Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inner Transcripts

Everybody has an inner dialogue going at some point during the day.  We keep it on the inside for a variety of reasons.  What we are telling ourselves might be hurtful to another or embarrass them.  Perhaps we know that it might make us look foolish or reveal that we don't exactly understand what is going on.  Or it could be that it is just fun to have a little secret.  Whatever the reason, the chats we have in our brains stay locked within.

However, I believe that a bit of what we are thinking always shows on our faces to some degree.  Thus, I am able to fairly accurately recreate what I believe were the multiple inner dialogues going on amongst those of us at my recent dentist appointment.

It went something like this:

Perky Hygienist: There.  I've put the little stick between her teeth and told her that the dentist will be in shortly.  Now I can go be perky somewhere else while her mouth goes numb.

Sheepish Annie:  Well, here I am with a stick between my teeth and my mouth is going numb.  I'll just sit here and look out the window while I wait for the dentist who should be here shortly.  Wait!  Was was!  It's my dentist!  He's leaving!!!  Maybe he forgot about me.  That would be nice...

Dr. Desade, DMD:  Off I go for my little walk without my coat.  I'm certain that no one has noticed my leaving but I'll be sure to tell them all about it when I get back for I am such a manly-man strolling about in freezing temperatures without protection from the elements!

Several Minutes Later:

Dr. Desade, DMD:  Oh, good.  She has that stick between her teeth.  Now I can tell the tale of my trip to the hardware store down the street and allow them all to marvel at my bravery without interruption.

Sheepish Annie:  Wait...did he say, "hardware store?"  Why in the name of all that is holy did he need to go to the hardware store before doing my filling???????

Note:  After brief consideration, I decided that this particular inner dialogue should be externalized.  It seemed like a prudent question to ask under the circumstances.  For the record, the Perky Hygienist got it and was chuckling a full fifteen seconds before the dentist lost his perplexed expression.

Dr. Desade, DMD:  OK.  That threw me for a second.  But it all worked out.  Now I get to tell the ladies all about how I went to get a screw so I could fix the receptionist's drawer and they shall again be in awe of my vast talents.

Sheepish Annie:  This is a really long story...

Dr. Desade, DMD:  And now I shall use this giant needle to administer the gift of pain-free dentistry.  My God, I am amazing!

Sheepish Annie:  Wow.  That is a really big needle.  Ow!  What the heck just pinched my tongue?  I should really mention...YIKES!!!  Never mind my tongue!  That sucker is pretty much ripping up my jaw!!!

Dr. Desade, DMD:  One day, they will make a movie about me and my awesomeness.

Sheepish Annie:  Urk.  I taste blood.  I should maybe mention that to the Perky Hygienist.

Perky Hygienist:  I am just going to quietly offer to suction her mouth and pray that she doesn't see the look of abject horror upon my face.  

Dr. Desade, DMD:  Well, she says the anesthetic's working.  Now let's make the magic happen!

Sheepish Annie:  You know, I can never remember.  Which side of my mouth is the one where the Novocaine doesn't work?  Is it the left?  The right?  OMG!!!  NOW I REMEMBER!!!

Perky Hygienist:  Just keep suctioning, just keep suctioning, just keep suctioning...

Dr. Desade, DMD:  Huh.  That's interesting. The chair is actually shaking right out of it's base.  She's got quite a grip on the armrest, there.  Maybe I should stop and ask her if she is all right.  I'm certain she is simply overwhelmed by this display of great skill and whatnot, but it never hurts to ask.

Sheepish Annie:  I hate this man so much.

Dr. Desade, DMD:  Well...she did say to keep going and get it over with.  I'll just keep telling her that I'm almost done and that will distract her nicely.  I'm sure it's not nearly as bad as she's making it out to be.

Sheepish Annie:  *%@%$*&@#$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Perky Hygienist:  I could have gone to cosmetology school.  That would have been nice...

Dr. Desade, DMD:  There.  That should do it.  Oh, look.  The silly patient bit her own tongue.  I should tell her that so she, too, can laugh at her folly.  I'll even throw in my patented Condescending Chuckle.

Sheepish Annie:  Bit my...really?  That's what you're going with?  Oh, I'm gonna give this guy a piece of my mind right here and now!

Dr. Desade, DMD:  She looks like she has something to say.  Must be getting ready to start in with the tearful professions of thanks.

Sheepish Annie:  Oh, forget it.  It's not worth it.  Besides, what do I know?  I can't see inside my own mouth and everything but the tooth he was drilling into was numb.  Maybe I did bite my tongue.  Maybe it is only a coincidence that it didn't hurt until he stuck that stupid, giant needle in there.  Maybe the Perky Hygienist always has that deer-in-the-headlights look during procedures.  I just wanna go home...

