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Being Kind, Thanks to Dentristry

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, July 8, 2014

God my child, you worry too much

Being Kind, Thanks to Dentristry

I am not quite up to par today. Reason? I had oral surgery. (Yay, me!) Warning: if anyone reading is particularly squeamish, you might not like to read what follows.

I needed a wisdom tooth extracted. I had some infection up there, and the tooth had to come out. Thank God, it was a basic, routine procedure. (Basic and routine for the oral surgeon my husband and I go to, anyhow.) My kind, sweet husband accompanied me, and the oral surgeon was marvelous. Everyone bent over backwards to make this extraction as painless and efficient an occasion as possible.

I understood—intellectually—that this extraction was basic. Almost routine. But I was scared. I was still shaking. Frightened, on a deep, fundamental level.

Why, you ask?

I did not take care of my teeth when I was small. I also ate a lot of sweets. So, by the time I hit kindergarten, I had a number of small cavities in my teeth. I would not sit still for the dentist my parents used. So, my parents sent me to a special dentist. He was special, all right! He was downright cruel. He held my jaw in a deathgrip, and had the most piercing eyes of anyone I had ever seen in real life. Through the sheer force of his will, plus a healthy dose of sadism, he was able to fill the cavities.

He also scarred me for life. Seriously, I still have severe dental anxiety, on a deep, fundamental level.

I am so grateful to everyone who was so kind to me today. My husband went out of his way to do some extra-special things for me. Getting my prescriptions. Going to the grocery store. Leaving me alone and letting me sleep. (I took three naps today, after the procedure. I was so wiped out.) It was a perfectly lovely day, today, too. Eighty degrees, moderate breeze, lower humidity, big fluffy clouds in the sky. So, I truly enjoyed the rest of the day—that is, after the procedure was done with. Other than some soreness and tenderness in the rear of my mouth.

God, I realized today (and I mentioned as much to my husband) that dentistry has developed and evolved to such an extent that tooth removal and pain management are relatively minor blips on a person’s physical-radar-screen. Thank You, God, for helping me grit my teeth, and follow through with this procedure. Thank You for the wonderful people who made this experience not only bearable, but manageable. And God—thank You for all the people who are kind to me, on a daily basis. Especially my husband.

@chaplaineliza

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