Council of Elders, Telecasts, Webcasts, Orajel, Pit Bulls, Oh My!

Howdy! Back again from a very profitable trip to Charlotte. I like to post a bit after such trips on how things went, and I will now commence to doing so. Will try to keep it brief, as regular pastorin’ duties are a callin’, but this should be a nice break.

  • The Council of Elders meetings went very well. They went from Monday to Wednesday, and I enjoyed them very much. Dr. Meredith ran every meeting, and they all went very smoothly. I do note, however, that my growing addiction to unnecessarily expensive coffee (and unnecessarily sweet: salted caramel mocha) has invaded a little further into my life, as I found a way to begin two of the three meetings with a Starbucks in my hand, even as there was fresh coffee available right there in the room. I may need counseling.
  • Thursday, I taped a couple of Tomorrow’s World programs: “Who Is the Prophesied ‘Man of Sin’?” and “Three Hard Questions about Easter” — the latter of which is scheduled to air the week of Easter, itself. (Viewers normally drop around Easter since families are actually out doing Easter things, but those who stay home and tune in should be educated!) Both went very well and were, as always, a real pleasure. My thanks to our fantastic crew!
  • Friday I recorded a webcast for our new Tomorrow’s World News” webcast initiative. Very much look forward to doing more of those as production accelerates and they become more frequent. (You can keep track of the playlist as it grows here on YouTube. As I type this, only the first two–by Mr. Ciesielka and Mr. Wakefield–are available.)
  • Sabbath I gave a sermon in Charlotte. It had been a while since we stayed in Charlotte for the Sabbath, and it was a real pleasure — fun seeing old friends, and wonderful fellowship afterwards. Got food from Q’doba, which (being Chipotleans) we had not done in a long time and found it to be quite nice. Foresee trips to Q’doba in the future. (In fact, there’s one right down the road from where I currently sit typing this.) Thought it was cold there that night. But…
  • …came home to Cincinnati on Sunday. Rediscovered what “cold” is!

Anyway, not much, I know. But I do like to post a little something after these visits. Headquarters has announcements in this week’s bulletin about church growth, Festival attendance, and such, and I don’t like pre-empting such things, but suffice it to say that it was exciting to see that the Church is growing and expanding the effort to preach the gospel in every way we can. No one can accuse the Living Church of God of sitting on its laurels. 🙂

Oooo — I forgot something… One thing that added a constant “background” element the entire time I was there was pain in my lower left jaw / back-most molar. It showed up very quickly at the end of the week and grew over the weekend. We had stopped over at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jason Fritts for the weekend on our way into Charlotte, where I spoke the Sabbath before, and Mrs. Fritts offered me some Orajel, which I declined. But by the end of the weekend, I quickly rescinded my previous refusal and she kindly let me take a tube for the rest of the trip. [By the way: Met Mrs. Fritts’ very nice dad in Charlotte. How did such a warm and wonderfully tiny person like Mrs. Fritts come from such a warm and wonderfully grizzly-bear-sized man like her dad? #mysteriesoftheuniverse 🙂 ]

I was able to seek out a dentist early Monday before the Council meetings began, who X-rayed (no, the X-rays did not give me superpowers; comic books lie) and found that my tooth is fine but I am apparently grinding my teeth in my sleep with the strength of 4,000 pit bulls. Hence, I am now sleeping with a generic, flexible mouth guard (actually, this one right here, I believe) at night. It has been a very strange experience. I have woken up at least twice very actively chewing the mouth guard like so much spaghetti. One more gentle time, I dreamed I was picking up peanuts to eat them one at a time but was having difficulty chewing one and woke up gently chomping up and down on the guard. My Beautiful Wife and I have the theory that the presence of the guard is foreign enough that my sleeping brain is trying to process its presence and to account for its interference in what has been, up to then, completely uninhibited, tooth-destroying, jaw-clenching, nighttime-grinding nirvana.

It does seem to be helping. My jaw still hurts over there, but it seems to be getting better day-by-day. Still, I will not complain if I am able to come to a point where I don’t need the thing anymore.

Anyone with experience with jaw clenching or tooth grinding–during sleep, especially, or otherwise–is welcome to leave a comment below about your experience. Did you eventually stop? What helped? Do you have any teeth left? Do I have hope for getting over it, or am I doomed? Feel free to let me know. 🙂

13 thoughts on “Council of Elders, Telecasts, Webcasts, Orajel, Pit Bulls, Oh My!

  1. Yes, I have ground my teeth at night as you have. Yes, at least one of my molars has suffered accordingly. Yes, I have mostly overcome that… by relieving my day’s stress before I go to bed. (Paul’s admonishment about not letting the sun go down on your anger may have been great dental advice as well.) I know it’s difficult when you have to deal with Brilliant Displays of Illogic all day, but one must learn to let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.

