You Gotta Fight, For Your Right…

I was diagnosed with type-1 Diabetes when I was 4-years old. And even before that, the majority of my existence was spent in hospitals as my older brother was unfortunately blessed with a failing body that caused issues more often than not. So it stands to reason that I’ve seen almost all of the good, bad and ugly within the Canadian healthcare system

Nowhere else in my life do I enjoy such an intense love/hate relationship with a person or entity as I do with the healthcare industry. Anyone who knows me, recognizes that one of the biggest pet peeves in my life has been the need to “convince” a healthcare professional that there’s something wrong or that I’m injured. Today’s healthcare system is almost a revolving door of treating symptoms as quickly and easily as possible and shuffling folks out the door.

Just to be clear, this isn’t the case in ALL situations. My personal physician is a wonderful, attentive woman who has always given me the best care. It’s just unfortunate that she’s located in a city that’s three hours away from me by virtue of my time as a Mountie. It makes it pretty hard to walk in for something on the fly, without scheduling an appointment weeks down the road.

Yesterday, I woke up for the third day in a row in my living room lounger. Cramped, stiff and in pain, it took several minutes of moving around in order to get good blood flow and loosen up my back. This is the result of a strike to the ribs I took during karate class, all the way back on April 2. Although I had seen a doctor a couple of weeks ago, the muscle relaxants I was given did nothing and I was in bad need of a good night’s sleep.

Since the lack of sleep was starting to affect my work, my cognitive abilities and last but not least, my overall fucking mood, I made the decision that I had to get back into. The clinic and see the same doctor for a follow up. There were no scheduled appointments available, so I took a half day off of work and made my way there as a walk-in patient. Besides the usual wait and delayed response in being brought in to the examining room, the doctor walked in and I was able to remind him of the injury and that I was still in serious pain.

His offer was for a stronger muscle relaxant in order to help me sleep. Although this is good in theory, it doesn’t answer the important question of what, exactly is the injury and what can be done to repair it. Despite having been x-rayed, I was only imaged at the back. There’s a very real possibility that a rib is broken/fractured at the front and the lancing pain has me believing it’s at the back. If it’s a torn muscle, it could potentially require surgery to repair. None of these issues seemed to faze the doctor in the least.

I tried to put myself in the doctor’s shoes… After all, having your bicycle stolen off your front lawn may be devastating to you but to the police officer who deals with assaults and murders, it likely isn’t high on their list. This is somewhat akin to that. But his wantonness to simply treat the symptom without examining the cause vexed me, to the point where I thanked him for his time and explained I would find a different doctor to examine the issue. It wasn’t until that was said, that he opted to send me for an ultrasound to see what may be happening inside.

I’m a pretty easy guy in general rot get along with. But one thing a person should never have to do is FIGHT to have treatment when it’s available. I know that some areas of the world don’t have the level of medical care we have here, in Canada. I also know that even just 100 years ago, many people would have suffered indefinitely because of simple things because the technology and knowledge just wasn’t there. But this is 2022, people! If I tell you there’s pain, let’s figure out why!

The good and bad is that I took the stronger muscle relaxant last night and actually got a full night’s sleep (hence how late i the morning this post is). The bad part is that since I slept without waking, I never adjusted when I was in a position that may have aggravated the injury and as a result, I woke up stiffer than ever. As with all things in life, this too, shall pass. The question remains as to how long that will take and how hard I’ll have to fight to get treatment. ☯️

Spicing Things Up…

I grew up in a French Acadian household, which meant that our family’s solution to feeding several individuals was tossing meat, potatoes and various vegetables into a large pot and stewing it until it congealed. It wasn’t all bad but whenever we went to my grandparents for Sunday lunch, that was almost EXCLUSIVELY the meal we had. If we were lucky, dinner rolls would be served as well, which is where I developed my weird affinity for a buttered roll will mustard.

