Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The 7-Hour Fast

Yes, I was serious. No, it wasn't that interesting.

Last week I spent three hours lying in the dentist's chair. (This was after playing musical bookcases for three days.) Nearly all of my old, nasty mercury-based fillings needed to be replaced in order to avoid root canals.

I didn't know how long the process was going to take, so I took along a book I'd just bought, "The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical," by Shane Claiborne. It was such a good read, that I honestly had no idea how long I was in there until I left the office and checked my phone. I'll have to share more about the book when I finish it. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced it among my recently re-organized bookcases...

When I left the dentist, I stopped at a nearby grocery store to pick up a few things for lunch. Walking through a public space with your face only half-working is an interesting experience. I'm the type who usually walks around with a big dumb grin on her face. I'm generally a happy person. It was strange not to be able to smile fully, and to wonder what people were thinking. They were friendly anyway.

I picked up an iced soy latte while I was there. As kids, my mom used to get us milkshakes after we had teeth filled. Drinking out of a straw was lot more challenging than I remembered. It took me all afternoon to finish my iced latte.

Back at home, I lay on the sofa, watching cartoons with whichever boy was interested, and waiting for my face to feel normal enough to eat some lunch. Even mac and cheese was difficult. And my new teeth felt strange, like there was something stuck between them -- except there wasn't. Just the filling.

I don't usually do well without food for very long. My blood sugar drops and I get cranky. Which is why lying around was a good idea. If I didn't use too much energy, my blood sugar wouldn't change too drastically. If only I could follow that routine every time!

My face was numb for almost seven hours. By dinnertime I was starving, and I did get a little cranky. But overall, it wasn't too bad.

Good thing, because I get to go back and do it all again for the other side! Yay, bad teeth genes and lazy flossing!


Jill said...

I'm curious to why you needed to get the mercury out in order to avoid root canals? I know mercury is bad stuff, but I thought it was actually strong...not good for our bodies though.

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Hi Jill! The problem wasn't the mercury itself, exactly, but the fact that the fillings weren't doing their job anymore and had allowed decay to develop underneath and around them.

The problem with the old metal fillings is that metal by nature contracts and expands with heat and cold. So, when the temperature changes because of what you're eating, the filling size itself changes, and allows food to enter into the cracks.

The reason why these fillings DO work most of the time, my dentist explained to me, is because of the toxic nature of mercury, which kills the bacteria! (He hasn't actually used this type for the last 30 years, but most dentists still do.)

Kinda freaky. In any case, it was time for them to go.

Kaber said...

no fun! I hope it is easier the second time around with the other half!

mandi said...

oh man- this is so much my story! i totally hear ya on "yay bad teeth genes and lazy flossing!" hahaha! that is me, i tell ya. so i too am slowly working to replace all of mine. and for some reason, local anasthesia doesn't work on me, so i get to feel it too. yes!
my husband is reading the book you read while there. i love what shane claiborne is up to...pretty amazing.

Lori said...

That is such an AMAZING book. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to reading a blog post about it.

darlene said...

Ditto about the book, Lori. I just finished it and would love to hear a review and comments on it. I'm about to start JESUS FOR PRESIDENT. A timely read.

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