My favorite "pocket Rosary." Durable. Washable. And with a Franciscan touch!

Small Success: A Dental Breakdown

Thursdays at begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

In a nutshell, this week’s success is surviving yesterday’s Dental Visit from Hell.

I noticed at the beginning of June that the crown that was replaced in the summer of 2012 was beginning to come loose. I did not wait. I called for an appointment right away. They wouldn’t deal with my crown when I went in the day before graduation, saying I had to see the hygienist first and maybe it would fall out during cleaning, which would be better than having them force it out. I waited 2 more weeks for that appointment, only to be told to hang in there until it fell out on its own. They did make an appointment for me for August 24, however.

At that point in June I was 4 weeks away from a professional conference, where the last thing you want is to look like a hockey player for photo opportunities with your boss. The office staff at the dentist’s office was unswayed. Fortunately, the tooth stayed put. Wiggly, but still in my mouth.

Authors of the CatholicMom's Prayer Companion at the Catholic Writers Guild, July 2016. @franciscanmom
Authors of the CatholicMom’s Prayer Companion at the Catholic Writers Guild, July 2016

I have been babying that stupid tooth all summer long. No corn on the cob for me this year. I would worry that it would fall out during the night and I’d swallow it. Finally, last Wednesday night, I sneezed, and that was it for the tooth. (“No, it didn’t shoot across the room,” I had to tell my kids, who were gleefully imagining that dramatic scenario. It would have at least made for a better story.)

The dentist’s office couldn’t or wouldn’t find a way to move my appointment up.

So yesterday I went in there, having looked like a hockey player (it’s a canine tooth) all week, with my tooth in a sandwich bag.

Then the torture began.

My favorite "pocket Rosary." Durable. Washable. And with a Franciscan touch!


I had my rosary in my pocket. I didn’t take it out, but my hand was right there by my pocket and I just counted off the Hail Marys. 7 decades’ worth. After that, I lost track. I couldn’t even concentrate on the words of the prayers. They worked on me for quite a while before deciding that Novocaine might be a good idea.

I was just sitting there with my eyes closed to keep out the giant light that was right in my face. Enduring. Opening my mouth and biting down, on command.

And then, while my eyes were shut, I was asked to “open” and in went an impression tray thick with goo. There was no warning. (I’m practically having a post-traumatic panic attack just typing this.)

I was still shaking, hours later. It took 3 Advil after I got home to dull the pain. I felt like I had to keep my hand over my mouth for over an hour, because it hurt so much, and for some reason my brain told me I needed to do that. And for what? A temporary crown for the next 15 days–so still, no corn on the cob. Nothing that requires me to bite. If I eat pizza, it’ll be with a knife and fork.

Some offering-up happened, and I hope that helped the people for whom I was suffering.

I’m still kind of sore, so if you can use a little suffering on your behalf, say the word. I’ll share a prayer and maybe hope that this pain can mean something to someone.

And when this is all over, when the new crown is in and the 2 cavities are filled, when TheKid’s molars have been sealed and I’ve paid the bills that were not in the budget, I’ll be going on the hunt for a new dentist. I’ve broken up with dentists over less than this.

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800


Share your Small Successes at by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Worth Revisit: High Anxiety

Dentist appointment today! The same loose crown I was dealing with just about 3 years ago is, once again, loose. 2 weeks ago I went to the dentist to have them fix it, only to be told that if they removed it then, it might not be able to go right back in (and the day before your kid’s graduation is not the day to be looking like a hockey player). I unsuccessfully fought back tears as I made the appointment for today, to see the hygienist, get X-rays, and maybe have this crown fall out in the process and maybe they’ll be able to fix it today, but maybe not, in which case I’ll look like a hockey player at my kid’s graduation party.

There was anxiety to spare yesterday, and there’s plenty this morning as well. I’m offering my struggles with this for a young lady who’s also had a tough time with anxiety recently. I hope, at least, that my suffering will do a little good for someone this way.

From the Anxiety Archives for Worth Revisit Wednesday, I bring you some food for thought from 2011:

Remember that prayer that was on all those posters in the 70s: “Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen today that you and I together can’t handle”?

Photo via Text added in PicMonkey.
Photo via Text added in PicMonkey.

I’ve been letting anxiety get the better of me a little (a lot?) more than usual recently. And really, this has got to stop. When I was talking about this with a good friend, she mentioned that, lately, she has been making an effort to pray when anxiety starts to overcome her. She asks God to help her hand over the situation, to guide her words and actions.

Good advice.

But I don’t want to pray that prayer from the 70s posters. To be honest, I find that prayer a little arrogant.

As Father Cavanagh says in the movie Rudy, “I have come up with only two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I’m not him.”

Better to pray that God will guide me through a situation. I prefer this prayer, attributed to Father Mychal Judge, OFM, who perished in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center:
Lord, take me where you want me to go;
Let me meet who you want me to meet;
Tell me what you want me to say, and
Keep me out of your way.
There’s only one thing I may need to add to that: “Keep my foot out of my mouth.”


worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!