Saturday, November 17, 2012

What I'm Thankful for? Getting rid of The Tooth!

The Tooth came out today.  

I was upstairs, when I sneezed, and it flew out.  I stood there in shock for a moment, then sadly picked it up.  I let out some sort of wail, and K called out to me in return and I went downstairs holding the sorry stubble of  it in my hand.  He met me in the living room, and held me as I cried.  He asked if I was okay (meaning physically) and I said yes, it hadn't even bled.  

It wasn't unexpected, but as they say, still a shock.

I'll write here about The Tooth just as I had to tell the story to K last nite, and my best friend this morning on the phone. We are camping with her and her hubby over Thanksgiving and I know this is gonna affect me some. She's been of amazing support as my first and best friend since I got here.  She is a National Guard veteran and went with me to my ENT appt.  I don't know what I'd do without her!!!


>Deep breath<

The story of The Tooth...

The first time that L forced me to give him oral sex I was stunned by it all and was scared to death and so capitulated easily.  The second time however, I was was in a foul mood and I 'accidentally' bit him.... well.. he hauled me off of him by my hair and punched me in the front of my mouth, stunning me into submission. I clearly remember feeling the bit of broken tooth in my mouth and thinking and feeling terrible pain in my jaw.  And then "Oh fuckin shit, the bastard broke my tooth!!! Which one? "  shortly before he choked me into unconsciousness.   He did his thing with no further interference from me. I came too and he was gone.  I then felt the sharp edge of the newly chipped tooth cut the underside of my tongue. I sat there in the weeds that hot summer day and sobbed.  I never fought him or anyone else again.  I looked the first chance I had when I got into the bathroom back at the shop (we'd been out on the back 40 when he attacked me again) to see one of my lower teeth chipped and now notably shorter then the others.  My perfect smile that my mother had been so proud of, that she hadn't had to pay for braces to have straightened like my brother, was now off.  It was only noticeable if I smiled widely.  But... for the rest of my life, The Tooth would haunt me.  

The first time I saw my mother after that had happened, she mentioned it right off.  "OH, NO!  What happened to your perfect teeth?"   I had totally forgotten about it.  I was frozen, and then, the incident that someone else had gone through flashed through my head, and I found myself using their story. "Oh, I was dumb, I was standing too close to someone when we were golfing.  I thought I was far enough away, but they turned and I got smacked."  In reality, I had been the one swinging the club and a friend had been standing behind me, and had gotten one of their front teeth chipped from it. My mom looked at me stunned.  "Well that WAS not so bright."  But thank goodness, she never mentioned it again.  

So over the years, the tooth has always been just a little lose and has hurt but stayed mostly steady.  I've tried to be careful to not have to take bites straight down with just my front teeth.  I tried to never look at my smile too long and I became reticent to be in photographs with too much of a smile.

About two years ago, one of the other teeth on the left side of my jaw broke and then shortly after that another on the left, but closer to the front.  I had no money to pay to get them taken care of and they were not terribly painful if I kept temperatures away from them. But then at the beginning of this year, they began to give me more and more pain. After K and I relocated to TX in March, I developed a awful infection in my jaws and the pain got terrible and (bless his heart and a gazillion thanks to God for giving me a Hero just when I needed one) K had me find a dentist and gave me the money to go get them taken care of.  He had planned to redo our kitchen wares after we moved, but felt this was much more important. I hope to be able to do it for him after I get granted the unemployablity.

I want to say I was again, blessed in that I came across two wonderful lady dentist's and their assistants and nurses who were all very kind and understanding to me.  Because I can't talk about my teeth without crying these days.   i mean.. you have to tell you doc why you are in the condition you are in.  

 As expected, the lady dentist I found via Yelp gave me some antibiotics, but then told me that she did more cosmetic surgery, and the results of my 360 scan was that my jaw was in too bad a shape for her to be able to work on it.  

She said because of the sever damage done, I'd need to find another dentist to help me though. She did give me a huge discount for being a veteran and she was amazing.  She also give me antibiotics and a refill because it took a while to bring the raging infection down so the next dentist could pull them safely.  I then found a very nice one, and she also gave me a veterans discount after hearing my story and did an amazing job pulling my teeth.

 A note about the emotional side of this was that after first dentist he sent me to did a 360 Xray thing. She said that my jaw looked like it was disintegrating, I had severe TMJ, and had I ever been hit in the jaw?  I was stunned by her question... and suddenly.. it all came back.  The numerous times that I'd been hit in the jaw by L in particular over the 2 years he did his thing.    After I buried it all so deeply, I never connected my tooth and jaw problems with that.  And she noted, as I had tried to ignore, that The Tooth, was getting wiggly.  So I have been dealing with the mentality and reminder of these teeth and jaw problems origins.  This was a huge eye opener for me, and I have discussed it at both group and with my therapists since I've been here.  The ENT docs who told me to get a private dentist... well.. the angst with that was also part of all the jaw and tooth pain from that abuse years ago manifesting now. 

On Monday - yes, Veteran's Day ironically.. The Tooth began to feel much worse.  It got looser and looser. Last night, as we were driving to dinner, K asked me what I was thinking (as the blessed man is so prone to do to keep an eye on my brains thinking, cuz the rule is I HAVE to tell him the truth about it) and I began crying as I told him that I think I am going to be losing The Tooth soon.  He asked why it upset me so much.. and then.. I lost it. .I began sobbing and began to tell him the story I have just written to all of you.  And this online Journal, which it still is.  Last nite, when I was telling K about it,  is when the name "The Tooth' actually came to me.  Ever since Mon it's been hurting terribly, feeling like a knife cutting into me, and hence my decision to lose it and not save it. I'll start new with an implant first chance I get.  So this has brought it all roaring back up.  

This morning, when The Tooth was finally expelled from me, I held it in my hands and then felt the bottom of it, and it is VERY sharp, a point.  And that's what's been digging into my jaw all these years. Rocked away from it's roots by that blow, it's just been there.  Now my damaged jaw couldn't hold it anymore.  But you know what? It feels better now.  That dammed this is out, and it almost feels like expelling L.  Except now, I have this horrid space in my once perfect smile. Brought on by an asshole.  

K and I had a good talk about it though, and in the New Year, I'll be going to the dentist and finding out what to do about getting it fixed.  Maybe a plate to start just to cover it up until I can get the implant.  I'll call my cousin sometime this weekend and get his opinion.  

As I've been writing this all out, it comes to me that I'm gonna try and look at losing The Tooth as a metaphor for getting rid of L's control of me by not having to feel that dammed thing  I have to say, it feels better to be rid of it, then have it. I'll look forward to accomplishing the goal of getting nice strong teeth to replace the ones that L distroyed. But for now.. The Tooth has been vanquished and resides in the bottom of my jewelry box.  And as I get better and survive, and then advocate, I'll use it to spur me on, as it was a spur within me for so long. 

We have plans for a Thanksgiving party with our new wonderful community of friends tonight, and I'm actually glad that thing came out when I was alone then at that party like I was worried it might.  So I'll go off with a clean slate (as best I can) and have a good time.

I'm also Thankful for everyone who comes here to read this. It's is my journal, but to know that some support is here means a lot to me.  Please leave a message about something your thankful for if you can. 

Wishing everyone the best Thanksgiving possible!

Over and out,

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