Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Worst Place

I don't know if there is anyone out there who actually enjoys going to the dentist - if you do you're a better person than I.

I really hate going to the dentist. I don't like anyone messing with my mouth. I hate those enourmous things they put in my mouth to take the x-rays and I'm always at least slightly embarrassed by how much I hate it. I'm a grown woman. You'd think I would have kicked this by now.

Last year I had a small cavity that needed to be filled. Well, as the appointment approached I got more nervous. Then one of my kids got the flu and I dialed the dentist explaining that my daughter was sick and I simply couldn't come in. Yes, folks, I used my daughter's illness to avoid the drilling (it's actually sand-blasting now but frankly I don't think it makes it any better.) I rescheduled and then something else came up (a plausible albeit unnecessary excuse).

By the time I got to the dentist - much later - I had a much bigger cavity, needed two doses of the numbing medicine and required something called a "pulp cap" - all I know is that it cost an extra $150. Did I mention I don't have dental insurance. Yeah.

So I got all fixed up and stayed away for a while. It's only been a year but a few weeks ago, the right side of my mouth started bothering me. I ignored it. I rationalized it. I avoided eating on that side. But finally I had to face the fact that I would have to go in to the dentist.

I was more scared of a huge cavity (and the additional $150) than going in at that point.

Well, apparently I don't have any cavities, but my gums are swollen and infected, which was what was causing my pain. Of course I checked it out myself when I got home and they seem just fine to me.

Apparently I should be flossing.

Yeah, me and the rest of the industrialized world. My problem with people messing with my mouth extends to me sticking my fingers in there to floss as well. They told me that I could have serious gum problems later if I don't start flossing.

I could ignore it. But then twenty years from now I'll be writing this blog with a lot less teeth. I like having teeth. I don't intend to lose them. So now, amidst the vacumming and cooking and laundry and exercising and writing books, I have to make more time in my life for dental care.

Gee, isn't growing up fun.