Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I can't believe I'm smiling about this... Well it isn't a "toofy" grin but it will be. And it is smiling after my visit to the dirty word... errrr... I mean dentist. It could be the nuclear powered drugs he sent me home with to take before I go back on Thursday. Yes... I'm going back AND I'm smiling about it. NO I haven't taken the drugs yet...
I am in shock how technology has evolved and even more surprised how "compassion" in dentistry has evolved. I am giggling so much right now that my cat, Opie Taylor, just gave me a dirty look and jumped off the couch in disgust. He usually thinks I'm funny....wonder if he's going to check to see if I already took my pre-procedure meds... Honest, I didn't....
My new dentist is probably about 12 years old. Nahhh...I take that back. He's probably in his late teens. Nahhh...he just looks really, really young. Point is... he is so different from my first dentist, DR. Freddy Kruger Cranky Pants, Dentist from Hell. The torture that man was allowed to inflict upon people was inhumane, and upon helpless children was even worse. That fear has lingered with me all these years.
Here's something I've shared only once or twice in my entire life.
I remember standing beside my grandmother looking over her shoulder at the Obituaries in the newspaper, and seeing our dentist's (non-smiling) face in a photo above the announcement of his death. He had died suddenly of a heart attack. The only thing that came to my mind in that moment was, "Good. I'm glad he's dead." I surmised on that day I heard our dentist had died that he deserved it, and his own anger had killed him--simple as that. How does a nine year old reason or rationalize something as huge as that?
It felt like I'd said it out loud, and I looked around to see if anyone heard me. That's how loud, and angry, thoughts can be especially when you've been forced to shut up and take abuse. That's what he screamed at me one time when I told him he was hurting me. He stood over me like a beast, and leaned down inches from my face, spitting on me as he shouted "Shut up! And stop moving away from me in that chair or I'll give you something to squirm about!" All I saw was two eyes filled with blistering rage, and his manly-sized hand wrapped so tightly around the drill his knuckles were drained entirely of blood. His other hand was squeezing my shoulder like a ripe orange. What small child wouldn't have wanted a monster like that to go away--forever.
The guilt I felt thinking those ugly thoughts were enormous. Today I realize it was probably what every young child who'd ever sat in his chair thought upon learning of his death. Nor could I as a child of 9 stop his voice from raging inside my head. This beast was allowed to torture me and my sisters like a madman with NO compassion or Novocaine and he deserved to die, or so said my child heart.
It's no wonder I have been remiss about going to see a dentist...until my tooth broke off in my mouth and its chunky grit, and gaping hole became bigger than my fear. I called 9458 dentists to see if any of them would knock me out cold even to have my teeth cleaned until I found one nice receptionist who convinced me it was safe to come in by mentioning "oral sedation".
Perk... My ears went perk-ity-perk... like little elfin points on the sides of my head.
"Oral sedation?" I asked as if I'd been offered a trip to the moon. "Even to have my teeth cleaned? I can't stand any noises, smells, drills.... I'm serious. I can't stand anyone even scraping my teeth. I'm a total wuss. I'm a baby--a big baby." I babbled like that for ten minutes.
"Yes," she assured me each time I came up with a silly protest or explained my wussiness over, and over, and over again... Next thing you know I made an appointment. Holy Crap. WTFrap happened to my firmness about not going to a dentist.... Two little words. Oral Sedation.
I was so full of angst from the time I hung up the phone until the day of my appointment. Poor Superman. He had to drive me there. Top off an already overflowing sundae of wussiness with a heaping mound of PTSD, and that adds up to the ride from hell for anyone. My phobia of being in a car on the freeway, and going to a dentist who may extract a tooth, or grind it down to a nub.... Oh baby, the wheels of torture inside my head were spinning like Linda Blair's head in the Exorcist.
I walked inside the dentist's office, sat down on a chair and started crying. The tears ran down my cheeks. My precious Superman never once treated me like a disease, or a "hormonal blubbering basket case"... Or acted like he didn't know me when I jumped five feet off my chair when I heard a blast of air from one of the exam rooms. He came with me inside the exam room when they called my name.
The entire staff, treated me with respect, tolerance, and kindness. My broken tooth can be fixed as a cavity. They will remove the three old metal fillings I have and will clean up any decay before refilling. They are cleaning my teeth. All while under the influence of a mammoth sized doggy downer. Just kidding but it is a powerful pill that will help me sleep through the entire thing or just not give a rip. Plus a pill the night before to help me sleep like a baby.
Sah-weet-sassy-molassy! I'm going to the dentist Thursday. WOW~~~I'm really smiling. Oh and Superman will definitely be driving that morning. Geez let's hope so.... I'll be loaded out of my mind and far, faraway from any monsters, any ghosts and any old notions of the old dentist-- what's his name???