Monthly Archives: November 2012

Root Canal, or Lobotomy?

I finally had my root canal today. Yeah, the one I’ve been needing for a week.

It went about as well as I think it could possibly have gone. And I had my first adult experience with Nitrous Oxide. I can honestly say it helped a lot getting me through the procedure without my normal anxiety.

My endodontist was super cool, and really nice. She was experienced, but young (by young I mean 40). And her nurses/hygenists/receptionists were all really nice, and also quite attractive – something which I didn’t notice till I was DONE with the procedure and not in agony. Instead, half of my face was numb and I was still a little whacked out from the Nitrous. So instead of doing what I wanted to do and asking the nice receptionist (she and I bonded because we’re both having our first vegan thanksgiving) for her number, or just giving her mine and asking her out for coffee sometime, I just thanked them very much and went home and tried to sleep it off.

I rested all afternoon till about six pm, and woke up with no one home.

Right about then, both my parents returned home, my mom with a car laden full of groceries for thanksgiving dinner we are hosting for I believe 12 family members and 2 friends.

Tomorrow I am going to go get a haircut and go to whole foods and find some sort of vegan substitute for turkey and stuffing. My aunt was kind enough to get a recipe for mashed potatoes that doesn’t require cream or eggs, and a mix for vegan gravy, so I’ll have that. And rather than try and have my 80+ year old grandmother attempt to make a separate green been casserole for me, I’m going to try and make one myself.

Why not? I’m a pretty good cook. And if I get it all started before everyone else has to monopolize the kitchen, I should have my own stuff out of the way and should only need to warm it all up before dinner starts.

Anyway, I’m happy to have my face feel just sore, rather than like someone was taking a jackhammer to my jaw. But as my title indicates, I still feel pretty out of it – almost more like someone has removed my brain rather than the root of one of my teeth…

It still hurts, and I might not get much sleep tonight. But i’m betting it’ll be more than last night (5am-9am).

And I’m excited to be able to spend thanksgiving with my family. It’s been 2 years or more since I’ve been able to do so. Last year I was in the hospital. The year before I was with my family, but was still super out of it because I’d just come out of one of the worst hospitalizations of my life (total kidney failure).

So this will be one of the first thanksgivings in a long while where I feel like I will be totally here. Where I will be present.

I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my family after spending the last couple weeks somewhat isolated.

And I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful family members so close to me with whom I can spend this holiday.

I’ll write a post on Thursday about my feelings on the whole idea of giving thanks, I’m sure. And it’ll probably be cliche.

But that’s ok. I don’t mind. Sometimes I am so happy to have something in my life be mundane and ordinary.

Thanks for reading.

Peace to you and yours,

-Nathan

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Waking Up

Today I woke up.

Today, I woke up and wondered, how the hell did I get from where I was a month ago to the place I am now?

Sure, I can analyze things to death, but it comes down to one simple thing: I have continued to go through the motions to be well without the real intention of being well.

I think at some point during the several successive hospital trips over the last month and a half I started to resign myself to living a life of dissatisfaction, illness, and unhappiness. Sure, I could tell others and tell myself that I was conquering my fears by entering a hospital in pain and leaving without drugs. But it wasn’t true. All I’ve been feeling is more fear.

The fear that this might become my life again. That the wholeness and lightness I have felt since June was just a lie, a blip on the radar of my life. Fear that I was unable to live a whole and focused life as an adult, on my own.

And unfortunately, when I’m afraid, I tend to isolate. I pull back from my friends. I tell my family what I think they want to hear. I stop talking to all of you. And most of all, I lie to myself, and tell myself I’m making it work, and that I will figure it out.

The truth? I don’t know how to figure it out on my own. I should know that by now, but apparently I don’t.

I’m sitting here, 2 hours after I intended to go to bed, writing this because I know I need to write it.

The last week has been hell for me. I’ve had a toothache that feels like it was created by the devil himself injecting death into my lower rear molar. In truth, it is just the decaying nerve inside my tooth sending out constant pain signals that make it so hard for me to focus that it has taken me almost half an hour to write 300 words, and I haven’t gotten hardly any work done for my job all week long.

The only times I have felt AT ALL sane since last Tuesday were when I was with people, either my parents, or on the phone, or just doing something to get my mind off it. I even went to my Karate class just to get myself out of bed and off the couch and because I figured the adrenaline and endorphins from the exercise along with the social aspect would help. And it did. But laying in bed a couple hours later, I just wanted to curl up and pass out. Instead, I was up all night, unable to get my mind off the pain.

For me, that is the ultimate trigger. I get so wrapped up in my pain that I can’t see further ahead than the next few hours. My brain can honestly get me to believe that I won’t be to handle it if I have to go another day, another hour, another minute with the pain.

So I guess I’m writing this to remind myself of two things:

1. I can survive pain. It’s been almost a week of constant pain and minimal sleep and I am not dead. I’m also still somewhat sane.

2. When I’m struggling, I MUST reach out. I need to share with others, be with others, do something to get myself out of my own head. It is really, really tough sometimes. Sometimes I can hardly bear it. Sometimes I try to reach out and end up just being a real ass to those I love. But I have to try. Because me, locked inside my head and in pain is a recipe for crazy.

I know it’s been a while since I have posted. But I’m done with apologies. When I began this blog, I needed to post every day. I may still need or want that. But I don’t know. Part of what I am doing right now is trying to find a new framework to fit all the new things I am joyfully accepting into my life without destroying the routine that got me here.

And my blog may look a little different. My posting schedule might not be the same. But with the help of my friends, family, and all of you, I will create a new picture, new goals, and continue to walk confidently into my future.

Peace to you and yours,

-Nathan