The Day I Had a Root Canal

I know root canals are no walk in the park for anyone. But for me, having a root canal was like a walk through hell itself. That is, until I discovered a little dental secret.

I went in for my root canal one Friday morning. I had prepared myself physically and mentally for this. I was ready. Or so I thought. Do y’all know what a #2 molar is? Open your mouth. Take your finger and stick it all the way towards the back of your mouth. Feel that last molar on the top right? Yea that one. That’s #2. And that’s the one that needed a root canal. That’s apparently the worst tooth you could ever need a root canal on. Yay me.

In order to proceed with my #2 root canal they needed to determine if I could handle the “dental dam” or as I like to call it “the piece of rubber they use to suffocate you as if you were a prisoner at Gitmo.” 15 secs into said test and I was choking, crying, and reaching for dental instruments. I think that meant I failed. Now we had to talk options.

This is when I learned they even HAD OPTIONS. What’s this little secret? You mean I could have opted for something to make me unaware of this procedure? Oral sedation? Um yes please. I promptly rescheduled my appointment for a later date and skipped out of the office with my prescriptions in hand.

Once the day came for root canal take 2 I was on two drugs plus gas. Oh I still talked to the staff and was mildly aware of my face, but otherwise I was relaxing on the beach at sunset. As my sweet daughter chauffeured me home, I announced that these secret dental drugs should be used for many more situations. They should offer this for annual physicals as well as boring meetings. Bring on the happy pills and gas.

All kidding aside, I was thankful for something to help me get through a difficult procedure. As we were getting started, the dental assistant told me to just be still and it would all be over in no time. My job was to 1) be still and 2) trust it would all turn out ok. Isn’t that what God asks of us?  In Psalm 46 we are told thatGod is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble.” That same chapter then instructs us to “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.” When we face difficult fear-filled situations, we have the greatest help of all. We simply need to 1) be still and 2) trust Him. And this help is for everyone – no prescription needed!

P.S. For your viewing pleasure, here’s what the aftermath of the root canal looked like. And a special thanks to my sweet daughter for putting up with me and capturing it all on video. Pay back is coming when you get your wisdom teeth out. Stay tuned friends.

 CLICK LINK>>> The Day I Had a Root Canal

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What’s in the Shadows?

It’s dark as pitch at 5:30 a.m. I know this because I walk my neighborhood every morning before work (ok, ok most mornings). Oh sure I carry a flashlight, but it does very little to dispel the darkness.  Who knows what’s lurking in those shadows?

As I step out my front door, my surveillance tactics are in full force. So are my ninja moves. I twist my head at every sound, every flicker, every movement. I yell “Hiiiii Yahhhh” while simultaneously executing a “judi chop” to send the scary things running. I check over my shoulder and then check again. Sometimes I even reflect back to my marching band days and decide to walk backwards in a perfect glide step. I thought it may confuse the bad guy when I executed an abrupt about-face. I look left. I don’t like the dark. I look right. Even darker over there.

What was that?
Did I just see something?
Was that a squirrel? Raccoon? S-n-a-k-e? Flesh-eating possum rising from the gutter?
Ninja Turtle?  A friendly but strong ninja turtle to keep me safe?

I have an active imagination. It doesn’t help that it’s Halloween time. People in this neighborhood have lost their minds. They have bed sheet ghosts strung all in the trees. There are skeletal things coming out of the ground next to tombstones. There are creepy fences on sidewalks, spiders on houses, pumpkins on light posts and God-only knows what that was on that one family’s porch.

 

Thursday morning, I jerked my head around so many times I gave myself a kink in my neck.

Then I heard this question in my mind, “What’s in the shadows?”

Exactly Lord. That’s what I’m saying. WHAT is that? And that? And that?

“No, April, you are in the shadow – My shadow.”

Sometimes God is so cool.

I got home and looked up scriptures that pertain to “shadows” and check this out:

How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:7

Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 17:8

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

What’s in the shadows? I am. Me. ME! My morning walk in the shadows just took on a whole new meaning. I’m walking in the shadow of the most high God. And there’s no better place to be.

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Where Does Your Help Come From?

Psalm 121I’m not proud of the fact that when walking into the garage one night,  I shoved my daughter into the path of an evil, demonic critter while running for my life.

There’s one sure-fire way to send me into sheer terror and everyone close to me knows not to even say the word. In fact in our home, we spell the name of the beast, quietly and only if absolutely necessary — s-n-a-k-e.

