Monday, November 08, 2010

Deep Roots...

I broke my tooth the day Regan died. I broke it on a jelly bean. I lived with it for years. Most of the time it didn't give me any problems. But occasionally it would act up. A searing pain would spread throughout my jaw, trickling down my neck.

But eventually it got too bad to handle. The dentist tells me that a small sac of puss had formed and was causing a build up of pressure on the nerve.

I made a lot of excuses of why I never saw anyone. It was too expensive. I didn't have insurance. I didn't have time. All of them were true, but eventually the excuses didn't matter anymore when I laid awake at night.

The biggest reason has deep roots, like my tooth. When I was a boy, I was playing in the kitchen. Earlier that day I had seen one of my sisters swinging in between the counter and the sink like a gymnast. They said I was too little to play, that my arms would not hold me up. So I waited. I waited until no one was there and I swung my body as hard as I could. Gravity took hold and I fell on my face. All of my perfectly straight, pearly white teeth were broken in the front in a jagged peaks. I had never felt so much physical pain.

We didn't have a lot of money then. So my dad pulled them all. All six, front, top teeth. We didn't go to the dentist. We couldn't afford it. My sister held my hand, as each tooth was pulled. At first he tried dental floss, but it snapped. Then fishing line, but it too snapped. I don't really remember what happened next. Memory has been kind and blotted out the details. I just remember hearing the tick-tact-scuttling of my teeth as they hit the linoleum floor.

So, I made my excuses. But the real reason is that I still have nightmares of my teeth being pulled. I made the top picture black and white. It was a tough extraction and there are still little bits of my gums and specks of my blood on it. There was a lot of pulling and prying until the tooth broke, yet again. The roots had to be surgically removed.

But it is done and the roots have been dug out.

21 comments:

Anne said...

Oh, Holy Christ! You poor thing!

kate mckinnon said...

That was HORRIBLE but it's progress. Right. Progress. I'm glad you went. Now it can never hurt you again.

There is something beautiful about that...

My Life Under the Bus said...

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Teeth are the worst!!! I hope you have sweet relief tonight.( I have a massive fear of the dentist : (.....I'd rather give birth to my twins...again...the size they are now at nine....then ever go to the dentist - EEK!

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

what a horrible thing to have happen to a child...having their teeth ripped out! oh my heart pours out for that little boy. i can surely understand your fear of having another tooth pulled. but you made it through, and your pain should be gone now.

Marsha Neal Studio (Marsha's Garden Blog, Marsha Minutella) said...

I am SO relieved you had that tooth extracted for as much pain as it has caused you… And the story of when you were younger - those kind of injuries scare me most of all - the ones which come from doing something you really want to do and actually getting up the courage to do it - then getting hurt. The physical pain, the injured inner self, then the horrible ways to "fix" things.

Thanks for changing that pic to black & white (it looks crazy!) I have my 4 wisdom teeth that had to be extracted and they are pretty nasty too. Woah, look at that cracked tooth on the x-ray! So happy it is out - finally! My brother just had a couple extracted not too long ago - ones that would have needed a crown... He says, better no teeth back there than all that pain. Cheaper to just have them pulled for now anyway - until he gets insurance.

Way to go Andrew! I'm proud of you for facing those roots...

Janet said...

I too am so glad you got that tooth out. Quite an experience you had as a child..bless you! My husband needs a good bit of dental work done and has wonderful insurance and I keep saying for heavens sake what are you waiting for?! Bad teeth give off toxins to the body...a bad subject for me with him. Im the opposite..get the work done and be done with it!
Hope your feeling better as the days go by Andrew!

Susan said...

OMG, I wanted to hug your little boy self when I read that story! So sorry for everything you are going through right now ... but be optimistic and hopeful and will yourself to heal. The mind can accomplish wonderful, amazing things!

Susan

Spirited Earth said...

OMG Andrew..undoubtedly that childhood experience would chill anyone towards visting a dentist.
but janet is right..Toxins and i've heard a bad tooth can have an affect on your heart.
glad this tooth ordeal is over..

