Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's Your Thing?

Have you ever...acquired something, as a gift or whatever that you really didn't want and thought would be totally useless but ended up being something you couldn't live without now? This is mine.

I KNOW! Sexy, isn't it. I didn't get this because I'm a professional boxer or am involved in any type of sport that requires dental protection, I got it because my dentist told me I was grinding my teeth. At first I was all like, "Sure dude, and I hope that helps pay for your family Christmas in Maui or Whistler." And he's all like, "Dude, your insurance covers it 100%." And I was all like, "Whoa! Sign me up!" Ok, that conversation didn't actually sound like that but you get the idea.

DAMMIT! I ran out of creamer. Coffee sucks with 2%. Sigh.

Ok, so where was I? Oh ya. And now that we're there, let's back up a few years. I used to wake up everyday with really nasty neck and back pain. Like everyday. These caused delightful headaches and made me an all around lovely person to spend time with. Back in 2005, my first week into my new job, my neck seized up so bad I couldn't move. It was horrible. Horribly horrible. It happened again in July of 2007. I make fun of it now, but really, I've never experienced pain like that, ever. I could not move without intense pain. I couldn't lie down, first because it was excruciating to try and second, it would take 15-20 minutes just to get up the nerve to try and get out of bed. It took almost a week of drugs and physio for it to subside and having to sleep sitting up did not help matters. Both times it happened the doctors couldn't really pinpoint why it was happening or what caused it, only that it obviously was.

Then along comes my dentist telling me I'm grinding my teeth and offering me this $1500 mouth guard that, THANK GOD! I didn't have to pay for. And guess what? Pain gone. Gone gone. I started sleeping normally. No neck or back pain. If my dentist was more attractive I damn well might have kissed him.

When I get stressed by anything, like a lot of men, I box it up and ignore it. Unfortunately, I box a little more than the average bear and in the last few years the warehouse has started running out of space. And when you're sleeping, the warehouse doors open. My stress was manifesting itself in the teeth grinding, amongst other things. But the grinding was so bad it was effecting my neck muscles which in turn tried to hand off some work on my back muscles, and so on and so on and so on.

Losing my job recently has put some serious chew marks into the other side of my mouth guard, but all in all, it's still doing its job. And to think that if my insurance company hadn't paid for the damn thing I probably wouldn't have got it and still been suffering. Crazy. So what's your thing?


  1. See, it's impossible for me to grind my teeth due to breaking my nose on several occasions. Deviated Septum makes me a mouth-breather by night.

    My thing is, I have to Punch things. My father gave me a workout bag years and years ago. When he bestowed it upon me i thought, "thanks Dad. that's like saying, 'here. you throw this away.'"

    I used it all the time. Now the straps are broken and it hangs funny and the Duct Tape on the Duct Tape is cracking and I need a new one.

    Wonder if Insurance will cover my Mental Health needs?

  2. Mine isn't nearly as sexy as yours.

    Mine's a jewelry box.

    Yeah, you read that right.

    For my 17th b-day, my mom got me an ugly flowery jewelry box. I hated it. I liked the pair of earrings inside along w/the note telling me she gives me permission to pierce my ears for the second time but I hated the jewelry box itself.

    Now...I can't live without it. It's got just the right amount of space I need to hold all my crap. I'd be lost with out it. All my jewelry would be in a shoe box somewhere.

  3. Ah! How is it possible that we've never discussed this before?! I, too, look like a boxer when I go to bed at night! I'm not just the founder of the teeth grinder club, I'm a member too!

    I had braces for about 13 months about six years ago. The orthodontist told me that I would experience pain when I got them tightened. I told him he was dead wrong because I had been grinding my teeth for years and was used to all the soreness. You should have seen me back then. I had metal mouth AND a mouth guard.

    I am not sessy when I head to bed at all.

