Dental distraction strategy: Selfies and texts sharing the process.
My daughter just got two kittens; hence, the “cat grandma” reference : )
You know the pain is bad when you find yourself kind of excited about your root canal.
I was anxious about it, too, but I wanted the relief.
The process wasn’t terrible — just uncomfortable. The anesthetic injection is always awful, but having my mouth open for 90 minutes and trying to deal with that saliva-sucker thing was the worst part of the actual procedure.
I felt grateful when I walked out of the office that morning but didn’t think much more about it until I had an interesting realization a few days later.
I didn’t feel any pain.
I mean — duh — that was the whole point, but I realized there was something more.
My tooth felt really good — and not just because the infection and accompanying pain were gone.
I realized I had actually been tolerating a low to a mid-level degree of pain with that tooth for quite a while — probably months.
Thinking back, I was conscious of it aching sometimes, but I let it go.
I told myself it was nothing because it wasn’t constant; it would come and go.
I was in denial. I didn’t want to make an appointment to check it out because it was inconvenient, and I didn’t want to deal with the consequences if they found a problem.
I put up with the sensitivity to hot and cold.
I ignored the discomfort I felt when chewing food sometimes.
I disregarded the occasional ache.
I did that until two weekends ago when the pain became loud and persistent. My face ached. It kept me up at night. Ibuprofen wouldn’t make it go away.
I was going to have to deal with it … maybe later that week. On Thursday or Friday.
The next morning, a Monday, I called and asked for an emergency appointment to have it checked out because the pain was at a point where I felt sick to my stomach.
The pain was an infection and it was down to the root. You know the rest of that story.
That realization I had about how amazingly pain-free I felt after the root canal made me wonder why I’d ignored the hum of discomfort and pain I’d felt for so many months until it was screaming at me.
Why do we tolerate things until they evolve into something so painful, it becomes an infection that can really hurt us if it goes unattended?
Of course, that got me thinking about life beyond teeth.
I work with plenty of people who are tolerating painful relationships, jobs, energy, health, etc.
I help them dig into the “why?” behind it, as well as if, when and how they’re going to do something about it.
A lot of times, my clients can’t or won’t see what they’re tolerating. They think “it is what it is; why would I want or expect more?”
Sometimes it takes someone on the outside to see what’s happening — like a therapist or a coach … or a dentist.
The real work is to pay attention to ourselves when things seem off, uncomfortable or unsettling.
Is it a one-time thing? Is there a pattern?
Notice when that feeling comes up if you’re with a certain person, or in an environment or situation.
Are you negating or ignoring something that could continue to cause you a lot of pain if it nothing changed?
Is there something you can do sooner rather than later to avoid having what I’ll call a “life-root-canal” — a meltdown, breakdown, separation, estrangement, shutting down or leaving behind?
Or, maybe like me, life leads to that “it’s time for a root canal” place and it’s not what you would have ever chosen for yourself, but … you can do hard things.
When it’s over and you’re on the other side of it, hopefully, you’ll understand why you were tolerating the pain.
You’ll pay closer attention to those “something doesn’t seem right … but oh well, maybe it will go away” feelings and keep your eye (your mind) on them.
Give yourself some attention before you end up having to face some kind of life surgery.
I stopped by the Great Day Live! set again this week to see how they’re doing with their Great Day Live! 90 Day Challenge to create positive changes now versus waiting until January 2020.
They are well on their way and have taken those simple and significant steps I coached them on and created significant changes in the past 30 days.
Click here to find out more — including the challenges I’ve given myself. I’m keeping myself accountable by reporting my progress here and on social media.
If you haven’t already connected with me online, you can find me here:
If you’ve decided you’re not going to wait until January 1, 2020, to make changes in your life, maybe it’s time for us to meet and get started now.
If you’re interested in the possibility of working with me one-on-one and want to see if we’re a good fit, you can find out by scheduling a free 15-minute consultation call with me.
We’ll chat about what’s on your mind and you can ask me anything you want about how I see us moving forward and working together.
We can work session-by-session or I have long-term coaching packages we can also discuss.
There’s no “hard sell” or push to move forward — it’s entirely in your hands in terms of whether or not you want to move forward and when.
I’m not going anywhere — I’ll be ready when you are.
Have a great week!