Remineralizing update

It’s  been:

  • one week since my mouth started hurting.
  • 5 days since I started oil pulling.
  • 2 days since I started remineralizing.

I wanted to touch bases.

First of all, coconut oil isn’t bad. The texture is still a little odd until it melts all the way. And it’s really monotonous to swish for 20 whole minutes. I confess I usually go about 10-15 minutes, decide that’s long enough, and spit it out.

Maybe eventually I’ll have jaws of steel.

The first morning I experimented, I used regular toothpaste with oil pulling. My tooth felt fine until I brushed afterward. Over the course of this week, something else occurred to me. I think it’s currently my biggest eye-opener in the toothpaste conundrum: The side where the tooth in question resides is also the side, no, the exact spot that the gob of toothpaste first makes contact with my teeth. You would think that if that’s the spot that gets the strongest concentration of the stuff that’s supposed to care for my teeth, that would be the LAST spot to get cavities. I used the last gob of toothpaste anyway, so I am just not going to open up another tube until I see how this goes.

The second day I didn’t use any toothpaste (Shameful, I know), just oil pulling. I do have to say that my mouth made huge improvements! I only took Tylenol every 8 hrs (before that I was rotating Tylenol and ibuprofen every 2 hours).

The third day, I used an old prescription toothpaste I have (ProNamel). I realize that by using toothpaste, especially prescription toothpaste, (especially prescription toothpaste I’ve had in my medicine cupboard for more than a year), I’m being unscientific in my study, but I am not so convinced that the internet has this right, yet. And in the process, I want to stop hurting. Honestly, though, these two days were the days that my mouth hurt the worst (aside from the first two days, Where I didn’t use coconut oil)! I was having to take tylonol every 4 hours, and eating was painful. Oil pulling by itself has been the best thing up until now.

On the 4th and 5th days of oil pulling, I finally had the remineralizing toothpaste made up (Breaking calcium pills up into calcium powder is not as easy as it sounds… and those pill-crushers are great… when the pill isn’t a solid rock… like the calcium pills are), so I used ProNamel in the morning, and the remineralizing toothpaste before bed. So far, this is the best balance. I know that the ProNamel hurt more by itself, and purists will curse me for sticking with something with fluoride. Eventually, I will probably stop using it. But I’m having to re-train my brain. Using the remineralizing toothpaste leaves my teeth feeling like I just left the dentist’s office, a little gritty. It tastes like dentist, too. I can’t really complain, that’s probably a good thing. But… it’s not pleasant. I can’t bring myself to lose the minty-fresh side of clean teeth during the day. I know I can add mint extract into the concoction, but I don’t have mint oil (I’m just starting to venture into the “oil world.” I do have clove oil, and I’ve had clove oil since before cloves were cool, and I’ve added a drop of that. Cloves help fight infection. They also help with tooth pain (which is why I’ve had clove oil in my cupboard since I’ve lived on my own. It’s also why it was a staple in the cupboard with my family-of-origin, that all has soft-enameled teeth (Except my dad. He’s lucky. He should have shared that gene. Instead I got the “dentures before 40” gene from my mother).Oh, and I wont add xylitol, because it’s not necessary and I can’t bring myself to add a sweetener that is unnecessary to be counterproductive. Of course, I just came across this site, so I might change my mind. I’ll have to do a bit more reading between the lines.

Do I think Just oil pulling works? Um… Maybe, but I think it would take a long time to actually heal things. I think oil pulling by itself would have to be used for teeth that are already in good shape.

I did notice something, though: The resources I read said “first thing in the AM.” I really am not keen on the idea of getting my kid ready for school while I can’t say a thing. And I AM really keen on the idea of sleep. So getting up on time (okay, I WAKE up on time, I just don’t get out of bed for 1/2 hr. Bad habit, I know) in order to swish coconut oil wasn’t high on my to-do list. But I noticed on the mornings I actually DID it first thing in the morning, I wasn’t reaching for painkillers by lunch. It didn’t hold true for the mornings I waited until my kiddo was off at school. This was both days with and without remineralizing toothpaste.

And, I think another issue that can’t be addressed or fixed by any natural remedy (that I know of… anyone got any ideas?) is this darn bite problem. I’m starting to think that that is most of the remaining pain! Whether or not it’s from cavities, too, I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure. My tooth looks grayish (a sure sign of a problem), and flossing between my teeth hurt like a bugger on the first few days (and I love flossing, so I like to floss every time I brush. I think if I’m gonna go through all the work to brush my teeth, I might as well get between my teeth, too. Although I still get most of my cavities between teeth. Go figure. Another reason to hope oil-pulling works, I guess). It’s not nearly as painful now. But the pressure is still there, like my jaw has been through some major clenching. Also, now that I’m focusing on my bite, It’s really causing problems. I can’t tell what is right, and knowing it’s a problem is like knowing there’s a sliver in your skin so you keep playing with it and irritating it instead of leaving it alone and it pushes itself out. When I think the Dentist will look past my cavities, I’ll probably go in and demand, at all costs, we get my bite fixed. And beg him to help me figure out how it’s supposed to match together… somehow…

Sometimes I think my mother had it right… Dentures before I’m forty sounds easier than braces when I’m [almost] 30.

