As a creative, its seems common for passion to override the consciousness of the importance of our health to our dreams, till we become the victims of a painful medical condition. At that point, passion forsakes you and you begin to appreciate the few people that told you to eat well, eat good food, rest well, exercise more and go for a medical check-up regularly.
My day at the dentist wasn’t my first painful medical experience but at my age it showed how careless I can be and how detrimental it can be to my life and dreams. I had promised myself to make my health my number one priority in life for some years now. I have not succeeded with the mission neither have I failed, I instead became a zombie about it. Very sluggish, slow and most times forgetful.
Removing my wisdom tooth with a one-week “hell of a life” healing process that followed took me off guard, a bit of a shocker and a very discouraging way to start a new year. “If I do not act on my health like my life depends on it, I will always pay dearly.” became my first Lesson for the Year. Today might just be a tooth, tomorrow who knows what it will be?
It was just a slight pain to my left cheek, no tooth in particular seemed responsible. I always took pain relievers when I felt the pain and I always got better minutes later. It was on and off for some months, later it became weekly and at this point I knew there is a reason God allowed men to become dentist, even after my earnest prayers for a Miracle
It was a new year, the 3rd of January when it hit me again and I decided to go for a check-up at the local sick bay. It took an hour to pull out my Card, wait in line and finally see the dentist.
“Who is Barwa …?” She asked, as she read from my Card. An elderly looking woman with a polished English accent that suggested she schooled abroad.
I raised my hand as she raised her head to find me.
“Come in please.” she said, standing by the door to the surgery room
“Who is Grace…?”
A lady seated two persons from my right answered and was asked to come in too.
“Seat here Barwa.” she said, pointing to the first dental chair.
“You seat there.” she said to Grace, pointing to the next dental chair in the room to my right.
“What is wrong with you?” she asked me, standing to my right side.
“I have been having pains for some time on the left side of my teeth.” I answered
“Open your mouth.”
She took a mouth mirror and pushed the dental light closer to my mouth.
She placed the mouth mirror in my mouth and after a few seconds exclaimed, “Wow! you have a bad one there. It has a Big hole. I will just suggest you remove it.”
I went like Ha! Thinking to myself, “I came for a check-up not a surgery, it’s just a new year. Remove..,, this doesn’t feel right.”
She left me to pick something and I did not realize within seconds that I gave her a “Yes”, a Go ahead to Remove the Tooth with a nod while I was talking to myself, till I saw a nurse bring her a syringe of anaesthetic. My body Went cold and I knew there was no turning back. My Future Self Knew it was the right thing to do but my present Self was Beefing me for saying YES.
I have had a couple of surgeries on my left eye about 7 years ago before I finally went blind on the eye. By experience, any medical procedure to any part of head is not pleasant in anyway and I knew I was in for it. Pain wise, fear wise, appearance after, Hmm but am sure it varies for most.
In 20 minutes all was done. Anaesthetics came first, with 3 pricks to my gums, the pain was brief but the feeling to my left check creepy.
After about 12 minutes she asked me to follow a young dentist that came into the Room. He was the one to do the mean job of removing my tooth. I followed him to the next surgery room and sat at the only dental chair in the room, while about 4 other staffs went about making noise and doing their thing like I wasn’t there. That is their daily lives I guess, this wasn’t mine, it felt like a Pause in time. Just the way a Machine is stopped for routine maintenance.
It wasn’t painful as I thought it was going to be, but it was terrifying. Unknown to me, the real pain was to come 24 hours after the removal and that was sure going to be the price for skipping the dentist appointment for over 20 years, the price for using a tooth brush for over 2 years and more, the price for skipping to brush because of an all-nighter and night crawler life style. The Price for Neglect.
They say a regular dentist visit is every 6 months, twice a year but am going back every 4 months. It’s not meant to be a new year’s resolution, its meant to be a lifestyle.