Kindness restores me to true feeling

Kindness is what the Dalai Lama has called ‘his religion’ and when I think about it, often it is kindness shown to me in the form of empathy that brings my heart undone.  It happened today.  I had a follow up appointment with the dentist who removed my broken bridge and gave me a temporary one in February.  Before that appointment I believed I would be getting a new bridge shortly but was informed I had a crack in one of my front teeth, the one that got split apart in the accident that occurred with I was 17 and that now a new bridge was not possible. Implants for three front teeth are one option but due to PTSD I cannot go through that kind of invasive procedure.  The second one is that the tooth must come out and I will wear a denture.   Its a hard thing for me to swallow.  I will need a denture for three teeth as over the course of the past 37 years I have had two reconstructions on that part of my mouth parts of other teeth have had to be removed to build a new bridge.  Back in February it was hard to face a loss of this kind.   I am still relatively young (at 54) and I will now have to have that huge gap in the front of my mouth.  It is something I have to struggle to come to terms with.

I don’t want to avoid any more what needs to be done.  I have an infection in that tooth that is causing me problems.  The option to just plaster it over for another six months seems too hard to bear.  At some point I have to face the grief of loosing the tooth.  When I spoke to the dentist I was really honest about how I was struggling.   This is the kind thing she said to me.

“It is totally understandable that you feel the way you do.  A front tooth is such a big part of you and to have it removed is hard.   Its not just like cutting off a fingernail or something.” She then turned away and my tears just fell.  I realised in that instant the trauma I have gone through will always live on in my body and I have endured losses, but I also know if I face the facts, feel the grief and go through the procedure things will be better in the long run than avoiding it.  Maybe readers won’t relate to what a big thing it is for me.   I also know I MUST FACE IT.  Avoiding things that are painful for me is no longer an option.  I know in the past I have avoided pain and I know its because I have gone through so much pain in my life.

What was really beautiful today though was the empathy and kindness that my beautiful dentist, Sunny showed me.   She only has 2 and a half weeks until she takes leave to give birth to her daughter and wont be back to work until November.   When I left after absorbing a truth I had tried to avoid before and felt the problems the infection is causing for my body I wondered how I will last 6 months now waiting for the procedure to be done.  I don’t know the answer.   I have a bit of a headache at the moment as these big emotions are around.  But I do feel as I sit typing this with sunlight streaming though the window how grateful I am that in being shown empathy and kindness I was able to feel the full impact of the thing.  I have had dental trauma since age 16 when four teeth were removed in preparation for 18 months of braces during which I had to wear a bit and bridle to bed at night to pull the teeth back.  My teeth are aching as I write this.  That cellular memory lives on and I rarely have an undisturbed night’s sleep due to it as well as the impact of the head trauma I had 12 years ago,  I am aware as I type this that the anniversary of that accident is approaching… its ripple affects live on.  Trauma brings more trauma…that is a sad fact.   There is so much our bodies go through that other minds so often don’t understand.  I am just so grateful that my dentist does.

2 thoughts on “Kindness restores me to true feeling

  1. I had a tooth removed almost 2 weeks ago (bottom back, next to my extracted wisdom tooth), and it was a traumatic experience. Having my wisdom teeth removed 2 years ago was the same kind of horrible and I vowed it would never happen again! But it has. 😦 It’s been almost 2 weeks now, and something doesn’t feel right. The pain from the tooth next to the newly extracted one has been getting worse over the past few days, and I don’t know why. I’m terrified to go back to the dentist. That’s one of my biggest fears… And I hate having work done on my teeth/mouth. So even just a check up is bad enough. I know I should probably go back and have her take a look, but I’m terrified. What if something is wrong and she has to do more work. It makes me feel like crying, so it’s better to avoid it for now, until the pain becomes unbearable (hopefully though it won’t, and will just get better as the days go on). So I’m definitely not judging how awful the situation is for you. It’s a big thing. I’m with you. ❤

  2. Oh god Rayne that sounds like such a huge ordeal. I am sorry you have been through all of this. Its so difficult having any dental work and each bad experience makes you dread the next one even more. But its also so important to get help if we are in pain or have ill effects from something. <3.

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