So sometimes things happen that upset our expectations. And sometimes I’m not so great about accepting these things. But recently I was accepting and it was a good life lesson for me.
I’d gone to the dentist to get an implant crown put into place. I was SO wanting to get this done because I’d been without my upper left molar for almost a year. Since having the tooth extracted March 10, 2016, I’d been chewing mostly on one side of my mouth. This was especially hard on me as I have this semi-OCD condition where I like to chew equally on both sides of my mouth. [Due to this plight, I can tell you that Smarties come in packs of an uneven number of candies. There is always that last one in the cellophane that becomes a conundrum. Do I open a second tube of candies to have the second extra piece that will give equilibrium in my masticating? Or can I equally bite this last one in half and accomplish my goal?]
Why had I been so long without my molar? Well, the process of getting an implant is drawn out for several reasons and my timing resulted in an even longer than normal wait time. So, how do implants work? Well, first you have to have the bad tooth extracted. Then you have to wait a couple months for the area to heal before you can have the implant post embedded into your jawbone. Following this, there is another 3 month wait while your bone heals around this implant. If all goes well ~ the bone heals nicely and the implant post passes the stress tests ~ then you wait an additional couple months for full healing before you can have the crown installed on the post.
Dr. Ryan Morris at Centrasota Oral Surgeons did a FANTASTIC job from extraction to implant and I highly recommend him if you find a need for Endodontics.
Since my post check didn’t happen until late summer, I would have been ready for my implant crown by late fall. However, the implant process is pretty spendy so I’d exhausted my dental benefits for the year. Since this put me SO CLOSE to the coming calendar year and a renewal of my dental benefits, I decided to wait until I had new funds for dental work to move ahead with the crown. This meant I couldn’t go in to my dentist for the crown review until January. Then, I had to wait another month for the crown to be made and for me to make a trip back to Alexandria to get it installed. By then I was also due for my semi-annual cleaning as well. Yippee!
OK, so I arrive at the dentist at 2 PM to have my crown installed and then get my teeth cleaned. Well, we get the crown in place and we’re taking a look at it. I thought it looked pretty yellow, but didn’t speak up because, unlike many people, I understand from years of experience with crowns and dentures, that teeth are not truly white but typically have a lot more gray, blue, and yellow tones than you’d think. The goal for dentists when providing a new tooth or denture, is to make you look natural. If they gave you a really white tooth when the rest of your teeth are more yellow, it would definitely not look right. No matter how much you’d like a bright, white, shiny smile!
Well Dr. Collins and Technician Wendy looked and looked and so I asked what they were thinking. Turns out, the tooth was made a bit darker than the ordered shade. So, if I could wait, they could have the lab guy come over and check it with them to see if they could make it right before cementing it into place. “Sure!” I say, thinking to myself, ” I’m here for my cleaning today anyway.”
Well, Yuen (pronounced “Win”) arrived shortly thereafter to see the tooth. And he agreed, it was a hair darker than ordered. He could take it back to the lab and work to lighten the tooth. Dr. Collins was concerned about my wait but I explain I was there for cleaning anyway so… Great! I waited a few minutes for Joann to free up to do my cleaning and we got that done. Then I waited for my new tooth to return from the lab. Pretty soon, Yuen came back with my tooth and we regrouped. First, Dr. Collins did a review of my cleaning and looked for cavities. Turns out, there was a weepy cavity on the tooth behind where the implant crown was being installed. This cavity was on the face of the tooth adjacent to the crown. SO… yes, LUCKY FOR ME the tooth was the wrong color. We were able to fill that cavity BEFORE installing the crown (along with another small cavity he also found…) and then we put in the crown once the area was intact.
Now, I could have had a fit about the too-dark tooth. I could have complained about having to wait and the lab “screwing it up”. But this day I was calm, patient, ready to just do whatever needed to be done. Fighting it, bitching about it… none of this was going to make the situation better. And, in the end, it all worked out for my best. Plus, Dr. Collins slipped me a Blizzard card for being such a good patient! Now that’s a Yuen-Yuen. 🙂
I know I’ve written before about realizing in hindsight that sometimes things aren’t “Bad” but actually are happening to work out for the best. I am learning these days to, more often than not, go with the flow. Though I don’t know why things might be unfolding as they are, I am learning to trust in the proceedings of the Universe.
As an example, last year, I agreed to commit to a three year project but I recently found out that I was not to be included for the second year of the project. Initially, I was hurt and my ego wanted to make a big stink. It wanted me to think I wasn’t good enough, didn’t make the cut for the team. But I was not alone in being “pink slipped”, and when a second person who was facing this same situation emailed me, it gave me an opportunity to think through my feelings on it. I am so grateful for her inquiry to me because in thinking it through, I realized several things.
First, as a practical point, if I let my ego win with its idea of being left out, it would only make me miserable. Second, in year one, I had an AMAZING experience. I will forever be grateful for the time spent in a lovely place with brilliant women and this encounter will continue to be a part of who I become as the years progress. Third, I realized that, for the new person being invited, perhaps being involved in this project is going to make, for them, as tremendous an impact in their life as it did for me in year one. How could I not support this project reaching more people in this way? In addition, I have a major project with creating a food forest and gardens here at the Harn this year so it’s likely best that I am not included so I can focus on that area of my life. Finally, this doesn’t mean that I might not be invited back for the final year of the project. In fact, perhaps the work I am doing at the Harn will be a requirement for giving my best in that third year, should that occur.
Who knows? Certainly not me! As much as I’ve often wished for a crystal ball, so far it has not materialized. As such, I am going to trust that the process is exactly as it is because it will bring the most good for the most people.