Friday, February 28, 2014

"Open Wide!"

In most aspects of my day-to-day life, I am a fully functional adult.  I pay my bills, I corral my short people, and I am always up-to-date on all medical screenings, tests, and lab work.  Well. . .all save for one.  The dentist.  I don't know why, but for some arcane reason I am filled with soul-crushing dread at the thought of foreign objects and ((shudder)) hands being jammed into my mouth.*

*That's what she said.

Bear in mind, my fears are completely irrational as I have never had a Marathon Man-like experience at the dentist; all of my appointments have been completely unremarkable, but for whatever reason, the dentist's office has become Ground Xanax for my anxiety and I check in there about as willingly as a blonde checks into the Bates Motel.  You see, my problem is that I am an overthinker.  My brain is like the Hotel California: you can check out any time you like but you can never leave.  So, basically, if I allow one smidgen of anxiety or trepidation into my head there will be an instant Butterfly Effect.*

*And, no.  I'm not talking about that shitty Ashton Kutcher movie.  Actually. . .I'm relatively certain that using the words "shitty" and "Ashton Kutcher movie" in the same sentence could be considered redundant. . .but I digress.

In my case, an idle concern flutters into my brain and begins to flap its little butterfly wings, which causes a wind storm of anxiety, which dislodges a pebble of neurosis, which rolls down a mountain of angst before plummeting into a giant lake of crazy.  So, as you can guess, the longer I put off going to the dentist the more time I have to convince myself that it's the most terrifying thing since...EVER, thus escalating both my cortisol levels and my gingivitis.

Fortunately, I've been pretty lucky for most of my life when it comes to my teeth.  Despite years of swilling Diet Pepsi and throwing Skittles into my mouth like a drunken Bacchus hurling beads from a Mardi Gras float, my teeth have retained their youthful resilience. . .until now. Last month's exam revealed a couple of cavities that were deeper and darker than a David Lynch film so 'twas 'hi-ho-hi-ho, back to the dentist I go'.

Now, please understand that my fear of seeing the dentist has NOTHING to do with my dentist himself.  For I adore my dentist.  ADORE him.  He looks a little like a Season 2 Chandler Bing, always wears the most twee little dress shirts and has freakishly small hands that I find oddly charming.  I would totally think he was gay but he's Mormon and I'm pretty sure the Church of Latter Day Saints isn't down with O.P.P.*

*Yeah, you know me.

But while Doctor Tiny Hands is a thin little slice of heaven, his hygienist disturbs me.  She is frighteningly skinny and has had so much plastic surgery I'm pretty sure you could bounce a quarter off of her forehead.  She's had a few eye jobs since I've been coming here and her last one looks like it was done by Oedipus Rex.  You know the look I'm talking about?  Those women who constantly look like Mr. Furley overhearing an innuendo-laden conversation at the Regal Beagle?

Bam.  You're welcome.

I'm aware that it's irrational, but when I see someone with a permanently startled expression and the blood sugar level of an Olsen twin coming at my mouth with sharp objects I get touchier than Bill Clinton at a Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest.  So I must say I was somewhat elated to see that Skeletor apparently had the day off and Dr. Tiny Hands was assisted by a charming and non-threatening temp who looked like Meredith Viera and smelled like oranges.

The first part of the appointment was relatively uneventful.  I reclined happily, donned my circa-1976 porn star sunglasses, and opened wide enough to allow my dentist's wee digits into my mouth.  "That's one gosh-darned heck of a cavity."*  he averred sternly.

*Actually, I don't remember if he said it that way exactly.  This is pretty much just how I picture Mormons swearing.

And one gosh-darned motherfucker of a cavity it must have been, indeed, because it took the man 15 MINUTES of drilling my tooth like it was an Alaskan oil field and he was George Bush.  When he finally got all of that "gosh-darned" decay, he called over his assistant to give me the old rinse and suction.  As she leaned over with her pleasantly smiling face I felt at peace...I felt I was in good hands...and then she asked "How are you feeling?"

Sweet 6 pound 8 ounce Baby Jesus.  Her breath.  Seriously, people:  HER.  BREATH.  Here I thought she was all classy and citrusy and shit but when she opened her mouth the stench that emanated can only be described as a wet dog eating fish sticks inside a Burning Man port-a-potty.  I held my breath as best as one can with their mouth agape and gave her a cheery thumbs-up hoping it would urge her to move her pungent stink hole from my olfactory range.

Once my dentist had completed filling the Black Hole of Calcutta on my top tooth he started on the "smaller" one on the bottom.  "This one should be a piece of cake." he assured me.  Fine.  Good.  Cake is good.  Do you know what's NOT good?  When the drill slips.  Out of his microscopic fingers.  Into the nerve ending of my tooth.  Wait...did you get that.  He.  Drilled.  A.  NERVE ENDING.  So, of course I dealt with the pain as any dignified and stoic young lady would do: I completely lost my shit and shrieked like Justin Timberlake taking a croquet mallet to the sack.  Suffice to say, the rest of the appointment was a montage of me crying, Dr. Tiny Hands pumping me full of enough Novacaine to anesthetize a wildebeest, and the dental assistant wringing her hands and assessing the level of psychosis in the room.

When we were finally done, I staggered limply to the receptionist to discuss my insurance.  As I stood there, Dr. Tiny Hands poked his head out of the inner office.  "Oh, Jen!  I did want to discuss that gum surgery and tooth whitening I mentioned earlier if you were interested?"

I blinked at him in confusion.  "You mean, the optional one?  The one that's just for cosmetic purposes?"*

*Actually, as 85% of my face was completely numb what I THINK I said was "Bhstfgnkdfndcvndi?"

"Yup, that's the one."  he grinned.  "Are you interested?"

"Interested?"  I replied.  "In coming BACK to the dentist to pay you to hurt me by choice?"  I shook my head solemnly.  "No offense, Doc, but there's a better chance of seeing Paula Deen and Al Sharpton singing 'Ebony and Ivory' at the Apollo than of you seeing my face grace your office for a while."

Because, really?  I may have many glaring a few minor flaws but I am not a masochist
.  So if you ever suggest to me that it might be "fun" to get a tattoo, Botox, or have any part of my body electively bleached then you should just pack up your copies of Watchtower and start knocking on the next goddamned door.

I'm all stocked up on crazy here.



mothers little hleper said...

you are so funny!! but I feel your pain, I hate dentists, mine hates me back and her "drill" slips every so often and clips my lip or gums. I am sure she does it on purpose!

hoodyhoo said...

"A wet dog eating fish sticks inside a Burning Man porta-potty."

Janene said...

Ahh-men. I hate going to the dentist, too. That may be because I, shamefully, don't do so great on the dental care, but then again, if I'm paying for a service, I shouldn't be lectured through said service. I can't help the fact I hate flossing.

Or I used to. My bf introduced me to these dental pick thingies that are God's gift to floss. I use 'em, and have noticed a difference.

Anyway. I hear you. My dentist himself is adorable, but one of his hygienists can suck monkey balls because of her attitude.

Angel The Alien said...

LOL! I hate the dentist too... I can't stand people being that close to me, let alone leaning over me while I am lying down, let alone sticking horrid things in my mouth! I'd rather live with cavities forever! I have actually heard that they can now give you twilight anesthesia just for a regular cleaning even, for people like me who are super freaked out by the dentist.