Training, teeth, injuries…wow, it’s all happening – oh, and the end of my year of therapy…
I’m writing this during an enforced rest following a tooth extraction yesterday. After my treatment for the abscess a while ago, the dentist said they’d bring forward my extraction date. Well, after 15 days of hearing nowt, I felt that they were maybe extracting something else from me (sorry!) and rang up. I know! I actually made a phone call – and with success!
I was given an appointment for that day, which was perfect as it meant I could fit a swim in beforehand. Despite not having swum for about three weeks, I felt all right and my speed wasn’t that much slower than usual. Actually, it felt really good to be back in the water again, even though the pool was packed for much of the session, meaning that it was difficult to find any rhythm for quite a while.
The tooth extraction went well, touch wood (oh my, now I have images of wooden teeth – why did I choose that phrase?!), although I had expected the dentist to clean out the area as I still had an infection in the gum. I had the injections and then the tooth was pulled, after much wrangling and pressure. And that’s it! I’m hoping that it’s a simple recovery…I’d intended to run this morning, but I’ve read many warnings of blood clots being dislodged because of the increase in blood pressure. I’ll attempt a short bike ride tomorrow morning, I think.
I now have a huge gap in my mouth and only one half-tooth on that bottom side. I daren’t feel it, or even look at it. As soon as I’d left the surgery I (rather feebly) burst into tears – I’ve been in pain for such a long time, and have had so many abscesses in that area, that I think I was relieved that it was all over (I hope). But it also hurts to know that I’ve brought this upon myself. All the guilt and sadness flood back, and I feel shame and embarrassment too about it all. I can’t just hide it away in my mind as I have the tangible reminder of my past behaviours and their causes… Stupidly, and perhaps unhelpfully, I’ve also read about how tooth loss affects both functionality and facial bone structure. I have a huge dread that I’m turning into this old hag, with sunken cheeks and a slowly caving-in lower face. I’ve read about ‘bite collapse’, which can happen some of the rear teeth are missing (yep, tick that box) – this may result in the teeth at the front being squished forward. I don’t think those certain people in my life (who scoff at my distress about my teeth) really appreciate the consequences of having horrid, bad, post-bulimic teeth. It’s far, far more than mere vanity – it’s psychologically extremely distressing, and the functional damage has a deeply negative impact too.
Training-wise, I’m not entirely where I want to be, but then again it could be far worse. I’ve actually left the house! I’ve managed a few 80mile cycles, and the running (despite ever-present pain and injury) is slow but at about 15miles. I’m not concerned about the swimming really, that should be fine (famous last words eh…). When I did the half-ironman, I was diligent in doing brick sessions, usually sessions such as twenty minute runs straight after 50mile bike rides. I was fortunate then because I could do this in rural areas, which meant that there was little likelihood of people seeing me. I have great difficulty now in arriving back home and then going out for a run, because of the sheer amount of people who are around when I return chez moi. Even if I leave home at 5am, by the time I’m in my last (wheezy, painful, slow) stages of the bike ride there are – of course – more people around. I’ve also found that I’m increasingly anxious about seeing cycle groups when I’m out – I worry that they’re laughing at me, or cursing me because I’m so slow (my cycle average is about 17mph). I wave and say hi etc, as they whizz past, and tell myself that I’m only so slow because I need to maintain a zone 2 heart-rate (ahem…yeah, right!). I also tell myself that surely they’ve only just started their bike ride (PLEASE don’t tell me I’m wrong!!).
My time in therapy is now also at an end. And that important process deserves its very own post, I reckon…