Thursday, November 9

Tooth Troubles, but Gollies to Cheer.

What is is about teeth!
I have loathed & feared any type of dental experience all my life, it would seem.

I broke a tooth about a week ago, & had to have it repaired yesterday. As it was a front tooth, having it repaired was a real necessity.

Apart from the damage to the bank balance, it is a terribly harrowing experience for me. I try to convince myself it will be ok, & these days they have so many things to lessen the pain. Nothing seems to reduce the terror factor.

Growing up in New Zealand, during the 40's & 50's it was impossible to avoid the dreaded "Dental Nurse" who resided in "The Murder House" ( Dental Clinic, in adult speak) in the grounds of all Primary Schools.

It was routine, once you were enrolled in the school, you had to take a turn at visiting the Murder House. Where the Nurse would prod, poke, drill, fill, or possibly remove any or all, of your teeth. OK! perhaps not all, but why why, did they feel the necessity to remove any of your 'baby' teeth? These wicked witches of torture did far more damage than good, I am sure.

I had to travel to school on a school bus, & it seemed a long trip, & I was always tired at days end. Plus I was a such a sook!! If anything was going to hurt, I didnt want to know about it! I seemed to have a very low pain threshhold. One day it was my turn to visit the Murder House. I have the feeling it was the first time I had gone.

Imagine my horror when said 'Nurse' decided to rip out one of my double teeth! I have no idea why- I was only about 6 1/2 at the time. I cried & cried, & was almost hysterical, & the socket bled -& bled-& bled!! All the way home in the shool bus,I sobbed & blubbered, -& bled! My mother was horrified & indignant. My Grandparents, who were very protective, were also angry.

I think it set the tone for the rest of my life, & I have always had terrible trouble forcing myself to keep dentist appointments. I have tried to be 'mature' & 'logical' about the visits. But the deepseated fear remains, & my palms flow like rivers, & my body lies rigid on the chair/lounge affair. It used to be, the only parts of me that touched that chair thing, were the back of my head, & my heels!Great pools of sweat would drip from my back & the back of my legs. I could scarcely walk once the ordeal was over, my muscles would be so cramped.

With the advent of intraveinous sedation, in NZ, I used to happily trot off & be almost 'laid out' with drugs. They could have sawn off my legs, & I would have probably welcomed it. A friend once saw GOM pouring me into our car, after one visit, & she couldnt understand why I was 'drunk' at 10am!!

When we moved over to Australia to live, I couldnt find a dentist who used intravenous sedation, at first. Then I found one, & went for an initial consultation, where he assessed the work to be done. The appointment was duly made, & imagine my horror when I picked up the paper next day, to read the swine was being prosecuted for 'molesting' his sedated women patients! I couldnt understand why he was still allowed to pracitce!

I rang to request another Dentist treat me. The receptionist told me Dr Swine has 'the most experience'. I replied, "Yes I read about his experience in the newspaper! And I wont be back."

So I found another dentist, & had to endure the laughing gas, (which never made ME laugh!)plus whatever else they could offer me, in the way of pain dullers, & distractions.

My experience yesterday was not in the horror category. The view out of the huge window was very soothing, lovely trees, water, shrubs. A dentist I have visited before, so 'trust' to some extent. A new Dental Surgery, all modern & airconditioned. The newest in 'loungechairs' that fit the contours of the body & prevent rigidity. But, all the same...

The hissing noise of the drill is terrifying. The sensation of being so helpless, with a mouth full of instruments, fingers, & sucking things. I keep my eyes closed, lest I catch sight of the 'needle'. It still hurts, no matter how many kilos of that numbing cream they rub in there!! I try to 'see' all the colours that flash before my eyes, & use them to distract myself.

The worst part is, the next tooth is on the point of breakage too, so I will have to go through it all again. Next month. I couldnt stand another visit this month. Anyway, I will be away. And trying bloody hard not to think about that appointment.

