Boxing, Back to business, and Bent coppers!

Yesterday morning before starting work I was watching my younger brother Nathan continue his winning streak in his professional boxing career out of Brisbane, Australia:

Literally keeping a close eye on events…

I get really nervous watching his fights and have no idea how he actually does it. The training he puts in is ridiculous. I remember going to a boxercise class a few years ago and just trying to properly hit the punchbag during one of the 60 second stations was unbelievably tough. I could barely move the thing with how feeble my punches were, as I was so out of breath. Any momentum in the bag itself would have been enough to knock me out – thankfully my punches didn’t actually generate any! Compare that 60 seconds to 3 minute rounds of real boxing with someone who can actually hit you back hard….. Fair play Nathan and congratulations on the win – I’m a very proud “big” brother!

In complete contrast to that training and dedication I spent a large proportion of my week eating family bags of the new Walkers Max double crunch KFC zinger flavour crisps. If you’ve not had them yet then my God you must go out and get some. I did manage at least some exercise to justify stuffing my face with crisps, Raashi and I walked up conic hill on Monday (smashing a bag at the top of-course) and it was great to get back to non contact 5-a-side football on Thursday night.

Not a lot of shops seem to have them so when you find them, stock up

Now that we’re able to do more treatments at work it’s been great to finish off treatment plans from pre covid that were delayed. One such job was with our patient Hannah who had Invisalign braces carried out. It was such a nice result, one that she was really happy with and all of our staff were delighted for her too. It’s such a good feeling when we know our patients are delighted at the end of a treatment plan, particularly when the treatment takes a few months and we get to know them so well. I’ll miss the banter with Hannah for now but look forward to seeing her again for check ups in the future (or maybe on our Christmas night out that she’s asked to come on πŸ˜†)

Speaking of Christmas nights out I’m excited that they will surely be allowed by then, although I’m not sure Shanghai Shuffle’s Karaoke night will be ready for my tone deaf vocals.

There’s only one thing I’m interested in tonight though, and thats catching bent coppers. For those of you that don’t know that’s ‘Line of Duty’ at 9pm on BBC1. If you truly want to be ‘suckin diesel’ you’ll need a bag of KFC zinger crisps to go with it.

Take care all,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mother’s day to all the mum’s out there! Hopefully not too long now before we can all actually get to see our mums a bit more often again. I know I’m desperate to get back to Belfast when it’s allowed and briefly say hi to my mum, give her a hug, then immediately hand the grandkids over and proceed to lie on the sofa for 2 days straight.

Raashi will have the sofa pass today although we’ll probably do the standard lockdown activity of going for a walk soon. The other activity of watching tv shows and films has been well and truly rinsed already. Last night we watched a true story film on Amazon Prime about a man (Daniel Radcliffe) who escapes from a South African prison. It was actually pretty good although surprisingly he didn’t just use his magic to get out – would have saved himself so much time. It might not have been as good a film right enough…….man gets arrested, goes to jail, abracadabra he’s out, …..the end.

Talking of saving time though, if you’re reading this then do yourself a favour and don’t watch ‘Behind her eyes’ on Netflix. It takes 4 episodes to realise that it’s not in fact a ‘who done it’ thriller but instead a show in which the lead actress can transport her soul to other places and even into other people. Total waste of time, 4 hours that would be much better spent going for a walk.

Happy Mother’s Day to Raashi!

Raashi is actually back to work now too so we’ve been able to start taking on new patients again, although there is a bit of a waiting list. For our current patients we’re also trying to get back to routine check ups again so if you’ve not heard from us in a while rest assured we’ve not forgotten about you and will be in touch soon. Please also feel free to call us first if you’ve got something that needs urgent attention as we are able to do all treatments again too.

