From Wikipedia: The idiom the straw that broke the camel's back is from an Arabic proverb about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand. This is a reference to any process by which cataclysmic failure (a broken back) is achieved by a seemingly inconsequential addition, a single straw. This also gives rise to the phrase "the last/final straw", used when something is deemed to be the last in a line of unacceptable occurrences. Variations include "the straw that broke the donkey's back", the "melon that broke the monkey's back", the "feather that broke the camel's back", and the "straw that broke the horse's back".
One of the earliest published usages of this phrase was in Charles Dickens's Dombey and Son (1848), where he says "As the last straw breaks the laden camel's back", meaning that there is a limit to everyone's endurance, or everyone has his breaking point. Dickens was writing in the nineteenth century and he may have received his inspiration from an earlier proverb, recorded by Thomas Fuller in his Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs as "'Tis the last feather that breaks the horse's back".
Another way of saying this comes from The Free Dictionary: “the straw that breaks the camel's back: the last in a series of unpleasant events which finally makes you feel that you cannot continue to accept a bad situation Losing my job was bad enough but having the relationship end like that was the straw that broke the camel's back.”
I felt this way today. Every day those of us with MS struggle with the different problems it presents us with. Lately, I have been on an uneven keel. I try to walk straight but end up bouncing off the walls and any piece of furniture that is in my path. I try to talk normally, but my words are slow and hard to form. I try to answer questions that people ask me, but my brain seems to be in first gear and won’t change to second. There are numerous other little things to deal with but I go along and try to function………….until today.
Last night I was sitting in bed watching television. Buffy was on a pillow at my feet and we were relaxed and fairly comfortable. I think I have mentioned before that lately my mouth does not seem to fit my face. I was flexing my jaw and running my tongue around in my mouth when one of my teeth came out. Not one of my two front teeth, but one next to them. It did not hurt and there did not seem to be anything wrong with it. I think that became my straw. I cried and cried and had a hard time getting control of myself. It is not that I see a lot of people who would be embarrassed by my lack of a tooth. It is that it is one more thing that has to be taken care of. It just seemed to over load my brain and cause a breakdown.
My husband was all business about it. Call the dentist in the morning and have it fixed or at least start the process to having it fixed. No big deal to him, just fix it. I guess one of us has to have a level head. I am glad he does. It did not make me feel any less of a burden, though. He always disagrees with this description of me, but it is the way I feel most of the time.
OK. I have whined enough. I know that each of us, no matter what impairment we have, have a breaking point. Sometimes we just have to give in to it and let the tears flow and the anger and frustration out. Keeping it bottled up inside does not do us or anyone around us any good. My emotions are out and I hope the tears are gone. Now I just have to work up the courage to go to the dentist. Have I mentioned how much I am afraid of dentists?!