Post 1: I’m Not God’s Chess Piece

There are people out there who believe that God orchestrates every single move of their lives. That everything happens because he has made it happen. So, if someone dies, God took that person. Or, He gave their loved one cancer… I don’t believe that way. I don’t believe He moves me around as if I have no brain and mind of my own. I do agree that He may tell me to do something, go somewhere, write something, but He does not physically move my hands, my legs or my fingers. I have the power and choice to say No.

Which means, I don’t believe that God makes us sick. Not all of us. I know He allows sickness. And I will never be able to explain why He allows it. But I do know that the 80 years we live in suffering here is going to feel like nothing when we’re living ten thousand years in eternity. It will be like when a woman gives birth. She remembers the drama, but the drama ended and life continued. Sadly, we’re still in the labour stages. The drama is unfolding.

So, there I was last night. Struggling to fall asleep. Husband asking me why I couldn’t sleep. I even told him that it was frustrating me as our last born is a bad sleeper (She meets that ‘autistics don’t sleep well’ profile.) and I needed to try sleep before she woke me. But it took a while to fall asleep. And at 23:25, my eyes popped open. It’s now 14:32 and they’ve not fully closed since then! I woke first because of back pain and jaw tenderness. Earlier yesterday, I’d asked the endodontist’s assistant to move my appointment from Tuesday to Friday next week. Wednesday is a public holiday-Freedom Day-and it’s also the day I chose to commemorate my freedom from being under my parents by getting married and starting my OWN family. I don’t know if my husband has any plans but I do want to be able to eat!

But as I lay there at night, I regretted it. To back up and explain again very quick;ly. In January, I felt tooth pain. I thought maybe it was a cavity in my tooth. I was meant to have surgery on January 12 and so decided not to go to the dentist till after surgery in case I caught covid yet again. But then the tooth pain became unbearable. And I failed my Covid test-I’d had Covid in December and it was still showing up. As the pain increased, I realised I couldn’t take it anymore and the Monday before the op was booked to be done (for real this time. My covid test was negative) I went to a dentist. She did an x-ray after not seeing any hole in my tooth, and told me I had an infection in a tooth that had previously had an incomplete root canal done. In fact, even the tooth next to it had a bad root canal. She gave me antibiotics and a referral to an endodontist.

Surgery came and went, and I decided to go to the endodontist three weeks after I’d seen the dentist. She did a scan and found that the infection had not gone. Not only was it still there, it had now eaten away at bone in my jaw. Long story short, after six hours of treatment, I was told to return in six months so we can see if the bone has started healing or not. Except last week, I had pain, swelling of my gum..around that same tooth. I sent the endodontist a whatsapp message telling her and asking if I should go to a dentist. She immediately sent through a prescription for more antibiotics-third round for the same problem!! And said I should go in, that we will need to get rid of the tooth. Now, I had four impacted wisdom teeth in my university days because my jaw is too narrow. None of my wisdom teeth could grow out as there was no space for them. So I had them removed under general anesthetia. I also have a gap on the opposite side to the current problem side. The name of the game (considering I’ve lost five teeth already and that that causes bone loss and causes shifting of the remaining teeth and weakness ..apparently), was to save my remaining teeth. So I wasted, I mean, spent time and money on saving that tooth so I don’t have to waste a lot more saving my entire lower jaw when my teeth start shaking around. (I’m just going by what I was told. Whether or not it really is that big a deal, I can’t say. I can say that the gum and bone in my gap HAVE gone lower.) Looks like I’ll have to.

So here we are, I told the endodontist last Friday morning that I was in excruciating pain. That when my teeth came together in my sleep, pain kept waking me up. She said I’d need to go in this week Tuesday and very likely remove the tooth after all. OUCH! But then she didn’t give me a time slot and I hoped the antibiotics would work. I told myself I’d go back in if the infection manifests again.

Except they then sent me a message on Wednesday asking how I am. Wanting updates. And my jaw isn’t perfect. I get zings of pain and there is tenderness. I didn’t know what to do. I told them I was ok and left it. But then Wednesday night, I couldn’t ignore that it feels weird. So I asked for an appointment yesterday morning (Thursday). We set it up for Tuesday next week. But, as I said, Tuesday is a day before I might be celebrating with food. I don’t know… If this really was the infection popping up last week, has it damaged even more bone now? Or was it just something else? If the endodontist does remove the tooth, will that mean my damaged bone will just be exposed to the elements? How will I eat?

Yesterday afternoon, I moved the appointment to Friday next week, instead of Tuesday. But last night when I woke up at 23:25, my mind would not rest. I read that you don’t always feel pain even when infection is eating away at you. If so, should I not then move the appointment to the Tuesday rather than the Friday? Would a few days make a difference? What about the fact that these infections can and do kill? Or am I being paranoid?

