I hate it when history repeats itself. Last summer, my teeth decided to go on strike, which meant I had to get two root canals and three crowns. Then my son’s dog decided the mouth piece I have to wear at night to prevent teeth-grinding would make an excellent chew toy. I didn’t realize Frankie had stolen it from the night stand until I heard ominous crunching sounds from underneath my bed, and by then my poor night guard was missing a few pieces. Sadly, that meant several more trips to the dentist in order to get a new one made and properly fitted.
All of which explains why I was really hoping that this summer would be free of any kind of dental procedures other than perhaps a quick and painless cleaning. And yet it was not to be. It turns out that one of those root canals didn’t quite get the job done, and I still have a small infection near the root of that tooth. The endodontist recommended oral surgery, which is tentatively scheduled for the end of next week.
I’ve been worried by the sensitivity in that tooth for quite some time, even though dental x-rays didn’t show anything wrong with it. So in a way, it’s nice to know what is going on and have a plan for treatment. One the other hand, I hate medical procedures in general and dental procedures in particular, so the thought of having to undergo another one….. and possibly even an extraction and implant if this surgery doesn’t work….is casting a bit of a shadow over what I had hoped would be a fun and carefree last few weeks of summer.
Still, I am determined not to let my dental woes ruin what is left of the season by wasting time and emotional energy dreading the upcoming surgery. Obviously, I’m not looking forward to having someone cut open my gums and mess with the roots of my teeth, but I’ll be numb during the procedure. (If I happen to feel anything at all, I’ll be out of that chair and fleeing that office so fast they won’t see me for the dust.) Afterwards, I’ll have pain killers and the perfect excuse to make my husband bring me soft food and tasty drinks while I park it on the couch and watch my favorite movies.
I admit that don’t have a history of being brave about medical/dental procedures. There was a time when even knowing I had to have a cavity filled or blood drawn made me anxious for days before. But in the past few years, I’ve had several dental procedures, two varicose vein treatments that involved the internal use of lasers, and even out-patient eyelid surgery. And I did it all without screaming, cursing, or causing serious bodily harm to a single medical professional. If that isn’t personal growth, I don’t know what is.
So I guess in a rather important way, history isn’t repeating itself at all. Yes it’s summer (again) and I’m spending far too much time in the dentist chair (again), but I’m determined not to waste the next two weeks worrying about my upcoming procedure. Instead, I’m going to do my best to enjoy what is left of my summer, to live in the moment and to comfort myself with the knowledge that I can, and will, get through this just fine. Which just goes to show that we’re never too old for a little self-improvement….