January 20, 2015

DAY 147: Honouring being alive - reflections during medical surgery

While I was laid down on the chair I felt my legs and arms weaker and numb, as if the local anesthetic was infiltrating the rest of my body. I was breathing to relax my jaw and to slow down my heart beat . What I was also slowing down was my self-defeating thoughts. The fear of something going wrong can be persistent but, for the second time in my life, I noticed that my willingness to be alive is real, even if I am not fully aware of it in every moment. The decision to stand with my body and to assist me through stopping the mind was simple - in fact, all I could do in that moment was to be present, to trust myself and to wait for the endondotical surgery to finish.

Image: http://www.capcitydental.co.uk/articles-and-videos/recognising-whos-a-good-dentist/

What began as a root canal complication ended up to be a tooth perforation, an infected root canal and an abcess of the size of a grape inside my gum. This was the third time that this tooth was giving me pain: the first root canal treatment was done in August, followed by another in November and I was  on antibiotics and painkillers since then. My mouth started screaming for emergency care and a different approach was needed. I decided to go to a new dentist and have a second opinion... In the end, emergency assistance was needed. I wonder how much time and sleep I could have enjoyed if I had had the specialist help since August.

Back to the surgery, in my mind, the thoughts were dancing to the sound of memories, of stories and of cases that were fatal. The initial fear of dying from an accident got smaller and smaller by stopping feeding these ideas. First of all, it was a non-sensical inner backchat - I was batling against my own life and I was separating me from my body that keeps me here. Secondly, I was projecting the worst case scenario without any consistent fact - the Doctor was saying that everything was going as expected. Thirdly, I cannot foresee what happens to me after my death - so excluding that alternate reality was simple. Lastly, I realised that the fear and the distrust was a sabotage of my own decision of going to a new place.

What I did do was to appreciate that moment: I was grateful for the fact that I was being treated, that I was having access to a basic human right that is quality health care; I was grateful for having  had searched for help and that people around me had recommended me seeing a recognised specialist. 

Whilst on that chair, I could see the need of making such quality healthcare available to everyone in need - when it comes to pain, everyone feels it and everyone deserves the best assistance. I was grateful for the fact that people care about other people's teeth and that are interested in investigating the problem and in working on a solution. I was also aware that unfortunately many people (the majority I would say) are not able to have this type of specialised medical attention: first, because they don't know they need; secondly, they don't have the funds for it.

In what information is concerced, I was shocked by the fact that many dentists practice root canal surgeries without the required equipment and that many cases end up in failure and infections. I have a university degree, I am doing an MA, I speak three language and despite all of this I did not know what Endondotical specialists were, and worse, that I needed one baddly.  To my surprise, I was not the only one thinking that any dentist can do such treatments. Well, they probably can but they shouldn't unless they have the experience and the equipment to do it well.

Honouring being alive applies to my life but also to the lives of everyone else. I wonder how many people might be going through the same descomfort (it can be in the mouth or anywhere else where body pain exists) without actually asking for help or being able to have the medical intervention needed. I wonder if this article will assist people to skip some unnecessary pain and empower both patients, doctors and society to do something about it.

My recommendations are:
  1. Addressed to doctors - there must be a call for self-responsibility and humbleness in the sense of recognising that they might not have the proper equipment to fix the problem and that the best thing to do is to refere the patient to a specialist; at the heart of its profession must be the patient's well-being; preventive medicine should be applied in order to help patients to prevent future health issues; doctors should have a network of contacts in order to ask for help if a second opinion is needed; doctors should invest in their emotional stability to make sure that their ability to help another is not jeopardized by the tricks of the mind; doctors should be the ambassadors for honouring life as many lives depend on their ability to reduce pain and find cures; finally, it is essential that doctors support political campaigns that promote equal access to healthcare for all citizens.

  1. Addressed to patients and everyone of us - do ask for help when your body is showing signs of infections; if you see that your doctor is not able to offer a solution, there is no problem in asking for a second opinion to another doctor; if your doctor gives you a treatment that implies removing teeth, definitely go somewhere else to double check before any irreversible damage is done; honour your life and your body unconditionally in every moment; by doing so, we are more likely to also care about our fellow humans and to recognise that we are all better off if everyone has good health and lives well; be open to listen to another's issue and be willing to share any information or contacts that may be helpful;

  1. Addressed to our society - it is our responsibility to prevent healthcare issues and to guarantee that problems are solved once and for all. By this, it is our responsibility to support social, political and scientific innovation so that the future is brighter and fairer for everyone. It is also a right and an obligation to investigate and to share solutions that tackle the very root of economic inequality. Finally, lets all do our share and communicate solutions to problems that we have found in our personal lives and live the commitment of doing unto another that which we would have liked to be done unto us.

In my next article I will write on the effects and how one can support oneself when it comes to chronic pain and medical frustration.

See More:

Check out the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal and the Equal Life Foundation – a HOLISTIC and PRACTICAL approach to the current socio-economic condition to end the disaster of a dysfunctional capitalism.

Check out the Desteni I Process Lite – a FREE online course that will assist humanity to change the human condition and end the disaster of a dysfunctional consciousness.


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