But even within my immediate household, spices and flavourings were never really a thing. My older brother’s illnesses kept him from eating anything spicy and my father and I have ALWAYS had stomach issues (I had ulcers as a child) so our meals, although varied, usually lacked a little “oomph.” Ever try eating baked fish without ANY spices or seasonings? Not quite my thing…

That’s why when I got older and ventured out into the world on my own, I started to indulge in the hottest foods I could find. This included a rather unfortunate incident in Ottawa when I ate at an Indian restaurant and nearly threw up from the excessive spicy food I ingested. Worth it. Totally worth it. Obviously, spicy food can mean more than just bringing the heat and I’d like to go over some of those spicy facts, today.

One of the consistent things I’ve read about spicy food is that it potentially speeds up your metabolism and slows down your appetite. This can be helpful during one’s fitness journey and trying to achieve weight-loss goals. The effects aren’t massive, mind you but every little nit can help. The spicy spices, like chili peppers, have even been reported by some sites as helping to slow and destroy cancer cells. Kinda makes it seem like all those spineless meals during my childhood had me missing out…

Obviously, when I say spices I mean all varieties, hot or not. Some spices have been shown to have positive medicinal effects, as well. But if we’re talking strictly about hot spices, it’s important to remember that in order for there to be a balance, there has to be some bad to the good. Consuming large amounts of hot, spicy foods can cause some nasty and unwanted short-term effects,

Some of those effects can include stomach pains and diarrhea. This usually happens because your nervous system gets overexcited at the heat you’re bringing. Depending on your digestion, you can also experience heartburn. Contrary to what was believed years ago, spicy foods won’t cause stomach ulcers and can actually be helpful in preventing them. But as with all things in life, it’s about moderation and knowing what your body can handle. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m craving buffalo chicken bites…☯️

A Barbecued Update…

Get It? Barbecue? As in, barbecued ribs? Because my ribs are injured? Okay, maybe I was reaching on that one but i know some people that would have found that incredibly hilarious. But I digress… Since it’s been about three weeks since it happened, I figured it would be time to provide a cursory update on how my injuries are faring. For those who may not have read the previous posts, I took a straight punch to the left ribs during a weekend karate seminar, which led me to believe I had a fracture. It’s been a brutal few weeks. Here’s the breakdown…

The injury happened on the Sunday and on the Monday morning following the incident, I had to “turtle” my way out of bed. That means I had to rock myself back and forth so that I could essentially roll off the bed. I had no strength or balance on the left side of my body and every movement, breath and step i took shot pain throughout my entire body. Good times. I was lucky enough to be working from home that day, so I was able to at least work in the comfort of my home.

The following day, after recognizing that it was a passing ache that would subside over a day or two, I contacted the dojo and let them know I would be out of commission until I could have the injury assessed and figure out exactly what was happening. This left me with a bit of a conundrum. I don’t have a family doctor, so I had the choice of either trying to go to the emergency room and waiting for an entire day to have some over-exhausted and under-staffed doctor tell me it was a pulled muscle and to take ibuprofen or try and get the services I needed through a walk-in, which would be less of a wait but the unfamiliarity of the doctor combined with the lack of laboratory and x-ray services on site would be an issue. This wasn’t the kind of thing I wanted to prolong over days.

My wife had the idea of giving me a scheduled appoint she had made for herself on the Friday. It was with a doctor who normally sees our son Nathan, so there was some familiarity. I saw him on God Friday and the clinic actually had an x-ray attached, so I would be in good shape. However, the x-ray clinic wasn’t staffed on a statutory holiday. I had to return the following morning but I was given the time of day and actually got the x-ray as well as some prescription-grade anti-inflammatory pills and muscle relaxants.

After an extensive wait, I was able to check the results of the x-rays online where the doctor determined that there was no fracture or break of the ribs. Okay, great. This likely meant it was damage to the muscle wall over the ribs, but I’m not a doctor. I had no idea how to expedite healing this injury. I did what anyone in my position would do; I went online. Most sources seemed to recommend the same thing: rest and applying heat and/or cold to the affected area. There are a few problems with this.

