I often wonder why I bother with a mirror. As I have gotten older mirrors are not my friend. I am half blind now between always being on the computer and the fibro also makes vision a bit fuzzy without glasses. When I put on my make up I have to now use the side of the round mirror that magnifies things AND I have to wear my glasses, the 200's not the 1.75 ( you know the number rating you see on the ones in the grocery store??) . I personally like myself a lot better when I forget the glasses and look in the big mirror over the sink. Everything has a nice fuzziness to it. Lines are softer. I do not notice the peach fuzz on my face and stray brow hairs, broken capillaries what are those?? The other thing that look better, and I can almost ignore the pain and discomfort they cause me ( really bad actually during this time of year) my teeth. In the fuzzy view from my eyes they are white, nearly strait and actually my smile is rather lovely. I love the reflections I see. I am happy with me.
That is all fine and dandy. Till I decide if I am going to be seen in public, better grab the round mirror. prop it under the window for the good light and pop on the magnifying eye wear. It starts off ok...first I see the peach fuzz. I can over look that, then I start noticing the fine lines, and really , though I use face creams, they do not bother me as much as I sometimes let on. I have earned them. Then the deeper ones start to look like giant crevices , and recently I see the ones around the mouth more turned down than ever...even when I smile. I gasp "When did that happen???" I pluck the few stray brow hairs that started all this , and then my gaze falls to the teeth. Best check them and make sure I did a good job at brushing after that last snack. Sadly, that is when reality hits. I wish I had not looked. Had not bothered. I know what the reality is, but I keep trying to convince myself, even when it hurts that I can somehow reverse what bad health, not being able to go to a dentist all these years and what was said to me in the office when I went a couple months back did to me . What is in the mirror is not what I want to see close up. I would rather see it all with the fuzzy vision.
In one years time, the receding gums have gotten so bad that that the roots of the teeth are showing , where my front bottom two are, there is no gums at all. They have fully disappeared. They are not pretty, age, time and far too much coffee has turned them an unpleasant color, normal toothpaste will not remove that fact. It explains why they hurt so much .This is why eating is a chore, and comes with some fear. With the fibro making my nerve endings react over time and the nerves of the teeth being exposed , of course they would. I can see the cracks. I can see the pits. Even chips. I can see the reality. Without money and insurance soon they will break and fall out. Soon I will be toothless. Sure it will not happen over night, but it will happen. I stand there reflecting on this, while I stare in the mirror.
So many of us stare in the mirror, to fix our make up , our hair, straiten this and adjusting that. Trying to look our best. But what happens when that is no longer good enough? How am I going to handle when even through fuzzy vision I avoid the mirror? Can I , is that possible? Will I be able to just keep my mouth shut and imagine that there are teeth there, not gaping holes? Will I then reflect back on a time when I had the chance to take care of my teeth, and chose to use the money for other things here and there , when maybe I could have slowed the process? But then how can I as most times it was to put my children first. I hate regrets anyway. You can do nothing about them , and with something like this you can not change a thing. All you can do is make due. With as rapidly as the dental situation for me is progressing, what will it be like by this time next year.
My mind slips into doomsday land. What if I get an infection and I can not get help in time. THAT leads to death. What if my husband , who loves to stick his head in the sand , has not been to a dentist in even a longer time starts to have this happen to him, what then? I already see my oldest daughter having issues from lack of being able to afford dental help. She is not even 24 and has had a tooth pulled. My middle daughter can not afford to go...her beautiful teeth, the only ones that did not need braces..what of her? Or the youngest who is making dental payments and has for months as she has had a string of dental work done....I know logically I can not predict what is going to happen. I can not stop it and I can not protect my girls from this same fate, that is hard to face as a Mother. I see my folks both missing most of their teeth, finally out of money to do anything about it. I see me in them. Shaking my head and putting the mirror down, the glasses off, I can slip into that place where I like what I see again.
I am thankful for my beautiful blue eyes. Specks of green and gray, often looking a bit like lavender. They really sparkle when I have a coat of mascara on, and now that I have changed my hair color to a bright auburn, they really pop! I am thankful for my high cheek bones and my dimples as well. I like the almost bow shape of my mouth and how I look with red lips. I rather like my sprinkling of freckles, even if some are now looking more like age spots....there is a lot to be thankful for , to have a bit of a vanity about. I need to "grasp this" I tell myself. Because when the teeth do start to fall out, these are the things I need to appreciate about myself to get through the times when I do not want to look in the mirror, when it is too hard to face the reality of the situation. These things I am thankful for about my looks are what I will need to reflect upon, even now. Perhaps looking to what I see is a positive thing about my looks may help me over look what will certainly be a negative.
I know this is an odd post for the holiday season. While so many are all about the Turkey and all the trimmings and the family gatherings , others already putting up their Christmas trees and preparing for Black Friday , here I am thinking about my teeth. Strikes me odd as well. But when I sat in front of my computer, all ready to post another feel good post about the season. I simply could not do so. It was not what was in my heart to do. So instead I simply typed what my heart told me to. I am hoping in doing so that maybe, just maybe if you actually made it to this point in the blog that it will make you reflect even more so on the things that you are grateful for in your life and about yourself. If that is indeed what happens, then what I am going through is so worth it. Putting the word out , sharing my pain, my discomfort and my inner most fears will have been so very worth the risk of scaring off a readers because I chose to skip the normal feel good post that happens so much this time of year.
A final note before I close. A few people have written and told me that I am chasing rainbows for asking you to write Ellen or doing it myself. Putting my hope into winning Publishers to make things better for myself and my family, and most days I agree. It is all pipe dreams, and when I see people on Ellen or Oprah , being given money and cars, jumping up and down in joy, I truly often think "That will never be me" and I think about removing the stuff off my blog, and ceasing to write in to the shows and entering the contests. But deep down, very deep down I just can not seem to stop reaching for that unreachable star. Reaching for the impossible. I do not want to give up believing . I do not want to stop fighting for myself, and my family. I want to believe that good things happen and that some day I /we will be rewarded for the faith I have that keeps me going, that keeps me trying. Because if I give up, if I stop writing, entering and telling people my story, there is no reason to get out of bed each day...and what kind of way to live life is that???