It's Going to be Terrible!

1 May 2018

I write this in some trepidation; anxiety; dread.

Well, no – not dread exactly – but anxiety, yes.

In forty minutes' time I will be in the hospital, in the dental unit, with an appointment to have my wisdom tooth drawn.

Drawn is such a gentle word, isn't it – and most Victorian. Let us use the modern hard word: extracted.

The tooth does not even hurt, but I've seen the X-ray, the dark shadow of decay lurking, waiting for a time when my resistance is low, to turn into an abscess.

Oh yes, much better to get it out.

But still, I didn't sleep much last night. I ate breakfast only because the instructions repeated three times that I was to eat before the appointment. I can feel tension all over my body, a pounding in my head. I daren't take my blood pressure!

I could almost wish it over, except then I will have a tender hole where now the comforting presence of that familiar tooth now is. There will be pain. My right cheek may be swollen and unsightly (and I'm recording a video tomorrow...)

My daughter had it worse last Wednesday though.

It was the first one of her GCSE papers, the French Speaking paper and at breakfast she was in utter despair. She had gone beyond anxiety into that point where you no longer care and merely wait in calm resignation for the executioner's axe to fall. She crumbled a piece of toast on her plate and looked at me from shadowed eyes. I gave her an extra hug as she left to catch the school bus and hoped for the best.

At lunch time I got a call.

"SQUEEEEEEE!!!" came the shriek. "It went really well! I think I may have actually passed! Squeeeeeeee!!!"

I have never heard my usually poised, calm and slightly ironic daughter squeal like that. We hope it bodes well for the rest of her exams.

So many times, we are in fear and dread, only to find that the event itself is anticlimactic and much less painful than our fears. In my blog of 17th January, Why Worry, I quoted these lines.

'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'

Our bodies however, sometimes refuse to obey our minds' instructions. Despite thinking positive, despite refusing to worry, our stomach still churns in knots; we feel sick and the blood pressure rises.

Meditation helps. I have the (free) Calm app on my phone and it has a module called "Breathe" which just gives you a breath pattern with soothing nature sounds. Tapping (EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique) helps. Friends of mine with anxiety have been prescribed beta-blockers.

But sometimes I guess we just have to live with the anxiety. It is our normal and we will cope.

Anxiety is not our master.


A Moodscope member.

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