Every morning when l awaken, l go through the usual chantras of what l have to be glad about being alive. I do so to self-motivate and have done it for a good while. Most days it is quite easy to perform, the usual blah blahs and then with a quick thank you at the end l swing out of bed and start the day. Some mornings however and indeed the day that follows are not as brilliant as the days before, some days l lie there thinking for longer than previous mornings, and try and muster up the courage to perhaps not ‘swing’ but creak out of bed in the most dignified fashion l can rustle up!
This morning has proved to be one of those days. i am only 55, still quite young, but to some who meet me, they are left with a distinct impression that l might be older. I haven’t aged as well as perhaps l might like to have done. My life is starting to take its toll on me, and more importantly my body. Mentally l am still quite young, but physically l feel at times as if l am close to a man in his early 80’s in comparison to his mid 50’s.
“What goes around comes around”, “Burning the Candle both ends”, “Burning the Midnight Oil”, constantly feeling at “Sixes and Sevens“, and what other phrases or turns of words you can choose and think of that describe the ageing process can slot easily into my thinking on days like today.
As at the time of writing now, the following ailments are causing me to view the day in a slightly less than motivated fashion … l have carpal tunnel in my right hand and am awaiting a hospital appointment to see what can be done, so most mornings l wake up with either extreme pain or a numbness and pins and needles which can make typing a little hard, I have a torn muscle in my right upper arm which again on bad days and awaiting an appointment for physiotherapy can make me a little worse for wear.
My right knee is painful from many knocks, scraps and accidents over my life and is currently the size of a Honeydew melon, but also to join the affray is a recent arrival of my left knee, which due to the increased pressure of support due to a weaker right knee, took a clumsy stupid bang yesterday and now has a cracking bruise to show for it. The old joke of having two injured knees means you will walk normally l can officially say is absolute poppycock, because all l am managing to perform is some kind of stunted zombie walk as l shuffle around with both knees throbbing and trying to determine which limp is worse is almost a challenge.
All these things aside and never mind the aches and gripes l have with other bones and muscles l can tolerate on a day to day basis, however there is one pain that l struggle to stand for too long and that is ‘dental pain’. I have a dreadful fear of the dentist which has stemmed from my younger years when l was subjected to a variety of so called practitioners who should have known their craft but became terribly apparent that maybe they were not as skilled as they believed. Back then, l have had teeth pulled that were not ready for extraction, and a host of other annoyances that during my early adulthood left me feeling somewhat indifferent to that profession.
Despite being somewhat ‘content’ with my life, there have been times when l was simply unable to afford dental care or any repairs and during some of my lowest times l had to fall upon my own sword and remedy various situations myself. I became somewhat skilled in the clumsy art of tooth extraction’ not by choice, but purely by necessity!
However my tale of today is due to the fact that l have an abscess developing in my front lower teeth which is causing me serious discomfort and may well be the final straw for me and l will have to seek out professional help, but that sadly is much easier said than done due to several complications from an accident when l was 26.
Dental Express Nothing To Smile About!!
The 16th June 1989 which happened to be a Friday as a day started out fairly well. I was living in Kent, like l am now, l say that because in 1991 l left Kent as a county. At the time l was living in Margate and was working two jobs of sorts. One was establishing my business which was a marketing promotions concept that specialised in securing retail fashion outlets for fashion shows in the nightclub industry, but also l happened to be working for a company that only recently has gone into administration, by the name of Kleeneze.
I decided that l would visit Broadstairs that day to see if there was anything worthwhile was in either business to be attained, and so caught the train from Margate direct. In truth l had a fairly good day and quite productive on both enterprises. In finer detail, l had had a very good day with no clumsy accidents! You see when l was younger, l was always falling down, falling over or in the general path of disaster, not too disimiliar to everyday life now, but when l was in much higher traffic zones, l had a tendancy to meet with something that had my name on it and wanted to introduce itself to me personally!
In the late 80’s trains didn’t use to have electronic doors in the counties like they do now, no! Their doors used to be old fashioned and they swung outwards. Back then, there were two reasons the platform attendants used to say ‘Keep the platform clear‘ when a train was coming through and these were 1] So the speed of air didn’t suck you into the path of the train and or onto the tracks and 2] Because that opening doors didn’t smack to in the head!
Even today at my own concession l am the first to admit to the fact that if l am thinking of something else, l am NOT always hyperfocused on what is going on around me. Some things never change and Suze would be one of the first to openly state that Rory is an A – C thinker rather than an A – B thinker. Meaning that if l am to cross the road and l am not thinking what l am doing, then l start from A but am so enthused by getting to C, that l actually forget about the middle B!
