The Body Never Lies

Week 24 (and a bit more) – August 31, 2020 – #SELFCARE

This is totally disgusting. A picture of a picture. It says it all. I should have done this a long time ago, but I had no idea of the extent of the problem. I knew that I had troubles cleaning the back of my teeth. I knew that there was a huge hole in my teeth. And, my breath was less than desirable. Other things like my gums aching, my teeth were sensitive to heat and cold, and a boney growth forming on the roof of my mouth were also telling signs that THINGS WERE NOT RIGHT. I maintained this state of being for months, especially during COVID. I think there was a part of me that though this would pass, but in reality, it just got worse and I made the call.

My mouth was aching and honestly, I could not take any more. I left a message at my dental clinic and they were pretty clear that they were only taking emergency calls. They were not business as usual yet, but they called me back the next morning and I was in to see my dentist within the week. You know that something might be wrong when you can make an appointment with your dentist during a pandemic. I could not wait for the day to see my dentist. I needed some relief from the pain and I was really concerned about the roof of my mouth. What the heck is this? I noticed it in March just when COVID-19 hit BC. I googled what it could be and it seemed like it was nothing life threatening. Thank goodness, but it would be really nice if it went away.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the dentist. I’ve been between the Sunshine Coast and Prince George. For some reason, I did not prioritize my health and health maintenance. I was burdened by the immediacy of the now and focused on everything else but my health. THE BODY NEVER LIES. My teeth were bothering me for quite some time. I went to see the dentist last week. She spent an hour looking around and making many assessments about my teeth with the Assistant. Seven X-rays later, some tapping, and some prodding.. she said that the back two teeth were suffering from tooth decay, the bump on the roof of my mouth was NOTHING, and much of my assessment asked about my blood pressure, sleep apnea, and teeth clenching.

The appointment was strangely enjoyable. It was like forensic storytelling of my life via my mouth. I had options, like getting fillings or removing all of my wisdom teeth. We compromised with removing my top two wisdom teeth which had the cavities, a teeth cleaning, and a mouth guard for my top teeth. They were concerned about my blood pressure and suggested that I go see the doctor and maybe get a referral for a sleep test. EVERYTHING was pointing to blood pressure and stress. When I returned later that week to get my teeth cleaned, the dental hygienist took my blood pressure and refused to work on me. She said I should go to the doctor about my blood pressure and to get my numbers down before she would see me again. Deja vu.

The same hygienist refused to see me a few years ago and I went to go see the doctor for the same reason. I was spooked about taking drugs for my blood pressure and stopped taking them. I had no idea how bad things were until I want to the hospital. I asked the dental office for a referral to go to the doctor’s office in light of COVID. They said they normally didn’t do that, but the dental hygienist ended up calling the medical clinic. She told me that my doctor was going to be at emergency and that she could treat me there. I went to emergency and they admitted me into the hospital. Apparently, the last time I was admitted into the hospital was 17-years ago to give birth to my daughter. In the end, I changed and updated my contact information.

The nurse takes my blood pressure and recorded why I was in emergency. Nothing seemed unusual. My doctor arrives and mentions that I saw herĀ  3-years ago for the same reason. This is not good. She starts her assessment and sends me to a chair to get some blood tests done. I was going to be there for at least 1.5 hours to complete these tests. I had blood drawn, drugs to take, and blood pressure taken. While I waited, I spent my time reflecting on my health and watched the nurses and doctors like TV. My blood tests results were good, but my blood pressure condition was deemed chronic and I was given a prescription, advised to track my blood pressure daily, and referred for a sleep test. Follow up with the doctor in a few weeks.

THIS IS SERIOUS. Do I really need to triangulate my situation with another medical professional? I got the message. Blood pressure or hypertension. This is serious. What I am really thankful for is, everything is treatable and preventable. What a wake up call. I am now on medication. I stopped drinking coffee. No more alcohol. I am following the DASH diet and I have about 60-pounds to lose. I need to get back to my #daily5kchallenge or maybe pick up bike riding or running. What I am most grateful for is the dentist who was willing to remove my teeth regardless of my blood pressure condition. He was aware of the situation but figured that having my teeth stay would cause more stress and anxiety. I could not believe how easy he made the extraction seem. He talked me through it and made me feel that anything is possible.

Why am I going to great lengths to blog about this and why should you care? First, I don’t want to forget about this. This is a wake up call and the body does not lie. Second, I have much gratitude for the health professionals who are out there to help. My job is to listen and comply. I am so happy that nothing that I am experiencing is terminal. I can do something about this. Finally, don’t take life for granted. I was doing that and not PUTTING MYSELF FIRST. That is a big lesson for me to learn and understand. I am important. I can see that now and it will take time to shift. Doctor appointment is next week, sleep test tomorrow, and dental hygiene with another hygienist next week. I am taking the pills and recording my blood pressure every day. I don’t miss coffee and I even took a day for myself to recover from the surgery.

I have been here before and I have a second chance. In the end, it will be all worth it.

#pandemicreflections #listenandlearn #takecareofyourself