I visited my dentist today for an exam. It was a bit early; apparently they do exams and X-rays once a year, and mine were not due until August. But with my recent tooth/jaw/throbbing pain issues, he understood why I wanted an exam. If I have some root canal brewing in there I want to get it taken care of sooner rather than later.
Turns out I do have a few issues – one of which is a cracked/cracking tooth on the opposite side that has been giving me no problems but is new in the last 8 months and is indicative of my unconcious teeth clenching. He asked me about a night guard, and I admitted to having one but not using it for the past sseveral years. My former dentist had created it for me about 10 years ago, during a really stressful period in my life when I was having jaw-popping issues. It no longer fits right and is actually painful to wear, because I hauled it out and tried it when this pain started. Dentist explained to me why the pain problems I am having are happening and the need for a new night guard once we get this cracked/cracking tooth an a small cavity repaired.
While I do not feel especially stressed, I do know that it is an insidious thing, that it builds and layers until something happens I completely lose my shit with M over failing to fold the laundry or tell me we are out of cheese. You know, things that normally be a minor annoyance are escalated to just this side of grounds for divorce. It’s a familiar pattern, unfortunately. M is forgiving when I have one of these inexplicable explosive episodes out of the blue, but obviously I would prefer to nip release my inner stress puppy before she chews her way to freedom.
My appointment to get started on the required treatment is in a couple of weeks, and I am looking at schedules and workloads and formulating tentative plans to take a few days off in April and several days to a week off in May. Even if we do a staycations, I think some time away from my full-time job and it’s inflexible and unchanging cast of characters is required. Maybe a trip to Disneyland? Or maybe spending quality time with my Kindle and our new concrete? Perhaps a road trip up north? I will have to brainstorm with M and see what he thinks.
Just the idea of getting away from work-work is exhilarating. Several days away from my office desk will do wonders for me. My part-time jobs are easy in comparison, my bosses there very flexible and appreciative of the work I do and they way it is done. I will be getting a new night guard and using it, but between now and then perhaps I can dimminish its absolute necessity.