexpensive torture, but fluoride treatments would do the same discomfort and psychological scarring and the terrorists would have better tooth enamel(?).

Honestly, I don’t really know a whole hell of a lot about fluoride other than it’s seemingly good for your teeth and in some areas of the world the shit is pumped into the water supply and some places it isn’t. In the places it isn’t, you need to go to the dentist every so often and have a paper bib put on and a mouth guard full of nasty foam shoved in your mouth and you can’t swallow that shit or at least it’s inadvisable for health or nastiness reasons and you simply just drool all over yourself and feel like a fucking idiot for however long you sit there and you feel completely weak and unable to defend yourself as you are tortured with this stuff just foaming up your teeth, gums, down your throat, and all over your clothes.

Fluoride makes you feel like a fucking idiot.

So, the first time I got that done… I was not happy.

I remember having a discussion, an emotional one, about why did that just happen and wanting her to assure me that was the only time that that would ever happen again. Sadly, the life is unfair and my mom had to explain to me that that’s life and I would be getting fluoride treatments from now on. Why? Because that’s just how the government works. In some places, they think it is ok to put fluoride in the water. In other places, people think it is the work of socialism and/or a government conspiracy to control you. Or it’s expensive and would rather you shell out the money at a dentist. Who knows?!

I loved Pittsburgh and, now, I loved Pittsburgh even more and missed it so much more.

My friends were in Pittsburgh, my cul-de-sac was in Pittsburgh, my Pirates/Steelers/Penguins were in Pittsburgh, my sticks were in Pittsburgh, my finished basement was in Pittsburgh, and, most importantly, my fluoride treated water was in Pittsburgh.

And I was stuck for the rest of my life hoping that one day my parents would move to somewhere with fluoride in the water or for Westfield to wise up and put fluoride in my water.

Alas, neither happened. I had to grow old and bitter with fucking fluoride treatments.

No Santa? Whatever. No Easter Bunny? Whatever. No Tooth Fairy? Honestly, I thought that was more impressive than anything that my parents could sneak in my room and remove a small pillow from behind the pillow I was sleeping on and get a tooth out of there and put money in there and then stick it behind my head without getting caught. It’s not like I was raised by ninjas. I kind of still believe in the Tooth Fairy and not that my parents could pull off such a feat. Anyway…

No fluoride in my water and, now, a life of fluoride treatments? DEVASTATING!


2 Responses to “The U.S. Government Is Shut Down Over Healthcare… So, A Healthcare Anecdote From Me”

  1. I remember the trays, but I don’t remember the stuff actually being a foam — I think my fluoride treatments were jelly-like? And usually flavored.

    Either way, they didn’t scar me as much as the time I had to have a mold done for my retainer. A giant metal tray twice the size of my mouth stuffed full of awful-tasting pink stuff that you had to leave in for an eternity while it slowly slid down your throat.

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