Brave Mom

You never realize just how much you accept people’s judgement until you let an 8-year-old paint your nails and you hope no one thinks you did it. On the one hand, everyone will oooh and ahhh that I was “nice enough” to let my daughter paint them. Mommy-building experience right there. But if I did them, I’d be frowned upon.

Untitled

And then I tell myself it doesn’t matter what they think. But it’s pretty sad that I had to tell myself that. Especially because, for 8, she did a great job. And I’m proud to have splotchy, dramatic nails, because it means something to her.

And she matters.

My Own Tooth Trauma

Friday night, I started having major pains in one of my molars. It’s ached for about 3 years now, because …well it’s a long story involving a rush job done by a dentist that expected me to come in the day before my wedding (yeah right) for a root canal and an improper bite that makes my whole jaw hurt. But I digress. This hurts more than an ache.

The thing is, in the past few years, knowing full well that I was one step away from a root canal, my ears have perked up whenever root canals were mentioned. I’ve listened while natural/wholistic friends discuss how root canals kill the tooth. I’ve gone on tangents when articles I’m reading have ads discussing how teeth can heal themselves, if you let them. I’ve studied doctor commentaries that usually argue that teeth need the root canals, but it’s usually a last resort.

gallows

Saturday, while I’m holding my jaw and whimpering a little, I researched in one big push. If there’s a way to prevent root canals, isn’t it worth looking into? I mean, even if it’s not a truth, does it really hurt to put it off a week? I mean, if the tooth is pretty much on the gallows, anyway, can’t we delay the sentence one week, just to see if it can be pardoned? From what I can tell, it should only take a week to decide if it’s going to work; Longer to heal entirely, no doubt, but a week to see results/ feel reduction in pain. I’ve dealt with pain, although I confess that I’m a major wimp; but I will take pain -the fear of root canals is stronger.

I’ve never had much luck with dentists. In fact I’ve only ever liked one dentist, up until the rush-job I mentioned above. Before that, I had one dentist pull a tooth just because it was growing too close to another one (now I’m missing a canine, and have a triangular gap in my bottom teeth), one who pretty much destroyed my mouth, one tooth at a time, and one who went to pull a tooth (root-canaled by the complete-destroying dentist) just to break my jaw along with it. I have temporary bone in my jaw from that. It also gives me a huge gap in the back of my mouth that can’t close because there’s no bone for the teeth to go to. At any rate, I feel my fear is justified.

So…game plan:
1. Eat soft foods and try to be gentle, for a week. Avoid sugars and acids. Take acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen until the pain begins to be tolerable. It’s already getting better.
2. Oil-pulling. I’ve heard of this for a while, but swishing oil in my mouth for 15-20 minutes didn’t sound enjoyable. I’ve done it twice, now (pain makes things take on new light), and it’s not as bad as I thought, once the coconut oil is liquid, and if I don’t put too big of a spoonful in my mouth.
3. Remineralizing toothpaste (found recipe online consisting of calcium powder, baking soda, and coconut oil)
4. If it doesn’t work, go in to see a dentist in a week and just get a root canal. If it stops hurting, keep trying this for a month. If it seems to be improving even more, then try it until my teeth are in good shape, then go and get the dentist to try to fix my bite, so I can’t keep hurting myself by actually closing my jaw or grinding my teeth while I sleep.

2013 Review

In an effort to close old things in order to better open new things, I was looking over my journals and old papers from last year. It’s amazing what hindsight does for clarity. Last year was soooo frustrating! I was spinning my wheels in the mud for an entire year! And now I’m looking  back at the goals I made last year, and over my nasty court battle with my ex. I am amazed at what I’ve gained.

Last year, I was timid, scared, and hoping. This year, I’m confident, patient (okay, more patient), and determined.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

Last year I was a tiny seedling screaming for justice. This year I’m a massive oak, standing firm while winds try to stir me.

Last year, the slightest breeze sent me swerving. This year, gales of wind don’t make me bend.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Last year, the slightest flaw in my diet, my mentality, or my day-to-day life, and I’d have to pick up the pieces of my tumbling tower of strength. This year, I’m in control of my fate. This year, I’m placing the stones.

