This has been a very interesting few days.
At the end of last week, Amanda began to complain about severe pain in her ears and jaw. She assumed she had an ear infection. She goes to the doctor. The doctor tells her she has TMJ – probably due to the development of her wisdom teeth. So this means her wisdom teeth are going to have to go.
I had to speak in Pennsylvania that weekend so we would have to wait to get to a dentist until Monday. So my poor Amanda had to suffer four days before she could finally meet up with her dentist. After we drove back from my speaking engagement in Pennsylvania (which is another coming blog!), we met with the dentist.
“Amanda, it’s not just one of your wisdom teeth that are going to need to go. From a hygienic perspective – you really need to get rid of all of them. Food is getting caught in them – which will cause bad breath and possible infection. So it is my recommendation that we cut these teeth out – as soon as we can.” the doctor said.
“Okay then. Let’s do it.” She reluctantly agreed.
The doctor prescribed some great medications for Amanda. So great that she would be feeling great before the surgery and have no clue what has going on during and after the surgery. So when the day came, she popped her pills and began to wait for the drugs to kick in.
It wasn’t 20 minutes later that she started acting – differently.
“Before we go I need to go to the bathroom.” She informed me.
5 minutes pass.
She comes back laughing – uncontrollably. “I fell off the toilet. bahahaha!”
Things only digressed from there. She was talking a hundred miles and hour having the time of her life – all before they cut out the teeth that were causing her so much pain.
Once we get to the dentist, she refuses to stop talking because she is enjoying herself so thoroughly.
“Give her the extra pill.” The doctor prescribes.
She still doesn’t slow down.
“Get me the laughing gas.” He gasses her, and – finally – her happy banter turns into a large smile that subsides into sedation. Now they can finally cut out those wisdom teeth.
40 minutes later. They emerge saying everything was a great success. They warn me that she is feeling kind of loopy – and might be weak in the knees. So I put my arm under her and walk her to the car.
While driving down the road, she starts to realize that her face is numb. Oh the joy of that brief conversation.
“I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE!” She yells.
“Well that is because they numbed your mouth, Amanda.” I said.
“THIS IS AMAZING!” She yells as she starts pinching her face.
We finally made it to her parent’s house. Her mother and I laid her into the chair and she fell asleep. The fun day was over.
Now today is a different story. She is suffering with the pain of cutting out her wisdom teeth. The fun of the rush is over, and now she has to endure the process of healing.
The doctor reminded her of this before we left yesterday: “The pain from extracting those teeth might be bad in the short term, but it will not compare to the pain of not extracting those teeth in the long term.”
The doctor has provided a very wise insight, so I am going to attempt to illustrate a very simple principle from this story and the advice of the doctor.
All of you probably have someone or something in your life that is hurting you, and every time you decide you are going to rid yourself of the person or substance that is hurting you so greatly – you have an adrenaline rush that makes you feel good about the decision you have made.
However, after you make the decision to extract what is causing you so much pain – the pain of actually extracting it from your life seems to be so great that you just give up on ridding yourself of them and invite that person or substance back into your life – because you think it just hurts too bad to take it out.
The thing about extracting a wisdom tooth is that you can be sedated while someone else takes it out of your life, but when extracting a person or substance from your life – you have to endure the pain of getting rid of it.
When this pain gets bad, remember that your life will be better in the long term if you just endure the pain that is caused by extracting this person or substance from your life in the short term.
Remember that the pain of pulling it out of your life is worth it, and the pain you endure while healing is also worth it. So remember that the hurt from extracting an abusive person or substance is less than the pain of retaining an abusive person or substance.
More VIDEO evidence of the story is here: