Last Wednesday morning, after waking up to yet another tooth ache, I decided to finally make a dentist appointment and have the situation checked out. I knew that my wisdom teeth needed to be removed years ago and that another molar had a relatively decent cavity. Getting married at a young age, being a young mom and being broke for years with no or terrible health insurance kept me from taking care of myself the way I should have. I wore the mother’s badge of honor that said “I put my children’s needs first”. After all, who cares if your tooth is better if you didn’t manage to keep the lights on in the house.
I went to the dentist appointment expecting to have an appointment scheduled in a week or two to have my wisdom teeth removed, only to be told that the molar with the cavity was being compounded by the wisdom tooth pressing down on it. The result was an infection that spread all the way through the root of the tooth into the sinus cavity causing a massive infection. He told me if I had ignored this situation for another year, it was very likely the infection could have become life threatening being that it was only a stair step away from the fluids surrounding the brain. The teeth needed to be removed immediately, as in RIGHT NOW. The anesthesiologist was not on duty so this was going to have to be done with only Novocaine.
I returned home looking like a beat up chipmunk, but as I saw on the couch the gravity of the situation began to hit me. Something I had ignored for years as a minor irritation could have taken my life. I thought I had worn the badge of unselfishness by putting my family first financially, only leaving me to question if my actions had really indeed been unselfish. Thinking about the possible sickness I would have faced and God forbid, my passing… I realize that if I am not taking care of myself, I am not taking care of my family. I have preached in previous blogs about the importance of “me time” for Moms, but wasn’t fully adhering to my own advice. Lesson learned. My health is important to me, but more important to my family.
October is Cancer Awareness month. I realize that with both of my Grandmothers having been diagnosed with breast cancer, that this is also something I need to be aware of. I am only thirty years old, but I am hearing more and more of younger women getting this form of cancer. Take care of yourselves. Hit the dentist and the doctor’s offices.