Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday's Molar Message

We went to the dentist today. Yes, WE. I finagled Pat into an appointment for a cleaning/checkup and I went in for a bite adjustment from a small cavity that gave me the most intense pain ever due to a simultaneous sinus infection. Yeah, ouch.
This appointment was so much more simple than the one I had last Wednesday. I had never had such pain and hope to never experience it again. Everyone, brush your teeth and FLOSS! This cavity was fairly small, barely detectable on the X-ray, and in-between my molars. Oh, and to add to the fun, I have jaw issues and can have my jaw lock up. I went in and after finding this minute molar mess, I had my jaw jacked open with a little plastic thingy. That's the technical name I'm sure. This is when my anxiety kicks in. With no ability to close my jaw, I have to do some mental exercises to calm my rising panic. Pretend Lamaze breathing seems to just make me hyperventilate, likely because I'm doing it incorrectly. Is that why I get nauseous? My heart rate is unaffected by the positive mental attitude that I try to realize. I often do realize the muscles in various parts of my body are tense and about to cramp, so I do the flex/release methods to relax. It's ridiculous, I know.
I finally found a method that worked for me. Remember that scripture memory I've been doing? I remembered to meditate on my verses and run through all of them, at least all that I could remember which was most. It was not immediate, but it made my mind focused on something entirely different. I was no longer trying to "not think about my jaw and the pain" and truly set my mind on things above. Especially since it took some effort to recall all the verses, my mind almost forgot my surroundings. I still had the muscle tension that I had to force release, but the panic sensations relaxed. I think my heart rate even lowered.
I must admit that my first reaction to my rising panic was embarrassment. I was too embarrassed to pray for any help to get through the appointment. Seriously? There are way worse things that prayer should be saved for. A dental appointment is not life-threatening or life-saving. Usually. I just felt that I should be able to handle such a trivial event, for Pete's sake. (Who is this Pete for whom we are all doing things?) After likely laughing off His throne, God probably had the Spirit prompt me to remember my memorization. It was all I needed. If He asks me to be faithful in very little things, won't He be faithful, too? Oh, how I love my Father!

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