Monday, January 17, 2011

Sometimes it best to start small

You know how "they" say it's best to "face your fears"? I don't know why they say that. I'm much more comfortable dodging, dancing around and and all out avoiding them at all costs. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I could face fear without the fear facing me back. Or better yet if I could look at it through a peephole on the other side of a high, long fence. Unfortunately you can only dodge for just so long. Today, I was finally face-to-face with one of my biggest fears - THE DENTIST.

I hate dentists. Well, I don't have a problem with them as people - just what they do for a living. And really, what they do is fine - it's downright helpful even - as long as they're not having to do it to me. It's an irrational fear of mine, rooted long ago by a butcher of a dentist I went to as a kid. He was HORRIBLE! And so, the last time I went to a dentist - any dentist - was 29 years ago. No, that's not a typo. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't been to a dentist in 29 years. Until today, that is.

Honestly 29 years is pretty good if you think of it. I seem to have taken good enough care of my teeth to last me this long (*this is me justifying and rationalizing the neglect of my teeth*). If it weren't for the fact that I cracked my tooth a couple of years ago, I might not even have to be going now. Yes, I should have gone when it first happened but I figured it wasn't hurting or bothering me, so why mess with a good thing?

Well, I'm hurtin' now. Friday night during dinner I absentmindedly did something I don't normally do - chew on that side of my mouth. The food hit that tooth and I saw stars and was in terrible pain most of the weekend. By the absolute grace of God, the pain has minimized significantly - not gone, mind you, but oh sweet mercy, it's much better.

It's obvious I have no choice but to get that sucker out of my mouth. It's like childbirth. Most of us are terrified by the concept of it, but by the time you reach the end, all you want is to GET IT OUT!!! That's where I'm at. But I'm still really scared. I was all set with an appointment this morning and comforted oh-so-slightly by the fact that they do "sedation dentistry". If I have to go, I want to go in, be completely knocked out, wake up and it's all done and I was oblivious to all of it. And that's what I was told would happen when I made the appointment. Unfortunately, it seems I was misinformed. So...nothing got done today. Sorry, being conscious is a deal breaker for me. They were all really understanding though, which was very nice and they made an appointment for me with an oral surgeon for tomorrow morning who will definitely send me to la-la land for the duration of the procedure. YAY

So, I'm kind of proud of myself. I broke my shameful 29-year dental-avoidance streak today. I saw him, he saw me; he even looked at my teeth. Nothing got done but hey, baby steps, right?

Hebrews 13:6 "We can say with confidence, the Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" :)

Be blessed.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Well good for you. That takes alot of courage. I hadn't been to a dentist in 13 years!