Happy Sunday, everyone!
Every Wednesday, blogging buddy Aaron over at The Confusing Middle posts a “Sunday Scribblings” prompt for other bloggers to ponder and respond to on the following Sunday. If you’re a blogger looking for more inspiration, I highly recommend jumping in and joining in on the fun!
This week’s prompt is: Dentist!
If you’re a regular here at my blog, you know that I’ve had some major dental issues within the last few years due to bad tooth genes and good ‘ol dental neglect. Once I was old enough to make my own dentist appointments, I decided that I was essentially never going to the dentist again, so I put it off for over 5 years. Considering the fact that my at-home routine also wasn’t particularly great, it should come as no surprise that my teeth were a mess. In that first appointment, I found out that I needed my wisdom teeth out and that I needed my first root canal.
After that, it was a series of fillings, minor gum surgeries (I actually have another coming up this week, wish me luck!), and another freaking root canal. Finally, it seems as though I have a decent handle on my dental health, but for a while there, it felt like one catastrophe after another.
Ever suffered from a high bite? Surprisingly painful. And so far, I’ve experienced it THRICE.
Since I’ve documented my dental misfortunes at great length on this blog already and am still not sure if I want to share some of the weird/funny things I’ve said at the dentist (which range from demanding praise for taking a novocaine needle well to making a less-than-tasteful joke when the dentist mentioned vibrations in my mouth), I figured I’d write about my most recent experience at the dentist.
I went in for my semi-annual cleaning back in January. As always, I was talking myself down, reminding myself that I wasn’t going in for an operation, just a cleaning. I was also praying that I wouldn’t need any more work done. Either way, I was excited to see my hygienist who I hadn’t seen more than in passing for the last 6 months. My dentist office always sets patients up with the same hygienist for every cleaning so you can be a bit more comfortable with the person scraping at your mouth. It’s like they know I have anxiety or something…
So my anxiety really skyrocketed when a different hygienist who I had never seen before came to get me in the waiting room and take me back for my appointment. I tried not to freak out as this new hygienist and I got acquainted. I gave her the same rundown that I gave my previous hygienist. I suffer from anxiety and will ask approximately 300 times if everything looks okay. This hygienist assured me that would be fine, she suffers from anxiety as well, so she knew the struggle.
I breathed a sigh of relief, feeling as though I was in good hands. While I was an anxious mess, this hygienist was new to the practice, so she was still getting the hang of things. She struggled to get the water sprayer working for a bit, couldn’t quite figure out how to use one of the tools, and accidentally squirted me with water. I assured her over and over that none of this was a big deal, and this is how we got through the appointment: reassuring each other that everything was okay.
Throughout the appointment (in between my anxious questions and both of our reassurances), we chatted about our lives, careers, etc. You know, all of the typical stuff that you talk to medical professions about while they’re eye-to-eye with your tonsils (all with a bit of that classic Renata oversharing, of course). She talked about how she had thought about becoming a pediatric dental hygienist because she felt her high energy would be great for working with kids. She had me hold my mouth open as she pulled the water sprayer farther and farther away from my mouth to prove her point. Of course, I ended up sprayed with water again.
Towards the end of the appointment, she looked at me and marveled at how great it was that I was her first patient that morning. She had said that she was suffering from anxiety particularly badly that morning and part of her hoped that I wouldn’t show so that she could go take a breather outside. But instead, she got to work with someone very understanding and it helped calm her nerves a bit.
Days later, I just kept thinking about when she said that to me. We’re so used to thinking about things working out cosmically for us, that sometimes we forget we’re also universal pawns meant to help others, too. It was nice to feel like I helped her, even if it was only for an hour.
And in case you’re curious, I didn’t need any more work done other than the work I already knew that I needed done. I decided to start going in 3 times a year for cleanings instead of 2 (something my dad has done for years now) to keep on top of my dental hygiene.
Make sure you take care of your teeth, kids! Don’t be this guy: