Last week when eating breakfast I felt a twinge of protest from a tooth as I crunched on a hard bit of cereal. Shortly afterwards I crunched on something even harder – it was about a quarter of one of my teeth which had broken off, leaving a rather exposed bit of ‘inner tooth’ (I think dentine is the technical name)!
Fortunately the fracture hadn’t gone through to the root so I wasn’t in pain, but I was bit unnerved by a large section of missing tooth in my mouth, and thought I’d better go to a dentist soon. Only one problem, however. We haven’t registered with a dentist here in Gloucester. We were looking to find a health service dentist who wouldn’t charge too much, as money is not an overabundant commodity when you’re studying at a mission college. However these are few and far between and we haven’t yet found one taking on new patients.
Never mind, I thought, there’s a phoneline for emergency treatment for patients who don’t have a dentist. After an hour of trying, I got through – and was told that unless I was in severe pain I’d have to go on the waiting list – 10 months! Not so sure that was going to be much use. After lots of frantic effort I did finally manage to find a dentisit in a nearby village who had an available appointment and was willing to see me, even though I wasn’t registered with them. He was able to fix the broken tooth for a not-too-exhorbitant fee. I now have a pin in my tooth, surrounded by filling. However I’m still a bit anxious about really ‘testing’ it too hard – at least until we’re properly registered with a dentist …
This is not the only example I have of not quite getting round to something until it was almost too late. A few years ago I had got a bit lax at making backups of our documents, Emails etc on our computer. After all it was a very good PC and never went wrong. At least until it did, and the computer was unable to read the hard drive. After multiple attempts it did at last start up, and I managed to get the disk spinning again. I didn’t switch off the PC until everything was burned onto CD. That hard drive never worked again, and I only just rescued the data in time.
Often we (or at least I) don’t get round to important things as there’s always something more urgent to do. Only when the emergency happens do we realise that the important is more important than the urgent. And perhaps one day we won’t be able to do it just in time.