A tell in poker is a subtle but detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's assessment of his hand.- WikipediaI played poker with the guys the other night. Now I will be the first to tell you that I am not very good at cards but I do enjoy the game. However, this night I was lucky. I walked away with over 16 bucks. Considering that this is nickel ante poker that is a bumper night.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have a tell. You see, I grit my teeth in stressful situations. From the outside you can see my jaw pulsate. I think that I have had this tell all of my life. Twenty years ago I remember my wife letting me in on the secret. We would have an argument or something and she would ask me if I was mad. Of course I would say “no” but she knew I was hiding something. She told me about the tell. So why am I telling you this?
It’s funny how things are linked. When I lost my wife and daughter you cannot believe the stress (5 years feels like a blink of the eye). I can’t even attempt to explain it. But the tell got disruptive. The constant stress – I was told it was like post traumatic stress disorder - magnified the tell. I literally started to grind my teeth down until they cracked. Some of them came out in pieces. Well, there was a tooth that I had a sedative type filling placed in it. This was a couple of years ago. This eased the pain. However, this tooth has hurt me for a couple of years but the pain would come and go.
Well, my jaw started hurting last week. It was now hurting like someone hit me in the jaw with a two-by-four. It was not the just the tooth but my entire jaw. Massive PAIN. I waited a few days to see if it would go away. It did not. This past weekend it hurt. It hurt on the way to the race and it hurt after the race – interesting enough it did not hurt during the race.
I went to the dentist. The tooth was extracted. I have read a number of grief books and participated in a number of groups. It is funny how unrelated things end up being linked. Who would have thought that past tragedies would lead to losing teeth? I think the connections are funny.
On a side note, I knew that I would not feel like working out after the dentist so I cranked out my 800’s prior to the visit. I nailed them.