Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ostrich mentality

I visit the dentist for a post something or other appointment.

“Do you happen to be familiar with any psychobabble?” I smile, lips neatly fastened.
“Psychobabble?”
“I’m afraid I’ve turned into a nut job.”
“Excuse me.”
“Well you know that fake tooth you stuck in?”
“Crown.”
“Well even though it’s dead, no nerve endings, it hurts really badly. I know it must be psychosomatic.”
“That does sound a little……strange. Let’s deal with the lower implants first. Let’s have a look at them, when you’re ready.”
“Actually, I’m not bothered about the bottom bit or the stitches.”
“Oh……that’s good, I think. Haven’t the stitches fallen out?”
“Nope. Looks like macramé round there, not that I look of course.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well I’m not going to look at the carnage am I?”
“But how do you clean your teeth?”
“With a toothbrush.”
“No, I meant how can you clean your teeth without looking at them in a mirror?”
“Who needs a mirror? Who looks at themselves in a mirror when they clean their teeth?”
“Everyone.”
“Do you?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Why?”
“So that I can see that they’re clean.”
“Why do you need to see when you can feel? Anyway, all I see is a blur without the bifocals.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who cleans their teeth without a mirror.”
“So, where was I? Ah yes, I rammed the retainer on anyway. There seems to be a little continental drift going on in there. I thought it might help them stop falling out, a bit like a corset.”
“You know……..it doesn’t seem to fit…….anywhere.”
“No matter, it’s the top bit that’s bothering me anyway.”
“Top? Upper.”
“Yes. I’m up to about 20 painkillers a day.”
“20 painkillers?”
“O.k. maybe only 18 but all the same.”
“What kind of pain killers are you taking?”
“Paracetamol, it’s just like Advil but better.”
“How long have you been taking painkillers for?”
“Um …..about ten days now.”
“10 days! Why didn’t you come and see me sooner?”
“Well I was hoping it would just go away, but I don’t like the creak.”
“The creak?”
“Yes the right side creaks like an old door. I’m worried it might fall off.”
“You think your jaw will fall off!”
“Maybe. I don’t think it should move like that.”
“Are you sure it’s ten days?”
“Er…..no actually it’s more like a fortnight.”
“Fortnight?”
“Fourteen days. I remember now because it was just after the "screw fell out.”
“Excuse me?”
“You know that screw that went adrift, well it popped out, unexpectedly. I thought it was a grape pip, apart from the fact that I only buy seedless grapes. In any case I’ve not eaten a grape for at least a couple years.”
“You need to go and see the surgeon. Wait here, I’ll give him a call.”
“No don’t do that. You’re the dentist, why don’t you fix me?”
“Madeline! You need to go back to the surgeon. Why don’t you want to go back to the surgeon?”
“Because he’ll do what he always does.”
“What’s that?”
“He’ll take an x-ray and then he’ll cut it open again, take a peek, clean everything up if it needs to be cleaned up and then he’ll sew me back up again.”
“That sounds about right.”
“It’s not alright from where I’m sitting.”
“Why?”
“Because then I won’t to be able to eat for another 3 weeks.”
“Are you eating now?”
“Well not exactly but that’s not the point.”
“What is the point?”
“I think I’m scared of the surgeon or maybe I’m just pain averse?”
“Hmm, they say that fear is all in the mind but….”
“I think I need to find my stiff upper lip again!”

11 comments:

Awesome Mom said...

Bummer! I hope that it does not end up being too bad.

lime said...

*raises hand* i don't use the mirror when i brush my teeth either

that aside i sure hope you can get this sorted out with a minimum of pain.

Joker The Lurcher said...

how has the tooth thing come to this? the lawyer in me says "sue the dentist!"

i have never looked in the mirror when i brush my teeth! but then i brush them with my mouth open so the mirror would get sprayed if i was too close...

The Anti-Wife said...

Maddy,
Go to the surgeon! He'll fix the problem, the pain will stop, the pills will be unnecessary and you'll be eating again in no time. Quit being stubborn.

Expatmum said...

Hi there - I swear I have put my dentist's two kids through college with all the treatment I've had. Had a huge wisdom tooth removed last week, and have had four lots of gum surgery in the past. Very, very stressful, and the answer is - nitrous oxide. Just takes the edge off.

Shellie said...

I don't look at my teeth either. I feel them. Hope it all gets better soon.

andrea said...

I don't use a mirror when I'm brushing my teeth OR when I'm putting on lipstick or lipbalm. Why would I? I know where my mouth is without a mirror when I'm eating, so why would I need a mirror when I do those other things?

Hopeyou have good results on the repair work ...

Karen said...

Oh, you have certainly had a horribly long run with this tooth thing, haven't you?

I hope it gets better soon.

Hammer said...

Ouch. I feel the same way about healthcare.

I brush in front of a mirror but I really don't look.

Hope it gets fixed without too much trauma.

tut-tut said...

YIKES! I have to have all kinds of dental work done (4 crowns are a-crowning soon); and surprisingly, my back went out last week, just before my next appointment. but tomorrow I have to reschedule. As my dentist says, "we are in triage mode here . . ."

But on the bright side, L has perfect teeth and a perfect bite.

Whitenoise said...

Yeah, I have this dental-procrastination habit as well. I had a temporary repair done on Christmas eve. Still haven't gone in for the permanent fix... Why can't we grow a third set?