I sent a message.

I asked the endodontist’s assistant to move the appointment back to Tuesday. Now see here’s the thing. This was not the only thing on my mind at night. My back was screaming in agony. “I don’t know how to fix it. Is it caused by the issue I will mention in Post 2? Why am I suffering so much? And why are things getting worse with my health instead of better? How will I afford to send some of my children to school so I can rest my back more? And which child would I ‘sacrifice’ to the school system? To learning values to the ones we espouse? And why am I wondering when my husband has always been anti-school? Even when we were going to split up (Yes, I slipped that in, I think this is something not many of us SDA speak about) he wanted me to keep educating the children myself and offered to pay me for it so I could have a proper standard of living as a single mom. No way I’d ever convince him to go against our very strong principles no matter the motivation. Just look at diet. We eat a plant-based diet. But all the autism schools I look at offer only meat, or have days on which they have parties or whatever, and give the children meat. We don’t watch fictitious movies or cartoons, only things that are educational and uplifting or based in reality. Basically, documentaries and real life things and pre-school and toddler lessons. But at these schools, they do dress up days and obviously the stories they’d be told would include Hansel and Gretel etc. Things we don’t teach. But God, you know I’mm suffering. If I could, I’d send them all to school so I could lie down and rest my back after doing my chores. Look, it’s even sore now at night as I’m sleeping. I can’t do this!

It’s awful. Kill me! Kill me now! I can’t take another 40 plus years of this. And you certainly have never healed me no matter how I begged and no matter how many professionals I saw. when the begging yielded no results. But my tooth! Why don’t I feel at ease with waiting till Friday? Will the assistant think I’m crazy to again change the date to Tuesday? What if I get there and there’s nothing newly wrong and I’ve rushed there for nothing? But what if it’s silently creeping through my skull and trying to kill me? Seeing as I’m begging for all this physical pain to end, should I not rather wait till Friday and if it’s deadly, allow it to kill me finally? Then I’d finally be at rest. My aunt died at age 83. She suffered terribly, telling us she’s ready to die. But year after year, not dying. If I die, at least people will rejoice that I’m resting. But the children…”

This was all going on in my head as I took out my phone to type to the endodontist’s assistant to ask for the Tuesday appointment.

Then I deleted the message.

What if I was being alarmist? What if it wasn’t traveling up my head to my skull and the strange ‘things’ I’m feeling in my head on that side are just caused by something else? What if the antibiotics did clear up this latest bout and I’m so fine that my tooth won’t even get pulled anyway? So I deleted the Tuesday request and kept it at Friday.

But when daylight came, I regretted deleting the message. I still don’t feel ok. And my jaw is now clicking in that side when I chew and when I open my mouth wide. Is it tension? Or has the infection now really caused more damage in my jaw or moved to my salivary gland? (Both can cause jaw popping.)

God didn’t “kill me now” nor did He take the pain away. Instead at 2am, little Miss woke up. And that is why I have been awake since yesterday. Besides the usual lack of sleep, she is still unwell and had started running a fever. She was not a happy camper. And she slept after 4pm. I dozed but only got ten minutes! and gave up at 5am.

Instead though, what happened was that a receptionist at the endodontist’s sent me a message saying that the system said I have an appointment for Tuesday; could we move it closer and make it Monday.

Simple. Nothing amazing about that question. Though I wondered if the assistant had been replying to me at home and had not updated the system yet -about making it Friday. But to me, it was a little ray of light from God. He might not have killed me. Nor had He healed me. But He did allow me to get an even earlier date than any I’d expected before. I thanked Him not because He orchestrated the change, because I don’t know if He did or not; but I thanked Him for allowing my paranoia fears to be put to bed earlier than even the Tuesday I’d been dithering about. I seriously doubt He made that admin lady contact me, just like I don’t think He ‘made’ the twins who then helped my find that dermoid cyst before it damaged even more than it has already damaged, but He certainly allowed them to exist.

As I’ll mention in Post 2, many things have gone wrong since 2019. I have not bounced back after my surgeries like I did before (except for my hand one in early 2020. That went like a dream) So the zinging pain that comes and goes, the jaw popping… I told the endodontist’s assistant what I will tell you. I would love to go and be sure that I’m just worrying over nothing, than to leave it and it becomes something even worse than what it already is. Truth is, by the time you feel pain (if you ever do), the infection has caused damage. I just hope that the previously caused damage is the only damage we have to watch.

And I’m thankful that my mind will be ease. I may not be God’s chess piece. But I am His child. I hope He keeps caring about me.. and that He improves my life just a little.

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