I loved playing baseball. I really did. It was my fifth season, my team was great and so was the coach. We were warming up before a game when it happened. The pitcher tossed me the ball and it just managed to skim past the top of my glove to hit me smack in the mouth. I lost my front tooth.
That was 7 years ago and I’m still dealing with the repercussions of the event today. It may seem like a small thing – there are so many worse things to happen to a person. But for me, this missing tooth has been something that has followed me for years. It never seems to end and it always pops back up at the most inconvenient times.
Like when my flipper (fake tooth on a retainer) broke at a Christmas banquet and I was so upset and insecure about it that I spent the night hiding in the bathroom. It’s really hard to feel pretty when you look like a pirate.
Or the years and years of jokes about looking like a hill billy/pirate/hobo/Nanny Macfee/fill in the blank. Sometimes it was funny, sure. But most of the time it was just incredibly frustrating to look like a joke when I ate or was going to bed and couldn’t wear my flipper.
Spending my March break recovering from surgery.
Having a crown shatter the day after I got it…and being told that it was the first time the dentist had ever seen that happen.
He said the same thing to me today after telling me I have to have another surgery because of bone loss around my implant. After 20 years of placing implants and crowns, he said he has never seen one go the way mine has. Gum infections and broken parts galore. Classic Sam luck.
There isn’t really a point to this post. I was just sad about it today. I hope one day it’ll all be in the past. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to play baseball again, not really. And I did love it. I also have acquired a legitimate fear of the dentist. I get anxious about appointments days in advance and can’t help but cry when I get fillings or they have to mess around with my fake tooth again like they did today. It may sound silly but I hate it so much.
7 years ago I got hit in the face with a baseball. Today I spent 3 of my precious 48hrs off in a dentists chair getting my fake tooth removed and my gums lazered to try and stop them from getting re-infected. It sucked.
Still, I am grateful. I keep forcing myself to be thankful for access to dentistry and a dentist who cares enough to keep promising me that it will all work out eventually.
At the end of the day, I’m alive. I’m healthy. I’m happy. Life is good, tooth or no tooth.
-Until next time, Sam ❤