Posts Tagged With: family

Blinding Pain


Indulge me for a moment as I reflect on PAIN. The electric word, pain, it means forever and that’s a mighty long time, but… wait, no. Wrong lyrics. It’s more like I have stood here before inside the pouring rain. But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain.

(TANGENT: Over the years I have come to the conclusion that there is a song for every occasion. And my life is a never-ending jukebox of extended play soundtracks, product jingles and sitcom theme music. But I digress…)

Pain comes in various levels of intensity that I personally believe can be classified by the initial or ongoing reaction of the body. For instance, there is the OUCH variety. As a parent you become intimately acquainted with this type of pain, since it is usually the result of being caught in the crossfire of flying toys, or stepping on a Lego brick for the 2 millionth time. Then you have the NAG variety. This is pain attributed to something like a paper cut, or in my case, the silent and invisible slice of the skin that occurs when you’ve lost your patience while trying to open the 124 jumbo pack of size 4 diapers. After the initial intake of breath from the sudden sharp cut, this pain follows you around for a day or so as it reopens repeatedly because you’ve forgotten about it, and failed to take it easy on the tickle attacks. Of course, there is the THROB level of pain. Most of us are probably familiar with these dull waves of soreness that gather in your arms, feet and legs when you finally sit down after a long day of errands, decorating and playing host to a couple dozen tyrant gradeschoolers for a birthday party.

Why am I saying all of this? Because on Tuesday of this week I was finally at the point of no return with one of the more devastating levels of pain… which is BLINDING. Blinding pain is when the pain is so intensely excruciating that you squeeze your eyes shut uncontrollably. It’s the kind of pain that wakes you up from a dead sleep and laughs at your feeble attempts to ignore it for the sake of rest. It’s the kind of pain where panic sets in because you are quite certain it will never go away and you seriously consider the horrific thought of what it would mean to endure this kind of torture for the rest of your life. Yep. That was me. It was a toothache. And you can chuckle all you want, but when your head feels like someone is shooting bolts of electricity through the roof of your mouth and directly into your brain, no amount of head-holding, temple-massaging, hot packs, or acetaminophen is going to provide you any relief. It was the kind of pain that you can’t run from though you desperately wish it were possible.

(TANGENT: This is second only to MIND-NUMBING pain in which the pain is to the point where the body shuts off all sensory perception and you knock out. This happened when I was 12 and was hit by a car. You can read that story here.)

Fortunately for me, I have a wife that likes having me around and wants to keep me around for a bit longer. So she set up an emergency appointment for me with the dentist that afternoon.

A little background on my relationship with dentists… I’ve developed a bit of apprehension about visiting them. Why? Well, not because I’m the kind of person who’s afraid of going to the dentist’s office. But it’s more about how the dentist treats me. As a kid, if I had a cavity the dentist would say something along the lines of, “If you don’t lay off the sweets, all of your teeth will fall out.” Now I know that this approach works for some people, but for me it just felt eye-roll worthy. As I got older, the dentists I visited seemed to only get worse. Instead of a jovial “Lay off the sweets,” I’d get a more accusatory “You’re too young to have this going on in your mouth!” or something equally degrading. Their comments were the antithesis of encouragement. “Hey Doc, I’m fully aware of the crummy condition of my incisors. That’s why I’m here! Can we skip the personal insults and just cut to the part where you fix my teeth and take away the pain? Thanks.”

I was happy to find that my wife (you know, that crazy-beautiful lady that tolerates my imperfections) had let the dentist and office staff know of my previous experiences. Because of this, they were extremely gracious. The dentist who took care of me that day was not only compassionate, but genuinely concerned about my overall comfort level. God bless her. After an initial examination I was told that my wisdom tooth in the upper right was broken and infected. I was given antibiotics, pain medication, and scheduled for an extraction appointment in 3 days. The next few days brought my pain level down from BLINDING to NAGGING with the occasional BLURRY thrown in for good measure. In any case, I made it to today.

My appointment was at 7am, which allowed me to get up this morning a whole half hour later than usual. I pressed through the rain, into the car, down the street, and into the familiar strip mall that contains our dental office, along with a smoke shop, a juice bar, and a much-frequented 99 Cents Only Store. As before, the office staff received me with knowing kindness and before I knew it, I was in and out with a mouth full a gauze and one less wisdom tooth!

The cause of my blinding pain, now mercifully extricated.

The cause of my blinding pain, now mercifully extricated.

I’m still taking the antibiotics and the occasional pain pill. But the blinding pain is thankfully in my past.

Categories: health, personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tragedy In The Second Degree


This weekend I scrolled past a video of a woman being violently ejected from her car during a freeway accident. To say it was disturbing was an understatement.
 
I paused because I was so taken aback by the footage. Questions on top of questions flooded my thoughts…
 
Did she die?
Is she alive?
Were there other people in the car?
Was she married?
Did she have children?
How did her family react?
Was she on her way to work?
 
But the final question, and one that probably troubled me the most was…
 
Why would someone post this video to social media?
 
The answer that seemed to make the most sense was this one:
 
Tragedy has become a spectator sport. We have become so desensitized and accustomed to the idea and reality of tragedy, that in a general sense, we’ve lost all respect for privacy, impetus for prevention, and in some cases, being spurred to action in an effort to assist when tragedy strikes.
 
Content to simply stand back and watch, tragedy has become entertainment fodder, while compassion withers away.
https://i2.wp.com/consciousreporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/youtube-censorship-conscious-reporter.jpg

We have policies in place to protect the interests of copyright holders and corporations, but misfortune is paraded about like some morbid trophy.

I’d like to believe we are better than that. Perhaps one day it will become the new normal.

Categories: commentary, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

5 Questions My 19-Month Old Will Probably Never Answer


CAM071151. Seriously, I’ve been sitting here the whole time you’ve been in the high chair. How did you manage to get pasta sauce on your butt?

2. What specifically about whacking the front door with a hanger causes you to cackle with glee and triumph?

3. Don’t those bath bubbles taste nasty? I mean, you’re shoving them into your mouth like cake bites.

4. I understand you’re tired. But you do realize that your screaming keeps YOU from falling asleep too, right?

5. I’m fascinated by your stubbornness. Honestly, having neither seen nor eaten either before today, how exactly were you able to tell the difference between yellow cake and corn bread?

Categories: family, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

LIFE LESSON #223 – Letting Go


When it comes to any type of relationship – be it friend, family or potential spouse – it is a complete waste of your valuable time to chase after people who are actively running away from you. Let them go.

Instead of lamenting those who don’t return your calls, keep cancelling on you, won’t respond to your emails and text messages, devalue your feelings and constantly imply that other things, places and people are more important, recognize those who are running toward you, those who acknowledge with appreciation, your value in their lives. These are the people on to which we hold.

Know your worth… ❤

know your worth

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Strong Resolve


I only have one new year’s resolution… to cultivate healthy relationships.

We are relational by nature and we do ourselves a disservice to think “likes” “hearts” or “follows” will ever replace conversation and spending time with one another. So in 2014, the priority is making sure my family and friends know they are loved demonstratively.

embrace_ii_1

Categories: personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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