Enjoy the rest of your day to all the mum’s and don’t worry Dad’s our time will come (maybe even when the pubs are open 😜)

Take care all and stay safe,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

We’re in the title race…

This week I realised just how old I’m getting when a patient asked to see “Joe’s daughter”, meaning one of our dentists – Laura. I know I’ve had a few kids in recent succession but it was a big surprise to think I may have had another one when I was 6! I thought it went without saying but I’d like to take this opportunity to confirm that I am not Laura’s dad. πŸ˜†

The signs of ageing were confirmed on Thursday though when my favourite football team fielded a player at 17 who I genuinely could be old enough to father. That was the final nail in the coffin for my harboured dreams of making it as a professional footballer! My friends will of course say that my lack of talent in that department was the larger nail in the coffin long before this, but I always held on to a glimmer of hope. ☺️

At work this week I accidentally shook hands with a new patient at the end of our appointment and we both had a giggle as we then sanitised. It was such a strange feeling as it’s the first time I’ve shaken another persons hand in almost a year. It’s crazy to think that would be the case this time last year, something so innocent that we’re used to doing multiple times per day and now it feels so unfamiliar. Hopefully it’s not too long now until the elbow bumps are gone, and we can bring back the good old fashioned handshake, high 5 and hugs. It might also feel a bit strange at the end of new patient:dentist appointments to start hugging all the time but hey you never know!

I mentioned last time that our practice is in a covid testing trial at the moment, for all asymptomatic staff and some patients on a weekly basis.

Our nurse Tiegan carrying out mine while I try my hardest not to laugh or wretch!

It’s been great to have the reassurance of weekly negative results so we know our workplace is as safe as possible at the moment. As part of the trial each week a league table of participating dental practices gets sent to us with how many tests were carried out. With only a few weeks left to go in the title race we’re currently in second, chasing the dental hospital for the top spot. They’re on good form at the moment but as we started later we’ve got a couple of games in hand. It could even come down to goal difference.

Come to think of it it’s possible that I’m still compensating in some way for missing out on that football career… πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Roses are red….

Not quite the beast from the East but this weeks snow was still disruptive enough. Looks like it’s on it’s last legs just now though. We tried to make the most of it while it lasts and took the kids sledging yesterday after work:

‘Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme’ πŸ‡―πŸ‡²

Great fun on the way down the hill, not so great when Daddy had to pull the sledge back up, kids in tow. ‘Go faster Daddy’ – sorry but after nearly a years worth of doing nothing except watching Netflix there was ‘snow’ chance of that! Looking forward to the gym’s re-opening so that I can at least say I’ll go to one.

I was chatting to a patient this week who works in the hospitality sector and he was saying that pubs may be open in April but without being able to sell alcohol. It’s a good sign that we’re starting to at least talk about businesses opening up again but I thought that would be a shame for the pubs to be honest, especially for the ones that don’t serve food. I do understand the rationale behind limiting alcohol sales though as you can just imagine the whole 2m distancing thing going out the window when the ‘I love you’s’ come out for friends we’ve not seen in so long. Such a tough one for the government and of-course the people that run pubs. I’m glad I don’t have to make the rules up. There are unfortunately no easy choices or options that suit everyone with this god awful virus.

I’m also glad that the vaccine roll out has really picked up pace now though and it’s great to see so many of our older and more vulnerable patients getting it. I’ve actually signed up to be a vaccinator, along with most of our staff, so I’m looking forward to getting started with that soon. We’ve been doing covid tests at work now too for asymptomatic patients and staff on a weekly basis. Results are coming back really fast so it’s been reassuring for us to know that we’re not asymptomatically carrying. When your in for appointments we might ask if you’d like to participate, completely voluntary of-course. I know someone who was taking a test in his car at a testing centre and accidentally spewed all over himself – our only request is please don’t do that! πŸ˜‚

For the remainder of valentines day I’ll be living up to my ‘Ultimate Casanova’ title that Raashi sarcastically bestowed upon me after receiving her panic bought reduced Asda Roses and no card πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

In the spirit of Casanova…..

Roses are red, violets are blue, *go away* Covid, we’re done with you!

