11 Dec An hour in the dentist’s chair
Every time I sit in a dentist’s chair I remember a specific scene from James Frey’s book, a million little pieces. The book was initially sold as a memoir of his life as an addict and his recovery process. This scene tells the story of his visit to a dentist during his rehabilitation process to repair his teeth, which were so badly damaged from excessive drug and alcohol abuse. He vividly describes his terrifying agony, having teeth pulled out and being stitched up, without a drop of anesthetic.
Thankfully, my hour in the dentist’s chair last week was far less painful and less traumatic, but it did make me think again about how the human body can endure so much more than the mind allows it to. So often, when I’ve looked back at times in my life, I’ve thought “wow, I made it”. In the moment, those times were tough and challenging and required much patience and endurance. I felt as though it would take every ounce of my being to get up the next day. Retrospectively though, they seem like small speed bumps in the road, small hurdles that were relatively easy to overcome. Each one has taught me something that has made me a stronger person, wife, mother.
My uncle has just spent a week in hospital after a triple bypass. It’s a massively invasive surgery that requires the heart to be stopped and the body is kept alive by a heart lung machine during the surgery, which can take up to five hours. Once the new arteries are connected, the blood is directed through the heart again. The heart will then pump very rapidly until it readjusts to a normal heart rate. It’s been a week since his surgery and his recovery thus far has been amazing. He’s fully aware of the challenging recovery process ahead, but is mind is positive and his eye is on the healthier, fitter life he’ll be able to enjoy.
We all have times when we feel our hearts have stopped, when we have to find something to keep our blood pumping and force us to get up to face the day. The easy thing to do would be to throw it all in, give up, but deep down we acknowledge we have a purpose in this life, a purpose for this day. We need to search for this purpose and fight for it. Our hearts, bodies and minds can endure so much more than we allow them to. You are stronger than you think.