I had written this post on Livejournal, my erstwhile online diary many moons ago. And I remembered the incident which inspired the post during my dental check-up today.
I like to think my threshold of pain is about average. I know I got loud during childbirth but then again you’re expected to so that doesn’t count. Most people fear going to the dentist or any doctor who’s going to look into a body cavity simply because we’re mute spectators and we feel very vulnerable. We have to just lie back and let the doctor do what they will till they are done and we have no idea of how things are going till they deign to enlighten us.
One could argue that going to a cardiologist or a pulmonologist should provoke the same reaction, however it doesn’t always. Those doctors seldom have their hands in our bodies. They prescribe meds, xrays and use a stethoscope or have us undergo activities which tells them how well the organ is doing; or not.
A dentist has the total opposite effect however. They fishhook your mouth to get a better look, their scaling instruments inevitably draw blood; however little and they probe the inside of your mouth- a place seldom visited by anyone else since you were a baby and your parents were teaching you how to brush.
Today, when the dentist was getting the plaque off my teeth, I had nothing to do but wait. She kept taking my face from one grimace to another the way she kept pulling my lips this way and that and it was annoying.
Like someone had more control over my face than I did. It’s like you’re a puppet in someone’s hands and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s worse when you go to a gynecologist or a proctologist because you’re most vulnerable in that pose and hoping the doctor tells you that all’s well.
Anyhow, I kept thinking how my tonsils looked and if the doctor was getting bored while doing a “standard cleaning” without any challenges like rotting teeth, halitosis and tooth extractions to keep things interesting for her.
I thought about Darla from Finding Nemo-
I composed some blog posts in my head, wondered why they didn’t play muzak in the doctor’s office and how long it would take me to get home during the morning office rush. And then we were done.
Rinse. Wipe. Repeat. And leave the doctor’s office with instructions to floss more regularly than I had been till now.