Today’s life lesson.. A person can be really confident they know a thing to be true and they can still be wrong. Fortunately I was wrong in a good way.
When I was in Hawaii I started to get a tooth ache. That’s something I’ve never really experienced and I sort of dismissed it. Then it got worse. I doubled my brushing and even did some flossing. I thought it might be the result of a popcorn hull stuck somewhere because C and I had been doing a lot of snacking on bags of “Smartfood” white cheddar cheese popcorn.
Then it got worse. To the point that I stopped chewing on the left side of my mouth. When we returned home I did some clever mirror placement to get a closer look. Sure enough, there was a dark spot on one of my back teeth. A cavity for sure.
At the time I was thinking, “oh the irony of life”. 20+ years with dental insurance an no issues ever and now I have no insurance and “bam”, I get a cavity. That’s a good one, universe!!
I called my dentist and made an appointment. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a cleaning, exam, and bitewing x-rays are only like 151 bucks. That was good news. I thought it might be several hundred dollars because just about everything medically related seems to be inflated to outrageous rates. My appointment was today.
X-rays were first, to confirm my suspicion. That was followed by the exam by my dentist, who, by the way I think very highly of. He quickly let me know I was wrong. What?!
Yup, no cavity. Not even the slightest trace of tooth decay. In disbelief I started to object. I had pain and could see the dark spot. He had me point to the exact spot and then he reminded me that I had a filling in that tooth.
Oh for crying out loud. Now not only am I wrong, but I’ve forgotten about that ONE time I went to a different dentist and he found a cavity and filled it. That guy was a crook. I think he made that shit up just to get more money out of me. After that I said, “never again” and despite my dentist not being in the insurance provider network, I returned. And what do you know, I’ve never had another cavity since. Until now. Except that I don’t. Ha!
He suspects my teeth have shifted over time and my “bite” is a little off. He proceeded to use a tiny little rotary tool to make micro adjustments to my top teeth to meet the bottoms in a better spot. He’s 95% confident this is going to alleviate my issues (note I didn’t say 100%). I hope so.
Now that I’m thinking about this, there is more than one lesson here..
You can think, based on what you know, you are 100% confident about something and when new evidence is presented, you were wrong. For this reason people should be very leery about presenting things as “facts” when not all details are known. And how often can ALL the details be known? Almost never.
Secondly.. Memory is an interesting creature. We are human and subject to the flaws in our wiring. The facts about the intricacies of the brains design are FAR from being known or understood. Hence, we can forget even the most clear of circumstances, like having a cavity filled. What else is subject to memory loss or worse, memory alteration?
Put these two together and what you have is a case for adopting an approach of always seeking new information, asking questions, and never, ever professing “truth” as an absolute.