i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Date With Dental Surgery

a couple of days ago i had dental surgery. this was a new experience for me, as i've never undergone a surgical procedure. i was scheduled for implants on both sides of the bottom part of my teeth. also, i was sedated, again, for the first time. as such, i was required to have an escort take me to & from the hospital. another first for me.

the surgery took place at jacobi hospital in the bronx, which is where i go for primary care. a trusted friend generously accompanied me to my 1:00 pm tuesday appointment. oddly enough, i was unafraid. i felt anxious & nervous, but not scared. in fact, i was ready for the unknown.

my spiritual practice includes daily prayer & regular meditation. a loving god has kindly placed people in my path who humbly shared their experiences with me. i felt neither alone nor unique. i'm proud of myself for the willingness to simply show up & try to be present.

as i was being strapped into the dental chair like a mummy, my body began to tighten up. yes, i was uncomfortable. the iv stung a little but the nurses were pleased with the ease the fluids entered my veins. i felt the numbness take over me. although i enjoyed the sensation i didn't like being powerless over the drugs going through me. after they gave me some gas i was out pretty quickly.

i honestly don't remember the dentist inserting the implants in my mouth. initially i was told the procedure would be about an hour but was later informed it would take "not that long." when i awakened i felt drowsy, sluggish & unpleasant. my mouth was sore & swollen. i could barely finish a sentence & hardly recognized where i was.

eventually, i was given a cold pack, information sheet & prescriptions for pain medication. i took a nap on the crowded & noisy train. when i got home all i wanted to do was sleep. but i stopped at the health food store to get some ice cream, organic yogurt - i dislike yogurt - & soup, because soft foods are recommended for the first couple of days.

its almost 1:00 am thursday & despite my outright defiance, i've tried to follow the suggestions of my dental team. they called me yesterday to make sure i was ok & remind me to come in next week for a follow up. i am so hungry right now. i want to eat something solid but my intention is to do the right thing for the right reason.

...who knew pain could lead to spiritual maturity?


Williams Schermer said...

You are probably eating your favorite snacks and dishes now since the implants turned out fine and strong. It shows that, when you obey the dental team's advice like eating soft food, the results will turn out better.

Pierre Cardan said...

“Every pain is a lesson.” – Once in awhile, we have to feel pain to grow and become a better person. And with regards to what you’ve been through, no matter how much you want to eat the food you’ve been craving for, you need to have self-control and eat only what your dentist recommended. Which, you actually managed to do. Well done! In the end, you realized that everything’s truly worth the sacrifice. :)

Williams Schermer said...

I’m glad that you were able to get implants immediately. How was your recovery? Usually, patients who undergo dental implant operations experience swelling and bleeding for the next 4-6 days. One tip to make the healing process faster is to refrain from doing any strenuous activity and take medication for faster recovery. Also avoid pushing the implant with your tongue.

Dr. Douglas Barker said...

Cosmetic Dentistry is something that is helpful in lifting your drop jaw and loss skin. Due to missing tooth skin get fall and left overall impression on your face, which can be not good as your face can be. Simply consult with your nearest dentist to know more about cosmetic dentistry.

Peter Nguyen said...

Great transformation, this all become possible after you beat your fear of dentist, therefore it can good to say beautiful smile is the award of beating dental fear. Congrats for your new smile. I also recommend to consult with experienced and best dentist to ensure your treatment in a safe hands.