Thursday, September 5, 2013

Losing my sense of taste/Discovering my inner little person

My trips to the dentist are always entertaining. Today, the hygienist noticed something strange along my gums above my two front teeth. I immediately braced myself for news of needing a root canal and thousands of dollars worth of pain. She called the dentist in and he asked if I'd had pressure applied there. I watched his face contort as I explained being crossfaced. In his thick, Austrian accent, he warned me not to hold that position too long, or I might lose my sense of taste.

"Whoa whoa gotta explain that one." (not my dentist, I just liked the picture)
This is why I love my dentist. When I first walked into his doors eight years ago, I was terrified to the point of tears, but in dire need of repairs to the results of a childhood injury. For every fitting, every grinding, every set of injections and every drilling without anesthesia (my choice, because I'm highly illogical when it comes to dental matters), I stepped through the door feeling like a terrified twelve year old. There are some wounds that I guess don't heal, and the insensitive treatment I received from my childhood dentist is one of them. To this day, even when I think I'm relaxed in a dentist's chair, I look down to see my arms tightly hugging myself, or my nails digging deeply into the arm rests.

My dentist knows how I am. He also knows how to calm me down. Facts. I need to understand what's going on. I want to watch the procedure (...kinda). When I get jittery about being put under, he explained how gas works on the nervous system and how he buys his tanks. When I began to panic at the idea of how my reconstructed grill would hold up in a car accident (I was really just scared at the idea of a piece of porcelain being glued to me for...years), he looked me square in the eye and said "Megan, if something hits you hard enough to break this, your teeth are the least of your concern." I calmed down instantaneously.

"You're wearing your mouth guard right? The nerves in your teeth are like hairs that run all the way to your brain. If you allow someone to apply constant pressure there for longer than a minute, you risk the health of those nerves, and me having to go in and do a root canal."

So yeah...while I don't think I've ever had pressure applied anywhere that long while training, I will be more mindful. No root canals for Megan. No siree, Bob.

In training news, last night was brutal. Lots of drilling, two classes of sparring and technique that required a lot of moving...which I need because hearing Cyborg's story of learning to move like little guys by training with them has strengthened my resolve. Third round, I was partnered with a big blue belt who'd started at my gym before I had, had been training two years longer than I have and had just recently returned after learning at different locations. He's my height, about 230lbs, which I'm always glad to run into (the big guy challenge!). Somewhere about halfway through the round, I escaped side control by spinning out into open I came around I even. It was our first roll and I know bigger guys especially aren't used to rolling with women, but I saw a glimmer of the littleness smaller folk must feel.

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