Health and fitness is a kept skill. One can’t simply say, “Oh, great! I’ve reached my ideal weight or fitness goal. Now, I can let myself go and relax…” Even once you reach your goals, it’s important to continue working at it or else you risk losing muscle mass, gaining weight and having your overall health go off the rails. As it’s been a few weeks of taking it easy and resting up, my muscles have started becoming weaker and I’ve lost some mass. The only silver lining is that my blood sugars have remained basically unaffected.

I stopped taking the anti-inflammatory pils I was prescribed when I discovered they were causing heavy nose bleeds. I won’t get into the details of the hows and whys, but the photo above shows how I got a pretty nasty nose bleed during my lunch hour, at work. I was just fortunate enough that none of the blood landed on the tie. You can tell that some of the blood lightly toughed the fringe of the suit jacket, but I was able to brush it clean. Overall, it’s been a pain in the ass… Or a pain in the ribs, I suppose.

It’s slow-going and a work in progress. I can get in and out of bed and in and out of chairs without crying like a little bitch, which is a plus. I’m getting SOME sleep, despite needing to frequently move from the bed to the lounger back and forth due to the discomfort. I know there are worse injuries out there and I could be dealing with much worse. That doesn’t lessen or take away from what I’m currently dealing with. I just can’t wait to get out there and start getting back into karate and get my bicycle out. There’ll be some rebuilding to do, once everything has healed up. ☯️

My Vices Have Me In A Vice…

We all have bad habits. Each and every one of us. If you claim NOT to have bad habits, being in denial is your bad habit. Truth. For myself, I’ve had several throughout the course of my life. I’ve been fortunate enough that my vices have never been extreme, severe or had lasting negative effects. Until recently…

For quite a long time, I used to enjoy a good cigar. This came about as a calming exercise when dealing with some of my PTSD-related issues. I came to enjoy it, and there’s nothing quite like lounging in the shade on a warm summer day, puffing away comfortably on a good cigar. Eventually, I came to find that it affected my overall lung capacity (even though you aren’t supposed to inhale a cigar) so I quit.

One of my other unfortunate vices, is the tendency to kick back with an “adult” beverage when I get home. In recent years, there’s been something liberating about knowing that once I’m home, I’m home and I’m not on call and there‘s no risk of my needing to leave the house. It became progressively easier to have supper, do dishes and then kick back and pour a glass. Over time, I moved from the occasional beer to the occasional spirits, since they tend to be carb-free.

It wasn’t until my recent visit to my endocrinologist that I discovered my potassium levels were quite high. I’ve written about this in a previous post but in summary, we discussed various food and drink items that may be causing the higher levels and I agreed to cut back on all of them. I was also prescribed a temporary “water pill” to help flush out the excess potassium.

It isn’t until I was doing some research for one of my posts (while enjoying a stiff Brandy, no less) that I landed upon a number of articles that addressed increased levels of potassium. Turns out that alcohol consumption can cause your muscle tissue to break down. This leads to the release of high amounts of potassium in to one’s bloodstream.

You might be thinking, “Isn’t potassium good for you?” The answer is yes, yes it is. But as with all other things in life, it all comes down to balance. Too much potassium in the bloodstream is know as “hyperkalemia” and can usually be treated, hence the water pills. But continued, increased levels of potassium can be very hard on the heart and can lead to a batch of other nasty effects.

To add shit to the pile, people with Diabetes are at higher risk for hyperkalemia. In keeping with the concept that we tend to cause our own suffering, it appears that my own vice, as carb-free and relaxing as it has been, is the root cause of my increased potassium levels. So, yet another vice that I’m cutting out. And that’s not a bad thing.

