Health check

September 8th

Over the many, many years of my active addiction and substance abuse, I have neglected many, many things. Too many really to list all of them. I know all of them, others who were (or are) actively addicted know exactly what I am talking about. My health was one of those things. Since I started therapy and stopped drinking, I am trying to do something about it — first of all, evaluate what is my current health status, and then assess what can be done about it. I did a lot of medical/morphological/lab tests last November and will do another round this November as well. Fortunately, after the first go on those tests, there were no immediate concerns for my doctor that there could be something wrong with me that would require any follow-ups or medical care. I guess I am very lucky in that matter, of course, some issues might still come up in the future but I know I am ok for now. I also changed my diet, started exercise more (hiking, biking, kayaking) and I feel I am in pretty good shape. I still will work on that, I find pleasure and even pride in seeing how my body and my overall look changes for the better and reflects the work and effort I put into it.

And there is one thing (very visible no less) that I tried to fix over the last year — my teeth… And there are mixed results in that. What I can do, is of course to brush my teeth as often as I can, use some whitening products once in a while and have regular checkups with a dentist. And that works okayish I guess, on the outside. I am not ashamed to open my mouth or smile. The internal damage is unfortunately already done — since last November I had two teeth removed (no chance for anything to be done there by a dentist), had a root canal done on another tooth, set up a plan to do a bridge on my upper right part of a jaw (when? — that depends on the cost, it is VERY expensive and is only needed as cosmetic work, not medically required). Since last week I had some light toothache so went to my dentist this morning — unfortunately I need another root canal done, a very unpleasant (and also on the pricy side) procedure. All that is another hidden cost of addiction that only really comes up after the stoppage of substance abuse for a while. I am fortunate that my overall health is fine and that I can afford (more or less) the dental procedures I need. I know many people are not as privileged as me in those matters. No one told me sobriety will be easy and I think I can handle some pain and less money in the wallet now, since long term I will benefit from it.

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