The Root Canal Wasn’t as Bad as I Thought it Would Be

Ten a.m. this past Sunday found me in the dentist chair, getting a very large needle stuck in my gum.

For so long, years honestly, I’ve put off taking care of this tooth that has gone from a small cavity to a large hole in the side. The hole only grew when I was pregnant and got worse over time.

I finally reached a point where I couldn’t stand enduring the pain any more, so I went to a dentist. You can read how that went here. That particular dentist was not in full practice, however, so I went to a very modern dental clinic for a second evaluation. From the beginning I was much more comfortable with them than with the previous dentist.

I had brought the kids with me (no way I couldn’t), and they kept the assistants busy – touching everything, asking what everything was, Logan showing off his loose tooth, etc. – while the doctor checked my mouth and I had a x-ray done in another room. These dentists were very helpful, reassuring me that nowadays the root canal is the better option, and that they prefer to save the tooth if it is savable, rather than pull it. They took time to explain why the root canal was better and they answered all my questions.

I took some time deciding though, because pain is something I just can’t stand. I couldn’t make up my mind whether enduring the pain of a root canal was preferable to the daily ache I felt in the tooth. I’ve heard so much about how painful a root canal can be. I think one thing that helped me decide was the very friendly customer service I got from the clinic – from the next day check-in call asking how the service was, to having the dentist call me personally with answers to some more questions I had.

After some hemming and hawing, I decided to go for it and set a date to get it done. I chose Sunday so that Glad would be home with the kids. I was so nervous going in, and getting a needle in my jaw first thing didn’t help. I had to wait while half my mouth went numb. The whole left side – cheek, gums, tongue and lips. (If you want to feel something weird, half a mouth is the way to go.)

I tried to lie still and not shake or tense my body. I had to force myself to relax, hard to do when you have to keep your mouth open as wide as possible while it is so numb you can’t feel it. My neck kept tensing up and hurting but I finally figured out how to relax it. At the end of 45 minutes, it was over. They took a mold of my mouth and are making a ceramic cap for the tooth that will be put on in a few days.

And the expected pain? I don’t know if it is the painkillers I’m taking or if it really just doesn’t hurt. I’ve not had any pain. Actually, the thing that has bothered me the most in the past 24 hours is the cut on the side of my tongue that I must have gotten from one of the dental tools.

I feel so much better now that it is done. No more throb or ache in my tooth. No more trying to dig out whatever particle of food happened to be stuck there at the moment. No more avoiding chewing on that side. It’s over.

Now I just have about six other fillings to look forward to.  😦

I Finally Forced Myself To Go To the Dentist and This is What Happened

I hate pain of any sort. I’ve always had a very low pain tolerance level. Even a light headache will send me scrambling for a painkiller because otherwise I will be tossing and turning in bed unable to do anything.

About 12 years ago I got a small cavity in the furthest molar on the bottom left side of my mouth. When I went in to have it filled, the experience was so painful that I never had it refilled when that filling eventually fell out.

Then I got pregnant with Logan and the tooth went from small cavity to gaping hole on one side. And it got worse with each subsequent pregnancy. Most of the time it didn’t hurt. Other times it ached so badly I would cry. I used the excuse that I was pregnant or breastfeeding to not go, but the reality was that I was reluctant to get it fixed because of my earlier painful experience.

A few months ago, the molar directly above it began hurting. Since the pain was off and on, I figured it was a cavity and I slowly worked up the courage I needed to go to a dentist. I kept putting it off, until a few days ago when the pain was so severe that I couldn’t sleep.

I finally went to a local dentist and showed him the two teeth that were hurting. I had a full dental x-ray done (the machine that goes around your head and you have to bite this plastic thing and close your eyes, very weird), and the dentist showed me two things.

First, the huge cavity may or may not be salvageable. A specialist will come and check it out and decide whether a root canal, filling and capping the tooth, would be best, or pulling it out. I still don’t know which I’d prefer, though I’m leaning towards pulling.

Second, the tooth that I thought was a new cavity is not one. The pain I’ve been feeling that extends through my whole jaw and even to my ear is caused by an extra tooth that is up in the gum trying to push its way down on top of the tooth that is already there. There is one on the other side of my mouth as well.