I can’t help but think I would have learned this sooner, had my doctor asked about my alcohol consumption. Although I don’t drink to excess, my occasional drinks every few nights a a week likely didn’t help my potassium levels. All one can do is live and learn. Does it mean I’ll never enjoy a nice drink on the weekends or after work? Of course not. I’ll simply be more mindful and be sure to keep the amounts nominal. Sometimes, the simplest solutions yield the best results. ☯️

Get A KICK Out Of This Story…

Sometimes I look back on my younger years and I become nostalgic for the past. During my youth, I never travelled much or wandered far from the comforting confines of Northern New Brunswick but it continues to surprise me how full a life one can have, even living in such a small environment. And no environment could have given me as much as my home. Here’s one of the memories drifting to the surface of my psych. Buckle up…

This story takes me all the way back to 1989. I was 11-years old and my older brother had another two years of life ahead of him. My health was waning and life wasn’t going so well for me. Increased insulin-resistance and the development of ulcers in my stomach saw me hospitalized almost as much as my brother. in fact, we often shared a hospital room together. I’ll let you decide whether that’s cool or just a little bit sad. But I digress…

I was in 7th grade and we had oral presentation to give in class on a topic of our choosing. As was usually my choice, I spoke about Type-1 Diabetes, its causes and how it’s treated. Because of the number of students, we had two separate 7th grade classes; 7A and 7B. I was in 7A. Didn’t mean I was smarter or further ahead. I think it went by alphabetical order. Anyway, on the third day of presentations when we were all done, the teacher announced that someone from 7B would be sharing his presentation with us.

In walked my friend Guillaume. My Sensei’s son. Friend and adoptive brother. He was asked by the teacher to share the same presentation as he had to his class in exchange for bonus points. Considering she found the presentation worthy enough to share with another class, I had difficulty grasping WHY he would need bonus points, but whatever kept me from doing actual work was fine by me, back then.

Guillaume went on to give a presentation about Uechi Ryu karate, how long he had been practicing it and the benefits it provided him in life, thus far. He capped off his presentation with a demonstration of a form, or kata, which I now know as well. While the rest of the class was busy snickering at the movement and making fun of him, I was captivated by what I was seeing. The flow, the movement, the gracefulness… My eyes were open to the potential of what I was seeing.

It was at this point that I had called Guillaume at home and asked about class times and location. I joined the same month. I had tried other styles and attempted different things, but none struck quite as deep in my soul as Uechi Ryu did. I would go on to study Uechi for the next 33 years. It would ultimately save my life and help forge me into the person I am today. All of that from a simple ten-minute presentation in class. Nice.

Our instincts provide for more than we usually assume. And as the old saying goes, we often find our destiny on the road we least thought to travel. All things happen for a reason. If the teacher hadn’t asked Guillaume to share his presentation with out class, I might have never been exposed to Uechi Ryu. I likely never would have joined. And my health may have continued to deteriorate to an uncorrectable level. Who knows? I certainly don’t. I just know to appreciate life as it’s been offered and continue to live life with no regrets. ☯️

You Shouldn’t Drink Poison Just Because You’re Thirsty…

Anyone who’s read any number of my posts already know that the reduction/elimination of suffering is kinda my jam. Not only for myself but for others, as well. Life doesn’t make this easy, although some might argue that this simply represents a balance to life. After all, we wouldn’t recognize the light if not for the darkness, right?

Trying to navigate our way in life can be made all the more difficult when there are toxic people in our environment. I’ve dealt with more than my fair during my younger years. It never helped that I was significantly more timid in the years leading up to becoming a peace officer and before karate instilled a sense of self in me that I didn’t have before.

