A long time ago, I wrote a post about living life without regrets. No regrets was someone else’s idea, of course–I would never consider absolving myself of all the messes I had made of my life. How would I occupy my mind if I didn’t stew about my mistakes? The notion of living without regrets is quite freeing, though, and I’ll admit, I’ve tried to uphold it.
I think of my 18+ years of illness and see how much I’ve kept living through that time, as best I could. I ran a somewhat successful business, I made enough money to live comfortably and still have some left over, I made good friends, I found J. and with her parented a series of wayward dogs, I even baked croissants and danishes not so long ago, and I travelled near and far. These are all wonderful things. Sure, there have been periods when my illness has constrained what I could do, but for the most part, I’ve lived my life.
Yesterday a friend whose husband is dealing with life-threatening medical issues told me, “Each day is a gift.” I hate to be Anti Annie, but I challenged her on this. At this point, each day is not a gift, or if it is, some days it’s a gift I want to return to sender. Lately, some days are spent in bed, others accomplishing much less than I’d planned, and yet others hanging out at the cancer centre, often for hours. Sure, everyone at the cancer centre is lovely, but why would I want to be passing my precious time there?
I recently realized that, while I was busy living in the moment, especially over this past year, I’d completely forgotten to go to the dentist. That’s one full year without a cavity check or cleaning, and you know how seriously I take my oral health. Sure, I may not brush after every meal, except if greens were consumed, but I still floss daily without fail. Flossing also happens to minimize the bleeding from my gums that is symptomatic of low platelets.
And so here we are, almost 18 months since I last graced my dentist’s chair, and my teeth are in desperate need of dental care. So I asked Dr. Blood Lite one day whether I could see the dentist.
Dr. Blood Lite is a very kind man, a gentle man, a supportive man, who does not like to refuse me anything. He diligently explained what a dental cleaning would require for someone in my condition. First I’d need a platelet top up, which likely would fail to raise me to the level necessary to inhibit bleeding. Then I’d need to rinse before and after the procedure with an expensive prescription clotting rinse. Oh, and the hygienist would need to use tools fit for a toddler, and not fear a blood bath. That would be a no, don’t you think?
Let my one regret be my going to the grave with decaying teeth. I’ll keep up my diligent brushing and flossing for the duration because that’s all I can do. Will they let me through the pearly gates without pearly whites? At this point, I can only hope.