Dental Health Not Compatible with Mental Health

…for me anyway.

My saga begins in October 2010.  My (now ex) husband had just informed me (for the 2nd…and not final) time that he wanted to leave.  Good times.

I had dropped my kids off with my Mom and as I drove to my dentist appointment I was thinking about how very very tired I was of crying. Like, hello heart, stop clenching up like that. And eyes, I’ve had enough of you, get it together.

Yes, we’re sad – but there is STUFF that needs to be done.  Like dentist appointments.

I decided perhaps it was time to call my doctor and consider getting some “chemical assistance” to halt the ever imminent tears. So en route to the dentist I called to make an appointment. I don’t know if it was the thought that I might not have to continue to hold it all together through sheer force of will – but the minute the appointment person came on the phone I just started sobbing.  Like, embarrassingly so.  And I said something along the lines of, “I’ve been under a great deal of stress and I’d like to see the doctor about getting some help.”

I am sure it sounded like “I…SOB…stress…SOB…help.” She said – in the nicest way possible – that they didn’t have any openings that day, but she could fit me in on Monday – three days later.  I pretended, to the best of my ability, that that would be OK.  I made a Monday appointment.  Then I tried to get a grip and calm myself so I could walk into the dentist’s office and fulfill my commitment to clean teeth.

The doctor’s office called back within 2 minutes and said they could tell I was upset and did I want to come in that afternoon.  Why yes, I did.

Deep breaths. Tissues. Powder. Stern internal dialogue with body parts.  Eyes – CUT IT OUT.  Heart – calm the f*** down.  Hands – stop shaking dammit, you look crazy.

Arrived at the dentist. Dab. Pat. Sniff.

I managed not to cry while talking to the receptionist and telling her my name.  Then I asked to use their bathroom.  There I had a tiny (possibly not so tiny) breakdown, cried a bit more, splashed some water on my face, took more deep breaths.

Heart – you are seriously pissing me off.  Eyes – last warning.

Then I walked out and told her there was no way I could do the exam.  Too hard to breathe, cry, and have someone’s hands in your mouth.

Again…it probably sounded like “I…SOB…divorce…SOB…go.”  As I ran out the door she called after me to see if I was OK to drive. Apparently I was, because I did.

Later that day I went to the doctor and gained some control over my crying situation (which is another whole story.) But I never went back to that dentist’s office again.  It was too far away anyway.  But really, I was mostly hugely embarrassed to have had a breakdown in their bathroom.

Fast forward to today…

I have been going to a new dentist.  A closer one.  One less familiar with my mental instability (I’m much better now, thanks.)

I walked into the office today for my 6 month cleaning and presented my brand-spanking new self-employed single girl insurance card.  And the receptionist said, “This isn’t dental insurance.”

Um. What?

It was supposed to be medical AND dental.  Apparently they missed the part where I wanted to have shiny teeth.  Damn you insurance people….damn you.

I said I’d come back later after I worked out the insurance situation.  Apparently the receptionists have been trained NOT to let patients escape like that.

“Are you sure you don’t have some other insurance?”   Um, I am fairly sure that unless my fairy godmother bought me insurance, that’s all I’ve got.

“Is it in your husband’s name?” Um, no.  Don’t have one of those anymore.

“Do you have a job?” Um, no.  Thanks for asking.

“Are you sure you don’t just want to pay cash?”  See above re: job.

She called the insurance company to make sure I am really uninsured.  So yay, I definitely am. Woo.

I managed to escape without crying.  I can figure it out, my teeth are not in imminent danger of dissintegrating.

But that was so NOT a fun visit, and it made me sad.  And it might be time to change dentists again.

About Kristen

Me: Kristen, 40-something (there's no need to be more specific), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my children, yelling at my dog

2 Responses

  1. Just another reason why I HATE to go to the dentist!

    BTW, you are really brave and courageous. I know what your words say, but your story, it really says that you are.

    Inspiring to see humor in the face of the &*() that get to us — thanks :)

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