Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Meditations from the dentist's chair

Sitting. Sitting. Waiting for them to check my teeth, waiting for anything. Wish I hadn't forgotten my book on the table by the door. I have all this quiet time, and I can't DO anything with it.

But I can. These still moments are a perfect time to pray. I offer a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for Jack. I'm sure I can finish the chaplet uninterrupted -- not sure if I'd have time to say a rosary.

The assistant comes in, peers in my mouth, murmurs and makes a notation. Then he's gone, and I'm sitting again. I gaze at the tray of sharp and shiny tools and wonder what it would be like to be a prisoner strapped in a seat, looking at instruments of torture and waiting, waiting. Would I be calm then? Somewhere in the world someone is in that unenviable position, and I offer a prayer for them. God comfort the frightened, and aid the suffering.

The man in the next cube announces proudly and often that he has 28 grandchildren. Time for some mental mathematics. If he had four children and each of them had seven children, that's 28. Or vice versa. Perhaps he had six children and four of them have five children and two have four. That's 28. Maybe he has eleven children. My grandmother had eleven children, and she has 34 grandchildren. That's a lot, when you think about it.

Here's the dentist. He pokes at my teeth and calls out numbers to his assistant (why can't I remember what a dental assistant is called?). Yes, I have cavities. Why? I take good care of my teeth -- floss, brush twice a day, don't eat very much sugary food. I never had a cavity until I was twenty, and then only one since then. Grr. At least I still get to keep my wisdom teeth. And my gums are fine. Yay.

More waiting. I ponder dental hygiene. And the tools again. One of my previous cavities was shallow enough to be drilled without any painkiller. And it was painless, except for the once or twice the dentist came near the nerve. I'm glad it's 2006. I'll have a baby with no medication, but dental work is in an entirely different catagory. Gimme that novocaine.

Getting fillings isn't cheap, as I discover when a lady in scrubs comes in with the financial rundown. Still, we can afford it without much difficulty. I recall a time not so far in the past when that wouldn't have been the case. God has blessed us.

I sure hope they use the white fillings here...

9 comments:

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I sympathise and have been in the same position just recently. I managed to break a sizeable chunk off a tooth while overseas and have just had it mended. My poor nerve is still smarting after the experience!

Tim said...

That is a great running commentary- I just had a dentist appointment a couple weeks ago and we had some common thoughts. I remember the dentist counting out the # of my teeth. Heh.

rhonda lugari said...

Don't be too frustrated, Mrs. Darwin. I brush my teeth five times a day and floss every night. What do you I get for my efforts? A root canal on my wisdom tooth (I get to keep all mine too). 2 days ago , I completed the 4 visit ordeal.

A dentist once told me that it used to be that they would tell women "you'll lose a tooth for every child you have". Now it's "you'll get a cavity for every child you have". What if you have ten children?!

Bridget said...

Yikes, you just reminded me that I have to go to the dentist on Thursday. :( I'm kind of freaking out about it!

Sister Mary Martha said...

Don't be too surprised about your teeth. My doctor told me that after 40 your warranty is up. Period. The rest is patching and overhauling. Meanwhile, pray to St. Apollonia, patron saint of dental problems. She's the one with the giant pliers.

Riptide911 said...

dental assistant = hygenist?

MrsDarwin said...

You're probably right, only it wasn't looking correct as I was typing it out. Maybe my spelling was off. It happens on occasion.

Christopher said...

I gaze at the tray of sharp and shiny tools and wonder what it would be like to be a prisoner strapped in a seat, looking at instruments of torture and waiting, waiting.

Word of warning, then: DO NOT see "The Marathon Man" (Dustin Hoffman, 1976). =)

MrsDarwin said...

I saw an episode of Monk which referenced Marathon Man, and that was chilling enough. Besides, I just don't like Dustin Hoffman enough.