Posts Tagged ‘dentist’

Au revoir, tooth

I know what you’ve all been thinking for the past few days…. How did it go, Laura, having your tooth out? Are you ok?

I know you’ve all been worried sick and I apologise for not letting you know sooner.

So, it went fine. I went there at 20 past 3 but wasn’t seen until 3.45 but I wasn’t really complaining. There was some super old cowboy film on in the waiting room that I was really getting in to. The damsel in distress was just being kidnapped by the baddie and ridden off into the distance when the dentist came and called me.

He was a nice dentist. It’s easy to have an inherent mistrust in dentists, given that they’re getting paid for each thing they do, so are inclined to advise you that you need loads of work doing. I went to a dentist last year who recoiled in mock fright after looking at my teeth, said I needed everything fixing and they were the worst teeth he’d ever seen. I then went to the hygenist a few days later, who said there was nothing wrong with them, she’d just give them a quick clean.

This dentist was nice. He said almost the same thing. I asked if I should book an appointment with the hygenist and he said I could if I wanted but it wasn’t urgent.

So already I feel ok. I’m in safe hands. As I entered the room, he was like “Ok, we’re going to take it out aren’t we? How are you feeling? Do you get nervous about needles or anything?”

I don’t, which I told him. But I also acted uber casual about the whole thing. “Yeah, I’m fine.” A bit more casual than I was really feeling.

He took his huge needle and put the anasthetic into my gum. It didn’t hurt as such, but it was quite uncomfortable. Shortly afterward, a time during which he told me he was going to see Derren Brown that evening, I did my best impression of a stroke victim and started dribbling. In a nice polite way, the dentist informed me of the dribbling, said the anaesthetic must be working and got started.

All manner of torture implements went in there – forceps, pointy things, clampy things, spannery things. He tugged and he pulled, he twisted and he turned. All the while I lay dribbling and trying avoid the awkward eye contact thing by looking at the light on the ceiling.

It went on. And on. And on. He tugged. I dribbled. He pulled. I dribbled. He tapped. I dribbled.

And eventually, probably only about five minutes later, he gave an almighty tug that made me worry my jaw might break and pulled it out.

“Do you want to take it with you? I can clean it up for you.”

My immediate reaction was no. What would I want with a back tooth? It’d only sit around gathering dust till I threw it away anyway. So I said no thanks. After I left though, I chatted (slurred) to a few friends who all said, “Let’s see it. Have you got it with you?” Is that the usual thing, taking it with you? Have I missed out on a fantastic opportunity to show my tooth off?

Anyway, it’s been ok since then. It aches a bit but not very much. I realised, with shock, how big the tooth was when I looked at the hole it had left. I was kind of under the impression that there were more teeth at the back there, so the very last one going wouldn’t be a problem. But actually, there are only two big massive teeth there. And I’ve had one taken out. That’s half of all my back teeth on one side. There’s quite a big hole there. Have I done the right thing, getting it taken out? Or was I far too hasty to be parted with it?….

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Update on my Friendly Mission

My latest challenge has been interesting. Sometimes it barely makes a difference and is quite easy. Other times, I really have to force myself.

Examples of times when it was easy to be friendly:

When a friend visited with her new 6 day old baby and slept peacefully the entire time.
When a customer complimented my homemade flapjacks.
When the weather was nice and I was walking along happily.
When I was swimming and someone moved out of the way for me.
When I was buying presents for a friend’s birthday and getting excited.

Examples of times when it was not easy to be friendly:

When I was getting my tooth pulled out.
When there were lots of people standing around chatting in the supermarket and blocking the aisle with their trolleys. For ages.
When a customer shouted at me that it was “a korma, not a curry!”
When the same customer shouted at me “I’m in a bad mood today! I’m a manic depressive! Do you know what that means!?”
When I wanted to post a letter and had been waiting in line for ages then they closed when I got there, because it’s Wednesday afternoon. All Post Offices close on Wednesday afternoons, didn’t you know? (Who made this rule up? It is a stupid rule.)

Despite such adversity, I have pressed on with my mission. I find that smiling a lot more gets me in the friendly zone. Being helpful easily translates into friendliness. So if I’m not feeling friendly, I try to be helpful instead and it appears as friendliness, so helps me stick to my mission.

I must admit, I have not picked up any new best friends in a cafe or discovered I’ve got tons in common with my next door neighbour. Although when I was having my tooth out, I didn’t see the dentist till 20 minutes after my appointment time because he was late and I was really friendly about it. That might possibly have been because I wasn’t dying to get into the room and have my tooth out! Then when the dentist was tugging and pulling with a huge pair of tweezers (I’m sure they’re not called that), I didn’t fuss. I was all cool and chilled and friendly, although it wasn’t nice at all.

I think the mission is going well so far. As long as no-one tests me too much!

An ode to my tooth

Tooth, we have spent many years together. There have been highs and there have been lows.

In our 27 years, 2 months and 25 days, we have seen plenty of action. We have sampled the local spicy delicacies in Laos, lived off rice in Namibia, eaten strange unnamed bits of animal in China and devoured our fair share of chocolate. I always showed you the best things, focussed on homemade. I even homemade tomato ketchup for us to enjoy with our fish and chips.

