Keeping my mouth shut


Dawn Reed

I’m trying not to talk right now. In fact, at this very moment, I have a bandana tied around my mouth. (I look like a bank robber in an old Western.)

I had gum surgery a few days ago, the second of two, and am doing my best to keep my trap shut. Oh, I can talk alright; I’m just keeping it to a minimum. Yesterday, I overdid it. I had done so well on my other gum surgery, I thought I had this one licked, too. I was doing great. But then, I talked and talked all day at work, ate more than I probably should have and then kept wanting to see it. I didn’t, but I love mouth stuff, so I had to fight peeking at the healing process. Please, please, don’t copy my actions! It was NOT what the doctor ordered!

By the end of the day I had licked my stitches right out. I honestly said, “Stop,” to myself several times when I realized what I was doing, but I just wouldn’t listen. (Sometimes I’m an idiot.) My mouth was sore on the way home. When I looked in the mirror, I nearly cried. I was a mess!

I called AND texted my periodontist. (She’s awesome.) I was panicked so I pulled out my lip to send her a picture. This couldn’t be good! I was starting to get a little light-headed.

When she called, she told me in a definite mother/doctor voice, “You’re not supposed to be pulling your lip out like that.” I promised her that it had only been for the photo. She said I would be fine. If it made me feel better, I could press my fingers against it. I thanked her for calling me after hours and then we hung up.

I beat myself up for several minutes over what I should have done differently. Do you do that? I can’t go forward until I’ve kicked myself quite a few times for my actions. I prayed for the Lord to reverse whatever damage I had done! Why couldn’t I just leave it alone?!

I love to fix things so pressing my fingers against my chin was right up my alley. Why, I could do even better than that! I tied a bandana around my chin and head! Now my hands would be free to do whatever I needed.

Our TV was off all evening so my beloved and I played Scrabble. We sat at the table: him-making brilliant words with his spectacular letters, me—looking like a bank-robber in old Western—making dumb words with my dud letters. (I always get the worst letters in the game.) He didn’t even make fun of me! He’s the sweetest.

I went to bed with the bandana still tied around my face. If my beloved saw me in the night, he might think he was under attack! I tried to go to sleep NOT thinking about my gums, stitches missing and how I could fix everything. It was hard.

This morning I woke up with creases on my face, and drool on my bandana but didn’t look in the mirror at my mouth—I promise! Baby steps.

So today is a new start. I’m watching my mouth. Eating what I’m supposed to and not using it more than I should. And then it hit me…isn’t that what I’m supposed to be doing every day: watch my mouth?!

There are so many Bible verses about the mouth, holy smokes! Proverbs 10:19 says: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Ouch! The hillbilly-Dawn version of that is, “She who talks too much is headed for trouble!” Ephesians 4:29 goes: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Unwholesome does not necessarily mean “swear” words, -it can be hurtful, critical, etc.) It’s the same thing as “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”

Three other good “mouth” verses are: Psalm 19:14: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 141:3: Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. James 1:19: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…

So, this whole gum situation has made me think! I need to be careful every day, stitches or no, with my mouth! I don’t need to say everything that’s on my mind and when I do speak, I need to make sure it’s worthwhile!

Maybe keeping the bandana on is a good idea! If you see me and I still have it on, you’ll know why!

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