|sneaks found here.|
Going to the dentist office is a time warp for me.
The minute I lay back in that uncomfortable chair and start to stare at the textured tiles on the ceiling, making images in my head out of their weird speckles as if their constellations in the sky, I’m suddenly seven years old again.
I see the jungle poster that hung behind the door at the dentist’s office I went to in the early 90s. I can smell the rubbery fluoride I used to have to drink from the small plastic cup. And I remember the Highlights magazines I used to read in the waiting room and even as a child I’d think, man what a bullshit magazine this is.
This happens to me every single time I visit the dentist. And for just a second it weirds me out when I really start to process how fast time goes, how it feels like just yesterday that I was a kid calling my mom when the appointment was over telling her to come get me, and now I’m in Chicago and I’m not a kid anymore.
But I get over that fixation real fast as soon as I hear the drill in the room next to me and a child screaming for dear life and I wonder if that’s really me who’s screaming.
The dentist is always a real trip for me as you can tell.
Yesterday at my yearly “cleaning” I was informed that my TMJ has gotten bad. My gums are healthy and I don’t have any cavities, but my teeth are all going to crack and fall out soon, maybe, probably.
But the dentist didn’t have to tell me my TMJ is bad. I know it is, because I live with it. During really stressful times I’ll wake up with a swollen jaw, my ears will throb, my teeth hurt, and my head pounds all day. Fun stuff.
The TMJ dreams are what really get me. I have this reoccurring one where I know I’m grinding, but I can’t stop myself. And the harder I try to make it stop or make myself wake up, the harder I grind. As I’m dreaming I think my teeth are going to fall out, but I keep going because it feels like the only way out. If I just grind a little harder, maybe it will end.
So that’s where I’m at right now. Anyone else have these crazy grinding nightmares? Luckily, they come and go. And right now it’s not too bad.
The dentist casually said, “TMJ is usually caused by stress, if you don’t mind me asking, what is your stressful job causing all of this?”
“Well doc, I have to pose the perfect staged photo on my tiny white rug or no one will like it. Which leads to less followers, which leads to less sales. So that’s my job. I’m a blogger. And it’s supes stressful.”
To each their own when it comes to stress, right? Mine is a lot of weird stuff that covers all sorts of topics, it’s mostly built up in my head that then travels to my teeth apparently.
And now I’m supposed to get a $700 mouth guard made by my dentist. Me and Amazon say oh hells no. Instead, I just ordered a bunch of janky plastic things probably intended for middle school football players rather than adults with TMJ but we’ll just hope for the best, you know?
That’s all we can really do. Hope for the best. And also hope that our teeth don’t fall out along the way.
And now I’m going to go drink 100 cups of coffee because why not. Happy Thursday, everyone! Don’t forget to brush and floss every day!