Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hormones and the Dentist

I'll blame it on the hormones. But I have an aversion to dentists and haven't been to one since I lived in Boise, which was oh, when my six year old was one. That dentist told me I probably had an extra nerve in my jaw and that might be why no matter what I get zinged and require twice as much pain killer. That and I'm neurotic, and that can surely mess with the pain centers in your brain.

Never mind the fact that I have a receding gum line due to clenching and grinding my teeth (not due to stress, I'm sure!) and the little plaster I had on one fell off the last time I was pregnant (that baby is now 19 months old) and I just pray that nothing gets stuck in that little creepy hole on the side of my tooth.

So today I had a follow up appointment with the kids' dentists here in Olympia, Washington. And let me tell you, if they would only take people who have already attended their prom, I would go to the dentist. The dentists are Psaltis and Rowley and they rock. They are all so kind and gentle and give you bubble gum smelling laughing gas (oh, excuse me, 'magic air') when you sit your little hiney in that chair for a procedure involving 'putting those sugar bugs to sleep.' Sign me up!

So anyway, I'm fine with the whole cleaning thing; a little anxiety here and there, but I can handle it. Who doesn't have their neck hair stand on end when they hear that tooth cleaner buzz away? And the whole trick question of 'so,.. do you help (fill in the blank with your child's name) brush his/her teeth?" What do I say? Do I lie and say, 'yes of course, two times a day and we make flossing together one the ways we spend our quality time?" Or do I tell the hygenist the truth and say, "Well, what do you think? I'm pregnant with my fifth kid, I'm closing in on 40 and my husband is in Indonesia at the moment. I tell them to brush their teeth, but I am too lazy/tired/distracted to actually climb the stairs and help most days. But I do smell their breath when they look truly suspect."

Then, after the answer, (which is always yes, now, isn't it? Don't lie to me.) they give the kid those little pink tablets to chew explaining that after chewing, the pink will stick to any places the kid didn't brush properly. Well, the six year old chewed and gave me the biggest, most fushia smile I have ever seen. If Dracula had been feasting on Barbie, this is what he would have looked like. And then, when the dentist finally came in, all six foot six inches of him looming over the small child in the dentist chair, and pronounced that he had a small sugar bug, I felt as though I had flunked my final exams and needed to attend school all over again. Thank goodness the other two kids had a clean bill of tooth health as my neurotic, competitive self felt as though I had to redeem myself to this educated adult.

So, we go back to the dentist today. I drove the non dentist needing kids to their Grandma's house for some play in the park time. Good thing for me, because as soon as the hygenist hooked that little six year old up to the grape smelling magic air hose and escorted the seven year out to the hallway, my 'I'm the toughest mommy in the world' demeanor broke down. I CRIED. Yes, I CRIED when I told the nice prepubescent dental hygenists that I had a phobia of the dentist. I CRIED when I told them that the kid would be fine, but I wasn't sure about myself. Gads. They were so nice. They told me how brave I was that I had come back to the room, that some parents didn't even do that. They told me I could leave whenever I wanted. They almost reached in their pockets to give me a golden coin so I too, could get a special prize and a sticker for being a good visitor to the dentist.

How pathetic is that? The kids saw nary a tear, as the seven year old was lounging in the hallway and the six year old was basically high as a kite. Is it the pregnancy hormones? Is it the stress of life, of having a brother in law with major cancer and my husband gone and getting my kids in yet a new school and worrying about the six year old and his speech impediment and the suspicion that he is dyslexic? Is it the fact that I'm not in my own home and won't be until January and at that time it'll be more of getting kids in yet another new school and worrying about the six year old,.. but with a brand new baby? Am I being tested until I scream 'Uncle!' at the top of my lungs? Some days it feels that way.

At least the dentist is only twice a year, but in my personal pergatory I seem to be living, when you multiply that by five children, that means I have to go ten times. If I actually include myself in that equation, we are talking one dentist visit PER MONTH every year until the kids move out of the house. And that doesn't include sugar bugs, sealants, and I don't even want to consider this,... BRACES.


Teri said...

Ah, man. I'm glad those hygenists were so kind. I'd give you a hug myself if I could. Meanwhile, glad you made it through. Once a month for the next eighteen years! Yikes - if that doesn't get you over your phobia, I don't know what will. Or else it'll put you in the looney bin. I'm a lotta help, huh? Blame it on my own hormone/neurosis problems.

mom2threepks said...

HUGS to you! If it makes you feel any better, my mom has a serious dentist phobia (she had fillings done by her dad's drinking buddy while he smoked a cigarrette over her WITH NO PAINKILLERS) and I had no idea how bad it was until i was an adult. She hid it well from us kids made sure we always had excellent dentists and I have no dentist issues and pretty good teeth. However, putting braces on my first one and seeing what that cost has given me SEVERE dental phobia!