Friday, November 11, 2011

Totally Unrelated To Art

I went to the dentist today and once again was amazed at how calm I was.  You see there was a time when I was a white knuckle patient.  For someone who has three cousins in that field, a dentist, an orthodontist and an oral surgeon, all cousins that she dearly loves and knows would not inflict pain, one would think that I would always be calm about a trip to the dentist.  Not so.

When I fist went to my current dentist 30 years ago I told him how scared I was, something I’m sure he’d heard many times before.  He didn’t realize how scared until he noticed how tightly I was clutching the arms of the chair.  His comment: “You really are scared aren’t you.”  Well duh… that’s what I said wasn’t it.

When it was time for our son to go to the dentist for the first time I asked my husband to take him and not to the dentist I go to because I didn’t want to take any chances on my trauma being passed on.

Where did it start?  A few years back Mother, my sister and I were chatting and the subject of dentists came up.  I was recalling a time when Mother and I were in the waiting room and my sister was in the dentist’s chair – screaming with pain.  I mentioned the name of the dentist and simultaneously Mother and my sister responded, both saying my sister never went to that dentist, I was the only one that did.  To this day I can’t put myself in that chair but it must have been me.  By the way, my sister thanks me for putting her there.

Well, all these years later I’m calm; in fact, I could fall asleep while the dentist or hygienist is working on my mouth. 

That’s not because I’ve suddenly become able to bare that pain; actually I have a pretty high pain tolerance (a fetal monitor told us when I was having a contraction, I didn’t have any labor pains, which tells you mothers out there how high my tolerance is.)   Dentistry has come a long ways and all of those dentists are striving to provide pain free visits. 

The other reason is that I learned to mentally put myself somewhere I’d love to be rather than in the dentist’s chair.  Hey, if I can move myself out to the lobby and put my sister in the chair in my place why not.  When I first began making regular visits to my current dentist, while he was working I was mentally skiing in the winter or sailing in the summer.

Today I just closed my eyes and went through my to-do list for the rest of the day.  I’ve come a long way.

I’ll get back to post about art another day.

1 comment:

Jo Castillo said...

Boy, I need you with me. I just dread the dentist visits. I have thousands of dollars in my mouth, too. Yuck. I'm so happy for you.