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

For the first time in my mortal existence, though I don’t know exactly when it happened, I am my own strength.I guess  I feel like I have a wider base, a higher center of gravity. I have gained so much strength! Last year, I let so many outside forces crush me. I had less control and less serenity.I think if I’ve mastered one skill over the last year, it would be that: SERENITY. And by golly, that’s a worthwhile skill! And one I wasn’t even looking for. It was the exact skill I needed, though.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

I can’t get over how much I needed last year. I needed one exhausting year of pushing against a mountain in order to know my own strength. The mountain never moved, but now I am strong enough to make my own mountains.

When my court battle was over, I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t see any benefit. But when it ended, I asked my lawyer, “what now?” and she said something that I think back on now and know she spoke truth. She told me she was proud of how much I’d come into my own, and how she didn’t think I’d let anything stop me. I looked back on all the old paperwork the other day, and all the stuff from the most recent endeavor this morning. It’s amazing how much I’ve changed. I think of all the turmoil of emotions I experienced then, and if I were to do it all now, I’d be much calmer. I’d be solid. And a judge would be able to see that. Since that court date, I think about all the bull my ex has pulled. Some of it I let slide. I just add it up. Other stuff, I smile to myself and say nice try. I don’t react any more. I learned how to use his “use-y-ness” against him. I learned to give no reaction. Except a smile. I’m grateful to have learned that skill. I’m also grateful to know that I am worth more than any outside force tries to tell me. I have the power to do what is right, what is needed. And I can use my assets to achieve it. I feel free from the clutches of my ex like never before. The last chains of control are off. The statement that it takes just as long to get out of trouble as it did to get into trouble is apparently true. But the chains were deeper than just court cases. They were locking up my mentality and my emotions. And now… I’m free to feel how I want and what I want. It’s been such a blessing with my daughter and with my husband. It’s also helped me have stronger relationships with my friends and even acquaintances. because I’m allowed to have boundaries now.

But I’m stronger than even that! Last year, I spent so much time so sick! I had to work my way out of every second of illness. It was like climbing a rock-faced pit. Sometimes I’d fall down and have to start all over. I just wanted to be at the top. I just wanted to be all better. No more food-allergies. No more weak moments of eating garbage and then paying for it later. I was so frustrated that people, especially friends and family, didn’t understand what processed food was doing to me! I would let down my boundaries just to keep the peace, then feel sick, berate myself for eating garbage just to please everyone, and then do the whole fiasco again. But then a glorious thing happened. I cut ties. I told the loudest nay-sayers in my life that I deserved better treatment. When they responded and proved that their status-quo was more important than my well-being, I both knew where I stood and that I was enough with or without their approval. I didn’t talk to some for quite a while. When I started a relationship up again, it was on my terms. Can I just say, that was amazing! I’ve learned that toxic people are not necessary in my life. I’ve learned that I don’t have to solve problems for people who don’t care about me for me. I have also learned that people can try to tell you how to run your life, but you don’t have to listen.

I’ve watched my husband experience many of the same lessons, if a bit grudgingly, at times. I’ve watched him grow right along with me. We can grow together, now, instead of just growing individually. It’s so interesting to look back on life… In my past marriage, we grew colder and further apart. The more time went on, the weaker our marriage was. But with Ranger, the longer we’re married, the stronger we are. The stronger our feelings are. I’m so blessed to have this experience of marriage and love.

And all this from a year that I really didn’t like very much.

Invictus by William Earnest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Girl’s Night with my Girl

My daughter, like all other children (and I’m starting to think adults, too), has been begging me to take her to Frozen. I kept postponing it, hoping it’d eventually end up in the cheap theater (I’m smelling greedy skunk…), but after prolonging so far and “every other kid in school” has seen it, I finally caved. It had been a really stressful week, and I was looking forward to spending money (retail therapy) for experiences (the real therapy). So we started off with a cupcake from the locally-acclaimed cupcake shop.
Untitled

it’s funny but when you don’t eat many processed foods, even cupcakes become gaggy-sweet. Suddenly my own cooking tastes so much better.

Untitled

Then we added even more junkfood and bought the way-overpriced processed snack (still smelling greedy skunk… I wonder where it’s coming from…)

Untitled

Frozen was pretty cute. I mean, I don’t get why EVERYONE and EVERYONE’s EVERYONE must sing all the songs and rave and have 10,000 things to say about it, because it’s just a movie, with a movie’s standards; but it was cute. I’d watch it again.

Untitled

We went to a fire-themed restaurant for dinner. Really REALLY good food! I had the owner’s favorite dish, and he’s got good taste. We ended up running into my brother-in-law at the restaurant (small world), but he had a booth in the bar-section and we were interested in more of the family-friendly atmosphere, so we didn’t sit with them. It was kind of funny to run into them, though.

