Graciously Rolling With the Punches

Lately, I feel as I get on in age, different health issues are attacking my being. In October of last year, while I was brushing my teeth, I heard an unusual sound hitting the sink. Much to my chagrin, it was the back part of my front tooth. I went to bed thinking, “Dear God, how much is this going to cost us?” For a week I postponed going to see the prosthodontist; in the meantime, every time I talked, every word ended in a whistle. It was time to make an appointment with the specialist.

The new grill

My front tooth has been an enduring cross for most of my life. My sister Jo was the cause of this injury. I do not recall if she was beating me up or swinging me as a small child. Either way I landed on my face and my front teeth took the brunt of the fall. With one tooth cracked down the middle, it would take years for the other tooth to manifest its injury.

5th grade and my chipped tooth

I was in junior high school when I noticed that my other front tooth had turned to dull shade of gray. I never brought this to the attention of my mother because she was too busy making sure my three older brothers were staying out of trouble. One day I noticed that I had developed an abscess, and finally told my mother. She took me to the worst dentist in Colton. This small-town dentist did the minimum for his patients, and if it had it been anything but my front tooth, he would have extracted it. All my adult dental problems stem from his lack of professional training. His name was either Dr. Van Voorhis or, fittingly, Dr. Pain. I’m sure he is no longer among the living; he has either gone to heaven or perhaps hell. I pray the former. For sure he has made my life a living hell.

This doctor filed down most of my front tooth, and every single dentist and specialist that I have gone to, has remarked on the botched work he did. I have had my front tooth replaced at least five times. I was not going to mess around with a novice dentist, so I made an appointment with one of the best in Orange County, Dr. O’Brien.

I knew it was going to be a great expense, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices. At the first appointment doctor O’Brien fixed my chipped tooth with a composite veneer, and placed a temporary cap on the botched tooth.

I so badly would like to remodel the main bathroom in our home but all that had to be put on hold. I cannot share the cost of the work done on my teeth, but I could have purchased a nice used car.

In the meantime, my temporary tooth had fallen out three times, because I’d forget and use the water pick. It took almost four months to get my tooth right, partly because I was traveling and I missed several appointments.

Taka, the specialist from Japan was making the tooth, and each time I would go in for an appointment for the fitting, Dr. O’Brien would say, that was the color was off. I would hear them discussing my tooth. “It needs more gray, and yellow, and some pink.” I was right there when they were describing the color of my teeth. Finally after a few months of working to get the color perfect, I was scheduled to go Taka’s lab, the Japanese genius. There on 4th Street, in Tustin, California, with bright lights overhead, the perfect porcelain tooth was born.

These doctors are doing what God has called them to do. I love going to their office because there is always a cohesive atmosphere. Dr. O’Brien takes hours to make certain he gets it right. He is never in a rush to get you out because it’s as if he is doing this unto the Lord. When you are doing what God called you to do, you do it with great joy; you look forward to your daily task, because it not only pleases you but also bring a smile to the Lord.

Colossians 3:23-24 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

I’m certain that my sister Jo can still beat me up, as she was always the strong girl in our family. I remember in one fight, after sassing my Mom, Jo came after me. I threw our pet cat at her, because I knew that this would allow enough distraction for me to escape the inevitable.

Jo, her sons, Nick, Frank, Rocky, and Torie

Thank God we outgrew our childhood without any serious injuries. All that toughness that my sister developed would later help her raise four boys that grew into fine young men.

I love to smile, and now, thanks to these great specialists, my confidence is restored, and I thank God that they followed their calling!

Romans 11:29 New King James Version (NKJV)

29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Have you answered your call? I have, I follow Him, His love guides my path.

Related Posts