The only solution to end the pain? Surgery to remove the tooth! I’m freaking out at the prospect, but with a pain that doesn’t let me sleep unless I have a hot water bottle, I am ready to do it. The thought of having my mouth sliced open and having to endure days of swelling and pain afterwards is not fun. But being pain-free afterwards is worth it.

Besides, I may just lose some more weight from this, being stuck on a liquid diet until I can eat without pain. I’ll probably be inhaling painkillers like candy for a while.

I’ll keep you posted about how it goes.

Rethinking My Writing Commitment – Doing it Right

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my last post. So much for my commitment to write regularly. I’ve just not been in the mood, nor did I have any ideas about what to write.

I read a lot of other blogs, mostly mommy blogs. Each one is kept up in a way that is particular to the person writing it. And that’s a good thing. What’s bad is that I’ve felt the need to be like those who post several times a week, who never miss a post, who can keep up with all the various memes and link up’s that are out there.

I tried doing that back some time ago when I had 3 separate blogs, before they all got mixed together here on this one.  My childcare/parenting one was a source of continual stress for me, which is why I eventually discontinued it. (You can find the posts from that blog on my page Mommy to Mommy and on the tabs under that page.)

But why do I feel this need to follow the crowd? My blog is my own and should be kept up for my own reasons, not anyone else’s. I think I just need to get back to the original reason why I began this blog: keeping my family up-to-date on the kids and our lives. If I write anything, it should be what I want to write, not what I think the mommy blogger community as a whole would like.

Life has kept me busy lately and that is, I think, more important than trying to come up with the perfect blog post. I’m doing better in some of my other commitments. I got more exercise this month. We are trying out new meal ideas. The house is cleaner because we finally hired a maid. The kids are learning. They love school time so much that they want it every day.

By the time I have time to sit and blog, I’m tired. I’ve tried writing tired before. It doesn’t come out that great. So this reminder is more for myself – just write what you want and leave the rest unwritten. Don’t try to keep up with anyone. Stay true to your own commitments.

September Weight Check-in

Last year when I started on my weight loss journey, I went into it not knowing where I was headed or how I was going to get there. I only knew it was time for me to lose the excess weight I had been lugging around since Scarlett’s birth.

When I made my diet changes back in February of this year and began losing weight right away, I was elated, not to mention sure that it would only take 5 months to get to my normal weight, since I began by losing two kilos in one month. But as the months passed, the weight loss slowed down, which I think is normal. I realized it was going to take longer to get back into shape. (You can go here to see my fitness plan and find links to my monthly check-in posts.)

And now here it is September, and I’m still fighting with myself to get rid of the last few kilos. These are the hardest to shed. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Well, I lost 8 kilos already. I look and feel better. Why push for the last 7?” Why, self? I’ll tell you why. I want to look and feel my best!

From last November until this June, I exercised 6 days a week with very few missed days. Perhaps that is why when July came I began to feel a need for a break from this intense exercise push. I spent most of July resting, doing a little swimming here or a little walking there, but nothing like the intense running and toning I had been doing. In August I meant to pick it up again, but each time I’d start, after a day or two I’d be too tired to get up in the morning and I’d miss the rest of my workouts for the week.

Then we all got sick with the kind of colds that knock you out. Myself and the kids were all so sick all we could do was watch t.v. Of course they began to recover faster than me, since I still had to care for them. If you have kids then you know what I’m talking about. Thankfully we had just hired a maid to help with the housework, so things didn’t get too dirty while I was sick. It’s been 18 days, and we all still have some lingering sniffles, sore throats, coughs, etc. I think it had to do with the weather changes, or perhaps we caught it from the little girl at Logan and Lila’s art class who had a real bad cough and cold. We were at the class on a Saturday and by Monday we were all sick.

Last Sunday, September 1st, was my weigh-in day. I only weigh in once a month. Since I don’t have a scale at home I go to a local (but still not too close) pharmacy that has a digital scale. I don’t really like daily weigh-in’s anyway. The fluctuations would frustrate me. Up until now, each month I’ve gone with trepidation, wondering if I had really lost anything, or worse, had I gained anything back! Each time I was happy to see loss, though the amount did go down over time.

