Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crying in Public

One of the things that embarrasses me most about myself is my ability to cry, openly and with varying degrees of effect, in public.  Sometimes these are tears of joy or sadness, and I make no apology for these.  I'm an emotional gal, and if I am extremely happy or extremely saddened, you'll know and--usually--you'll find it acceptable.

But sometimes I get so frustrated I just can't help it.  I don't handle frustration or (what I perceive to be) injustice well at all.  Sometimes the results are marvelous (such as when on the phone with a customer service representative).  Sometimes it just seems to annoy everyone around me (sorry, honey).  I get it.  I'm a grown woman and I should not cry.  It's embarrassing.

Nevertheless, I've been pretty weepy these past few days, even by my own standards.  It started Saturday night as I was flying back from Maine with the girls.  They were awesome on our first flight, but our second flight (which departed at 10:15pm) was tough.  Jillson finally fell asleep, but Madelyn fought it for nearly the entire flight.  She wanted to sit next to her sister, but I was afraid she would wake her, and I could not for the life of me muster the energy to get up, unbuckle everybody, and rearrange our seats yet again.  Eventually, I got Madelyn semi-calmed down, snuggled onto my lap, where she kind of crumpled into me, moaning "I want my Papa, I want my Papa, I want my Papa" over and over again.

There was nothing I could do other than rub her back and say "I know.  We'll be there soon.  Papa's waiting for us."  But all I was thinking about was how difficult this will be in a few months' time when I will not be able to say we'll see Papa any time soon.  I lost it.  I cried and cried and cried.  Thank God it was dark, but I'm sure my excessive sniffling gave me away.  I figured it was my first official cry of the impending Ridiculously Long Business Trip (RLBT).  And just thinking that made me cry more.

Maybe it's best to get these things out of my system beforehand?

Yesterday, too, despite my general happiness, was an epic day of crying.  I've been trying to deal with a painful tooth that began throbbing about a week ago and rapidly progressed to unbearable.  While I was still in Maine, the Gutsy Dad made me an appointment with a local dentist and found us a babysitter.  By the time the appointment rolled around, I was DELIGHTED to be going to get help.

Then I had to sit in the waiting room for an hour and fifteen minutes (crying quietly off and on) while the dentist's office tried to contact my OB/GYN for permission to x-ray my mouth. Permission finally granted, and one excruciating oral exam later (blatant, uncontrollable crying), it was determined that dear old tooth #29 needed a root canal.  "Call the endodontist right away; let them know it is an emergency; they'll fit you right in."

Rushed home to relieve the new babysitter, called the endodontist and got the run-around (pathetic "customer-service frustration" crying ensued).  Finally got them to agree to see me, called my new neighbor to see if I could leave my kids with her, and rushed off to Savannah.  Tears of relief and pain all mixed together.

The endodontist was so kind, so funny, so calming that I immediately started crying and laughing all at once out of sheer gratitude.  I apologized for crying and then the flood gates REALLY opened and I couldn't stop crying or string together any coherent words for several minutes.  The doctor just patted me on the shoulder and said "Let it out.  You're worn out.  Your hormones are nuts.  Your hair's on fire with pain."  I think I fell in love with him a little bit.

Anyway.  This is just to say that these next few weeks could be a little watery.  That and I think it would be wise to encourage at least one of my daughters into the dental field.  I'm thinking being an endodontist is a fairly recession-proof career.  By the time the doctor's assistant showed me the sheet with the estimated costs (after insurance) of a root canal, I was thrilled to sign it. I was in so much pain--and filled with so much gratitude to live in an era of kind endodontists and lidocaine--that I would've signed it even if the cost were tripled.

Today I will not be getting my hair done as originally planned.  Today, instead, I'm off to see the oral surgeon for a mid-root-canal consult.  (Hoping the pain relief from yesterday's partial procedure will help me stave off tears.)  Today, perhaps, the root canal will be finished. Today the kids get to meet yet another new babysitter.  (Thank God for adaptable kids.)  And maybe today I will finish unpacking that last suitcase from Maine.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Oh no! so sorry to hear about the tooth, the flight, all of it. Hope everything settles down soon. I am sure it being 100 degrees does not help matters. Hugs to everyone! [and yes, there's a dentist in our neighborhood, who works 4 days a week, is home by 5 pm, golfs and has dates with his wife mid-week, etc, etc, and all of my female friends always say, "oh, we should have married a dentist" to which I reply, "no, we should have BEEN dentists" (well, not me, I am totally wigged out by charlie's loose tooth) yes, I whole hearedtly agree that one of my nieces should enter the dental profession :-)