Trust me, l have been clipped by all sorts because of this thought processing. Many on the spectrum suffer from this but equally as many not diagnosed on the spectrum do as well, it’s a form of absentmindedness.
That Friday was actually no different. I remember clearly thinking about what l had to do with the remainder of the day, who l was going to meet and so on, and although l was vaguely aware on the arriving train and had moved marginally away from the edge of the platform, l was not fully aware of just how far from that edge l had moved.
I heard the train arrive at the far end of the platform, l heard it travel down the stations’ platform, l heard doors opening and then l don’t remember hearing anything else!
“According to witnesses, the door swinging open had clipped me on the left side of my face and l had literally been catapulted into the air admidst a colourful and rather vibrant display of catalogues that had errupted from my satchel. I was flipped over and flung against the far wall of the station building!”
However, l don’t know about that ……. the only thing l remember was feeling a great pain in my mouth which was filled with a liquid copper and found myself on the ground looking up at about twenty faces looking down at me! That’s what l remember.Additionally l remember thinking that my head hurt, and that the headache was going to be a right stomper. I remember shakily standing up, or rather being helped to my feet and being asked if l was OK? I also remember not really knowing where the fuck l was??
I was taken into the station house and given a cup of tea, and after swilling my mouth out with it, l remember throwing up the contents of that morning’s breakfast. Someone offered to take me to hospital and l said “I am fine, just a little dazed is all.”
An hour later l was on the train to Margate……….
How l actually was able to walk off after what they said had happened was quite beyond me in truth, but it would not be the first time l had done that, and it wouldn’t be the first time that l had stumbled off somewhere else for the event to physically catch up with sometime later that day, or in the case of this incident four days later … when l happened to be eating a bowl of cereal and l heard a number of crunches within my mouth. Upon inspection, l could see nothing untoward, but my mouth did feel quite painful.
During the course of that day, my teeth felt like they were all loose and l constantly had blood in my mouth. The headache had gone of sorts, although l had a numbness, and l found that during that day my speech was becoming slurred. Still Mr Dumbass here didn’t think anything untoward except l might have chipped a filling?
It was the next morning that upon waking, l discovered that my mouth wasn’t working properly, that l had the worst pain l could imagine and upon inspection discovered the ugliest looking abscess l had EVER seen!! it was unavoidable l had to go to the dentist!
Who it so turned out was both mortified and mystified as to how l had managed to 1] Escape death after being struck by a train which l explained to him whilst sitting in the chair with an air of baffled innocence and 2] Was horrified that l had the injured mouth l did and wasn’t experiencing massive life threatening pain and 3] More importantly was stunned as to how l didn’t know l had a fractured jaw??
Well l can assure you now, l was no less surprised as he was upon hearing this bit of news “Fwractwured jaw??” I muttered, you see that is how l knew there was a big problem and a visit was warranted to the dentist because l really found speaking a serious problem.
The first call of action was to offload the abscess which he said he found seriously disturbing which took about a week with anti-biotics and then the worst bit was actually having to undergo an extraction the following week of most of my upper left hand side molars!!! Which l was very upset with. Furthermore he said that he couldn’t do anything further because whilst it was damaged he at that moment in time couldn’t do anymore and l would have to await time to see what further damage had been done.
OK, now lets roll on all those years from 1989 to 2015 when it so happened this was my next ‘ish official visit to the dentist. Yes folks, 26 years or so apart from a filling in 2008. Alarmingly in 2008, the dentist there hadn’t remarked upon anything as perilous as the 2015 inspection suggested and concluded that the damage l have would have been just as clearly seen in that year?
The end result is that l must now visit a reconstruction dental surgeon in order to fix my mouth. There is talk of breaking my jaw in order to amend the damage, which is by all accounts considerable. However, whilst this could have happened in 2015 in Portsmouth, we moved and so now l find myself having to undergo the whole process again which scares the living crap out of me in truth.
The one thing that was mentioned in 2015 was that not many ‘normal’ dental practices would take this kind of work on as the damage is extensive. My jaw has shifted, the teeth are ground, technically the bone is in ‘good shape’, but the fracture has moved to such a degree in my mouth that l can no longer hold a decent smile due to the jutting and in fact it is one of the main reasons that l haven’t smiled consciously since 2009, l tend to grimace more when in the company of others!
But it was suggested that l would experience some very serious mouth pain, which l have, most days l am in some kind of dental pain, and l am prone to abscesses more as most of the nerves are exposed in my remaining teeth. Over the years through my own dentistry or teeth simply falling out by themselves, leaves me with a smile that is best left in the archives of some Victoriana museum!
So, how about you? Do you have a terrible fear of the dntist?