The Blue Dot

One of the higher points of my day was getting a crown on one of my rear molars. That should tell you something.

I took my 18th needle (above the shoulder, and since Valentine’s Day) this morning at the dentist, thanks to having cracked a tooth God-knows-how-long ago. I tend to postpone getting things looked at (the knee after two years, the shoulder after one), so the crack might’ve been lurking for quite some time. All I know is that I ate sushi — a soft enough food, right? — a month or two ago, and even that irritated an already irritated tooth.

It was my first dental issue ever; everything else to-date has been a simple cleaning. The needle wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but the numbness was beyond ridiculous.

Going in, I didn’t know what to really expect so I figured I’d embrace the whole experience sans-distraction. No work email, no magazines, no iPhonery. Just me, the needle, some foul-smelling goop they used to get an impression of my tooth and one bright light, directly in my eyes.

An hour later, after they messed with the temporary crown no fewer than six times to get it to a not-too-high position on what was left of my whittled down stump of a tooth, it was on. Next step: to come back for the real one in a couple of weeks.

Although numb, I was pleased at how their handiwork felt. I motored to the office where I proceeded to wonder every 20 minutes how much longer it would be before I could drink my coffee like a normal person and not have to cram a tissue down the front of my top in order to, well, catch things that didn’t stay put in my mouth.

Long about 1:30, the anesthetic wore off in what seemed like mere seconds, and I was back to normal. I whipped out my compact for a good view of my molar, and there it was: a blue dot, right in the middle of my faux crown.

Growing up, we had a dog whose tongue had a black mark right in the middle of it, as though she’d been playing fetch with a Sharpie. I suddenly felt like her.

I guess it just goes to prove one thing: there’s usually an issue in our lives that needs dealing with to some degree or another. Maybe it’s a recent development, maybe it’s a long-standing pain in the neck. Maybe it’s a thing, a situation, a circumstance or a general feeling of malaise — whatever it is, we can be numb to it and try to turn a blind eye only for so long. Sooner or later, we’ll have to face reality. Whether reality manifests itself in that moment or a few weeks down the line, though, is up to us.

My blue dot will be here for another few weeks, but there are lots of blue dots that require our attention — and they’ll get it in time (either in theirs, or ours). I recommend the latter, as often as possible. For this realization I am thankful.

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