Thursday, January 14, 2010


My Monday morning began with the joyful news that I have to get a root canal on Friday. It’s like the thought of giving birth, I know millions of women have given birth and I will survive if I go through it, but it doesn’t make me exactly excited about the process. I can’t get excited for pain even in the end I get a child or a healthy tooth.

(Above is a healthy tooth. Oh the things I take for granted.)

Another thrilling fact is that my root canal is special (don’t be jealous) because it’s on one of my two front teeth. How you ask? When I was 11, my cousin Judy and I were intertubing, being pulled by my Aunt Judy’s boat (yes, Judy was named after Aunt Judy) on the one and only Pecos River of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Judy and I were the ones who always wanted to go faster, crazier, the most we could handle…so hardcore. Well, on this particular summer day, the intertube hit a wave wrong, flipped and we flew in the air. Somewhere in the process my mouth was hit or I bit down really hard and since then half of my top left tooth has been missing and a couple of my bottom teeth were pretty chipped-up too. The next day I got them all bonded up and the most upsetting thing was the initial realization when I came up from under the water and I had a mouth full of blood and teeth and that I didn’t get to have any of Granny’s oreo ice cream that night. It never upset me that I happened to chip my teeth that day, it was more annoying than anything.

(picture of the beautiful Pecos –the 4th of July 2008)

And annoying it’s continued to be up to this very second. My bottom teeth were never an issue, it’s just that stupid top tooth. I was always a little self consciece because I knew it didn’t look quite like the other. Self esteem issues…I can’t say that the tooth helped those. Anyway, when I moved to Dallas three years ago, what should happen when I’m making 25k per year, but my tooth starts to chip and then the fake part falls out at work. It’s sort of looked down upon when half your front tooth is missing, so of course, immediate repair is necessary. And convienently my insurance won’t cover this aesthic repair. Please. Like I’m trying to get a boob job. Thankfully, my parents helped me not to be toothless and I found a perfect dentist here (via the Hoges) to put a veneer on my front tooth to fix it for good. I’d have this permanent veneer and it would last for a long time and I could treat it just like a normal tooth and it matched my other real one. Perfect. Yes. No more tooth issues. Stick that baby on. The veneer is thankfully still intact and has been dependable, but now it’s clear that my front tooth up and died on me. DEAD. DEAD. DEAD. I saw it on the exray yesterday. Side by side with my alive teeth is the one dead one, no root, no nerve…just dead. And since it’s dead bacterica has crept in the root and this is the reason that I will be getting a root canal. Stupid dead tooth. It would die, it would die just to be annoying.

I was thinking about this dead tooth and wondering how long it’s been dead and only when it started causing me pain and then physical evidence of a swollen lip did I finally do something about it. Then I thought about my life…the different areas of it…

The part of my life that was reserved for exercise and physical activity is completely dead. I don’t belong to a gym. I don’t go to yoga. I don’t run outside. I don’t do a work out video. I wake up, drive to work, sit at a desk and go home and attempt to cook dinner with my handsome hubby. I don’t think that this part of me will be dead forever, I know that eventually I will make the time to do myself a favor and move and sweat a little. What is it going to take for me to do something? The pain and physical evidence of my pants not zipping?

(Let’s Get Physical- Olivia Newton John)

Sadly, I also had to admit to myself that my spirtual life is dead. I believe in God. I occasionally pray, I go to Bible study but I can tell you that today I’ve been on facebook more than I’ve thought about God, His goodness, His will for my life, how I can serve others I love. What would if take for me to address that part of me is dead and that God is real? Pain…physical evidence, like my tooth? I’m not sure. When someone I love is going through something hard or when I am struggling – I turn to God because I want the pain to go away. It’s not that simple though. Like with my tooth, I wanted the pain to go away, but for this to completely happen, the dead root has to come out. So, it looks like I not only need a dental root canal but a spiritual one. Like we floss and brush our teeth to prevent the cavities – I’d like to get up thinking how I can praise the One that gave me life, instead of walking around half dead. I don’t look dead, just like my tooth…but it’s always on the inside that counts-just ask my dentist.

I don’t want to become that far gone physically or spritually that one day I turn around are realize those parts of my life are completely removed. Thanks to the brochure I was given on root canals, I learned that years ago the teeth that were infected had no other choice BUT to be removed. Thankfully, I can turn to God no matter how rotten I become and thankfully there are shows like the Biggest Loser which show us that you can get healthy no matter how far unhealthy you get…

In closing, I want to thank God for root canals, tomorrows and last but not least, pain pills.
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently.
~William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing(obviously missing the pain pills..ha)


Ande said...

wow, al, i feel like i really just got in your head just then. and i have to agree, i feel the same way on many of your topics. my closing thought- i need to visit carlsbad.

Alexis said...

omg. Carlsbad is your playground ANY time...4th of July...Aunt Judy (fringe pant suit) always has a big party! That pic was taken from her backyard!!! I'm so serious, we've got to go one of these years!!!