“LIFE WAS SIMPLER WHEN I HAD NO TEETH”

Me with no teeth

By Melissa Flynn

I’ve decided to move on without teeth. Confused? Yeah, it’s just that I’m no good with them. As a child, I could eat whatever I wanted, open bottles and miss a floss here and there without my teeth falling out.

You are probably wondering what I am talking about. I feel like it was just last month that I bit into that gummi bear and heard a crunch—actually it was about 6 months ago. The other day, I went into the refrigerator for a drink. I thought, “Mmm, cold Cranberry Ginger ale, this is going to be good.” Little did I know, but my strength was not what it used to be.

So, there I was twisting and turning. I was, as they say, giving it the ‘ole college try. Yet, still no luck. So, I figured I could just twist it with my teeth. Crunch. Crackle. And no, it wasn’t the cereal with the commercial that goes Snap, Crackle, and Pop. I looked at the bottle top and there was a crack. Okay. No worries. The next thing I knew, it felt like there was a small pebble on my tongue. Shit. It was a piece of my tooth.

Needless to say, I now have another reason to see the dentist. I hate going to the dentist. First, there is the fact that it always hurts more after they are done. Second, I’m usually at least $500 poorer once I leave. Seeing that this tooth is in the front of my mouth, I’ve decided to let it go for a while. For the next few weeks or so, I will be eating oatmeal, soup, apple sauce, bread and maybe a stiff drink here and there. And if anyone knows a good, cheap—okay, not cheap, but inexpensive—dentist…

I wish someone had told me that dealing with life’s issues would be this hard, especially when you don’t have any dental insurance. And, as many may be, I am waiting to see how the new medical reform will help my situation.

Personally, I think my situation is hopeless. Is there a medical plan that allows you to do a full body scan for all broken bones and torn ligaments and tendons? If so, I need that. Is there a medical plan that allows me to see every type of doctor that is out there? Okay, because I will probably need that also. I might sound a bit dramatic. I really could use a vacation. So, if anyone has any free tickets to anywhere outside of the Northeastern region, I want to go. I really need to get away from me. That reminds me.

About a month ago, I came to the conclusion that we all need to reboot every once and a while. And people, I am not talking about rebooting your computers. Whether or not it is a spa day, a dinner out or a movie with a friend, we all must remember that sometimes it is good to get away from ourselves.

So, as I, once again, watched an October storm make its mark, I put together a new list of priorities.

October 2012’s New List of Priorities

  • Spend some time taking care of me
  • Write
  • Read
  • Spend more time taking care  of me
  • Reboot
  • Work on business plan
  • Put together marketing plan
  • Spend more time taking care of me
  • Reboot
  • Spend even more time taking care of me

I’m sure you can see the theme here. Many people, like me, have a habit of staying so focused on trying to accomplish something in life that we forget to do things to take care of ourselves. For example, even on the days that I can afford to eat :), I many times forget to eat. I’m always so concerned with how I’m going to pay my bills. This economy has even forced me to think about how I will survive at 65 or 70 years old.  That used to be the least of my concerns. But, being single, I realized I needed to start planning.

So, in between taking care of me—eating, sleeping more, getting a Mani/Pedi, going on a vacation with you, and going to a movie sometime—and rebooting–I also have to figure out who gets all my books when I am gone.

When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to get older—just to be able to make my own choices. If I knew that meant I was going to have to pay my own bills and take the car to get an oil change, I would have told my mom that I didn’t want to get older. I’m not sure that was an option, but a girl can dream.

So, here I am in 2012. I wake up every day, and I keep trying to make things work. No matter what life throws at me, I will keep ‘moving on’ to bigger and better things. You can ask why, if you’re curious. And I will tell you, “Because that’s what we women do.” So, as soon as I get this tooth taken care of, I will try that rebooting thing and get back to you. And, if any of you have time to try it before then, please let me know how it works out.

Painfully Moving On

These last few weeks have been painful, and I mean that literally. Besides my ongoing shoulder issues, my left foot, my left ankle, my left hip and a bottom tooth have joined the ranks of ‘things that get on my nerves.’

Here is how it started.  A few weeks ago, I sat in my comfy chair – writing, as I do. Reclined with a window open, I enjoyed a bag of Stop and Shop brand Gummi Bears. I popped a red one in my mouth. Crunch?

“That’s weird.”

I ran to the bathroom mirror, only to see a bloody tooth hanging from the root. I guess that’s the last Gummi Bear that I will eat for a while. They were good though.

I’m sure you are thinking, “I need to know this because…?” Well, with my tooth extraction, tooth infection (dry socket) and the pain pills to heal me, my ‘moving on’ has been at a standstill.

That’s not 100% true. I am moving on in my relationships. I’ve told those who need to know that I’m done with the games. I’m done with the do-over’s.  I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.  Whether I like it or not, life is going to keep coming at me. As Grandma Malissia always said, “Life waits for no one.” So, ready or not, things will work out better if I join in.

It’s just the next apartment move that I haven’t done much with yet. I have another couple of months, but it will be here before I know it. And, this body of mine is not working with me. So, if anyone knows where I can get a new one, please share.

When I was 15 years old, I used to wish I could hurry and get older. That shows how much I knew. I had no idea that getter older meant physically getting older. I just thought it meant that I could make my own decisions; no one would be telling me what to do anymore. I could go to the store and buy whatever I wanted.  (That’s really funny, because I’m now thinking “with what money?”) I could see the world and meet famous people. NOT.

There should be a high school class called ‘What Life is Really Going to be like When You are an Adult.’

As an adult, I have seen the country and met lots of people – not necessarily famous people, just people. I don’t mean for that to sound trivial. I think people are what are important in this world. As I move on, I want to meet more people. That’s how you learn. And, I never want to stop learning.

Side note: The Middle and Modern Family — hilarious!

Anyway, as I was saying, I’m going to keep spreading the word that, pain and all, we must keep moving on and trying to see the world. Age is not supposed to be a hindrance to achieving ones goals. I think someone even said that “Life gets better with age.” Someone else said, “With age comes wisdom.” I guess I should meet these people and find out their secrets.

The holiday weekend upon us makes me think that most likely people are out there meeting new people, as I sit here typing. Obviously, I’m home. Not for long; as soon Tuesday gets here, I’m out. Things to do. People to see. Or, is it the other way around? Who knows?

So, for this weekend and post-surgery times to come, help me see the world through your eyes. Tell me where you have gone lately, and who you have talked to. Are you moving on? Or are you just moving? Either way, I’m curious.

I have a little over two weeks before my shoulder surgery, and I’m beginning to get really nervous. I feel like a kid who knows he is going to get a shot at the doctor’s office. My shoulder surgery is a bit more complicated than that, but the fear is the same. Part of my worry is the seclusion that comes afterwards. I think it might be bad if I were out driving after surgery with my left arm – seeing that I’m right-handed. Any thoughts? I’m a pro; I can handle it. I drive with my knees all the time. Oh, you know I’m just kidding, right?

I’ll be good though; I’ll stay in. But, my ‘moving on’ will continue. I may not be physically moving, but things still have to get sorted out. I’ll be searching for places and trying to find some money. By the way, I’m always open to ideas on where to find money. So, please don’t hold back on me. And, keep me in the loop with what’s going on. My mother always did say that I was the curious one.