Sometimes I wonder how the Apostle Paul dealt with the thorn in his side. Did he ever get crabby about it? Did he just take it like a man, and people didn't know any different? Did he ever grow weary and tired of the ailment? One thing I know for sure, seeing that he was an actual apostle...I bet that over time I have not dealt with the thorn in my side as well as he probably did with his. And then there's the other part of it. What was the thorn in his side? I really would like to know.
This past week on Sunday, I asked my father and husband for a priesthood blessing. A priesthood blessing is just one of the many ways that helps me to have better clarity of mind when I'm facing big decisions or difficult challenges in my life. Praying, fasting, church & temple attendance, and priesthood blessings are all ways that help me deal with my "thorns" better, and are ways that I can receive insight or personal revelation for my specific situation. In this particular blessing I was told that I have great faith and have been blessed with many things (blessings like family and support to get through my challenges), and then I was told that I was "'blessed' with trials to keep me humble." Even now I just sigh as I try to wrap my head around how I can face my challenges in a way so that I can do better...I know there are many ways that I can do better, it's just humbling in itself to be told you need to be humble...not that I thought I was sufficiently humble, I simply wasn't looking at my situation in that light to begin with. I've been looking at tooth #19 as the bane of my existence for many, many, many YEARS.
My friends, I've had 4 different dentists, and 1 periodontist work on this tooth. Let me give you a short history. See the gold one? A long time ago it had fillings in it that kept coming out and jamming into my gums. The dentist even re-filled it more than once for free because of all the trouble it caused. Then it caused more pain and required a root canal. A little time passed and it had RECURRING DECAY, so the crown had to be re-done. After the crown had been re-done, there was a litte lip underneath the edge of the crown that caused bacteria to grow there and see the bump next to my tooth below? That happened to be an infection that flared up WHILE I WAS IN HAWAII, due to the bacteria pocket that was underneath that lip in the crown. It was painful and irritating, and I really wish that I had taken more pain medication, because I think I made Lindsay feel badly that day and didn't mean to, because I was not in a fantastic mood through the pain.
Fast forward a couple years later to this past January & February, the dentist is working on my tooth again, re-doing the root canal once again in an effort to try to save the tooth. Apparently there was a piece of a file that was dislodged in my tooth way back when that is also contributing to the weakness of the tooth, so our plan to stick a post in it and then crown it again wasn't going to work. Unfortunately this wasn't determined that the tooth couldn't be saved until AFTER I had the crown lengthening proceedure (where they cut part of your gum away to expose more of the natural tooth) and stiches in my mouth for 2 weeks. I had been content to actually leave this tooth this way until I could save up enough money for an implanted tooth when guess what?! 2 days before vacation a TERRIBLE infection flared up again and so ...
It got extracted. Oh...wait...I forgot to tell you that because the infection was so bad, it took almost AN HOUR before I could get sufficiently numb, and when I was told that I may be send away with an anti-biotic fora week if I wasn't all the way numb, I just said a prayer and didn't complain ( I had a friend in the LOBBY with my kids waiting--I wasn't about to waste an hour of her time and not leave with the tooth extracted ), and so as he was extracting, I still felt some of the pain, but kept quiet. I then proceeded to have a sore spot in my mouth, lots of blood loss, and anxiety as I had to wait for more than a week before I could get into the periodontist.
This picture was taken yesterday in fact. Thursday afternoon, I had a bone grafting proceedure, and an implant (a.k.a. METAL SCREW DRILLED INTO MY JAW BONE) surgery. $1,800 on a payment plan later, and part of me was so grateful it was done, even though I have to wait 3 MONTHS before it is healed properly and ready for a crown...THEN the anesthetic wore off BEFORE my ride came to pick me up. I was such a sad little girl.
- Even now, I wonder why trials come in so many ways at a time. It's like you can never have just one problem in your life to deal with, it's like there always have to be 3 or more problems to deal with at the same time. Some of the other problems I have been facing this week:
- Car troubles--HOMEBOUND ALL WEEK LONG, not to mention we can't afford Mitch's truck anymore, so we're trying to work that out, too.
- Screaming-loud tinnitus--I've dealt with tinnitus since I was a little kid and it's really not that big of a deal, except I realized the other day that the movie that was playing had volume set at 56 and my tinnitus was equally as loud if not louder in my ear--I seriously have no idea of what I should do to change it,
- I'm over-weight from childbearing. It's okay--the kids are worth it, but would you believe that after losing 50 pounds of pregnancy weight that I still have 30 more to go to be where I want to be? It's just an on-going struggle.
