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Extra Wisdom

So apparently I have five wisdom teeth. Or, really, more accurately: I have four and half. The fifth "extra" tooth is only the size of a baby tooth. It's been months now, of endless dentist appointments, mostly caused by one little error a dentist made over a year ago, but that's a whole other story. Mostly, I've been frequenting the dentist because I'm at that age where, if I'm going to get my wisdom teeth taken out, I need to do it. Now. So, this last Tuesday I had surgery to remove one big, troublesome wisdom tooth and its baby buddy chilling above it. I have a high pain tolerance so I opted not to be put under for this operation- saved me some money, too. Having that done was mostly painless, to be honest, just was disturbing... the pressure and the sound of having a tooth removed is not something I'm equipped to describe with any words I can currently think of. It's just really, really strange. With that being said, the healing process since the (non-painful) procedure has been awful. Lots of blood, lots of pain, lock jaw, nausea from the pain meds, etc. Wholly unpleasant. However, every time I've been grumpy about the situation, I am brought back to gratefulness. Gratefulness that although I do not have dental insurance, I've been able to take care of my teeth. I've had good dentists willing to work out payment, generous recommendations, patient office workers, and overall good health and speedy recoveries, not even just with my teeth but with past doctor and hospital visits as well. I often joke that I'm too healthy. That the world tries to put my life back into a balance of good and bad by making weird things happen to me. I can pretty much eat whatever I want because I have a great metabolism, I've never broken a bone (knock on wood), I rarely get colds and I can't remember the last time I've had the flu. Up until having my wisdom teeth out I'd never really had invasive surgery of any type (and wisdom teeth removal is so common, I don't even really feel like it counts as real surgery haha). I've been lucky, been blessed, to be so healthy. But at the same time, I have chronic pain. I had five wisdom teeth. Nearly forty stitches in my face from a freak accident. Deterioration of the bones in my right hand. I have strange, uncommon allergies. And I've been hit by more cars than I can remember. So, no surprise, I joke that my weird wellness issues is just the way the world is attempting to keep the good and bad of life equal and balanced for me. Kinda silly, but makes sense, no? What I'm driving at here is that I'm a true believer in all those proverb sayings like 'what goes up, must come down' and 'what comes around, goes around' and 'enjoy it while it lasts'. Because, that's exactly what life is, isn't it...? Just a cycle of good and bad. And every experience - whether good or bad - changes us, makes us look at the world differently, makes us appreciate our lives. And I would hope, makes us love the happiness, the memories, the strength, and the delights that we have been able to have. It's been a long, long, long struggle for me to learn to love my body. To learn to love my person. But I do. Scars and all. So when I have a bad day, I just tell myself it's penance for a good day to come.

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