Dr. Desade, DMD:  

Sheepish Annie:  That's right, little man.  Run away.  As fast and as far as you can.  Because if I ever regain the strength to get out of this chair...

So much to say and yet virtually all of it remained unsaid.  Silent witnesses would have heard naught but, "how are you today?" and "fine, thanks."  There were wishes for pleasant weekends and reminders to be cautious during the upcoming storm.  The hygienist's horror, the dentist's sense of self and the patient's fervent desire that a plague of boils suddenly manifest itself upon a certain drill wielding man were all kept internalized.

I drove home shakily.  Every so often, I spat out a little something that looked disturbingly like a piece of tongue, but that might have just been my imagination.  My tooth throbbed, although my mouth and jaw remained numb almost to the point of uselessness.

Not so much, however, that I didn't take advantage of the privacy of my vehicle.  Rest assured, I had a great deal to say and the internal dialogue became highly and explosively external.

That was Thursday.  Now it is Sunday and my mouth has healed a bit.  I ranted in lisping tones for a while, but I think I'm over it.  Now it is time for the internal dialogue to focus on getting me ready to go back to school tomorrow.  Vacation week is over and I really need to be gearing up for interpreting what my students are thinking instead of my dentist.

I wonder what the kids would say (internally or externally) about a science unit on good oral hygiene?



Jeanne said...

Erk. I think I'll go brush. And floss. And repeat. About 10,000 times.

Sorry about your experience, Sheepie.

=Tamar said...

I think you need a new dentist.
For one thing, since you know one side of your mouth doesn't respond to Novocaine, he certainly ought to know already and ought to have checked the file so he wouldn't make that mistake. I know mine doesn't check the file until he's already in the room but even that wouldn't be too late.

Anonymous said...

You have my profoundest sympathies. Last time I was in the chair I was crying before they even touched me. This does not bode well for a root canal & crown in 2 weeks...
Sedation dentistry should be mandatory and covered by regular health insurance.
Nancy NeverSwept

Julia G said...

Wow! Kudos to you for keeping all that in your thought bubble, and using your inside voice! I shuddered to think what Dr. Desade was up to in that hardware store. My dad (bless his heart) did use the pliers on our stubborn loose teeth as kids, but it was the '60's....

I also have one side of my jaw (the left) which does not respond to the usual shot of novacaine. My current dentist was kind enough to sketch a solution on one of those little dental drool napkins. If you picture the nerve running along the jaw under the teeth and popping up to enervate each molar, etc., he says there are two holes in the jawbone where he can stick the needle in to numb the molar, one about midway toward the front and one closer to the hinge of the jaw. He gives me a shot in both locations (after topical) and leaves a couple of shots on the tray at the ready just to make both of us feel better. That plus a tylenol before my appointment does the trick (and I have endured serious unnumbed agony during prior dental follies).

Feel better soon!

Kath said...

I had a panic attack a few years ago during a root canal and every since then for anything except a simple cleaning I "pre-medicate", even if it means taking a taxi or getting a friend to drive me. SO worth it.

Anonymous said...

You need to find a different dentist. Srsly. It in not necessary to endure such pain and arrogance just to keep your teeth.

otoh, maybe we readers should nominate you for sainthood. And nominate Dr. DS for the fiery place.

Mel said...

Aside from being manic as all hell, my dentist is pretty good. He even knows where to put the anesthetic block to make it work on my usually-nonresponsive mouth. And he's really fast, which is probably the upside of the manic. The downside is the unrelenting perkiness - likely would make your perky hygienist seem like a suicidal depressive. He's in York, but if you ever want his name just let me know.

Donna Lee said...

You have reminded me that I am way overdue for a dentist appt. Thanksalot.

I like my dentist all except for when she says "a little pinch now" which we all know is dentist speak for "holy mother of god, look out for the big needle".

I hope your week is going well

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, geez. That sounds just awful. I felt particularly bad for the poor hygienist (kidding - but she sounded so worried in her head!). I'm glad you're feeling better, but that was not a good way to spend part of your week off!

Beth said...

Thank you for letting us be entertained from your awful experience. While I was cringing while I read it, I did laugh a lot. Especially about the perky hygienist and your "*%@%$*&@#$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

trek said...

What was it about the end of last week and dental disasters? Grandma had a freaking monstrous abcess and the dentist referred her out to another dentist because he doesn't *do* extractions.

Dentist number 2 extracted a half inch long strip of packing gauze dentist number 1 forgot to remove from the gaping hole in the tooth.

No, that couldn't have caused the antibiotics to fail to heal the abcess, now could it?

Bet he went to school with Dr deSade.