This is my entry to the @naturalmedicine health goals contest! Hopefully I am right under the wire in entering this contest - it's Thursday the 9th where I am, but I'm not sure what time zone the deadline means, lol.
An older photo of my herbal apothecary
The Main Goal
My biggest health goal for 2020 isn't really "natural medicine" related in terms of exercise/diet/herbals/lifestyle/etc. type things, but it is very holistic in the "effects everything else" sense, and that is: to get all the dental work I need done.
For years I had no dental coverage (and was terrified of going to the dentist, to boot), and couldn't afford it. My mother never took me as a child, either. I took care of my teeth in a brush-floss-and-rinse kind of way, but they started BREAKING INTO PIECES when I was 22. I didn't know why for years, but now the dentist and I have a theory, and that's because for most of my life I unknowingly had the type of acid reflux that washes into your mouth at night. When you have this kind of reflux, you don't get heartburn, but you wake up with what I always called "sexy smoker voice" in the morning because acid has been washing over your vocal chords, and can even have difficulty swallowing, which I did. So I literally had acid washing over my teeth at night, wearing them out - and it's worse on the top than the bottom, because my wide tongue rests on my upper palate when my mouth is closed (and I'm a closed-mouth sleeper), so it effectively mostly blocked the lower teeth from being washed in so much acid as the top ones. This is why out of NINE TEETH that have been extracted from my mouth over the years, EIGHT of them have been from the top. Yeah. I'm only 41.
Anyway, so I finally have some dental coverage through medicaid now, and in 2018 I found THE BEST DENTIST EVER. He is not only good at what he does but he's just the nicest guy who really understands fear of dental work and puts you at ease. So we started getting things fixed.
The first time I saw him was the same reason I'd ever seen the few dentists I'd seen before him: an emergent, painful tooth that needed to go. After that, we made a plan. My front four teeth on the top were broken in half, but they didn't really hurt and they were just going to be pulled, so with last year's funds (because the way Medicaid dental coverage works is, you get $1000 to spend for the year. There are no deductables or copays but once you hit the cap you're done), we decided to focus on what could be saved and what was the most urgent (for instance, there was another pull of a tooth that had been root canaled - the one when I was 22 - and the temporary filling that had lasted for like 13 years had fallen out and it was cracked above the gum line and just a gaping hole - that needed to go, as it was just a possible gateway to infection). So I did that and some fillings (ceramic resin types - which is not only my preference from a amalgams-have-problems standpoint but also because of my nickel allergy. This dentist though - another reason to love him - doesn't even offer amalgams. Yay! I'm glad to see dentists are starting to avoid them too).
This year ("year" meaning the year of coverage, not the calendar year), I had one more tooth fix done first and a regular cleaning, and then we began on the big project: I just had those front four teeth pulled last Saturday. I'll spare you from seeing what my mouth looks like right now with stitches in it, lol. I'm seeing the dentist again this coming Saturday to pull out the stitches, but already half of them have fallen out on their own so he might not have much to do besides checking out the healing progress. :)
After this heals up, I'm going to get a partial denture. Amazing!
But then I still have more things that need done, regular fillings and the like. So my big goal is to get my mouth healthy, which is less a lifestyle thing as I have always done that (and yeah, if you're wondering - I've looked into Weston A. Price and Deep Nutrition and all that and follow what recommendations I can from that too but because of food allergies I can't do all of them), but more of an "endure unpleasant procedures" thing.
But also? Here's a wild update on the acid reflux: after some time of following my allergy diet, I am not waking up with sexy smoker voice all the time anymore, nor am I having difficulty swallowing. The acid reflux was apparently from eating my allergens. Bodies are wild, y'all. If I had gotten diagnosed with my allergies 20 years ago I might have saved most of my teeth. But nooooooooooo I was told I had "IBS" and it was probably "anxiety." Have I mentioned I hate condescending doctors who pat you on the head and don't do any tests but just blow you off as a nervous Nelly? Because yeah, I have that happen a LOT, and it's infuriating. Ya wanna know what set off my "IBS" as far as I can tell? Potatoes (allergen) and green leafies (allergens). I was a vegan before. I ate potatoes and green leafies every day.
So yeah, diet is super important and effects alllllllllllll sorts of systems in your body, but doctors don't seem to care. I could go on about all the things that have improved since I started following my allergy diet, but that's a whole 'nother post, lol.
So there is my (wordy) goal about fixing my teeth, which will be an amazing thing to have done because I've just become so used to my mouth being a mess despite my best efforts. Hooray dental coverage and good dentists and allergy-safe diets!
#medicareforall and Steem on! <3