Toothache on a Friday Afternoon

January 30, 2011

Oh the pain! The pain of a toothache! For over  a week I had pain building in one of my teeth – actually the pain was in between two teeth. First I thought it was food stuck in there so I flossed – more vigorously than I usually do (usually meaning every month or so – I know, I know – The Shame!). I used one of those little flossing things on a stick – my youngest daughter loves to use them, in fact, when she was about 5 years old she started using them daily. I did wonder, at one point, why it was that the pack hardly seemed to diminish (seeing as she was doing it every day – twice a day!). Turns out, she was indeed using them twice daily, then rinsing them and putting them back in the container….

At any rate,there was a little  blood and ouch! It hurt! But nothing came out. So now I was attributing the growing pain to my flossing (See? That’s why I go easy on the flossing – it hurts!). By the end of the week, and I mean a 7+ day-long week – I couldn’t stand it any longer and called my new dentist on a Friday afternoon (he’s not so new – he’s my kids’ dentist and the husband of one of my best friends.) I was told by the Chief of Administration, Joanne, who in my humble opinion, owns this true title,  to show up at 4:45pm and Dr. John will meet me at the office, which also happens to be in our neighborhood (we live in a “small town” within a major city) because he has taken an hour off to go and watch his youngest daughter play ringette. So, he is not only a fab husband and personal friend, but also a great and supportive Dad. I show up right on time, holding the side of my mouth that hurts and yet still smiling and being pleasant with Joanne. Dr. J hasn’t arrived yet and she is locking up because she absolutely has to leave to catch the train home (it’s Friday night, remember...oh my God – they must be loving me right now, I think). She says, breathlessly as she is fumbling with keys; “He’s still at the arena at the game and suggested that you should go and pick him up – that way you can be treated faster.” I have no idea where the arena is because I do not have sports kids (we are a music kind of family who also dabbles in computer stuff). She calls him on his cell and hands me the phone – he gives me simple directions and as I’m about to leave on my way, Joanne adds, laughing – “Ha! Ha! How many people have to go and pick up their dentist from an arena?…The comfort of friendship in a small town….

As I drive there, I feel as though I live in Mayberry. She’s right though, who goes to pick up their dentist? I do see the humor and yet I am incredibly appreciative at the same time…did I mention that it was Friday afternoon at 5pm? I find my way there and sure enough – true to his word, he is waiting outside and recognizes my car, which by the way, is another blog because this is such “a man thing”– to remember  someone’s vehicle. It’s not like he’s really seen it before, other than passing by my place (oh yeah – did I mention that we live one block apart?). He motions me which way to turn for pick-up and I’m already writing the blog as I watch him run across the street and then hop inside my car . As we make the 5 minute drive back to his office he is  diagnosing me through conversation in the car. We get into the office, he grabs my chart and we scoot up to the examination room – Joanne hasn’t left yet (maybe she missed that first train? Yikes, I hope not!) and calls up a reminder to him that he has a mold to fill before he leaves for the weekend. Whew! He had to come back any – so it wasn’t just for me…I’m feeling better about the Friday thing now.

So I hop into his chair – he masks/gloves-up and off we go. Holy Smoke! The man has the latest technology – a camera goes into my mouth for him to take an x-ray which is then displayed on a computer screen, instantly. I’m impressed! After some poking, tapping and other dentist-y moves, he pulls out a small popcorn shell. A popcorn shell! That’s what was causing the pain?! I feel like an idiot, but he reassures me that it’s quite a common occurrence and that I would not have been able to get that out myself…however, it is also obvious to him that I haven’t been brushing or flossing as I should have been and need to step it up before I start losing teeth.I know he’s right. He reminds me that now, at 50, it’s time to really look after ourselves. I know he’s right on that too.

I am grateful – tremendously grateful – Aesop’s Fables grateful…remember when the mouse pulled the thorn out of the lion’s paw….how will I repay him (other than to pay him, of course)? Perhaps a nice batch of cookies….because my dentist has the sweetest tooth on the  planet – not to mention the sweetest heart.

I’m pre-heating my oven right now.


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