(*other perhaps more suitable terms are available to use here*)

Stay safe and take care all,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

The good old days

Groundhog day today with lounging about the house then going out for a walk. I didn’t think walking would be that much exercise to be honest but our girls like to take turns at sitting back with their feet up while daddy pushes them on their bikes. Last week I actually took the 3 kids out by myself for a walk and was pushing the pram with one hand, dog lead attached (& dog obviously), while also pushing Sienna on her scooter with the other hand and navigating Mila who was holding on to the back of the pram to pull herself along in her balance bike. Who said men couldn’t multi-task?

To be fair I can’t seem to master the art of multi-tasking just as well when I’m on my phone. If Raashi asks me a question while I’m texting someone I look up in total bemusement not really knowing what day it is, much to her discontent as you can imagine! ☺️

I think I spend more time texting friends now though as we see each other so less often. I came across this photo today from almost exactly 1 year ago:

The good old days

Look at us all just sitting there, less than 2 metres apart, with no masks on, in a pub! Little did we know then how much we would appreciate the luxury of that! Someone sent me a whatsapp recently asking “if at the end of this lockdown you could chose between a foreign holiday with your wife or pints and steaks with the lads, what would be your choice:

A. Well done
B. Medium
C. Medium Rare
D. Rare

Raashi reads this blog so let’s just say I never replied! πŸ˜‚

Just incase we do get abroad soon though – I’ve made the most of the extra time lockdown has given me and booked a series of Italian lessons online (I guess that limits our choice of location right enough) – which has been good fun. I used to speak Italian fairly well after taking it for A-Level but I’d forgotten a lot of it. It’s coming back to me though and co-incidentally I managed to get to speak to one of my 2 Italian patients last week!

Looking forward to a trip to Rome at some point in the future and catching up with the other 50% of our Italian patient cohort!

Stay safe all,

Ciao for now

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Ole’s at the wheel

Today’s a big day.

My beloved Manchester United play Liverpool with a chance to go 6 points clear at the top of the league. “Ole’s at the wheel” is our new song in reference to the current manager. The thing is he just happens to be a bit of a dodgy driver sometimes so I’ll be watching from behind the sofa today. To be fair to Ole at least he’s got his licence though. I heard on the radio this week that someone had failed their theory test for the 157th time – Seriously, just get the bus!

It’s my birthday tomorrow too (I’ll be 33 – but between 30 and 40 they’re all the same anyway) so I’m praying for an early birthday present with a win for my team. I’ve already tucked into my cakes and afternoon tea from the staff at work, made by our nurse Gemma’s mum πŸ˜‹

Had some help of-course – Impossible to hide “CAAAAKE” from these guys, they’ve got a 6th sense for it.

I also saw in the news this week that some poor fella only has 2 password guesses left to access his Β£180,000,000 worth of Bitcoin before he’s locked out of his account forever. I was telling this story to our nurse Danielle and she said “surely he can just ‘reset password’?” I don’t know much about bitcoin but I’m assuming it’s a bit more complicated than that πŸ˜‚. How frustrating must that be though.

We have to change our work computer passwords every few months and that’s annoying enough thinking of a word that’s not allowed to be like your previous 3 passwords, must contain capitals, lower case, special symbols, numbers, can’t be too long or short and unfortunately cannot contain the word ‘password’. It’s easy to forget so I sympathise with Mr Bitcoin, although I do write mine down πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ. Surely he’s got a Β£180,000,000 post it note lying around somewhere!

The theory test and bitcoin password we’re obviously lower down on the newsfeed from what’s going on in the USA this week. That was really sad to see, and I hope they all settle down! What a job my fellow Joe (Biden) has on his hands.

I’m glad I’m just a dentist and don’t have to make any of the tough decisions that the people in charge are having to make at the moment. It’s great to see the vaccine roll out gaining momentum now though, and it’s nice to see lots of our colleagues and our more elderly patients being invited to get it. Fingers crossed for some light at the end of the tunnel now!🀞🏼

Take care all and stay safe & well,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Happy New Year!

