I went to Teddy’s Bakery today. I stopped in for a bite to eat and to ponder some coaching homework questions. I had just come from a visit to the dentist. The entire left side of my face was numb, but I was ravenously hungry and desperate to eat. I hadn’t planned on getting a filling today. The dentist talked me into it. I meekly agreed to his assurances that, “It will not take long.” And “I will have it good as new with no pain at all.” “I’m just going to give you a little freezing,” he said.
THAT huge needle with the freezing solution in it doesn’t interest me in the least. I don’t know why THAT needle has to be so BIG. Further, I don’t understand why he has to use so much freezing solution. It takes five hours for the freezing to come out and the numbness extends from my mouth all the way up the side of my face to the top of my head. I wonder if it affects the grey matter encased in my skull at all. This unwanted dental moment occurred as a result of something that happened on Thursday while eating a salad with croutons. I bit down on a crunchy crouton and not only found a crunch but discovered something bad happened. I heard a terrible crack and found the whole inner side of a tooth broke off. Have you ever had that happen to you? It’s a bit of a shock; at least it is to me. You’re chomping away enjoying the taste and filling your tummy with yummy food when suddenly you’re stunned with a loud cracking sound you know doesn’t belong with the sound of chewing food. Then you feel a huge hollow area where before you felt a hard surface ready to mash whatever gets in the way. Of course, I didn’t swallow, but immediately dumped the salad, washed my mouth out and thought, “Well, that’s the end of that meal.” This is the second time I have lost the inside of a tooth. Months earlier, I ate a salad containing cacao nibs and to my amazement found that when I bit down on one of the nibs, a tooth cracked. The incident cured my appetite and the salad went straight into the garbage. “What a waste,” I thought. But, I couldn’t take the risk of loosing more enamel.
There I sat in the booth at Teddy’s with frozen mouth and face trying to eat soup and drink coffee. Have you ever smiled in the mirror with a frozen mouth? Did you notice that the frozen half of your mouth and face doesn’t move? So you are actually smiling a half-smile. It looked very weird to me. Now imagine what I looked like trying to eat and drink with a numb face. It sure felt weird and if I had a mirror at Teddy’s it probably looked weird as well. The young girl who served me kept looking at me and smiling. Eventually, I told her about the visit to the dentist where I received a filling less than half an hour ago. The young girl sympathized with me and told me about her stepdad who had all his wisdom teeth removed and couldn’t eat properly for two months. I thought, “You see Marianne, things can always be worse. You should be grateful that THAT didn’t happen to you.”
I leisurely slurped my soup from the right side of my mouth, sipped my coffee from the right side of my mouth and dabbed my dribbles with the napkin after each mouthful while I pondered the answers for my coaching homework questions. The mealtime was productive. I scribbled answers to the coaching exercises designed to uncover my life purpose. Imagine a whole “life purpose” in one mealtime. It felt grand.
The meal and the homework ended. I packed up my papers and put the folder in my bag and shimmied along the bench. As I put full body weight on my feet a stinging pain circled my ankle. The young girl who served me stood behind the counter. She stared at me with her eyebrows raised and mouth dropped as I limped toward her. I could feel her say, “What happened to you?” With a smile on my face and feeling a little embarrassed I said, “I’m a wreck, aren’t I?” The young girl smiled and said, “Did your foot fall asleep?” I replied as I pointed to my left foot, “No, I have this disease that attacks my joints and right now my ankle is swollen and painful to walk on.” As I paid for my meal, the young girl said, “Oh I’m sorry, I hope you feel better soon.” “I’m sure I will. Thank you.” And out the door I hobbled. As I gingerly made my way to the car, I thought about my reply to the young girl. I really did feel sure that I would feel better soon. What I was experiencing was one moment in the time of my life, albeit, a painful moment. But that’s not all, even though I had physical pain, on an emotional level I felt REALLY happy and inspired. This wasn’t the case several months ago, but that’s a story to tell in a moment to come yet.
As I opened the car door, I felt the warm breezy air. I noticed a few young people at the park across the road in their summer wear enjoying the moment under the blue cloudless sky. As I scanned up and down the street there were lots of people enjoying the unseasonably warm weather and getting their exercise walking and biking. I love the feeling of comfort I get from pleasant weather conditions. The sun warms my heart. What a wonderful day!
Copyright 2010, Marianne Irvine and Grandeurvision. All rights reserved.