Today was the dreaded day. Those who know me well understand that I have my share of deep-seated fears. One of those fears is of "The Dentist". Our generation were the products of Blakeney's Dental Program in Rural Schools. Each fall, word would race through the whole school: "THE DENTAL NURSES ARE HERE!" Every knock on the classroom door would be followed by a sharp intake of breath. Who would be called? Let me just say, these were dental assistants at best, doing what dentists should have been doing. They did it slowly and badly and they were fond of lecturing and scolding. The Devil's Daughters, I fondly labelled them.
Anyway, up until now I have had a hate-hate relationship with dental work. Avoidance was my plan of action. It always worked until I needed to have something done. Like today.
I've broken up with my fair share of dentists. "Oh, it's not you, it's me...Okay, it's you and that pointy weapon of mass destruction you hold in your hand." "Next appointment in 6 months? Sorry, I have a funeral that day." I decided I was going to try a lady dentist this time. Typically my dentists have been men and some of them seemed to be more interested in drilling for dollars than easing my fears. I made the appointment and assured them I was neurotic, so they should prepare themselves. It doesn't help that I have a gag reflex tuned to high. It's genetic...ask my siblings.
10:30 rolled around and I started to get that familiar rise in blood pressure. Quick check, 400 over 300... not as bad as I thought. I took a deep breath and walked in. Perhaps the worst part of a dentist's office for me is the SMELL!! Nothing says "COME ON IN, like the bewitching scent of magic marker mixed with embalming fluid!
To my surprise, the place smelled like any regular office! I thought, for a while, that I had walked into the optometrist next door by mistake. Until they said, "Tracy, Dr. Hack will be with you shortly". (The needle screeches across the vinyl) "Did you say Dr. Hack?? "Oh it's Dr. Haack, spelled with two 'A's, dear". Like that was going to reassure me... "Oh! Two 'A's! Okay!! That helps me stop picturing her with a hatchet in her hand."
To make a short story long, it was about the best experience I could ask for at the dentist. They did not shine that stupid light directly into my eyes,they did not ask me a variety of banal questions whilst their fist was in my mouth, they did not suck up my uvula with that sucky thing...I feel rather blessed. Dr. Haack, spelled with two 'A's was lovely, as was the hygienist.
I won't be lining up at the door in 6 months, but I will try to be a big girl and suck it up more often. Getting older means I don't have as much energy for drama. Maybe that's a good thing!