Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ode to a Dentist

From the Latin dent, meaning tooth, and the Greek phobos, meaning fear.  
Yeah, I've got it. But thanks to a couple of great dentists, I don't actually suffer from it anymore. Several years ago when I lived in Indianapolis, I went to Dr. C. to have my two remaining wisdom teeth taken out. When I laid back in the chair, he noticed my legs shaking. Ha ha! Since he was a smart guy, he picked up on my fear--not that it was hard to figure out!
He was one of the kindest, gentlest professionals I've ever dealt with. He spoke very calmly, with a soothing voice, and reassured me that he'd make sure I was numbed up enough before he did anything, and if I wanted to be out, they could do that, too. He was also the first dentist I went to that used a topical anaesthetic on my gums before giving me the Novocaine shot. What a relief! Dr. C. was great, and thanks to him, I no longer live in fear of a trip to the dentist!
When Ken and I first got together, I started going to his dentist, but I found them very aggressive in wanting to repair things. I needed a crown put on, and they did a great job with that, but then they started talking about setting up my next appointment to work on another crown...on a tooth that wasn't broken! Yes, it has a large filling, and I expect it to break one day...THEN I'll get my crown. I just wasn't pleased with the way they operated, although they did good work and were very professional. Cousin Shane and I somehow got to talking about it one day, and turns out he goes to Dr. H., just up the road a piece from us. He said, "You remember Greg H. from high school, don't you? That's him!" I said heck yeah! He was, I think, a year ahead of me, but he was good friends with one of my good friends' brother, and the cousin of another good friend. At some point, I'm sure they drove us to a game, or the mall, or something! Luckily, he was still accepting new patients, and I was able to get in to see him. He remembered me, too!
He's even nicer than Dr. C. He's still just like I remember him from high school, soft-spoken and friendly, very low-key, and just an all-around nice guy. His office is tiny compared to the place we were going, and I never ever have to wait. He even does his own cleaning, rather than having his assistant do it. When I told Ken how great he was, Ken asked me to see if he'd take him on as a patient, too. So now it's a family affair. Ha! Dr. H. and I always chat about things going on, people we know, that sort of thing. When I walked in today, he asked me, "So do you have today off?" It kind of took me by surprise, and I said, "Oh yeah! I haven't been here since my big news!" I told him that I'd retired, and he got that look on his face like, no way! He said, "You're younger than me!" I went on to explain that Ken and I had a plan, we stuck to it and reached a goal, so I was able to stop working. He asked, "Can he come up with a plan for me? I promise I'll stick to it!" He went on to say that he was very happy for me, and thought it was just great. He asked if I missed the Foundation and without hesitation, I said, "No, not at all!" He got a kick out of that! I went on to say that I miss my coworkers, though, and he asked if I miss Microbiology. I said, yeah, it's a neat subject, but I still read about it and maintain an interest in it. (I've got a book about yellow fever waiting for me, and one about how diseases have affected history.)
He did X-rays and my cleaning, and we talked about other things, including how much we love living in this area. He gave a nice soliloquy about the beauty of a bean field he passed on his bike the other day, and I said, "I even like the corn fields!" We actually laughed about it all, and I said I guess we're just born to be Midwesterners. When I was leaving, he told me to enjoy every day, and told me what his parents told him about retirement: "Every night is a Friday night, and every morning is Saturday morning." After I thought about it for a moment, I said yeah, I love that! He said, "It's true, too--the two best moments of the week, and you get to have that every day."
Anyhoo, I didn't mean to give you our entire conversation, but just wanted to give you an idea of what a nice guy he is. I always walk out of there feeling good, and I can't say that about everyone I meet! cavities, ma! He was also pleased to hear that I'm working on getting into the flossing habit. I'm not in the habit yet, but I AM working on it! I have no excuses now. After getting my free toothbrush, I was on my way.
I made a quick trip to the store, and found a great sale on what we're having for dinner tonight: steak pinwheels wrapped around spinach and blue cheese. Steak? Good. Blue cheese? Good. Steak with blue cheese inside it? Gooooood! It was a great price and I couldn't resist. Also found some nice thick pork chops on sale. Perhaps that will be a Saturday grill item. I also picked up my free $2 Hoosier Lottery scratch-off ticket. If you join the birthday club, you can print a coupon for a free ticket during your birthday month. When I scratched it off, I ended up with $4. Sweet!
Took out the garbage, brought in the mail, threw in another load of laundry, emailed with my sister Diana (Her and Tom are off to Vegas and California today for a fairly impromptu vacation--bon voyage!)--it feels good to have some energy back! It's been a great day so far. I hope yours is proving to be as pleasant!


amy122389 said...

I am SO coming over for dinner!  Tell me there will be potatoes of some kind with it!  :-P

It took me forever to find a dentist I liked in FL....and then we moved.  Pfft.  I've been here almost 2 years and haven't found a dentist yet.  Shhhh.


buckoclown said...

Dr. H is great, we usually talk about the HWY  project, vacation plans, and his bike rides :o)

eml625 said...

You sure had a  good day !
I also hate / fear the dentist. I have switched insurance a few times in the last 2-3 years, so I'm embarressed to say I  am way overdue to go.

The day slipped away without a chance to call you.
How about today?
Be well,

queeniemart said...

i make pinwheels as part of my job but honey, there ain't no steak!! LOL
ham and italian  and turkey.
I hate all dentists. Ugh. I think all the dentists in my town were bullied for being pansies in school and for revenge they became dentists. Phooey. I am actually glad you know and like your dentist. We've been waiting forever for you to tell us stories about diseases and stuff.

dbdacoba said...

Glad to read about your relationship with your dentist.  He sounds like a good guy and a good find for both of you.  I have been through so many dentists chairs that nothing frightens me any more.  The big needle comes out and I open my mouth wide and close my eyes.  It's no big deal. Some day I'm going to do an entire entry on the history of my teeth, ending with how I met my present dentist, Mr. Miracle Man.

jmoqueen said...

Your dentist sounds lovely ~ I think I better immigrate to your area so I can register with him.  I hate dentists with a passion!!!