Counting one’s blessings has been a theme recently. Being thankful for little things, has helped my mood dramatically. Yesterday was a bit of a blip though.
Being the age I am, I can well remember the terrors of going to the dentist. There was the old, slow drill that vibrated down to the boots of your body, mind and spirit. There never seemed to be adequate pain relief. and to make matters worse, the dentist himself was a little, shuffly, wheezy old man. I am ready to admit that from the point of a 7yr old he could have been in his forties, but in my memory he is still 92. Come to think of it he could even have had some dire illness like Parkinson’s Disease. I digress – let us just agree that my experiences of dental care in the 1940s and 50s were not happy ones.
Now, project yourself forward to 2010. Being of a nervous or unbrave (to be charitable) disposition, to be told that one’s dentist of 13 happy years has left is not pleasant. I leave you to consider the antipathy I was feeling as I announced my arrival at the reception desk in the dental surgery. The nurse behind the counter smiled sympathetically – she obviously knew my fears – and whispered, “He’s very good.” But all I could think of was the time Son #3 and I went to a new dentist when we moved to Kilmarnock. The said dentist looked about 14. Really – 14! And he definitely shook more than me. Duly collected by the nurse I made my faltering steps into the usual treatment room, resigned to my fate; after all it was too late to run away now.
What a pleasant surprise. OK he looked young , from my point of years. But we shook hands, made eye-contact and I concentrated on not gabbling like an idiot. (Nervousness makes me babble a lot and look vaguely hunted and hysterical.) There was no need to worry. He was obviously experienced and competent; even better, he inspired confidence. I started to relax and listened to his tales of patients refusing to see him because they were so used to the previous dental star. “Really?” said I, feigning innocence. Unfortunately when we got to the scraping and cleaning my lower jaw developed a life of its own and wobbled alarmingly. I put up my left hand (he did say raise the left not the right didn’t he?) and explained it was involuntary. He smiled and said it was perfectly normal.
Whew….. after that the new digital computerised x-ray machine was a welcome relief. And blessings of the day…… the most welcome sound “I’ll see you in six months.”
Wonderful – and no need to be nervous; at least not much.