I've had a rough go of it lately.
It turns out I had a cracked and infected tooth for the past 4 months. I had gone to the dentist several time complaining of jaw pain and tooth pain but we both thought it was from a recent crown. About five days ago the pain worsened but still I carried on, because that's what I do. A few days ago I was on the floor in more pain than I've experienced in a long time.
I've had tooth pain before but not like this. This was out of control. No dull aching here. Nope, this was a sharp, stabbing pain that wouldn't cease. I couldn't even scream or cry or moan or do much of anything. I couldn't drive or walk. It was the first day in my entire career as a health care practitioner that I called/texted and canceled all my patients. I've even gone into work twice in the past with migraines. There's a point to all of this - I'm getting there :)
In the end I went to the dentist and got it taken care of, or at least diagnosed and am now on antibiotics and pain killers with an appointment for an extraction or root canal.
The reason I'm telling you all this is because it circles around to a very important lesson that apparently, I'm still learning and that lesson is self care. I have a long history of putting other's needs before mine and even suffering silently while I care for them. My patients (who I love), my partners, my friends, my family, even my pets. Co-dependence at its finest.
And even when I was on the floor, I called the dentist and explained that I couldn't possibly come in that day because I had to go to work. But then I looked at my new tattoo, one I got this past week, the night before this debilitating tooth pain as a matter of fact and I called the dentist back and told her I was coming in immediately.
The tattoo I got is for self care, to remind me to put myself first. It's a version of a heart I draw and it's the not so subtle - look at me Chloe, what the F are you doing right now - reminder. So YAY, it worked, it IS working and I'm learning, day by day. Tomorrow I get the tooth taken care of :)
Author Chloe Adler
Here are some musings - Nothing fancy - no outline and no editor - just some stream of consciousness. You want to read my books? :)