Yes, it's that time of year again... time to see the dentist.
I'd blame the whole thing on the dentist failing to call me to tell me my crown was in but I was fully aware it had to be in; I was just not going on purpose.
I used to be such a good patient. I went regularly, never complained, and behaved in an exemplary fashion. This was in spite of my absolute horror and dread of blood, very pointy things, and needles. Then, at some point, the whole thing went to hell. I managed to drag myself to the office but no matter what happened (or didn't), my body would continually attempt to escape from the chair.
This is technically referred to as Fight or Flight and is a wonderful built-in system for survival. I'm not positive that a visit to the dentist qualifies as a survival moment but there was simply no way to communicate this to the parts of my body trying desperately to remove themselves from a four mile radius of that office. And I had the presence of mind to sit there and notice this. Yay me.
Dr Mengele (not his real name) is a really nice guy. His staff is pleasant and competent. They accept my insurance. There is even a bevy of really attractive employees in all sizes, shapes, and countries of origin. In fact, today's cleaner was a bit of a shock, being a native English speaker. The place is like the United Nations. Today India and Eastern Europe were represented.
Dr. Mengele even managed to get off a few jibes at my expense, cracking himself up for what seemed to be five or ten minutes. I can laugh at myself (even when I'm not the one poking fun at me) and managed a few chuckles on the way to requesting that Mengele institute new uniform specifications (I couldn't see down her shirt when she bent over me).
It was during the xrays that I finally realized that this was a very large, expensive game. Although the nice tech denied it sweetly, I am positive that putting all those things in my mouth and making me hold still til something BUZZED was completely unnecessary. Putting the lead liner on me was completely unnecessary: the reason she kept disappearing was because she was conferring with her coworkers about what kind of thing she could get me to keep in my mouth and hold it next.
Hey, watch this... I'm gonna put this green thing in his mouth and count to ten before I take it out.
Can you believe he sat there? Now I'm going to try the red one - watch!
I very strongly suspect the bunny ears were not needed either.
After Dr. Mengele got done amusing himself, he sent me off to `the really mean lady' to have my teeth cleaned. Teeth Cleaning Ladies bring fear to everyone, including Nazis and IRS agents. They all appear really nice (until they get you strapped to the table and bring out their implements of torture. I didn't have to wonder long as to why the walls of this exam room were acoustically padded.
Teeth Cleaning Ladies don't need much in the way of tools, largely one very sharp, pointy stick that they continually poke you with when they're not scraping your nostrils by way of your mouth. It takes a special kind of person to be a Teeth Cleaning Lady. Even congressmen voluntarily cross the street when faced with a Teeth Cleaning Lady.
POKE. Does that hurt?
No, it's ok.
POKE. How about that?
Yes, that hurts.
I'm sorry. POKE. Now?
Sorry. You should come back more often.
With an experience like this, you won't be able to keep me away!
When the most pleasant experience I could imagine is over, it's time to see the Counter Ladies. These are the sweetest of the sweet in the practice. But don't be fooled - these lovely ladies are the real enforcers of the business. Behind the attractive smiles are naturally sharp teeth and biceps that can break your leg. They know exactly what your insurance will cover (nothing) and what you have to pay (everything, now). After removing only slight amounts of bone, they smile and ask you when you'd like to come back.
While one of them was distracting me, I saw another writing on a chart. It had a rather disturbing sticker on it. When I confirmed that this was my chart, I asked if that sticker did indeed say HIV on it. Why yes it did.
Well HALLELEUJAH, I'm apparently cured. It was a miracle.
Or more accurately, I never had HIV in the first place.
No one seemed to know how I achieved HIV but we were all pretty happy that I didn't have it.
Won't my wife be happy.....