Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Stacked Deck?

It's easy to be grateful when everything is going well. But when the deck feels like it's stacked against me, I have to make a conscious choice to look for the positive, to practice gratitude rather than disgust, despair, or angst. Unfortunately, I've had too much opportunity over the past 3 days to practice making that conscious choice over and over again.

Today I'm grateful the bottom, right molar, which has been increasingly sensitive to cold and pressure for 10 days, and which I thought had a simple cavity, wasn't fractured so severely it couldn't be saved. I'm grateful my dentist, who felt so horrible for all the dental drama I've been through, didn't charge me a dime for the x-rays and exam she performed before referring me to an endodontist for further diagnosis.

I'm grateful the endodontist was willing to squeeze me in the very next day and that my employer was willing to let me leave mid-day despite our extremely busy schedule. I'm so grateful my endodontist was then willing to begin the process of a root canal, despite her busy schedule, immediately following her assessment of my tooth. To top it off the endodontist offered her services at a discount, again as a result of her dismay at all I've been through with my teeth over the past 3 years. I'm grateful for that.

My endodontist, who could not get my tooth numb even after 5 injections with two different medications, and who was getting further and further behind in her busy schedule, was willing to try one more injection with a third medication directly into my jaw bone. I'm grateful she took that last step. It worked, and it meant I avoided at least another week of continued pain and fistfuls of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

I'm grateful my orthodontist was willing to see me today to assist with the process of hopefully saving this critical tooth. I'm grateful he was willing to make me a night guard, a complex process when one has braces, in order to protect this fractured tooth and all my other teeth from eventual fracture, as a result of my nightly teeth grinding. And I'm grateful he is willing to work with my endodontist to find a way to protect this tooth 24 hours per day until I can get a crown, which can't occur until I get my braces off.

It's been a very trying three days. I felt an intense sense of doom when first told this tooth was fractured. I felt despair. Another expensive tooth setback, I really couldn't believe it. For a time, it sucked the life out of me. But I kept taking the next right action. I did what I could do. The outcome was going to be what it was, and it could have been a lot worse. I'm grateful it wasn't worse.

The kindness, generosity and care with which I've been treated over the past 3 days has been amazing. I sent thank you cards to everyone involved this morning. Not one of them had to offer the services they did when they did. Yet they each did what they could, as soon as they could, and they did it with great compassion. I'm very fortunate. And very grateful.


Anonymous said...

Hey love your blog. I've been suffering from depression for a few years now and just got a great psychiatrist. I'm on the lookout for any additional coping mechanisms and stumbled onto your blog. Great stuff. I found a book on Amazon ebooks called Understood by J.S. Arbor. It's from the perspective of someone older who is on the other side of this illness after many years of suffering. Great read, well-written and short. Very inspirational. Check it out!

Julie Gathman said...

Is this ADDITIONAL dental drama? I can't believe it either. The trauma, the expense, the time... the way you handle it is such a model for me. Thank you for writing the details here. It is actually very interesting and also is a cautionary tale (I will not bite ice or anything like that now!) Stuff just comes at you and you just deflect and plow through and you make it! I appreciate your blog and your faithfulness in keeping it updated.