Untitled

These crayons fascinate me. I’d love to find some research on the history of crayons and why they are round and not triangles. I also wonder if triangles are a better shape? Lastly, I’d like to find a yellow animal that actually starts with Y. Those darn alliterations get you every time…And there’s gotta be a less-obvious blue B-animal.

Untitled

They were talking about the Olympics at school (I’m glad. Americans have very little Olympic pride anymore. I think that spells trouble. You should have heard my Canadian and Finnish friends! I’d love to sit next to them some time this week), and my daughter came home excited to watch the Opening Ceremony. It was LONG… but she watched it. She was pretty in love with all the Russian Ballet moves.

“In my old school…”

Lately, I’ve privately felt as Phoebe from The Magic Schoolbus; only in reverse. I see something that needs fixed, and I think: “In my NEW school…”

Let me back up for a bit. Remember how I kept hinting that things were changing in my life? The main motivation for that has been a snowball that started out as just an idea. When I told people about my glorious month of homeschool, I was fed so many varieties of, “I’d love to do that, but I just can’t.” followed by some reason they couldn’t. Then they’d say something like, I just wish there was a better option out there.” That started the little snowball.

Then I attended a homeschool co-op meeting, and it was asked what happens when they reach the max amount of students the current structure would hold. The elected officials discussed how they would not oppose anyone starting another co-op, in fact, they’d rejoice in it.That added a heap of snow.

And then I took the Praxis, and aced it; better than most state-funded teachers. That boosted my ego a bit.

So I entertained the idea of starting a private school for a while. Every step of the way, I intended to find a road block, a reason not to do it.

I talked to a high-ranking member of education department at the local college, waiting for him to tell me to stop rocking the boat. I got exactly the opposite. If words could be a standing ovation, I got it. He suggested resources. Then he said he admired my motivation to stand up for a needed change, thanked me, and we parted ways.

I called the state board of education. Clearly, they’d have a reason not to start this. I won’t say I got a standing ovation. But I was told, in a tired and unenthusiastic voice that the state washes its hands of all private education. They gave me the information to become accredited, which I am not interested in, and which I don’t need (I researched ways around it. Word of mouth is better than a paper on my wall, anyway).

At first, my husband was hesitant. I  don’t blame him. It was frustrating to not be on the same page as he, but I understand where his frustrations were coming from. We talked and talked and talked. I think he just needed to see that I meant this, and that I wasn’t going to jump in blindly. I showed him the steps I am taking, and that they’re in order. I invited him to come with me to meetings. He was present, not supportive, until we finally just sat down and listened to one another. I asked him what his hold-ups were. We talked about them. I expressed my fears, and why I felt it was right.

I’ve looked at locations. I haven’t found the ideal one yet, but I’m being guided. I’ve studied curriculum, and tuition options, and hours after hours of studying how to do this right. And every step of the way, I feel guided.

Finally, today, I let the cat out of the bag. There was a major dispute on state laws and public education in my Facebook news feed this morning. Lots of local parents are unhappy with a current decision. I suggested that instead of complaining, something should be done. That post, along with all of the posts complaining, received lots of likes.

Then I posted that I was in the process of starting a private school. And Suddenly, my corner of Facebook went silent. People are all about badmouthing a decision. But few are okay with changing it. It’s rather disheartening, actually. It might be the roadblock to all of my planning. I guess I will see what happens. In the meantime, I will keep researching, keep studying, and at least I’m growing as a person, even if no actual school ever gets started.

Random

Untitled

When I was driving down the road yesterday, I was admiring the sunset. The whole thing was spectacular, but I particularly found this moment intriguing. Luckily, it was right as I was at an intersection. Do you see how one pillar of light goes straight up through the sky? Magnificent.

God Loves us. He also keeps us interested.

Update

Gah! I didn’t mean for a month-long vacation. I’m glad I took it,  but I apologize. I’m getting hit with the winter blah’s a little harder this year than anticipated. And life’s kind of been a whirlwind. I’ve got a couple of posts I halfway wrote but never finished. I’ll get them up today and probably backdate them.

Either way, it looks like my life is about to change. I feel like if last year was the year for questions, this is most definitely the year for answers. I don’t know what they all mean, yet,  but I feel like what was once a stagnant river is now a massive, earth-shattering flood-rush of water. It’s taking some time to figure out what’s up.

I had a list of goals for this year. But I threw them out the window. Not because I don’t keep resolutions (I very much do, even if I fall behind in them), but because they’re already non-applicable. I don’t really know what goals I have, yet. And now it’s February. I wish time would pause while I figured out what was going on, but the story of life is, the world just keeps on turning.