My point is that when someone is toxic and to be clear, this toxicity can be subjective to you, it takes away your positive energy, drags you down and makes you feel as though life is all that much harder. When I say it’s subjective, I mean that what’s toxic for one person may be perfectly fine for another. I believe an example is in order…

I once dated a girl that was a frequent drug user. Nothing out of this world and nothing with the level of seriousness that would require Will Smith and Martin Lawrence to suddenly jump on the scene. But serious enough that it bothered me. The worst part was when I brought it this person’s attention, only to have them snub me and disregard my thoughts and feelings.

Although that may sound a bit like modern snowflake thinking, the negativity and toxicity that person exuded affected all aspects of my life and worked towards dragging me down. But to someone like-minded and who also does it, her occasional recreational use of drugs would have seemed perfectly normal and the other person would likely have joined in. See? Subjective. Ultimately, I broke up with her when I walked into her house the one day and caught her in bed with another dude. Toxic, indeed.

This is but one example of different times in my life where I’ve had associations, either friendships or jobs, that imposed a negative energy on me and made life difficult. When it comes to. A job, it can be hard to walk away from a toxic environment, especially if it’s your only means of income. But believe me when I say that it isn’t worth it.

In the same way that you shouldn’t drink poison just because you’re thirsty, you shouldn’t maintain friendships that bring a negative element or toxicity into your life. It can be difficult, but learning to walk away will have you faring SO much better. Life is short. Ain’t no time for all that bullshit. Take care of yourselves first, and surround yourselves with people and an environment conducive to a positive existence. Food for thought… ☯️

Dolor Maximus… Non Dormiunt…

I promise that I’ll stop bitching about my ribs. Maybe not anytime soon, but I will. I guess I’m just not used to being in a constant state of pain with nothing I can really do to alleviate it. I’m suddenly far more sympathetic for my father’s situation, not that I wasn’t before. The point is, the past week and a half have presented their fair share of challenges and some of them were worse than others. Allow me to explain. For those who may not have read my posts in the last week or so, I suffered an injury to my left flank while sparring with one of my fellow black belts over a weekend seminar. I stepped in with an attack using my left arm and my skilled opponent managed to duck around and punch straight into my torso, causing a sharp burst of pain and taking the breath out of me.

Luckily, we were one of the last matches before we broke for lunch so I was able to change and make my way home. I didn’t make the afternoon session as my left side felt swollen with a sharp pain every time I moved, breathed, sneezed, coughed or swallowed. At the time, I assumed that perfect it was simply a pain of the moment; that it would pass by the following day. I was wrong. Oh, boy, was I wrong! When I awoke on the Monday morning, I could barely move. I had to do that thing that turtles do, where I shifted my weight back and forth, in order to get up. My morning routine was brutal and the pain seemed to have gotten worse instead of better. I began to contemplate that perhaps I had fractured a rib.

I started to contemplate the possibility. It takes roughly 3,000 to 4,000 Newtons of Force to fracture or break a rib, which translates to a punch of about 675 psi (pounds per square inch). This would make sense, since martial artists our trained to punch with almost equivalent force to a boxer’s average punch of approximately 770 psi. That being the case, there was a definite possibility that my skilled opponent fractured something. On the other hand, the pain was somewhat different from the pain I felt back in 2011 when I suffered a confirmed fracture on my right side. Bottom line, I had to figure out if there was an actual break or not.

I decided to give it the Monday, as it was possible that the pain would still pass. I wasn’t completely debilitated, so I made my way to work and put in my day as usual. I emailed the dojo to let them know I would be absent for some time while I recovered. When Tuesday came, I noticed that the pain was getting worse. This suggested something muscular to me but as I often say, I’m not a doctor. My wife had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the coming Friday that she no longer required. Instead of cancelling it, she called in and had it switched to my name instead.

Friday might have seemed like a long time to wait but trying to go to the ER for my current condition would be far worse. It would a require a wait time of six to eight hours at minimum, followed by an exhausted ER doctor who may not have the wherewithal to order an x-ray and would like send me on my way with some ibuprofen. No, thank you! It was better for me to go about my week without attending karate, allow myself to heal and take advantage of a scheduled appointment where the doctor might be more receptive to comment and suggestions. You can read about how that appointment went here.

