A lesson from the Dentist
Posted on 30th April 2021 at 13:50
Oxygen's Gareth Keyte shares a valuable lesson about putting off much-needed investment in yourself
Warning! Dental References 😁
Some readers may find the following article distressing.
Do you remember trips to the dentist the 70’s and 80’s? I have vivid memories of fillings without pain relief, lack of empathy to my discomfort, the clinical smell and the sound of the drill as I sat in the waiting room. I carried on going though, more so because my mum dragged me there stressing the importance of looking after my. And she was right!
Thankfully ‘Gwyndaf the Butcher’ retired when I was in my teens and I had a new more positive experience with ‘Ceri’ my new dentist. He and his assistant provided compassion, information and most importantly anesthesia 😊.
As a vain teenager, I felt my happy smile contributed to the new attention I was getting from girls, so I was motivated to maintain the 6-monthly visits. But it was an accident at school on the rugby field that really made me appreciate the skill and wisdom of my dentist.
A stray elbow to the face on the training ground loosened one of my front teeth, killed the nerve and eventually turned the tooth grey. The lack of uniformity in my mouth, along with the acne on my face really affected my confidence as I became more and more self-conscious and avoided smiling. Ceri suggested that I have a post crown to restore my smile to its former glory before I left school and had to start paying for treatment. I obviously agreed.
In 3 short pain-free visits, I had undergone root treatment, removal of the majority of the damaged tooth and I received a new crown. My smile and confidence was restored and the tooth served me well for over 30 years.
Where am I going with this? Stay with me.
Over the last 5 years or so, my trusted crown has come loose a few times resulting in emergency appointments and financial costs I hadn’t planned for. I was advised to consider a more permanent solution because each time it was reset, the root became compromised and the tooth would appear less straight. I always went away to think about it, but soon become complacent again as the tooth was no longer a problem. Over 5 years though it was repeatedly adjusted and reset eventually giving me the appearance of the film character Nanny McPhee.
I recognized that I was in a cycle of temporary crisis and repair and avoiding what needed to be done. This strategy was costing me more than it would cost to permanently fix the problem. So after reviewing my finances I bit the bullet [pun intended] and elected for a dental implant. I selected a payment plan and signed-up for the treatment. The whole process takes over 6 months with preparatory surgery and healing.
After several visits and a total of 2 hours of pain free surgery, the only discomfort I experienced was keeping my mouth open for so long. I briefly thought about the money had spent over the years avoiding taking action. I've never considered myself a procrastinator, more of a man of action but I guess this was different. I didn't dwell on it for long, I chalked it up to experience and decided to change my strategy for the future.
Now I know not all of you reading this will view my dental experience in the same way. But I’m pretty sure you are able to relate to spending money on temporary solutions and quick fixes. So I’m posing a couple of questions to you:
Do you always seem to find more important things to spend your money on than your own health and wellbeing?
If so, do you get a good return on your investment?
If you could recover that money and invest it in your mental wellbeing, what would you go for if success was guaranteed?
Final question –
Why haven’t you gone for it yet?
If you’re a man interested in learning more about ‘Investing in your wellbeing’, you may want to join 'The Ultimate Men's Wellbeing Program' running from May 2021.
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