Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ever changing
There is nothing
Permanent to grasp

Last night I was chowing down on a plate of steamed mixed oriental veggies when I felt something odd happen in my mouth. I reached up with the tip of my tongue and explored the ragged edge of what remained of my left molar. Then, etiquette aside, I put my finger in my mouth and touched the tooth. Sure enough, the back of my molar sheered off.
It was quite a surprising revelation, although it shouldn’t have been. I had problems with it before and refused to get it pulled due to vanity. Not like anyone could see my back left jaw from the inside, but still, I hated the idea of losing teeth.
What I hate even more is the southern stereotype of toothless rednecks.
Sure, I know dentistry is a necessity, but when you live on a very restrictive budget, it becomes just another luxury item you wish you could afford but can’t.
That is until you break off a tooth.

Now I could sit here and bleat like Eyore, complaining about how unfair life is, what a shipwreck of a life I have, how horrible, how sad that now I have to take my meager amount of money and spend it on something like a tooth extraction instead of buying a new pair of running shoes.
Oh woe! Everything bad happens to me!

That is, until I realize there are some people who will never see a dentist in their lifetimes, and die from it too, because there are germs in your mouth that can interfere with heart function. And yes, you can die from an abscess.

Once you think in terms of others instead of yourself (not in a self serving martyrdom way which isn’t dharma and certainly annoying) a just another voice in the choir. I’m dead sure I’m not the only person on Earth who’s broken off a tooth. Others, right now, while I’m sitting here rambling on, are suffering as much, if not infinitely more than I am.

I’m not singing solo here. I have accompaniment. I have a chorus.
And what better way to solve everyone’s suffering than to take them onto myself?

I can’t do this literally, but I can do it metaphorically, with Chenrezig’s help.
Such as this simple prayer suggests

Taking everyone’s toothache
Om mani padme hum

Giving blessings of optimal health to all
Om mani padme hum

Simple, straightforward and effective. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.

And now that I’ve done this ritual taking, I feel peaceful and hopeful. The trip to the dentist will be a little unnerving because I know there’ll be pain…but frak, there’s discomfort now. Not real pain mind you, just a dull throb and an awareness that it’s there, it hasn’t left, and it’s not going to. It’s got to go, and a few moments of discomfort in the dentist’s chair will be nothing compared to the searing pain if I ignore this and leave it to fester.
After all, nothing is permanent. Even permanent teeth.

And as I pointed out, I won’t be the only one suffering over this.
Now you might say that my diet caused this problem; that if I was a good girl and drank milk every day and consumed dairy products I wouldn’t be in this mess.
Ah actually no.
This molar became infected long before I went paleo. Back when I drank copious amounts of milk, ate cheese and ice cream and lived with the stomach aches that ensued.
Dairy only upset my stomach and made me fat. I don’t think I got any benefits from it at all.
To be on the safe side, I resumed taking my calcium supplements.
It couldn’t hurt.

While I’m waiting to get in to see the dentist (sometime around the 3rd when we have money again) I have to modify my dietary habits. No more raw foods for a while at least, just to make sure I don’t accidentally sheer off any more of this molar. And I need to boost my vitamin C intake. Further, I want to be as healthy as possible when I go in to see the dentist, because I want this to go as quickly and as painlessly as possible. And I really want the recovery time to be short.

And today I want, with Lama Jigme’s permission, to compose a sadhana for optimal success in this extraction and optimal healthy outcome to this adventure. I could call it an oral adventure but then it’d sound like the title to a porn film so I won’t.

But it’s still pretty damned funny.

And when the sadhana is composed I’ll post it here, just in case someone else needs it as well.


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