We have learned over the last couple of months that this process could often feel like we were riding on a freight train going full speed ahead. And that freight trains beget more freight trains. And that I am able to ride them at high speed and slow them down as need be.
Which means that yesterday was no surprise. I was surrounded by wonderful caretakers, yet I can’t much say it was fun.
In preparation for chemo, I had to have a dental cleaning. And for that I decided I had to see a dentist I know and love and TRUST. Dr. Kelly Houlihan is that person. She is out in Salisbury, so we took the two hour ride to her office yesterday morning.
A little background. I inherited all the Toombs dental genes, which means that I have had a whole lot of dental work and have many, many root canals and crowns and a pair of bridges. I’ve even had an emergency root canal at sunrise on Easter morning.
So we knew yesterday would bring something that needed attention.
It brought the extraction of five teeth, by an amazing oral surgeon, Dr. Tilghman, at about 5pm and then back to the dentist. Kelly’s dad, Dr. Dana Kennan, is a prosthodontist. He made me an appliance that will temporarily fill the spots of four of the five teeth. We left for home after 9pm.
Talk about letting go of what I no longer need! And cleansing and clearing.
Current dental wisdom holds that root canals are a problem. I agree. Leaving a damaged tooth in the mouth simply creates a pathway for bacteria to penetrate deeply into the bone and invites a host of future issues. I’ve known that this day would come and that I would move to implants. I have had a heck of a time finding a dentist and an oral surgeon that I truly trusted. Without that trust, I have been unable to step into such extremes of pulling multiple teeth, temps, and implants. All the while knowing the risk of abscess, bone loss, etc. was increasing.
So, when we looked at the pics yesterday, there were five teeth that Drs. Kelly and Dana were very concerned about. With a diminished immune system due to chemo, they held big risks for abscess.
We were able to take care of it as Spirit had arranged the oral surgeon and assistants were able to stay late to do the work that needed to all happen last night, because Dr. Dana is leaving on vacation. So that was my one chance to get him to sculpt me some beautiful temporary teeth, and suffice to say, that was cosmetically Very Important.
Riding this freight train was pretty amazing again too. At times, there was so much going on that I didn’t even get all the information. Laura was always completely filled in though. She stayed beside me for all of it; she held my feet during all of the procedures. I am personally in awe of how she was able to stand at my feet through the extractions. In sacred space Laura held the cord that kept me connected to my body. That allowed me to float out to manage the pain and powerful sensations. I can’t count how many vials of local the doc used, and know even that would not have been enough without her steady presence. My fear and vanity really thought that she shouldn’t see me like that, and my need for connection and to be held overtook that promptly. I am blessed to be able to receive such presence.
My body is back in deep physical healing mode again. I have been given the opportunity to release all sorts of gunk as well as vanities. And something else that got put aside in my life, for many reasons, has begun to be taken care of.
Teeth and mouth are such important parts of our body and life, and mine feel significantly healthier already. The load that I was carrying with those unhealthy teeth has been removed. The doc got each out cleanly and intact.
I kept the teeth; they will become an offering, along with my hair someday soon. An offering of release, an offering of praise, an offering of gratitude for another seemingly freight train of a situation that got me quickly and gracefully to exactly where I need to be.
Another blessing, along with all the Angels that cared for me yesterday.
On a practical note, implants will go in after chemo and liquids only for me for a couple of days- seedless smoothie and simple soup ideas are welcome.