I think a lot of us will be glad to finally put 2020 behind us and move into 2021 with the hope of the vaccines steering our way out of this pandemic! 🀞

It was a tough year and one that I think we’ll be telling our grandkids about, but personally I’ve got to count my blessings too, our son Ronan was born, our whole family are all well, I’ve fully recovered from a recent operation and with the help of our staff we successfully opened up our new practice premises. It’s also been great just spending so much more time together as a family too – although once we’re all vaccinated I’m hoping 2021 involves some sort of compulsory ‘grandparents take the kids for a week’ rule. Win win all round πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Trying to pretend my backs not broken here from pushing Sienna (far left) the whole way round this Loch on her bike!

Couple of other things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1. Going to friends houses (inside)
  2. Going to the pub!

The online quizzes have been fun but like Mary & Joseph I’m hoping that there’s no zoom at the inn in 2021. (yes I stole that from a Christmas Cracker)

I made some ambitious new years resolutions last year but this year I’ve kept it a bit more simple > get my screen time down. My thinking is that if I succeed at that everything else (exercise etc) will naturally fall into place. Raashi and I have devised a way to work on this together: at the end of the day we’ll check each others screen time and whoever has the most has to get up early with the kids the next day. I won a lie in this morning by a mere 14 minutes – got to thank my mum for keeping Raashi on the phone last night for that one! πŸ˜‰

We’re back to work this Tuesday 5th Jan and although we’re working a lot differently than we used to, I’m excited to get back to a new normal this year. We’re able to do most treatments now and we’re taking on new patients too – although there is a bit of a waiting list.

It’s actually funny to spot the difference in new and current patients at the moment, any time I mention an x-ray my patients all stand up and get ready to go off to ‘the wee box room’. We’re lucky to have x-rays in all surgeries now so no more queuing up or trying to race in before the other dentists any more.

Looking forward to catching up with more of my patients that I’ve not seen in a while this year and here’s to a better 2021 for all of us!

Take care,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

See you again soon…

Had a great start to the bank holiday weekend yesterday after my beloved Manchester United scored a winning goal after the final whistle. Football fans used to call that ‘Fergie time’ after our previous influential manager – as we would so often score in the dying minutes of the game; but yesterday took Fergie time to a whole new level. I felt sorry for the opposing team but you know what they say, …”it’s not over until it’s over – but even then it’s still not over as we might still score again..” – or something along those lines. 😏

After a nice long walk in the park we came back home to a family film night – watching ‘Horton hears a Who’ on Disney +:

Don’t Mila’s eye’s look like the πŸ‘€ emoji? πŸ˜†

Even Fergie got his fair share of the popcorn! (That’s our dog btw, unfortunately Sir Alex himself couldn’t make it for Horton hears a who.)

Raashi and I watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ after this and I would encourage you to give it a go. It’s on Netflix but be prepared to delete all of your social media app’s & notifications after it! (Except of-course if you read or write a blog)

‘The Gentleman’ will be up next on our bank holiday movie binge list. We went to see that in the cinema but it’s probably one of my favourite ever films so if you’ve not seen it yet I would definitely recommend you do. Given the local lockdown rules we’ll probably need a new series soon so if you have any suggestions please fire them my way – we’ve ticked off Suits, Breaking Bad, & Selling Sunset ☺️ already.

At work this week I’m hoping to hear a bit more about what treatments might start to be allowed on the NHS again. You’ve probably read in the news that there have been a lot of restrictions up to now on the type of care we can offer. It’s all down to the aerosols that are produced when we use our drills. These tiny droplets are mainly composed of water from our hand-pieces/drills, but mixed with saliva this can theoretically cause a risk to staff. (Remember the saliva is from the patient and if they are Covid positive already this is when there is a theoretical risk for our staff)

Just to be safe we’ve had to invest in different PPE and leave the surgeries empty for a while after aerosol procedures before carrying out our normal decontamination protocol. We’re also screening all patients before and again on arrival so the risk of us seeing an asymptomatic Covid patient is small.

