"You're a good patient."
Really, Doc? What choice do I have now that we're back at ground zero? There's really no word in the English language that captures how I'm feeling after my latest trip to the oral surgeon. "Frustrating" just doesn't cut it. I won't rehash the entire saga, but last December I had an infected front tooth pulled. They began the procedure right away to replace it, which takes several months. The latest saga ended poorly, with a screw sticking out of my gums. Not exactly the way it was supposed to go. Today, they took the screw out and started all over again. To summarize: We're right back where we were in December. By my estimation, my 8 to 9 month long ordeal will end up taking closer to a year and a half, if all goes well from here. That's several more 120 mile round trips to Gaylord, more numbing shots, more pain, more pain pills and antibiotics, yadda yadda yadda. I could cry. In fact, I did.
I had an operation six years ago to repair the damage caused by years of obesity. Never mind that the doctor had performed the same operation 3 hundred times. I was the first one to start internal bleeding. He had to open me back up just a few hours later. Lovely. It's so easy to wonder, "Why me all the time, Lord? What's the purpose?" I learned patience through 15 years of sitting through extremely boring City Council, School Board, County Commission and other meetings. Being a reporter taught me to wait. I'm not easily frustrated. I've even given up on some of my dreams after waiting more than two decades, only to have empty promises broken time and time again.
But this time, I've about reached my breaking point. I'm trying to internalize all of this; trying to find some sort of object lesson or greater good. But frankly, I'm coming up empty. You know what? It's eventually going to be okay. It really is. Sometimes, life just happens. The devil isn't out to "get me" just because a dental procedure didn't go the way it was supposed to. God didn't suddenly disappear because I have to get another set of numbing shots. Life won't end because I had oatmeal and eggs for dinner to protect the stitches in my mouth. The barbequed chicken can wait until later.
We're getting pretty good at waiting around here.