Each and every day of my life I check for them everywhere. I look around corners, on the floor, in the bushes, on the porch, in the car, on the sidewalk, in the toilet {thanks to the person who just HAD to tell me their story}. It’s become such a part of my routine I am not consciously aware that I’m doing it.  Full scale s-word reconnaissance is simply step 1 of my plan to defend myself. Step 2 involves attempting to retain consciousness. Step 3 is apparently sacrificing my family if necessary. Subsequent steps all involve self-preservation while securing assistance to exterminate the vermin. #thereisnogoodsnake

Walking the neighborhood today, I found myself scanning the ground in my usual way, eyes like s-word radar. As I visually verified the tubular object at my 2 o’clock was indeed a stick, a thought occurred to me. As I walked step after step, I was completely focused on my fear. My eyes and my mind were concentrating solely on the thing I feared most. Continue reading

A Fire, the Dog and a Basket of Junk Mail

You always hear people talking about what items they would grab from their home if there was ever a fire. With only minutes to get out of your house losing everything you own, what would you save? I’ve pondered this question numerous times over the years and assuming the family was all safe, I figured I’d reach for items like the kids’ baby books, photo albums, wedding photos, other precious mementos that can’t be replaced.

But evidently I was completely wrong.

Running from a burning house on Saturday I didn’t grab any of those things. Continue reading

A Tomato Made Me Cry

For the past six months, our home has been very different. When I accepted a severance plan from my employer in September 2011, I also accepted a different daily routine for our family. Our life slowed down and the focus was no longer on a fast or convenient solution to whatever problems the day presented but on an inexpensive or value-oriented alternative. For the most part I’ve throughly enjoyed our new normal. But this week, normal changes again.

I accepted a new position. Continue reading

A Black Eye From What?

I was hustling around the kitchen one night and not really listening to the steady stream of words my son was hurling my way. It’s not that I was trying to ignore him. Actually, it was quite the opposite. As a finalist for Mother of the Year, I do try to actively participate in these types of conversations. Yet there are times when the kids’ stories get so long that you tend to tune out as you’re preparing dinner or cleaning the disgusting hamster cage. (That’s another story.)

I noticed about an hour later that my son’s left eye had a curious black ring around the bottom half. And I couldn’t help but ask. That’s not always the best choice but I usually do it anyway. Continue reading

There’s Hope in a Good Hair Day

My case of the “fat, dumb and uglies” was heading into remission but it wasn’t in any hurry to pack up and move on. I’d gone to great lengths to assist, buying new lipstick and dressing for car line pick up like I was meeting the president. But this had been a severe outbreak and the effects were lingering longer than normal.

While watching my son’s baseball team warm up at the ball field last night, another mom complimented my hair. In shock I turned to thank her wondering how anyone could look at me without wearing protective eye wear. She repeated her adoration for my hairdo (thanks hair stylist Joy) and asked to take a photo!

Gasp. Shriek. Someone get the hissy fit prevention kit.

This poor woman had no idea what she had just done. But fighting against my first instinct to run, I let her take a photo of my hair. And then I was shocked. Continue reading

Blessed Easter Morn Gone Awry

Colorful center piece for table – check. Easter baskets with appropriate balance of chocolate, sour candy and non edible items – check. New clothes in festive colors for all family members – check. Delicious meal planned – check. Reminding kids of real meaning of Easter – check. Easter photo counseling session for mom – Um, nope…

I have a phobia of photos. I don’t know exactly when it started. I just know that at some point in my life you could take all the photos of me you wanted. There were no pre-approved angles. There were no hissy fits over fat arms, chubby cheeks, flat hair or unflattering clothes. There were just photos – photos printed and placed in cherished albums that I delighted in looking at over and over.

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I’d Rather Been Hit by a Volleyball…

Saturday volleyball tournaments mean early mornings, lots of snacks and an onslaught of flying volleyballs sure to smack you in the head when you least expect it. But this past Saturday, I was knocked off my feet not by a volleyball, but by a host of old hurts, suppressed feelings and long-standing anger.

As my daughter’s team warmed up, my son and I staked out our base camp for the day. We carved out a spot between columns and bleachers to place our chairs hoping our savvy knowledge of volleyball trajectory would keep us safe. Poor newbies sitting on the front row of the bleachers. Better have ice…bless their hearts. We were enjoying snacks galore during game one of the first match, when a cast member from the play that is my past strolled into the gym.

Continue reading