This time, though, I had gained. I guess I wasn’t too surprised. Less exercise and more rest for me equals weight gain. I’m one of those people who has to exercise regularly to keep my weight down. The gain wasn’t much, only 400 grams. I went from being 72.4 kgs. at the beginning of August to 72.8 kgs. at the beginning of September.

I could have let this little gain get me down, but I remembered to be positive and decided that this was just the push I needed to get back to my workouts. Monday I picked up again by going for a run. It was tough. But I’ve done 4 days so far this week and I feel good. I just have to keep telling myself that I CAN do this. I CAN lose the weight and I CAN get down to my goal weight. Only 7 kilos to go!

Time to Recommit

I’ve been in such a writing funk lately. This seems to happen to me every so often – I just don’t feel like writing so I don’t. And then stories and ideas pile up, and before I know it, I’ve got backlogs of stuff that I wanted to share and never did, and then I don’t because more time keeps passing and the stories become dated.

I’ve got to stop doing this! Deep down, I really want to write, but I allow my busyness to get in the way and stop me. Just like I’ve committed to exercise and eating gluten-free (more on that another time), I need to commit to writing on this blog.

So this is my commitment. At least 2 posts a week, unless there is good reason not to.

I haven’t told many people about this, but I want to become a freelance writer. What’s been holding me back? Lots of things. For example, what do I want to write about? Who do I want to send pieces to? Where do I even begin? I’ve been reading up on it from some specific writers blogs, and I have learned a lot. I just need to get over whatever is really holding me back, and get started.

I figure keeping up with my blog is the first step. Then maybe I should try guest posting on some blogs that I read regularly who accept guest posts, just to get in the practice. I’ve just got to do it! Who knows where it could go from there? Obviously I’ll never get paid to write if I don’t ever write.

Now to get started…

July Weight Check-in

Hi everyone. It’s a new month with new challenges. For some reason I’m feeling extra perky today, and I haven’t even had any coffee yet.

Well, I now weigh 73 kgs. (160.6 lbs.). Not a huge amount of weight lost this month, (only 700 gr.) but something is better than nothing, am I right?

Last month I found myself getting bored with the workout routine I was using, so I tried changing it up a bit by doing a little bit of toning after my running instead of doing two separate toning days a week. I feel I need to change it up a bit more, so I’m playing around with my workouts again.

It’s important to not let boredom set in when you are trying to lose weight, or else the easy thing to do would be to just quit. I still have 8 kgs. to lose so there is no way I’m giving up now. Just to show you how my body has changed, have a look at these pics.

Taken December 2012. I was about 79 kgs.

Taken December 2012. I was about 79 kgs.

Taken June 30, 2013. Weight 73 kgs.

Taken June 30, 2013. Weight 73 kgs.

I’ve discovered that for me, even more than daily exercise, I have to really watch my diet and only eat what my body needs and no more. I’ve reached a point where eating small portions and being full with them is easy; and I feel it when I eat even a bite more than I need. That full feeling is there right away preventing me from overdoing it. Sweets no longer have that same tempting hold on me like they did before. I can have a small portion and be done. Well, unless it is PMS time or my kids are stressing me out. Combine the two and the craving for sweets takes over. It can be hard to resist it, too.

Stress eating is so bad for you. I know it happened to me this past month and I think that is part of the reason why I didn’t lose a whole kilo like I did the previous month. But what to do? At least I didn’t gain anything. That would have been a setback for sure!

In a few weeks we will be going to a beach resort with some friends for a weekend, so I am going to push extra hard until then. I especially need to work on my abs. That is my weak area and it needs some serious focus. Now that I am doing well in the cardiovascular area, it is time to give my abs the attention they need.

I still haven’t given up on this goal that I made last year. While I didn’t actually lose any weight last year, I have this year – a whole 6 kilos since February – so I look forward to meeting this goal soon.