Ok, so I didn’t always pay attention to you. When I was younger, I was too busy naming my millions of cuddly toys or hurtling down the stairs in a sleeping bag to remember about looking after you. When my parents would shout up the stairs to check whether I’d got you ready for bed, cleaned you up, I’d shout back ‘YEAH!’ with my head in a Famous Five book. That was disrespectful toward you and I apologise.

But I was young then. I looked after you better as I got older. The past few years I’ve showered lots of attention on you, bought fancy expensive things to keep you sparkly, visited a hygienist for a thorough clean.

I was warned about two years ago that I should break it off with you, that we should go our separate ways. I was warned you would hurt me, but I was faithful to you. I dismissed their opinions as scaremongering. They didn’t know you like I did. I didn’t want to lose you.

But now… Now it is time. We both know it’s the right thing. We aren’t happy together anymore. Maybe you have grown dissatisfied with me because you have abandonment issues from our childhood? Or maybe you don’t know how to resolve things so you go on hurting me, knowing that I will eventually end things between us?

I don’t know. But the other night, I was so upset about how things are going between us that I was awake at 2am, my head in my hands, knowing I had to end it. It hurt me so much, but I knew what I had to do.

And so today will be our final day together, last tooth on the bottom left. I have been told that a replacement awaits it’s turn to push through and emerge. It seems that, in the words of Beyonce, “I can have another you in a minute.” They call it a wisdom tooth and say it will grow into the empty space that you will leave in my life.

I regret that it will end this way, in such violence, tearing you rapidly out. I’d like to say I will regret our parting but the dentist has assured me that I won’t feel a thing. I guess there has been too much hurt between us. I will feel horrible after it happens though, I won’t be able to eat a thing, I know it.

So now I bid you farewell, dear tooth. It has been amazing, the years we have spent together. I think we both know that our separating is for the best. We are not making each other happy anymore.

I will miss you. Always.

Considering anger management

I went swimming again this morning. I just got back and am feeling relatively calm again. Today’s swimming session wasn’t calm. It made me irate. It shouldn’t have. But it did.

As I approached the pool I saw that it was mostly empty, just the lap lane was full. The front crawl lane and nice and easy lanes were both empty. Also, the massive end lane which can take about four people only had one person in it. So I got in the nice and easy lane and thought I’d just have a relaxing swim today because my shoulder was aching a bit. I was about ten lengths in when it started. It all fell apart.

A lady approached the nice and easy lane so I moved from the middle of the lane to the side of it, to make space for her. She also moved to the side, the side I was on! She stood there fixing her goggles then just started swimming!

This picture shows the situation. I’m in the end lane (the top one). The next lane, for front crawl, is empty. The next lane is full and the end one is almost empty. The lady has approached the nice and easy lane, lined herself up with me exactly, leaving the other half of the lane empty and set off swimming straight at me! Doing front crawl!

DOING FRONT CRAWL! She’s come to share the nice and easy lane and is doing front crawl, when the front crawl lane is free! I quite literally went in to shock. I know it’s irrational but I was livid.

I just kept swimming straight, even though I know she must’ve expected me to move. Don’t people get it? When you’re new to the lane, you fit in with the people there, you don’t come in and shove people out of their space when they were there before you! Is it me? I’m worried about my anger, maybe I’m making up rules that are silly?

Anyway, I kept going, thinking she’d surely move. Surely. But she kept coming, doing a really clumsy version of front crawl, her hands kept splatting on the water like the noise you make when you belly flop. We eventually got so close that I had to stop and just tread water until she saw me. She did, obviously. She must’ve known I was there the whole time. She just looked at me like there was no problem.

“I guess¬†I’ll¬†move then,” I said, when it became clear that she hadn’t noticed anything wrong. I waited for the penny to drop and for her to go ‘O, it’s ok, I’ll move over here.’ But no. It was unbelievable. We were near the stairs so I just got out and moved to the large end section and started swimming but I was all out of sync and couldn’t concentrate.

I noticed the indoor pool was emptier so I went inside and started swimming. After about two lengths, four people came in together and squashed themselves into the lane I was in. One man was just standing at the end, holding on to the side, not moving. He was at the end of my section and didn’t move away when I approached. So I had to swim around him to get to the end then swim back around him to start my next length. He just stood there.

By this point, it was getting silly, I hated everyone in that pool and wished they’d all just bugger off and leave me to swim. It was time to take myself out of the situation…

After I got out, I tried to work out what was wrong with me. I’ve had a bit of a toothache and have a dentist appointment fast approaching. Has that made me angry? When it was quite hot yesterday, I struggled to not get grumpy with everyone, so maybe it’s the leftovers from that? I can’t work it out. People do silly things at the swimming pool all the time and are constantly stealing your space, so why was I so angry today? Maybe the Swim Gods are punishing me for missing Wednesday by stealing the Fun Factor from today’s swim? Or maybe I just shouldn’t be around people…?

I’m going to drink some herbal tea and do some yoga, I think.