Wisdom from a wisdom tooth
It was Sept. 1, a time to welcome a new season that brings joy to everyone with Jose Mari Chan on cue to sing timeless Christmas songs.
On the one hand, I faced a grueling challenge for the day as I was scheduled for my wisdom tooth extraction at 9 a.m. I was feeling exuberant as the day started believing that the procedure would be effortless, and that I could finally get rid of this impacted wisdom tooth. I was even hesitant to be accompanied to the dentist by my sister as I expected I could drive myself home afterward.
The dentist explained so many things based on the x-ray. I kept on nodding, wondering why there was so much information, when all I could think of was how the procedure would feel and end. I have experienced tooth extractions many times in my life, and I didn’t fear it much. But when I absorbed everything he discussed, I suddenly felt a bit frightened. Then again, I had no choice but to bear whatever pain there was in the process.
I sensed the dentist’s struggle throughout the whole extraction. I would clench my fist whenever there was discomfort or pain. I could feel the force of removing the tooth, and after an hour or so, I saw it full of blood and out of my mouth.
I thought that was the climax of my day. But when I got home, I felt so much pain that even the painkiller could not alleviate it. It has been a while since I last experienced such horrible discomfort. I never expected it to hurt like that but I underestimated the fact that once the anesthesia comes off, the real deal comes on.
I felt really weak the whole afternoon, and it kind of worried my mom. She remarked, “It’s just a tooth, you’ve had it way worse before.” That was actually how I felt before the whole thing happened. I even questioned why I let myself be consumed by the pain when I’ve experienced worse. And then I came to realize that just because you have been in the same situation does not mean you’re numb to the next difficulty that may come along. However, you also have to help yourself and rise from the pain. Each pain comes with an important lesson, and it is up to you to decide what it will make out of you.
I have had my fair share of pain, and each one had a different level of agony. I underwent major surgery in a way I have never imagined, but I survived because of God’s healing. When I was younger, a large karaoke fell on me and a few stitches were done on the upper part of my forehead. I recovered, again, because of God’s grace. I could go on and on, but I credit everything to the one up above for giving me the strength to withstand all those difficulties.
Emotional and mental exhaustion is another kind of pain that may come off as normal to others. But these challenges are like any other physical sickness, there is still pain. Fighting rejections, insecurities, and hopelessness are some of the many things I grew up with. Rejection after rejection can be a daunting experience.
I have always been a dreamer, and it hurts whenever I get so hopeful about an opportunity. “Maybe, this is really it,” I’d think, then afterward see myself crumbling in pain and questioning myself why I did not make it. “When would that day finally come?” I get overly optimistic as I am about to reach the end of a process, only to be disappointed by the result. But that’s life. You cannot have everything you want. I give myself a few days or weeks to feel the pain and evaluate where I could improve so that I can correct my mistakes. I would then find myself slowly picking up the broken pieces and figuring out what to do next. I grab an inspirational book, pray about it, and shower myself with encouragement.
Life is but a series of wisdom tooth extractions. One day, you will feel a throbbing pain so you prepare yourself for what’s to come. But you cannot be totally ready for anything. You accept the situation as it is. Feel the pain. Feel it slowly getting deeper. When the pain subsides, you get up and focus on the good things. There is always light at the end, for pain is temporary. Your endurance and courage are your fuel. Most of all, your faith and never-ending belief that something good will happen are your lifelines. You see, pain is something that constantly reminds us that we are just human. Without pain, we can never truly experience how it feels to be relieved, to be healed, and to move forward.
Karrah Kshatria B. Seronay, 29, is a bank employee for almost 10 years now.
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