The Five Couch's went to the dentist today. Since we were new to this office, we experienced a different way of taking x-rays (now digital) and some other technology that not only had my mouth wide open, but also my eyes. They stuck a camera in my mouth, and instead of just hearing a description of what is going on inside my dark pie hole, they showed me... and it was not pretty. It had been a year and a half since I had been to the dentist, and it showed. I saw for myself the tartar that was settling in like a retired couple in Florida. They pointed out my 20 year old fillings and how those will have to be taken care of someday soon. There were hairline cracks in some teeth, and the "F" on every dentist patient's report card... cavities! By the way, here's the score: Couch kids number of cavities - 0, Mom and Dad, two each! As mentioned, it was a mouth and eye-opening experience! Of course the assistant hygienist asked if I flossed every day and I brushed her lecture off with a "I know, I know." I think she actually thought to herself, "Brush off my lecture, eh? Just wait till I stick this camera in your mouth!" Needless to say, Marty and I were brushing and flossing and Listerine-ing our brains out tonight.
I must admit, I felt a little shame around the whole experience. The results I saw in my mouth today were preventable. I told myself when our insurance changed and we wouldn't have dental for a while that I needed to take care of my teeth diligently. But time passed, and I got typical. I'll admit, I even got lazy. When my bedtime hits, my eyes are drooping, so many a night I would walk right past the toothbrush, not to mention the dental floss, and just go right to sleep. I would brush in the morning, and everything looked okay in my bathroom lighting, but in the dentist's chair, the lights and camera showed the action that was really going on.
It's a wake up call to take better care of myself and not just in the oral hygiene department. What else should I be doing that I know I should but I'm not? Am I resting properly? Do I spend time with friends that enrich my life? How am I doing spiritually? It's amazing to think that I knock myself out making sure my kids are taken care of, but I don't expend the same energy making sure I'm running okay. I know it's because I love them to death, but I need to learn to love myself a little bit more as well. After all, I'm the one with the cavities.