This past week (Monday), I had oral surgery. I need to start further back though to help you understand. When I was seven, I fell on the pool deck and ended up with 2 root canals on my two front teeth. This was horribly traumatic and led to my intense fear of dentists. Thankfully, it is really the only issue I’ve ever had, so my trauma was minimized. However, a couple weeks ago, I began getting terrible pains in my mouth just above my fake teeth. I knew something was wrong. I made a walk-in appointment with a highly recommended dentist who has evening and weekend appointments. He confirmed that there was something wrong with my posts. He recommended emergency surgery the next day (Monday). It was one week prior to my winter break, so I knew I could not take another week off on top of the two that were coming up. My son ended up waking up with croup on Monday, so we used the day to hit the doctors.
In the end, I ended up needing to extract my two front stubs, two wisdom teeth, get a bone graft, and have to implants inserted into my bone. The worst part pre=procedure was that my appointment was at noon and I couldn’t eat for 8 hours prior to surgery, so I hadn’t eaten since 10pm the previous night and I was hungry. During surgery, I remember nothing, but some vague recollection of pounding into my mouth with a hammer. That was not very comfortable, but I was only minimally aware of it.The pain afterwards was excruciating.
To add to the pain, I have no front teeth. I have a flipper, which is like a retainer with fake teeth and gums attached to it. It is incredibly uncomfortable. The little pageant girls wear it for a few minutes, maybe an hour at a time. I am wearing mine all day. It makes my mouth ache. The roof of my mouth is blistered and I can’t eat with it. Like I cannot tear any food. I also cannot way on my back teeth because I had my lower wisdom teeth removed. So I am at soup. Now the thing with a flipper is that all liquid gets trapped between it and the rook of my mouth. It feels freaky. I cannot really taste anything either. The teeth that the flipper wire hold onto ache like there is no tomorrow. Oh, and I have a freaking lisp. I had to go to a speech pathologist when I was little for a lisp. Endless readings of tongue twisters and Dr Seuss and enunciation all to have it come right back at me.
This is a special kind of torture. And I get it for 4-6 months. O.M.G. Now all of this sucks, but the reaction from others has left me nearly speechless. I am a thick girl. I always have been. Even when I was in great physical shape, I have never been skinny. I was “built,” “muscular,” “toned,” but never skinny. The majority of my life, I have been fat. I have come to terms with this. I work out. I eat better and less than the majority of my skinny friends. I have had to reflect the patronizing comments from doctors about what I should be doing as if I have not kept food journals and exercised and tried Weight Watchers and walking and water, etc. I even had one doctor suggest a fad diet. It was my last trip to him. All research shows that those are ineffective and ultimately result in more weight gain after the initial loss. I work out regularly. I drink water. I watch what I eat. I do not obsess. I am stressed out. I am a single mom. I work 2-3 jobs. I do not have the luxury of making all my meals. I lack time more than anything. So I have come to terms with where I am and am fine with it. I am a sexy bitch. I love who I am. So, having said all this, when I tell people how I pretty much have to go on an all mush diet, the FIRST reaction is, “well, at least you will lose weight.” This also tends to be the first reaction when I get sick. If I get a stomach bug, people do not tend to say, “it is going around;” they say, “well, you better watch what you eat.” They do not say this to my skinnier counterparts. It’s an interesting insight into what they actually think about me.
I am not, in any way, lazy. I do not think you could find a single person in my life who would choose “lazy” as an adjective to describe me whether they like me or not. However, they imply this when their first comments are that I must be forced to lose weight as I obviously have chosen to be too lazy to make those decisions myself. Here’s a thought: Perhaps since I am not lazy and do work out and do not eat fast food multiple times a week or day, maybe my body is different and requires more time than I have to be skinny. If I have to choose between spending time with my child and exercising, then that’s an easy choice for me. I will be fat. I know when I was at my smallest, I was working out twice a day and eating only salads with no dressing and drinking alcohol – a lot. That’s way less healthy than this body I have. In order to have a “healthy” body, I would have to have an unhealthy relationship with my friends and child and pets as all I would be able to do is work out. I am fine with what I look like. I am fine with where I am. I hope that someday you will be fine with that too. If you are not, that’s fine. If you get sick or have to go on a special diet, I promise to simply say, “I am so sorry. I hope that it goes by quickly.” Or, “If you need any recipes, I will be happy to try some new mushy, liquidy meals with you.” I promise not to make this misery include anything about your physical condition.