The NHS can’t provide us with all the PPE required to carry on with all types of routine care so that’s why some treatments are available on the NHS at the moment and all treatments are available privately.

I hope that helps explain the current situation for dentistry a bit better although as everything seems to change so quickly that might well be old news by next week!

I’m currently on medical leave (getting a planned operation next week) and will be off work until at least the middle of November so i’ll be taking a break on the blog front too. I managed to see most of my patients for urgent care up to last week so that was great to be able to finish some things off – I’m sorry if I missed anyone.

Our dentists Laura, Kamal and Mr Chan are taking over all patient care for the moment so if you need an appointment please just call us and of-course our whole team will keep everyone updated on any government changes to the provision of dental care.

I look forward to seeing our staff and patients again on my return.

Have a good bank holiday everyone and take care,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

haPPE

Had a very busy week this week as we’re now back to offering a full range of services. There are still some restrictions on what treatment can be offered on the NHS at the moment but our team will be able to talk you through all the options either on the phone, by email or of course in person at your appointment.

We’re all getting well used to the extra PPE now too. It’s not actually that much different for us as we’re obviously used to it in our line of work, but we’ve got different masks and gowns for any aerosol generating procedures (using the drills and scalers) now. This is Tiegan & I getting all set up for a dental implant procedure during the week:

For dental implants it’s not too different than pre covid to be honest but you will notice that any time we do any of the aerosol type procedures we have to spend a bit of time getting ‘dressed up’ like this in our gowns, masks and visors. Mr Chan’s patients will have noticed he sometimes looks more like an astronaut with all his PPE on πŸ˜†.

Spending most of the day in the additional PPE get’s a bit hot too but thankfully all the surgeries have big windows now and we’ve even got air purifiers in every room, including the reception/waiting area.

Our current patients will remember our last place where the surgeries were very small with no windows, so that would have been much more difficult for us to work and to be honest we wouldn’t have been able/allowed to carry out the aerosol procedures at all. What a time to move in the end!

Fingers crossed for a vaccine some time soon so we can all get back to normal. The Russians say they have one already but ironically they seem to be ‘russian’ it through the approval process. I’m ‘haPPE’ to stick with the additional kit for the time being.

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

On the hunt for new chips

Just finished my sit up and squat challenge for today. My brother Nathan challenged our whole family to 100 sit ups and 100 squats per day for the month of September. I’ve only missed one day so far, but did double the following day to make up for it. I had hoped to see a 6 pack by now but maybe that was a little ambitious. Guess I’ll have to give up takeaways for that, but with the new coronavirus restrictions announced I really can’t see that happening now. Salt and chilli chips have just became even more important, so I’d keep them and settle for a 1 pack to be honest.

We had a Chinese takeaway on Friday night and the past couple of times I thought I’d noticed an ever so slight variation to their salt and chilli chip recipe. I jokingly said to Raashi that the chef must have been on holiday but we got a leaflet with Friday’s order to say there’s been a change in management. It’s heartbreaking as it took me years to find that one, and sadly the new one just isn’t as good so I’m now on the hunt for a new salt and chilli chip vendor. Any recommendations please let me know. (Sadly we don’t stay close enough to Stan’s)

Bit of a quiet/lazy afternoon for us for the rest of the day. Even Fergie didn’t fancy a walk earlier:

Just don’t poo in the pram Fergs, not without a nappy on anyway.

I was reading today that there may be a risk of another national lockdown, really hope it doesn’t come to that. I’m sure we’ve all been enjoying being back to some form of normality recently. I know we have at our work, and we’re all back to our normal shifts and opening times. Our therapist Rebecca is back doing scaling and polishing too so I’m desperate to get booked in with her myself at some point, going to need all the staining from salt and chilli chip sampling blasted away!

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)