In case you don’t have time to go back and read that post, I’ll simply say that it was a statutory holiday last Friday and while I was able to get in and see a doctor, the x-ray clinic was closed and I returned the next day in order to have my rib cage imaged. Now, the doctor said something that seriously gets on my nerves… He indicated he would call me IF he found a break or fracture. I asked him to contact me even if there wasn’t to confirm, to which he reiterated that he’d only call if he found something. When I asked how long I should wait, he said he couldn’t give me a definitive timeline; it would happen after he received the images and had time to assess them. Maybe in the next week or so.

The issue I take with such a statement, is that I’m sitting here in pretty serious pain and with every passing day, I’m wondering if a phone call will be forthcoming. This can be nerve-wracking. The only solace I take from this whole thing is that there really isn’t anything they do for a broken rib. You just gotta ride it out. He mentioned that if he didn’t call, it was simply muscle damage and there’s nothing to be done for that either but to take some anti-inflammatory pills and let it heal. Great. Yesterday morning, I finally got frustrated with waiting after a seriously ridiculous night without sleep and checked my online e-health file. The imaging results were noted as no visible fracture. Good news. Except that I’m still in pain.

On Tuesday morning, I had an incident where my nose started to bleed like a faucet again. I thought nothing of it, got cleaned up and went to work. Then sometime after lunch, my nose bled heavily again and stained the dress shirt I was wearing. Bloody fucking hell… pun fully intended. I decided to look up potential causes for nose bleeds and found consistent messaging that anti-inflammatory meds will often cause nose bleeds, and I just HAPPEN to be on one that’s prescription grade. I discontinued the anti-inflammatory immediately. I don’t even know if it was helping but I knew I didn’t want to be dripping blood all over the place.

On Tuesday night, I went to bed around 10 pm, hoping that the muscle relaxant would at least allow me to get some sleep. By about 1:30 the following morning, I threw in the towel and made my way out to the living room. There was literally no position that was comfortable and that didn’t cause sharp pain throughout my body. I sat in my leather lounger with my feet up on a foot stool. The difference this made is my weight wasn’t bearing down on my rib cage. I fell asleep and managed to wake up several hours later. I wouldn’t say I was refreshed but at least i got some rest. The lounger also isolates my movements so there isn’t a whole bunch of moving around.

The moral of the story today folks, is that even a minor injury can cause some issues. If there’s no break or fracture of the ribs, I have to assume that I suffered some muscle damage when I got punched, which honestly, makes all my painful theatrics seem a little excessive. but at least the recovery time should be significantly lower, with ribs requiring at least six weeks to heal and muscles may only take a few. Since it’s only been about a week and a half, I shouldn’t be surprised that it still hurts. But with some temperature treatment, continued rest and taking care of the area, I should be back to normal in short order. The real challenge will come from reconditioning myself and getting back into the dojo. But that’s a battle for another day. ☯️

Food For Thought…

I’ve seen this photo making the rounds on social media and online I general, lately. The message is sound and applies so much in modern life. It’s human nature to want to put something right, fix things or want things to remain the way they were. But more and more as time goes on, we come to see that if we hold on too tightly, we hurt ourselves worse than anything else could. That’s when you gotta let that shit go. Much like the photo where blood circulation is only restored once the rope is released, your soul can only find peace once you let go of the things weighing you down. Food for thought…☯️

Some Further Ribbing…

Last Friday morning, I had a doctor’s appointment to try and figure out if the constant, piercing pain in my side is actually the result of a broken rib or simply something muscular. After all, getting punched straight into the ribcage would no doubt crush/bruise some muscle tissue, as well. It’s been a pretty disappointing week. The pain has kept me from sleeping or sitting comfortably. The only positive aspect is I’ve been shoving fluids down my throat, non-stop for the past couple of weeks to keep from coughing. On Saturday evening while watching television, I sneezed unexpectedly and almost passed out from the pain.

