Anyhow what I'm going to do is write and then you can decide if it's just another thing that I'm complaining about OR if helps you see how paralysis affects everything in my life, including my teeth.
I'm sure you know that my teeth themselves are not actually paralyzed. I can bite and chew just like a normal person. About two months ago I realised that the molar way at the back of my mouth, maybe a wisdom tooth, was lose.
I am terrified of the dentist (OK, call me a chicken) and the first thing that came to mind was not my tooth, but how I felt that I should at least catch a break on small things (the scary dentist) since I already have to live with paralysis. It's a crazy idea that if we have a big problem we should be let off the hook for life's other health concerns, but it's exactly what I thought.
Well, this is not the connection between my lose molar and paralysis and I bet that if I don't tell you the connection you'll never get it.
OK, first you think of the connection for a second and then read on and be honest about whether you got it by yourself.
The good news is that the tooth is not rotten as it doesn't actually hurt so much and isn't affected by cold drinks. I realised just the other day why it's lose.
What's the first thing you do when you get a sudden sharp pain somewhere in your body? That's right, you clench your teeth. So in this case me and and an able bodied person are the same.
The difference is this; while an able bodied person may have to clench their teeth due to harsh pain a couple of time a year, I have at least 50 incidents of shooting pain every day. I guess you can see the different impact on our teeth.
Most able bodied folks don't see pain as a part of paralysis, they only see lack of movement and lack of feeling. The lack of feeling part often leads people to think there is no pain. You can understand this. No feeling equals no pain. Makes sense, but neuropathic pain, doesn't make sense.
I don't know how I can describe the sudden pains that I get in my hips which cause me to clench my teeth (the burning in my legs doesn't cause teeth clenching because it's not sudden, but constant). I guess the only way that I can explain it to you is to imagine a spinning drill boring into your hips, removed, and then reinserted a few times. I think you can maybe imagine the pain. Or, keeping on our teeth conversation, it's like when the dentist is drilling (with no freezing) and he hits a nerve. Think about that pain fifty times a day.
I hope this helps you understand about another reason we fight for cure. If it was just about lack of movement I could see how many able bodied people wouldn't understand as they see that we have chairs which give us some degree of freedom (if you can actually move the chair yourself).
So, when we ask you to write and email and fax and talk to your friends about cure and you think that you're too busy, remember that drill hitting your hips or that nerve and you'll see why sometime being pushy about cure is important!