Or... at least my teeth have.
I recently developed an intense ache in the back of my mouth, near my last few molars. I couldn't quite pinpoint where the pain was coming from, but it was spreading into my jaw and surrounding muscles. It hurt to eat, it hurt to talk. I began to worry.
Though I've never had a root canal, I'm deathly afraid of them. I'm convinced that if I ever have one I will literally die of pain as they drill. They will write stories of me as the woman whose screams shattered nearby buildings.
Unfortunately though, the ache in my jaw was worsening, so I knew I better take a peek before calling my dentist.
What I found horrified me: there was a sizeable black spot on the side of my back molar. I was devastated. I just knew what this meant: a root canal. The tooth was dying.
But I realllly wasn't ready to face a root canal, so I began researching feverishly. What are my options? Is it really dead? How did this happen? Did my body stop absorbing minerals? Are my hormones failing me? Did my pregnancy ruin my health? How do I explain this? I was determined that I would be shamed in my practice as the doctor who couldn't take care of her own health.
Finally, after much thought, consideration, and Googling, I knew exactly what I needed to do: have the dead tooth pulled. No root canal for me! (Because that would be horrific and "not 100% necessary.") I'll just pull the dead tooth. But I'll need to have surgery for this because I definitely can't be conscious for something so gruesome. And while they're in there I better just have them remove all three other molars that align with it so my bite will be even.
It's amazing how versed I became on dentistry after a night of Googling.
When I got to the dentist, I was solid in my resolve. I told them exactly what was going on and my plans for how to fix it. The hygienist was so sweet to oblige me as she took my x-rays and brought them up on the screen.
Now, I'm definitely NOT a dentist, but I am familiar with x-rays, so I couldn't help but peek. But that gaping black hole of death that I expected to see in my tooth... wasn't there.
My dentist told me that my teeth were fine, and that the pain I had been feeling was from clenching and grinding my teeth at night. And as for that black spot on the side of my tooth? I was literally grinding my teeth so hard that my teeth were flexing and it was popping the enamel off the sides. The black spot was a coffee stain on the porous surface of the tooth.
I went from needing to have surgery to remove a dead tooth and three healthy teeth, to needing a night guard (and a little less coffee).
And I laughed.
We treat our health the Exact same way though, don't we?
We look up every possible cause, and determine that it must be cancer or some rare, incurable disease. Then we either get ourselves sick with worry and hide or we give up."Well, I was going to die at some point anyway..."
Friends, this is no way to live.
We can continue to consult with Google, or we can get REAL answers. We can stay trapped in the unknown, or we can step into the light of truth.
And TRUTH sets us FREE.
Until we know exactly what we're facing in our health we will remain trapped in our 1,000,000 made-up scenarios. When, likely, it is just a nutritional deficiency. Or an infection in your gut. Or a hormone imbalance. Or a subluxation in your spine.
That horrific lower back pain that you're sure is either five blown discs or kidney cancer may very well just be a locked-up joint that needs some motion.
That bloating in your belly that you think is maybe colon cancer, a bleeding ulcer, or a tapeworm (or all three??) may just be a food you're eating that your body is sensitive to.
Here's the thing, we DO need to be screened regularly for things like cancer and heart disease, and you absolutely DO need to be checked for them when you're experiencing symptoms that align with these serious conditions. But no matter what the findings are - cancer or something small - the truth will free you.
You will be able to take ACTION and move past your symptoms into better health. You'll be able to enjoy time with your family again rather than suffering and wondering and worrying. You'll be able to pursue your passion in life with renewed HOPE and freedom.
What are you hiding from in your health today?
A black spot on your tooth? An ache that just won't go away? Chronic fatigue? Depression?
Whatever it is, I pray that you will seek answers, so that you, too, can be set free.