MS takes a lot from its unfortunate targets. Funny how you tend to miss little things like walking, seeing, writing, playing musical instruments, sports, standing upright for more than a few minutes…or seconds.
Yeah, those are all missed by some of us. And for good reason. It stinks to lose something once cherished. The ugly truth is that we all lose all those things over time. In some ways, MS merely accelerates the process of aging. Thus, we have less time and more reason to appreciate what we have left. That would explain all my “Thanx” posts. For the record, gratitude is a great spiritual discipline, but it’s also excellent therapy.
This past week I was reminded of one of the little things in life of which MS has deprived me: The spit bowl at my dentist’s office.
A lot of people don’t like the dentist, but I’m kinda fond of mine. Much of the reason is based on our history. The first time I saw him, I was new to the town and I had an emergency. It was the 4th of July and he was heading out on vacation. He took a detour (of many, many miles) in his car packed for his trip, family included, to meet me at his office to do an emergency temporary filling. His wife assisted.
There aren’t many professionals of any type with that kind of dedication. He thus earned my lifetime loyalty. Unfortunately, I’ve seen him only rarely since. His hygienists do all his bidding. That’s OK, because they’re awesome, too.
However, my hygienist is on the second floor of the dentist’s office. Since MS made climbing stairs more difficult and they have no elevator, I’ve started having my appointments downstairs where there are no spit bowls! If that isn’t an ADA violation, I don’t know what is! We need accessible spit bowls!
Seriously, the spit bowl is one of the highlights of any dentist’s office. I love how clean and perfect it looks. I love filling the little plastic cup all by myself. Watching bits of my flesh mixed with blood swirling around that sparkling white bowl is a sight worth waiting six months for. Then there’s that cool string of phlegm that invariably lingers between my lips and the bowl. How can you not love all that?
The other method of cleaning dental detritus from the mouth just doesn’t cut it, to wit: Spraying a stream of ice cold water on already sensitive teeth (sort of an internal ice bucket challenge) then sucking it out with a device that looks like a plastic fish hook, a device my kids’ hygienist cleverly referred to as “Mr. Thirsty”.
No, the spit bowl is the only way to go. And MS has taken it away. I know, it’s not as bad as losing the use of one’s legs, eyes, or bladder, but a loss is a loss.
I’d go to another dentist, except I’m expecting another emergency, this time on Christmas.