WHY THE GYM AND THE DENTIST ARE THE SAME THING
My tooth broke yesterday. Well… it was already broken. I just broke it even more.
This tooth has given me trouble for a good 7 years now. Once it even formed an abscess while holidaying in Thailand in 2012, the pain so severe that I passed out in the dentist chair.
I should have had it removed it there and then. But the dentist didn’t want me to lose an important chewing molar.
Since then I have just worked around it and kept it as clean as I could. I did everything to care for it except go to the dentist .
I let it form an abscess. I let a big hole form. I let it break. I let it get so painful that I once had to go to the ER and get put on Endone to help with the pain. I let it die completely. I let it break a second time. I let one of the bloody roots break apart from the tooth and jut out my gum! On the daily I picked food out of the gigantic hole in the middle of the tooth after every single meal. For 7 years…
I then let it break one more time, yesterday, on a delicious bit of pork crackling in my Bahn Mi.
But this time I couldn’t avoid it. The edge of the tooth was relentlessly scratching at my tongue. I could no longer prolong my visit to the dentist. It was time I put my health first.
I felt so stupid. And embarrassed. And shameful.
It made me think of when someone puts off going to the gym and starting a diet, and it is exactly how I explained it to my dentist…
You know when someone begins to put on a little bit of weight, you start to think to yourself, “oh I had better get to a gym and start to eat better”.
But you put it off.
They then slowly, slowly, bit by bit you start to put on more weight and your fitness gets worse and worse.
You continue to put it off.
Your health gets bad. It is almost so far gone now that to actually show up and start is not only going to be a daunting beginning of a long long road, but I’m going to feel stupid, embarrassed and shameful when I show up.
I know it would have been easier had I just got into it 7 years ago. Why did I keep procrastinating and avoiding and pretending I was fine?
Now I am not particularly fearful of the dentist. Well… look, I am a big wuss when it comes to anything medical. Lets just say that passing out has occurred more than 3 times. The dentist is certainly never a good experience. But it isn’t actually a painful experience at all. Just uncomfortable.
The cost of the dentist is certainly a barrier. Even with ‘extra’s cover’ I know it was something that was holding me back. I just didn’t want to put money aside for it. But just imagine the bill I would have been up for if I continued to leave it! Even worse, imagine how cheap the bill would have been if I attended it 7 years ago!
Just like the millions of us that continue to prioritise everything ahead of our health, I did the same.
For nothing more than stupid excuses, I had to endure having my face pulled at, my teeth crunched and poked and jabbed, and my ego severely bruised. As uncomfortable as it was, it still wasn’t even that bad. Sucking up my embarrassment for not looking after myself properly was a very tough pill to swallow, but it was a hell of a lot better than putting it off any longer.
The same goes for your health. You can keep putting it off. But it is only going to make it harder, more embarrassing and more expensive.
Our health is our number one priority. Without it, you’re dead.