Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In the shower...

I moved my toothbrush and toothpaste to my shower a while ago.  I moved it back whilst my family was here because I didn't want to hear criticism against it.  And I didn't want to defend it.  Mostly, I don't want to think about why I need my toothbrush in the shower.

I have mentioned having difficulty swallowing before, way back with my original GP.  Perhaps a couple of years ago, now, I started noticing that I had to work at swallowing.  Not always, but enough that I noticed.  It bothered me because I know that can grow to be a big problem.  I have noticed it recently with swallowing pills. I have noticed it because of a problem I have not yet tried to discuss with a doctor, though maybe with Becky. I cannot remember.

My gag reflex has become yet another part of my body that has an exaggerated response.  I try to brush my teeth and, if not very, very, very careful about the placement of my toothbrush when trying to brush my tongue or the inside of my back teeth, I gag and even vomit.  So, I moved my toothbrush into the shower where, if I vomit, I can clean myself up more easily than standing at the sink.  And, in a way, brushing my teeth in the shower is a reminder to me, since I feel ... discombobulated ... about doing so, to be very careful with my toothbrush.

I have started gagging when I swallow my pills.  It drives me a bit nuts, because I think I should be able to swallow them without gagging because I've been able to do that all my life.  I have to take the larger pills one-by-one now, and I have to work really, really, really hard not to gag swallowing the liposomal vitamin C, something I could swallow fine last summer.  SIGH.

Sometimes, I cannot finish swallowing.  I work and work and work and whatever I've swallowed is somewhere in my neck. I can feel it and sometimes massage it from the outside.  Sometimes it happens with just milk.  I try to swallow it and then I cannot really finish swallowing and it is a bit hard to breathe.  It hurts, too.

Part of the reason I haven't tried to talk about it because I don't have good words to do so. I don't have the right descriptive words.  I try to concentrate on how it feels, but I disturbs me so much that all I can really do is try to finish swallowing.  As for gagging, what is there to describe!

I shy away from criticism, especially over decisions I have made to make my life easier.  But even keeping the decision hidden, I feel as if it is just plain wrong to brush my teeth in the shower, that a normal person wouldn't do that.  I feel shame and brush my teeth in shame.

I am hoping that writing about it ... trying to write about it ... I can reframe my thinking into not fear of disconnection but focusing on how, instead of wallowing about the matter, I made a change to help me.

Of course, I also made the change because I realized that I was avoiding brushing my teeth.  You know, despite being raised in a family where you NEVER did not brush your teeth, it is far easier to just avoid the whole process than to deal with gagging.  But rotting teeth in my mouth is not something I need.  After all, I need less problems, not more.

I think, too, the whole gagging thing makes me feel as if I failed, somehow.  Like, Gee Myrtle, you can't even manage to brush your teeth?


1 comment:

Mary Jack said...

I had a friend during college who liked to clean his teeth in the shower. A good use of water and, you know, cleaning going on. :)