Monday, January 14, 2013
Grinding Out My Issues
I have a ton of stressful shit going on in my professional life right now. And despite all of the wise, sage advice I have been doling out on this blog lately, I am failing miserably at heeding my own words.
This stress has been manifesting itself in a physical way. Last weekend, Mister Fergs, Biddy and I went to Seven Springs to ski and hang out with our friends. Everything was great. Biddy was having a blast, skiing her little heart out. The weather was warm and lovely. I woke up early Saturday morning and got caught up on work email. It was all shaping up to be an epic weekend…
I tend to process stress in a very sneaky way. I convince myself that I’m living in the moment and having an amazing time, and consciously, I usually am. However, there is always a big pot of stress simmering on the burner in the back of my mind. The laundry I didn’t fold and put away before we left home, the meetings I didn’t schedule Friday afternoon for the following week, uncertainty about my position at work. These things mix together, cooking all day until they boil over and appear as a surprise anxiety attack or even worse—what happened on Saturday night.
Mister Fergs and I had a few cocktails went to bed around ten pm. Apparently, I started grinding my teeth at some point while I was sleeping. This is a bad habit I have had since I was little. I don’t do it every night, just when I’m under significant stress. The grinding was so intense last Saturday night, I actually shattered my back tooth. Needless to say, I woke up at 2:30 am with intense pain in my lower right jaw.
You have most likely experienced tooth pain at least once in your life. It is so excruciating and certainly not a welcome wake up call. I immediately started rummaging through the condo for some Advil, which I make sure is always in ample supply. I figured four tablets would do the trick and I would be pain free and back to sleep in a half hour.
In a cruel twist of fate, my alcoholic friends had taken all of the Advil and all that remained was an empty bottle. I ran through my available options. Coping with the pain was not one of them. I could get into the car and drive ten miles to the closest gas station. I could walk up to my friends’ nearby condo, wake them up and see if they had any. Pulling the tooth also crossed my mind. This drastic measure sounds ridiculous but totally made sense to me at the time.
Before setting off in the dark night, I did one last sweep of the condo just in case I missed a bottle somewhere. When I opened the medicine cabinet again, I spied Biddy’s toddler Advil and a light went off in my head. This could work.
Toddler Advil is the color of a blue raspberry Slush Puppy. If you spend a lot of time in gas stations, you know what I’m talking about. Biddy always willingly slurps it down and asks for more so I always assumed it tasted like candy. As I stood at the bathroom sink, doing Advil shooters, one after the other, I seriously started questioning my daughter’s taste buds.
As a person who once counted Jagermeister as her shot of choice, I feel as though I’m pretty hardcore. However, it took everything I had to keep this bright blue, sickly sweet liquid down. Good God, it was nasty. Sheer determination to rid myself of the pain got me through the ordeal. With my iPad to distract me, I sat down on the couch and proceeded to surf Pinterest while I waited for relief.
What I had not realized was the Advil I had taken was liquid so it seemed to take effect much sooner than I am used to. I high-fived myself for my resourcefulness and finally fell back to sleep.
What did I learn from this ordeal?
1. I have not conquered my anxiety issues. Need some work in this area.
2. Advil in liquid form for adults is a great idea.
3. Probably time to take the dentist up on that mouth guard he has been pushing.
4. We need more Advil at the condo.
It’s January 14th and despite my New Year’s declarations, my crazies are still acting up. However, I’m encouraged by the fact we are only two weeks into 2013. I'm not going to change overnight.
Thank God I signed up for dental insurance this year.