Monday, December 10, 2012

Well now... I am DONE with THAT!

Less than an hour ago I sat in a dentist chair.  I was scheduled to have two 21 year old fillings removed (as one had cracked open and the other needed to go as well) and have them replaced.  I knew it would be far from the regular dental visit for cleaning and I knew it would not be fun.  I actually really, really, really don't like going to the dentist.  I would rather be at the OBGYN, picking up yards full of dog poop with my hands, or cleaning other people's toilets than to be in the dentist chair. What happened today confirmed my worst fears... and was much worse than I could have hoped.

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 best worst most horrifying painful part... the needle.  However, this dentist doesn't use the needle seen in the above picture.  Oh no.  It is like an iv needle that wraps around the inside of your head two or three times and stays in for 30 five minutes.  As it went in, the sting came and I thought, "O.K.  I can handle this... O.K.... concentrate on Phil... sing louder Phil... sing louder!"

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!)

Dear Dentist,
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 baby woman you totally disgraced and humiliated today... for the last time.

P.S. I forgive you.

My request:

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


  1. Anonymous6:22 PM

    I could not help but laugh at parts of your story while feeling sorry for you at the same time! Poor thing!!! I remember you telling me about this dentist a couple of years ago. You should try my guy, Dr. Cox. He was recommended by Eric Mobley (who is a child dentist and goes to our church - you know, TALL Eric). Anyways, Dr. Cox is great, very nice staff and he's super honest, won't hit on you or anything weird, super nice, very professional. If you try him, you should try to get into Sharon as the hygenist. Poor friend, at least you've got it behind you now! KR

    1. I know... can't you just see it! Girl... I am still hurting. I think part of that needle thingy is still in there! So hoping to feel better tomorrow. And I have been given several dentists to look into that people love. One was recommended like 5 times! So I am going to start with who takes our insurance and go from there. Glad you got some laughs! I just love you. :0) "Stay Away From Dentists and Carry On!"

  2. I am sorry, I know it is not funny, but I had to laugh too.

    When it comes to dentists - I am probably their top 10% income source. I have not missed a check up since I was 3 years old. But they always find something. So, I know a thing or two about the never ending needle pricks in you gums that end up in your brain :-o

    I know this was awful. Remember, I grew up in the socialized medical care system? Dentist was a torture chamber. You talk about almost passing out from fear when a heary Russian dentist, who just had a cigarette and had not shaven in 5 days, is putting an unsanitized, foot operated, unsharpened drill in your mouth. And you have to hold on to your dear life because it hurts like hell. There is no numbing. Bed side manner? What bed side manner? Then he squirts cold water right on the open nerve ending, making you involuntary kick him and then yells at you for it.

    The last time I had my tooth pulled; it came out with the whole jaw. I am not kidding! Thankfully, I passed out from the pain. When I woke up, they had managed to put my dislocated jaw back in place. I still have issues from it.

    Yes, I most definitely feel your pain. However, the only time I broke down and cried in the dentist chair was when I found out how much it is going to cost :-o

    I hope your next experience is a good one. At least relatively :-)

    1. On the floor rolling. Of course, I am also in horror and KNOW the dentists in Latvia are NOT like our dentists here! But jaw bone? Seriously! M-E-R-C-Y! What a blog post that would be. I don't know how you have even gone back to the dentist. I think I'd opt to let them rot out than go through that! I could get used to liquid food! HA HA

      You are amazing. YOU need a blog! Really. I could help you! :0)

      THANK YOU for sharing!!

    2. I have thought about it. It is in my family. My grandfather has written 5 volume memoirs with pictures (reading now - absolutely fascinating). And my mom has recently started writing down her childhood memories.
      I would love to leave something like that for my kids. But do you have any idea where I can buy about 6 more hours for each day? 2 jobs, kids, and other responsibilities.... I would like to write, but I do not want it to become a chore. Perhaps one day. Then I will come to you for pointers :-)

      I am telling you - when your kids will be old enough to truly appreciate everything you have been writing - I believe it will be life changing for them. If we all had the ability to read about our parents deepest thoughts in the times that have been the most joyous, and the most trying, I think we would have so much more compassion and connection towards them, especially when we raise our own kids.

      I LOVE your blog!!! I often share it with friends.

    3. I LOVE when God speaks through people to ding me with me something! I have not really ever thought about all my writing being for my children. Wow. I think about women mostly... moms and wives... and yet the thought of this all being part of my legacy for my kids... wow. THANK YOU dear sweet friend. What a gift you have given me today. I smile to think of how they will be able to see beautiful pictures of God all over our lives... their lives... even when they didn't know it! I dance with delight. Thank you. Thank you.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!