All The Things

I spoke to my daughter about her latest blog posts sounding sad, almost depressed. I hoped that she didn’t feel that way, at least not on a regular basis. Then I got to thinking about my posts- seems I only post when I have some crisis or am worried about some crisis. I will try to be more well rounded here, I commit to that today.

I’m at Caleb’s Upward basketball practice. He is getting into the sport as his brother, Sam, has done. Noah will watch basketball on TV, but only played a couple of seasons before he was played out. We’ll see about the other three boys, what they take to. They are still pretty little.

So when we decided two were going to play basketball in two different counties, we had to decide who was going to drive them. I get the one close to home, so I don’t have to bring Chloe out in the cold, or leave her for long. But being alone for a couple hours is fun! I went to Hobby Lobby, and spent the rest of my Christmas money. Trying to get back into art, I’ve joined a sketching group that meets monthly. Our leader likes to use water pens, and gave me a quick demonstration on how they work. Then, lo and behold, I got some pens for Christmas from my friend Angela. (Funny aside here: Sarah asked me once, “Why do you refer to her as ‘my friend Angela’? She’s the only Angela you and we know!” And I just did it again here, in a place where she is likely my only reader by that name.) Just now I got some watercolor pencils, to use the pens in another way.

Sarah is my trooper right now. She got her braces off in December, and we immediately noticed one of her front teeth (#9, I now know) was discolored. We suspected an injury, but how? Neither she nor we could remember anything happening to her. She had been sent home with bleaching, so maybe it was some kind of metal residue? The bleaching didn’t do much, the off color moved through the tooth, so back we went to the orthodontist. He said it was bleeding internally, we should see the dentist to be safe, but that we should be conservative about treatment of this kind of thing. I had no idea what this kind of thing was; my worst fears were that the tooth would fall out of her head, and I was a nervous wreck. But as I prayed about it even before revisiting the orthodontist, I thought God was giving me Psalm 55:22. He will sustain Sarah, He will sustain me, whatever lay ahead.

Our dentist was not much more help. Yes, it was a damaged tooth, but there were many ways to proceed, anywhere from a root canal to leaving it alone for a while (“Just so you get it done before you leave for college,” he says.) He recommended an endodontist, a profession I had never heard of. This doctor would know what needs to be done.

We saw the endodontist yesterday morning, and after a cold temperature test and a few minutes’ exam, the doctor declared the tooth would have to have a root canal, as soon as possible. Did you catch the difference in sense of urgency in each Doctor we saw? It does depend on their area of expertise, and the way we were able to journey to the heart of Sarah’s problem. But I got a glimpse of what it might be like for someone being sent to a cancer specialist, being told they are stage 4, and they want to operate immediately. This endodontist doesn’t consider that I had no idea his job existed (or the severity of Sarah’s problem) before yesterday, so his dental chair-side manner feels a bit flippant. And since he does root canals all day every day, he doesn’t see this for the life changing experience it could be for Sarah, having a cosmetic, facial concern for the rest of her life. And the braces were supposed to have a good ending.

I was very low yesterday. Hormones and teeth combined to literally exhaust me last night. But I’m better today, and trying to look at the bright side, wherever I see it. She will have excellent care. Imagine living in a time or place where her hurt teeth really would fall out! And, I know we are just talking about teeth. It’s not cancer, it’s not loss of life, or even limb. And we can afford this care. All good things. And I have God’s word that He will sustain us. This is more than enough.