Thursday, July 24, 2008

To the Dentist

I went to the dentist this week. Not exactly earth shattering news, but put this is the frame of 6 months ago... just got out of the hospital, couldn't hardly feed myself, was basically a mess, it is good news. I mean as far as that goes... There still isn't really a good reason to go to the dentist.

I was scheduled to get a cleaning, which is pretty ordinary stuff, not six months ago... hell I couldn't even drive... yet. I remember feeling like a complete failure. Is that true? No of course not, but that's the way I felt. I broke down in the dentist chair, then not now, and really probably should have put off the appointment by a couple of months. But I didn't, and I got through it, even though I thought it was the end of the world.

The fear then is the same as it is now. It's not that somebody would say or do anything; I just want everything back to normal. No special treatment, no kid gloves and yet no talking about me after the fact. Is that realistic? No, not really. I thought that in six months I could beat this thing into submission, you know the comeback kid as it were... good for Hollywood, but again not very realistic. Still, back then I looked and sounded like a retard. Nothing against retards really, but that's what I sounded like. My not quite 2-year-old could eat her dinner with more poise and dignity than I could. And my poor wife was cleaning up both of us.

I’m not well yet, and I probably never will be, but am I better that I was six months ago, before I could tie my shoes, or hold a fork, or simply bounce a ball with my right hand? Yes, and for that I am thankful. No, I won’t be the same but I will be better, at least for a while longer.


"P. B." said...

Maybe this is one of those cases where years from now you'll look back and say, "Wow, I came a long way in six months." Because that's how I look at you NOW. You ARE the Comeback Kid. It's just a new normal that you're not yet used to.

I wish you could talk to my Uncle Jimmy. Back in the 60s my Aunt Janet accidentally pinned him to their garage wall and he lost both his legs. Now he's caring for her because she doesn't remember anything much. I have no idea how he made it through or how he felt doing it, except that I know he's a man of deep faith and I suspect that somehow that sustained him. But, still and all, there had to be moments when he was afraid or angry or disappointed or frustrated or just plain drained.

Expectations can work for good or ill. We can be disappointed or we can be challenged. I bet most of us go back and forth. I see you rising to the challenges and overcoming them. :>)

SouthernFried said...

PB, you said that so well! Not long ago, I went back and read some of his posts after the stroke and when you compare them to what Madhatter writes is amazing how far he has come!

We are all VERY proud of you!