Here are some cheery little Gollie bags I have been making, as a nice change of subject! DJ & I have been thinking of doing a Boot Sale, & thought we might sell them. They are nice to make, something to sit & work on while watching the idiot box.


joyce said...

Your dentist experiences sound horrifying. I have a very good dentist here so it's only hard on the bank account.

aunty evil said...

Ohh, my mouth hurts. Thanks for your very graphic description Meggie, I was caught in the horror of your story.

Angie said...

Oh Meggie, Meggie (howling with laughter), I KNOW we must have been born twins and separated at birth!!! I go through the SAME thing with dental visits...abhor it!!!! Oh, I cry with you and I laugh with you...and those Golly bags are adorable!!!

slap me happy said...

you only need one bad experience with a dentist to ruin your whole dental life, byt the way what are the details for the dentist with the hands that roam, I can't aford to be too fussy. JUST KIDDIN but I couldn't resist

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

You made me laugh out loud with your tales of dental woes!

And what do you use your gollie bags for? they are divine!!

meggie said...

Hi All.
Thanks your comments- had to laugh at Slap Me Happy! Believe me, you wouldnt have wanted to know the Dr Swine- probably why he had to resort to sneak tactics!

Bec, the bags are quite useless really! Haha, I guess you could use them for the smalls when travelling. I have mine just haning off a cupboard handle for decoration.
I just always loved Gollies, though I never had one as a child.

nutmeg said...

Don't get me started on dentists. I think I'm with you on this one Meggie.

I had my 4 wisdom teeth out in the chair and awake (with anasthetic). But as they were putting in the first needle I started to cry, then howl and the tears just ran and ran down my face. I sobbed, I just couldn't stop I was so frightened. I eventually had to tell them to start as I couldn't stop the tears. I didn't feel anything after the needles but that didn't seem to matter! Anyway, once they were all out I looked and felt a total mess. I was not a good advertisement for incoming patients and they couldn't get me out of the surgery quick enough. They heaved a sigh of relief when Mr J arrived to pick me up. The whole experience has scarred me for life. Can you tell?

meggie said...

Hi Nutmeg,
The 'wisdom' teeth were a whole story in themselves.
I had to go into the Public Hospital to have those out.
They gave me something called Pentathol, which did knock me right out.
The best part of that, was as I was waking I found "The Answer to the Universe"!! (but lost it on waking)
BFJ had all her teeth out in the same Hospital, & had the same experience!

My float said...

Dentists = torture. I'm with you Meggie. I hate going and many are so rude! I think roaming hands may well have been a relief from the other horrendous ones around!

I'm loving those bags. I think I'd like to use one for my clothes pegs. I also loved little bags like that to put game pieces in (like Scrabble letters) so they store easily and don't fall out of the box.

Alice said...

My siblings and I were saved from visits to the School Dentist because my aunty had been to one (back in the 1920s) and had 8 teeth pulled and then had to walk home. Mum vowed she would never let any of her children go to such a dentist.

After putting up with toothache for several months, I made my first visit to a dentist at the age of 15 (late 1950s) and said that I wanted the whole lot out! He took all the top ones out and three lower ones - and I've never regretted it. However, I realise that in this day and age there is no way in the wide world that a dentist would remove so many good teeth, as well as a few not-so-good (many of which could have been restored with today's methods), but that wasn't the way things happened back then.

Elizabeth said...

Those Gollie bags are so cute! But why are they called "Gollie", excuse my Cdn. ignorance?
I'm with you on going to the dentist, probably because my teeth were terrible as a child and I needed so much work done to them. I can't imagine having my teeth done as a wee one at school without my mom's hand to hold!

meggie said...

Hi Alice, My Mum had all her teeth out when she was about 14 & she says she never regretted it, when she saw me going through hell.

Elizabeth, I think the Gollie bags are called that to be 'Politically Correct'. The little black dolls used to be called Golly Wogs, but of course that has all sorts of nasty connotations now. So Gollies they are!

And Yes Float they would be ideal for Scrabble tiles. We have ours in an old Bank change bag. It is hard canvas, & most unattractive, even though I keep washing it.