I've got an appointment with a dental chair and some very sharp pointy metal things this morning. I'm not looking forward to this experience because I have a healthy fear of all things painful. This activity ranks very high on my Pain Meter. I mentioned to the Dentist that I would like to have nitrous oxide while having my teeth cleaned. He blinked. Then blinked again.
"But cleanings aren't painful, just uncomfortable at times" he said.
"I'm sorry, but I subscribe to Medical Terminology for Dummies and the other great tome, "How To Understand Your Doctor's Secret Code" So I know for a fact that when you say something may be uncomfortable, or you may feel a little discomfort, or my all time favorite, 'this might pinch a little', I'm aware of the fact that in the next couple of seconds I'll be trying to leap from my chair to smack you repeatedly about the head and shoulders with your own dental drills."
His eyes went wide and he apparently lost the ability to communicate in a manner in which others could understand him. There were some hemmings and hawwings and his eyebrows were raised up over his eyes.
I've been there. I know what goes on. This is why I haven't been there since I lost my last baby tooth. My Pain Avoidance System is in full operational order. Today, though, I am letting my guard down and allowing strangers to probe and poke me in places that I feel should generally remain unprobed and unpoked. I can just see the expression in the dental hygienist's eyes. After the initial pricking and poking, the Dental Inquisition will begin.
"Uh, Pam? I read on the information page you filled out that you brush once every week, unless the day has a 'y' in it. Is that correct?"
"es, I'm very superstitious about things with the letter 'y' in them. You can never be too careful'
"Uh huh. I see. When you do your weekly brushing, do you use a toothbrush?"
"Do you use toothpaste or mouthwash?"
"Well of course I do, I'm not entirely daft"
At this point I will see the hygienist's eyes above her mask go blinky-blinky and her pupils will dilate to the point that her eyes will appear black. This is a warning sign to watch for, noted on page 3 of the Dental Patient's Guide For Self-Preservation. I've highlighted the paragraph that talks about changes in eye coloring and how to interpret facial expressions hidden under mouth masks.
It's a good thing I've got my tinfoil hat ready to go this morning. I'll wear it there so those brightly dressed dental demons won't be able to read my thoughts as they take their implements of torture and grate them across the enamel surfaces of my poor teeth.
After they finish their torture of my mouth, I'll spend the rest of the day running my tongue over my teeth and being overly aware that I have gums. No one should be aware of their gums. It's like being able to feel the size and shape of your appendix. This is always a bad sign.
And this is why I will have the laughing gas during my appointment with pain. I'm also going to suggest that the dentist add a little something to his treasure chest. You know, the box that the children get to pick prizes from after their time in purgatory has ended. He needs one for the adults as well. This one will contain little canisters of laughing gas you can take home with you. Make mine a double.