Better All The Time

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….

 

99 thoughts on “Better All The Time

    • Thanks, Lisa! I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m not dreading it nearly as much as I would have just a few years ago. The medical stuff I’ve dealt with recently has taught me that I can do this, and that’s a good thing! I also realize that, in the general scheme of things, I am very lucky. I know people who are dealing with inoperable cancer, pain that they can’t diagnose, etc. I’ve got this. I may not like it, but I’ve got it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • You know, that is so true! I was terrified before I had my first child (I’d never even had an IV before, and didn’t want one). But after that, I began to realize that I’m a lot stronger that I ever thought, and that has helped me deal with the medical and dental procedures I’ve had since. I’ll remember that saying when I get the oral surgery done. Thank you!!!

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  1. Wishing you well with your upcoming procedure. I too,have spent too much time in years past in a dental chair. But yes, enjoy these summer days because they will not come again…at least, not this summer. Summer has always been a time to be just a little bit more carefree, a time for reading books, taking a stroll on the beach, and letting the worries slide just a tad. Our worries are always with us, but the summer breeze is not.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think that is absolutely true! Dentists are like car mechanics, we have to trust that they know what they are doing, because we don’t have a clue. Plus, they keep putting sharp things in our mouths, which it is only natural to resent. And I’m hoping for a free toothbrush in addition to that happy face sticker…LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. once again it is as if you are speaking for me. There was a time I would do ANYthing rather than go to the dentist – even for a filling. Yet just a few weeks ago, I had to have a root canal, and I wasn’t horrified – remembering how well the others went years ago. Then, a week later another crown fell out just out of the blue! Oh brother! Found some “recap” it at the grocery store and survived a few days until the dentist could properly repaired. All proud of myself for being brave! LOL! Personal growth indeed 🙂

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  3. Living in the moment is a great way of dealing with a crisis like getting major dental work done. When there is nothing you can do about anything that must be done, then it is best to relax while you are waiting. Worrying will not help your teeth to get better. So enjoy the rest of the summer, sip a milkshake and watch a heart-warming movie. Best wishes! Peter

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  4. I feel with you as I share your fear of dentist appointments, but I am far less brave than you are. I haven’t been to see a dentist in ages, even though I well know I should and I’m dreading the moment I have to. So, in a sense, you’re far better off. You will get it done and over with in heroic fashion next week and be spoiled by your husband as a reward. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and those medical workers.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. my dear, I admire your attitude. I have a strange fearful reaction to dentists especially. I m expecting you to have good results and a quick recovery. I make my own toothpaste now and have been for months just to hopefully help. best wishes! love Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hate medical procedures of any kind so you can be sure I will remember you on my Rosary beads tonight, Ann. All the same, thank you for this post. I’m just home from work and brought it all back with me on my shoulders and back and in my head, all the way down to my toes!!! But I will press your words to my heart and not let the farewell of the late evening sun and its friend~breezes go to waste.

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    • Thank you for the prayers! And I know what you mean, sometimes a tough day does come home with us and it’s so hard to let ourselves relax and put it behind us. I do believe we can do that, if we try. But we have to be intentional about it for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Dear – Dentist!!!! I feel with and for you. Had 2 Rootkanal ops done only recently – and did not feel a single thing. Brilliant Dentist!! In fact, the Doctors here are (mostly) brilliant – and I am somebody who can not cope with pain on myself, only remain cool, calm and collected when I look after somebody else 🙂
    So, get better soon. Hugs from India

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I admit that when I had my two root canals, I didn’t feel any pain during the either. My jaw was sore after the first one, but I think that was because I was too tense during the procedure so I was careful to try to relax my jaw during the second one. They really have come a long way with dental and medical procedures now, for which I am very grateful. Let’s hope this one goes well too!

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  8. I hope this ends your nagging dental issues for some time to come. While you’re zoning out after your procedure have your husband bring you the laptop along with those drinks for some interesting blogging in between the movies! Hope everything goes smoothly.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. And I did it all without screaming, cursing, or causing serious bodily harm to a single medical professional

    Ann…. you are a better person than many of us. Speaking as one of the many, I freak out whenever anyone comes near me with anything sharp – and I threaten them back.

    Unfortunately, everyone at the dentist’s office and clinic has my number and revel in tormenting me. I blame this on my wife, she makes me carry a note warning any unfamiliar staff that, “he is just a big baby”.

