Star Wars. Saga.
Indian Jones. Saga.
Lord of the Rings. Saga.
The Root Canal. Saga.
Last week, I shared a post about my trip to the dentist office that ended with the news, "you need a root canal." It was a painful lesson. A small cavity, easily repairable, but fear and anxiety kept me from getting fix. That little 'mistake' resulted in pain and the afore mentioned diagnosis.
Now I've shared before how much I dislike the dentist office. It's nothing against the dentist, just a bunch of bad visits as a kid that leaves me with horrible memories. But, you can only avoid something for so long, then you have to face it. (That's what the last visit taught me. Read my post here, Another Visit to the Dentist Teaches a Valuable Life Lesson.)
This past Monday, I went in for my root canal. I was doing pretty good. I tried all day to not think about or worry about the procedure. I felt like my stress level, and my heart rate were in check. Even in the chair, I kept reminding myself of what everyone was tell me, "Root Canals aren't too bad. Once they numb you up, it's easy." Okay. I thought, not too bad, no pain, I can do this.
Well, all I can say is...my dentist is awesome. Perhaps one of the best I've been to. He brought my in and got the Novocain going. The problem, I need a lot of Novocain. Even while he was drilling, I was still feeling a some pain. But he did a great job to even help numb that pain. It finally got to the point that I didn't feel a think. I mean, by the time he was done drilling, I wasn't feeling ANYTHING.
After an x-ray, more drilling, an x-ray, more drilling, another x-ray, he had final reached the root. It was at that point I heard the words... "We got it. We'll put a temporary filling in and schedule you're next appointment."
MY NEXT APPOINTMENT?!?!?!?!?!?
I HAVE TO COME BACK???
No one ever told me that a root canal was a 2 visit procedure. It was such a deflating feeling. From thinking it would all soon be over to hearing I would have to come back; I was rocked.
But here's the thing, the same is true in the moments of difficulty. In my earlier post, I shared the lesson about not putting off the difficult issues because you feared the pain of the moment. Instead, face the pain and discomfort, and deal with it. But when you let the issue go unresolved all you really do is cause more pain. Yesterday I learned that even when your resolve the issue, there might more fall out then you realized.
I had really hoped that this visit would be the fix all. No more pain. No more discomfort. No more bad tooth. No more visits to the dentist. Not so. No, instead I have to go back and deal with my fear one more time. There is no such thing as the quick fix. In our relationships, in our careers, in our mistakes, in our growth, there is no quick fix.
But here's what I learned as I sat there with the new knowledge that I would be back...again. Do the work on the front end to prevent (as much as you can) the pain of the fix on the back end. As I sat in that chair, with his hands in my mouth, drilling, scraping, rinsing, digging, the only thing I could think was, "I don't want to be here again." I don't want to have endure another root canal. I don't want even a cavity or a filling. And so, I must take care of my teeth in order to prevent (as much as possible) the pain I was feeling. The same is true of our relationships and the issues we face daily. If we start out doing everything we can possibly do to build healthy relationships, we strengthen those relationships, and protect them from the future pain. And yes, that might include the 6 month cleaning and check up. Boy, who would have thought there would be so much to learn by sitting in the dentist chair.
So be sure to brush your teeth twice a day. And don't forget to floss! The saga continues for another two weeks.
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.