I recently took a day off from work for to take care of some appointments. As a young ‘un in the workforce I always thought it frivolous to take a whole day off for ‘errands’ but as a seasoned worker I realize that this is indeed necessary. In the past I have conveniently forgotten that I need to visit my PCP for fear that she will tell me I have high blood pressure-don’t ask. Anyhoodledoodle, the day’s visits were the long awaited well being (pressure was terrific!) and teeth cleaning.
Dental visits are neither something that I’d qualify as like or dislike although I always go through a list of things right before the visit. The first thing that pops into mind is “I’d better eat.” as normally I am restricted from eating food 30 minutes or so after the visit. Next I think about Orin Scrivello, DDS. I get a momentary high from thinking about Steve Martin’s character from Little Shop of Horrors and a medley of the songs play in my head. I chuckle thinking about an old Saturday Night lIve skit in which a cat has to get a filling (this is from when SNL was still really new). I then sober quickly thinking of Dustin Hoffman in the Marathon Man.
Although I have never been tortured in this manner, sometimes going to the dentist can be very agonizing.
In the office as I waited for my doctor, a lovely though not punctual woman, I was feeling all sorts of proud of myself. I have been taking extra good care of my teeth, part as a model for The Bee, part ’cause as a coffee drinker my teeth always appear a shade I like to call yuck. Mentally I patted myself on the back for a job well done and thought, this was going to be a super quick visit.
First I had a twenty five minute wait. (See above.) Once I got into the chair, I have the ever loving skin scraped out of my mouth when the assistant fitted my mouth with biting pieces of plastic – “For x-rays!” she chirped as she covered me in that heavy lead apron and hid in another room. Four x-rays later and it was time for more mouth scraping as Doc H ordered two more films. Then, the abuse to begin. Now as a kid, getting my teeth cleaned involved a gritty substance rubbed across my teeth, a flossing lesson and picking a prize. As an adult the affliction on my teeth is something that The Geneva Convention surely covers. In addition to the gritty polisher, there are these seriously pointy looking metal things that come in there own plastic for protection.
While my mouth was being assaulted, I kept in mind how my dental habits have gotten better and that beauty is pain and that the ensuing bright smile is all worth it. As a walking Murphy’s Law I should have known better. Having rinsed and spit and rinsed and spit and rinsed and spit (does that stuff ever get cleared away?) I heard Doc H order ONE more film (WTF?- x-ray number seven if you’re playing along at home).
Sadly my new found relationship with Colgate, an extra soft toothbrush and Glide Floss has come to late. I have to get, GULP, a root canal! While Doc H explained what she saw in the films and what I should expect from the procedure I experienced Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief.
The stages are
Denial (this isn’t happening to me!) I even told Dr. H “Uh uhn!”
Anger (why is this happening to me?) I mentally scolded myself for not brushing as well as I should/could
Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…) But I got mouthwash too!
Depression (I don’t care anymore) My teeth are going to look like old lady’s! Aww man!
Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes) I made an appointment.
Oh well. It’s all good. At least I haven’t experienced pain.
Taking care of all 32,