  4. jbg- do you make the gross sucking noises just to gross out Jeremy??? I had braces when I was a kid. Don't miss the tightenings at all.

    ciii-work out bag... that would be helpful

    md-your thing is your thing, no matter what it is

  5. i actually could use one of those...i stress big time, which means grinding big time. i hate it. teeth hurt, jaw hurts, neck hurts. back in the day i did have a mouth guard, but i actually spent $2 at the store for it (this is what dentist told me to do). i wore it for awhile, but i think things in my mouth freak me out. lol

    i don't know if i really have 'a thing'...i'll have the think about it.

    i left a comment for you at my blog regarding chili :) lol

  6. I usually just fire up my iTunes to deafening levels and blast "angry" music to relieve stress. The other day my postman came to deliver a package and I was blasting Metallica's Master of Puppets. I got a really weird look from him.

  7. Nice mouth guard!

    Mine is a shirt my ex-husband gave me a year before our divorce (7+ years ago). I never liked it but for some reason it ended up in a box of clothing that I recently sorted through to give away.

    I used it to clean the toilet. Wow. What a deep down shine I got with that shirt. Of course, I didn't want to wash it and ruin it, so I threw it out.


  8. Hey, I have a thing, too! Except it's smaller. It's only the bitey part behind my teeth, and it had little wire thingies that hook on my teefs. TMJ sucks.

  9. Middle Aged Woman is right. TMJ sucks. But that's not my point.

    My husband is a grinder. And the sound, my god that sound. I feel for your wife. And for you. The mouth guard sounds like it has changed your life. Much like the flat iron has changed mine. But that's still not my point.

    The thing that I thought I would never use or need but now can't live without is TIVO. When the guy installed our Direct TV a few years ago and said, "You get TIVO with this package," I was all, "Whatevs. We'll never use that."

    Ha. Ha haha. Ha ha ha haha ha ha ha! Now I would give up my kids before I would give up the TIVO.

    Exactly like your mouth guard.

  10. See if I had TIVO, the thing would totally change. We get out tv from our phone company and since the idea is still kinda new there is no TIVO equivalent yet. We have a HD recorder but it SUCKS!!!

    When my kids grind their teeth it drives me crazier than anything. Totally flipping stick my hands in their mouths stare them in the eyes DO NOT DO THAT EVER kinda crazy.

  11. Alas, I do not have a mouth guard so I cannot be part of your cool club (always how it is for me, on the outside looking in) but I need one - My insurance does NOT cover it so the grinding will go on.

  12. Oh and what I can't live with out?


  13. Vodka and 7-up. Could so go for that right now.

  14. o.k. since someone mentioned tivo, i have to say that i cannot live without DVR. i don't watch much t.v.s but with what little shows i do watch i have to record. that's what happens when you have a teen and tweens at home and they're lives are filled with so many activities you have to chauffeur, coach, assist, etc. lol

    i was able to take my girls out to dinner last night w/o freaking out missing all my shows, which some come on in the middle of others, and enjoyed myself lol

    btw i had many thai and laotian friends back in the day, now i'm friendless LOL

    p.s. dvr will soon be available on ALL boxes in our home so we don't have to watch the t.v. downstairs all the time. am i excited? hell yeah! hahaha

  15. I try not to make that gross sucking sound. My husband laughed when I told him about you asking that. Even though I try to keep the sucking to a minimum, he totally knows the sound.

    Dude. TIVO changes lives. In 2004, I counted it as our second best thing we spent money on that year. The first? That would be the adoption of Henners.

    I cant bare my testimony of TIVO enough. That little ding noise it makes is so comforting to hear.

    Other items that are my things? Things I can't live without? They are:

    Smell of Henry's feet
    Smell of Reesie's neck
    iPhone (sorry)
    The Colbert Report
    Kashi Go Lean Cereal
    Finesse mousse. It has no alcohol in it. It doesn't dry out my nappy hair!!

  16. ciara-you have friends here at Us & Them

    jbg-I'm convinced we are cosmically separated twins.


Come on, sailor. I love you long time.