Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Di and Dentists

One of 'things' I've had to carry with me as I've lived in different countries is a dental phobia. I never leave it behind, I've never quite grown up enough to rationalise my way out of it ... and so it is. In Turkey, expat opinions destroyed the miniscule amount of faith I have in the dental process. I would always put any tooth pain aside thinking 'I'll go to Bruce when I get back to New Zealand'. Bruce Newton is down in Dunedin and has been 'the one' for years, although he did get a bit grumpy about me not flossing once.

Time passed in Turkey and everytime I went home it was on a shoestring budget. Life was sometimes a little bizarre and I got to do things like fly back to Turkey with just $30nz in my pocket, racing a snowstorm that Istanbul was shutting down for, wondering what my Istanbul kitten had done with my credit card.

These last few days I've been fighting an undeniable fact ... I had an abcess in my tooth and ignoring it wasn't making it go away. Finding a dentist in a new land is probably the thing I hate worst. Gert offered his dentist. I interrogated him:
'Is she gentle?'
'Does she get mad with people who don't always take the best care of their teeth?'
'I can't go then!'
'No no no, I'm sure she'll be fine with you.'
'Will she be okay if I tell her I don't mind positive parenting-type dentistry ... that I won't feel patronised?'
Silence and a raised eyebrow.

Yesterday he phoned from the office with my appointment for today and my world fell to pieces for a while. I could imagine her needing to cut into my jawbone to undo the damage I'd done over time and then wondered if that would mean hospitalisation. I went out, met Gert for dinner, wished for the wine of forgetting, slept badly, walked there like a condemned woman this morning, met Gert who had taken time off work for this first visit, went in, talked a lot, let her x-ray me and check my teeth ... I was sweating.

She came back ... antibiotics for 10 days, another visit in 5 weeks just to be sure the abcess is gone otherwise it's a root canal filling ... which is SO much better than having one's jawbone cut away.

She's lovely and may have been a little amused about my fear of the process but I forgive her everything.
So ... I have found my dentist in this new land and life can proceed.


Alison said...

Glad there was no cutting. See, I told you it wouldn't be so bad :)

woman wandering said...

Ahhh yes ... well I have this very very big imagination and I used the time between making and taking the appointment unwisely. :)

wandering-woman said...

LOL. Congratulations!

I always considered finding the scarey things - a dentist, a doctor, a hairdresser (you might have to see my hair to understand) the worst parts of moving--even within the States.

But you're ahead of me, I've yet to go to a Spanish dentist....and it's sitting there, looking at me daily on my long-overdue-what-the -heck-are-you-waiting-for list. I think you've just given me the courage.

woman wandering said...

I still have to find a hairdresser ... although 'the girls' recently cut it after a few glasses of wine. I can't believe I allowed it but love what they did.

Stuff happens when expats get together I guess. I don't know how I gave you the courage to go to the dentists when I was such a self-confessed chicken. :)
Good luck!