    🙂 🙂

    Hope it goes well and I hope you have a fast recovery with a minimum of discomfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so funny!!!! Actually, I’m just working at becoming a better person. I once hid the little sharp thing that they use to clean your teeth while I was waiting for the dentist to come in (I had just broken a windshield with my face and was only 17 at the time, but still.) Even now, there is no such thing as a medical professional who says, “Oh good, Ann Coleman is here!” It’s more like, “Crap, Ann Coleman is in the waiting room. Maybe if we ignore her long enough, she’ll go away.”
      But I really am working on it….. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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    • Don’t worry, I’ve already thought of that! Which is why, if I even think I’m beginning to feel anything, I make them give me more. But I think I’m safe….usually I stay numb for at least four more hours after I get home.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. lol great write up and as a health professional I am most relieved that you do not subject us to verbal or physical violence! That is indeed great personal growth 😉
    Dentures are the way to go, pain free and they are repaired outside your brain … sorry mouth!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel for you Ann. A few years ago I thought I was going in for a root canal consultation and learned that the tooth was beyond hope. I nearly lost it when I found out a dental implant was $6,000 and we don’t have dental. I opted to just have it removed because it’s a back molar and wouldn’t affect my bite. Best money I ever spent, and it didn’t hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! That’s a good point! Him trying to take it while I was wearing it would have been beyond awkward. And thanks…I do think I will get through this just fine. Not exactly looking forward to it, but I’m thinking I can be brave!

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  12. Oh my! Wishing you a quick recovery and successful dental surgery. I suppose this is one of the times when having an active imagination isn’t useful. At least you can take courage in the fact that as the years have passed, you’ve bravely borne being poked and pried into by the medical profession.

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  13. Well said Ann, no point stressing and worrying about what’s yet to come (in fact that’s what my next post will be about coincidentally). Still, I feel for you and hope that all goes well. As I’m sure it will. Take care x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Miriam! I admit I’m a little worried, because that’s just who I am. But I also know it will be fine, and that I’ll be strong enough to cope with whatever happens. Worrying is such a waste of time and energy…I’m really working to spend far less time worrying! And I look forward to reading your next post about it. You are always so encouraging to your readers, and I hope you know how much that is appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Ann, I do know that but quite honestly I think we all encourage each other. And I also know that when I’m writing these posts half the time it’s because I need it the most myself. You’re right, worrying is a huge waste of time and energy but, like you, I’m working on trying to do it less. xx

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  14. So sorry Ann. It is a bummer to have to go through these kinds of things. One thing I am always grateful for is that we have medical procedures now that can help heal us. I always wonder what it was like 200 years ago. I am sure so many people suffered. Hang it there. This too shall pass and it sounds like you are in good hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Ali, thinking about it that way helps! I never like having dental work done, but I also know how much better it is now that they have such advanced pain killers, sterile equipment and less invasive methods (this will be a micro-surgery!). I am truly grateful, and I will be okay, whatever happens. Thank you for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Interesting that you brought up medical and dental procedures. I HATE them too, and obsess before I have them. This summer, I’ve had stomach issues. I had an endoscopy, which most people recover from in five seconds. It took a month for my stomach to get back to normal after that procedure. I’m feeling much, much better, thankfullly, but now I’m also supposed to go for a routinecolonoscopy. I don’t like being put out, and I don’t like scopes poking around inside me. So you’re not alone. I hate this stuff, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think a lot of us hate it, and if you think about it, it’s perfectly logical. Who ever wakes up and thinks, “Today I’d like to have sharp objects poking around in my mouth, or a scope put inside me where no scope belongs?” No one, that’s who! But eventually, we get through it. I’m sorry your endoscopy took so long to recover from, and hope you have better luck with the colonoscopy. When I had one, the only problem I encountered was that I was very tired afterwards…I remember being annoyed when they woke me up and told me it was time to go home. I just wanted to keep sleeping a little longer!

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  16. Hope all went well with the surgery, Ann! I will keep my fingers crossed that an implant won’t be necessary. And it definitely sounds like you’ve improved how you handle these kind of things! Well done!

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  17. My poor (young) daughter has not taken care of her teeth much to my dismay and just had all her upper teeth pulled today to make way for dentures. Needless to say, she is not a happy camper today, nor am I. We can lead a horse to water….

    Like

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