Dread and the Dentist

Kate at One More Thing and I have many things in common. Sometimes our thoughts are eerily the same, and we’d often joke about which one of us was using our brain that day.

Today our lives are, once again, seeming to be right there in line with each other. She’s just posted about her visit to the dentist office today, and her frustration over her inability to meet this challenge with the same aplomb with which she faces the rest of life.

Me too, friend.

I have the same reactions due to some horrible experiences as a child, and the fact that someone working in my mouth is just so personal. With other medical procedures on other parts of the body I can turn my head away and close my eyes – pretend it’s not happening. But when someone’s hand is in my mouth there is no escape. Even when I had a great dentist I could actually be with without out-and-out sobbing, all of the fears and feelings would still be there. I could talk to him and not feel in horrible distress in a particular moment, but the tears would still run down my face…

And, like Kate earlier today, in 45 minutes I have my first dental appointment in nearly five years (before son I was pretty good about going for cleanings twice a year) because I had a filling fall out, and I’m about to get on a plane tomorrow. I’m very stressed, partially over the rigmarole I had to go through this morning to get my provider changed to one that’s NOT an hour away (wonder what I was sniffing the day I chose her!), but mostly because I have to bring Son with me. Son, who has not yet been to a dentist (planned for later this summer), and has never seen his mother a sobbing, sniveling, snotty mess.

So, I’m going to have to take every ounce of my will and determination and grit and try to be a logical, reasonable, non-traumatized patient. I’m worried I won’t be able to pull it off. I don’t want Son to see me in the state I usually am in for dental visits, which usually end with me being such a useless blob of shredded emotions that I go straight home and go to bed for the day (with a kid it becomes clearer why I haven’t been to the dentist since pregnant with him, doesn’t it?).

But if, IF I am successful I will have achieved victory over the two rat bastards that made this fear such an ingrained part of my psyche. And Son will have a chance at normal.

Wish me luck.


2 Responses to “Dread and the Dentist”

  1. Kate Says:

    Good luck, indeed. I wouldn’t have wanted either kid in the room with me, given the choice – both were a few times in Keene, and keeping it together just took everything I had. No good. I don’t mind them knowing I’m a little scared (or even, scarred) – I just don’t need them knowing I’m out of my mind.

    Hope it went smoothly…

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