Thursday, September 04, 2008

Waiting...

This past year has involved a lot of waiting. Immediately after the accident (just over a year ago), I endured several months of waiting for my jaw to heal so that I could start eating solids again (albeit soft solids, if that makes sense) and stop filling my body with painkillers, then I waited for it to regain sufficient mobility for the dental surgery to commence. I went for the first stage of implants back in April, and since then have been quietly ticking off the days until I can return for phase two, which happens six months later.

I can remember thinking on the day of the accident, "I hope my dentist can sort my teeth out quickly", not realising at the time that I had a broken jaw as well, or indeed the extent of the damage to my teeth - let alone how unhelpful and limited the NHS dental system would be for someone in my predicament. Now there is just over a month to go before I return to Hungary for the second (and hopefully final) phase of treatment, and finally I can start to see a flicker of light at the end of what has felt like a long, dark, lonely tunnel.

The experience has taught me a lot about patience and acceptance, and has given me a deeper respect for those who deal with disability and discomfort on a daily basis - many of whose afflictions are far more severe than mine. It's amazing what you can learn to live with, given the support and comfort of loved ones, and I would especially like to thank my loyal and long-suffering husband for his continuous support - both practical and emotional - during the whole miserable episode. There are a few other special people who have been there for me through all the ups and downs - they know who they are, and I hope they also know that I love them all dearly. You certainly find out who your friends are in times like these.

So, only 48 days to go until I can smile (and sing!) with confidence again. My natural anxiety about being back in the dentist's chair is somewhat alleviated by the overwhelming excitement of knowing that all that waiting will be over, not to mention the prospect of a much-needed holiday afterwards. Meanwhile, I am currently waiting impatiently for a different kind of event entirely - the birth of my second niece or nephew; my sister's first child. At the time of writing she is nearly two weeks overdue (apparently not all that unusual for a first baby) and I am fluttering every time the phone rings. My sense of anticipation is doubled by the need for some happy news after a year of fretful tribulation, and the hope that being an auntie again will distract me during the final few weeks of waiting for my dental ordeal to be over. Hurry up and pop, sister, I can't bear to wait any more!
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