Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Dentist: Call Me Frozen Face

Here I am again, in possibly my least favorite place in the whole world.  Yep, you guessed it, I’m at the dentist.

Welcome to my mind:

“I’ve got this numbing stuff in my mouth, and it has such a disgusting taste. I wonder if they find pleasure in making grown people cry. They keep telling the little girl in the other room that she’s getting a “Elsa Frozen filling.” Possibly because the filling is white, and the curing light is blue. I hate this. Although, I guess I should be positive, and think about how blessed I am to be able to come to the dentist. What did they do in the old days? Oh, here comes the needle.
 I tense up, I always convulse a little, even if it doesn’t hurt, but it usually does hurt. The dentist leaves, and the numbness begins. Dang it! Oh man, this is not good. He hit the special nerve inside of my mouth. I forgot to tell him about it. I can’t breathe! Concentrate, you’re going to be just fine. I can’t move my eyebrows. This is unfortunate, what is happening! It’s never been this bad. Not only that, I have cavities on both side of my mouth so they shot me up on both sides. BREATHE! Awesome, now that I have that down, I can’t swallow anymore. My throat has numbed quite a bit as well…I love my life…I love my life…I love my life.”

This is where I started thinking about people who go through traumatic events. Like that lady recently on the news who had to get a new face, because a monkey ripped off her old face. That’s a little extreme, but I couldn’t move my face…at all! I could only use my eyes to look around. I had to lay still. I couldn’t even close my eyes to block it all out, because my eyelids were numb. They started drilling, and I could feel everything. My face was completely numb, but they didn’t numb me where my sensitive nerves are. He asked me where I was numb, and I told him, even though I could barely speak or even understand myself. My tongue felt HUGE! He is my 5th dentist in 2 years. Awesome, right? He’s the third dentist to find my “Special” nerve. 

The first time this happened, my childhood dentist gave me a shot to numb me, and about 5 minutes later, my heart started fluttering. You guessed it, he shot right into my blood
stream, and the numbing medicine went straight to my heart. I had to sit up and shake it off for a few minutes. The last time it happened, I just had to lay on the chair with one eye opened the whole time, because I had no other choice. I felt like a pirate, and wanted a patch so I could cover it.

The dentist gives me an extra shot, on both sides, to make sure I’m numb. I need to be numb closer to the front of my mouth. He told me that his face paralysis will go away, but it's weird because it's the second time he's done it this week. Before this week, it'd been two years since that's happened to any of his patients. The dentist leaves. 
"'You are special, yes you really are; you’re the only one like you! There isn’t another in the whole wide world who could do the things you do.' Why are the lyrics to a Barney song coming to my mind? I guess I am kind of special and unique. 4th times a charm, I guess, right? Four shots aren’t that bad. They say once you’re numb, you can’t feel the other shots, but I know that’s just a lie they tell to people to make them feel better. I feel every single one. Five shots in one sitting is my record."

Eventually I finished my dentist appointment, and about half way through, the top of my face slowly came back to feeling normal again. It’s a weird feeling to not be able to control your body. I pride myself in being able to raise one eye brow at a time. When I was all numb, the only thing I could do was wiggle one ear. When the dentist came in, I couldn’t even smile at him. Me, not be able to smile? That was probably the hardest part. I was trying to tell them how grateful I was to be there, and smile to reassure them that I wasn’t really that scared, but I couldn’t do anything. That’s the worst feeling in the world. When someone is in that position, they need help. My face was so numb, I couldn’t even keep my mouth open, so they had to put a rubber stopper in my mouth to keep it open.  

This was just a small thing. It went away. It just made me extremely grateful for all of the things I can do. I had another opportunity this week to help a lady who couldn’t use her right hand at all. She was so grateful when I came over to her and offered to help her. I think people with disabilities, are probably the most humble people on the earth. They’re so kind and generous. They always have a smile, and they’re the ones who are trying to make you feel comfortable, because they know you feel awkward. They’ve come to terms with their life. 

While on my LDS mission, I somehow got a Staph infection. It covered both of my
lower legs. Luckily I was able to cover it up with tights and long socks. Eventually one or two made it up to my face. It was painful and embarrassing, because there was no way to cover it up. The doctors told me I just had bad acne, but I knew there was no way this was just a few zits. It was red, and burned and was puffy. I’d have to go out on the streets every day and talk to people. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror, so why would anyone else? When I’d approach someone, or smile at someone I’d think to myself, “I’m a great person, I promise I am. If you could just look past my face, and feel of my love and my spirit, I know you’d want to hear my message.” Anytime anyone at all smiled back at me, or would listen to me, I’d forget about my pain for a little while, and just be so grateful they noticed me, and that they were willing to give me a few seconds of their time.

If the Lord was trying to humble me, well His plan worked. I’ve never forgotten that time in my life, and I think about it every time I see someone with some imperfection…so basically every day. It makes me want to go over to that individual, smile, and talk to them about life in general. I know that the thing they’re probably craving most is compassion and love. While they’re embarrassed for how they look, I’m looking at them and loving all of those imperfections. I’m looking past that and showing them, that they’re loved, even if they don’t feel like it’s humanly possible for anyone to even want to be in the same room as them. 

It makes me think of Jesus in the New Testament. People always talk about how He was always with the lame and the leprous. I think I understand just a piece of why he did that now. I can’t heal people, but I can try to heal their broken souls with love, and just let them know they’re not alone. 

 Just remember, we all have bad hair days. 

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