Today I rediscovered the truth of the premise that nothing learned is ever really wasted. I had the arms of my chair in a death grip as I breathed in and out, trying to focus on some other body part in an attempt to return to the Lamaze breathing exercises of almost 42 years ago. My dental hygienist Jenn – whom I honestly like when she doesn’t have an implement in her hand – was cleaning my teeth. She was employing that tool of Satan, the waterpik, which shoots sub-arctic water beneath my gums.
This would all be perfectly fine if I didn’t have :
- a pain threshold lower than a nine-day veteran of the Iron Maiden
- aging gums that have rolled up like 8 pm small-town sidewalks.
- aging teeth with more cracks than a pre-Civil War house foundation.
By now she knows who she’s dealing with, and bless her heart, she
numbs my entire mouth before approaching me. Still, we have the occasional exciting moment when she hits a live wire in a tooth and I suddenly levitate an inch or two above the chair while water is sprayed liberally over both of us.
Today while I waited for the next inevitable jolt of pain, I tried to transport my mind somewhere else. This time I not only employed the breathing exercises that brought my now-41 year-old son into the world (deep breath, release slowly, focus on my left knee cap or pinky finger), but I also threw in a few butt clenches and Kegel contractions.
I figured I might not have any control over the events in my mouth, but at least I’d come away with a firm derriere and a decreased chance of incontinence.