June Weight Check-in

(This is the first of several backlog posts. This one should have gone up on June 1st. )

 

It is pouring rain outside as I sit to type this. The worst of the summer heat is over and we are getting a touch of the southern monsoon. Our monsoon won’t start until the end of the month. May brought intense heat this year, with the peak heat being 43oC on Sunday, May 26th. Was I ever happy to be working indoors that day!

Since then the heat has gone down to a more manageable 35 – 37oC. Lots of clouds have meant less direct sun, and more time spent outdoors without having sweat pouring off of you.

In order to beat the heat, I always work out early in the morning, around 6 a.m. Yet it has been muggy at that hour and when I finish my exercise, my clothes look like I have been swimming in them.

My weight loss is picking up again, after the difficulties I had in April. In May I lost 1.1 kgs., bringing my current weight to 73.7 kgs. (As of June 1st.) I’m so happy for this. Slow and steady really is the way to go with weight loss, ‘cause it means the weight doesn’t come back.

I now fit into a size medium for most of my clothes, whereas back in January I was in XL. Over the past few months I’ve stuck with only buying cheap clothes so that I didn’t feel bad about getting rid of them when they got too big, and yes, I’ve already had to change all the stuff I bought at the beginning of the year. But that is a good thing when you are losing weight.

I’ve also moved down a bra size. All my life I wore a 36C, but I didn’t know the proper way to tell if a bra fits or not and that resulted in many uncomfortable bras. I’ve learned that the bra should fit snug on the outermost hooks when you first buy it (and you move in to the other hooks as it gets stretched from use), and the cups should lie smooth with no wrinkles or bunching. It is also important to try on different styles of the same size bra, because some will fit better than others. Try each one you are thinking of buying; it should be so comfortable that you forget you are wearing it. I think I’m now in the size I should have been wearing all along, a 34B. For the first time in my life I feel comfortable in a bra.

This month I will be making some changes to my exercise program to spice it up since boredom is beginning to set in. I’ll let you know how it goes.

We Finally Paid the Internet Bill

It’s been over 4 weeks since I’ve posted, not because I had nothing to say but because our internet was down. Well, we had to pay the bill but money was tight and it had to wait. There were some timely things that needed to be posted but they, of course, had to wait. I’ll be putting them up over the next few days (I did write them) and I’ll mention that it is a backlog post and when it was supposed to have gone up.

Other than that, life is pretty normal right now. Well, almost. School has begun but because of our pending move, we have opted to not enroll the kids for the new school year. The kids and Glad’s passports are at the visa office right now and we are waiting to get them back. After that, we will be free to make our move. Since we have no idea exactly when they will get here, everything else is kind of on hold.

I am doing some reading and pre-writing practice with Logan and Lila, just to keep the idea of “school” in their heads, and also because I want them to make some progress in those areas. Logan was reading well when he finished kindergarten, so we are continuing to practice with the Ladybird reader series. Lila is just learning to read with the same series. Both kids are learning phonics from this phonics website, Starfall.com.

For writing, I got them both some pre-writing practice workbooks. Logan especially needs to get the basic lines down. He was writing letters in kindergarten, both print and cursive, but it was difficult for him as he missed out on this basic training. So I am working slowly with him to get him comfortable with drawing lines. Even something as simple as a top-to-bottom or left-to-right straight line is difficult for him. Hopefully this practice will make it easier for him once he begins grade school.

So today you get two posts; this one and one backlog. The other backlog ones will follow over the next few days.

35, Alive, and Truly Happy

Tomorrow is my 35th birthday.

Time has flown so fast. I feel like my childhood was only a few years ago and now I’m mid-30’s. How did that happen? Where did all those years go?

There was a time when I couldn’t imagine reaching 16. It seemed so old. Then once I was past 16, 25 seemed ancient. I remember thinking my mom was so old when she was in her late 40’s. (Sorry, mom. It’s true.) But now that I’m here, 35 feels so young.

For a long time I felt like I had wasted my best years, my 20’s, by doing so little of nothing in particular. I spent time as a nanny and preschool teacher, but I didn’t feel that was my life’s calling. I traveled, trying to find a place where I felt like … I don’t really know. I wanted to belong, to live, not just endure.