Cheeks said...

Andrew,
I don't really know, what to say... This is horrible, and I'm not wondering, you don't like to go to the dentist.
I feel so lucky, over here the health care for kids is free.
I hope you will get much better soon and all these bad things just happened to you in the last few weeks will be only bad memories.

Alice said...

OH NO--a horrible experience! I feel your pain, When I was young I had to have a tooth pulled for some reason or other. The town dentist could not get it to come out so he put his knee on my chest and twisted and tugged until I thought my jaw was going to shatter. Nothing worked, so he laid open my gums and told me to come back in a week. My mother didn't drive so I had to walk home in pain, and in tears.

I'm glad the worst is over, and now you no longer have to suffer this pain.

Take care!

kvk said...

Good god - so many difficult memories buried. It appears they're forcing their way out - physically and one after the other. I say purge on - any way that comes to mind, writing, screaming, punching bags, with an ongoing mantra of "let go".
blessings

Jenny said...

Andrew, I too suffered through a horror of dentists, including having to have surgery on the front of my mouth, which is extremely tender. Long after all that, I found a dentist who was very liberal and encouraging about using nitrous oxide. It's not for everyone; it makes some people quite nauseous. But if you can tolerate it, it makes all the difference in the world. It costs about $20 to $30 extra per appointment, but it's well worth it. Some dentists are reluctant to use it; use that as a clue that you need to find another dentist. Ask around in your area and you should be able to identify someone who is comfortable using it.

You know, after reading about your cancer scare, and now this, I just want to bring you home, feed you some nice soup, and pamper you! I may have to actually do that if things don't get better soon.

P.S. The best, most comforting soup in the world is Julia Child's potato-leek soup in Vol. 1 of MTAOFC. Potatoes, leeks, salt, water, and maybe a little cream at the end. Simple and easy. Feeds the soul along with the body.

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh Andrew!
Deep roots hold fast, don't they? Even of the most painful memories.
I am glad that this tooth has been extracted... physically and metaphorically... from your life.
Celebrate the freedom you now have from that horrible memory and that wicked bad tooth!

Enjoy the day.
Erin

Kinderhook said...

I cannot imagine what that felt like when your father pulled those teeth. I feel sick just thinking about it. But you're done now. And that's the good that came out w/ the tooth! Hope you're feeling better. --SallyA

Shaiha said...

Oh my goodness. I also have a phobia of dentists but after reading your story I don't think that I really have a reason too. I am so glad that you bite the bullet and had that tooth removed.

Softflexgirl said...

This was painful to read, let alone experience. OUCH!

Sabine said...

Wow! What an experience... I am sure you are glad to have that behind you.

I have to go back to the start of the story. How incredible ironic that you broke the tooth on a jelly bean!

You are an amazing storyteller. Thank you for sharing!

Ann
mycriticaleye

The Hole Bead Shoppe said...

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. hug.

Pretty Things said...

I am TERRIFIED of dentists. The dentists in the military where I was stationed were famous for experimenting on techniques with us young recruits. I have to take valium now.

I often have dreams of my teeth disintegrating, or my teeth wobbling and falling out. I think it's because I clench my teeth while I sleep.

Lovely.

stacilouise said...

You are so brave! Not only to go and have your tooth cared for, but to share that memory, in such a bare and exposed way! *hugz*

I am new to the online beading world, and have fallen in love with so many blogs. However- of them all, Yours really speaks to me. As a child I loved to read, poems, stories, words were my art then, and now, jewelry. Anyway- you have a new follower!

Eddie said...

Andrew, That was really hard! I never thought that you've had an experience just like that. It's kinda scary you know. Well anyways, we've almost have the exact experience before. Because of lack of money, I didn't got the chance to go to a dentist. That's why my parents have to pull my teeth the hard way, making me so traumatized and making my teeth looked so bad. So when I got older, I've had a dental implant (Atlanta area) these dental implants (Atlanta) made me feel better about myself again and it gained back my confidence.