I am a religious teeth brusher. Maybe not as religious as some I know...I don't carry the toothbrush with me wherever I go or anything like that, but my teeth are usually clean. They always get a least one brushing in the morning, sometimes two (if I squeeze one in before and after coffee...if my daughter is lucky), and definitely before bed.
I also am religious about going to the dentist. I just love going. I love the way my teeth feel after a good cleaning. Maybe its because I never get bad news there. I've been going to the same guy since I was three...every 6 months for the past 29 years. Well, actually just 27 of the past 29 years.
For various reasons, for the past two years, I didn't go. Pregnancy, new baby, insurance changes...whatever the reason, it got put off. I missed 4 appointments.
In August, I decided it was time. Way past time. I was sad to find out that my long time dentist, the one whose treasure chest I raided as a kid...only after having a dorky Polaroid taken and hung on the wall...was no longer covered by my insurance.
I got over it, after all his office is an hour away, and booked an appointment with someone on my plan locally.
I expected the same cheery..."everything looks beautiful, Kerry, keep up the good work"...type of response. Not so.
So not so.
I nearly fell off the chair when I was informed of how many cavities I had. Decay. Discoloration. Bad ones. I think she even mentioned a hole in one of my teeth.
How many cavities you ask? More than you can count on one hand.
Seeing that I had only had one little cavity when I was eleven and then immediately got sealants, I was mortified.
I mean jeez, I will own up to eating a few Oreos in the middle of the night during the first few sleepless months of Jade's life, but S-I-X cavities?
I was embarrassed. And it made me just not like this new dentist. At all.
So I did the only reasonable thing. I called up the old guy and nearly cried on the phone hoping they'd give me some sort of discount considering this mountain of work I was bringing them. They obliged.
I had to call in my most faithful pair of sitters. My in-laws. Which meant I had to tell them all about my six new enemies. They already knew though.
Dern it, Jerry. It's amazing the things guys will talk to their mothers about.
So, since I had already called in the forces, and my annual exam was also due, I decided to schedule my OB/Gyn appointment for the same day.
I mean if you are going to have to open wide and get poked and prodded at...might as well get it all over with on the same day. Right?
That was beyond awful. Yet I couldn't resist.
What a waste of child free time on a beautiful day.
So I left early and got the first of the evils out of the way. Annual exam? Check. Blood work drawn? Check.
Quick lunch with hubby at Eatzi's? Check.
I had to throw some fun into the day. Plus I wasn't sure when the next time that I would actually be able to feel my mouth, much less taste something, would be.
I then headed to the dentist. The hall that the hygienist walked me down seemed eternally long. Then I remembered it from 21 years ago...the last time I had anything other than a simple cleaning done. To the "procedure room" we went.
The doctor came in and we laughed and chatted, and then I told him that I actually remembered this room. The room with all the extra equipment that screamed out things like..."I make a high pitch screeching noise, I cause much pain, I will grind your teeth away until there is nothing left...". Yeah, that room.
But the next thing I knew, I was hearing, "Kerry, I have to disagree with the other dentist. You have one cavity, and it is tiny. We can take care of it whenever."
What? I was in complete disbelief. The duck of a dentist had made it sound like they were all urgent. Quack-Quack.
I have been anxious over this day for six weeks. One week for each little enemy that was supposedly taking residence in my once esteemed mouth.
As he was examining me, I had heard his stomach growling. So I felt a little guilty asking him if he would mind "taking care of it" today.
But mainly I was just excited. Not even angry at the quack of a dentist whose chair I had nearly fallen out of just last month. Not even caring that his fee would be more than double hers, because even at that it was a third of her cost, because I was only having a sixth of the work done.
Did you follow that math? I wouldn't reread it too closely. I'm a math major and it still isn't sitting well with me.
After the near painless filling was completed, I pretty much skipped down that long hall and was on my way.
And you know who had to be one of the first to know my delight? My in-laws. I couldn't wait around to see if Jerry shared this news.
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