When I came to India 10 years ago, I wasn’t sure how long I’d be here. I spent a lot of time working with kids. It wasn’t bad. I know I was helping them, teaching them, caring for them, etc. Deep down the thing I wanted most at that time was my own family. I spent almost 4 years here before I met Glad. At that time I was ready to leave the country, but now I’m happy I stuck it out.

Everything changed when I started having kids. The past 6 years have been a blur – pregnancies, newborns, toddlers, diapers, feeds, messes; in short, insanity. But you know what? Exhausting as it was, I loved it! I finally felt like I had found what I was looking for.

Now that my kids are getting older, I’m realising that my best years have not been wasted; they are just beginning! The 20’s are about finding yourself, figuring out who you are and what you want out of life.  I spent most of those years worrying that I would never find a husband or someone to love me.

I never gave a thought to trying out a different line of work. I stuck with child care because I was good at it, but it wasn’t what I truly wanted to do. I’m taking time now to figure out what I really want to do. I know I want to write. And I love to create with my hands – crafts and such. With our pending move to Canada, a whole new world is opening up for me.

I feel more relaxed about the way my life is going now that I am in my 30’s. I force myself to stay positive, to stay away from worry or negative thoughts.  I exercise, make time for myself, and feel like I am truly enjoying life. I can honestly say that right now, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m happy with my life the way it is.

While there are always improvements to make, I don’t stress over them. I’ve always been the shy type, and I spent years trying to be outgoing, just because others told me I had to. I tried to will myself to change into an outgoing person, but the stress exhausted me. Now that I’ve accepted myself as I am, and no longer listen to those who tell me I have to be someone else, I’m happy.

This year I’m looking forward to our move and getting settled in what we hope is our permanent home. I look forward to getting settled in a job I enjoy, teaching my kids about a new country (they’ve never been out of India), and seeing my family again.

What do I want for my birthday? Nothing really. There isn’t anything I need. My only desire is a happy, healthy family, and perhaps a solid nights sleep. 🙂

So 35, I’m not afraid of you. I’ll see you soon.

May Weight Check-in

It’s come round again; time to check my weight and see how I’ve done with my weight loss this past month.

April was a rather difficult month for me. Like I wrote about in this post, I struggled with unfounded fears, panic attacks, and mood swings. It isn’t easy to explain what I was feeling ’cause it was all so weird and abnormal. I’ve never had such intense fears that I couldn’t explain, nor have I ever had a panic attack in my life. Do read the above-linked post so you can understand what I’m talking about better.

Once the problem got sorted out, I slowly began to feel more like myself. My moods have balanced out, the fears are gone (though I confess a hint of them still hovers around the edges), and the panic attacks are gone. But my body has been through heavy struggles, so I found myself reducing or skipping my exercise this month. I also found myself eating more than I should, with the result that I didn’t lose as much weight as I did the previous two months.

At the April check in I weighed 75.2 kgs. (165.4 lbs.). Now I weigh 74.8 kgs. (164.5 lbs.). I only lost 400 grams, not quite half a kilo, this whole month. But I’m not viewing this as a failed month. No, I learned a little more about my body, how it reacts to being poisoned (really, read this post if you didn’t yet), and I can see where I need to change my workout program.

Now that I’m feeling much better than I was, I’ve started on a new workout plan, one that will help me improve my running. I was already running for 2 minutes at a time for 40 minutes, but it started getting too easy, to the point that is was no longer a challenge. So I was reading Women’s Health Magazine and found this plan that takes you from walking to being able to run for 30 minutes straight.

I began on week four, since I was already doing 2 minutes at a time. Week four starts from 3 minutes, and moves you up to 8 minutes by the end of the week. Today I did the second running day which was 5 minutes at a time, and I was pleasantly surprised by how I was able to do it. There are specific toning workouts they include, but many require equipment that I don’t have, so I’m sticking with my current toning workout, especially since I’m still building into it. You can see how I plan to use this running plan on My Fitness Journey page.

According to this plan, I will be able to run for 30 minutes straight in the next 3 weeks. It sounds great, and I hope it will help me trim down more as I continue with healthy eating and portion control.

What changes have you made in your health and fitness this month?

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