It seems the older I get, the more I end up going to a doctor of some sort. My latest visit was to see the dentist. Just so you know, the dentist ranks right up there with my desire to go to the gynecologist. It’s never on the high priority list.
A few years ago, my dentist retired. He was the one I had gone to since I first grew in my teeth over 40 years ago. His office was over an hour away so I had only attempted to try out another dentist that was a little closer once before. (I had been to see him once and one night when I was watching the news, his face popped up on my TV screen. He had been arrested for murdering his girlfriend AND his wife.)
I immediately decided that the hour drive to see my old dentist was worth it.
After Dale and I got married he suggested that I go to his dentist that he has been to for HIS entire life.
I made my appointment and they advised me that since I was a new patient, they would need to run the full gamut of x-rays and tests on me…so I should be prepared to be at there for a couple of hours.
Oh yay. Something to look forward to.
I arrived for my appointment and they took me into one of the rooms. It didn’t have a door. Okay. So what if I’m screaming in pain or crying out of fear? The whole office is going to hear me slobbering like a baby. This isn’t starting out well.
The first technician comes in and says that she needs to take photos of my mouth. Ok. That’s good. I can handle photos.
Then she proceeds to shove these plastic mouth expanders in so that my lips are held wide open so you can see all of my teeth…as well as my stomach and kidneys. My lips felt like they were going to end up looking like the elastic on some old lady’s underwear – stretched way beyond their limitations.
I felt like a dog hanging out of a car window going 120 MPH down the highway. Definitely the same idea. Definitely not as much fun.
She took several photos and then said “Okay, now we are going to get some x-rays!”
She was so cheerful it sounded like we were about to go to a party!
She began to put together some plastic pieces that looked like a puzzle and I jokingly asked where those were going to fit.
“Oh, we use these now instead of those horrible little cardboard x-rays. They were so bad for you! Don’t worry. They’ll fit in your mouth. But it might be uncomfortable – for a minute.”
I opened my mouth and she somehow crammed these huge plastic pieces in place. “Now bite down.”
I can’t move my tongue. I’m having a hard time breathing. I think I’m already bleeding and you want me to bite down? I felt like I was ready to be hitched to a plow so I could go clear a field. This was not good.
Finally she was done. If I could have shot x-rays out of my eyeballs she would have been toast.
I could breathe a sigh of relief.
That was until the next technician came in.
“So, it says you have not been to the dentist in three years…” she said with a slightly disapproving tone.
“Uh, yes. I really don’t like going to the dentist,” I said.
“Well, I’ll make sure this doesn’t hurt much.”
Here we go again.
She took out a sandblaster that I’m pretty sure could remove graffiti off a concrete wall and pointed it towards my mouth. Of course, this was right after she used a meat hook to scrape any plaque off my teeth. I’m confident that with all of the scraping she did up under my gums, she got some plaque that had been there since I was in the sixth grade.
Then onto the dental floss. (I’m a religious flosser so this should have been easy-peasy.) But apparently, when you’re at the dentist, you’re supposed to push dental floss with excessive force in between your teeth just to be sure you make your gums bleed.
My gums are so swollen it looks like I’ve eaten a can of yellow jackets.
Then she sprays water into my mouth and then uses this suction thing to suck it all back up. I feel like I’m being waterboarded. Where in the heck is a sink? Can’t I just spit? The suction thing keeps getting stuck on my tongue and then my tonsils. I’m gagging.
I hate this.
Then she starts asking me questions. Now I have never understood this: Why would anyone ask you questions when they know you can’t answer without sounding like you’ve swallowed a pillow?
“I pruyus qwuiuhg wghhhek Akohuih Ilwlla suhur shia” I said. That meant “Yes, I’ve been watching American Idol too. Who do you think will win?”
My former dentist used to just hum Broadway show tunes while he was cleaning my teeth. Some “Phantom of the Opera” might really calm me down right now. She might want to try it.
The dentist comes in and looks at my chompers. He is very nice and has a really nice smile. He’s a walking billboard for going to the dentist.
He inspects all of my teeth, individually. During this time he is asking me questions. I’m sorry. I can’t answer you right now because that camera you have shoved in my mouth is dangerously close to my voice box.
“Do you drink sodas?”
“Yes but only one a day”, I said.
“Trust me”, I said. “You didn’t want me coming to this appointment without having caffeine first. I might have bitten you.”
He laughed but I’m pretty sure he understood that I wasn’t joking.
Overall, he said that everything looks good. I have the beginnings of cavities in my upper molars but that’s probably due just to age.
Seriously? He’s going to get on the gynecologist bandwagon and start telling me that things are falling apart because of my AGE?
That’s it. I’m not going to any more doctors until I’m eligible for a senior citizens discount.
But according to all of my doctors, that might be sooner than I think.
(Now I know that the ladies in my dentist office are probably going to read this, so please let me add the following disclaimer…I had not been to the dentist in three years so I’m sure you had your work cut out for you. After reading this, please remember that MOST of this was in jest, so please do not take it out on me at my next visit. haha)