Triggers, I guess, for people spooked by dental stuff. Proceed at your own risk, but there’s nothing detailed or gruesome.
It occurs to me that title may be one that not everyone gets, on account of me being older than lots of you. It’s a reference to a poem by the (really rather good, especially when she allows herself to move away from the light verse and into something more serious) famous West Country [Oxfordshire, apparently; who knew?] poet Pam Ayres. She was everywhere during my childhood, usually being mocked for her accent. Which is what I’ve done here. Bad me. But I mean it affectionately, I don’t assume it marks her out as stupid or inferior, as so many of the ‘radical’ and ‘political’ Oxbridge-educated comedians of the early 80s did.
Anyway, yes, the main point of this post is just to check in and reassure you that I haven’t died/ been abducted by aliens/ got a life. Things are a bit quiet because I am in relatively urgent need of dental attention, and this is proving to be a …challenge to my mental equilibrium. Or, to put it another way:
Yes, I know everyone hates the dentist. Yes, I know everyone thinks they hate the dentist more than anyone else. No, I’m not trying to claim some special victim status for myself. But I am scared enough that I haven’t been to the dentist since I was half the age I am now – basically since I got old enough that my mum stopped making appointments for me and putting on her ‘disappointed face’ when I raised the possibility of not going. So things have come to a pretty bad pass, as you can imagine, and have recently developed in an unexpectedly rapid way.
The last little while has not been pleasant, with my fear of the dentist doing battle with my fear of Unknown Things happening in my mouth. They have balanced out in favour of treatment (really acute worry, but over the short-term, and once done, done versus mid-grade worry over the long-term, and with the knowledge that the nasty short-term bit is still coming: it was a no-brainer, really). Meaning I have to visit the dentist.
I have found a dentist who comes highly recommended for people with ‘dental anxiety’, as it’s inadequately called. I found him via this website: Dental Fear Central, which I cannot recommend highly enough; good coverage of the issues (it’s reassuring to know that fear of loss of control is a very common thing for dental patients to experience, though some of my other weirdnesses seem less common), and a forum section wherein good and sympathetic dentists are recommended and reviewed by actual people. And I found out about that website via a link from J Wibble’s ever-excellent blog – thanks, J, you did me a massive favour without even realising it.
I have made an appointment. The dentist concerned is aware that I am a big, fat scaredy-cat; apparently he allows longer for patients who have to be coaxed into the consulting room like a puppy at the vets. (Clearly, I will be doing my level best not to wee on the carpet, but I make no promises…) The receptionist was nice. She made a joke as she arranged the appointment for me. The appointment that is now a week away today.
This kind of distance out from the appointment is, I think, possibly the worst. Long enough away that my “But what if something bad happens before the appointment?” fears still have full rein, but close enough that my “Scary, frightening dentists are frightening and scary” fears are starting to really ramp up.
Anyway, this has been (and I suspect will be) occupying my thoughts to the exclusion of almost everything else, hence the lack of blogging. And, as always, the build-up of real world anxiety is making all the irrational bullshit that flies around inside my head flare up. And doing so at precisely the time I have fewer internal resources for dealing with it, on account of the real-world stuff needing the same resources.
I feel bad for posting this. Bad for whingeing. Bad for possibly making other people feel bad. But, guys? I’m. So. Fucking. Scared. I feel like going up to strangers and saying “Please help me!”, then bursting into tears at them.
All over a dentist’s appointment. I truly am a tosser. But a scared tosser.
Please help me. Boo-hoo.
Look for more posts the other side of Dentogeddon. Assuming I’m still around. I have become fairly convinced that the dentist is going to tell me I’m actually dead, which is why my teeth are rotting, and when he does I’ll suddenly vanish into thin air. See what I said about the irrational stuff? I do feel quite like a ghost, though, a ghost with actual, physical teeth, which seems…unfair.
Thanks for reading. And, as always, don’t worry. I’m ok. Not ok ok, obviously, but still ok.
Oh, and pre-modding of comments is still turned on. Sorry. It’s an anxiety thing.