- We were trying to get prenant with another baby so that we can pay for it with the COBRA insurance I have right now, but it didn't work out, and I don't know when we'll be able to afford to pay maternity insurance out of pocket when my plan is over because premiums have gone sky-high.
- I have a staff infection? What? Found it out from the dermatologist when she was checking out the pre-cancerous patch of skin a couple weeks ago. Taking anti-biotics
- My flat iron broke...not a big deal, right? Except I can't buy a new one just yet.
- My grandma is dying. It's actually a needed journey--she's so old and frail and ready to lay her mortal to rest, but it's been hard to visit her this week and see her degenerating so much. It's really hard to have to help feed her and know she's so helpless. I'll have a post for her soon....
- Work is snail-slow right now. Mitch has had only 1/2 time work and we can't live like that. It's almost been a year of this. I probably picked the worst possible time EVER to quit my job and stay home with my kids. We went from 2 good and steady incomes to 1/2 of one. I don't even know how we've made it this far, and I honestly don't know how we're going to keep making it, and by making it, I mean scraping by. I am scared a little, but it's okay. I think I'll be doing whatever I can to find an evening job when Mitch graduates school next month. If you have any ideas, please let me know. This situation brings me to the opinionated part of what's on my mind....beware.
What on earth is wrong with my generation? Has anyone ever seen the movie Cinderella Man? It's about a boxer in the Great Depression. He and his family were at the lowest of lows--freezing cold, no electricity, pretty much no food, couldn't take care of themselves. He went on welfare, and guess what? It was killing him. After he worked and fought to get to a place where he could provide for himself, he went back to the welfare line and PAID BACK EVERYTHING that he had been given when he was assisted.
My husband and I firmly believe that self-reliance = self-respect, responsibility, and dignity.
Sometimes when I complain about money, I just want people to complain with me. What I don't want to hear is, "You should go on WIC; it's so easy." I think that's the absolutely wrong mentality. I get so sad when I hear about people abusing the system. I can't believe my ears when I hear about families on WIC who are making monthly payments for luxury items, when I hear about families on WIC who also happen to have thousands of dollars in savings but sign up simply because they're still within the range to qualify, and then I get irriated when I know of able-bodied individuals who choose not to get a job and choose to live on WIC/welfare. I can't stand it, my friends!!!!
Let me tell you a story:
Lady in my ward, ex-husband wouldn't pay for child-support, she had 3 kids, gets audited, and the auditor was astounded that she wasn't on welfare. Her response to him: "Why would I go on welfare when I can take care of myself?" She told me that it was tough, but you can coupon and you make do without some things, but it's okay. She's my hero--I'm going to be like her.
I already told you about Cinderella Man. Self-reliance = Self-respect.
There is one family I happen to know of who is on WIC, and I think that they're doing it the right way. They have cut out ALL EXTRA expenses. I'm talking no Internet, no cell phones, making their own bread, no new clothes for several years, and guess what? They don't even Red Box for movies--they rent from the Library. When I heard about that, I thought, "More power to them, that's exactly what the welfare program is for, for people in situations like that." I also know that WIC is something they DO NOT love being on, and they are NOT the kind of people who are going to advertise it or tell others to apply because it's "so easy". These people are going to get back on their feet as soon as they can and take care of themselves.
Things are tight right now for us. I am positive I could apply for welfare, especially with the new ridiculous regulations that our government is allowing. 99 weeks of unemployment allowed? I really do believe there are wicked people in government who are TRYING TO CRIPPLE US! THEY KNOW THAT IF WE PLAY INTO THEIR GAME WE WILL ALL BE IMPOVERISHED with no way to get out. They don't want to help us be self-reliant, they want us to DEPEND ON THEM. And because of the way my generation looks at the welfare system and abuses it, it means that it's just going to be that much harder for people like me to ever break up and out of the hard-working middle class.
If I ever have to go to that place where I have to sign up for welfare, you'd better believe that I will exhaust all of my possible resources first, and then I will do whatever possible so that I can get out of that spot where I have to receive assistence. SO PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME HOW EASY IT IS TO GO ON W.I.C., BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!