    Yeah, why am I telling a minster this? 🙂 Maybe in addition, Paul’s advice about taking a little wine will help too. Just to add to my presumption here…

  2. obeirne

    Thank you for the update on your time in Charlotte, Mr. Smith. I’ll be looking forward to your telecasts – and all the other recorded, of course. I’ve watched Mr. Wakefield and Mr. Ciesielka on the ” newscasts ” and they’re outstanding, as I’m yours will prove to be.

  3. Glory

    Haha…funny post. I love how you describe things. For the grinding teeth/mouth guard issue, I have had the same problem. I also grind my teeth in my sleep. I had a guard for my teeth, but I lost it years ago, partly because I simply didn’t want to wear it anymore. My teeth don’t hurt, so that’s good. I have some of them, the teeth that count are still there. You know, the ones that are seen when smiling. I do need find something to help with the drooling when sleeping. It’s gross. Perhaps a contraption that gathers the drool in a dish, that I can duck tape to my head. A wet spot on the pillow is just unacceptable. Let me know if they come out with some kind of aid for that. You’ll get used to your guard and give your teeth some rest. See you all for December weekend! Don’t forget your guard and we’ll have the coffee waiting for your arrival! 🙂

  4. TeapotTempest

    Too funny! I wonder if SleepRight was developed by the same people that came up with BreatheRight. And Gloria just gave me an idea on how to avoid those wet spots on the pillow. Let’s call it DroolRight. Thanks Gloria!

  5. I was ruining all my molars by grinding (including the ones already so ruined that they’d given me root canals and crowns). I really didn’t want to use a guard because I have a strong gag reflex and also have an overabundance of saliva which the dentist agreed would probably affect my sleeping with a guard. TMI about all the drool, probably…but you did ask. 🙂

    So here is what helped me:
    1) more exercise and fresh air, etc. relieved some of the stress
    2) dentist said my lower jaw was jutting due to poor posture and tongue position, so he retrained me by three visits of about an hour. He positioned everything the way it was supposed to be with me biting hard on a little piece of something like a mouthguard, so I wouldn’t lose the position, and he’d come check every few minutes, let me relax and then do another rep — by the last time my mouth knew how it worked because I had also been taking his advice and practicing at home.
    3) the posture and tongue position were the result of sinus issues with a vicious circular cause and effect. Taking care of the sinuses has also greatly reduced the jaw problems /grinding. I did this mostly via chiropractic; I can easily tell when I need a maintenance appointment.

    Sorry to have to tell you this, but this guy say it’s dietary too; we should start eating more crunchy or tough things, and stop drinking our calories) — [EDIT: Link provided to a YouTube video by Mike Mew BDS, MSc on Craniofacial Dystrophy, which one can find by searching for it if need be.]

  6. Steve

    I had a problem with grinding. Never went to a doctor. Just figured it was stress from too much stuff. It went away after awhile

  7. I do know about the jaw pain and the mouth piece I am finding out about as well. I have been making my bones in the jaw hurt for quite awhile now.
    I have enjoyed yet another post from you. Thank you.

  8. Ha! Hopefully I will stay an amateur grinder and clincher. 🙂 Yes, the guard does seem to be helping. And thanks for both the kind comments on the sermon and for the cool link! Indeed, stuff like that makes one feel tinier and tinier. Really adds heft to David’s question in Psalm 8:4. Thanks!

  9. Leona D

    So, you’ve traded in one “unnecessarily sweet” beverage for another, eh? Goodbye Dr. Pepper, hello Starbucks! 😉

  10. Yep, Mr. Smith, one more pointer to your cognitive preferences: your inconsistency in personal value judgment (what you like), of the sort that can sneak up on one’s blind side when least expected. 🙂 My “Trickster” in that respect is how I use logical systems thinking, which you use well. Look up, then the models for ENTP (you, apparently) and ENFP (me, undoubtedly), and see what gets switched between the two.

    Meanwhile, enjoy your Starbucks- which, BTW, is less sweet and more nourishing in those 15-oz. Doublshot cans I like to buy at the store. Rarely indeed can you get them at a Starbucks cafe, alas! 🙂

  11. Thomas

    Appreciate your updates from LCG Central. Always exciting to hear what is planned and in the pipeline.
    Sorry, nothing to add on the teeth grinding front other than it is now part of my knowledge base (not to mention pray about as it seems distressingly common among us). Always learn something new and interesting from your blog. I’ll leave it to you to guess what I found interesting and what I found new in this edition. 🙂

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