My visit to the doctor’s visit was inconclusive so he had me scheduled for x-rays to try and examine the injury. Since it was Good Friday, the x-ray clinic wasn’t open until the following day, so an appointment was made. On Saturday morning I returned to the clinic and they took several shots of my torso, facing different directions. The technician was able to say that she couldn’t see any obvious break but that the doctor would examine the x-rays and get back to me. Since it was the weekend, she advised it likely wouldn’t be until Tuesday before I heard anything. Guess what day it is?

Obviously, I didn’t hear anything back yesterday and it’s still the wee hours of the morning. But if it IS muscular, there’s nothing to be done but rest, take it easy and let it heal. Ironically, even if my rib is fractured, there’s nothing to be done other than let it heal, as well. The only thing worse than being hurt is having nothing that can be done about it. the only silver lining is I was provided with anti-inflammatory pills and muscle relaxants. The latter has allowed me to at least get some sleep at night, but my mobility and ability to do anything but the mildest things around the house and at work are still hindered.

My inspiration to write has also been somewhat hindered. It’s hard to focus when your entire torso is piercing with pain. Hopefully, this passes soon. Besides the fact that I’m missing a HUGE amount of karate, right when I was finding my groove and really getting back into it, I’m not doing much physically, which is playing havoc with my blood sugars, my weight, everything… As I always say, life doesn’t care about one’s plan. I’ll blow the dust off once I’m cleared to resume. Hopefully, that happens before the roads are clear and dry so I can start out on the bicycle. ☯️

An inconvenient “Tooth”

As life isn’t harsh enough living with Type-1 Diabetes, I’m sure I don’t need to remind everyone that Diabetes affects just about every system in the body. On Wednesday, I had a dental appointment. For the most part, I take pretty good care of my oral health. I brush every morning and evening and floss as often as I can. But even that can fall short of what’s required, depending on the circumstances. Since I changed jobs last year, I found myself without dental insurance for a period of time. And since I’m cheap to a fault, i refused to pay for dental visits until my new coverage kicked back in. I would regret that decision…

Since I hadn’t been to a dentist’s office in over a year and had taken no x-rays of my teeth in about five years, I accepted the full gamut. They took x-rays of my teeth and without even opening my mouth, the hygienist recognized that there would be some serious work to be done to remove all the plaque. I was in the chair for almost two hours while the hygienist scaled and cleaned my teeth. bear in mind that this was with an injured back and being in severe pain.

When the cleaning was done and the dentist came in to perform his examination, it was determined that I had receding gums over one of my bottom teeth. He issued a referral to a periodontist, which kind of pissed me off since he didn’t discuss it with me or ask if I wanted to be referred. It was until I was alone with the hygienist that she explained that they would assess the situation with my gums and any further action would totally be my choice. But based on how those procedures have been described to me and how painful they’re supposed to be, I’m kind of sceptical. I’ve had enough pain in my life…

Maintaining good oral hygiene is about far more than just preventing cavities or gum disease. Bad oral hygiene has been linked to heart disease, with bacteria and plaque making their way into the blood stream and causes all sorts of chaos. That same bacteria has been linked with respiratory problems, increased risk of infection and even erectile dysfunction. Makes you think twice about skipping that tooth brushing session, eh?

Cue the part where Diabetes comes in. Since Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, gum disease is more prominent among people with Diabetes. Lovely, eh? that same gum disease can also make it harder to control one’s blood sugar. I’ve never noticed an issue in that regard but it’s just one more thing to worry about. Honestly, the gums that are receding have been doing so for over 25 years. I’m doubtful that I’ll put myself through the pain and difficulty of grafting a cover. I’d rather have the tooth removed, if I’m being honest. Take care of your teeth, folks. You only get the one set (as an adult). ☯️