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The Tale of 1.5 Missing Teeth

I skied a lot this past winter. It was more than I normally ski in 2 or three seasons and I loved every minute of it.It was one of the terms for myself if I got new ski gear. I had snowboarded up until this year and was making the leap back to skis by buying a ski touring setup. That means you get skins to put on the skis so you can go uphill as well as downhill. They let you adventure in the backcountry a lot easier than snowshoes. I told myself that if I got this gear then I had to spend the time and effort to learn to ski well and get out and do it. There was not going to be any dust on my ski gear.Most of the my ski days were on the local resort mountain. I did do some touring in the backcountry but when you spend hours getting to the top and all you get is one run down, you want to make sure that run counts. I’d much rather be in the backcountry for the view and the lack of crowds but to get in sheer number of runs I hit the resort whenever I could.While I’m not an adrenaline junkie that loves to huck steep cliffs onto hardpack snow, I do like to get out and rip down the hill. That said, I’m fairly cautious when it comes to getting down the hill. I’d rather get down the hill in one piece than end up in a pile at the bottom.Even with my caution there were a few good spills this season while getting my feet on the new skis.A group of friends I headed up to a ski hill a little further than our usual hunt in search of some good powder. Near the end of the day (it’s always near the end of the day) I hit a little jump that I had it numerous times before. I was tired and was leaning too far back and ended up in a pile at the bottom, breaking one of my ski poles in the process. Luckily it was the end of the day and we were just packing up to leave anyways.the mishapI had another mishap near the end of the day on another hill we went to.I was skiing with some of my family and everything was going great. The snow wasn’t that good but the weather was holding and I was stoked to get in another ski for the year. I wish I had a great story to tell here but it wasn’t. The ski patrol afterwards was also expecting a tale of some hardcore stunt gone awry.All I could tell him was that my cousin accidentally hit me in the mouth with her ski pole. Near the lift. Not going very fast. On a fairly flat piece of the run.It looks much more hardcore than it actually is, I swear!The ski pole cracked my right front tooth clean off up into the gum but for some reason it held on and was just hanging there. It broke the second tooth off about halfway. After a quick visit to the ski patrol shack we headed off down the mountain for a mandatory visit to the dentist. Normally I hate the dentist but I was anxious to see what was going to happen with the tooth that was currently hanging out of my gums. We got there and he delivered the news. The second tooth would just be capped. No biggie, covered mostly by the insurance I’ve got. Score. The front tooth was another story.There wasn’t enough tooth anchored in to put a cap on. Being broken up into the gum meant that would have to remove it.┬áThere were two different ways they could do it. The first and older method was the bridge. They would file down the two adjacent teeth to slip a bridge over and the space would be taken up by a third tooth. It’s a cheaper way to do it. In the short run. Because of broken bridges over years and other work involved they usually end up being more expensive. And it requires filing down my other teeth, particularly the other front one. I was down a tooth and a half, I really didn’t want to be missing another half forever.The second option was an implant. It’s a bit of a dental operation and a longer recovery time, but it can last a lifetime and is as close as you can get to another real tooth. Basically they put a screw in where the tooth root was and then screw a tooth in on top of that. The only problem is the cost. All said and done it will be over $6500 and insurance rarely covers implants.Because I like my teeth and I didn’t like the sound of fiddling around with a bridge down the road I opted for the implant. So a few weeks ago I headed into the office and got a good portion of my face frozen up. After a few incisions, a bunch of pulling and some drilling, I had a fresh implant screwed in to the bone which had been built up with some cow bone. “We want this thing to last,” the doctor says. I’m glad he feels that way!Fast forward to today. It’s been just over a month since I got the implant in and it’s healing well. The incisions to build up the bone have healed well and all the stitches are out. It’s now just a waiting game until the implant heals in 2 to 3 months and I can get a brand new tooth stuck on there.abrupt learningSometimes things we learn aren’t necessarily voluntary. They come at us sideways and show us things we didn’t really want to see but are in no situation to look away at the time. We learn things about ourselves and others that we would never see in normal situations. I don’t advocate trying to learn this way but there’s always a lesson in things that happen, good or’s not that badBeing tuned in the face with a ski pole can definitely catch you off guard. Having pieces of your teeth floating around in your mouth all of a sudden is never a welcome feeling and who really knows how to deal with that. After the initial shock wore off and we figured out what was going to happen next, I had a bit of time to reflect on my what was going on. Accidents happen all the time and most of them don’t do any lasting damage. Sure things might get tough for a month or 2 but things will go back to the way they were and then everyone forgets it ever happen.Sometimes, things happen that change you forever. I’m not saying that I’m worse off in any way being one real tooth short but it’s an odd feeling thinking that I’ll never have that tooth ever again. It’s gone. Forever.The important thing is that I remember it’s not that bad. It’s only a tooth. It’s not an arm, a leg, an eye, my life. All things considered, a tooth is a very small body part to lose permanently. In the big scheme of things a tooth is nothing. No one really cares right now that I’m missing a front tooth and certainly no one will in the future when it’s been replaced with a crown. I’m alive, I have all my limbs. Life is good.I read a post somewhere a while ago (I’m sorry to whoever this was) about zooming out when things get tough. There were 2 ways to do it, through space and through time. It sounds like a freaky science experiment but it’s really just a simple mind game to get yourself going again.When things get tough stop focusing on yourself. Slow down. Zoom out. Think about everyone around you. Think about everyone in the area you’re in. Does your little problem really matter?┬áThink about everyone in the city, province or country you’re in. Think about everyone on the planet. How bout now?Another way to look at it is through time. You’ve got some stuff going on. It’s tough. You’d rather not be there going through it. Think about people 30 years ago. 50 years ago. 100 years ago. 1000 years ago. People didn’t even used to have the problems we have today because they didn’t have all the crap we have going on today. That makes us part lucky and part unlucky. I’d MUCH rather have to deal with what we’ve got going on today than have to deal with finding where my next meal is coming from, friends dying from the plague or running my ass off from a saber tooth tiger (not sure if those are real but insert any big animal that would want to eat early humans). I’m pretty sure you’re problem is not quite like finding your half-eaten buddy in the woods and wondering if you’re next.keep your head upNo matter how bad the situation gets, someone has had it worse. Do everything you can to affect a positive result on the situation but at the end of the day things are what they are. Often things are out of your control. If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it. Focus on the positive and the future. Don’t stress about the past.keep on truckingWhat good does it do for anyone to curl up and freak out about what’s going on. Nothing. Nothing at all. It just wastes the time and energy you could have used changing things you have control over or getting on with your life. Use the ideas above the get a hold of yourself, decide where you want to go from here and then get trucking. Don’t look back. Like Dory says, “Just keep swimming.”Just keep swimming.