My new dentist is a poet, but the other guy isn’t

“How did you find us?” Well my husband works at one of the B.A.T.H.s in the city and he was seen in the dental clinic there and he asked if there was anyone they recommended here in town and they recommended this dentist here.  So here I am.

With the poet.

Who is quite nice and has Sunday hours, of all things.

What kind of a freak would schedule a dental cleaning in the middle of two months of migraines?  The kind who is convinced that nothing she does or doesn’t do is going to change whether or not she has “vert” or head pain so why wait?  I mean, I could wait and end up having a dental cleaning the week after a spinal tap and won’t that be fun?

The reason for today’s appointment was in fact that I was overdue for a cleaning.  I was overdue for an appointment, overdue for a dentist.  I liked my dentist in the New England Outback quite a bit.  There were exactly three things I liked about the New England Outback.  My vet, my dentist, and one other thing that slipped my mind but which I know existed and I will probably remember as soon as I stop blogging and think for a minute.  Anyhow, I liked my dentist down there in the land of Martha Stewart and Lyme Disease.  And then I moved up here to the land of Lobstah and B.A.T.H.s and I got a real stinker right off the bat.  He sucked.  Turned out he knew my cousin.  In fact, my cousin’s college roommate (and best friend) turned out to be the dentist’s daughter (who worked as one of his hygenists).  I should point out, my cousin and I are not and never have been close.  Of that set of cousins though, she was nice.  A good kid and the most sociable of the set.  But we were not close and that not closeness only grew as we became adults.  I’ve seen her sisters only at funerals over the years.  I haven’t seen her in nearly 15 years I think.  So the dentist’s daughter’s connection was a passing curiosity, a “hm, small world” thing.  It was not enough to overcome how much he stunk as a dentist.  I’m sure he was good if you are a healthy and hale robust person but I’m just not.  So I had my cleaning and first appointment last year in the Fall and he remarked that I was on “too many” meds.  Um…how about a big dose of Fuck you, BID?  Nah, I was polite.  But taken aback.  I was not happy about that.  It made me feel bad.  Yes, I know, I get angry when I am hurt (hence the swearing and whatnot).  It feels better than just feeling hurt.  But I went back because I figured whatever, I don’t need to love the guy, he just needs to be competent.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t.  First time he did work on a tooth, he put the needle in and it didn’t take.  Ok, so he put it in again.  And he put it right into the joint.  And wow, that felt very unpleasant.  It wasn’t pain like stabby, pinchy shooting, sharp, or burning sense.  It was pain in the very bad pressure in a very bad place where there isn’t supposed to be pressure like that and wow your body just does not like that one bit at all sense.  Ever had that?  I think the only other places I’ve felt something similar is when something is coming out of joint.  My toes pop out of joint on their own sometimes (ouch) and my hip did a little thingy back in 2006 that started all this hip pain stuff.  So it was like that.  But in my face.  And it was very, unpleasant.  And I passed out.  Slowly.  As usual.  Because I always go out slow and ugly.  It starts with sweating and a bit of groaning, that’s the noise of “alert” I think.  As in “shit, hey I’m going down”.  Then I pull in, arms in legs up and head down which in a dentist chair means head up because hey it’s just a not very consciously mediated reflex.  Then the gagging and wretching starts and after that I’m not much for an eye witness.  I’ve been told there is convulsing.  In this case, there was O2 and pushing me back into the chair so my head was down.  That helped and I was back fast.

I was then lectured about not leaning forward when I’m feeling like that.  Yes, that’s exactly what I needed then was a lecture on how to act when I’m passing out from Dr. Stabby on controlling my impulse to put my head “down” (hey you try explaining to your body that forward is actually up when you’re already down on your back).

I decided I wasn’t going back to him.  When they called me to schedule my cleaning a few months later, I told them I wasn’t coming back and I told them why – the medication thing and the passing out thing.  I wasn’t horrible and screechy about it but I didn’t hold back either.  I was not having a very good day and that kind of made it feel a little less bad.  I asked my husband to ask his dentist (who he liked) for a recommendation and I got this new guy.  I didn’t make an appointment.  I said “hey I need to do that” many, many times.  But didn’t.  And my teeth would hurt sometimes and I’d think “I should make an appointment” and I wouldn’t.  And my mouth would break out in blistery things and raw bits and I would think I should make an appointment” and I would swish with salt water and benadryl and left over lidocaine (yes, I got the good stuff baby) and maalox (my very own magic mouthwash) and I wouldn’t.

And then then other week, my teeth hurt like hell.  Ok, I thought.  I don’t need that on top of everything else.  I’m calling.  So I called and told them I was having a lot of tooth sensitivity and they got me in at 6:30 (wow, they have 6:30 appointments?!)  And I got the poet.  I found this out by reading his bio.  I do think this is rather cool, in case you can’t tell.  I have a bias for the literate, I do.  And of course, on my way out they hit me up for a cleaning.  Ok fine.  I scheduled it.  And I kept it because like I said, why not.  There is no reason at all to believe that I will not have a headache next week or the week after, or that even if it goes away for a week or two that it won’t come back and, well, you get the idea.  I don’t put things off.  Remarkably, I felt pretty decent while I was there.  I think laying back in an air conditioned chair was a help.

The person I’m not overly enchanted with is the other guy.  We’ll call him the “not poet”.  I asked Dr. Poet DMD if he knew anything about whether my metal allergy would be a problem with the metal fillings I had.  My previous dentist had put in a really deep one that was right on the gum line and took up a lot of tooth.  I’ve been having some mouth sensitivity and blistering for a while now.  I don’t know if they are related but I’d like to find out and I don’t know how to go about checking.  “What do you do for that?  I mean, can I get a piece of amalgam and just see if it gives me a rash?”  He said he’d check.  He checked with the Other Guy, who came to talk to me on my way out and who basically grilled me on why I wanted to know about this, what my mouth problems were, and lastly, in detail, why I thought I was allergic to metal?  Was the reaction right away or was it after a few hours?  I swear,the guy was acting like he was cross examining the hostile witness.  Did I stumble into some kind of crazy controversy thing here?  It was as bad as if I had said “I think I might have chronic Limes disease” or something.

So.  I like Dr. Poet DMD but consider me not enchanted with Dr. Other Guy Esq.

Hey, at least my teeth are clean.  And my vert and headache levels were only moderate today, only a couple moments of severe and the nausea is manageable – which I count as stellar.

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