This morning I woke with blood in my mouth. Dead blood, rusted blood, blood whose time has passed.
Sunday my tooth broke. Tooth number 13, upper pre-molar. The plan to get a root canal and crown had not gone into action soon enough it seems, so I stood there for a moment at the Moore Theatre in Seattle with a piece of my tooth in hand, blinking.
So 2 days ago I had the tooth pulled. I’d gone to two different doctors, and both agreed that the likelihood of saving it was low… and if the tooth were saved, it would likely have problems again in the next few years. So I had it pulled, with a plan for an implant when I can afford it, and a spacer-thing in the meantime. Such is the way of things.
Here I am, with a hole in my mouth.
I am loosing pieces of myself. My breasts. My extra breast tissue. My ovaries, uterus, cervix and all the places between. My tooth.
Even though I know that having body parts removed was the right choice for me, I still sit in a place of emptiness around it from time to time. I have lost a piece of myself. I removed part of me. Part of me is gone.
And so it is with this tooth. I stare at it in the baggie, and blink. The outside of the shaft looks good except for the tip… but staring into it there is sorrow and decay. They said they were concerned to work on it because all that would be left was a shell. A fragile shell.
Some days I too am a fragile shell.
But not today. Today I feel blessed, loved, strong. But I know that when I am strongest is when I get to keep doing the work of constant love and healing. We each deserve to have our best, be our best – not just work on it when it hurts.
It is important to remember that in every part of our life, we need to get that root canal before the tooth breaks.