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  • Liz Sterling

The Waiting Game...

We’re all waiting for good news; for the curve to flatten and for the newest CDC guidelines that will move us out of this time of uncertainty.

I am quite familiar with waiting. I waited to deal with a nodule in my lung, which thankfully I addressed before it spread.

I waited to get a CT scan when I had five bouts of such intense abdominal pain that I rolled on the floor. After a year of waiting, I learned they were appendicitis attacks. My surgeon told me he had never seen such a pockmarked appendix before mine. That’s what happens when you wait, and wait and wait…..

During Corona Times, a new wait has emerged… this time because we fear going outside.

Stress induced night time grinding of my teeth

turned into emergency oral surgery.

For many people stress lands in the jaws and translates into grinding. This can loosen older teeth that are not supported due to either pre-existing conditions or maladies of the natural bone. In my case, a thirty year old root canal was asymptomatic but became stressed under pressure caused by COVID-19.

I had a great Good Friday experience with an oral surgeon who masterfully and painlessly (thanks to novocaine and laughing gas) extracted the molar that came in when I was six-years old.

Pressure goes somewhere.

Become aware of where yours goes.

Here are some of my personal suggestions:

  1. Find a way to release stress: walk, swim, move the body. Let the pressure go.

  2. Eat well and take your time chewing.

  3. Get really good rest and consider sleeping on your back. Here’s how:

Place a thick pillow under the upper part of your knees which takes pressure off your lumbar region. Use pillows under each arm to raise them to body height and a bit above your heart. You should feel at complete rest — no pressure anywhere.

I have been sleeping with my head raised to support the healing process of my recent tooth extraction — ergo my mouth falls open due to gravity and hence: no more grinding.

4) If you are clenching, have TMJ or hold your stress in your jaw, you may want to look online for a soft sports guard until the dentist’s offices open in Florida again on May 8th. (This is the date that the CDC is currently projecting for elective procedures to commence.) Of course, if you have an emergency, as I did, call your dentist to be advised how to proceed.

Be aware that it’s normal to stress out in abnormal times.

These are Corona Times.

The face of the world is changing. We may be in isolation but we have a myriad of ways to stay connected.

  1. Establish Routines

  2. Keep social using the phone and internet. I started sending letters and notecards.

  3. Enrich your mind by reading and learning new things.

  4. Move the Body - stretch, exercise, just move!

  5. Use Mindfulness to recognize and accept what you are feeling. Identify what causes you to feel stressed and take action to reduce the pressure.

We Are All In This Waiting Game...

Readying Ourselves to Return to Our Lives, Our Families, Our Friends and Our World!

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