I prepared myself with my favorite Christian artist, Phil Wickham. As Phil sang to me in my left ear, I listened to the dentist with my right. I had been given some sort of numbing agent on cotton q-tips and was ready for the
But then it felt like it just kept going and going and wrapping and wrapping and then it started to hit me... it felt like my ear drum was going to burst. The pain was piercing my eardrum (felt like it anyway) and was 50 on a scale of 1 to 10. Tears started trickling down my face like a tiny little faucet. I kicked my right leg out into the air as if reaching for the wall with it would be helpful in some way. I pressed my finger as deeply behind my ear as I could trying to take the edge off the piercing pain but no success. It just kept coming. I then let out about three whimpers and asked for a break. The dentist pulled the never ending octopus needle out.
So now I am sitting there in complete humiliation. I am 38... very soon to be 39 years old... and I just cried... out loud... in the dentist chair. I have NEVER cried out loud in the dentist chair. I once had to get NINE shots for a filling (my mouth would not numb) and I DID NOT CRY OUT LOUD. Tears may have fallen down my face but never with sound.
As I sit there in my blanket of shame and soaking wet face, the dentist proceeds to tell me that there is no reason for my behavior. What? Did I really hear that correctly? Really? He follows it with informing me he has just pulled a tooth from a 17 year old who did not act like THIS. Disbelief starts to join my humiliation and shame and I am at a loss for words. Tears still falling and ear drum STILL feels like it is going to explode. Not really sure how to respond... odd moment for me.
And then he seals the deal. With great indignation and disgust, he informs me this is NOT his first time to do this and tells me my behavior has made him feel like I think this is his first time or something. After this... I find words and I respond, "I am not accusing you of anything, Spirit of Accusation be gone in the name of Jesus, I am simply in serious pain."
In response to that, he tells me he needed at least five more minutes of numbing and can't do what he needs to do. I lay back and fall into my tears again and try and process what has just happened. He proceeds to work on my tooth and I proceed to ask God for strength and comfort. Phil sings about grace... "I need you grace."
About ten minutes later, he is done. He sits me up in the chair and informs me he drilled out the broken area, cleaned it and refilled it. That's it. And he walks out of the office.
Sad thing is... stupid thing is... this dentist has treated me like this on THREE occasions. I have given him grace and gone back. I have made excuses for him and his complete lack of people skills and I have gone back. I love many of the people in this office. I just prayed with his hygienist... moments before I got into the chair of humiliation and shame... because she was upset about her sick dog. (Maybe that is the reason I was there!) One of the other nurses and I chat about adoption through our entire session.
But you know what? I am done. I am DONE with THAT. Period.
I drove home... replaying the ordeal over and over in my mind. And I looked in the mirror and gave myself a pep talk. I told myself I was not a complete baby... and I tried to convince myself to hold my NOW numb and drooling face high today.
Here is my official not so official reply: (not really sending this him this note!)
Here is a little people skill lesson for you... free of charge. If ever there is another woman... in your chair... who dares be weak enough to display the hurt and pain that I did today... take a break... pat her hand, arm, or shoulder and apologize for the ridiculous amount of discomfort. Offer her a tissue... a smile... and ask if she would like to try again in five to ten minutes when the entire side of her head is half numb. It might save you a patient and get you a few more.
Crying 38 old
P.S. I forgive you.
If you are local, and have a dentist you LOVE, please inform me. There might be a large reward involved.
Lastly, I find comfort in knowing I am not alone... 5 reasons to hate going to the dentist: HERE